night shades
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.


We have another contest today. See below.


Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab - "The Lions and the Cucumber". So originally I was going to do a long post, adjectives and adverbs ad nauseam, all typically overzealous imagery. It was going to be about how these horns and jangles, sitar and electric guitar, grunts and gurgles and moans, are the soundtrack for some sleazoid leopardprint party, shag carpets and big lamps, retro girls swooning as they drop acid, become lesbians, suck their partners' blood. But then I paid better attention and remembered that this track actually is the soundtrack to a film about lesbian vampires, released in 1971, so I wasn't doing music criticism so much as reading the subtitles.

A famed b-movie, a famed soundtrack, and easily the least german german music I've ever heard.

[buy the soundtrack to Vampyros Lesbos]

The Knife - "Still Light". Strange that The Knife are now most known for writing "Heartbeats" - not for themselves, but for José González. Still Light is such a different beast than Deep Cuts: the firework machines have been dismantled, broken into scrap, buried. The synthesisers have been put into dark rooms, windowblinds drawn. It's not at all depressing; just black and silver instead of pink and gold, more Liars than Robyn. And "Still Light" is the album's most cowardly song, that shies right away from the beats elsewhere on the record, that doesn't know how to dance. But there's something I love in that: the way it's a musky nothing that disappears once it's gestured to you in the dim. (The other thing I hear: the same spirit that possessed Imogen Heap in "Hide and Seek". But this time it's dying.)

[out soon / preorder]


A marvellous clockwork folk track by Shugo Tokumaru at No Frontin': he hears Sufjan Stevens and The Faces' "Ooh La La"; I hear friends runnin' in a flower garden.

Something Less Than Intended has droney, pinprick jazz by the Norwegian duo Opsvik & Jennings. And it's fantastic.

Grandaddy RIP :(


Cat Power - The Greatest (limited edition) Contest

The new Cat Power record, The Greatest, was released on Tuesday. Jordan wrote about the title track (mp3), and I think I've mentioned my thoughts here and there as well. I'm an enormous fan of Chan Marshall, and this is an album of great dusky sweetness, all lush violins and horns.

Thanks to the kind Cat Power PR, we (like YANP) have one copy of The Greatest to give away. It's the "super limited edition digipak". I will quote the PR fellow: "they're super slick -- gold foil embossing and a special bonus track (the only track that hasn't leaked yet)."

How to win the CD?

This is the title of a song I just made up: "Bluebird Liquor and Black Crow Wine".

To enter the contest, you must write a rhyming couplet for that song I just made up. In other words: two lines of rhyming lyrics. Whoever writes my favourite couplet wins.

There are only two rules for the lyrics:
1. The two lines must rhyme.
2. They must be for the song called "Bluebird Liquor and Black Crow Wine".

There is only one rule for entries:
1. Please don't steal lyrics from existing songs.

Entries must be left in the comments to this post or emailed to with the subject line: CAT POWER CONTEST.

Entries can be in any language, but I am most likely to like ones in English. Lines can be as long as you like, but I am most likely to like lines that aren't absurdly long. Don't bother sending me an entire song or verse or anythin'; I am judging individual couplets for the song "Blurbird Liquor and Black Crow Wine".

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, February 2nd. Good luck! Contest is now over. Results soon.

Posted by Sean at January 27, 2006 3:00 AM

The battle was lost on a liquor world tour
when it failed in Europe cause they hated liqueur

Posted by kieran at January 27, 2006 3:34 AM

I prefered Bluebirds, and she prefered Crows,
But crows are superior, as everyone knows.

Posted by David Topping at January 27, 2006 3:38 AM

Should the song title not be included? And how many shots does one get? =D

Posted by Red Ruin at January 27, 2006 5:32 AM

For instance if one were to say:

We spent all summer in a run-down mine
Making bluebird liquor and a black crow wine

is that cheating? And would one get another chance?

Posted by Red Ruin at January 27, 2006 5:36 AM

I flew off, lifted by its vapours
Far from my troubles, on the wing of a liquor

Posted by Matthew in London at January 27, 2006 6:04 AM

You will note, Mr Ruin, that I did not put a limit on the number of entries one could make. (Although the more someone posts, the greater the chance that they are becoming annoying. And the more annoying, the less likely that they will win.)

You are welcome to put the title in the lyrics, should you so desire.

Posted by Sean at January 27, 2006 6:14 AM

"CAW!" the old bird cried, as I crushed the grapes between my feet /
Cobalt juice to be distilled, aged then served -- but only ever neat.

Posted by Luke at January 27, 2006 7:38 AM

Heady perfumes permeate the love-drunk air;
Twilight falling as bluebirds and black crows fix their gaze in a bittersweet stare.

Posted by Kate at January 27, 2006 9:45 AM

Red beak told the dream and said,
"Drink its song. The bird is dead."

Posted by Robert at January 27, 2006 10:19 AM

Only two reasons birds drink booze
Beaks you win; tails you lose

Posted by mike at January 27, 2006 10:23 AM

That hawk you caught, it ran off with our favorite turquoise cuff
And so I dreamt to take revenge on all: get out the old bathtub

Posted by Marlon at January 27, 2006 10:37 AM

Blood red earth and a blackbird sky
Bluebird whispers, it don't know why

Posted by sean orr at January 27, 2006 11:45 AM

You looked like you been twisted for a day if not a week
Instead of smoke, when we kissed, I could only taste his beak

Posted by Heiress at January 27, 2006 11:54 AM

This will take more than just one drink.
There ain't enough liquor to let her know what I think.

Posted by Bubbachups at January 27, 2006 1:21 PM

Right, and also my brother came up with this one, within two seconds after telling him what the contest was about, I hate him for that.

Drank, Drunk, Drink
Alcohol and liquor, can't stand the stink

Posted by Bubbachups at January 27, 2006 1:27 PM

'Yes, feathers everywhere: starts in the ears;
Down the back like an ink-blot, catching the beers...'

or maybe:

'He's wearing birds for beards and a glint in his eye; a dynamic twist on wanting to die...'

or else:

'Pulled herself out the floor, said "You all smell of brine - now lend me twelve farthings for bible-black wine..."'

i'll stop now...


Posted by Loki at January 27, 2006 1:47 PM

there were birds in my mind there was nothing I said
she just drank the thounghs up right out of my head

Posted by mar at January 27, 2006 2:47 PM


Posted by mar at January 27, 2006 2:49 PM

The gurglings of my old man's bluebird still,
Twisted copper tubes creakin' crow's songs over foggy Johnson's hill.

Posted by John at January 27, 2006 2:50 PM

You had no reason and you had no right
But you had enough drink for one night

Posted by Joel at January 27, 2006 3:56 PM

Drip drops the feathers and I’m caught in tumbles
Treehouse that fell my wine sold in numbers.

Posted by matt at January 27, 2006 3:57 PM

my favorite pub, this winter night, him hunched over his wine.

I took a breath and said hello, the pleasure is all mine.

Posted by lb at January 27, 2006 5:11 PM

somedays the sky fills up with everything that's passed us by,

and I play drinking games with every bird that sounds its cry

Posted by kid quiet at January 27, 2006 5:30 PM

I dont think I can make such bird juice
but with cat power I should not lose

Posted by tragicweek at January 27, 2006 5:48 PM

Bird-drained juice works twice the quicker,
But bruises and bone-aches need two drinks thicker.

Posted by simon at January 27, 2006 6:53 PM

darn, I didn't see tragicweek's use of "bird juice" until after I submitted mine. let me amend my own:

Bird-drained whiskey works twice the quicker,
But bruises and bone-aches need two drinks thicker.


Posted by simon at January 27, 2006 6:57 PM

Drunk on the poison that floats in the air
Her feathered robe's torn, there's smoke in her hair

Posted by Jane at January 27, 2006 7:47 PM

ain't got much to crow about
the change in the couch don't even count

Posted by MMP at January 27, 2006 9:32 PM

the raven, that villain, with mawkish propriety,
obsequious, pallid did quoth - "no sobriety"

Posted by Brad at January 27, 2006 9:54 PM

The bird died even so. The bird died even so.
The wasted empty bottle fell discarded to the floor.

Posted by Brad at January 27, 2006 9:57 PM

The Riddler spoke of motion as intelligent fire-but no measure of mine
Could prevent the blue nail polish shards that dipped in black crow wine.

Posted by coincidence at January 27, 2006 10:49 PM

i was drinkin' all night almost got in a fight
But by dawns light everything seemed alright

Posted by bob at January 28, 2006 12:30 AM

A Cranberry Apple curved slightly at the tip
was a suitable space for a Black Crow to sit

Posted by Lukas at January 28, 2006 12:41 AM

But the phyche of the Bluebird was external.
encountering and distorting the deranged and delusional.

Posted by Lukas at January 28, 2006 1:10 AM

Hold me, shaken soul of mine.
What started out so pretty, now my deadly crime.


Go right ahead but I don't think you're able,
Cuz these two birds'll put ya under the table.

Posted by John at January 28, 2006 1:18 AM

I met a raven-haired girl with a crow on her sweater,
Over the shirt is *nice*, BUT.. underneath is much better.

Posted by Jamie at January 28, 2006 11:07 AM

Inky frantic feathers in a window montage,
She left me on the bed by her discarded corsage.

Posted by lily at January 28, 2006 12:49 PM

you can't farm sorrow, as dry as a bone
it gets stuck in your boots on the long walk home

Posted by Merchant Marine at January 28, 2006 1:09 PM

i flushed my tired tainted intelligent design
with a case of bluebird liquor and blackcrow wine

Posted by tim at January 28, 2006 2:27 PM

ventral foot-like systems girdled broken, ossified cheese, and I wasn't about to play college.

Posted by gavin at January 28, 2006 3:12 PM

We shed our feathers in your cellar drowned in Black Crow County wine,
While the bluejays sang the weather our innocence slowly died.

Posted by cory at January 28, 2006 3:40 PM

the bluebird liquor went down the fastest,
but the black crow wine made night the blackest.

Posted by aaron at January 28, 2006 4:43 PM

Rhyming couplets fucking suck,
but gold foil embossing doesn't -- good luck!

Posted by tim at January 28, 2006 6:41 PM

Driftwood rickshaw rubs over frozenmud,
Cellar lamps throw shadows like spilled blood.

Posted by Sam at January 28, 2006 6:42 PM

I promise to be here tomorrow to see off the black crow that keeps you awake,
The fear that you feel is as right as it's real
but the bluebird is easy to shake!

Posted by Tim Young at January 28, 2006 7:32 PM

Cardinal Rum, Sparrow Beer, and Finch Tequila are all fine
But nothing compares to Bluebird Liquor and Black Crow Wine

Posted by Frantismo at January 28, 2006 8:13 PM

drunk on the trees, whispering your name
neck stretched on this rope, i claw at my pain

Posted by bh at January 28, 2006 8:24 PM

in his drink induced stupour the bad haired barber
slipped on crows feet through the ashen faced harbour

Posted by Bad Haired Barber at January 29, 2006 10:50 AM

"Whilst the Bluebird drank her liquor, and the Black Crow drunk his wine / The Green Finch sipped from the absinthe bottle and lo' his eyes did shine"

Please don't think I'm an obsessed alcoholic ... :)

Posted by Matt at January 29, 2006 3:35 PM

The drugged river follows you down through the hills
Snake saints and coiled guns lay in wait at the stills


In far valley away stand the giants with liqueur
Invite you in for the night, stay for twenty years or more

Posted by jess at January 29, 2006 3:48 PM

the blurbird liquor stole his mind;
he said "I'll get her back with this Black Crow Wine"

Posted by gheejh at January 29, 2006 4:04 PM

The essence of aviarian delight
aged with wings soaring in flight.

Posted by neanderthal at January 29, 2006 4:26 PM

the smile sitting on my window sill
has nothing on the brew is in my basement still

Posted by jj at January 29, 2006 5:34 PM

So many entries! Fantastic response. Good luck judging all of these.

Posted by Sam at January 29, 2006 6:20 PM

never was green-faced sicker with blackout blinds
can't remember your touch but this drink reminds

Posted by justin at January 29, 2006 8:38 PM

under the influenza too thrushed to walk or to drive
gonna have to wing it this time if I want to get home alive

Posted by J Epstein at January 29, 2006 9:07 PM

Tom Tit said I better leave it alone
but a little birdie told me there was nobody home

Posted by J Epstein at January 29, 2006 9:12 PM

I can wish and can beg and can fight for that moment to stay,

but the bird is out of the bottle and she's flown away,

Posted by chaz at January 29, 2006 9:37 PM

so who's up for compiling all of these into one long boozy song?
fun submissions to read.

Posted by mox twelve at January 30, 2006 2:39 AM

You got your tastes and I got mine
We're sky-high drunk all of the time

Posted by E.L. at January 30, 2006 3:47 AM

Your favorite song, forgot. That daydream god is raw...
Or is he a dog? His feathered mouthful snatched your unflown thought.

Posted by Marco at January 30, 2006 10:18 AM

I went pirate for to stay
on seas filled to keep me at bay.

Posted by Ouise Brecht at January 30, 2006 10:56 AM

Under the apple, a bird on its back,
stuck in red meat, those beak points black.

Posted by littleREDelf at January 30, 2006 12:09 PM

we slapped and wrestled all night
no one won the sexual frustration fight

Posted by noah at January 30, 2006 1:42 PM

??????????????? ????? ??????????
??????? ??????????????????????

Posted by Sven at January 30, 2006 3:26 PM

that bottle at your feet
has never tasted so sweet.

sorry, short and simple, but I couldn't help but post again... :(

Posted by gheejh at January 30, 2006 3:42 PM

when there's something interceptin' on the telephone line
babah's paddin' out his bed things with wet paper and pine

Posted by jen at January 30, 2006 4:56 PM

Down in the holler where my sweetheart bides
My face in the mud, coughin' up my insides

THAT's ^ the couplet for the contest. The song goes on:

She says we can't marry and no I can't kiss her
So gone are the nights when I'll lie with my sister
I'll wash down my sorrow with pleasures refined
Like bluebird liquor and black crow wine
Like bluebird liquor and black crow wine

Posted by Bobo at January 30, 2006 6:10 PM

"drown my sins in bathtub gin,"
prays the weak, above the din.

Posted by michael o. at January 30, 2006 6:13 PM

my dream, my liquor,thank you blurbird
my awaking, my wine, crow you blackbird

Posted by Ben at January 30, 2006 7:29 PM

black crow wine, it comes from the hills
bluebird liquor, it comes from the mills

thanks for the contest.

Posted by Ian at January 30, 2006 7:46 PM

When we took to the sky we gave up the pleasure of ground/
Not a loss, just a trade, floating azure for standing brown.

Posted by j at January 31, 2006 12:30 AM

Here goes....

The bird whispered I know what your thinkin',
Maybe it was me but I know I'd been drinkin'

Blurbird liqour and Black Crown Wine,
Bundled in wicker and golden twine.

Always drives me out of my mind, that
Blurbird liquor and Black Crow wine.

Sorry got carried away.

Posted by Chris at January 31, 2006 3:19 AM

Drink of the bluebird til morning comes,
Yum Yum Yum, Cannibalism!

Posted by Kurtie at January 31, 2006 4:08 AM

Biotech chef's beverage menu free prize
64 oz. with purchase of cuckoo fries

Posted by Smoof Criminal at January 31, 2006 11:12 AM

Go, drink the potion, sip the flame,
To understand that you are the same.

Posted by howl at January 31, 2006 5:55 PM

I was so sick I drank the wine,
I couldnt see but I was fine

Posted by tragicweek at January 31, 2006 6:46 PM

She was looking fine after Black Crow Wine,
but the Bluebird Liquor got her in my bed quicker.

Posted by Jamie at January 31, 2006 6:54 PM

For the verse:
she sipped till she shimmered, till her soul fit to shine
and to wit whispered "hither" and collapsed into mine

For the chorus:
and we spun and we cried 'neath the oak and old pine
till the bluebirds bled brandy, and the black crows, sweet wine


Posted by Yoshi at February 1, 2006 3:47 AM

Raven haired and fair, sipping cabernet,
shy smiles to hide a heart of cold dismay

Posted by Paul at February 1, 2006 4:58 PM

ashplant lover on the deepening night,
your eyelash flicker in the breath of black light.

Posted by miriam at February 1, 2006 5:46 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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"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
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le pick up
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le couteau
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chez boris
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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
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