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.


flying cat

The Cay - "Company Store". We can't collect handshakes. We can't collect the times we've held someone's hand. We can't collect high-fives. Maybe there's somewhere someone with a Polaroid camera around their neck, documenting each one. A thousand snapshots of hands & hands. Maybe they decorate their room with the images, or decorate their Christmas tree. Maybe they keep the handshakes, handholds, highfives in shoeboxes under their bed. Maybe they burn them in their fireplace to keep warm in winter.

But most of us take these hands-on-hands for granted. We ignore the way they're each a small, distinct beauty. And so go our whole lives.

Not so The Cay. "Company Store" is a string of small splendours, like the line of white lights on a procession of bicycles, night-riding. It's a folk song that visits four seasons. In their knit of guitars, voices, rhythms, in their counterpoint and harmony, they're collecting each tiny moment. Each handclasp and gasp. "I see a bear and a child, and a baby grand." The small (big) pleasure in a long hard day where I can see the end. These are the beauties we forget & neglect, but they're the things that make a life. And before the end of the song, The Cay have marked each one with an exclamation point.

The Cay - "Littlest Hobo". The Cay is my friend Jordan's band. Here they cover the theme-song of a Canadian television show called "The Littlest Hobo". And while I snicker when they use the phrase "hobo-style", most of this song I spend just happy, simply happy. I feel such a pleasure in the scatter of shaker & guitarline, in the crooked voices, in the slang & slur. "Just turn aroun' an' I'm gone again," Christine sings, and I'm so glad to know her. There's a German word: Fernweh. The desire to be somewhere else. While wanderlust is the hobo's desire, a need to be on the move, Fernweh is just the opposite of homesickness. The wish to be distant. And as I listen to my friends' third CD, Don't Go Out Tonight, which is kind & complicated & beautiful & stirring (& without record-label!), - as I listen to this hobo's song, - I do not feel one tiny lick of Fernweh. I'm fine just here, with you. (Heck, come a little closer!)

[MySpace / email Jordan / say something in the comments]


I tweaked Said the Gramophone's RSS feed, so if anyone has any trouble let me know.


If you enjoyed the Luyas song I posted last week, you may be happy to learn that they now have a WEBSITE, featuring MORE MP3s (all great), and instructions for buying the CD. Faker Death is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite records of the year, dearer with every listen.

Posted by Sean at August 23, 2007 6:40 AM

My interwebs done broke!

Posted by H at August 23, 2007 12:04 PM

the cay have that wonderful 'ontario sound' that i miss so much.

i also LOVE when art is so great that it trumps worries of conflict of interest.
i just imagine sean at his computer (an older mac with a 90's retro-futurist colour scheme?) thinking "fuck the world, i love this band, i love this guy"

Posted by david b at August 23, 2007 3:01 PM

aww, the piano break just got me! i love it.

Posted by john! at August 23, 2007 3:27 PM

company store is an excellent song.

Posted by shane at August 23, 2007 8:18 PM

I LOVED "The Littlest Hobo" as a kid. Those days I wanted to be a dog. Sorta.

Posted by thomas at August 24, 2007 1:09 AM

Ah, this is a lovely post (even though everything on StG is lovely). The Cay's music reminds me of where I used to live: a small city by Lake Huron.

Thank you for posting such wonderful music all the time.

Posted by J.S. at August 24, 2007 2:39 PM

"company store"- truly beautiful.

Posted by Samuel at August 24, 2007 4:04 PM

the cay sting through - a fire, bright hand in the barn. they've got a sound - a tender moment time. riding their bikes together.

Posted by John M at August 24, 2007 4:50 PM

Thanks for The Luyas.

199 plays on


I am gonna listen to the cay later, i am so excited for that.

Posted by karpe at August 24, 2007 4:50 PM

the cay feels like my living room.

even when i'm not there.

[high praise]

Posted by karpe again at August 24, 2007 5:13 PM

Company Store is really a lovely tune. Thank'ee.

Posted by Campfires & Battlefields at August 25, 2007 1:51 PM

where is the picture from? Reminds me of a place on the Crimea.

lovely post.

Posted by dacha at August 26, 2007 5:34 PM

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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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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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Ill Doctrine
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Words and Music
Petites planétes
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Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
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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
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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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