Part 2: Music That's Been Blowing My Mind, At Least A Little Bit
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.


Thanks to all and any for their welcomes! Please keep commenting - it makes it all so much better. :)

(Oh, and I would like to make a special mention of Matthew Fluxblog Perpetua. When I said, yesterday, that it was hard to blog every day, there's one person who seems to have met this challenge, head-on, with little difficulty, for almost two years (more?). And that's Matthew. Kudos, sir, to one of the very finest. [And yike! An outdated link to Fluxblog on the sideblog! Remedied!])


LCD Soundsystem - S/T + Bonus Disc
When a CD with "Losing My Edge" and "Yeah [Crass Version]" is the bonus disc, you begin to question how reality could get this good. When I get down to "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," I imagine it's like when Monica and her sis get down to that Ratatat song. I've got elbows and knees, I've got a head that throws back. I say things like "Ooh ooh yeah." But the best part of LCD Soundsystem is the diversity, the surprise. Pink Floyd seems to be doing "Never as tired as I'm waking up"; there's Junior Boys cool on "Too Much Love"; "Great Release" is a bending, rising singalong storm; and "Disco Infiltrator" makes me want to have a cold. It's a dance album for kicking dust with friends, sure, but it's also a record for big empty houses with big expensive stereos, for prancing the floorboards on your own, for loud and resonating frequencies, the head-bang bliss of those opening three beats. [buy]


King Creosote - Sea Glass
--listen to "For the Last Time: Hello"
So I live in Edinburgh now. I arrived almost a month ago. We've found a flat, but I'm still looking for a job and trying to meet new faces. Whereas in Montreal I recognized the People To Know, I knew where to hang out and which boards to check, here I'm at a bit of a loss. Still, when I saw a sign for a King Creosote gig, last week, I figured it would be the perfect chance to get acquainted with the Edinburgh scene. It was the launch for a zine affiliated with K.C.'s label, Fence Records, with him and a few other bands. Out at some place in Leith. Trouble is, I've yet to visit Leith, and was a bit intimidated about going wandering out there myself. Since I'm an incorrigible nerd, I went online and posted a message on one of the relevant websites, to see if I could tag along with anyone to the show. The answer: "Do you have a ticket? Because it's sold out." I did not, and indeed it was, in the ten hours between my first visit to Avalanche Records and the second.

So I didn't go see King Creosote last week. Nor did I meet some cool and funny scottish indie kids. Instead I read The Human Stain.

But never mind that - here's some King Creosote. Sea Glass is some of the man's best tunes, recorded with a simpler, more oldfashioned sound. Squeeze-box, some guitar, bits of drums and backing vocals. Although it lacks the smart spark of Kenny and Beth's Musakal Boat Rides, it's a better album overall - modest and pretty.

King Creosote - "For the Last Time: Hello"
Such a melody on this one, whinsome and pure, like a letter than was long in the writing. It's a goodbye song. It's weary. And it's angry, although you might not know it. "Doesn't it show - how sick I am of this? Learn to read my lips. For the last time: Hello. ... Hello. Leave me alone." They're words that never ought to have had to be said; words that circle, once loosed - words to which you keep returning. And it's all caught in the thick lull of the accordion, that seductive sigh. [buy]


Milo Jones - "Sandro and the French Guy"
This track comes to me purely and entirely via Stypod. What I know about Milo Jones comes from that post plus his website (where you can DL a whack of mp3s). And although I feel a bit funny reposting another (excellent!) blog's stuff, this is a Song That's Blowing My Mind. So.

This is a tune about Sandro, and about the singer. Sandro said he sounded like some French guy. Hell no, not Serge Gainsbourg. And although the singer knows next to nothing about Sandro, he thinks he's in love with him. That's the story - that's it. No drama, no tragic ending. But there's so much in the notes that Milo plays. There are a dozen memories in the gleaming theme which opens and closes the song; there are a dozen conversations leaning into Milo's sloppy slur, in those fat curls of guitar.

It's not hard to pretend that Milo Jones is singing gibberish. That the only real word is "Sandro," that everything else is a story told in sound. That "Sandro and the French Guy" is vowels and consonants, latenight wondering, soft pangs of heartache on a bench, in a park, in the spring. [buy]


Okkervil River - "For Real"
The press release page for Black Sheep Boy, the new album by Okkervil River, had me excited enough that it made my day. And when I downloaded this tune - available free on that page, - it just about made my week. The band called Okkervil River is one of the greatest things in the world today, but recent EPs have shown that they can record lacklustre tunes.* You, like me, will be relieved to hear that "For Real (There's Nothing Quite Like The Blinding Light)" is one of the best things they've ever recorded, that perfect boom of word and sound, barbed yells and crushing blows. It's sinister but elegiac, scary but true. It's about murder and feeling, voices crying for sensation. "There's nothing quite like the blinding light / that curtains cast aside." The electric guitars are stuck through with spruce branches, with nails, with bits of eggshell. It's like the stamp in the middle of Wilco's "At Least That's What You Said," only instead of Tweedy's guitar solo there's the lamplight of a rhodes, the mounting panic of Will Robinson Sheff, and then a terrible tumble of drums, the searing chorus of pierced guitars, the knowledge that you're hurtling downhill, downstream, downtown, toward the smack and clasp that will make things clear. (The joke's on you though - you don't quite get there.) "Those blue bridge lights might really burn most bright / when you watch that dark lake rise. / If you really want to see what matters most to me / just take a real short drive."

April 10th can't get here soon enough. Said the Gramophone will write on Black Sheep Boy again.

[buy the For Real EP]

* The new EP, by the way, centered around this song, is an exception to the rule.


Still to come this week: Van Morrison, Andrew Bird, and Beck.

Posted by Sean at March 1, 2005 9:08 AM

hey sean, have you heard the new shearwater ep "thieves"? it's got a song called "near a garden" that i would venture to say is one of will's best yet. find it if you can.

oh yeah: i'd like to brag about the fact that i bought the actual scratchboard used for the cover of the "for real" single at an exhibit of william schaff's work here in austin last month, so you can color yourself envious if'n you'd like.

Posted by george at March 1, 2005 10:07 AM

I was working in Edinburgh last year - Easter - early Summer and went to a King Creosote gig for exactly the same reasons. It was pretty good, although it was in Edinburgh. I went alone, in my work clothes - straight from work, and consequently got pretty pissed - conversations not seeming to be easily struck up.
Still it was a decent gig.

Posted by howard at March 1, 2005 10:14 AM

george - you must indeed colour me envious. i'm on william's email list, but alas, he's never shown anything remotely close to me. i almost interviewed him last year, and he sent me a packet with photocopies of hundreds of prints, small-run books, etc. he is a marvel, a sad marvel - one of my favourite artists in the world.

i haven't heard anything from the shearwater EP, either!

and Howard - that comment has a funny sort of grace to it. Thanks.

Posted by Sean at March 1, 2005 10:22 AM

Hi Sean

King Creole - good stuff. You could do worse than pop along to the Waverley Bar in Edinburgh on a Thursday night. You'll meet some good folks there. See my blog for details. Just tell them Tommy sent you. Oh, and don't be afraid of Leith. It's a fantastic place.

Aw ra best and keep up the good blog.
I've added you to mine.


Posted by tommy at March 1, 2005 10:26 AM

You must go to:

THE GOLDEN RULE, Yeoman Place.
Serves absolutely gorgeous beer - ask for a Frosted Star(-opramen). Used to be my local and I miss it terribly. Even by Edinburgh standards this is a wee gem of a pub and should be worshipped like the alcoholic Mecca it surely is. The only downside is the licensing board believe you can have too much of a good thing and it shuts at 11pm. 11pm!!!

Posted by spuckle at March 1, 2005 12:14 PM

Great to have you back! Hope yer trip was memorable and exciting and I'm so glad to see you on the web again!

Posted by forksclovetofu at March 1, 2005 1:10 PM

Welcome to Edinburgh, man. As above, don't be scared of Leith.

Make sure that for all indie-related coolness that you don't forget that Glasgow is only a 50 minute train ride away. People tend to forget its there. It's not got Edinburgh's photographic value-for-money, but it's got on average about 5 times as many gigs and about the same ratio of coolish music-y hangout-type pubs. 13th Note, Sleazys, Stereo.

In Edinburgh, the Park Bar/Links Bar on Whitehouse Loan may have a cred factor of zero, but its cheap as salt'n'sauce chips and you're bound to meet lots of people.

Posted by Caledonian Gonzo at March 1, 2005 1:29 PM

Great blog you have here.

Posted by Gunnar at March 1, 2005 3:26 PM

Really nice Okkervil River tune; I like the big guitar, that's new. I'm hoping they haven't completely ditched the broader instrumentation though--the mandolin, the accordion, etc. For some reason I've been addicted to "Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See" for the last week and the vintage, rural-sounding stuff just mixes so nicely with what they're doing.

Posted by chris at March 1, 2005 3:29 PM

The Okkervil River song was great, much different than I thought it'd be. That said, it does bear a suspicious resemblence, riffwise, to "Everyone Choose Sides."

Also: good to see you writing again!

Posted by Eppy at March 1, 2005 4:10 PM

Great Okkervil River track. I've never really gotten into anything else of theirs that you've posted, so here's hoping this is what I needed. That first guitar stab made me jump. It sounded so huge, welcome and sinister.

Posted by Eric Beus at March 1, 2005 7:50 PM

Ah, you hit my exact reference point for that new Okkervill River track, Wilco's "At Least What You Said", which, coincidentally, surfaced at around the same time as this one did, just last year.

Posted by caley at March 1, 2005 8:12 PM

GREAT selections.

1) It's wonderful to hear new reactions to the LCD Soundsystem disc . . . the blogosphere seems to be declaring it passe already, but there's much to discuss . . . my take is at

2) Overkkil River - I've been curious about these guys & this track has seriously whetted my appetite. Perfect call re: the Wilco comparison.

3) King Creosote - where can I get this album (besides by seeking its soul ;) I loved the last one, and this is a beautiful tune that would fit right into the early British Isles folk tradition.

4) Milo Jones - a subway busker who pokes through the clutter and grabs your ear. You consider buying one of the cassettes with the photocopied jacket in his guitar case.

Posted by borrowed_tunes at March 1, 2005 9:50 PM

Hey Sean, glad to know you're getting settled in this great (pffff!) country. That's cool, but I still have to visit Edinburgh!
Hmmm is it a coincidence that the Arcade Fire is starting to get huuuuge here, just as you move in? Haha, thanks to you and Jordan for the heads-up once again, they are great and deserve all the attention. Did you read the comments of Bowie?
Great Okkervil track, and yeah, LCD soundsystem are cool!

Posted by Matthew at March 2, 2005 4:37 AM

Tommy, C.G., Spuckle, thank-you for your scots welcome. I'll try to drop by the Waverley and the Golden Rule some time.

John, Matthew, Eppy, Caley - Hi! Great to 'see' you!

Everyone else - very glad you liked the songs. I really appreciate your telling me how they push and pull you.

Borrowed fellow - click the 'buy' link for the King Creosote, and bingo!

Posted by Sean at March 2, 2005 8:37 AM

Either I'm an eejit or something's not right - the "buy" King Creosote has only Kenny & Beth, not Sea Glass. Help!

Posted by borrowed_tunes at March 2, 2005 10:40 AM

That King Creosote song is beautiful. And thank you so much for posting that Milo Jones song. I heard about him a year or two ago from a pitchfork interview, and I really loved some of his songs, but for some reason I forgot about him until now. Anyway, thank you for reminding me of him. Now I must get around to acutally buying one of his cds.

Posted by debby at March 2, 2005 5:25 PM

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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.

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