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.


Sandro Perri - "Sky Histoire". Perri usually records as Polmo Polpo, making an electronic music from small organic sounds. On Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo, Perri revisits some of these songs - reinterpreting them in more traditional form, often with vocals, and always in beautiful, sumptuous tones. "Sky Histoire" takes the seaside want of Perri's voice and drapes it in trombone, euphonium, bells, tom, fingers-on-guitarstring. It's a tremendously handsome piece, yearning and somehow glad, evoking the ends of Grizzly Bear songs or the middle of Mulatu Astatqe's Ethiopiques.

[buy from Constellation]

Virgil Shepard Walters - "Ghetto Blastin'". I hope by now you are familiar with the virtues of Dan Beirne, one of the two men who writes this blog with me. And so I hope you'll realise what a compliment it is when I say that if Dan Beirne had a theme-song, it would share the same lyrics as "Ghetto Blastin'". Yes. I'm not sure that the music would be the same: Dan's got less twang than this, more spiky electric guitar. But the words, oh the vocals - they're sharp as looks, bright as spurs, yellow as pinnies. "I'm the best but even if I wasn't I hit the street with my cousin, we'd fuckin' tear it up." It's a song of hip-hop swagger that's dressed in denim jacket, green cords; that takes shaker, guitar, violins, a voice that curls water-damaged at the edges. It's all in that voice, Mr Walters himself, singing the Dan Beirne themesong.

Someone once pointed out the way my heart is always creaking. That my heart always takes this verb: to creak. But Dan? "Ghetto Blastin'"? No creakin'. Their hearts do things mine are not so much in the habit of doing. They "clatter", they "gallop". The song apologises if your heart don't do that. Oh, to have a galloping heart! It's very rare for me, something felt on mountains, in fog, and at first touches. But not Virgil Shepard Walters, not Dan Beirne. They've got feelings that take loud, forceful sounds - these fiddles f'rinstance, fiddles that move in and up and in and up until they're too much to compete with, til Walters is yelling over them and is forced to fade out. "I'm sorry / that you're dyin' / Lord I'm sorry! / I'm still living / and I'm crushing you with my twenty-two inch rims!"

What's my theme-song? I am going to arbitrarily declare it Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's "New Partner" (original vsn), because this is my blog-post and I can do, hope, crave whatever I want.

(Thank you, thank you Michael.)

[MySpace (buy the album for $5!)]


Marathonpacks' end-of-year mixes are smooth as silk.

Marcello Carlin's been writing about his favourite albums/songs of 2006. Of any article on Joanna Newsom's Ys that I've read so far, he best articulates my own ambivalent feelings - even if I liked it more than he did. (And he contrasts it against [perhaps my favourite album in the world] Astral Weeks!). But what I enjoy most of all is that his favourite album was Broken Social Scene's Broken Social Scene (released in the UK in 2006). That record was one of my very favourites of last year, but at the time I felt like one of its only cheerleaders. (This year's equivalent, ladies and gents: Swan Lake.)

Posted by Sean at December 21, 2006 3:00 AM

Truly I get a little lost in the swirl of Broken Social Scene. I've gotten the same sense of sonic maelstrom-iness from Beast Moans thus far, so some musical instinct in my mind is seeing some sort of parallel between the two, too. I'm sorry it's not more of a positive parallel. ^_^

Posted by Yoshinori Sasao at December 21, 2006 12:42 PM

Well, he's right about Newsom and wrong about _Rum, Sodomy and the Lash_. The former is forgettable, the latter just about perfect for what is essentially a traditionals record.

I doubt anyone goes to see Newsom play and has anything interesting happen that wouldn't have happened ten times with the namechecked Terry Riley (swoon), or back-in-the-day Throbbing Gristle (two swoons), or Godspeed YBE (records ok, performances aces). What is her point? No idea. The Pogues around Lp #2 ('85ish) were a band that brought together real '70s punks and suburban high-school nerds and made them all have fun. It is not to compare 'overrated'. They kicked your ass. It's just too bad Mr. McGowan kept drinking. Man, he drank. Dylan Thomas is not famous for drinking, you know.

Posted by wcw at December 21, 2006 8:12 PM

So that Virgil Walters song is pretty amazing! I have yet to tell him he got posted here but I'm betting he'll be pretty happy. I'm interviewing him for a PopMatters feature for early next year, you should all be excited to read that. Because I don't think I need to tell you he will one day be legendary! yessssssss

Posted by Michael at December 21, 2006 10:10 PM

I like the idea of a theme song, but I think for this song, it's more like...if I were a meal, this is the song you'd listen to while I was prepared.

Posted by dan at December 22, 2006 3:39 AM

that Sandro Perri song is lovely. favourite thing i've heard this week. thanks, Sean.

Posted by thomas at December 22, 2006 5:24 PM

I couldn't disagree more with him about the Newsom, and while it's normally pretty idiotic to pull the whole defensive and obvious, "That's just YOUR opinion," crap, the thing is, he actually seems to forget this at times. For instance: "You end up counting the minutes..."

No, he does. I end up each time in futile prayer that that the song will extend itself, change into one of hope, and leave me less devastated than I always am after finishing that album.

Just had to throw in my two cents.

Also, this is a tiny thing but in his Ornette review he brings up Greg Cohen's work with Tom Waits as if it was the sole highlight of his career. Masada, anyone?

Posted by dc at December 23, 2006 4:44 AM

Also, he keeps using the word "minimalism" to describe her style. Um... what?

Posted by dc at December 23, 2006 4:45 AM

Sandro Perri... fantastic!

Posted by Paul at December 23, 2006 1:52 PM

there's no doubt in my mind that astral weeks and ys are linked, at least in spirit, which is why so many of us have subconsciously made the connection. i think i've traced it down to the way the sounds spiral, ascending even as they are intertwined with the weight of the things sung through them. i find it miraculous, but have made my peace with those who don't hear the same, as it seems pretty impossible to articulate one way or the other.

Posted by cody at December 24, 2006 5:49 PM

I really am enjoying this Virgil Sheperd Walters song. Reminds me of driving through my small home town in Northern Michigan after living in Brooklyn for the past year.

My heart doesn't gallop that often, but it does when I find heavenly new music like this.

Thanks Gramophone as always.

Posted by Matt at December 26, 2006 9:59 PM

Whatever happened to Virgil Shepard Walters?

Posted by C at July 30, 2011 3:18 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