This Hallowed Ground
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 For Carnation - "Emp. Man's Blues"

One might say that my editor Max Maki’s greatest weakness of character is her tendency to find any excuse to bring up the fact that she is indeed my editor. It’s not uncommon for her to stop a stranger on the street, ask him what he does for a living, and without waiting for an answer, interject that she is an occasional contributing editor of an occasional contributing author of an occasionally read mp3 blog. The sad reality is that her work here barely pays the bills. In fact, in recent months, she’s been forced to supplement her income doing demeaning work as a journalist for CBC Radio 1. One result of such mercenary labour was aired yesterday evening and consisted of interviews of Quebec City residents regarding what most scares them. Yesterday, you see, was Halloween!!!!

The first interviewee said that he was most afraid of ghosts. His thin voice quivered as he gravely recounted being haunted by a neighbour-lady who had died in her home and remained there decomposing for several days afterwards. She had been a friend of the family. “She was a very nice woman,” he said, pale in voice as his apparition presumably had been in chimerical body. Max Maki, ever a model of sensitivity, cut immediately to the Ghostbusters theme.

The next interviewee said that he was most afraid that he wouldn’t be able to do everything he wanted to do before he died.

Objectively speaking, this song is several times more frightening than either of the above, or anything else, for that matter. The first few times I heard it, I jumped out of the nearest window. Though I compound fractured all of my bones each time, I would say that the feeling of relief at having escaped the sinister grip of the song overwhelmed any acute pain I may have felt. In writing this, I'm facing my most primal fears, and let me tell you, it doesn’t feel good at all. After all, only irrational fears should be faced; rational ones should be heeded.

It would be irrational not to fear the sheer slowness of “Emp. Man’s Blues.” Actually, never mind the slowness - you should be worrying about the strings that hiss like wind through gnarled tree branches, or the distant keyboard, like the sudden, jarring sound of chimes breaking a nighttime silence.

Don’t listen, I urge you.



The Soirée - "Across the Sea"

You needn’t be afraid of ghosts or of the finitude of life, though. Both The For Carnation and The Soirée understand that time is dense: between any two moments there is always an intermediary moment. To travel from one moment to the next requires the impossible – that we navigate through an infinite set of intervening moments. Life, it would seem, must be infinite, and ghosts therefore must not exist. So, take it slow. We’re not getting anywhere, anyway.


Posted by Jordan at November 1, 2006 6:05 AM

Really enjoy "across the sea," particularly the optimistic opening guitar.

Posted by tim at November 1, 2006 8:25 AM

I was listening to the Soirée album on my way in to work this's absolutely lovely.

Posted by matthew at November 1, 2006 9:32 AM

If anything should pay the bills, it's working on this site.

Posted by Garrett at November 1, 2006 11:20 AM

My favourite Halloween song, though we barely celebrate it here, is one you posted more than a year ago: "If the Man Says Burn", from The Rollercoaster Project.

Tiny people are scary.

Posted by Dave at November 1, 2006 5:43 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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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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