Said the Gramophone - image by Ella Plevin
Uno
by Emma

GoldLink - "Meditation"

Smooth as a sweet springtime panic attack, fresh as a first bike ride on old pumped-up tires, free as it feels to pass an open window, be passed in turn by last year's favourite song, half-measures. Slick as a breath in played backwards, dark as a club dark, sound as a house party, sweet as a party you're leaving but not yet, not quite.

[Buy At What Cost]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Sylvain Sylvain - "Cant Forget Tomorrow" [Buy]

Almost ice cream season! my favorite ice cream place in Montreal, Kem Coba is opening soon!(Im not sponsored by them nor by Blue Apron) I just love that place.

Can't wait for summmer!


by Jeff
cover of the (Young) Pioneers's Crimewave EP, release circa 1997 by Vermiform records

(Young) Pioneers - "Great White Hope"
(Young) Pioneers - "Love Song from the International Section"
(Young) Pioneers - "Fuck the Labor Pool"
(Young) Pioneers - "Joy Kills Sorrow"

Three men in hoodies and nylon jackets standing amidst a pile of construction waste in front of a dilapidated house, looking utterly serious. This photo, on the cover of the (Young) Pioneers's Crimewave ten inch, was like a compass for me when I was eighteen. This was the life for me - standing in a semi-desolate urban waste space, surrounded by decaying brick buildings. Why??

It might have something to do with buying that record after seeing the Marxist rockabilly DIY punk band play at a hardcore fest in a VFW hall on the outskirts of Detroit near the end of the twentieth century. On stage they wore matching red button-up shirts and black jeans and performed in front of four flags that they'd hung on the wall. What were those flags? I don't know - likely they belonged to collapsed people's republics. As every other band at the fest was veering towards some shade of emo, the (Young) Pioneers, featuring half the final line-up of Born Against, were headed straight in the opposite direction. They were drawing from the Minutemen playbook and rockabilly and the ghosts of Appalachian country music but filtered through the distortion and grit of their hardcore lineage.

Their lyrics offer up a whole world in miniature, where scarce employment and bad choices lead to narrow possibilities. Their songs map a geography of freeways, prison cells, blood banks, empty buildings, and the oppressive tools of capital, the labour pool, the employer's blacklist. But there are glimpses of life behind the Marxist front. Broken relationships are dissected, dead dogs memorialized, letters are written to loved ones.

As re-issue fever reaches the late 1990s some label could do a lot worse than releasing the eighty-plus songs records by the (Young) Pioneers in a box set, complete with a 20,000 word essay re-evaluating the band and the times they were part of, but it's unlikely it will happen. This was a band that proudly never fit. They were a band out of time - die-hard socialists in Bill Clinton's post-history America, singing spiky short songs about class and brushes with the law when anthems about feelings with massively earnest rock leads were the order of the day. But their songs still sound as alive as they did at the beginning of the Internet, a band that knew they were swimming against the tide of history at every turn, but gave it their all.

by Sean
Ka's eyes


Jon McKiel - "Turf War". A sickly daymare of a song, a vampire asking favours or a band on the road, desperate for kindness, lost at an existential halfway-house. Are there any scarier words than, "I guess we're crashing here tonight?" Are their creepier syllables than "ha-ha-ha-ha-ha"? "Turf War"'s guitar part is not nauseating; its bass part is not nauseating; its drums are not nauseating. And yet, in sum, they nauseate. The whole is sicklier than the sum of its parts. They're a yellow sky and green clouds, blue gasoline; and you hope it all presages rainstorm, thunderclap, a cleaning of the house. You hope this. But perhaps it will not bet. Perhaps you are caught in a whirlpool, a vortex, with companions that cannot show their face in the mirror. [buy]

Napster Vertigo - "Tragic Future Film Star". This song is also nauseating. But only mildly so. It is like a belly-ache on an otherwise perfect day. You had a rad brunch, you went for a bike ride, you saw the girl you're in love with. So what if there was something wrong with the eggs benny? So what if your stomach's slowly swirling. Your head already feels like aurora borealis, shapes passing through; and there are some drugs around; and she's a willowy beauty. Sometimes falling in love is like getting stoned and lying on your bed and listening to an old movie soundtrack. You need to get your turntable tuned. You need to replace the cartridge. You need to throw up. A little. Watching the spiral of the record's rotation, the swirly "Ka eyes" of the woman on the couch opposite. Each of you is staring at the rug. Each of you is silver on the screen. Eventually the question will be: is there an emergency exit? [with Basia Bulat on backing vocals / bandcamp]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Sneaks - "Look Like That" [Buy]

I went to this place that sells marbles/granite, ceramic/natural stones for kitchens bathrooms etc that used in fancy hotels and restaurants where people have great table manners and fart quietly.

I needed to do some research for products I'm making for my day job.

I quite felt out of place like I was a chimpanzee in the time of monkey or Scarlett Johanson in Ghost in the Shell movie lol! whitewashing lol! gahhhhh.

So I went there in my Subaru 98 legacy with 2 big holes on the driver side doors that look like meteors hit my car. Front window shied has a crack running from side to side(I had to google "does window shatter on me while I hit speed bump with cracked window shield?" apparently, its OK as long as it doesn't bother your view.)

I parked in the parking lot far away from the store and I sat in the car, thinking about my "back story" of that I am young hip professional just bought a house and renovating. I made sure I looked like that, clean street wear which never touched the streets, nice sneakers with soles still intact, cleaned my clothes with rollers and got rid of my white cat hairs.

I sat in my car, getting hyped and getting into my character.

I thought about details like I have successful travel YouTube channel and +100k instagram followers but let the customer service imagine.

anyways, I thought that if I walk in confidence and dressed nice in fancy place like that I get better customer service.

Perhaps, I was right. I successfully made them think I somehow own a house. It wasn't the best service so maybe, they thought I have 20K followers instead of +100K as I aimed for.

As I was driving away, I looked at the store and I could see one of the clerk looking me and my Subaru 98. I saw his look in his eyes which is same look that Trump supporters have nowadays. "I-was-conned" look.

I drove away as fast as I could.

by Jeff

a cat warming it's paws under a space heater

Sacred Paws - "Empty Body" [buy]
Sacred Paws - "Strike a Match" [buy]

Full of twisty highlife guitars, dancey tom-heavy drums, and occasional horns, the new Sacred Paws LP was a complete surprise to me. They're not from nowhere, of course. Rachel Aggs played guitar in the riotous razor-sharp London trios Trash Kit and Shopping, and drummer Eilidh Rodgers is ex of Glasgow's Golden Grrrls. But this record, full of interwoven vocal melodies, feels entirely fresh, like a gust of warm wind announcing the end of winter. The lyrics to the jumpy "Empty Body" describe the precarity of youth, knee deep in side-hustles and pining for a more humane way of life. Beefed up with bass, hand-claps, and horns "Strike a Match" is pure celebration. A tangle of lyrics and rhythms shot through with a pop sensibility, it sounds like Turn-era The Ex meets Bow Wow Wow.

(photo by Spike)

by Emma

Carla Sagan - "Permanent"

Wet nose of the world's nicest dog in your lap, tilting kitchen strung with christmas lights, distant drift of all your friends laughing together from three or four flights up. Walk home alone, a little freer. Sleep with this song under your pillow and you will dream in the light key of a blank cassette tape, wake up smelling like fresh rain on pavement, spend the next day carving your initials into everything you see.

[buy S.L.E. split tape / thanks Sacha]