the names have all changed
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.


Apart from Malcolm's email, yesterday's post received 0 comments. Which suggests to me that you are all either a) extremely anti-french; b) extremely anti-scottish; or c) extremely good at making the most of your Memorial Day holidays. I'll hope it's the latter option, and that I've not alienated everyone. Welcome back?

Mase - "Welcome Back". I mentioned this song here, and first read about it here. Indeed, Mase is back - the story goes that he found God and gave up the thug-stuff... as he puts it here, he's a "bad boy gone clean." This might elicit indifference from some of you (or even uneasy memories of MC Hammer), but please understand: "Welcome Back" is easily the warmest, friendliest hip-hop track of the year, with cheers and hugs all round, and what Mark P rightly called a "loping, smily-faced beat." The crowd gathers close, yellow light glances from the walls, there's slow bump dancing and earnest pats on the back. A demure piano taps simply at the bottom, strings eke out a theme (from Welcome Back Kotter? Maybe. I've never seen Welcome Back Kotter.), and everyone else seems to be shouting hellos, singing the hook, setting the table. "I make my money, man, without the coca / livin la vida without the loca." Laid back but jubilant.

Hedningarna - "Räven (Foxwoman)". And since I hate to be predictable, here's dark-weird nordic alt-folk to complement the goofy rap. It starts off with breathing, rapid and spooky, soon joined by a brute, drumming bass-line. Something like a didjeridoo drones in the background; a baritone voice begins to intone; then - glance to the side - and it's a lulling woman's voice, a lute playing alongside. Whip back to hear the saw of strange strings, overlapping wails. The Finnish language is perfectly suited to this between-worlds music, like the language of goblins, of elves, of foxes. Like a lot of the music from the neo-folk movement in northern Europe, Hedningarna has an incredible ability to set a scene, to evoke terrifying/wondrous imagery, scenes and faces and eyes that you'll never see. Early morning music to nightmare by - Rammstein at Odin's hoedown. [buy]

gmailswap update: was interviewed twice, Monday, for the BBC World Service.

a reminder: i'm taking tomorrow off as i go to montreal and graduate. huzzah. see you thursday!

Posted by Sean at June 1, 2004 12:35 AM

Eagerly awaiting the "fresh" Okkervil River... I've been a fan for a while, and I'm stoked hearing about their new EP. Moonshiner is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I'm floored to hear they decided to cover it. Too bad they won't be on tour out here on the West Coast though :/

Posted by rojazz at June 1, 2004 1:21 AM

Of course Mase's new image wouldn't have anything to do with the success of Kanye West, would it? Excuse me while I'm skeptical over his sudden "conversion."

Posted by sludge at June 1, 2004 9:18 AM

the conversion isn't sudden-- he got out of the game back in the late 90s BECAUSE he found god.

Posted by robot mark at June 1, 2004 10:51 AM

mase was never all that HARD anyway..he did hang with puffy, i mean c'mon...anyway he always made me chuckle, i am glad to have him back..

it was the latter....

Posted by mike at June 1, 2004 12:37 PM

Oh, and this song is mostly based on the theme song from "Welcome Back Kotter." The chorus/post-chorus are all "interpolations" of the theme. It was actually written/performed by John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful. That's him singing on that "welcome back" sample.

I'm surprised someone didn't do this sooner.

And Mase's delivery hasn't changed one tiny iota. Funny.

Posted by music robot mark at June 1, 2004 12:39 PM

The Mase song is great.
I don't think the strings are from Welcome Back Kotter, but obviously the hook/vocals are, and I believe the Piano is as well. Never seen it? Man, you are missing out. Oh well, you can make up for it with Degrassi Jr. High.

Congrats on graduating--enjoy.

Posted by Scott at June 1, 2004 12:40 PM

I really liked both of the tracks yesterday, for one (am in Montreal, so the Jean Leloup was familiar). And everything I've heard so far by Hedningarna has been ace...

Posted by Sabina at June 1, 2004 12:49 PM

I really wanted to hate the Mase song. Really. But damn, it's catchy.

Posted by Tim at June 1, 2004 1:34 PM

I've been wanting to hear that Mase song for forever now, thanks. I like it. And I used to hate Mase. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find without P2P.

-"Livin La Vida without the Loca"

Posted by caley at June 1, 2004 1:51 PM

LOOOOVE the mase song. er, excuse, me - the ma$e song. support literacy and read his biography! great stuff.

Posted by tried and true attention-getting tactics at June 1, 2004 1:55 PM

neither anti-french nor anti-scottish, just anti-effort (my own anyway). liked it all tho "all i want" was *truly* an unexpected pleasure. thx.

Posted by jr at June 1, 2004 6:24 PM

Congratulations on graduation, Sean!

Posted by Elliott at June 1, 2004 8:09 PM

i am anti-scottish...sorry...

congrats on graduating!

Posted by lusitania dupree at June 2, 2004 1:34 AM

Lessee - how about 'Graduation Day' by Chris Isaak as a celebration? I'll post you an mp3 if you don't have it: congrats, Sean.

Posted by Dymbel at June 2, 2004 6:14 AM

congrats Sean!

its all down hill now!

Posted by bw at June 2, 2004 4:15 PM

Mase, I never missed you. Really I wish Power 99 would stop spinning your crap. Sean, you've posted many better tracks than this one. Sorry, this is not the most constructive comment.

Posted by jc at June 2, 2004 10:36 PM

I'm surprised no one commented on the Hedningarna. I love this song.

Posted by Ieinz at June 3, 2004 6:34 PM

I'm glad I can watch MTV and say that there are some great role models. I want to be like Mase & Kanye West walking the walk and talkin the talk about my Christian Life!!!!!!

Posted by KC at July 14, 2004 9:33 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.

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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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