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.


woman and a tin man

The Modern Lovers - "Girlfriend". You can't understand the having of a girlfriend except in having one. Jonathan Richman slurs this wisdom, misspelling the word "girlfriend", and yet still he's right.

well first I'd go to the room where they keep the Cézannes
but if I had by my side a girlfriend
then I could look through the paintings
I could look right through them
because I'd have found something that I understand
He says it better than I can, here or anywhere else. Certainly better than I can at the moment, being without girlfriend. (Hi!) Writing about this song is hopeless, really. I should just do like the bassline and mosey.

But look let me just give it a quick half-a-shot. (What's the bother, it's just a blog.) There's something indescribable about the having of a girlfriend, in the La and Hush and She of it. It's something like the particular sweetness of a slice of flush melon. There's something in the beauty and the motion of her, the closeness and the way she can move away. Richman catches some of it in not spelling the word, in leaving it as "g-i-r-l-f-r-e-n", as something casual and sexy and roll-off-the-tongue and familiar and cool and smiling. "Girlfren" is like the name of the last bird you spot on a birdwatching trip. It's like a certainty that you're a long way from being able to totally remember. I mean listen to that garage solo. Fuck.

I'm not sure the same truth is true when it comes to boyfriends, or wives. Perhaps some men or women in our audience can tell me their thoughts.

[buy the reissued Modern Lovers debut]


Souled American - "Ringside Suite". It's not so much a medley as a quilt: handsewn patches stitched to the sound of a broken metronome, to melting clocks. "Come on / cheer / happy day!", he sings, like he's considering where the grass is greener. A dirge and reverie, "Paint It, Black" and a one-footed jig. I can't figure out if it's a summer sound, or the song you croak from under four feet of heavy white snow.

[buy the marvelous Yeti 4]

(my photo source...)

Posted by Sean at September 5, 2007 7:46 AM

Best personals ad ever, Sean. C'mon women of Montreal!

Posted by Amy at September 5, 2007 7:37 PM

is better w/ wife Sean - if yr doing it right.

Posted by BMR at September 5, 2007 8:04 PM

You are *so* going to get propositioned after this. That description (both of the girlfriend-having and of the song) is awesome.

Posted by 2fs at September 6, 2007 11:15 PM

I'm sure the having of a girlfriend is more exitable than a boyfriend. But all in all I have found that relationships are overated. The song is wishing and pouting, it reminds me of those akward "tween" years.

Posted by Susanna at September 8, 2007 2:05 AM

Where does this picture come from? It has been a mystery to us fans of green day for a month now, since they released an album online under a fake name and this is one of the pics from there profile. Please let me know any info.

Posted by Bruce at January 13, 2008 2:06 AM

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(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.

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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