The Antarctic Front
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.


Antarctica Takes It! - "I'm No Lover". Am I more inclined to listen to a band when my name is thanked in the liner-notes? I admit it: I am. Is that vain? It is. But oh, it feels great to have my plain 'sean michaels' attached to a song like this - like a ribbon bobby-pinned to the band's galloping heel. I've never even met these kids!

Did I say galloping? I did! Because this here is a cavalry. On their MySpace page they cite Belle & Sebastian, Otis Redding, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra - but forget that. It's Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Hannibal at their head. Listen to the exclamation of this song! The band earns the '!'. Listen to the cannonade of percussion, the charge of clap-clap, the hoarsening voices and the go-insane of the piano... the closing horn fanfare like a cavalry of rainbows that the general's added "just because we can! On, men! On on on!"

The CD's hand-painted, they're from Santa Cruz CA, they're the band I wish I invented at summer camp... oh and did I mention it costs only six dollars!?


The Desks - "Stop!". This song, taken from The Desks' new free album, eschews slowness and sigh in favour of hesitating beats and fey soul (much more Robert Smith or The Robot Ate Me than Sam Cooke). The best parts are when the song creaks so hard it almost falls apart. For instance: a cracking voice, split with giddy feeling! a lyric so cute ("like maybe we could get some gelato?") that it breaks any spell! a raft of voices all echoing at each-other! Okay but I should lay off the exclamation points: the Desks are not Antarctica Takes It! There's a modesty here; my enthusiasm is earned with eccentric squeaks and instinctive performance. No army was trained: a man just sang it right, into his computer.



two terrific blogs called it quits this week:

i didn't discover Vain, Selfish and Lazy that long ago, but I fell fast in love with fred's spurred, true and feeling writing. the archives are deep wells.

and Otherwise Unavailable goes out with a brrrrang, offering us a bunch of music by the author himself - as with most of what he's posted, they're mysterious, varied tracks, in places exceptional, like something brought in on the wind. I particularly like the songs by Cool, and the Trillion Dollar Trio.

godspeed to you both.


Paper Thin Walls, meanwhile, is a new e-zine with music news and daily mp3blog-style writeups of rad songs. Contributors include um luminaries such as Frank Kogan and Chuck Eddie, formerly Village Voice music ed.

And TW Walsh has written up an extensive, very illuminating interview with STG-friend Brian Michael Roff.


Finally - it's CONTEST time again! Spooky Swedish electropop duo The Knife have released one of my favourite albums of the year, Silent Shout. Said the Gramophone has three prize-packs to give away, courtesy of Mute Records. These include copies of the record, posters, masks, singles, etc - whatever the label throws in there.

There are two ways to win:

1) Email a photograph of a ghost to, with the subject-line "KNIFE CONTEST". Make of this what you will. Knife CD prize-packs will be given for my two favourite images.

2) Email a 55-word ghost story to, with the subject-line "KNIFE CONTEST". Stories should be excellent, and no more and no less than 55 words (excluding the title). A Knife LP (yes, vinyl) prize-pack will be given, label-willing, to the author of my favourite story.

Contest ends Midnight EST on Thursday, 17 August. Good luck! The contest is now closed.

The rest of you really ought to just go out there and buy the thing! It's fantastic.

Posted by Sean at August 11, 2006 3:00 AM

Upon hearing stuff like "Stop!" on an MP3 blog, I always think there's a strange sort of confluence. Home-bred, compy music appears on a home-bred, compy writing space. there is something this-is-the-way-it-should-be about it.

Posted by Dave at August 11, 2006 11:59 AM

i noticed there was a himelfarb thanked in the liners of he poos clouds. any relation to jordan?

Posted by george at August 11, 2006 1:41 PM

Yes, I am actually going to get this album this weekend. It's a special holiday up here in Boston, Mass. Tax Free weekend. Newbury, here I come.

Plus, I won a contest from you already - CYHSY and the National new years show. Thanks again by the way for the tix.

Posted by kip at August 11, 2006 3:39 PM

i'm so happy to that you posted on Antarctica Takes It! Dylan's such an awesome person, he makes everyday like kindergarten or summer camp or a sleepover or any other sort of thing that's young and fancy-free. He's probably going to see I commented on this and make fun of me, but ah well. I think his music is great.

Posted by Cassie Marketos at August 12, 2006 11:42 AM

Ahem. If the idea of a 55-word ghost story intrigues any of you, I edit a website devoted to 55-word stories. We have yet to receive any ghost stories and we have no LPs to give away, but we do post fresh, excellent stories with links to authors' websites/emails/blogs/etc. So take a peek if you're so inclined. Thanks!

Posted by Anca at August 13, 2006 11:09 AM

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about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

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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
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
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