sorceror's luau
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.


Yes indeedy, so glad to be back. Thank-you again for your welcomes and hellos; a welcome and hello, too, to any who have wandered over from the Morning News Round-Table. Gape as I go kinda crazy at MB (sorry, sir), yawn as I prattle on about joy and responsibility. One thing I forgot to do was to fully annotate my comments with links. Here, then, are those missing clickies:

Cheap Thrills, Montreal's finest record shop.

Bands that are great [with links to the most relevant blog entries]: Okkervil River [1 2], The Arcade Fire [1 2 3 4], Bishop Allen [1], Wolf Parade [1], Jim Bryson [1], Greg Macpherson [1 2], Les Mouches [1].

Moving on...

Devendra Banhart - "At the Hop". A sure stand-out from the upcoming Nino Rojo. The album comes out of the same sessions at Rejoicing in the Hands, and to my great surprise, it's better still. This year, Devendra's shown a remarkable depth, a diversity of songwriting that raises him far higher than the witchy Oh My Oh My and the bulk of his freakfolk peers. Like Joanna Newsom or to a lesser extent, Sufjan Stevens, he uses this new oldtimey music to say a bunch of different things - sometimes precious, sometimes fierce. On Rejoicing there was "Autumn's Child," with its elegiac piano chords, its reverent pulse. On Nino Rojo there's the coquette "We All Know," the goofy-serene animal song "Little Yellow Spider," and then the woozy lurch of "Electric Heart." He's not just a novelty act: his recordings have breadth, are made with care. Devendra is willing to nurse a song in its nest, till the wings and teeth grow in.

"At the Hop" skips along with Banhart's queer grin, the twisty mouth that's half smile and half frown. His acoustic guitar bounces along as part of a long caravan, a journey through fields, heads poking out and hoping to see the stars. "Wrap me in your marrow / stuff me in your bones / sing a mending moan / a song to bring me home." Gayness and hope, a reassuring background sigh, the jumble of voices... it slowly dissiates, thins out, till legs are dangling out and the air is cool. [pre-order]

Andy Iona - "Naughty Hula Eyes". This tune comes courtesy of the splendiferous Tuwa. It's light, fragrant and hawaiian: an evening song for slippywalking down a dock (don't fall into the water and cut your leg!). As the uke strums, as the lap steel sings, I'm as smitten as Andy - caught by that dancer's bedroom gaze. This isn't the sound of true love, it's the sound of a dreamy holiday night, shoulders loose, when you can't help that you're smiling at her (or him). There's simply something in the air, in the way your feet are stepping to the beat. buy


Later this week, something from the excellent, one-of-a-kind album by the Go! Team.

Posted by Sean at August 11, 2004 12:03 AM

I swear, there are days when i wonder if we share a brain.

I had a track from ThunderLightningStrike cued up for tomorrow myself...

Posted by Keith at August 11, 2004 12:07 AM

We can both do it - it's a mighty wide album. :) (PS: I live in your brain!)

Posted by Sean at August 11, 2004 12:09 AM

My brain = Canada?

Posted by Keith at August 11, 2004 12:22 AM

just so long as your brain isn't a fucking canoe

Posted by Sean at August 11, 2004 12:39 AM

Wonderful! This is the first of the new Banhart material I've heard. I adore that tremelo.

Posted by Paul at August 11, 2004 4:08 AM

Gotcha. Brain != Canoe.

The idea of canoe = Canada is worrisome though. I'm not allowed in Canada.

Posted by Keith at August 11, 2004 7:34 AM

sean i wonder if you got the brand new wolf parade ep they've been selling at their shows with modest mouse? i also wish you would post a song from the new aracde fire album.

Posted by cick at August 11, 2004 9:33 AM

i did a couple of Go! team tracks last week.

Bloody brilliant album


Posted by Simon at August 11, 2004 10:24 AM

i forgot to mention how awesome it was to slip okkervil river into that round table thing. i would take a bullet for that band. and you are able to really articulate their sound, no small feat.

Posted by cody at August 11, 2004 10:29 AM

I know this is a day late, but welcome back, Sean! I thought MB's comments were really hilarious, but your were right to take him to task for his overstatements. The Believer music issue WAS horseshit, though.

Posted by Scott at August 11, 2004 1:22 PM

I gotta say out of that roundtable discussion, you seemed to come across as the most passionate, one of the least scenesterish (I'm sure that's a word), and the most like a guy I'd probably hang out with and argue about music with. I'm pretty sure that last one is a compliment...

Posted by caley at August 11, 2004 1:34 PM

Wow, "Naughty Hula Eyes" is great, and your writing spot-on as always. When I hear songs like this, I always wonder just how many more hundreds of songs from the first half of the century I'm missing out on.

More on the Keith's brain controversy:

Posted by Andrew at August 11, 2004 1:49 PM

Say what you will about the Believer Music Issue. The sampler CD was pretty good.

And the Banhart track is fantastic.

Posted by john at August 11, 2004 2:54 PM

Yeah the CD was solid. The ISSUE however, was trash.

Posted by Scott at August 11, 2004 4:53 PM

Just wanted to sum up my thanks for all the Arcade Fire mp3s of the last weeks (months). I now have sky-high expectations for Funeral

Posted by Marc-O at August 11, 2004 4:57 PM

I thought your roundtable comments were awesome. it's always interesting to hear others' thoughts on the legalities & practicalities of online music, and I was surprised so many of you are being approached by musicians who WANT you to post their stuff. Just like radio stations way back when.

I just posted a song by the Strawbs, who are vaguely related to Fairport Convention -- if you get a chance, I think you'll like it. Simple yet catchy.

Posted by gretchen at August 11, 2004 6:27 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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"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
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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
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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
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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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