what the hell is happening?
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.


The Robot Ate Me - "You Smile". A crisp leaf of bedroom pop, with curly strings and a slowsmiling organ. It shuffles towards you like a kid with a deep crush, an awkward child full of disappointment and infatuation. "Something makes me shiver / your eyes were laced with ice." Like Ugly Casanova gone twee, with Phil Elvrum producing. Spooky and romantic; strange but very compelling; a first kiss. From the band's debut, They Ate Themselves. The new one, On Vacation is out now, and (sadly) I haven't heard it yet.

Boy - "French Diplomacy". Boy's Stephen Noel Kozmeniuk recorded this album in his family's Yukon home, in a basement he dug out himself. He's since moved to Toronto and made enough waves to appear with Broken Social Scene and The Dears, among others. His brand indie rock is a long way from either band, however - it's Sloan doing the twist with The Strokes, Rufus Wainwright jamming with Paul McCartney. This is a jaunty chamber-pop stroll, a navyblue parade with oboes and a string section. Lest you dismiss my Strokes comparison completely, understand that "French Diplomacy" is the most Beatlesy thing on the record, but the pop panache is typical of Boy's style. While there are moments of precocity ("Nobody said that you were Escher"), it's sung with more of a shrug than a wink. The song's in thrall to the melody, and everything comes together around the hopeful marching splendor of the chorus. (With all the Risk I've been playing lately, I feel a deep empathy when Kozmeniuk sings "Might it be that France just isn't so sincere?")

Jeremy Brendan's interview with Wolf Parade scores a number of make-my-day scoops: 1) Spencer used to play synthesizer for Frog Eyes; 2) the Sub Pop rumours are likely true; 3) Isaac Brock will be producing their record.

No Frontin', Just Music is a new mp3blog with a fine Knife In The Water song for you and y'all.

Posted by Sean at April 27, 2004 1:00 AM

Thanks for the link! I've reciprocated...

Rock on!
-Jeremy Brendan

Posted by Jeremy Brendan at April 27, 2004 2:06 AM

great to see the robot ate me on your site - really fine music. the new disc is unreal.

Posted by rux at April 27, 2004 1:33 PM

Today's songs are great, thanks. Thanks for the shout out too!

Posted by esquire1983 at April 27, 2004 4:22 PM

Wow, that Boy track is awesome! I want the album. Is it out in the US yet?

Posted by Eppy at April 27, 2004 4:23 PM

wonderful to see boy's french diplomacy here.

that show with the dears and broken social scene also included the stills, didn't it? a couple years ago at cmw?

eppy: the album's been around for awhile, more info at http://www.speedboatracer.net/

some jerk at the national post once penned this profile: http://www.speedboatracer.net/press-nationalpost2.html

Posted by aaron at April 27, 2004 4:45 PM

Cheers, jeremy and esquire1983.

I'm very jealous, rux - is it in line with their older stuff, or a departure toward a more tropical zone?

Yeah, I think The Stills were in that Music Week show with Boy - not that I was anywhere near Toronto to see it. I went to see his goofy CBC performance last year, though.

Orders from Maple Music should be cheap, Eppy, and the CD's less than $10 USD before shipping. I'm really glad you like it.

Posted by Sean at April 27, 2004 4:49 PM

ahhh, love that boy track. brings me back to october nights (when it's starting to get darker and darker outside) and white lights on bare trees in the city.

Posted by adam at April 27, 2004 7:21 PM

the new robot is a mix of serious and fun - the former on disc 1, the latter on 2. check therobotateme.com. full disclosure: i'm in 'west dakota' on their label.

Posted by rux at April 27, 2004 9:24 PM


Posted by Jay Watts III at April 28, 2004 5:32 PM

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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.

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:
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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.

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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
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
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chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
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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
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