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.


bird killer

We'll start our week with a bird killer and a hangman.

Fire On Fire - "Hangman". It's mandolin and stamp and big-mouth yell, jaws open wide as muppets'. WAAAA-OOO, they sing. It's a sound that reverberates in my skull as I sit in my office at work, with the Monday raw behind my eyes. It's the opposite of everything before me, or the tie round my neck. WAAA-OOO! What the hell am I doing - what the hell are we all doing, we toilers, we paper-pushers? Why aren't we with our friends, building our own cities, fixing our own feasts, finding our own kings & queens? On Mondays with our stacks of forms and flatscreen glow, it's easy to forget you have friends. That somewhere beyond these chipboard walls, beyond the place where you dwell for a time to bring that bi-weekly cheque, there are people who will clasp and hold you and raise you, when the time is right, onto their shoulders. But even the hangman has friends, my friends, even the hangman has friends.

[Fire On Fire's limited edition, silkscreened debut EP is now available from Young God. / Looking at the "Influences" on the Fire On Fire myspace is like a who's-who of interesting and favourite folk acts: "B. Dylan ... Sun City Girls, Sun Ra, Jolie Holland, Herman Dune ... Alex Lukashevsky ... Doc Boggs, ... Neil Young, Van Morrison, Skip James, John Hurt,... Arthur Russell, ... Gillian Welch, Tarif de Haidouks..."]

Beasts and Superbeasts - "Bird Killer". In a quiet voice - something of Smog, or the fellow British Columbians in P:ano, - Michael Baker tells us that he's a ladykiller. He's a bird-killer, a shark, a dog, a coyote. He licks his lips as his band plays their heavy folk-pop. He sits looking darkly at you from across the room, red kerchief in his upper pocket. He sings of sickle moons and slow-slain suns. He sings that he's a bird-killer, and that ultimately we are all like him, opening wide, teeth flashing like stars. "Sex is a sword / a smile is a wooden horse / we all fear exposing skin / we all sometimes take aim."

[Buy via Randy Bachman's homepage (?!) / MySpace]


Said the Gramophone will tomorrow be announcing the biggest contest we've ever held. Stop by.



Catbird Records is having a holiday sale.

In my Vampire Weekend post last week I forgot to mention this terrific, hilarious writeup at The Fader - Vampire Weekend's song "Ladies of Cambridge" explicated in a wry, printed-and-scanned bulleted list.

Everyone does end-of-year lists but my favourite are the ones that illuminate music I hadn't heard, or else comment on something in a new, right-on way. 2007's first two essential year-end best-of lists are at Skatterbrain and Motel de Moka. At Skatterbrain Matt rounds up a year's worth of under-the-radar indie-pop releases, whereas Moka's idiosyncratic list has a folktronica bent.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at December 10, 2007 12:07 AM

Monday morning's haze will fade, Sean, it always does.

The lead singer's voice for Fire on Fire has a very nasally Neil Youngesque quality to it.

Posted by tim at December 10, 2007 10:34 AM

That WAA-OOOoo really is heavenly isn't it?

Did that picture come from SquareAmerica?

Posted by Dylan at December 10, 2007 2:39 PM

randy bachman's niece (daughter?) always hangs in victoria - he lives (lived?) on saltspring or mayne or one of those islands. maybe she's in the band? or just a tastemaker with friends in high places? either way, great track.

Posted by david b at December 10, 2007 3:20 PM

This is an awesome post - the writing for "fire on fire" esp... "there are people who will clasp and hold you and raise you, when the time is right, onto their shoulders" means so much when accompanied by a song like hangman.

and you are spot on with the lists - exciting lists are what I look for.

Posted by Mike at December 11, 2007 4:45 PM

This is a very, very interesting blog.

Posted by Freddie Sirmans at December 12, 2007 9:51 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.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

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:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
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Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

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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