travis and abigail
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.


Travis Morrison - "My Two Front Teeth, Parts 2 and 3". When I saw Dismemberment Plan in Montreal a couple of years ago, Travis Morrison was a maniac. He gnawed on his microphone, climbed the wall, spazzed and grimaced and then sang dead-serious choruses. Since the band's break-up last year, Morrison's attention-grabbing behaviour has continued - contrary to the stock indie rock position, he supported the Iraq war. To the horror of hipsters, he also recorded a cover of Ludacris's "What's Your Fantasy".

But on Travistan, which is due out on Barsuk at the end of September, Morrison's not exactly ca-ray-zee. Sure, he takes potshots at Che Guevara, but, uh, yawn. And where the Plan sounded lurching and kinda punk, Morrison solo is much more pop. Like John Vanderslice or maybe an american A.C. Newman. Heck, Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla produces (along with Don Zientara).

But even if Travistan's not Emergency & I redux, it's good! "My Two Front Teeth" is a full, happy-dark pop-rock tune - looping guitar that goes cosmic by the end. At fifty-three seconds there's terrific, crusty drums, and soon after things bustle up to full driving speed. A synth cowbell knocks at Travis's knees. When the piano comes in I think of Charlie Brown at age 17, Good-Griefing with patches on his surplus jacket. Travis gets beat up "in front of the Gap," he hunts for his teeth, he looks "like Gordie Howe." And then of course there's the last minutes' echoing jazzy sweep, crest after crest of vocals. "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth." Serious goofiness.

Abigail Lapell - "Waking up in Boston". A song like a freshly-healed wound: tender, strange, smooth to the touch. I've written about Abigail before -- she's a Montreal songwriter, and this is from her new CD (which doesn't seem to be available on the net). I like this song very, very much. The guitar is a nagging thought, simple and electric. She sings like a lilting dark line - beautiful, sad. "I want to be alone / all alone / in the town where I was born." A sombre plea, and yet a happy one - the lift of major chords, the subtle appearance of a smile. Two and a half minutes of transporting sound, a postcard photograph of pavement, smoke, a woman in black. [buy]


I am so delighted that Tuwa has started his own mp3blog -- Tuwa's Shanty. He's passed me so many good songs over the past months - from Beyonce to bluegrass - and I've shared several of them on this blog. The best thing about Tuwa - and what makes his internet debut so great - is that when he hears a wonderful song, he recognizes its beauty. His taste is sharp as a chisel, and it could carve out a big ole' smiling face. Go get that Taj Mahal song immediately.

Tikun Olam has recently started musicblogging, adding downloadable mp3 and wma files to its profiles of folk and world-music icons.

Posted by Sean at September 15, 2004 12:30 AM

that ludacris cover is great. draws you in like a terrible car wreck.

Posted by nm at September 15, 2004 11:32 AM

Thanks for the mention; it's too kind.

That Abigail Lapell song is quiet but very appealing. It just sort of ends, dissatisfied & unresolved, but it fits somehow. The closest I came to finding her CD online was this geocities page, which is probably as reassuring as Lars Din's page with all the 404s. Anyway I'm going to fire off an email and see what happens.

Posted by Tuwa at September 15, 2004 11:59 AM


Dead on about the 'Plan live. They were a force.
I'm not as high on Trav's solo record (If you're interested . . ., but hey, differing is good.

Posted by keith at September 15, 2004 9:36 PM

Travistan is a Travisty.

Posted by Keith at September 16, 2004 1:49 AM

(blatent promotion follows)

Abigail Lapelle's playing Ladyfest Toronto in a couple weeks.

Posted by emilyz at September 16, 2004 2:35 PM

thanks very much for all the kind words.

i have 2 self-released cd-rs that are available by mail order, at shows, and in finer record outlets. my laughably under-updated website is at - or you can drop me a line at for info.

in more blatent promo news: i'm playing tommorow night at club SAW as part of LADYFEST OTTAWA, with the fabulous RAE SPOON + JAYNE WAYNES and more more more. so excited!

Posted by abigail at September 18, 2004 6:59 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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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.

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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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