Needn't Be So Difficult
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.


Detective Kalita - "Mary 16"

I assume that you like Sherlock Holmes, and that, like Holmes, you value a simple, elegant argument above almost anything else. Now, Holmes doesn't need directions to Simplicity and Elegance, but for those of you who haven't been there yet, the quickest route is via Brevity (Ave.). Brevity is a particularly important virtue in the detective game (not Clue, but yes, also in Clue), as well as in the other game favoured by Philip Marlowe (my favoured detective), chess. Marlowe always managed to be knee deep in a chess problem which acted as a perfect metaphor for the case he was investigating. The key, inevitably, was to find a solution in the fewest possible moves, to get the villain before the villain got him: a principle understood at a deep level by Humphrey Bogart, the actor who played Marlowe most memorably, and who was an expert-level chess player. Bogart was one of the few actors who might have actually been able to solve Marlowe's ludicrously difficult chess problems. The problems tended to involve mate in at least seven moves (very long) and almost always required a knight's oblique, deceptively innocuous, attack.

"Mary 16" achieves its sweetness in a roundabout way - through a decidedly sour approach - and takes only 1:19 to do it. A most efficient, detectively communication. [Info]


Barton Carroll - "Cat on a Bench"

Imagine a cat on a bench. The cat is a yellow Tabbie, the bench is a lightly varnished pine. You're drinking tea.

Now take that same cat and that same bench, but this time, imagine the bench on the cat. You're drinking black coffee.

OK, this time the cat's on top, but the Bench is made of flesh and is a member of Johnny Bench's family. You're laughing, milk is pouring from your nose.

This time, imagine a catbench: half cat, half bench. You love it, you pet it, and you feed it, yet you sit upon it, because that's kind of what it's made for. You just gave up drinking liquids entirely (an overreaction to your erstwhile alcoholism). You're listening to "Cat on a Bench". This, you think, is the life. The catbench meows. [Info]


My band, The Cay, will be playing on Saturday (the 16th) at Casa, and Wednesday (the 20th) at Le Divan Orange. You're all invited.

Posted by Jordan at September 14, 2006 5:48 PM

ah, the weird and wonderful legacy of Bob Pollard...

Posted by the sunshine fund at September 15, 2006 10:39 AM

I'm not really fond of the song, but the text on Mary 16 is just wonderful.

Posted by garrincha at September 15, 2006 12:37 PM

Thank you so much for highlighting Barton. He is a wonderful artist deserving of much attention. That song reminds me of Love.

Posted by Lucas Jensen at September 15, 2006 1:31 PM

The Barton Carroll song is alright, but the text is brilliant.

Posted by Akio at September 16, 2006 5:22 AM

This writing is stratospheric, as in the stratosphere, high-quality; as opposed to spheric(al), as in John-Tesh-cum-Paul-Giamatti, equally extended in every direction; Farbus, this one's just for you.

Posted by Joel Taylor at September 19, 2006 10:57 AM

The track by Barton Carroll is actually called "Cat on a Beach," not "Bench." Funny ramblings though. This track is amazing. when does the album come out?

Posted by johnnynumber5 at September 19, 2006 4:42 PM

Johnny - Let's just agree to disagree. You're entitled to your (correct) opinion, and I to my illiteracy and subsequent irrational obstinacy. In any case, the album comes out October 17th.

Posted by Jordan at September 19, 2006 5:29 PM

I just got the chance to see Barotn for the first time this weekend in Birmingham, AL. Incredible set. If you get the chance, check out the cut, "Small Thing" on his myspace page. He closed with this number, based on a book that his mother wrote. Beautiful.

Posted by Sara Leah at September 19, 2006 7:20 PM

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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.

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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
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Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
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Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
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