Said the Gramophone - image by Keith Shore
by Emma

Sheer Mag - "What You Want"

Q: Is this my new favourite song?

A: It is certainly the one that makes me feel most ready to make out with someone or to knee someone else in the chest, and then maybe go out dancing. If you took an x-ray of me listening to this song, you'd see spring coming up and through every single part of my body, its lush spreading across my whole nervous system, spring and summer and that guitar that sounds like a handful of sparklers being thrown into four lanes of traffic. This song sounds like it feels to wear your jean jacket and tough-guy sunglasses for the first time since the endless drag of winter; it sounds like you felt the first time some beautiful party genius taught you to call it a JJ instead of a jean jacket, to say "blaze a jang" instead of "smoke a joint." It sounds like my heart sounded the first time I ever played a plugged-in electric guitar, which was my boyfriend's and looked like this. This song tastes like a keyhole in the side of a tallcan; it feels like your best friend biting the grass stains off your knees. This song means business but it wants to fuck around a little, this song knows you'd get on your bike to just follow it anywhere, and it's cool with that. It's cool.

[buy buy buy 7" / thanks Alex]

by Sean
Clinton and Bush


Tom Rosenthal - "Don't You Know How Busy and Important I Am". Rosenthal writes a song for all those dumb bozos with "important" jobs, lacing his monologue with irony. "Don't you know how busy and important I am? / I've got soooooo much to do." He's too busy to know, too busy to see his son, to finish this song. But what Rosenthal gets most right is the song's jaunty pace. Jaunty is what capitalism pretends to be. Capitalism would have us think that its system is light and upbeat, full of forward momentum; that it will progress and progress, easy and trotting, with a grin on its face. Let's all jauntily repress ourselves, for the sake of an inflated mortgage. Let's smile as we're clobbered, dreaming of upward mobility. Let's drown out the gasps and shouts, the suffering shrieks, with a jaunty piano and oh god yet more cowbell. [buy / thanks jez!]

by Mitz


The Cleaners from Venus - "A Mercury Girl" [buy]

The Go-Betweens - "Cattle & Cane" [buy] -Sorry there is no reissue for this one. I only found original lps here. But CD and songs are available on usual place like itunes and amazon. *As it's pointed out, there is a box set reissued last year featuring this song but it's sold out...here

At the tender age of 18, Rob was a kind-of-popular guy at the high school in his small home town. He became kind of popular by hanging out with real popular guys, he was careful to fit and therefore got a truck that was really high off the ground. It was so high he could even look down on Manute Bol (7'7" former NBA player). Even though his girlfriend was only in Grade 8, she was as tall as Muggsy Bogues (5'3" also former NBA player). He got big sub in his truck. In his high school, how much bass your stereo could produce correlated exactly to how cool that person was. It was so bass-y that his 14 year old girlfriend threw up on the way home from a bush party. He was a hardworking man to fit in. He worked out and lifted weights in his basement. His older brother, Bob, had a Bowflex and other stuff which he only used for 2 days before he moved away to go to college. Whenever he could Rob lifted weights. By grade 12 he was "hot" according to Grade 8 girls.

His high school semi-popular semi-charmed life soon ended. He graduated high school. By the end of summer, his friends had moved to nearby city (3hrs away). Most of his friends didn't really tell Rob about what they were doing in the city. In fact, his "friends" were not returning calls or texts and at this point, he realized his semi-popular, semi-charmed life was all an illusion. His third eye, used to read people, was blind to his "friends" secretly making fun of him. He was third eye blind. But Rob followed them like he always did in high school. After he said a teary goodbye to his girlfriend who baked him cookies shaped like whales but ended up looking like penises that tasted like pure sugar, he drove to the big city. The trip cost him $58 (gas $40, chocolate milke $3, A&W big papa burger combo $9 and beef jerkey $6). In the parking lot of A&W some girls smiled at him. He smiled back trying to hide his shyness and insecurity, he didnt know his smile looked like Jim Carrey in the movie 'The Cable Guy' to them. After the long ride to the city he realized one of the reasons the girls were laughing was because his zipper was down the whole time. Rob was now in the city stuck in a traffic jam. He sighed quietly and then...to be continued...you won't believe what he does next in the city and that will probablly restore your faith in humanity...ok Im very jet-lagged....good night.

(photo source)

by Jeff
Describe the image


The Gories - "Can't Catch Up With You" [buy]

A guitar plays a simple lick and then another kicks in playing the same, then the drums start beating along behind them. It's the sound of a young gang on the move together through town on a hot day. The search begins: "I went down to get you out of jail / but you were already out on bail." The singer checks out the old haunts, the burger place, the quarry pit, the liquor store, up and down. When the frustration becomes unbearable the guitar solo kicks in.

"Can't Catch up With You" is a simple song, but it's burned into my mind. I don't make lists of favourites, but this song has to be among those I've listened to the most over the years. The mystery pulls me along every time. Where is the object of the singer's affections, anyway? The guy at the liquor said that she bought some wine, the kids at the burger stand thought she had gone swimming. No matter where the singer goes, she's out of reach, and by the end of the song it seems like she might be gone for good and no amount of guitar soloing will bring her back. But it's not a sad song, it bops along full of young feelings, wired up, on the move, searching, on edge. This song contains a whole bildungsroman in two minutes and change.

This song perfectly captures the wandering I did as a young person. Never aimless, there was always some vague destination or objective. It was rarely as desperate a search, mostly it was just hanging out, killing time, drifting. Before cell phones we'd all just wander around running into each other on street corners or stopping by friends' houses unannounced, getting tangled up in whatever they were doing. I hear that open time, those drifts, in this song, and it's a perfect crystallization of those wandering-around times in my life. I love this song more every time I hear it.

(image: The Removal by L. S. Lowry)

by Sean

architecture


Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart - "2amoutu I7tirakan". This music so full of movement: down, or up, or forward; or moving but staying in place, atop an advancing floor. Perhaps I will imagine it as a rearing skyscraper, a tower that rises up from breakwater, past sand into air, widening and narrowing, windows and balconies, razorwired parapets, an ascendant empire forever. Or else as a person falling - plunging down through black air, ever and ever, doomed or flying. No no: a machine, an engine, running on water. A heart pumping with fuel. A crane pushing its frame through clouds. A synthesizer's blinking light, on and on, as the earth spins on axis. Together, Montreal's Suuns and Montreal's Jerusalem In My Heart have conspired to describe a kind of motion, like a physicist and his formula. Kinetics rendered in gleaming groove, repeated beat. Perhaps it is not the sound of movement but a sound for movement, the soundtrack for whatever your body is about to do. [buy]

(image source)

by Emma

Waxahatchee - "Breathless"

My favourite way for a song to be, in this world, is in disguise. There are different levels. You've got your sad songs dressed as happy ones - we'll get to these another day but you know what I mean, the ones that take wallow and boredom and lonely and roll them in sequins, wrap them in a chorus you can't shake. Songs like this can be funny (and sometimes Too Cute), but if done right they serve a sneaky purpose; they're a way for you to carry your bad feelings around right out in the open, without anyone else looking twice. In the grocery store, on the radio, in your head, you hear your heartbreak set all catchy and it's a secret signal, small thrill. You can't always defeat the thing in which you're mired, but you can make it sing for you.

But there's a second kind too, more subtle. "Breathless" starts off like a love song - broad strokes, ringing organ, You look at me like I'm a rose, those guitars singing past like other headlights on a night drive - and if you let the thing's sound carry you alone, you might not even notice what's actually going on. You take what you want, you call me back. I'm not trying to be yours. It's not love Katie Crutchfield's singing about - or at least not exactly, anymore. It's a hymn for something done but maybe not quite finished; the sound of finding yourself back somewhere, with someone, and knowing it's been over. Already somewhere else, but still, you're here. Her voice and the organ's steady line all rising to meet each other and never quite touching, a perfect machine made of near misses. You see me how I wish I was - but I'm not trying to be seen. It looks like a love song but it shivers when you touch it, bends more like a certain type of long silence: bare feet on cold kitchen tile, long empty light in the afternoon. The walk home by yourself. The balance shifting back.

[buy Ivy Tripp]

by Mitz

Chevalier Avant Garde - "Nowhere" [buy]

Recently I tried to log into my eBay account which I had abandoned for about 6 years. A lot of things happen in 6 years. Winter and Summer Olympics, World Cups. Two girls one cup. An indie singer-songwriter becomes mature and turns into an adult contemporary singer songwriter. Around six years ago, I had a fire in my kitchen from cooking tempura at 3 in the morning after coming home from a party and forgetting about it, which I note in my mind as the 'Godspeed You Black Tempura'-incident (please do not try this at your home). Around the same time, I started my own business, in which I call myself CEO even though I'm the only employee to make myself feel better. There are more things like getting 2 parking tickets in one day.

Anyway, the point is that I couldn't figure out the password and didn't even remember the username or email I used. It felt like a deleted scene I made up from the movie, Memento, where he farts and asks the guy beside him, "Did you just fart?" It was annoying, like a breakdancer on a busy, narrow street, spinning on his head like a Vertical Horizon album cover. But in the big scheme of things I guess it's not that big of a deal, I forget passwords all the time. It is nothing compared to a vegetarian in Medieval times or 2 parking tickets in one day.

Then, I realized I should check how much $$$ I have in my bank account before I spend it.
"What is the cutest thing?" is the question asked as my online banking security question and the answer is the name of my cat who passed away this January. It is just a security question, but it brings up so many beautiful memories with my cat. One time, I went to a party at a friend's house and saw some cute kittens. When I got home, I had to tell my cat. "I just talked to them. That's all! Nothing happened! I swear!" At this point, I didn't care how much money I had, or that I couldn't log in to make a bid on ebay. That memory was priceless.

(photo source)