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.


Kudzu, photographer unknown

Roberta Flack - "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". Roberta sings this so slow, so slow. She sings it slower than the string section even imagined she could. Even when she gets loud, and big, she sings it so slow. She is a wiser woman than I am a man. She savours it, she dwells in it - this first time ever she saw your face. Me I would sing the song so fast. I would try to go hoarse, singing it. I would try to get all the words out and into my lover's ears, as quickly as I could. I would want her so badly to know this. That: The first time ever I kissed your mouth / I felt the earth turn in my hand. But Roberta is wiser. It is not patience she shows; it is instead the sureness of her love. It is there at the beginning of the song, and it will be there at the end. She could kiss her love for a thousand years and still they would love each other at the end. It's a love measured in something longer than days, than months, than years, than decades. (It's measured in heartbeats.)


Ravens &Amp; Chimes - "So Long, Marianne". My only Leonard Cohen trivium is that "Marianne", in this song, is the rue Marianne, in Montreal, near where I used to live. And so when he, and when Asher Lack, sing to "you", they are not singing to a girl called Marianne. Perhaps they are actually singing about you. Perhaps it's you that has left them in this state of disarray, wa-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh'ing. Ravens & Chimes have added to the song a ridiculous velocity, an outright hunger, an impatience that sends the bass drum thumping all through the tune. It's the opposite of Roberta Flack, above; they're tied in knots and want a solution pronto. They show none of Cohen, or Flack's patience. They've got the same nerves as me. C'mon.

[buy Reichenbach Falls]


Tonight we are presenting a concert by Julie Doiron, Christine Fellows and Ola Podrida, here in Montreal. It's only ten dollars, which is a little crazy. If you live here, please, please, please do please come. I promise it will be a comfort to you on this Wednesday. And say hello!

If you follow that link you also have a chance to listen to a new song by Christine Fellows, from her upcoming record.

You can also learn about our other concerts - Friday, with Grizzly Bear & Yeasayer & Plants and Animals; and Sunday, with Casey Dienel & Elfin Saddle & Horse Feathers & Clues. There is now an mp3 available, offering a medley of songs from Clues' upcoming record. It will strike you dumb, friends, and full of awe.

Also recommended, Chromewaves' Thursday show and i(heart)music's Saturday presentation!

Posted by Sean at October 3, 2007 8:00 AM

Hi Sean,
I already know that The First Time song sung by Johnny Cash, and he was similarly slow but less melodious. I love it.

Posted by Neele at October 3, 2007 3:47 PM

I hate to call your bluff, but "So Long, Marianne" isn't based on rue Marie-Anne. It's actually a heartwrenching ode to Marianne Ihlen, a Norwegian model whom he fell in love with while living on Hydra.

(Well, that's what she said:

Not that you should be bothering yourself with such petty details. A man who quantifies love as being measured in heartbeats, in my books, definitely has his priorities straight.

Posted by Brie at October 3, 2007 4:46 PM

Best of luck with your Pop Montreal shows--it's an awesome, awesome lineup! (Wish I could be there.)

Posted by Amy at October 3, 2007 6:56 PM

god, i wish i was there.

Posted by david b at October 4, 2007 12:38 AM

would love to have such gigs on table..tx for Roberta and hello from Prague, middle Europe

Posted by Petr at October 4, 2007 1:56 AM

...but how about that photograph?

Posted by danica at October 4, 2007 3:34 AM

brie - of COURSE there's some marianne who will claim precedence. but i scoff at it. mr cohen, even today, dwells a few steps from the street in question.

thanks so much, amy.

david - you are, you are, you are missed!

danica - you'll be seeing more where that came from.

Posted by sean at October 4, 2007 9:07 AM


Just read further down that Friday will be your first time seeing Grizzly Bear. All there is to be said, I think, is YOU LUCKY MAN! Prepare to be blown away.

Posted by fiona at October 4, 2007 7:18 PM

Aw, my boy and I played that Roberta song on our wedding day. Followed by Billy Idol's "White Wedding". We're weird like that.

Posted by muruch at October 9, 2007 11:28 AM

can anyone send m that song? i love it so much and i can't find it anywhere.

p.s. i LOVE julie doiron. shes amazing. she's like a warm hearth and gingerbread cookies in the winter.

Posted by banditqueen at November 12, 2007 6:12 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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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