nominated for a gold gramophone
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.


Talib Kweli ft. Michelle Williams - "Lonely People". Talib must have had a fine time trying to get this past the sample clearance people. His saddened but sanctimonious raps would have been ok, but I'm not so sure about whole minutes from the instrumental track of "Eleanor Rigby," not to mention, uh, Macca's forlorn chorus. Which is sort of too bad, because while this isn't a spectacular track, its heart is in the right place, and above and beyond the appreciable "Michelle" synchronicity, Miss Williams is a fine partner for Paul's melancholy. Kanye owes George Martin some thanks, certainly, but his production is simple and effective: the slow drums give a threatening undercurrent to the slicing strings, a good match for Talib's berating verses. I'm told that the album version of "Lonely People" swaps Ray Charles in for Mr McCartney. Which is fine, I guess, but a whole lot more conventional. [via guerilla]

Also - I would like to thank whatever it is that is motivating this recent spate of hip-hop Beatles love. They are two things that I enjoy, and I like that they are getting together. (Without sucking.)

The Cat Empire - "All That Talking". Laura passed me word about these fine Australians, and here they are with a smoky cheshire-grinning bit of cabaret. This is a brilliant track - each of its sections is realized with aplomb, with alleyway style. Felix speak-sings like an ozzie Jean Leloup, the rhodes pumps, a trumpet mournfully toodles - then there's the unflappable piano solo, Glenn Gould after a night with Picasso, and ("divine!")
the tremendously wonderful, full-bodied brass blast. If only Ottawa was this cool.

Saw P:ano tonight, found them very nice. Was completely blown away by the grandness of their songs-with-guitar, though. (NB: These songs-with-guitar have not been released.) As a gauzy folk band they're good, but as an indie pop band P:ano rule - I want more boy-girl homophony! more songs about being evil! more fun! They're like Yo La Tengo pop-songs without the old person hangups; The Archies after a Fiery Furnaces concert, only macabre and baroque. Wonderful.

Liked "Holiday Road"? John points us to the John Hughes MusicBlog.

Oh yeah - download an unreleased version of College Dropout: early demos and some things that didn't make the final release. (recommended: the slippery track 10.) won't be available for long, i bet.

Posted by Sean at May 13, 2004 2:50 AM

loving the talib kweli!

Posted by justin why at May 13, 2004 5:30 AM

yeah, it sure sounds ok ... but this beatles track is so obvious... people used to diss pdiddy when he used any hit around...
now tell me the difference... is it really less commercial? i'm sure the label has high hopes the track goes mainstream...
as MJackson holds the Beatles copyrights and needs money, we may suffer a new beatlemania for sure...

Posted by thebeathunters at May 13, 2004 7:45 AM

I went to see P:iano here in Montreal based on the excellent track (Tut Tut) you posted a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I missed their set, but I still picked up their latest CD.

What I've noticed so far is that the singing is very subdued. They don't seem to get too excited about, well, making music. I talked to the guy when buying the CD, and he was pretty subdued in person too. In that sense, it doesn't feel like pop at all, but I am enjoying it so far.

Young and Sexy were also playing that night, and I did catch them. They had some interesting songs.

Posted by Bryan at May 13, 2004 4:03 PM

Talib has changed his flow somewhat. I wouldn't have recognized it if you hadn't told me. Lyrically it seems to be the same "babies making babies" "people ain't got money in the city" type of social commentary that we often see. I will admit that the sample -- however easy a target-- is well put together.

I don't, however, like the female vocals. Especially the hushed "Superstar" part. Yech.

Posted by music robot mark at May 13, 2004 5:27 PM

Bryan - You're exactly right, which is why the live show was so refreshing. Suddenly the band was engaged, excited, and (!) even rocking out. You'll need to catch them next time!

Posted by Sean at May 14, 2004 12:29 PM

Loved The Cat Empire (though i hate cats). Anyway, i figured i would drop a line in here saying they have a site as slick and funky as their music (, where they also post some tracks.

Posted by stretch at May 15, 2004 8:52 PM

Wow! The Cat Empire are my new favorite band. After hearing this and looking up a few of their other tracks, I promptly ordered the album. Perfect summertime music. Thanks for mentioning them.

Posted by emery at May 17, 2004 1:32 AM

That Cat Empire track is amazing! Wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to it...

Posted by Eppy at May 17, 2004 12:39 PM

From an aussie girl, let me assure you that The Cat Empire are amazing! check out the official fansite at for lots of news, photos and lyrics!

Posted by Shakalak at May 31, 2004 5:50 AM

i'm really feeling the talib kweli song i cannot see how anyone could think the lyrics are anything below absolute perfection

Posted by will at October 21, 2004 5:09 PM

talib kweli is the greatest rapper ever, those lyrics really touched me - i love the metaphor with leaves changing color and then absorbed by the mud lovin it

Posted by renee at October 21, 2004 5:11 PM

The Cat Empire boys are the SHIZ-NAT! Check them out sometime in concert if you can! Its fucken worth it! Such sexy, sexy bastardo's!!!

Posted by Sally 'n' Sarah at May 24, 2005 2:47 AM

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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.

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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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our favourite blogs
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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
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st-viateur bagel
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le pick up
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drawn + quarterly
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casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
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Cult Montreal
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