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.


Photo from vivoshop's Etsy shop

Last week, Said the Gramophone played host to its first ever concerts. If you were there, you know how splendid they were. If you weren't, imagine the most splendid thing you can, and then multiply by a dozen roses. Our thanks go out hard & hearty to all the bands; to Hil, Dan, Patricia and Lisa at Pop; to Andrew Rose; to Matthew and Frank; to other Matthew for graphics; to sound-guys Christian, Drew and especially Dan Lagacé; and to everyone who showed their face for short or long whiles.

Christine Fellows - "What Makes the Cherry Red". On Wednesday night some of us gathered at a room called Le Gymnase, a place of wood and concrete and gold banding, and amid lamps and lamplight listened. There was a performance by Julie Doiron + drummer, bashful stories interrupted by bouts of furious playing, gnashing at notes, the bitter & the sweet. There was a show by Ola Podrida, all the way from Brooklyn, who made their weariness insistent. (A reminder that some of our fiercest feelings happen at the end of long days, when hopes are worn threadbare.) And there was first, flush, an hour with Christine Fellows and her friends.

Her new album, Nevertheless, is front-parlour and porcelain duck. That is to say it's a record about an elderly protagonist, or of her, or for her; an old woman called Betty who's still deeply alive, eyes wide open. Christine sings the woman's songs with deference, affection, and even a certain glee - a lightness that is often absent from this subject-matter.

But "What Makes the Cherry Red", set in the centre of Nevertheless, is not a song lodged in narrative. Instead it is a caesura, an interruption, a little breath. It is a moment where Christine takes us aside to say something vital and generous. She makes a string of assertions I desperately wish to be true, and makes them from a fabric of sound that is so beautiful it verges on the sublime; the sort of bloom and rise that'll shake you as you sit there, that'll prick tears in your eyes, that'll make you uncertain of where pretty becomes beautiful; that'll make you wonder again if perhaps a sunset can redeem a day.

Someone said that lately my posts here have been diary-like. And there's some truth to this; I've been talking to myself, writing things out loud. I've been wondering about love - love fierce, fickle, falling, flying, failing. I've been inspired and disappointed by it. It's Friday and in Montreal this week I feel a little jaded, a little grey; a little less than I was. So what I want is to sew "What Makes the Cherry Red" onto my every sleeve, to find it written on every mirror, to see it in clouds and on the bellies of birds, in a girl's eyes, in the bottom of a cup of coffee. I want to see and feel this song in places other than a recording; I want to see it in places where its promises become incontrovertible truths. I want to know it to be true, what Christine sings. That one day what makes the cherry red will tie a knot in me, and forgive us our decay.

[Christine's MySpace / Nevertheless is released in early November on Six Shooter Records, and is available from her on tour.]

[This is too long, already. I will write about the other two concerts on Monday.]


As previously stated, our own Dan Beirne appears in the play Legend of the Barbarian, presently mounted at the Theatre Ste-Catherine in Montreal. I saw the play on Thursday night and it's just about the most fun you can have in a room with a concubine, a goblin, a blind seer, and a bunch of people wearing furs. It's ridiculous but even more absurdly it's fraught - all these barbarians and mercenaries caught up in genuine internal struggle, melodrama painted on the insides of peoples' kohl-rimmed eyes. It runs until the 20th, and includes one decapitation, two eye-gougings, and a generous quantity of loincloths. Go on!


[You can buy the cherries in the photograph above.]

Posted by Sean at October 12, 2007 8:00 AM

Thanks for putting on a great show.
I wish I could have made it for Christine Fellows' set. I would have still been at the Airport, probably looking for a taxi.
Julie Doiron was amazing though. The best thing I saw at Pop Montreal.

Posted by Jeff at October 12, 2007 11:44 AM

the c. fellows link ain't working folks.

Posted by lr at October 12, 2007 1:41 PM


friends, please please please, let us know of things like this because otherwise we founder!

Posted by sean at October 12, 2007 2:11 PM

really nice posting.

Posted by ru at October 12, 2007 10:33 PM

My first thought was "Philip Glass," and then, this is what a Philip Glass song would sound like if he composed one measure per day and experienced love on the same vector as the protagonist of High Fidelity. And it ends just as abruptly and arbitrarily.

Your 'diary-like' output has been most engaging at moments like this and the Clem Snide post last month, when the form is as unabashed as the content, so don't apologize for not adhering to an unenforced word count.

Posted by Matthew at October 13, 2007 3:19 AM

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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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All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

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

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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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
(◊ 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