Said the Gramophone - image by Daria Tessler
by Mitz
(photo source-myself)

Faith Healer - "Again" [Buy]
Th' Faith Healers - "Not a god" [Buy]

I was talking to a friend and we started talking about music we listen to recently. She said, "i've been listening to Faith Healer." I immediately thought she was talking about the early 90's band from UK, Th' Faith Healers. So I was like, "oh ya! good band! I like their gnarly guitar tones!" We just kept talking about how great they are but I eventually found out, there is a new band from Edmonton, Alberta, Faith Healer and she found out there was a band from UK, Th' Faith Healers.

Similar thing happen all the time. I mistook that my friends were talking about someone named, Mike for another Mike. I can get into details but I just ate a big bag of chips and really big chocolate bar and my stomach and hurts really bad so I don't think I can write anymore tonight. My apologies. Anyways, I love these two bands. They are my stomach healer.

by Jeff

Joseph Severn - Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound

Jawbreaker - "Boxcar"
Jawbreaker - "Ashtray Monument"

Twenty years on, Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is a permanent feature of my psychic landscape. After not listening to it for a while, I recently found myself singing along to every word at full volume, and I'm only sort of ashamed to say that tears were streaming down my face as I did the dishes.

Twenty years is a long time to have a relationship with a record. It creates this weird double-vision between sixteen- and thirty-six-year-old me, where the adult yet again realizes that he still believes in everything he did then. Anarchy and poetry and punk rock forever, okay?

Jawbreaker were a great band. Their sound owed just as much to post-Revolution Summer harDCore as it did to East Bay pop-punk. But for me, it's their lyrics, written by singer Blake Schwarzenbach that have made this record endure.

Schwarzenbach brought a sharp literary sensibility to punk rock. These songs are full of word-play and wit and a huge dose of the desolate romance that was a big part of punk's appeal for certain dorks. He makes bold statements and then emphasizes them with precise images. In the break-up song "Ashtray Monument," his self-pitying declaration "No one ever said that this life was easy, / But did that no one ever live a life this hard?" is accompanied by images of disarray, a "Bottle on the night stand" and "bills . . . scattered in the yard."

"Boxcar" begins with the schoolyard taunt "You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone," followed by the singer's hilarious reply, "Save your breath I never was one / You don't know what I'm all about, / Like killing cops and reading Kerouac." These specific references give a boilerplate punk song topic (i.e. fuck the scene) a real fizz.

The brilliance of 24 Hour, though, is how light and dark are mixed through every song. The two sunniest-sounding jams, "Boxcar" -- one of the catchiest pop songs to ever come out of the underground -- and "Indictment" are both bitter laments. Similarly, the bouncy "Do You Still Hate Me?" makes light of a relationship that is hanging by a thread. On the flip side, the most menacing and heaviest song on the album, "West Bay Invitational," is about the joyous occasion of having a party and then making out with a crush.

After Jawbreaker broke up, Blake Schwarzenbach went to grad school to study the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. He even briefly played in a Brooklyn punk band called Thorns of Life, whose name was a reference to Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind." It makes total sense; Shelley's wind-blown lines have a melancholic hyperactivity similar to Jawbreaker songs. He writes radical political poems, disses the older generation (Wordsworth was a total sell out), and freaks out about seeing the Swiss Alps like a zinester writing about the first time they saw the sunrise from a freight train.

Like 24 Hour, "Ode to the West Wind" plays with light and dark, contrasting the freedom of the wind with the drudge of everyday life, while evincing a rugged hope that shines through the bleakness. After bitterly wailing that he will never be as free or as wild as the wind and decrying the onset of sweater weather, Shelley ends it by proclaiming "O Wind, / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" This might sound cheesy three hundred years later, as perhaps some Jawbreaker lyrics might to some listeners after two decades, but fuck it, it's true.


(Joseph Severn - Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound)

by Sean

A.G. Cook & Life Sim - "BIG BRATT". This song is like a procession of silvery show-offs - a parade of a fashion-show or maybe a V of birds 'cross the sky. But it's also a boast, a string of boasts, a string of boasts made into a patient, silvery procession. A.G. Cook and Life Sim smooth out Mz Bratt's braggery, even the pop of her gunshots. They make her swaggers feel like shiny ornaments, baubles, things you could possess or hurl across the sky. They disempower her in a way, de-fang her. Turn all this intensity into a pretty, synthy shuffle. And yet there's something mesmerizing in this inversion. There's something fascinating in it. If this is a procession of show-offs, of birds, then these birds are razor-beaked and dazzling. Tamed, not docile.

[from the bonkers, wonderful Xtreme Mixology mix]

by Emma

Unrest - "Suki"
Unrest - "I Do Believe You Are Blushing"
Unrest - "Imperial"

I had not thought about this album in a while, but I tripped over a reissue in the record store earlier this week and have spent the past few days feeling glad for my good luck. All other functions aside, the first three tracks on Unrest's "Imperial F.f.r.r." give you, if you need one, a lovely metric by which to measure and cut your fall feelings. If "Suki" is the highest you can get and "Imperial" the ringing quiet lowest, "I Do Believe You Are Blushing" traces out the sweet spot, perfect median. This fall I want to be like this song sounds: in love but more alive for it instead of dying, and holding the line of one good thought as steady as I can. Strong but still swooning, all steady crush and float and stutter in my old coat.


by Mitz
(photo source)

Dura - "Cochineale"

[Out on October 13th. Pre-Order]

So there is water on Mars apparently, and there was Super Moon Eclipse a couple of days ago. I saw a little bit but i mostly was looking at all the people staring at sky pointing on the street like a sci-fi movie. It was little bit surreal. i also saw a guy riding unicycle carrying some groceries a couple of weeks ago. It was also surreal. But it's Montreal.

I wonder in my life time if I will get to meet Aliens. What would I say? Will we be able to communicate? Will they look like us? Will they look like in the movies? Will they look like clones of each other? I don't want to offend them by mistaking one of them for another like mild racism. I hope it is somewhat easy to see into their eyes. I dont want them to look like monsters with saliva and body fluids dripping from their body. If they looked like that I would never invite them to my dinner parties. What a mess. Will they be so smart that we can't even carry on conversations? What about small talk? If I say something like, "What do you think about the movie, Independence Day?" Is that the same as someone asking me if I like Jackie Chan? I really hope they don't come to earth to kill us all. Hope they are just doing research. I don't mind if they put implants on me, like GPS or something as long as they pay me. I really hope they don't tell me "it's great exposure " or "you can intern with us for free, it's great experience." Maybe they will want to settle on earth. Some of them might join Tinder and get laid, get hurt, get married, get wasted. Maybe earth will become a hot destination for spring break for aliens.

I really hope we find out.

Pciture of a pixie-ish young troubadour from the cover of her first EP

Mary Lou Lord - "His Indie World"

My worst boyfriend ever had the best music collection of anyone I ever dated. It was the silver lining of his otherwise miserable cloud. Fortunately, the relationship was short-lived, but the music endured. Mary Lou Lord's self titled 1995 EP on Kill Rock Stars was one of the CDs I stole from him when I finally fled our overheated one room apartment and skipped town. Fittingly, it is a short, melancholy album full of songs about love gone wrong and life not meeting up with one's expectations. It does not need to be any longer than eight songs because those eight songs are perfect.

If anyone ever wants to know what it is like to be a heart broken indie folk singer in the mid nineties, let this collection serve as their textbook. Listening again this week, I was hard pressed to pick one track over another and amazed by how well the material holds up. In the end I have to choose "His Indie World" over all others. It is a funny, smirky, masterfully written time capsule of nineties era indie rock name dropping, that barely conceals the heartfelt sentiment underneath. It's nearly impossible to find this EP anymore, which makes me even happier about my 1998 thievery. Sometimes doing the wrong thing is the right thing.


by Sean

CHVRCHES - "Empty Threat".

CHVRCHES' songs like long columns of jewels, staggered gems, dotted lines on a night-black road, gleaming headlights on invisible hills, cats' eyes, cats'-eyes, one harvest moon and another harvest moon and did you know eclipses occur in sequence, regular sequence, once every xx months. These songs like long columns of jewels, staggered gems. Sometimes life is happening at regular speed and then at other times it seems faster, accelerated; and after a few hours or days you realize it has not accelerated, it has always been like this, that it has not got any faster but just become syncopated, re-rhythmed, subdivided by a new hope, a new feeling, new lights in your mind's sky. Subdivide a song and it becomes two songs; or it remains a single song ghosted on itself, a mirror.


(Björk photo source since forgotten)