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.


magicians at work

Travels - "My Funny Valentine". One of the first postings at Said the Gramophone to achieve any recognition was a contest we held for the song "My Funny Valentine". It is my favourite jazz standard and I asked for covers that rivaled Chet Baker's. Nobody really did. And so I am happy that in Travels' version of "My Funny Valentine", released special for Saint Valentine's Day, they take their inspiration from Baker. This is a song undersung, underplayed. It is not whispered, but there is a scared tremble in Mona Elliott and Anar Badalov's hearts. (I can't tell if this song is a cinder or a bud.)

Travels - "Dogs". On their 2nd album, Travels travel a little more widely. From noisy flare-ups to ticktock murmurs, it's a music that recalls Hood and Logh as much as it does the members' previous bands, Metal Hearts and Victory at Sea. There's something beautiful & familiar in a mutter that feels like a shout, a shove that feels like a kiss, and I like how "Dogs" reminds us of this. It's a photo raising papercuts.

[Travels launch their album in Somerville, MA on Saturday night. / MySpace/BUY!]


The Sarcastic Dharma Society - "You Swan Go On (by Mount Eerie)". I am usually hostile to covers, when those covers are close to the originals. And on Other People's Songs, a collection of covers, Mat Vuksinich does not diverge far from most of the originals. However he is redeemed by two things:

  1. He makes his songs sound really good.
  2. He covers some of my favourite songs: Clem Snide's "Find Love" (previously), Julie Doiron's "Untitled" (previously), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Our House", Bright Eyes' "First Day Of My Life", and others.
So although the Sarcastic Dharma Society do not slough off the mantles & capes & hoods & crowns of the artists they are interpreting, they sing good songs well, and I like this. With "You Swan Go", Vuksinich goes further still - the hand-played drums are a small addition, barely there, but they make all the difference. The song's spirit resides in those drums, that not-quite-perfect pitter-pat, and it's something I am sure Phil Elverum himself would appreciate.

[download the Sarcastic Dharma Society's discography, and more, here]

(photo source and, related, best library internship ever [tuwa!])

Posted by Sean at February 12, 2009 12:33 PM

kudos for the mention of the sarcastic dharma society. mat is a faraway friend i have not seen in quite some time.

Posted by phil at February 12, 2009 1:59 PM

Fans of mat's stuff would probably also dig this manipulator alligator album:

Posted by Tinyfolk at February 14, 2009 11:05 AM

Hi there,

Saw your post for Clem Snide a while back. Thanks!
I wanted to reach out to you because I'm the product manager for the band and I wanted to fill you in a bit more.
The new record comes out 2/24/09 and if you'd like a free copy for review or any press materials for that matter feel free to let me know.
We have all sorts of online materials such as banners, images, press releases etc...
We also have buttons, posters and even vinyl for the lucky ones.

Hope to hear from ya!

Posted by Bruce at February 17, 2009 2:05 PM

My Funny Valentine is my favourite too - apart from maybe Billie Holiday's Come Rain or Come Shine. And I never fail to clamor for more versions of it. Thankyou.

Posted by Laura at February 24, 2009 7:54 PM

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about said the gramophone
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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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

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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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Back to the World
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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
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The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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