Said the Gramophone - image by Kit Malo
by Emma

Nancy Pants - "Kokoro"
Cakes da Killa - "The Sermon"
Jay Arner - "World of Suffering"

Last week, I went to Sackville for Sappyfest, the best music festival in the world. This was my third time attending, but my first without Sean's voice there to guide me. For 7 years, Sean wrote a little newspaper for the festival called the Sappy Times; every year, he attended as many shows as he could, then stayed up 'til sunrise typing out accounts of everything he saw that day, the things he heard and the feelings he felt.

Sappyfest is a pretty magic-feeling festival - it's incredibly tiny, the town is idyllic, and every weekend I've attended the weather has been absurdly summer-sunny, like it's being directed by someone with no sense of subtlety. The town, too, feels almost comically lovely - there's a perfect bar that feels like the best living room you've ever been in, attached to the town bowling alley; there's one cinema filled with dreamy soft light next to a perfect terrible diner; there's a hidden tobacco store where you can buy a 25 cent mug you'll treasure for years or a baseball cap with an incomprehensible logo ("ALLERGY 2000") across the front. And somehow, just like in a normal dream, your friends are there. Not all of them, necessarily, but a lot; old friends, new ones, people you haven't seen in years, people you didn't know were coming. By the end of the weekend, everyone starts to look like someone you might know or have met at some point - people from bands, people from your life, people you stood next to at the house show yesterday - so eventually you just give yourself over to smiling and nodding and waving at everyone you see.

Done right, the whole weekend feels like a dream, and I honestly can't think of a single writer better-suited to transcribing its strange swamp magic than Sean. It's a really specific kind of pleasure (one whose exact analogue I've never felt anywhere else) to wake up every morning, amble into town, and pick up a copy of this secret note that feels as though it belongs to you alone and to every single other person around you all at once. Seeing everyone walk around town with their copies creates a kind of loose, sweet, camaraderie, one that's as diffuse as it is palpable, not just because you know everyone's reading the same thing as you, but because you know everyone's feeling the same thing while they read it. You get to see the things you saw yesterday (plus all the stuff you missed - Sean is somehow everywhere, always) from a new angle. Clear-eyed and dazzled all at once. There's this feeling like yes, everything you felt and heard and did and saw was real, but also yes, you were not wrong to think there was something else to it, something shimmering you could not quite touch or describe but that ran through your experience like a charge. Yes, this is all real, but real isn't all of it.

But Sean has a life, one that's getting bigger in all directions all the time, and so this year's Sappy was my (and many other people's) first without the Times. Though I'd realized in the past how good it felt to have the paper around, I don't think I was quite prepared for how different the whole festival would feel without it. Missing its paper of record, the whole festival felt as though it were missing a crucial thread, a through-line or a third rail. More and less real at the same time.

My favourite shows were almost all in the bowling alley this year: Shotgun Jimmie's heart-swelling one-man party, Un Blonde's sweet, electric calm, Nancy Pants and Julie Doiron making my heart all jangly. Jay Arner turned my sorry hangover into a subtle synth melody and floated it away on the breeze, and Tim from Ought reading his poetry on a sleepy early afternoon in the cinema made me feel young-Montreal-lucky. I liked Nap Eyes like I always like Nap Eyes; I liked Weird Lines and She-Devils and Mauno; I liked a bunch of other bands whose names I forgot to write down because I was too happy listening to their music to hunt around for my phone or my notebook, because in my heart of hearts I am a good listener but a terrible journalist. I only heard most of Cakes da Killa's set from outside the mainstage tent and it still fucking knocked me sideways. I loved Partner's joyful shredding so much I thought I might faint every time they played a solo, and when Josée cried while dedicating a song to a dog she loved I cried too. I loved the perfect puppy I saw in the tank park behind the mainstage; I loved the raspberries Mike and Tree found and picked and shared with everyone; I loved eating fish and chips on the steps of the United Church while staring into the most gorgeous sunset I've seen all summer, hearing strains of Julie Doiron float over to me on the light; I loved driving with Carlo; and I loved missing a few shows to go swim in the ocean.

Sappyfest is magic. Go next year if you can, and even if you've never been before, do yourself a favour and get lost in some of the old Times.

[buy Greville Tapes / Cakes da Killa / Jay Arner]

by Mitz

Margo Guryan - "Don't Go Away"


FYI This is just me whining. Another first world problem.

I'm slowly losing my hair. My friends say I'm paranoid but I can tell. I looked through pictures from last 5 years and definitely, thinner and less volume in my hair. I used to have thick hair like fresh seaweed salad that always sticks on your teeth kinda hair.

Now, I imagine myself in 3 years, looking like a Dr. Phil or I decide to shave it and look like Midnight Oil lead singer or Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, back of my head is really flat. So I might look like a Alien from the movie, "Sign" featuring Mel Gibson(before we found out he is an raging racist.) I always had this anxiety in back of my head.(pun intended)

I did read a lot about getting my hair thicker. and it all came down to healthy life style.

But I wanted to get an ice cream. Soft-serve dipped in chocolate.

When the ice cream clerk is dipping my soft serve into chocolate, I always get nervous that ice cream will fall into the dip and never comes back alive. But I've never seen such thing in my 35 years of eating ice cream. I name this phobia, "dipdropphobia"

At that moment, I realized maybe, my hair is going to be fine or worst, I will have funny looking hair that will make people laugh. It's just hair so be it. I think I'm just paranoid about what would happen. I can always paint my face blue and go as 4th member of Blue Man Group.

anyways, im blah blah blah right now since its hot. gonna go get ice cream and dip in the pool. have great weekend.

by Jeff

postcard punks

Primetime - "Pervert"

The four songs on the new Primetime seven inch are about small moments that feel enormous. There's the pep-talk at the beginning of a new day ("Get a Grip"), an ode to not giving a shit ("Anyway"), the joy of walking through the city in a good mood ("Fallen Out"), and the hilariously libidinous "Pervert," which feels like an answer song to "Orgasm Addict" lost in the mail for forty years.

One part of the initial burst of punk rock was singing about everyday life, adventures close to home. Primetime pick up on this, sending us funny, sassy, and totally nonchalant postcards from the workaday world. And of course the entire post-punk canon is masterfully distilled in these songs, with some British Invasion rock 'n' roll jammed in there too. I could list the bands they might resemble, but that's beside the point. What matters is that these songs, none longer than two-minutes, are gloriously about the here and now. Primetime's fresh dispatches make our days and nights sing new.

[bandcamp / buy the seven inch]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Holy Data - "Bad Future" [New Album will be released soon]

I got a phone call from this number. Local montreal number saying, "I'm calling on behalf of RBC(Royal Bank of Canada)" which is my bank. He kept going on and on and on about "Identity Theft Protection service" they are offering.

I kept getting a phone call from this number before with same thing and I googled the number and people are claiming that is a fraud, trying to get your info and identity, steal your money from your account etc.

I just imagine these bro con artists got together and would be ironic and funny to call people claiming they are offering "identity Theft Protection" and steal money. They planned their script and practice how call operator speaks and trained themselves to be believable as possible. They probably got together and had a team building workshop. "Close you eyes and fall backwards! your co worker will catch you. Do you trust them?" as their $120 per hour team building expert, former failed motivational speaker who now only works for start-up fraud call centre around Eastern Canada.

They probably visited a lot of office space for rent. They picked this office with nice light and exposed brick wall. One of the guy said, "I love the brick wall! We can put industrial piping rustic barn wood shelves!"

They worked probably so hard to get their first success fraud come through. That night, they celebrated at Keg, eating medium rare steaks. They went to pub and things got carried away, some of the con artists hooked up. But the thing is they both are married so they had to pretend that it never happened.

I wonder how many people fall for this scam. These con artists probably work 9-5 sometimes, overtime.

Adam Edwards(one of the con artists) : "I'm sorry, honey. I have to work little bit late."

His wife, Brenda : "Noooooo. You've been working too much! You said we are gonna finish watching last two episodes of Stranger Things, tonight!"

Adam : "Sorry. I really need to get these things done."
Brenda hangs up.

Adam hasn't told Brenda where he works and what he does. In fact, Brenda thinks Adam is working at his start up company, Air brb which is an extension for firefox or facebook messenger or gmail chat, where it can type "brb" to the person who keeps talking to you on chat, that you are annoyed.

After Brenda hang up the phone, she just went for a walk looking for rare pokemon. She is level 32 and almost caught all the pokemon but she hasnt found her husband yet.

to be continued...

by Jeff
photo of a white cat sitting on a pizza slice in outer space

Buck 65 - "Food"

There's nothing my co-worker A loves more than free food. He often regales me with tales of meals past. One day recently, as he was heading out the door to an event, he told me "I hope it's catered. Sometimes I go to these things and they give me a big plate of food. One time I got two full plates!"

"My motto in life is don't mind if I do!" he told me another time. "When I was working at the bank we had great Christmas parties. One year, when I got to the front of the buffet line, the guy asked me if I wanted chicken or steak. I said 'Can I have both?' and he gave me both. Sure, some people shot me dirty looks, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Don't mind if I do!"

And then there was pizza. "We used to have pizza days at work once a month," he told me. "So I'd go down on my break to get a slice, then go back for more at lunch. On my way home I went back and took some leftovers for lunch the next day. Don't mind if I do!"

[buy Square]

by Sean

Beverly - "Crooked Cop". It was probably not the best year to release a jangly love song called "Crooked Cop". The song's central metaphor hadn't bothered me until I sat down to write about it; until that moment its red and blue lights just cruised on past. It's been on for months, casting starbursts round my rooms, bittersweet as a teenage mixtape. Yet if Beverly were led by a man, I'd probably be saying that I'd heard this kinda thing before. Glittering guitars, handclaps, reverb - we know all this, right? We already have a (teenage) fanclub for it. But it's Drew Citron's singing that changes the foreground of the music, linking it across time and space to something as far-away as Sandy Denny. (In this she reminds me of Alvvays' Molly Rankin.) The singing is something else - at the front and in harmony - like the song's feelings are fraying and a moment later, in nostalgic retrospect, getting woven back together.


by Mitz

Carsick Cars - "Zhong nan hai" [Bandcamp]

It's really hot today.

Ate too many ice creams this week. I tried to cap it at 5 ice creams per week. I used that up already before the weekend with soft serve last night at drive-in theatre.

I think I can get away with sorbet or gelato since they are different from ice cream.

that's all for this week. take care and have a great weekend!