Said the Gramophone - image by Daria Tessler
by Sean
Potato queen

Nicholas Krgovich - "Baby Blue Tutu". Dancing round the rim of a champagne flute. The air's filled with the finest mist of carbonation - a sparkling on cheeks and lips, the backs of hands. You hold each other and dance, in slow spins, while the party is carried from one end of the room to the other, on a tray. [buy / bandcamp]

(photo source)

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 Sean


Jones - "You". There is a mechanic's garage on the corner. Where your little street meets the green, low-boughed boulevard, there is a small garage which always seems closed. Closed but not derelict: it is well maintained; clean windows, swept stoop. The front is shiny and blue. There is a sign in white and cherry. Nobody ever seems to be coming or going but the tree overhead always seems to be in bloom. The garage contains things: gleaming engines, good machines. You drive past sometimes and you think perhaps you can see someone inside, on the other side of the panelled door - someone experienced, hard-working, honest. Someone wiping tarry hands on a rag. At night you dream of the day that your own car breaks down; a May morning, a July afternoon, your transmission begins to sputter and you wheel the car right to the front of the little garage. In the dream there is a bell. You ring it. You wait. Gulls are painting circles overhead and as you slumber you imagine the sound of a clasp unclasping, a perfect whirr, then the door that begins to open. The giant garage door, clean as a lake, lifting now before you to reveal a perfect, crowded room.


by Sean

Nancy Pants - "Happy". Garbage dancer: foil, cereal box, yes ok some Christmas garlands. Sewer somersault, basement splits. Pogo and worm. Found some records in a milk-crate, "Louie Louie" and "Black Hole Sun", remember to wear gloves. Night sky's a black canvas and tossed gravel. Daylight's a flashlight. I traded my dad's Pontiac for a bass guitar. I kissed a girl. I fired an elastic band at the auditor and we'll sparkle til we droop.

[Total Nancy Pants is out now / bandcamp / cassette launch in Montreal tonight]



(photograph from American Cooking: New England, via Bartek)

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.


by Sean
Walking chairs

Mary J Blige - "Whole Damn Year". A year is a year is a year, inarguable. Each of our years is entirely the same - the same 12 months, January to December, 365 or 366 days. The same and also utterly unique: my year was mine, yours was yours. We cannot swap. For better or for worse, time is something held separate and in common.

And sometimes it is for worse. Sometimes we want to take someone's year; borrow it, shoulder it, carry it for a month or two. Sit down. Give me your year. Maybe there are thieves who seek to steal winners' glad 12 months - but me I always want to assuage my friends' bad ones. I want to roll their years up, like old sleeping bags, and bury them in the forest. Somewhere where the leaves will turn and fall; and snow will land, and melt; and where ferns will grow, come spring. Give me your year. Let's gather them all up together, a frail shared fortune.


(photo source)

by Sean

Cocteau Twins - "Lorelei". [buy]

On Monday night my novel Us Conductors won the Giller Prize, Canada's biggest fiction award. I thanked all of you in the speech. I thanked this song in the speech. My life's a rock in a rock tumbler, getting shone. My life's a tetherball, in orbit 'round its post. My life's Elizabeth Fraser's torn and starry voice, all new edge and possibility. I don't know who I am any more, just that for a few moments I'm tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

I love this song and I never understood the words. What is she singing? Does she know what she is singing? Does she know what she is sending out into the world, atop coronated guitars? Or is she just trying to keep up with the pouring, pouring feelings in her heart - like a stick in the riverwater, like a caught kite.

Someone is putting crowns onto the heads of the guitars and Elizabeth Fraser is singing us down the river or up to the podium and and it'll never be yesterday again.

This is my love to all my distant friends (you): here, this is it, for you, here;