with 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've been attending bits of the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and it's been lovely. Hot, but lovely. If you live here, go.

Shocking Blue - "Hot Sand". This song stands at the edge of a roof, doing acrobatics, risking death. The distorted guitar bends and twists, the drums smack, Mariska Veres throws her hair back with a sensuous toss. Best of all is Robbie Van Leeuwen's sitar - which he played regularly on Shocking Blue releases. This was the b-side with 1969's "Venus," the band's big US smash. The track is scorching, almost burnt, and it sizzles under direct sunlight. "Hot sand / I'm walking in the hot sand / making love on the hot sand." Forceful, sexy, but with those little details - the backing oohs, the streak of sitar, - which make it much more than an intimidating flirt. [buy]

Mitch and Mickey - "When You're Next To Me". Sometimes the best kind of love song is the goofy kind, cheery head-swaying sing-alongs. And it's easy to get enthusiastic when the performers are fictional. Mitch and Mickey are bad poets, sure, but they sing with such overwhelming eagerness, such contagious pleasure. Yes, the rhymes are trite, but bo oh boy are they in love! Acoustic guitar bounce, twining voices, and the biggrinning singsong of a bulging heart: "When I'm lying next to you / I feel moonbeams burn / I see rainbows turn / into gold." [buy]

And, to follow up the William Shatner/"Common People" track, here's another bit of total weirdness - courtesy of FP/benny. "The Chipmunk Song [slowed down]". Yes, hear Simon, Theodore and Alvin at their true speed, sounding respectively like an accountant, a hot-dog vendor, and a lunatic. Put it on repeat and you'll drift gradually into madness - it's like an acid flashback to fetal languor, the surreal sounds that filtered through the uterine wall.


I'm off to a cottage for the (Canadian, non-quebec) long-weekend, so I'll see you all again on Tuesday.

ps: funeral is the album of the year so far. will say more later.

Posted by Sean at July 30, 2004 12:54 AM


I'm such an Arcade Fire groupie.

Posted by tim at July 30, 2004 1:06 AM

As of now, Funeral is in my top 3 for the year, along with Blueberry Boat, and Shake the Sheets/Streets whichever it is.

Posted by Keith from TTIKTDA at July 30, 2004 1:24 PM

Thanks a bunch for the Mitch and Mickey track. It's hard to believe that's Eugene Levy singing there... but it's a fantastic song.

And "Dave" on that chipmunks songs is just... demonic.

Posted by brooks at July 30, 2004 1:59 PM

Sean, that chipmunks track is insane. I hate it so much. Where on earth did you find this horrible thing?

Posted by robot mark at July 30, 2004 5:19 PM

Your blog thinks it's July.

Just an FYI.

Posted by Keith at August 1, 2004 9:46 PM

Phrases like "the surreal sounds that filtered through the uterine wall" are a big part of why I love the Gramophone.

Posted by forksclovetofu at August 3, 2004 3:11 AM

Where are you? Are you ok?

Posted by Jordan at August 3, 2004 5:53 PM

I have to have this! Did you do it yourself or can I buy it this way?

Posted by Retardotron at August 5, 2004 7:26 PM

I had lots of fun as a kid playing with an old record player that had 16rpm and 78rpm settings -Actually, I had this record and did this very thing! Hours of laughs. We also had a reel-to-reel with variable speeds - I tried to talk as high and fast as possible and then slow it down to a normal vocal speed + pitch. The result was totally unreal. Thanks for the flashback!

Posted by azaro at August 5, 2004 9:46 PM

You can also get a similar effect by keeping the song at the same speed and just pitch shifting the vocals down like this...


...using the Pacemaker plugin for Winamp

I love Pacemaker. With it, you can do fun things like this...


Posted by Krick at August 5, 2004 11:24 PM

I did something similar as a kid. Using two tape recorders, I sped-up a spooky halloween record until you could hear what was once the low, slow, creepy background sounds was actually a guy singing the first few lines of the Beverly Hillbillies theme. I wish I could find that tape now.

Posted by Matt at August 6, 2004 9:34 AM

Thanks for the reminder about Hot Sand. I used to listen to the B-side of all my 45's and Hot Sand was a particular favorite. Almost as good as "Mighty Joe" (the 45 that they released after Venus). I may have to dust off my Shocking Blue album, hookup the turntable, and set the wayback machine to 1969.

Posted by John Hayes at August 6, 2004 9:47 AM

Sean, you are betraying your youth. Those of us of "a certain age" had our very own kid's record players in our bedrooms. These gadgets had a diamond needle, and three speeds-- 33 rpm ("normal" for a 10 inch diameter LP--one of Aerosmith's singles: "Big 10-inch" was a double-entendre on a record album and Steven Tyler's purported manhood), 45 rpm (for single "45's") and 16 rpm. Nobody really knew what the 16 speed was for. Some of us had our parents' record players with a 78 speed -for the "real" old stuff. But if you took your Red Vinyl chipmonk's album (yes they did color some of the albums) and put it on 16, or just turned the turn-table around with your finger, you could approximate the speed where you heard Alvin and his cohorts at their "normal" adult speed. Times were simpler then, and kids were much easier to please and entertain I suppose. Perhaps we were more pure. Or not. As we got older and drugs permeated the culture we used our "turntable" skills to slow down Deep Purple and even reverse the record to hear the Beatles "Revolution #9" backwards voices.... A few seconds of bacwards voices in "Taxman" too. Was it the devil? Many middle-Americans thought so. Ahh to be worried about such things. And this in the heat of the Vietnam War... Hmmm. priorities.
Now that we are middle-aged kids, many of look at the DJ's "spinning" old and new vinyl, and wonder when it will all disappear into digital tools. Now let's see a scratch/house version of "I want to play my harmonica" on MTV...now you're talking.
Ok, well, maybe it only makes it to VH1.
Or maybe we should let all of this pass into history with phones that ring (as in, with a bell), typewriters, and radio and TV with ads (thank you, TiVo and related technology, and thank you, XM & Serius).
Keep up the great blogging.
Matt Weeks

Posted by Matt Weeks at August 6, 2004 2:02 PM

I used to have a record player with the 16 and 78 speeds. I did the exact same stuff. This isn't as bad as my Usher/Leon Redbone mashup.

Posted by Jim Lewis at August 6, 2004 3:33 PM

Yeah I also remember making this discovery with the 16 knob on my record player as a kid. Pretty creepy - I did it once and for some reason never wanted to hear it that way again!

Posted by John at August 6, 2004 4:41 PM

I did sort of the reverse with a recording of a friend's six year-old daughter. After getting it in the computer, slowed it down and the playback sounded for all the world like a 25 year-old woman talking calmly and deliberately, but with a typically silly child's subject matter.

Posted by Rob at August 6, 2004 5:00 PM

I worked with Ross Bagdasarian Jr. on the 1980s Alvin & the Chipmunks series, and produced some of the tracks on the soundtrack to their primetime special, "Rockin' Through the Decades". If you can get ahold of that album, there's a medley song with Chipmunk parodies of various pop songs from the 50s through the 80s... Little Richard, Elton John, Michael Jackson, etc... The most amazing one to hear at actual speed is the Bruce Springsteen bit. When you speed up a voice like that, you lose a lot of the expression in it. It tends to smooth out. That's why Ross Sr. always had to hit his consonants so hard in the original Chipmunk songs. In any case, in order to get the requisite Springsteen gravel in Alvin's voice, the singer (the very talented Sherwood Ball) had to hold out every note double length while grinding his vocal cords like a meat grinder. ("Bo-hr-hr-hr-hr-hr-nn-nn-nn Ih-hn-hn-hn th-eh-eh-eh-eh Yoo-oo-ooo-oo Ess-ss-ss-ss Ay-ay-ay-ay!") He was almost spitting blood as he sang... after the session, he couldn't talk for two days! Don't try this at home kids!

See ya

Posted by Steve Worth at August 6, 2004 5:26 PM

My favorite 70's 45 to mess with was "I Gotcha" by Joe Tex. Slow that sucker down to 33 1/3 rpm and you have the ultimate "dirty old man" song. Try it!

Posted by David Carroll at August 7, 2004 10:24 AM

If you ended up with the quicktime plugin playing the MP3 in your browser, you can hold down the control key and drag around in the frame-forward button to change the pitch of the song. Two clicks from the right is the "original" speed.

Posted by Mike at August 7, 2004 8:21 PM

Perhaps this was inspired by the newly released comedy cd "Feelin' Kinda Patton" by Patton Oswalt.

There's a track about how he would listen to the Chipmunk Xmas record on a slower speed, which made the Chipmunks' voices sound human and Dave's voice sound like it emanated from the bowels of hell.

Posted by unsupervised at August 9, 2004 5:47 PM

Believe it or not, this is the reason why the 16 2/3 RPM setting was created on record players:


Posted by koz at August 10, 2004 12:39 PM

Hi, i think you're wild

Posted by Alex Bergof at December 16, 2004 9:26 PM

I love that Mitch & Mickey song - "When You're Next To Me" - For me that is the best song that never even made it into the movie. The best scene of the movie is when they are rehearsing that song in the kitchen, but that never made it into the movie either. You've gotta get the CD or DVD. For me, this song epidomizes what falling in love feels like. Yes, the words are simplistic, but the melody and harmony is loverly.

Posted by fiddler at May 21, 2005 4:34 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