by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Nicki Minaj - "Still I Rise". When Nicki was a little girl, she thought "hustle" was a medallion. She thought it was something you bought at the jeweller's. At nine years old, she brought a piggy-bank into Don's Gold. "A little hustle," she said, "please." Don sold her a necklace with a little silver elephant. For a few years, Nicki treated this as an amulet. She wore it under her shirt. She clutched it when she was scared. She imagined herself stomping her enemies to dust. By the time she became a teenager she understood the elephant was not hustle. She knew that hustle was daring, guts, bravado, rhyme. It was MySpace friends, opening slots, A&R men at bars. It was lunch at The Oval and drinks at Tokyo. It was MCs' phone-numbers in her Blackberry. Mostly it was just hard work. One day Nicki Minaj went to Queensboro bridge and threw her elephant off the side. It was a symbolic gesture, loaded with meaning. Nicki watched it fall. She lit a cigarette. Years later she would remember the moment, and cry. [MySpace]

Labi Siffre - "I Got The". Horace Smith was rinsing his pincing irons when Sir Galahad walked in. "Hello Smith," said Sir Galahad. "Hail, knight," said Horace. "A fine day, yes?" "Oh yes." Steam swirled up from the wooden bucket. "How can I help you?" asked Horace. Sir Galahad was trying to lean against the blacksmithy's doorpost. This casual gesture was upset by his full suit of armour. It is difficult to lean in a full suit of armour. It mostly made Galahad look like his armour didn't fit. Galahad grinned from beneath his visor. "Copper plating," he said. "Of what?" asked Horace. "Of this armour." "Which armour?" asked Horace. "This armour," repeated Galahad. "But why?!" asked Horace. "It's steel already. A copper coating would be like painting a shield." Galahad sighed. He readjusted, leaning on his right instead of his left side. "That doesn't matter. How much would it cost?" Horace looked the knight up and down. "Fifty, sixty gold crowns?" Galahad frowned. He nodded. "Let's do it in pieces," he said. He tossed a pouch of coins to Horace's feet. Then he tossed one of his gauntlets. It clanged on the floor.

Horace copper-plated Sir Galahad's right gauntlet. Then he copper-plated the left gauntlet. And so on, and so forth, week to week, as Sir Galahad came in with a new pouch of coins. Sir Galahad killed the Dragon of Lucerne, copper-plated his wristguards. He slaughtered the Goliath of Musselburgh, copper-plated his buckler. After slaying the Three Wyvern Sisters of Smiths Falls, he copper-plated his entire breastplate. After two years of piecemeal, Horace dredged the last piece through the bullion pool. The knight had brought celebratory mead. He was grinning like a wild cat. "Perfect," he said. "Fine." He donned the helmet. He was a shining copper man. With a swagger and a strut, he strolled from the Smithy. "Lookout!" he yelled to the townsfolk. "Damn!" [buy]

Posted by Sean at April 5, 2010 12:48 PM

that second story is so right. love it.

Posted by ellen at April 5, 2010 3:36 PM

Both of these were spot on but that second story truly told the epic saga of swagger being bought with blood, sweat, and tears. Amen people, amen.

Posted by Christopher N. Cambell at April 5, 2010 6:46 PM

That story about the copper armour was great. Reminded me of Phantastes, where Anados sees the knight in the rusty armour. Not the same thing (I think in Phantastes that knight was supposed to be Sir Percivale) but... this whole thing made me really happy. Oh, and great site. Great. Got me into Surfer Blood, and rekindled my love affair with electric guitar.

Posted by Sean at April 6, 2010 9:59 PM

Been reading and listening now for about 3 months, and this is by far my favorite piece yet. Bravo.

Posted by jason at April 15, 2010 10:54 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny