the black-eyed dog, he called for more
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.


Nick Drake - "Black Eyed Dog" [remastered]. I toyed with posting "Tow the Line," the heretofore unreleased song from Made to Love Magic, the newest Nick Drake comp. But although "Tow" was the loudest touted track on the album, it's nothing very special. No, if there's a reason to buy Made to Love Magic, it's that you don't own Time of No Reply and want a slightly better version, or if you have enough love of and familiarity with Nick Drake that the little changes make a difference. That a new arrangement can furl things open, that a remastering can deepen the meaning.

With those technicalities out of the way, what say we talk about "Black Eyed Dog"? This is an absolutely terrific remaster - the ring of strings makes a huge difference for me, puts a new strain into Nick's voice. This was always a troubling song, made more troubling by Nick Drake's death. But now the song itself feels more troubled. I always found it hard to explain the sprightly guitar-picking set against the matte black call of Nick's vocals. Now, however, things slip into focus. The desperation/excitement of the lyrics is heard in the guitar work: desperation in that quick-fading thrum (deeply audible for the first time), excitement in the let's-go fingerpicking. Life and death, wrestling. Oblivion in the not-quite-silences. (Thanks, Ian!) [buy]

Dirty on Purpose - "Mind Blindness". Vibrant shoegaze pop from a NYC band that knows to blend haze with clarity, summer somnolescence with a young autumn's skip-run-and-fly. (cf. my jeans feel a bit tight, think i washed them a bit too high. i was gonna be late, so i picked up my pace to run.) There are sighs and interlaced vocals, dream guitars, a touch of Yo La Tengo earnesty, but then the brilliant bristling sprint of Doves or "Where The Streets Have No Name". Lots of bands strain to reach this kind of place - Torrez, Tiger Saw, heck, Mercury Rev, - but here's a group that not only has the mood, it's got the soaring, spaceship hook. Marvellous. (To top it off - I'm told they like Os Mutantes.) From the sleekly-packaged Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow EP. [buy]

For the Canadians in the crowd -- this is brilliance:

Posted by Sean at June 4, 2004 1:56 AM

I spent yesterday making a compilation of TONR and the IWMTLM for my brother (it works out just under seventy minutes). There are odd ommissions on IWMTLM that, along with new string arrangements, make it essential to have both. Interestingly, we get three cuts from the new final 'final' session but I'm not sure that the July 'Voices' or 'Hanging On A Star' are better than the previously released February ones. 'Tow The Line' (should really be 'toe' but that's how Nick spelt it on a lyric sheet) is a fine song, I think and, autobiographically, it's very interesting that it comes some time after 'Black Eyed Dog'.

Posted by Dymbel at June 4, 2004 6:09 AM

wanted to get this out to y'all....
has to do with yesterdays post actually. for those of you who cannot see Ok. River live there is a concert up at
it is from WPRB in New Jersey. Scroll down the list of bands on the right of the page. Real Player is needed. There is also one up at VPRO but since it is in Dutch it is kind of hard to find......


Posted by scandal face at June 4, 2004 9:07 AM

Nothing like a Streets reference to get me to download a song from a band I'd never heard of!

Also, speaking of O.R., I saw them a couple weeks ago and, well I think they sound better on CD. Something about the live show did not work for me, though Shearwater totally enthralled me live.

Posted by la1itree at June 4, 2004 9:57 AM

I can't stop listening to the dirty on purpose. catchiest. song. ever.

Posted by Laura at June 4, 2004 11:25 AM

Again, thanks for the Okkervil River songs from yesterday. I tried to transcribe the lyrics to "The Blackest Coat", as a Google search only turned up Said the Gramophone.

Take a look here:

There is one line I can't quite figure out, but I thought it might be nice to see it all written down.

Posted by Adam at June 4, 2004 1:24 PM

The remastering does make a difference, at least to me. Nice to hear more of him and his guitar and less of that dull, flat sound that the earlier versions had.

Dirty on Purpose is great too (as were many of your earlier postings, including The Tiger Lilies and Gomez and Feist and The Waifs and Madredeus and The Cat Empire--far too many CDs to buy any time soon).

Posted by tuwa at June 4, 2004 4:52 PM

wprb is a great station, by the way. It can be streamed from ... but you are all pretty busy i s'pose. Thank you for the Nick Drake song.

Posted by Glading the Wanderer at June 5, 2004 1:38 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.

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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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