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.


Ivan Ives - "Victory (ft. Vast Aire)".
Arcade Fire - "Surf City Eastern Bloc".

There's an effervescence to that old Russian sound - a shine & sparkle to the burnished brass swordhilts. It's the glitter on pocket-watches, tea-sets, tram-tracks, soviet medals. It's not just a music of triumph, or of potential triumph -- it's the holy-shit yes of a people's pride. When a good song comes on at a club, when the whole crowd dances to it right, you'd hear the same sound if you knocked on everyones' heads.

Russian-born Ivan Ives enlists the Hermitage's brassest trumpets to boost his bragadocchio. He's up on a stage throwing wedding-cakes at his detractors, crackin' Fabergé eggs between his molars, lighting a cigar with the czar's old chandelier. His rhymes aren't actually that clever, but when he breaks into Russian it sounds an awful lot like I'd sound, as an MC - spouting spirited gibberish, nonsense that'll knock ya flat.

And on the Arcade Fire b-side "Surf City Easter Bloc", an old song at last recorded, Win Butler is unable to express any kind of hooray until he brings a Hungarian men's choir on board. Most of the song is trudging, weary; it's hard work. He's caught in Neon Bible's fog, that cold war freeze, even as he sings about escape, escape, escape! So thank goodness there are some good, stern men, some men with moustaches, to lift their fists to the air and present an Eastern European HUZZAH, mouths open wide to celebrate the flight that Win's so reluctant to exalt.

[Ivan Ives MySpace / buy the No Cars Go 7"]


Dan and I are now writing for a website called Ajisignal, updating them with reports of up-and-coming happening in Montreal. We join Justin from Aquarium Drunkard, representing L.A., Liz in Minneapolis, and Ben & Christian in SF. Our first post is a piece on the marvo popsters Miracle Fortress.

OneByOne is a new mp3blog where there is writing & drawing about every single song. The picture for Of Montreal's "Oslo in the Summertime" is so right-on it hurts.

WEB 2.0-ers: A guy called greatslack has created a Said the Gramophone group on .

And finally: Pornography, Said the Gramophone-style.

Posted by Sean at August 20, 2007 12:14 PM

The Ives track with Cappadonna is better. The only 2 I've heard, but I think they're both good. Arcade fire is the shit. Miracle Fortress. Nicely Covered Fruit Flavored Bits.

Posted by Exclusions Apply at August 20, 2007 4:12 AM

Good god, thanks for the link, man! 100+ hits in one day, now I know why. hahaha.


Posted by onebyone at August 20, 2007 3:27 PM

My favourite Soviet Europe themed diptych is Thomas Dolby's 'Europa and the Pirate Twins' and 'Eastern Bloc', nine years apart, jauntily pining after a childhood (girl)friend now grown to be a celebrity and/or later storming the gates as the Berlin wall falls.

And, mostly unrelated, you should check out, full of mp3s of Soviet-era tunes. Some great ones to start with:

Airplanes - First of All (1945 and saucy!)

Song of the Don Cossacks (1935 and WOOF!)

Sabres Out (1973 sultry backing singers)

March of Stalin's Air Force (WHAT is going on!?)

Posted by Phil Gyford at August 20, 2007 6:17 PM

Witty track. I like the Russian flavor....

Posted by Rica at August 27, 2007 7:17 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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"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