Said the Gramophone - image by Danny Zabbal
by Mitz

Lambchop - "Steve McQueen" [Buy]

I wish I had a really deep deep voice. I can say anything and sound awesome.

"Would you like porkchop or lambchop?"

"E.A. Sports. It's in the game."

or even

"I'm sorry baby. I farted." it sounds like a gentleman!

except

"Trump for president!" that would sound dumb.

by Jeff

back cover of The Desperate Bicycles' second single

The Desperate Bicycles - "The Medium was Tedium"

"The Medium was Tedium" by The Desperate Bicycles begins with a two note bass line, followed by a wheezing organ vamp, and percussion provided by what I think is a kick drum and tambourine. This is bare-bones instrumentation, but they prove that these basic ingredients, along with spoke-sung vocals full of conviction, are all you need to make a killer song.

This is primordial UK DIY from a self-released seven inch. No glitz and glamour, just a belief that every song that played on mainstream radio in 1977 sucked so bad that literally anyone could do better. The Desperate Bicycles say go make your own band, because for them "it was easy - it was cheap." Go to your grandmother's house and borrow her organ and figure out how to make some noise with it, hell, recruit her to jam if you can.

(First heard on a mixtape from Warren Hill circa 2001. Thanks again, buddy)

by Sean
Dog in clothes


Coeur de Pirate - "Carry On". I have never walked a tightrope so I cannot tell you. Perhaps it is better to overprepare for your first foray, to study and practice, and study and practice, running endless rehearsals. Or perhaps it is better to go running out a little before you're ready. I do not know; I have never walked a tightrope. All I have done is other things.

by Emma

Hop Along - "Powerful Man"

"The music industry, in all aspects, is a pretty small community, no matter which side of the figurative coin you're on. [...] We owe it to ourselves, to our work, and to the listeners and readers who are interested in what we do, to fix the missing stairs instead of leaping over them, to truly address these issues when they are raised, to listen to these allegations with fair and open minds and take them seriously. And it is on those who have social protection against direct recrimination who have the greatest responsibility to listen."
-Heathcliff Berru and Other Missing Stairs (Jes Skolnik, Impose Magazine)

There has been a lot of talk online about sexual assault, harassment, community and complicity in the music industry this week after a number of women began speaking out online about their treatment at the hands of a PR executive.

It is astounding to witness the bravery of women who tell their stories in these situations. It's horrible to feel disappointed before you are ever surprised, to be forced to return to that feeling again and again, to know you may never be allowed to stop. Watching these conversations come up in different communities can sometimes feel like sea change; other times it can make you feel very very small and helpless, especially if you've experienced something like what's being spoken about.

If these things make you feel triggered or shattered or steamrolled, you don't have to read them. You don't always have to be brave. But if you are up to the challenge, remember that's a form of power. These things are happening all the time, in your industry, around you, to people you know and people you don't. Read. Listen. Pay attention. Believe women. Believe victims. Do what you can.

Music Publicist Heathcliff Berru Accused of Sexual Harassment by Dirty Projectors Member Amber Coffman (Caitlin White, Brooklyn Magazine)

Heathcliff Berru is proof it's worthwhile to talk about abuse, even if you can't go public (Kristel Jax, ChartAttack)

Silence vs. Solidarity (Max Mohenu, Aux)

[buy]

by Mitz

Plasmalab - "Stalker"
Plasmalab - "Nighttime USA" [Buy]

OK, really short post this week. I hurt my back really bad. It hurts even when I type. The hardest was taking a poo. I have to keep a good posture when Im sitting. Sitting down part was ok, but just lifting my ass off tiny bit to wipe my ass was quite hard. So after I wiped my ass, I just sat there with the best posture in Eastern Canada possibly and stared at bathroom tiles like I was trapped there in matrix or Matthew McConaughey in the movie, Interstellar.

The end.

by Jeff

water coming in over the rocks at shore

New Order - "Blue Monday"

1. Most bedrooms I've lived in as an adult have been painted baby blue. It's a soothing shade to go to sleep and wake in.

2. I learned about royal blue when I was six years old. My mother ordered me a T-shirt that colour from Owl Magazine. The cartoon owl on it was printed in yellow; a striking combination.

3. My current favourite blue is the greenish blue when the sea is washing over rocks. The colour of water coming to land after years at sea.

(photo by Spike)

by Sean

Johan Heltne - "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps".

This song evokes a particular, gorgeous melancholy for me, only I don't speak German so this particular, gorgeous melancholy is somehow completely disconnected from the particular, gorgeous melancholy expressed by native listeners to "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" and in fact, I suspect, from the particular, gorgeous melancholy intended by Johan Heltne himself. Who cares, right? Or really: Who cares... Wait - do I care? I feel feelings, listening to this song. Are these feelings a deception - me deceiving myself? Me deceiving myself with someone else's song? Is this a conspiracy or am I all alone on it? Did Johan do this or am I doing it entirely to myself? Is this whole song in German, like its title, or is it in Swedish, like its singer?

All this is enough to make you order a snaps and drop your head to the table. If you are doing so, hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is on the turntable. Hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is in your iTunes. Hopefully your battered, tattered heart can be nursed to health by a glow of synths and a scatter of drums. Which is not to neglect the saxophone. Most saxophones deserve to be neglected - they strain too hard for the attention. But this saxophone is OK. This saxophone cares about you. It is a nourishing, sensitive friend. It has noticed that the stars are out, outside. It has noticed the state of your face and shoulders and silhouette. "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is playing. The saxophone knows you do not speak German, or Swedish, whatever it is, and it understands the whole thing. It doesn't mind. It will wait. It will take you home, but only when you're ready.

[buy / listen to the discography / Thank you, Arnulf.]

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Elsewhere: I did write about David Bowie, twice, for the Globe & Mail: one, two.