Said the Guests: Grizzly Bear
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.


[Yesterday, I received an email from our intended guest, a bandleader of some repute, telling me that his computer had died. The downside to this is that his guestblog won't appear till another time. The upside is that I put in a panicked email to Edward Droste, the man who wears the headdress in Grizzly Bear, asking if he might be able to contribute a little earlier than expected - and bless my soul, here he is.

I wrote about Grizzly Bear just last week. Horn of Plenty is a marvel of new stars, chapped lips, healed-over scar tissue. It's a folk music full of seams. It's great, it's original, and it's an honour to have Edward here today. Thank-you!]

"Glory" - Liz Phair.

I haven't spent this much time in my childhood home since highschool. We'd been trying to figure out a space to record music in for months and Brooklyn just kept taking it out of us. Constant distractions, muggy mold-ridden basements without windows everything seemed like a massive creative barricade until I realized my Mother would be away from home for most of the summer and my home that my parents moved into literally the day I was born in 1978 in a suburb of Boston called Watertown would be vacant and the perfect spot to get out everything new we'd been collecting and bottling up on various digital files for the past months.

So after an urgent email from Sean saying he needed a guest blogger asap, and a bizarre restless night and 6 am rise, induced from the semi-oppressive heat and a mild hang over, I'm sitting here, at the desk i used to do homework at, wondering what song I'll pick.

Everything in my room except for this and a shelf with 80 odd CDs I used to listen to growing up and various childhood books like the great gatsby and lord of the flies, has been changed in my mother's attempt to make a proper guest room. But underneath all this wall to wall carpeting (puke) and robin's egg blue paint there is still the room that I obsessed various musicians in. 7th grade brought on an unhealthy love for U2 and REM. In 8th grade thanks to the random purchase of the sliver soundtrack I latched on to Massive Attack. 9th grade Jeff Buckley and the Pixies took reign, but for the rest of High School my most listened to CD and still perhaps one of my most loved was Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville.

I wasn't really cool enough to know about her when her first album came out. In fact I found out about her through the tenant that rented the third floor in our house who was an artist in grad school and sometimes invited me up and lent me CDs I made mix tapes with. It where there I heard "Whip Smart" and fell in love and immediately bought "Exile in Guyville" and for some reason "Glory" was the first song I played when I got it. Not sure why. And for some other inexplicable reason, perhaps the short, simple melody yet impossible guitar lick that I could never figure out on my own, it became my favorite track on the CD.

I totally had the Rolling Stone cover with her on it. Which was her in a nightgown , or maybe slip crouched and in a blue light, very similar to this morning light I'm sitting in now. Computer screen meets beginnings of sunrise. Or as Liz put it in one of her songs "Chopsticks", ..."It was four am and the light was grey, like it always is in paperbacks"...

Anyhow, I wont go into all the reasons why I loved this album, mostly b/c they are probably why so many other people did but I will say it's without a doubt the most listened to CD in my entire life and with that...............

I will quickly give a head nod to my most listened to song of recent years. Thanks to my nifty smart playlist I can see what I've listened to and how many times I've played each track.

"I Keep Everything" by Lansing-Dreiden has been played a whopping 168 times!

Wow! I feel a little exposed showing people how easily I can just play a song OVER AND OVER again, but I think there are others out there. Now mind you i have a few friends that come over and update their ipod on my computer and my incredibly smart itunes takes note of every play they've made so this might be slightly skewed but I feel pretty safe saying I've listened to that song an unhealthy number of times, the album too. It doesn't speak to me emotionally like Liz Phair did back in the day, but damn it's got to be one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a long time, and it's long too. I never have to worry about it ending too quickly like "Glory" did... this one just rolls on and on. I don't really feel like describing the song much as that it's early, I'm tired and definitely rusty with my writing skills and I'd probably use lame adjectives like "shimmering", so I can only urge people to download it and listen and enjoy it. I have no idea why this album got trashed by so many people. I think it's amazing. If you can get past the incredibly pretentious nature of the band and ignore their whole "manifesto" crap, the music they make is pretty spectacular sounding.

In other news, Liz Phair is coming out with another studio slick album. I don't hate on her for that, but I know for sure had her most recent album been the one I was first exposed to back in High School I most certainly would not be writing about it now.

[Edward Droste is a member of Grizzly Bear. Visit their website, visit their MySpace page. The band's 2004 debut, Horn of Plenty, is out on Kanine and will be reissued in the fall with an accompanying CD of remixes (Final Fantasy! Solex! Alpha from Massive Attack! Soft Pink Truth!).

They are also playing two shows this week, with Scout Niblett. Check them in Boston tonight, at TT the Bears, and then in NYC on Friday, August 5th - at the Knitting Factory.

Please show Edward some love - and gee whiz, go see Grizzly Bear live, cos from what Gramophone commenters have said, they kill.]

Posted by edward droste at August 3, 2005 1:31 PM

i like imagining how well you know every note. great writing, man.

Posted by dan at August 3, 2005 9:42 PM

That Lansing track is gooooddddd. However, this is not how I wanted to start my day :)

Posted by Garrincha at August 4, 2005 3:22 AM

Should I be ashamed that I've never heard of Lansing-Dreiden until now? Are all their songs as beautiful/sad as this one? If so, I'm going to obsess about buying their records staring right now.

Posted by peecat at August 6, 2005 3:48 AM

I used to think that Liz Phair and Lilith Fair were the same person/event. And I thought she/it sounded just like Sarah McLachlan. Now I know that at least the latter of these beliefs was wrong. Thanks.

Posted by Julian at August 8, 2005 3:25 PM

I put "Glory" on a mix CD I made for someone last week. I was a little embarassed to write her name down on the tracklist because her over-produced radio-friendly stuff has given her such a bad reputation as a sellout, but the song itself says it all: despite her recent shortcomings, the lady is a fucking awesome musician.

Posted by Meagan at August 11, 2005 5:37 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.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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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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