shipwrecks and jackboots
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.


The Song Corporation - "The Bug Speaks". Check the squeak of guitar on this song, the dauntless whitewater flow of lyrics. It's a boat plowing headfirst into a cliff, a raincoat-clad bug at the stern, ranting into the clear day wind. I like the guitar that wanders like Miles Davis through the belowdecks - the quiet one, the one underneath the verses. Waves shove the hull, a girl's "oh-oh"s in the back, and then as things hit a crescendo the boat crumples into the rock-face, a welcome destruction. The best pop song to ever have been inspired by Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism," this is democracy and its collapse - accompanied by a guitar solo. "You are not aloooone! Hit it!" Yes. From the Song Corporation's new 3-song EP.

Pure Morning - "Scum". Before Ade Blackburn and Hartley formed Clinic in 1997, their band was called Pure Morning. There was no clarinet, no surgical masks. And whereas Walking With Thee conjures up a sinister organ-grinder, a menacing grin, Two Inch Helium Buddah is more like expressionist sidewalk chalk, angry teens sketching greybrown frustration. It's a mess, really - mean boys playing Radiohead's "Just", droogs after a break-up, drunken grunge, stinging nettles under fireworks. But man, the jackhammer blossom of that electric guitar, the way the noise takes over those angry lyrics, the way it says it all so much better... Grafitti on a cloudcovered sky. [OOP, but findable]


I've fallen quite in love with "Tomorrow on the Runway," a song by the Innocence Mission, which you can download here. Bryan tells me that their 1995 album, Glow, is even better than Befriended, but I haven't heard either. All I know is that at the middle and in the end there's guitar like silver pinpricks, and the rest of the time there's Karen Peris's lavender voice, like small flowers waving in the breeze.

Posted by Sean at August 17, 2004 12:20 AM

Try and see the Innocence Mission live. Karen Peris smiling on stage... there's nothing else like it. Sounds corny, I know.

Befriended & Birds of My Neighborhood are both excellent, and Glow is a total classic. Glow has more of a chime-y, guitar-y 4AD sound than the more recent albums, though. I'd do those three albums first before trying the rest of their catalog.

Posted by brian w at August 17, 2004 1:21 AM

my first reaction to the innocence mission was to ask (word for word here) what the fuck this breathy precious-pop bullshit was.

but my lovely and beguiling plus-one was a big fan, and i got to listening, and that got me to liking. it's very pretty.

Posted by optimus at August 17, 2004 1:31 AM

Oh yes, Glow is a delightful album.

Posted by ac at August 17, 2004 1:40 AM

Glad you like it, Sean!

Ditto what Brian W. said. Seeing Karen Peris live is unforgettable.

Posted by Bryan at August 17, 2004 5:05 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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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
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