Said the Gramophone - image by Daria Tessler
by Emma

The Majestic Arrows - "One More Time Around (Rehearsal)"

I've been avoiding writing here. I haven't been avoiding the other work I have to do, because thinking about books or video games or movies for people who are paid to triple-check the messiness and perspective out of my prose feels comparatively risk-free. But whenever I write about a song here I always end up taking a deep dive into my feelings, even when I don't mean or want to, and sometimes even the prospect of doing that dive seems exhausting. Sometimes you just want to swaddle yourself in bubble wrap until you get untouchable, until you never hear another soul-ringing sound again.

A few weeks ago, I went to New York to visit my friends. I got in on the 8th and spent the rest of my time wandering around, apologizing profusely to strangers, going to big meetings, going to small meetings, listening to people struggle to describe the outline of a limitless fear. I hugged my friends and I felt the darkness breathe down my neck too. At some point I watched my professional community light itself on fire over an argument that still hasn't ended and won't ever. At some point a friend of mine told me that she did not feel safe liking anyone's art anymore and I kind of got it. I signed petitions and sent tiny drops of money to places I've never seen and read all night until my dreams had screen-glow in them. My instincts started to tangle and knot together. At some point I came home on a plane ride so turbulent that no one was allowed to stand up for the duration. Sometimes you want to wrap yourself in blankets and go back to sleep until two or three or five summers from now.

But you're of no use to anyone when you're swaddled in self-pity. You know this already, you don't need me to tell you. Carlo made me a tape a few days ago, and this song was on it, and the first time that wobbling harmony kicked in, I felt my heart crack inside my chest like an ice cube dropped in warm water. This is a beautiful recording of a song that turned into something completely different, recorded under strange, complicated circumstances. It is important to listen to the things people make and let yourself be carried away, precariously and completely, for three minutes and forty-seven seconds, by them. It is important to feel everything that a harmony, or the loose cascade of laughter that unlaces it, can make you feel; it is important not to shrink away from the world and how it sounds, with all its incomprehensible complications. You know this already, I know you do. I'm just putting it here so I don't forget.

[buy Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Altyrone Deno Brown - "Sweet Pea" [Buy]

I eat anything. I can eat anything. I mean I don't really have any food that I hate.

There is certain food like oatmeal which I never grew up eating it so it looks and tastes like a baby puke. but I still can eat it.

Black licorice which tastes and looks like a cyborg/robot cop shit but I can still eat it.

Only thing I can think of is pumpkin.

when I was a kid, somehow I hated pumpkin. I just couldn't eat it even though I could eat natto(formented soybeans). I guess it's how you grow up.

I hated pumpkin like Vampires hate garlic or Kanye West hates Jay-Z now.

One day, my mom made a soup for dinner. Really nice soup and I was loving it like I just got Nintendo 64 for Christmas.

My mom asked me, "How is it?" with a big smile on her face.

"AWESOME! This is the best soup!!!" I answered with even bigger smile.

My mom kept smiling and it turned into an evil smirk like a 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli. Maybe not that evil but I noticed.

She waited til I was almost done and couldn't wait til annouce.

"It's a pumpkin soup!!!!!" she said it like a Youtube prankster.

"OMG!!!!!" I felt sick all of sudden just the thought of me eating pumpkin even though it was great soup.

"you got punked!!" my brother was laughing and my mom followed him, "right? it's not so bad. You almost ate all of it!"

I didn't trust my family for about a day or two.

by Sean

A Tribe Called Quest - "Movin Backwards". I have been feeling like a row of cups, some of them full and some of them not. Spilled one day, filled the next, empty then overflowing. The changes have been too fast, too sudden, to follow. I am an inconsistent row of cups. I am thirsty, I am prosperous, I am doomed, I am safe, I am among friends, I am alone. Just a row of cups. When Tribe's Jarobi and Tip arrive, with Anderson.Paak and Consequence, it is as if they are holding pitchers of water. It is free refills. Music that's pure relief - rhyme and rhythm, beat and leap, restoration. The reminder of a kind of solidarity - kinship despite difference - or of other artists' dexterity - an admiration for everything you can't do, but others can. Moving backwards but making progress; this isn't my song but I'll borrow it. [buy]

by Mitz
(photo source)

t-shirt - "Faceless" [Bandcamp]

I went to this restaurant in Chinatown, here in Montreal. It's a busy place specializes in noodle soup. They have too many seats for tiny space which people have to walk like Michael Jackson dancing on stage smoothly sideways across the restaurant.

I waited and a table of 4 are leaving. At that moment, I was wondering what is going to happen since there was a young guy before me alone, myself and a party of two behind me and an older guy and another guy.

The waiter said I can sit there and share the table with strangers which I had no problem.

In order of the line up, it would be first guy, myself and a couple but a couple didnt follow us. They didnt want to share the table with me and the first guy. No problem at all. Maybe they are on the first Tinder date. Understandable.

So other two guys took the couple's spot. Now we filled our table of four.

Young University age guy, Myself(35 years who enjoys soft serve ice cream), older guy who could be a dad for any of us at the table, another guy, maybe could be late 30's or early 40's.

The thing about this restaurant is that its so small! It's like Micro House trend featured on Apartment Therapy and the table itself seemed really small.

Funny thing is that we ordered same dish Medium beef noodle soup spicey. I was the second one so I felt insecure that I copied the first guy's order but when the rest of us ordered the same, we had this, "yep, we, asians know what this restaurant about" look in our eyes.

Dishes came in 3 minutes later or length of average youtube fail cook show videos. amazing.

well, in Asia, we slurp noodles. But here in North America, it is considered rude or something dumb.

But four of us, as a family, Dad and three siblings of total strangers who we haven't talked to each other yet. We just slurped so hard. Well, not hard but just to enjoy like it is.

Sing like no one is listening, Dance like no one is watching, Slurp noodles like no one is giving a fuck.

yum yum yummmmm! hmmm hmmm hmmmm! But we are eating noodles 10" away from each other. sometimes, elbows hit.

Youngest brother(at this point, in my mind, I was calling him the youngest brother), pulled out his phone, maybe, he felt uncomfortable, or he eats with his phone out all the time. Not sure. Dad glanced but didn't stare. "Kids, these days, can't even enjoy the family dinner without distractions." Maybe he thought.

We kept slurping noodles like there is no tomorrow like Trump would won the election and polar bears died and there was no sequel to BBC Planet Earth 2.

Sometimes, noodle soup fly, my slurping was power 98, speed 99, so I made a little mess and some soup landed close to my younger brother's phone. The rest of us glanced and maybe I saw them smile tiny bit.

I said sorry quietly to my younger bro.

This point, dad finished soup and he was using tooth pick so loud making Darth Vader noise as he cleans his teeth. Older brother finished second and he was already going somewhere. well, he is going to hang out with his cool friends I thought.

I had to leave too so I stood up and I said, "goodbye and nice meeting you" in my mind to my stranger family whom never talked to.

Good luck America today

by Sean

Monomyth - "Falling In Love". Falling in love has never sounded so slippery. The happy jolly-rancher skid of it, the yikes and sloopy whoops! of it. They call it swooning: love like a faint. With guitars painting bright and dripping colours, a chorus like sloshing tides, a singer who's tottering, heart as high in his chest as a fireman on a ladder.

[buy the brand new Happy Pop Family]

by Emma

John K. Samson - "Select All Delete"

How the wind lights through your jacket, how a sliver of afternoon sun can slip into your chest, how screen light sinks inside you, how calm and overcome cut through each other, how a song can be this delicate and still rearrange the contents of your day.

[buy Winter Wheat; be better for it]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Future States - "Apostolic"

Future States - "Sudo Su" [Out Ocotober 28th]

When we go on family trip, my brothers and I bring our GameBoy with us. So we can take turns and play while we are traveling. It was early 90's so obviously, no smart phones. We had to read books and shit, bro!

I was at a party and talking to a friend. Then, a friend of my friend started talking to him whom I was talking to. You know that moment you just stand there politely and wait til the conversation is over. I just stood there for 5 mins. They were still talking about their lives like mortgage etc. That moment, I was bored but didn't want to be rude so I waited. I realized that I can just check my phone but it was in the pocket of my jacket on the couch. I didn't want to walk away and grab the phone nor, interpret their conversation and they probablly will think Im rude so I probablly have to say something like, "oh I'm just going to get a phone and pretend looking at stuff so that I dont look weird just standing there."

That would sound bad.

So I stood there trying to be polite and be a casual listener. I don't even remember the time, we didnt have smartphone for moments like this. In the elevator, or in a doctor's waiting room. What I was doing?

Oh ya, old school trick of reading labels and ingredients of this beer bottle I'm drinking. BORING!

Anyways, back to my original story. I remembered the time we played Dr. Mario on GameBoy.

Like any other siblings, my brothers and I started fighting a lot for who gets to play.

So one day, my mom took our GameBoy away and she started playing Dr. Mario. Of course, she chose the music of CHILL on that game.

She was hooked on it and kept playing and playing and playing.
She got so good that highest speed and highest level was nothing to her. My brothers and I kept cheering for her as she completed level after level. Even my dad was watching her play and proud-"yep, that's my wife such a babe killing all the virus"-look on his face.

My whole family became together.

well, that was the story I wanted to tell. Have a great weekend looking for last minute costumes like me.