something i stir into my tea
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.


I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Thanks for the well-wishes; my Uncle Hy passed away on Thursday, and we made the early-morning dash into Toronto for the service. It was a sad weekend, an exhausting one, but a good one. Rest in peace, Uncle Hy. We'll jitterbug for you.

One of the unexpected surprises of the weekend came when I heard from Dan on Saturday afternoon, and made it downtown to see the Fiery Furnaces at the Mod Club. It was a brief, dazzling set - they blazed through twelve or fifteen numbers without pausing, Eleanor still mumbling out the song titles. Highlights - "Worry Worry," "Tropical Iceland," and the recurring "Lost My Dog". Tracks from both albums were - as predicted - completely reformed, sent crashing down. I think some of the whimsy was lost, but it was made up for with a loose and free energy - like, indeed, fire in a furnace. I've got to say, though, that the high point came in the encore, with Eleanor and Matthew alone on stage. Gone was the one-setting rock-smashing drummer. Only a song and a half, but there was more play, and even an awkward, unexpected beauty. "Rub Alcohol Blues" was entirely amazing. And then bits and scattered tattered pieces of something old? new? that had balloons. Wond'rous.

Joanna Newsom - "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie". I feel like Joanna Newsom was mp3blogged to death a month or two ago. But coming home today, on this came. And I had to share. Ontario's smudged green trees filed past and Joanna was singing with all that wistfulness that was hiding in the landscape, that was wandering a small room in my heart. She's weird, sure. She plays a harp and yawls. The lyrics are mad, but so too are they inspired, sometimes wise. Damned if out of that strange, squeezed voice, out through the strange, slipp'ry words, she hasn't done something as beautiful as Cat Power ever has, as lonely and at peace and as true. Van Morrison if he lived in sea-shells. "There are some mornings when the sky looks like a road. / There are some dragons who are built to have and hold. / And some machines are dropped from great heights lovingly. / And some great bellies ache with many bumble-bees / and they sting so terribly."

Vetiver - "Amerilie". To continue on the theme, here's a song from the self-titled debut from Vetiver, a sort of psychfolk supergroup that's directed by Andy Cabic and includes contributions from Devendra Banhart, Colm O'Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine) and even Hope Sandoval. Joanna Newsom's harp is here, glancing in between strokes of cello and the flutter of guitar. I like the long heaving sighs of this song, the feeling of a horizon above the sea, a reassuring drawl that reminds me of Turin Brakes.

gmail swap news: made the front page of the Toronto Star over the weekend. slashdotted again. and something in the pittsburgh post-gazette.

Posted by Sean at June 21, 2004 1:08 AM

My condolences on your Uncle's passing. Funerals are always very emotionally exhausting times.

Thank you though, for the lovely, lovely 4:00 am music. I think I'll listen to Joanna as I watch the sun rise.


Posted by chris at June 21, 2004 5:05 AM

You're so right, "Rub Alcohol Blues" was the high point of Saturday's show. I was hoping they'd swing right into "We Got Back The Plague" -- my favourite FF song -- but nonetheless it was a brilliant hour.

Posted by Dan at June 21, 2004 8:31 AM

i just saw joanna, devendra, and vetiver play in a unitarian meeting house a few towns over. the whole show was beautiful, perfect place to see them. at the end, they all jammed a song together, joanna on piano, the singer from vetiver on guitar, and devendra on the microphoneless gospel-wailing. i sooooooo wish i'd had some recording equipment, it was really really great to see. great post!

Posted by justin why at June 21, 2004 2:57 PM

Thanks for Gmail Swap, Sean! I used the site to give some dude one of my invites to Gmail and he sent me 40 years of Playboy Playmate pinups. They're for research purposes...yeah...that's it.

Mouse on Mars sounds a little bit like Ratatat, don't you think? Ever listen to the Faint? They make electro sound kosher enough to consume daily.

Posted by Jeremy Brendan at June 21, 2004 3:56 PM

I was so upset when I saw that Gmail article in the T-Star on the front page! I was like a month ahead of them. I should have written the article, despite CP's speed in covering it. Damn.

Posted by JKelly at June 22, 2004 12:53 AM

I coulda told you that, Kelly! :)

Posted by Sean at June 23, 2004 5:27 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
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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
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The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
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Cult Montreal
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