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.


Handsome Furs - "[Unknown title]". The first times I saw Wolf Parade, I didn't know them as people so I had to imagine names for the members. Thus it was "Black Max" yowlin' away at his keyboards and "Nick Danger" herky-jerking with his guitar, always a little sickly. (I don't think I came up with a name for Arlen, and Dante hadn't joined yet. And Hadji's name I didn't need to make up because he was in my historiography class.) But yeah, Spencer Krug was Black Max and Dan Boeckner was Nick Danger. Nick Danger had veins in his arms and rings under his eyes.

Wolf Parade's got side-projects. Spencer has Sunset Rubdown (and now Swan Lake). Hadji has his Master's degree. Arlen produces the likes of AIDS Wolf. Dante has "Dante DeCaro". And now Dan has Handsome Furs.

This is a song from Dan Boeckner's upcoming solo record. I don't know its title. What I know is that it's not by Nick Danger. It's not by someone who panics. It's by someone with broken bottles and a whole lot of patience.

When it begins - just the tickle of guitar and Dan's crackly, clipping voice, - you think "okay". But then what happened to me is that out of this lofi soup came the HUGE fucking lurch of wheezy organ, the clomp of drums like workman boots. Listening to it on my computer speakers now I don't hear it the same way - but then it was on the stereo and I swear the bass hit me like a punch to the chest. I flew backward, right through the drywall, slamming into the bricks. Dust everywhere. And still the song coming through the wire - dark, persistent, fisted. A bluecollar song; a heartstarting song; something to resuscitate a man after a year on the road.

It ends much too soon, much too soon, before the track's taken on any of the mandolin's magic realism. While it's still just concrete and sugarwater and orange sodium light. While I'm still lying there, gasping.

[I have no idea when this record is being released. What I know is that it will probably be on Sub Pop, and that Handsome Furs is touring Scandinavia in May.]

Darondo - "Didn't I". Soul music that moves like an old loom, shuttling back and forth, knitting a pattern over your heartache - something made of thick and solid fibres, strong enough to heft that weight, strong enough to throw your heart up in the air and then catch it again. See your heart glinting as it's thrown? That's sunlight, and blood. That's life.

Sometimes, listening to Darondo, I think of a cartoon-strip wanderer. A man in rags who drags himself across the desert, dying of thirst. And even as he approaches an oasis he uses his last dry gasps to sing a soft and crooning song. Choosing a hot little tune instead of a few more steps and a gulp of springwater.



Former StG-guest Katy Horan now has an online shop!

Posted by Sean at March 30, 2006 3:00 AM

The album will definitely be on Sub Pop (at least, according to one of their media people)...they just don't know when it's coming out, beyond "sometime in the fall"...

Posted by matthew at March 30, 2006 12:36 PM

You have a fantastic sense of poetry when you write. I stop by your blog to listen to the music, but often there is a brilliant take on something. "soul music an old loom..
knitting a pattern over your heartache..."
That is a wonderful image! You should write songs!

Posted by radio pilot at March 31, 2006 8:29 AM

In a week of excellent songs, the Handsome Furs song is my favorite. Thank you!

Posted by Karin S. at March 31, 2006 6:06 PM

So dirge-like the handsome furs... reminds me of Neutral Milk Hotel, though I guess one could say that about a lot of things. I sometimes wonder about lo-fi-on-purpose... kind of contrived? i dunno. I love it here.

Posted by The Champ at April 2, 2006 11:39 AM

Thanks for the Handsome Furs song. It is excellent. And those names you made up for the guys remind me of what I thought when I first saw Wolf Parade live and had no idea who they were.

Do you know when the "Swan Lake" album coming out? Do you know where could I find songs or more information?

(I don't comment much, but Said the Gramophone is my favorite MP3 blog. You guys tend to have things first, or things that are obscure and beautiful and don't show up much elsewhere. So... thanks.)

Posted by Lyra at April 9, 2006 1:20 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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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.

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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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