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.


Photographer unknown

Sam Amidon - "Little Johnny Brown". The tide brings in different things. One day: cockleshells, sea-glass, driftwood. Another day it's seaweed and turtleshell. This morning you wake and climb the bluff and there are jellyfish, millions of them, gleaming in the sand like rubies. The tide brings seagulls, planing, and buzzards, loping. It brings stones. It brings strangers in ships, and wide white sails. It brings salt. It leaves the salt on the beach. When you lie on the beach it smells like tears. The tide does not bring her back.

Sam Amidon's album with Doveman's Thomas Bartlett, under the name Samamidon, is one of my favourite folk records of this year: strange, wild, weary. "Little Johnny Brown" is taken from the upcoming All Is Well, due in February on Bedroom Community. It was recorded in Iceland by Valgeir Sigurðsson, who produced Bonnie "Prince" Billy's The Letting Go, with brass, string and woodwind arrangements by Nico Muhly (Bjork, Philip Glass). I cannot wait to hear the rest of it. (These are Sam's favourite albums and films of 2007: R. Kelly and Verhoeven sit at number one.)

Silver Jews - "Frontier Index". Poets and comedians are in the same business. "I just want to say something true," David Berman sings, voice like a snakeskin. You can imagine him, late, drunk, standing with a microphone before a brick wall and knowing it's not going well. Getting belligerent. Poets do not necessarily make good comedians, nor comedians poets, but they are in the same business. Poems are like punchlines, or punchlines like poems. They rewire your brain, bring in cold and warm fronts. There are two jokes in "Frontier Index", and I won't spoil them for you. They are both about inevitability. Like Homer Simpson says: "It's funny because it's true." I did not laugh when I first heard them but I smiled and for a moment I forgot the cold.

[buy Natural Bridge]

(smiling bird photographer unknown.)

Posted by Sean at November 26, 2007 1:02 AM

Great blog! Found it most informative. Glad to see Marshall Crenshaw still up and around and prolific.

I'll be back!


Posted by Laurie Kendrick at November 26, 2007 5:38 AM

All is Well is a beautiful record. I like that there's really nothing self-consciously "indie folk" about it. Just folk. But I felt guilty listening to it this weekend when I should be concentrating on getting my 2007 lists together (argh).

Posted by Amy at November 26, 2007 9:51 AM

You have an Hi-Res Version of that smiling birdface picture?

It just made me so inexplicably happy. Thanks!

Posted by Raph at November 26, 2007 10:11 AM

the natural bridge is one of my all time favorite albums. It was so good to see him play many of the songs on tour last year.

Berman seems to have a jolly good time making songs from punchlines and cliche. But you're right - they're true, or sincere, or something like that - and it makes it okay.

Posted by ben at November 26, 2007 2:24 PM

Wonderful writing today. A friend of mine has that image as his laptop's background; I assumed it was photoshopped.

Posted by Tyler at November 26, 2007 4:00 PM

it most likely is.

Posted by agoodflyingbird at November 27, 2007 10:07 AM

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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.

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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