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by Dan


Jane Inc. - "Steel"

"I can finally think," the hum and the vibrating earth. Earth shifted in pillars. Pillars rearranging in patterns and letters and guts. "I can finally hear," the clouds and the piteous sky. Sky part, a place to drop in. Drop in, centered, Age of the Skateboard Teen. A pop-up epoch, one eon only. "I can finally have," the gears and the movers within. A rubbing electric ripping, hair with a life of its own. That gaze, that tube of ethereal navy throb, through which you can see your favourite thing.

Jane Inc. is power. Power on, up, and through. "Steel" is reflexive, out-of-body momentum. This is great shit.


by Dan

Purple Mountains "All My Happiness is Gone"

4am outburst from the mountain damp with pillows. It's the last memento fit into the tupperware of taste, giving in to giving up. Forty Feelings waterskiing the mobius strip, comforted to revisit my own wake. Shake the same way, and the tears come out different, different spatter pattern on the wall, or when they don't even come at all. The softest word spoken is louder than all my thoughts, music is far louder than all my own thoughts, I'm waiting to think, waiting until it's necessary, come out of retirement for one last thought. Something falls away, is baked off, rots from within, chips away, incrementally, silently, your teeth a scam artist thinking they'll never get caught, behaving like a criminal wanting to get caught.

And then dancing.

Not like, planning on dancing. Just, sudden, car-crash, how-did-i-get-here dancing. All these things I've loved are not nostalgic because they are not past, they are Old and Present. They have worth. Their worthlessness is clear, chipped, haggard. Their beauty is spinning, and toppled. If this is what a body looks like, then here is where Montreal left its mark. Filter by "date modified" and it all blends into one. My heart is melted and dissolved, it's in the air now, catch a whiff.

[out July 12 on Drag City]

by Dan

Hello - "New York Groove"

Edmund out for New Year's. With no plans except to follow his pulse, he finds himself 43 in a bar and some lonely girl is growling into her drink. 10pm. The snow is thick outside, like walking through peanut butter, back to her apartment. The skin of his ass is like paper now, he knows she feels it, he's on top as usual. He thinks about watching other people parent, about drinking out of boredom, and overeating. He thinks about the way every year sinks into a kind of sludge of superstition and tension. The weight of tradition, the false hope of breaking tradition, they're what await every year as it takes its makeup off. Naked and shivering, like in the bathroom after stranger sex, every year stands hangdog in the mirror, squinting head tilted, pressing its skin, to test if it's there, as if to say "you haven't given up?"

Edmund puts on his shoes. And the way the snow falls on his shoulders as he heads out into the night, there is suddenly nothing wrong. These flakes chose me and I chose this life. Thank fucking God I at least got to choose this life.

And it's not even midnight yet.


This is my final entry as a regular writer on Said the Gramophone. It's been 10 years, and the weight of the work has finally become too much. As you may have noticed over the last six months I've been posting less, and now I have to stop altogether. And that is simply because this site is too important to me to work in half-measures. I love Said the Gramophone, I'm so appreciative of all the readers, and of all the things it's taught me. Thank you all for reading and commenting and following me on experiments with words and music. Sean will continue as normal, and I will now read avidly like all of you.

And I will leave you with the TV pilot for Dad Drives, a project that owes its life in large part to the readers of this blog. Thank you.

Dan Beirne

ps. Come what may, it's 2015 and The Best Show is back.

by Dan

Ghostface Killah - "Double Cross"

This has always existed, we just caught up to it on the timeline.

[Buy from Tommy Boy]

by Dan

Aphex Twin - "Aisatsana"

I watched my grandmother look out over the gulf and talk excitedly about birds. "You think you see a seagull, but there are dozens of types of gulls." The sunlight is somehow cold, everything is baked white. "I forgot my bird book," she said, smoking half of a slim cigarette, "and my binoculars." I set up Christmas decorations, anything that flashed and was made of plastic. I'm a sucker for these things. She's now unable to go for a walk on the beach at dawn because there is no overnight security in the building, she's unable to tell anyone where she's going, in case she falls. The shells on the beach are just shards, the full ones come in two days after a storm. I think to myself that when I get home I will find that bird book and mail it to her.


by Dan

Mica Levi - "Andrew Void"

The body sieve, with blood like dried glue. The sound that a thing makes is analogous to its name, in that a name is an alternate-dimension expression of that very thing. In one world a flower is a thing with pedals and a stem, in another simply the word 'flower' is the thing, and in another, the sound of two rubber hoses shifting along each other more slowly than the sun moves in the sky, that is the thing. This, today's song, is an expression of silence. In one world, silence is the absence of sound, but in another, this is an expression of that same thing. This is silence saying its own name.


by Dan

Elvis Depressedly - "Pepsi/Coke Suicide"

A memory of a writing made about the re-enactment of something like a movie that told a story similar to mine. Of near-misses and silence. Of the time before the wall. When the movie told it, things got timeless. When it was re-enacted, things became a pastiche, and there were all the flaws we didn't see before. When it was written about, there was space for detail, and working-through of the flaws, kneading them into decorative knots. And then the memory laid the veil, as on a bride, or a corpse.


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