woo wit!
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.


It's 2003 all over again. Or the first half of 2004. Or something. Although it had hardly left, sexy electro pop is back. Fischerspooner and Jewel introduced us, and now it's... um... Belle & Sebastian and Mouse on Mars.

Belle & Sebastian - "Your Cover's Blown". Ok. On Dear Catastrophe Waitress, B&S were breaking free of some of their accumulated hackles. Here, on the lead-off track from the upcoming Books EP, they've turned those hackles back into hand-cuffs and are using them to seduce-and-entrap unwitting shy kids. A fellow called fsolinger passed this my way, and he puts it rather well: "like 'stay loose,' with larry levan on the mix instead of trevor horn." Sliding, cheapskate discopop opens the song, and then in the second half they do a 45-degree turn, pull out the backup vocals, let an electric guitar curl up round the dance-steps (but not before they go all Tarantino for a second). Like the themesong for a late-80s movie about the Working Woman Who Cuts Loose. (I will update this post with any witty two- or three-word descriptions that appear in the comments. Help me out, yo.) Thus far: vinyl cardigan music; daft funk; shit sandwich; Japanglish Beatles tribute.

Mouse on Mars - "Wipe that Sound". A terrific slice of juddering dance music, Daft Punk with a hangup. If Mouse on Mars was once the link between Mum and Amon Tobin, tis' no more the case: this is a heavy groove, robot-moving electro-dance. Squelching, stamping, squirreling up and down like a broken cell-phone tweet. Is that "move it" or "woo-wit"?!?! I want to know!!!! Or maybe I want to dance!!! I don't know!!! From their upcoming Radical Connector. [This is good.] (Thanks, Toiletduck.)

Canadian Leadership Debate was last night/tonight. Julian, Jordan and I decided that we wanted Gilles Duceppe to be wearing a linen suit, with a tiny gramophone he can hold in his hand, playing records by la Balduc, while a icing-decked birthday cake sits on the podium beside him. He should also have a rickshaw driver waiting to take him away. He was like a superman up there: I can do anything and it doesn't matter! Yes!

ps: go ndp!

Posted by Sean at June 16, 2004 1:57 AM


Posted by queso at June 16, 2004 8:46 AM

damn the other half of the comment never appeared.
that was my first reaction while listening to the belle and sebastian track.

Posted by queso at June 16, 2004 8:47 AM

No good two/three-word summations for the B&S song (best I can do is "Long Train Runnin' Gone Horribly RIGHT"), but I want to thank you for posting this. Buzz on "Your Cover's Blown" has been pretty big and I was dying to hear it while I waited for the import single to hit the shops. Not sure if it lives up to the hype (an "epic"? Not so much), but it's a ton o' fun, for sure.

Posted by Max at June 16, 2004 10:37 AM

Yeah, the B&S track has had lots of hype, and hearing it is definitely...WTF material. Not quite as epic as I've expected but then I've been listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor a bit today. But it's quite good, and growing on me after a few listens.

'daft funk' seems appropriate to me.

Posted by Anonymous at June 16, 2004 11:42 AM

Shit sandwich

Posted by Eric at June 16, 2004 11:46 AM

That B&S track - wow!
Nile Rogers in a wooly sweater

Posted by chris at June 16, 2004 12:13 PM

Like Franz Ferdinand and The Strokes are riding in the backseat of B&S's sell-out car cranking "Thriller" through a pink stereo.

Posted by sst at June 16, 2004 1:04 PM

"Japanglish Beatles tribute"

Wipe That Sound: Boooo! Hisss!

Canadian Leadership: Hoorah! Yay!

Posted by Andrew at June 16, 2004 2:03 PM

"Cover's Blown". if Ray Davies was in the Stone Roses (in 1989).

for some reason, in the beginning, i had a pang of Ace of Base...someone help me!

all that said, i like it just the same.

Posted by scandal face at June 16, 2004 3:57 PM

Good lord it's like Gary Numan having a knife fight with Donna Summer at a roller rink. At least I wouldn't have have guessed in a hundred years this was B&S. Can you really scrawl into a ratty journal in a slouch-shouldered cardigan to this?

Posted by chris at June 16, 2004 8:17 PM

Love the belle and sebastian. I really liked 'dear catastrophe waitress' and this seems to be going a different direction. I like pretty much everythings this bunch does (except when it gets boring, see storytelling). I look forward to the album.

Posted by Stretch at June 17, 2004 12:43 AM

Haha - Chris, that's terrific. Knife fight with lavender tea during the breaks.

I really like the song, but I'm not so sold on this as a direction for Belle and Sebastian. I'm still nostalgic for the halcyon days of Sinister. I'm with you on the Storytelling thing, Ken.

It's funny, though... When I saw Belle and Sebastian in Montreal a few years ago, the thing I was most struck with was how much more, um, buff Stuart Murdoch looked than I expected. With the gelled hair and big shoulders (despite his diminutive height and, yes, cardigan), he looked more like a swiss pop star than a rumpled scottish wallflower. In many ways, this kinda music (and on Waitress) suits that aesthetic more: it's more upfront and assertive. It's as if when Isobel left he cast off those lingering indie-crush trappings and embraced the (intelligent) clubgoer who was left behind. Maybe.

Posted by Sean at June 17, 2004 1:51 AM

disco stu

Posted by vilkas at June 17, 2004 1:55 AM

Love the B&S song. I listened to it four times this morning, which seems a bit excessive.

Posted by JKelly at June 22, 2004 2:31 PM

wipe that sound: the single best production of the year 2004. unbelievable genius.

andi toma, jan st. werner & dodo nkishi will be canonized for their work.

Posted by wes bunting at October 31, 2004 5:25 PM

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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.

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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.

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