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.


Débruit & Alsarah - "Jibal Alnuba". Strange that this music is a conversation that happened between Paris and Brooklyn. Merely Paris, merely Brooklyn. I feel a disappointment when I learn that although Alsarah is singing in the language she learned growing up, in Sudan, she now lives in New York. I feel a disappointment when I read that Débruit deejays in France, not Tunisia. This isn't a craving for "authenticity": that this music would only be "real" if it came from outside the west. It's the excitement of imagination. Hearing this music for the first time, considering its sound and feeling, you imagine where it came from - and the spinning, glittering possibilities are themselves a thrill. Is this the soundtrack of Khartoum's underground electronic scene? Of a bedroom in Qatar? Of a club in Algiers? If Aljawal is from somewhere where all the influences are unfamiliar, where the sights and sounds are different, then it signals a new world to be discovered.

But instead of signalling an outside world, a place we can go to, where "Jibal Alnuba" is in the air and the water, this is the sound of an interior landscape. The work of Xavier Thomas and Alsarah speaks to complicated, nimble hearts; to light appetites and relentless courage; to subtlety and love. It's dance music that seems absent of all nostalgia; synthetic folk-song that gestures out, out, out, away from old cycles. It's neat and chopped; it's well-crafted and rare; it's like a dragonfly, it knows exactly where it's going, and why, and how.

[buy / on tour]


Americans of the east, come see me on tour! I'm hitting the road to promote my first novel, Us Conductors. At almsot every stop, in addition to a reading and signing, I'll be joined by a guest theremin-player from the area. Say hi, hear some wordy words, learn about the strangest music instrument under the sun. I hope you'll come (and please tell yr friends):

Us Conductors recently received a starred review from Kirkus.

Posted by Sean at May 26, 2014 10:58 AM

Sean, when are you coming out west? Please tell me you've got some SF/Bay Area dates lined up. Hope Philly is fun--I'll tell my brothers to come out to the reading!

Posted by Kevin at May 29, 2014 11:35 AM

Just bought a copy! Please let me know if you decide to do a reading in Chicago at some point.

Posted by Amy at June 4, 2014 7:34 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.

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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

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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