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.


Clem Snide - "Find Love (live)". One evening I was sitting at home late with the lamp on, listening to starlight through the window. At a diner the night before, L asked me to rate my happiness. "Between one and ten," L said, and I said, after a while, "Seven." It's not that I was sad - I think I just wasn't happy. This story happens later, when I was sitting and listening to starlight. In the city it's too bright to see the stars but you can hear them, if you're lucky. Usually I'm not lucky. It was twelve fifty one. The apartment buzzer buzzed and I shuffled through the kitchen and pushed the button to let whoever-it-was inside. I waited by the door and heard Iris's footsteps before I saw her. She was carrying her shoes in her hand. I remember once sitting on the roof of Iris's parents' boathouse; under a pink sky I looked at her hand and thought about how good a ring would look on her slim finger.

Now Iris was drunk and coming into my apartment and waving aside offers of a glass of water, of a piece of bread, of cookies or mint tea or sweets that my roommate M had brought back from Iran. She led me into my own living-room. She turned on the overhead light and turned off my lamp. She drew the blinds. She sat smack down on a chair and put her shoes in her lap. "Sit," she said to me. She smelled like peach schnappes, which is a nice smell, a strong smell.

"In the old days," I asked her, "do you think that the sailors who carried peach schnappes, who spent ten months in a schnappes-filled schooner, smelled like peaches for the rest of their days?"

"Sean?" she said. "Listen up. Shut up and listen up. I'm here to explain some stuff to you. We can have conversations another time. I was at Ravi's and I was thinking about stuff and I need to explain something to you so you don't ruin your life."

"Ruin my life?"

"I think you could totally ruin your life. You could, Sean. You could just keep dicking around for the rest of your days. Wandering and blabbing and saying too much to the wrong people."


"Find love, Sean."

There was an awkward silence and I said "Okay..."

"No - shut up. I said shut up. No talking. Listen." Her shoes had fallen off her lap and onto the floor. "Don't be scared to connect the dots," she said. "Dig for gold in the parking lot. Find love. And then give it all away."

"Is that a song lyric?"

"God you're an asshole. Shut up. Seriously. Sean? I'm trying to tell you something important. I'm a dear friend who finally has the nerve to tell you something important. That you need to find love."

"With you?"

"Fuck you. No. Not with me. Jesus. No. But for real. Stop fucking around. FIND IT. Sean. Find it. Don't let hurricanes keep you back. Raging rivers, or shark attacks - or anything. Don't doubt. Don't hide. Don't run. Go, find it. Find it and give it everything. That's what matters. Wrestle bears, you know? You know this I think but sort of you don't know it too. I can tell. You sit in here just moping or whatever and then when there's a chance right there you're too busy measuring and evaluating and, like, it's not about finding sex or finding company, or finding friends - I'm not saying you should be finding friends. I'm saying find love. And then give it all away. Give all your love to her. Don't save it for your friends. We'll understand. Wrestle bears. Bring them to their knees."

"I do," I said. "I will."

"No you fucking don't," said Iris. "We think we do, but we don't. We should be finding love but instead we do all this other shit. We get dressed up and put on red nail polish and go out dancing or whatever but then nothing. Then another night, and another night. Listening to the sky for it to whisper something."

"I'll stop listening," I said.

She rolled her eyes at me. "You will not. But you should. You should tend to better things, Sean." Her face had taken on a greenish tinge. "I'm just saying."

I sat and let her look at me, shaking her head.

"Just go and find love," said Iris. "Give it all away."

It was quiet for a long time. She was watching me with a tenderness that I found intimidating.

"Okay see you tomorrow," she said, getting wobblily to her feet. She moved so fast.

"Okay," I said.

I walked her to the door and out. I went back to the living-room and stayed for a long while near where she had sat on the couch. You could see the indentation where she had laid her hand. I got up onto the cushion and stood there. I felt like the hour hand of a clock.


Happy birthday to a guy I like a lot but have never met, called Eric Harvey.

Posted by Sean at September 18, 2007 9:40 AM

the writing, the song... gosh, how lovely. Simply. Lovely. (per usual:)

Posted by Robin at September 18, 2007 9:59 AM

it was MESMERIZING Sean.

Posted by BMR at September 18, 2007 10:37 AM

The piece reminds me of Yo La Tengo's cover of 'The Whole of the Law' (from Painful), though I've no doubt the Clem Snide tune will be equally apposite, probably more so.

I don't usually comment on the writing, but damn that was good. Been a while since I had to fight back the tears in work. ;)

Yours questingly,


Posted by Robert P at September 18, 2007 11:20 AM

Thanks, Sean. That was beautiful.

Posted by Gil at September 18, 2007 12:06 PM

Sean, from what you post all the time, I am very surprised someone has not already gone out and found you.
If I lived near to where you are, I would give it a try!

Posted by estelle at September 18, 2007 12:28 PM

j'aimerais que c'etait si simple. Cette chanson nous faite penser que c'est SI simple.

(there is a robin imposter)

- (other) Robin

Posted by ru at September 18, 2007 6:34 PM

That is such a beautiful piece of writing, I couldn't not tell you how good it is - it hit me straight in the heart. Funny how it sometimes take a drunk to tell you truths the sober one knows but cannot face.

Posted by Corinne at September 19, 2007 6:44 AM

Sean, that was fantastic. I always enjoy your story-posts. Oh- I should have mentioned this back when it happened, but nice work on the McSwy's list, it made me laugh so hard...

Posted by Kevin at September 19, 2007 9:09 AM

That was lovely.

Posted by sofiblu at September 19, 2007 12:13 PM

wow... speechless. that's beautiful.

Posted by hunterwry at September 19, 2007 12:38 PM

yes, wonderful writing.

Posted by sherwood at September 19, 2007 2:41 PM

This inspired me to put down my day job and tinker with my short stories in progress. I love the levity of the peach schnappes aside as the fulcrum of the text.

Posted by Matthew at September 19, 2007 8:23 PM

Beautiful. Great great writing.

Posted by Cédric at September 21, 2007 6:39 AM


Posted by Martin at September 30, 2007 5:21 PM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
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
Toronto, Canada: Emma
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.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"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.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

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