Edmund was tired. 2% battery life and last night's clothes. Blood thick with sugar like raspberry jam. How meaningless a poker win seemed in the face of this grey morning. The morning seemed to have nothing to offer, it seemed to just stand there, stoic, ignoring him. The last year of his life could be titled I Wasn't Dressed For This. His winnings bought a breakfast sandwich and it seemed a cosmic injustice that terrible food tasted good. Edmund wondered where the line was between "knowing you're dying" and knowing you're dying. If you could feel it, with your hands.
Wild Beasts - "A Simple Beautiful Truth". The mathematician who saw sums as colours, numbers as different states of matter. An equation that is a skating rink, a proof that is a wood. In life, all day, the intersections can be translated into math. Every go and deceleration, every cause and effect, all are quantifiable; and every quantifiable figure becomes a metaphor for another thing. The mathematician glimpsed arcs of rainbow, crests of leaps, firing neural wants, and he imagined their arithmetic. He imagined their arithmetic and in turn this arithmetic became stained glass, golden lakes, trembling aspen trees. Everything reflects. [buy]
(photo by casey dienel)
Angel Olsen - "Forgiven/Forgotten"
This song will play on the day I am let out of jail. It will be cold and clear, and cars won't look like God's moving turds, and food will have a taste. Everything will look bright because getting out of jail is really just being given back your senses. And that will be the same day my phone grows legs and walks away.
The immaculate Angel Olsen is back with Burn Your Fire For No Witness and it starts with rockers and it ends with softies, both of which I'm getting fully into. It's about loss in a sense that I feel especially today. Like knowing you can't ever, like someone asking you to please let me go.
[image from consumeconsume]
Doppelbanger - "In Love". Storytellers, lovers and madmen all assign meaning to meaningless events. The sight of a wedge of swans, the count of petals on a daisy, the apparent ubiquity of a certain word or number. Sometimes you are ascribing thoughts to a pet, or sorting through a bowl of Skittles, or interpreting a text-message, and the line between reason and insanity feels very thin indeed. Do these things with flush cheeks, or under a ticking clock, and the distinction becomes even less clear. Doppelbanger's "In Love" has all the dart and sag of tired, loony love. Bratty and doomed, hysterical and moping, a skipping record of meaning-making, meaning-losing;, shuffling cards that fly fumbling from your fingers. [bandcamp]
11:47 AM on Feb 27, 2014
The Betsy Rosses - "Dreams". A melting candle of song, wet wax on an icy driveway, or maybe a hot driveway, either New Mexico or the arctic tundra; last night's dreams caught under a steamroller, caught on a turntable platter, shedding tiny filings, throwing sparks, giving off a smell, a floral smell, slightly vegetal; and in the noony present, where we wait for love or phonecalls, with disguised impatience, we are not often brave enough to sing; not with honest voices, flat and raspy; because bravery is rare, much rarer than sleep. [bandcamp]
11:12 AM on Feb 24, 2014
Beck - "Ramshackle"
Sep 1 Barry Weiss from Storage Wars tells me about the time he refused to suck Jack Nicholson's dick. Sep 5 Moving apartments in the rain. It was my first time seeing the place and I was moving in with my cousin. We were choosing rooms and she chose the nicer of the two, and I was dismayed. But then more searching revealed a third room, much more amazing than either of the other two, wrapped in windows with a view of mountains and a city, all still somehow in Toronto. I said I wanted this room and she came running, obviously not having noticed it either, and claimed that, no, she wanted it. I started to think about how much we were paying. I asked her about rent, and she seemed panic stricken, she wanted this room. As I was waiting for her to respond, I woke up. Sep 31 I lost my shoes Oct 31 These elements somehow related: a political candidate, a baby's head, and a restaurant that was allowing improv practice in the back, but sold undercooked chicken in the front. Nov 13 At an after party for a well-executed but over-complicated alien abduction prank, Frank Black is singing with a band called the Fuck Yeahs (did I create them?). Nov 27 Filming a commercial with friend Paul Johnston, where he was my son and I was (weirdly inappropriate) a Tony Soprano-type. Paul entered a family restaurant and said "You." And I replied, with the wrong intonation, "What's WITH the insecurity and you?" [sic] And that's the take they used. Nov 28 Ken Finkelman is my father. He has a really nice BMW that uses a complex computer so he always needs a boost to get it started. Dec 3 My friend Brent had made me an afro hat which was fitted foam that sat snugly on my head and covered one eye. It was a blond afro, and people didn't really know what to say about it. Dec 6 My brother-in-law, emaciated, and joke-real strangling me in the kitchen. Dec 9 At Y's wedding. I was moping at the party wondering why I had come, when I met a young man and woman who were also only distantly connected to this affair. They were inseparable, but took a shine to me, and the young woman told me of her life up to this point, and she told it in a song:
I was born in the south of the state,
Where I found out a day too late
That my parents didn't want me
They considered me a mistake
We all slept in tents and trailers and the next morning in the light of dawn, people were walking around wiping condensation off of windows with their sleeves. Dec 11 On a stressful Megabus lunch break. Dec 18 Stanley Kubrick directing Mad About You. Dec 20 Was hanging around with a friend from junior high and a facebook friend and we were using an industrial steamer. And we could fly. Dec 27 A close friend gets a case of sudden-onset cerebral palsy. "Smoking, nonchalance, and pop retardation" were cited as causes.
Beck has made a new album and I don't love it yet. I may later, but until then, I'm still over here in Odelay, lit with christmas lights and clad in plaid.
Hoquiam - "Neck Bones". Folk-music splintered with an axe, splintered into pieces. Borrow them to produce a hip-hop song or to build a fence. Borrow them to stutter sincerely, to shoot down a bird. Remember: sometimes a day is just 24 hard strums, and a minute is just 60 hard syllables, and a clock is a spinning record, electricity jolting out from its tower. [buy]
Destroyer - "Son of Earth". A couple of weeks ago, in Montreal, Destroyer's Dan Bejar played the sincerest show I have ever seen him play. He was in a room with several friends, and it was just him and an acoustic guitar, and all his coy hexes felt tender. "Son of Earth" is a little song, it's short, it's not that long. It is a love note, of a kind, from a man who writes in invisible ink. I wonder if an arrow ever falls in love with its arrowhead. [buy]
I have another set of video/song reviews on Beatclash this week, featuring Nicki Minaj, Freelove Fenner, White Hinterland, Mas Ysa and several more.
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
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said the gramophone
launched in march 2003, and added songs in november of that year. it was one of the world's very first mp3blogs.
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"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
lives in Montreal. His debut novel, Us Conductors
, will be published in spring 2014. His work also occasionally appears at McSweeney's
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is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Email him here
lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star
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