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.


Striped icebergs

The Daredevil Christopher Wright - "Clouds". Said the Gramophone tries hard not to be one of those music-blogs that recommends ten "awesome!!!!!!!" bands each week. Oh sure, we might post about ten different bands - but what we are posting is wonderful songs. Not every band we write about is at their peak, not every album a song is taken from is marvelous. And so it's with some embarrassment that for the second time this week I say: Here's something pretty great.. The Daredevil Christopher Wright are from Wisconsin and this record was mixed by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon but those are just the things that help lazies write a lede. What's more important is that In Deference to a Broken Back gives life and thrill to a genre I had mostly left for dead. This is folk-rock still fiercely flowering, bloody bleeding, finding new trees to climb. As with the recent albums of Okkervil River, there are gestures toward other sounds - 60s pop, guitar jangle, - but this band subsumes those influences with much greater skill. Compared to Fleet Foxes' melodic narcolepsy, these songs feel muscular & playful. And there's nothing of the Decemberists' emotional distance (let along their studious high-concept shtick). "Clouds" starts with just acoustic guitar and vocal harmony but there's a whole ravine of bassline, flurries of handclap, a boxer's fancy footwork.

The Daredevil Christopher Wright haven't yet made a masterpiece, but I feel like they might have found a map.

[Amble Down will release this album in May. This is the band's MySpace.]

Preak Faeans - "Wintering Out". I heard that this worked in Norway. What you do is you get out your brooms. Everyone gets out their brooms. You paint your brooms bright colours - yellow, red, egg-shell blue. You put on your toques and your mittens. And then all together, up and down the street, you sweep away the snow. You sweep it into the middle of the road, into a big icy snowy pile, and then the sun melts it, and the winter is gone. It becomes summer. Then you can put away your toques, mittens and brooms. You can take a deep summer breath. You can stand on your balcony, put out the flowerboxes, catch the eye of a pretty thing on a bicycle. I heard that this worked in Norway.

[the artist formerly known as Freak Paeans (see prev) is offering his new album, Wintering Out, as a free download for just one month. The album will be released on CD in April - pre-order.]


They are constantly posting new stuff and certainly you should follow the site yourself, but the Hood Internet's Beirut/Ghostface mash-up, "Save Me Concubine", is one of their finest in a long time.

I'm so excited about my friend Abby Mcdonald, once of the musicblog Poptext, who is just about to publish her first book. Sophomore Switch is a young adult novel about two girls who switch places. It is also about celebrity, feminism, happiness and (I assume) boys. I haven't read it yet but I've placed my pre-order and can't wait to while away a day on a Montreal er beach. New Yorkers can go see her at a NY Public Library reading on March 10. Abby's a wonderful writer, with prose that's fun, eminently readable, and at its best shot through with a dazzling, human vivacity. Congratulations, Abby - i hope for all good things.

(photo of striped icebergs - source unknown... I think from the Associated Press or another wire agency.)

Posted by Sean at March 5, 2009 1:28 PM

Not just Norway - in Glasgow it snowed cottonfat flakes all last night, and people were carrying their coats by noon. But now it's cold again. I think the trick is to do it every morning after breakfast, like brushing your teeth.

(Cute song, too.)

Posted by Ryan at March 5, 2009 3:56 PM

Hey Sean, any plans on a return trip to Norway? You're always welcome!

Posted by Kenneth at March 5, 2009 4:50 PM

Ha! While I'm pretty mellowed out and loving it (Preak Faeans), I can't wait to show the Ghostface/Beirut track to my cohorts. hahaha... gotta have it.

Good post, as always.

Posted by Mathr at March 5, 2009 8:13 PM

Yes! Daredevil! This album is full of loveliness. They just played the Amble Down 2 Year Anniversary show here in Eau Claire, WI. One of the very best and most innovative local sets I've seen them or anyone here do in years. Good post!

Posted by Andy P at March 5, 2009 9:39 PM

Are the links to these two files broken, or is there just something wrong on my end?

Posted by jer at March 6, 2009 10:34 AM

we seem to have a problem this morning...

Posted by Sean at March 6, 2009 10:53 AM

okay, it's been fixed! songs workin'!

Posted by sean at March 6, 2009 11:41 AM

Great to see some love for Christopher Wright.

Posted by Kyle at March 7, 2009 3:59 PM

Wow, "Clouds" is quite the find. Great work.

Posted by Robert at March 7, 2009 6:48 PM

Great news for DCW fans. In Deference to a Broken Back is being streamed on the VolumeOne website for two weeks. Check it out here!

Posted by Mindy at April 3, 2009 4:31 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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"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.

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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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