silver and spinning
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.


Arcade Fire - "My Heart is an Apple". People talk about their favourite songs. Tonight I feel more like asking this favourite song what it says about me. What's locked in those lyrics. What's behind the paper apple stuck to Win's guitar.

"My Heart is an Apple" starts with apology, homesickness, confusion. These twists of language that mean one thing and then the reverse. Just so much yearning.

And then Win goes outside.

The bridge of "My Heart is an Apple" is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I know. Here it's birds and trees, shoreline and splash, the darkening late afternoon. The band used to lower their eyes and move aside, fingers making gentle snaps. And you'd really see Regine for the first time, standing behind the organ wound with red lights. And her eyes would be lowered too as she considered the notes. So slow, so slow. So       slow. The audience silent as hopes. Stars coming out behind and over our eyes. They snapped their fingers and she sang (like a secret so excited to share): "Your mouth is full / my heart is an apple."

It's a wide song. The way it's written, it could be a tune about unrequited love: a mouth too full to take a bite of mine. But the way it sounds when the bridge comes - no. No it never was and couldn't be. For Regine's song is the slow, glimmering sound of the one certain thing: of the appleness of my heart. Love at its most beautiful, there for all your feasting.

[Order the Arcade Fire's self-titled EP, remastered earlier this year.]


Neutral Milk Hotel - "Where You'll Find Me Now". Okay I realise this is a typical blog/rock'n'roll request, but please do turn this loud. Not now, probably. No - when you are feeling like shit. Turn it loud on your speakers or your headphones and then the thing that you might find is that in all the lulling fuzz and mellotron, amid the accordion and acoustic guitar, well there's enough electricity to make lightning bolts. And your limbs will jerk and you will toss your head and you'll strain your mouth open to feed on all this muddy pretty psychrawk, and the only thing that you'll taste is no, no, no, no, no, no. This isn't a recipe for happiness, kids: this is a recipe for no, no, no, no, no, no. For giving yourself the hot shakes.

[Order Neutral Milk Hotel's underrated first album, On Avery Island]


Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay is about to dive into a solo North American tour. He sent us an exclusive, and outstanding, live recording of "Jews for Jesus Blues". It reminds me of the old Mountain Goats and the hesitating bits of Johnny Cash and inevitably of the new Clem Snide. And it reminds me of looking at a great piece of art and wondering how you'll ever be able to take with what you just learned. (Those occasional thumps are the sound of the other shoe dropping.) "Now that I'm found / I miss being lost."

More of Eef soon.

See Eef here:

10/7 - Vienna, VA (Jammin Java)
10/8 - Philadelphia, PA (World Cafe)
10/10 - NYC, NY (Mercury Lounge)
10/11 - Hoboken, NJ (Maxwells)
10/12 - North Hampton, MA (Iron Horse)
10/13 - Montreal, QC (Club Lambi)
10/14 - Toronto, ON (Rancho Relaxo)
10/16 - Chicago, IL (Schubas)
10/17 - Madison, WI (High Noon)
10/18 - Columbia, MO (Mojos)
10/19 - St Louis, MO (Duck Room)
10/20 - Nashville, TN (The Basement)
11/01 - Seattle, WA (Crocodile Cafe)
11/02 - Portland, OR (Doug Fir)
11/03 - Eugene, OR (Sam Bonds Garage)
11/05 - San Francisco, CA (Cafe du Nord)
11/07 - Los Angeles, CA (Hotel Cafe)
11/16 - NYC, NY (Irving Plaza - Daily Show concert with Mountain Goats and Superchunk)

Posted by Sean at October 4, 2006 4:00 AM

seriously, the frames AND arcade fire psoted within two days. Through in some Okkervil and I got me some music heaven.

Posted by ru at October 4, 2006 7:13 AM

of note RE: Eef...October 8th through 20th are shows with Casey Dienel

Posted by BMR at October 4, 2006 8:20 AM

in Montreal Eef Barzelay is opening for Jon Rae and the river! i just cant wait . I hope he'l l have some live cds at the show. I really like Bitter Honey so anything in the same vein will make me happy.

Posted by Christian at October 4, 2006 1:18 PM

"Where You'll Find Me Now" has secretly been my favorite NMH song for some time now. Secretly, because it lacks the ethereal artfulness of anything on "Aeroplane" that people love to talk about, but mostly because, like you said, it's just a big leaden hunk of a song that settles in the pit of your stomach and refuses to budge until it's had its say. I've always been a bit embarassed to mention it when NMH comes up, so thank you.

Also, listening now, I'm a little frightened by just how much Jeff sounds like a more unhinged Ben Gibbard.

Posted by Mark at October 4, 2006 2:10 PM

God love you kids, but after "Everything Is" I never saw the point of more NMH. I mean, I bought their next couple releases (two LPs, two more singles, as I count), but none had that one moment of true inspiration. I saw Mr. Mangum et Cie. play, and it just wasn't there. The closest I got was watching his buddy Robert Schneider forced into a solo performance of Apples tunes by dint of having agreed to an in-store at a teeny-tiny record shop in San Francisco (the same on at which I saw Roy Montgomery do the most amazing things I think I have ever seen a single human accomplish without recorded backup, parenthetical swoon).

Long story short, pleasant, but unimpressive.

No comment on the AF reprise. We all love 'em.

Posted by wcw at October 4, 2006 9:17 PM

Hi Sean!
Thank you for introducing me to Neutral Milk Hotel. I had heard their name before. and i had a feeling i might like them. now i am a step closer to knowing for sure.

Posted by maryam at October 5, 2006 12:02 AM

What I like most about the NMH track is how mellow Mangum remains while bombs are exploding all around him.

Posted by dylan at October 5, 2006 12:23 AM

Wow, the Mountain Goats are playing that Daily Show concert? I just got tickets (because of Superchunk) and they listed also Clem Snide, some other band I hadn't heard of, and a secret, unnamed fourth band. I was wondering if it would be They Might Be Giants, given that they have so many connections to the show.

Posted by Vidiot at October 6, 2006 10:13 AM

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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.

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
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Back to the World
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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
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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
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The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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