the world is gone: The Dirty Three
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.


The Dirty Three - "Hope". It's like with faces, see? You look at a face and it's the saddest face in the world. And then the light changes and you look at your friend and you see that it's love, not sorrow, in their eyes.

So here's a sad song, a sad song till the light changes. Then it's dawn, hope, warmth, contentment. It's when you unlock the door to your home after a long trip away, setting the bags down on the floor, seeing your chair as it was left, by you, by your human hands. The sun's only just rising and the room is white, or blue, or- I don't know; the light keeps changing. Maybe there's a body in the bed, waiting for you. Maybe you lie down alone, hands above your head, and you stare at the ceiling. Maybe you listen as the city comes to life, maybe you sleep. Maybe it's sad, maybe it's really really not.

The Dirty Three play music with guitar, violin and drums. Maybe you've heard of them. (They have the best drummer in the world.) This is a song from Horse Stories, from 1995. (And it reminds me of Loren MazzaCane Connors.)


The Dirty Three ft. Cat Power - "Great Waves". This isn't from Horse Stories. It's from Cinder, due out October 11th, one month after Arvo Pärt's birthday. It's perhaps the best Dirty Three song ever, which is kinda too bad because it's basically a Cat Power song. But I don't know if I've ever heard Cat Power this mystical, so urgent without being desperate, so in control of her talents. It's startling to hear Jim White play behind her, the rattle and blur that leaps against my heart. Even more startling is that she sings of hurricane and flood, yes you got it, and there are so many images fresh in our mind. "The world is gone." A violin sounds like a ukelele or else it's a plain old mandolin and I imagine the smallest stories, the individual bodies that are exploding when Chan sings "the bodies are exploding", the individual humans running for cover when Chan sings "humans running for cover", the cars "intersect[ing] in the middle of the sky".

If there's going to be a song that makes me think of Katrina, me who was in Slovenia when the storm hit, me who doesn't have a TV, me who feels a million miles away and hasn't really been able to care, well then let it be a song that's a swamp, a morass, a thick soup of sound - and also a reservoir, a pool, a gift: every twig, leaf and raindrop, every brush of snare and thump of tom, everything unrehearsed and yet perfectly placed.

[pre-order Cinder] [donate to Modest Needs]



You really ought to grab the Page France track at Fluxblog.

Posted by Sean at September 13, 2005 1:49 AM

"It's startling to hear Jim White play behind her..."

you know that jim white played drums on moon pix? and mick turner played guitar.

Posted by george at September 13, 2005 1:52 PM

ha! no, i didn't. (though it's obvious, because the drums on moon pix are SO GOOD.) way to school me on one of my two favourite albums of all time!

have you noticed i'm not a liner notes kinda guy?

Posted by Sean at September 13, 2005 2:06 PM

Dirty Three--sort of like a clumsy drunk man who shows a suprising amount of grace while pretending to do ballet--one of my favorite bands. I saw Nina Nastasia play in Chicago last week, and Jim White was playing the drums. He'd clearly been instructed to just go nuts no matter how quiet and simple the songs were. He stole the show. Thanks for the songs Sean, I'm glad you're back.

Posted by Bahhaj at September 13, 2005 3:39 PM

"They have the best drummer in the world"
I said that to a friend two hours ago.
And he also plays drums in the last smog album.

Posted by Rodrigo at September 15, 2005 1:17 AM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
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:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
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.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"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.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

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