When Something Both Is And Is Not
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.


Just one today (and a half) . But it's a doozy.


The comments on Friday's post, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, are not working. Here is a summary of what was written:

1. Everybody loves Wolf Parade.
2. Some people love The Decemberists.
3. Some people just are not sure about the Decemberists.
4. Some people who have seen me in person mentioned my nearly super-human agility and good-looks.
5. Some people pointed out that the comments are not working.


Blind Willie Johnson - "John The Revelator"

From deep down in the centre of something, from inside a desert on fire, comes this sweaty brooding dirge.

"Who's that a-writing?"
"It's John the Revelator."

Is "John the Revelator" Saint John the Baptist emerging out of the desert with clothes "of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins?" That would be fitting.

"What's John a-writing?"
"Ask the Revelator."

Johnson's voice is a thing of the earth, busting out of the ground like thick crude. The back-up singer stays with him, is not afraid.

Blind Willie Johnson died destitute, sleeping on wet newspaper in the place where his house had been before it burnt down. He sings as if aware of that biographical fact, which of course, he could not have been.

Is he a man? An alligator? A time past?


Richard Buckner - "Lovin Her Was Easier"

I compulsively buy Kris Kristofferson albums at garage sales, and yet have never enjoyed one of his songs.

Then Buckner tries his hand at one and gets it exactly right. It seems unjust.

As Dan points out, his voice flutters between notes entirely without effort.

"I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountains in the skies."

This song is drenched in an entirely different kind of sunlight than drenches the songs of The Beach Boys and Love.

Posted by Jordan at October 20, 2004 4:02 AM

what a doozy. what a revelation.

Posted by eugene at October 20, 2004 5:13 PM

willie was blinded when his stepmom threw lye in his face to spite his father. what can one do but to find religion at that point.
he is amazing. "dark was the night cold was the ground" is one of those songs that i could listen to over and over as i lay on my floor drinking whiskey

Posted by squirrel at October 20, 2004 8:32 PM

"John the Revelator" is a reference to the apostle John, not the Baptist, who was Jesus' cousin. The apostle wrote the apocalyptic book known as the Revelation, describing the end times, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the Beast whose number is 666, and the heavenly kingdom. SonHouse recorded his version of this song, which is also impressive.
Love this blog.

Posted by Caleb at October 22, 2004 8:53 PM

Just a quick thanks. Site almost always
has something good to hear.
I was gonna request that you provide at
least some direction to source, and then
realized geez I'm lazy and googled
"Blind Willie Johnson - "John The Revelator",
copied off your site list,
and google spoke:
Thanks again

Posted by J at October 25, 2004 1:03 AM

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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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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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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
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Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
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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
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Juan and Only
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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

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st-viateur bagel
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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
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Cult Montreal
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