Said the Gramophone - image by Matthew Feyld
by Sean

A Tribe Called Quest - "Movin Backwards". I have been feeling like a row of cups, some of them full and some of them not. Spilled one day, filled the next, empty then overflowing. The changes have been too fast, too sudden, to follow. I am an inconsistent row of cups. I am thirsty, I am prosperous, I am doomed, I am safe, I am among friends, I am alone. Just a row of cups. When Tribe's Jarobi and Tip arrive, with Anderson.Paak and Consequence, it is as if they are holding pitchers of water. It is free refills. Music that's pure relief - rhyme and rhythm, beat and leap, restoration. The reminder of a kind of solidarity - kinship despite difference - or of other artists' dexterity - an admiration for everything you can't do, but others can. Moving backwards but making progress; this isn't my song but I'll borrow it. [buy]

by Mitz
(photo source)

t-shirt - "Faceless" [Bandcamp]

I went to this restaurant in Chinatown, here in Montreal. It's a busy place specializes in noodle soup. They have too many seats for tiny space which people have to walk like Michael Jackson dancing on stage smoothly sideways across the restaurant.

I waited and a table of 4 are leaving. At that moment, I was wondering what is going to happen since there was a young guy before me alone, myself and a party of two behind me and an older guy and another guy.

The waiter said I can sit there and share the table with strangers which I had no problem.

In order of the line up, it would be first guy, myself and a couple but a couple didnt follow us. They didnt want to share the table with me and the first guy. No problem at all. Maybe they are on the first Tinder date. Understandable.

So other two guys took the couple's spot. Now we filled our table of four.

Young University age guy, Myself(35 years who enjoys soft serve ice cream), older guy who could be a dad for any of us at the table, another guy, maybe could be late 30's or early 40's.

The thing about this restaurant is that its so small! It's like Micro House trend featured on Apartment Therapy and the table itself seemed really small.

Funny thing is that we ordered same dish Medium beef noodle soup spicey. I was the second one so I felt insecure that I copied the first guy's order but when the rest of us ordered the same, we had this, "yep, we, asians know what this restaurant about" look in our eyes.

Dishes came in 3 minutes later or length of average youtube fail cook show videos. amazing.

well, in Asia, we slurp noodles. But here in North America, it is considered rude or something dumb.

But four of us, as a family, Dad and three siblings of total strangers who we haven't talked to each other yet. We just slurped so hard. Well, not hard but just to enjoy like it is.

Sing like no one is listening, Dance like no one is watching, Slurp noodles like no one is giving a fuck.

yum yum yummmmm! hmmm hmmm hmmmm! But we are eating noodles 10" away from each other. sometimes, elbows hit.

Youngest brother(at this point, in my mind, I was calling him the youngest brother), pulled out his phone, maybe, he felt uncomfortable, or he eats with his phone out all the time. Not sure. Dad glanced but didn't stare. "Kids, these days, can't even enjoy the family dinner without distractions." Maybe he thought.

We kept slurping noodles like there is no tomorrow like Trump would won the election and polar bears died and there was no sequel to BBC Planet Earth 2.

Sometimes, noodle soup fly, my slurping was power 98, speed 99, so I made a little mess and some soup landed close to my younger brother's phone. The rest of us glanced and maybe I saw them smile tiny bit.

I said sorry quietly to my younger bro.

This point, dad finished soup and he was using tooth pick so loud making Darth Vader noise as he cleans his teeth. Older brother finished second and he was already going somewhere. well, he is going to hang out with his cool friends I thought.

I had to leave too so I stood up and I said, "goodbye and nice meeting you" in my mind to my stranger family whom never talked to.

Good luck America today

by Sean

Monomyth - "Falling In Love". Falling in love has never sounded so slippery. The happy jolly-rancher skid of it, the yikes and sloopy whoops! of it. They call it swooning: love like a faint. With guitars painting bright and dripping colours, a chorus like sloshing tides, a singer who's tottering, heart as high in his chest as a fireman on a ladder.

[buy the brand new Happy Pop Family]

by Emma

John K. Samson - "Select All Delete"

How the wind lights through your jacket, how a sliver of afternoon sun can slip into your chest, how screen light sinks inside you, how calm and overcome cut through each other, how a song can be this delicate and still rearrange the contents of your day.

[buy Winter Wheat; be better for it]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Future States - "Apostolic"

Future States - "Sudo Su" [Out Ocotober 28th]

When we go on family trip, my brothers and I bring our GameBoy with us. So we can take turns and play while we are traveling. It was early 90's so obviously, no smart phones. We had to read books and shit, bro!

I was at a party and talking to a friend. Then, a friend of my friend started talking to him whom I was talking to. You know that moment you just stand there politely and wait til the conversation is over. I just stood there for 5 mins. They were still talking about their lives like mortgage etc. That moment, I was bored but didn't want to be rude so I waited. I realized that I can just check my phone but it was in the pocket of my jacket on the couch. I didn't want to walk away and grab the phone nor, interpret their conversation and they probablly will think Im rude so I probablly have to say something like, "oh I'm just going to get a phone and pretend looking at stuff so that I dont look weird just standing there."

That would sound bad.

So I stood there trying to be polite and be a casual listener. I don't even remember the time, we didnt have smartphone for moments like this. In the elevator, or in a doctor's waiting room. What I was doing?

Oh ya, old school trick of reading labels and ingredients of this beer bottle I'm drinking. BORING!

Anyways, back to my original story. I remembered the time we played Dr. Mario on GameBoy.

Like any other siblings, my brothers and I started fighting a lot for who gets to play.

So one day, my mom took our GameBoy away and she started playing Dr. Mario. Of course, she chose the music of CHILL on that game.

She was hooked on it and kept playing and playing and playing.
She got so good that highest speed and highest level was nothing to her. My brothers and I kept cheering for her as she completed level after level. Even my dad was watching her play and proud-"yep, that's my wife such a babe killing all the virus"-look on his face.

My whole family became together.

well, that was the story I wanted to tell. Have a great weekend looking for last minute costumes like me.

by Mitz
(photo source)

James Leonard Hewitson - "The Screen" (soundcloud)

I was walking to my studio yesterday and my phone was dead so I couldn't listen to music.

So I started to sing as I walked. Of course, I made sure like no one is behind me like putting pin number on your credit card at casher.

I started with "All Star" by Smash Mouth and I had no idea about lyrics so I just made it up as Star Wars themed, "Hey now, You are Death Star~" etc. etc.

and then, I started singing, "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum.

I got to the chorus, "Runaway Train never coming back~~~" and I felt someone was behind me and this guy in Atari T-Shirt was smiling, walking behind me.

"I like that song too." He said, so I laughed nervously and I ran away train so hard to my studio. My soul really needed asylum for sure.

The end

by Sean

Cool American - "Tom Courtenay" (Yo La Tengo cover).

Harold spent the first hour thinking about the way it felt as if he had been to this party before. Not literally this party, but parties indistinguishable from this one. There were all the same people and all the same songs. There were the same rooms with the same conversations and the same shades of drinks. Everybody was holding a glass bottle or a plastic cup, except Harold, who keps his hands balled up in his green hooded sweatshirt. He had taken the tea before coming. In his own kitchen, with water from the electric kettle, while his parents slept upstairs. He didn't know why he wasn't buzzed yet but he wasn't worried either. This wasn't the first time. He kept wandering through the people and songs. He started noticing the spaces between the guests, gaps in the air that themselves held a shape, in a way. He started hearing the way different conversations rhymed - the same cadences or even the same sentences, repeated. He started to count the colours he saw, just out of curiosity: black, that's one; grey, two; yellow, three. He made it to fifteen, burgundy, before he ran out of colours. "I've seen all the colours," he said to himself. He realized he had said it out loud. The song changed. The carpet was like a wine-coloured lawn. A man stood with his head in the mirror talking to a girl like two candles. Each doorway was a three-sided rectangle. A four-sided triangle, Harold thought, and he understood that the tea was working. He went outside, where the moon was like a hole punched through a piece of water. There were cicadas singing. There were moths. Harold sat on the cold back step beside a girl who was kissing the boy next to him. He watched divers plunge into the swimming pool, their wings upraised. The water was sapphire blue. She smelled like oranges. He knew it would be autumn soon because the summer was almost over. Harold quietly didn't begin to cry.

[this outstanding cover is from a charity record for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There are also versions of songs by Prince, the Magnetic Fields, Nelly Furtado, and many many more. Gramophone-friend Tyler Bussey's "This Must Be The Place" cover deserves its own accolades. Please buy the comp, fling a donation their way, because this Yo La Tengo cover alone deserves a night's worth of jukebox tokens. / More from Cool American.]


A contest: In early 2014, I won a strange contest. The prize was a dinner with the extraordinary Anil Dash, including travel from Montreal to New York. Two years later, my life has changed a lot. The same eccentric sponsor has now launched a contest where the prize is a mentoring dinner with me. Maybe we can talk about writing, or music, or novels, or trying to be a good person, or making mixtapes. Maybe we can talk about everything you know and I don't. The winner will also receive accommodation and airfare to Montreal from anywhere in the world. Enter here (it's free), please share, and look out for other so-called Sage Suppers, promising meals with interesting people.