The Sphere: Equally Tall In Every Direction
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.


New Buffalo - "Recovery"

New Buffalo starts her song with rolling hand claps and monotonous metal clangs. In so doing, she promises sugar-coated tweeness. Promises mean nothing to New Buffalo, who delivers something altogether different, beginning with a driving and strangely legato bass line. This other thing - the thing that she gives us in lieu of the pretty little song that she promised - is something much bigger, more complex. It’s a tight cyclical sequence of crescendos that moves, not over great distances, but over significant ones. And it’s just a little bit sinister. Don’t get me wrong, the song sheds a pure light - it’s not at all melancholy or sad - but it’s a bit scary. It’s like the fantasy scenes in Heavenly Creatures in which the girls run around exuberantly, elated by Caruso’s voice, or giddily frightened by Orson Welles lurking around the bend; the sun shines and we laugh with them, despite the thick inevitability of crime and tragedy. Or like a surprising sequel to Dancer in the Dark - Dancer in the Light - in which, guess what?, the hanging didn’t work and Bjork survives and she and her son and Peter Stormare board that train and ride it all the way to Paddington Station, whereupon they are lavished with gifts by sympathetic viewers of the first film, which they sell on eBay, procuring enough money to buy sight-restoring surgeries for all, including Stormare. Though he doesn’t need it, he gets it anyway. Still though, none will soon forget about the framing, or the wrongful conviction, or that Bjork was hanged - these facts still weigh heavy. [Buy]


Reverend Gary Davis - "Candy Man"

Reverend Gary Davis has some trouble hitting several of the notes in his song. Some might say his elocution leaves something to be desired. I can’t understand most of the words in the song - I get “candy man,” and “fattin’ hog,” “big-leg otter(?)” and “salty dog.” But he communicates surpassingly well, I think, that he’d give anything at all just to have his candy man home. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at January 19, 2006 2:10 PM

I heard 'santy claus'
do you know why he speaks so weird. you said he communicates surprisingly well, for what? just curious.

Posted by Lukas at January 19, 2006 5:29 PM

The mumbled lines might be a nod towards his gospel audience, since the lyrics are fairly filthy (one version makes mention of a nine-inch stick of candy, with a line that his candy will carry him to his grave). ... Actually, I think I'll post about that.

Posted by Tuwa at January 19, 2006 5:51 PM

Erm, listening to them all back to back, it seems they might not have forked from the same song at all--seems Mississippi John Hurt's and Rev. Gary Davis' versions are completely distinct, and the Taj Mahal version I was remembering doesn't combine the two. Mississippi John Hurt's is the filthy one.

Posted by Tuwa at January 19, 2006 6:38 PM

I hear what you mean about "Recovery" being a light and lightful song, but about what came before still being there. (Not "lingering"... just still being there.) Rewriting the title of the song, just now, made me think, too.

Posted by Sean at January 19, 2006 6:57 PM

While I much prefer "big-leg otter" I suspect he's saying "big-leg Ida." Or maybe not. In any event, great tune. Love your blog. I stop by daily and appreciate yr dedication...

Posted by mike at January 20, 2006 2:07 PM

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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.

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Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
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Words and Music
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Gorilla vs Bear
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Clouds of Evil
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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
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The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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