Uncle John and Whitelock, I introduce you
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.


I suppose all the Americans are going to be off recovering from turkey, enjoying pumpkin pie for breakfast, putting on pilgrim hats and stuff. The rest of us, meanwhile, will go to work and wait for Friday night. (Friday night in Glasgow is Wolf Parade.)

(ps: looks like i'm going it alone tonight. any glaswegians going and want to hang out with a canadian?)

Uncle John and Whitelock - "Baghdadi". They're Glasgow's most exciting band, a furious hoarse blues that stamps and stamps and grabs at steeples. They stand on a stage and they rage - they rage and preach and you relish it. Soon you're stamping too, you're unscrewing the creaky portholes in your ears and eyes and heart, opening the hatches to let all the volleying sound in. But how do you bottle it? How do you bottle a band that throws whales at you, that tosses fiery houses and dying mothers? Well, you try. "Baghdadi" is that: it is an attempt. And so long as you turn it loud, loud i say!, just past the point of comfort... well you can begin to hear it. You can begin to hear Uncle John and Whitelock. Toss in that stormy blackbrown sound, try to climb its ladders, imagine a Wolf Parade lost for twenty years in the desert; Franz Ferdinand after all their loved ones have drowned.

Louder! (I do mean this.)

(I read somewhere that this band started as an art project where they built a back porch and then created a band to play blues on it. I don't know if that's true but if it is I think it's like Noah who built an ark cos god said "you'll need it!" and boy did he ever.)

There Is Nothing Else is out December 5th on GFM. Another, lesser song is available on the SAMH's "One in Four" comp. When Uncle John & Whitelock come to you: you better go and see 'em. Man.

St Jude's Infirmary - "The Church of John Coltrane". We'll take it all: traintrack clickclack, twins in twining harmony, a sound like Sons & Daughters in a little black dress, lyrics about John Coltrane and the Holy Spirit, bluzzing guitar and Scottish spoken-word. We'll take it all, put it in a pot of weak broth (this is the production), and boil it till the flavours come out out out, till the weak broth don't really matter because yum that's a whole potato, that's a cherry, that's twins in twining harmony and a thumping stained-glass chorus. I like that this track does it all, that it vaults from one parish to another, that it knows its knots. I like that just as you tire of things in the third minute, in comes a Scotsman with a poem, in comes an electric fence. He says "I don't want you back" several different ways; inevitably, none of them sound true.

St Jude's Infirmary live in Edinburgh.

Happy Healthy Lucky Month is out in January on SL Records (Ballboy, Misty's Big Adventure). They also have a song called "Montreal", which you can listen to here.



Dave Barclay of The Diskettes is offering beautiful things at Popsheep. His latest gift is Kiowarini's "Le dernier souffle de sa nation", with vinyl that crackles like a campfire, a voice like Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on the night he finds out he'll be a father. Such a lovely song.

Following on the American and Canadian polls, Take Your Medicine has compiled the UK's "Hottest 47 Acts". Unlike the Canadian list, I pretty much think the results here are awful. Despite getting the winner right, of the top 25 acts there are only eleven that I would ever recommend to anyone (Girls Aloud, The Go Team, Radiohead, Patrick Wolf, Basement Jaxx, Rachel Stevens, Boards of Canada, MIA, Mystery Jets, The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand), and the remainder I pretty much loathe. Unfortunately, crap guitar rock seems to rule the British blogosphere as much as it does the British mass music media. The list of omissions is as long as my arm.

As before, my ballot (with comments) is after the break.

The top ten UK bands of 2005, according to me:

1. Girls Aloud
One day robots will take over the earth with such astounding ferocity
and awesomeness that we'll spontaneously erect one-hundred-foot
statutes to the cybernetic generals who lead them. And in the meantime
there are Girls Aloud.

2. The Streets

3. Uncle John & Whitelock
These Glasgow bluesmen have arms as long as telephone poles, and a
singer with a voice as deep as the Lake of Menteith. You have to see
them live to understand their hosannas: a bellyful of spite and a
heart full of longing.

4. The Clientele
This band is a fog machine.

5. Acoustic Ladyland
A skronking skree with a terrible name. If the edges of jazz have gone
dry and desiccated, Acoustic Ladyland are an injection of bloody, hot
and furious life.

6. Go Team

7. Sons and Daughters
Songs of snarls and tears, country blues sung sweetly, drums stomping
with discodance fever.

8. MIA

9. Radiohead
It would be foolish to give up on these boys.

10. Hood

Didn't fit: Kano, The Pipettes, Wiley, Doctor, Belle & Sebastian, Mojave 3, Mogwai, Elbow, Arab Strap, King Creosote, Sugababes, Scatter, Alastair Roberts, Camera Obscura, The Zephyrs, Four Tet, and doubtless lots more that I've forgotten.

Posted by Sean at November 25, 2005 3:00 AM

Hey- I really liked that St. Jude's song. It reminds me of Playboy Mommy by Tori Amos a bit... I don't know why. Any thoughts, Sean?

Posted by Monicatones at November 25, 2005 9:29 AM

Acoustic Ladyland with the obvious Hendrix reference. Haven't heard them (though I'd be willing to) but no, the name doesn't inspire confidence.

That St. Jude's Infirmary song has a nice mood to it. I'm not sure if I wish she sang just a little higher on the verses, but the instrumentals are lovely. Great when the other singer joins in, and the ending is perfect.

Posted by Tuwa at November 25, 2005 11:09 AM

now i know this might sound like i'm whinging, and let's face it, i am really... but look, some of the songs you post on here are excellent, and i'd like to buy the CDs right? so, i'm getting frustrated by:
1. not being able to buy the CDs because i'm in the UK, not in the US or Canada - and trying to get a response from some of the people who run the CD websites is like pulling teeth, or
2. being able to buy the CDs, but having to pay $7 postage (for just ONE CD? come on now...).
that said, your blog is excellent and i look forward to reading your entertaining and original reviews every day and downloading the music - i'd never have heard of some of these artists/bands otherwise. thanks :)

Posted by Anonymous at November 25, 2005 11:56 AM

Wow, Sean, your vitriol here surprises me. You really see *no* value in, say Super Furry Animals, Ladytron, Mojave 3, Belle and Sebastian or Paul Weller? I am ambivalent about some of these (apart from their name, Ladytron doesn't do much for me, and I'm on record as dismissing, probably wrongly, B&S as sissy mope-rock), but they all seem like they're doing their best to articulate their vision of music as something more interesting than "crap guitar rock." I would have thought the "hand-craftedness" of some of them would appeal to you. Are they really that awful or are you just being a cranky indie rock pete today?

Posted by rodii at November 25, 2005 2:12 PM

That said... I'm loving this series of polls. I wish we could see the New Zealand and Australia equivalents next.

Posted by rodii at November 25, 2005 2:19 PM

monicatones - i don't really know that song, but the vocal delivery of the St Jude's Girl (who really is a twin of the boy guitarist, i think) also might sound like Tori Amos because of the way she emphasises the END of each line. Amos does the same thing, leaning into the end of a phrase.

anonymous - i know, it sucks! i live in the UK too! but of course both of today's acts are from here, and their labels are too.

rodii - i said that i wouldn't recommend any of the top 25. the top 25 don't include mojave 3, b&s or paul weller. (in fact, the first two of those i say further down this entry that i'd have voted for if i had had a bigger ballot.) ladytron and the furries are both fine - but they've never done an album that i felt strongly enough about that i could imagine myself saying to someone "you should really hear this". definitely better than lots of the other listed bands, though. The Kaiser Chiefs? The Arctic Monkeys? Art Brut? The Test Icicles? ye gads!

Posted by Sean at November 25, 2005 2:27 PM

You're right, I totally missed the distinction between "top 25" and "on the list", which is why I was confused by the fact the you said "the remainder I pretty much loathe" while simultaneously recommending some of them. Glad to have that cleared up. :)

OK, I hear you--the five I picked were about the only ones I could come up with. So many of them are total unknowns to most of us over here anyway. And stuff like (about Thirteen Senses, who I've never heard of, but what a shitty name) "Their debut album encapsulated all the promise that Coldplay showed with their debut" just leaves me sctratching my head. Is that good?

Posted by rodii at November 25, 2005 2:56 PM

Apart from the incredible Uncle John and Whitelock I thoroughly disagree with your top ten Sean!

Posted by Milo at November 26, 2005 6:58 AM

Ohh, yet another new lay out! It's nice, especially the centering and big, white headers. And of course the good, old gramophone. What music is it playing for those purple butterflies to twirl out? I want that too.

Posted by Bubbachups at November 27, 2005 2:44 PM

thanks for the st. jude's. lovely. why no love for Elbow anywhere?

Posted by john boy at November 29, 2005 9:23 PM

neato little site. down with GFM, bless

Posted by ali at December 10, 2005 4:26 AM

Acoustic Ladyland - don't be put off by the name, (their first album was covers of hendrix tracks - but the hendrix estate did not give them permission so they have "tweaked" them more than a bit) are infact a side project / sister band to some very busy people (see mercury 2005 nominees Polar Bear - and anything else Seb Rochford is connected with). The Uncle John & Whitlock album is now doing the rounds but as they distributing it themselves you may have to hunt around a bit for it it is available on double vinyl and after a bit of prodding cd.

Posted by Ubs at December 11, 2005 5:07 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