sun days
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'm glad I managed to squeeze out that flaming lips review, with the lights on, before departing on a short promenade to southwestern ontario. some anonymous chucklehead already sent me an email saying that "travis morrison isn't a drummer." well, duh, but if you've seen him live, he definitely is "schizoid." i acknowledge that the construction of the sentence is a little ambigious, but give me a little credit, snarky-person.

some songs i'm listening to a lot right now:

the flaming lips - "she don't use jelly." I don't know what music-train I was on in 1993, but it sure wasn't the Good Music Locomotive, or at least, I didn't have my ear to the ground. even if i missed "she don't use jelly" then, however, after last week's show, i'm not going to miss it again. feel-good and absolutely stupid, dazzling with its gummy chorus. but is it just me or does it never fully congeal, climb to that transcendent place with the guru in the clouds?

radiohead - "i am citizen insane." Pitchfork apparently doesn't like the new radiohead b-sides. me, i find them pretty interesting. "i am a wicked child" is indeed a genuine bore (thom's voice does sound, for once, thin, even when doubletracked). but "gagging order" is fascinating, showing the bizarro-radiohead that never left "Fake Plastic Trees," finger-picked acoustic guitar and sincere whiteboy sorrows. My favourite, however (and the only of the b-sides i expect I'll ever really listen to regularly) is "I am citizen insane." It's a peculiar, ambient instrumental with skittering beats and rocketlaunch bleeps - but i like that meandering droplet synthline. it sounds like someone i might like.

Elliott Smith - "A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity." One of the two tracks off Elliott Smith's new 7". they both sound really good - definitely more awake than Figure 8, doing something remotely novel. "A Distorted Reality" shows typical melancholy, but is laced with a slightly mischievous organ-line, and - more importantly - a superterrific electric guitar, straight outta the Beatles in a different way than usual, Let it Be-bleedin'. but it fades out. (sigh)

Outkast - "Hey Ya." This leaked single from the Dre side of the upcoming Outkast double-record is as much punchy fun as, well, spiked punch. more marvin gaye than "mrs jackson," it's a song i can't put down, that i keep sipping and sipping. pink boas tromping down a brown street, stars dripping streamers. "heeeeeey ya. hey ya!"

Nathan Lawr - "Spanish Armadas." [download] Pleasantly lazy, pressing forward through acoustic guitar strum and lap steel with piano and a little female vocal support. He just toured with The Arcade Fire, has played with Royal City, etc. I very much want to hear his album.

Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins - "Imagine." Found on The Site That Will Not Be Named, this is delicious adult-contemporary fare, instrumental loveliness. When it tumbles into the familiar chorus, it's like birds alighting on an electric-wire, acting out the photograph you imagined moments before.

Okkervil River - "Blackest Coat." The best thing on the Julie Doiron/OK split EP, the song starts awfully. An ugly-and-monotonous back-and-forth on guitar, but as melody and voice slowly layer on, something extraordinary happens, and at precisely 4:11 it's one of those moments that elicits a shuddering physical reaction. it's not pain, or bliss, it's just a juddering opening-up, a heart that creaks open. and then (gloriously, gloriously) the band somehow climbs into a loud-yelling-crashing victory finale. good god, i love this group.

music posts (here and at TM) may be interrupted for the next seven days as my internet access will be severely limited. sorry!

Posted by Sean at August 18, 2003 1:56 PM

snark! no credit for you! snark!

Posted by smackmastah at August 19, 2003 12:26 AM

OK, so this is unrelated to the above post:

If you missed Thursday evening at the Ottawa folk festival, you missed some really good live outdoor music. The two artists I went for are Dar Williams and Tegan & Sara (nominated for the Shortlist Prize by Pete Yorn - how he heard of the Vancouver Twins is a mystery to me). The Dar Williams set was spellbinding. Her comment that the sound on stage was among the best she's ever experienced at a festival brought applause and agreement from the crowd. The sound *was* really good... I was sitting halfway back (in a deep crowd) and to the side, and the sound had me fooled into believing that I was in a small theatre. Dar Williams acoustic guitar was sweet and buttery and her banter between songs was insightful and socially relevant without being preachy or unbalanced.

The sound quality wasn't as generous to Tegan & Sara's acoustic set. Unfortunately T&S didn't seem to be at full strength, or confidence playing their hits in acoustic mode - in fact they faltered, and came to a complete stop in their first song. After some brief onstage coordination, they resumed where they left off. The sound quality that worked so well for Dar Williams was almost too revealing for T&S, and their less polished (and less mature?) rock approach was conspicuous. Drums, base, and electric guitar can hide a host of sins. At times during the set, their dualling acoustic guitars had an almost Led Zeppelin-esque shrill sound to them, which may have been the desired effect and wasn?t entirely bad. The T&S set was like so many festival bootlegs - a must hear for hardcore fans, but only mediocre to the casual listener. Despite the prosaic performance, the crowd was definitely digging the opportunity to hear an acoustic set from Tegan & Sara on such a lovely August evening.

There are still 3 days (and evenings!) at the folk festival, I?ll be there Sunday to catch Sarah Harmer.

Posted by Andrew at August 22, 2003 11:13 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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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.

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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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Back to the World
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Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
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Words and Music
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Silent Shout
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Awesome Tapes from Africa
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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
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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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