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.


Unfinished bridge

PJ Harvey - "On Battleship Hill". From PJ Harvey's gorgeous, spectral Let England Shake, an album that is deeply weird, pretty & eerie, new. Songs of thorn and death, distant war and Polly Jean's beloved England - but grooving, beautiful. It's almost a chillwave album - a secret, coincidental, chillwave album; chillwave made useful, productive; all that seaweed reverb, analog wobble, even the saxophone and reggae samples, braided with English folk and Cat Power's "Cross Bones Style" to say something, secret and ambivalent, about a people's present. "On Battleship Hill" speaks less to this than other tracks do - it carries more of Let England Shake's other chromosome. This is darkly beautiful, lush & skeletal, indebted to "Tam Lin" and Anne Briggs. But it's the singing that sets it apart, PJ Harvey's thin falsetto singing, like a river over rocks or - at 3:44, the greatest moment on the record, - a single wild rose that suddenly blooms. [buy]

Low - "Immune". You could tend a garden at night, only at night, pouring dark water onto leaves, and into the earth, like pouring midnight onto midnight. You could hold your soil-stained hands up to the moon. The stars would gleam on the bottom of the shovel. It would smell the same as a daytime garden - it would smell green, violet, red, white. But come back, in daylight. Come back, to see the colours without closing your eyes. [Happy St Valentine's Day / buy]



Radiohead are releasing an album, The King of Limbs, on Saturday.

Arcade Fire won a Grammy award for album of the year. This band is a lot of things. They are inspiration, role-models, they were once good friends. There are one of the reasons Dan and I became friends. It has been almost a decade since I first heard Win's voice, plaintive & twanging, at a Battle of the Bands. They have come a very, very long way, mostly just by playing their hearts out. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations, to Win and Régine, Jeremy and Tim, Richie and Sarah and Will, and Marika too. I hope you have some celebrations planned. And I hope that everyone else out there is rewarded, sooner or later, for playing their own hearts out.

Posted by Sean at February 14, 2011 11:06 AM

Beautiful writing: "You could tend a garden at night, only at night, pouring dark water onto leaves, and into the earth, like pouring midnight onto midnight. You could hold your soil-stained hands up to the moon."

Posted by S at February 14, 2011 12:06 PM

And just like that you manage to sum up my thoughts on Let England Shake. On Battleship Hill has been playing in repeat for the past few days. For me the crowning moment is at 2:17 when the piano creeps in. But that's just me.

Posted by Ami at February 14, 2011 2:01 PM

You were the first person I thought of when I heard that they won that award Sean. Is that weird?

Posted by BMR at February 14, 2011 8:51 PM

Thanks for your recent help, Sean. I solved the problem at my blog.

Posted by Kurt at February 15, 2011 4:49 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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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

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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
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chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
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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
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