the pukeko says hello
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.


National Park - "The Only Stars". I spent most of my time in New Zealand in national parks. I think. You would have to ask my dear sister. I saw mountains and rainforest and flightless birds. I saw rainbows and greenstone and fjords. I saw sandfly bites. I saw stars.

National Park are a Glasgow group that shares a plot of ground with The Clientele, the Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500, and, in a funny way, Broken Social Scene. They know how to sway, run, whisper, holler. They know how to skinnydip. They know how to throw themselves down a grassy hill. They know how to doze. The group makes this sound so easy - a tune that glitters and glows, that shakes into loud crackle. And yet meanwhile there are a thousand bands achieving only half of this sound; groups that make mood but can't summon force, ever pretty but never fierce. The National Park have done something accomplished and distractingly rad. "The Only Stars" is a patch of sky in purples & yellows, in dusk-blacks & night-whites. Strange the way that a flutter can be the most violent feeling - that a flute can introduce an electric guitar.

[info/available July 24]

The Handsome Family - "Eleanor Rigby". It wasn't until I saw the film Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus at All Tomorrows Parties that I understood the Handsome Family. Every now and then in the movie they'll cut to the inside of a barn, to a grey dead field, and the Handsome Family will be standing like an American gothic, autoharp or banjo in hands, moaning dryly into the evening. There was something so Southern about them. But also something so hot. Exhausted, drained, almost dead with heat. And for the first time I heard the moaning not as a foot-dragging blah - I heard it as the only sound that would carry through the summer steam.

This is a song by The Beatles. We have a man and a woman, a banjo and a steel guitar. An English melancholy that's been dragged through the greengrass swamp.

[more info]


I'd like to thank critic and blogger Carl Wilson for filling in for me (alongside my marvelous partners, Dan and Jordan) while I was gone. Carl, your work was perceptive and careful and mighty and personal and thank you thank you thank you. Everyone should have bookmarked Zoilus, be reading the Globe & Mail, and have pre-ordered his upcoming 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion.


Scots, join me at Mono's Get Off My Pavement! festival on Sunday, July 30. Who else will be there? ONLY HERMAN DUNE, ARAB STRAP, UNCLE JOHN & WHITELOCK AND MANY MORE THAT'S WHO.

Lovely Party is a wild new mp3blog that uses a big graph and stuff. The first song they posted was by The Diskettes.

There is a most-sweet preview videoclip for Bonnie Prince Billy's new record, in which Neil Hamburger gets harassed by a crooning Will Oldham while on holiday.

Bootlog has The Weakerthans singing a Sarah Harmer song, and Sarah Harmer singing The Weakerthans' "Left and Leaving". Yes.

And finally, Blogotheque's series of videos of musicians-playing-music-in-weird-places continues with a MARVELLOUS pair of clips of Grizzly Bear. Click the one on the right and revel in the band as it walks down the Parisian streets, doowop-ing "The Knife": I promise that your smile will glint like shopwindows. (thanks, alex)

Posted by Sean at July 17, 2006 3:15 PM

welcome back friend..........++....

Posted by BMR at July 17, 2006 3:32 PM

Thanks for the intro to National Park--I likes it.

Posted by K at July 17, 2006 4:52 PM

A thousand thanks for the words and the link. It's an honour ! (And a pleasure)

Posted by Chryde at July 17, 2006 6:17 PM

The prodigal Sean returns.

Posted by Tuwa at July 17, 2006 10:29 PM

Good call on National Park. Lovely record.

Posted by Stewart at July 18, 2006 7:20 PM

This song is a cover of the Guild of Temporal Adventurers' "Stars Are in Your Eyes". The group was a project led by Kendra Smith, formerly of the Dream Syndicate. I belive she wrote the song. The original is fantastic and I belive is still floating around the blog Little Hits.

Posted by Andrew at July 24, 2006 3:15 PM

This song is a cover of the Guild of Temporal Adventurers' "Stars Are in Your Eyes". The group was a project led by Kendra Smith, formerly of the Dream Syndicate. I belive she wrote the song. The original is fantastic and I belive is still floating around the blog Little Hits.

Posted by Andrew at July 24, 2006 4:06 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.

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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Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

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
(◊ means they write about music)

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

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny