plagues of the south
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.


It's 2004 and we're back! With the help of some new and slightly complicated hosting solutions, mp3s are back and hopefully nothing will buckle under the bandwidth. Many, many thanks to Dustin, Andrea and Kyla. Also thanks so much to those who sent in words of support.

So, without further ado...

Bubba Sparxxx - "Nowhere". In the wake of my Top 20 Albums List, I'm doing the inevitable re-evaluations. Reading other peoples' lists draws attention to all the stuff that you didn't hear but should have, and as I try to gather my bearings and work out my top singles of the year (to be posted on TM within the next ten days), I'm also trying to listen to the most glaring omissions from my 2003. The highlights of these adventures so far - Sun Kil Moon, MF Doom's King Geedorah disc (lauded by Exclaim), and Deliverance, Bubba Sparxxx's masterful, enigmatic, folk-roots hip-hop record. [Incidentally, if any of you are curious about the King Geedorah, let me know.]

"Nowhere" is representative of what makes Deliverance so obviously great. It opens with a peculiar, ghostly collage - the crunch of O Brother Where Art Thou chain-gang, a truncated operatic note, a mocking delivery of the typical wise words from an old man. Then - beats, r&b swooning, rap. Strings climb in a way that's entirely emptied out of schmaltz - as the chorus steps out, as those operatic themes come back, there's this overwhelming feeling of tragedy... And then that determination, the talk of self-improvement, and after a nod to Eminem, Bubba turns to Justin Timberlake and self-effacingly steps back into the shade. It's not mere pastiche, it's the full integration of all sorts of different things - hip-hop, romantic, opera, r&b, pop, folk. Integration, and then transformation into something new. golly.

Jason Molina - "Long Desert Train". The beautiful closing track to Jason Molina's upcoming vinyl-only release, Pyramid Electric Company. Though he's abandoned the Songs:Ohia name, "Long Desert Train" has that classic Songs:Ohia feel, along the lines of Axxess & Ace, rather than the whinsome rawk of Magnolia Electric Co. In short - it's a man with a guitar and his remarkable, supple voice. The resignation here is stronger than the frustrated sadness that has marked much of Molina's earlier work. He takes his time, mourns in peace - the pacing is wiser, more natural than even the slow burns on Didn't It Rain. It's gorgeous, robust - something that might bend but will not break. It slowly disappears. (Cf. Gillian Welch's "I Dream a Highway.")

Posted by Sean at January 6, 2004 5:56 PM

Uh, just a question Sean: are you allowed to post these MP3s? And keep it up, yo.

Posted by dustin at January 7, 2004 12:48 AM

this version of Nowhere is amazing! thanks and welcome back.

Posted by jed at January 12, 2004 10:53 AM

Tangmonkey in the house. A house I stayed in, I might add.

My favorite relese of 2003 (that never actually got released in 2003) was another MF Doom project, his collaboration with Madlib on the Madvillain album.

Posted by Jay Smooth at January 24, 2004 5:22 PM

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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:
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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.

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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