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.


our cheese plate

Hiran'ny Tanoran'ny Ntao Lo - "Oay Lahy E! (O! Dear Friend!)" [buy]

Dan Beirne, Jordan Himelfarb and I are friends, but we are not lovers. We have never been on dates (with each other). We have high-fived and embraced - like bears, with grunts, and sparkle-eyes, and berries in fur, - but never, no, have we, like, made out. Or had we gone out to dinner. But on Saturday, August 18th, 2007, Dan, Jordan and I went out to dinner. Just the three of us, just the Gramophone trio, cozied up at a restaurant called La Montée de Lait, gorging ourselves on a meal - and a bottle of wine - paid for by some of you.

That night, we drank a toast - "To us!" - but we were being wry and backward-bashful, because really we meant: "To you!"

We had such a grand time. I don't know why we hadn't done it before. Dan showed up late, but wearing a tie. Jordan was wearing a hat. I had a large, framed etching of an iced-over river. We let the waiter (who might have been the owner) choose the wine. He chose something from Italy. Jordan's father is the Canadian ambassador to Italy, but we did not mention this. Jordan tasted the wine and: it was good.

Each of us chose four dishes. Let me repeat this: Each of us chose four dishes. This is how things work at La Montée de Lait. La Montée de Lait is a paradise. A couple of us had thin, raw-fresh slices of tuna. A couple of us had "Mac & Cheese", which did not include a single macaronus. A couple of us shared a cheese plate. One of us had a poached peach. One of us had some amazing chicken thing. One of us had something in bacon broth. Oh yes, readers, 'twas high & low cuisine at the Gramophone Dinner, and delight was a-dancing upon our tongues. Like fireflies on our tongues! Mouthfuls of fireflies! And did I mention the wine!

So we ate, we made merry. We talked about our lives, and our friendships, and about music and the internet, and about girls. We talked Business, and we talked dirty. (Jordan is the most lewd of us, Dan the middle-man, and I am a pure-as-linen monk.) We called the restaurant "Cheese Mountain". We ate almonds. They kept refilling our dish of bread. Did I mention that the wine list came in its own box? It did! And on two occasions the knives they gave us were ivory handled, like an adventurer's antique switchblade, and we imagined skinning zebras in the steppe.

The night would have been perfect if Hiran'ny Tanoran'ny Ntao Lo were there too, crouched around us in the dust, drinking a fine Chianti and singing an ode to us, to you, and to friends-in-general. There are several ways to communicate sincerity, in song: a particular kind of inflection, a thickness of voice, tears. The Hiran'ny Tanoran'ny Ntao Lo remind me of another way: to speak many syllables, rapidly, energetically, but without panic. Last Saturday night we were doing this, the three of us, and it feels good to hear the same thing in "Oay Lahy E". It feels good to know that others know the pleasure of dear friends, of O! Dear Friends, of birds of a fine fellow feather.

Thank you again for giving us the chance to be reminded of this.

Jay Reatard - "All Over Again" [buy]


Posted by Sean at August 27, 2007 1:07 AM

This post brings such a smile to my face Sean. I fully believe that love of great music, great sprawling conversations and great food is life's essential trinity.

(Sex and sailing work out somewhere in there too, but I wanted to speak to your post ;-)

Posted by wendy at August 27, 2007 12:57 PM

cheese mountain sounds amazing.

Posted by clare at August 27, 2007 2:50 PM

One of these days I'll actually get around to listening to that Reatard album.

Posted by Jeff at August 27, 2007 3:54 PM

This might be one of my favorite STG posts of all time! Thanks!

Posted by miranda at August 27, 2007 4:46 PM

jeff - that's off the new ep. but listen to both, they're amazing. or go here for a live video i edited:

miranda - oh, miranda. Jordan and I haven't even weighed in yet! it's like realizing your hotel, once you're ready to check out, is giving out free cruises.

Posted by dan at August 27, 2007 5:20 PM

Oh dear. Well, it may be my favorite post of Sean's of all time. Is that more diplomatic?

Posted by miranda at August 28, 2007 2:16 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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"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