nairobi heron: Alina Simone and Gareth Auden Hole
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.


Alina Simone - "Prettier in the Dark". Simone's debut EP, Prettier in the Dark, is only two-toned, but those tones are silver and black. While she's got all the longing of Chan Marshall, these songs match that teary wistfulness with a snap and snarl. This approach has mixed precedents - PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, - but in her best songs, Simone succeeds utterly. There's something ephemeral that separates one kind of singer-songwriter (good) from another (bad): songwriting, or presence, or probably just spirit. When the drums pick up, the second guitar chimes in, when Alina Simone is singing a snatch of notes that she really loves, well - all that stuff's here. This is the music to shake up a melancholy night, to maybe shake it somewhere better. (via songs:illinois)

[alina's website / buy]


Gareth Auden Hole - "Drink Up". It's tricky when I have friends who are musicians. And I do. A pal shares his or her stuff, knows about Said the Gramophone, and this sort of expectation hangs in the air. And while I've stuck to my guns here, never posted anything that didn't meet the quality expected, sometimes it's tense, tough, grim.

My friend Gareth makes it very, very easy.

"Drink Up" is fantastic. The song's been hammered, been torched, been hammered again. Its metal has been stretched, its gleams extended; the song's substance has been worked until it's long and deep and intricate enough to bear the music's feeling. And no more. Evoking The Microphones, Jim Guthrie, Calexico, Micah P Hinton, even early Smog, "Drink Up" moves slow, stares slow, cracks its chest open for a look at its longing. But it doesn't stop there. At the end of the second minute there's something else - there's passion. There's movement. There's the kisses, the birds, the space and the bliss. There's mandolin, there among the guitar and the words and the keening pedal steel. "For the wind may blow us off our heels / and the bird may drink us off our wheels / and the stars be safe from falling down." It's exciting, it's brightly sparkling. A desert's birdsong (literally). And then back to the dry, dry, dry life.

Gareth's not got anything to buy. He'll soon have a website thing I'll point to. He is newly arrived in Ottawa, however, and is looking for people to play music or start a band with. Share your comments or get in touch here.


I am loving what Jose Gonzales (a sweet fellow) is doing with his new band, Junip. mp3s at the ever-essential catbirdseat.


A mysterious source (Gramophone has "mysterious sources" now! Cool!) tells us that StG-faves Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! are signing to 4AD, and will later this year be touring Japan with The Pixies. You heard it here first (and perhaps last).


Early notice - I'm going on holiday to Slovenia on Saturday (for two+ weeks), and will have patchy-if-at-all email, so please get in touch soon if you need to talk to me about anything. Cheers.

Posted by Sean at August 17, 2005 1:17 PM

Slovenia? Cool!

Posted by moominpappa at August 17, 2005 3:46 PM

The stuff by Gareth is tres cool! Can't wait to see him play with a band here in Ottawa! Hopefully soon.

Posted by Chris at August 18, 2005 12:01 AM

Why not Croatia 2? :oP

Posted by Anonymous at August 21, 2005 4:02 PM

holiday in Slovenia during the Edinburgh Festival? some trade off! escape the madding crowds i guess. or make a few bob letting the flat?

Posted by Sean at August 27, 2005 12:14 AM

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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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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
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
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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
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st-viateur bagel
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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
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