Said the Gramophone - image by Keith Shore
by Emma

PWR BTTM - "Dairy Queen"
PWR BTTM - "All the Boys"
PWR BTTM - "West Texas"

Someone RT'd this video of PWR BTTM into some feed of mine a couple weeks ago and what a relief, for the first time in a while, to feel that thing you feel every new time you find the band you're going to listen to exclusively for the next week. Two brand new imaginary best friends! A whole new kind of swagger to wish you had yourself, a whole new kind of sympathy you didn't know you needed. Who are these glittering humans with their sky-big riffs? What the fuck have I even been doing this whole time?? These songs are sweet and tough and kind and unbending; sun-dappled, loud enough. Music by best friends for being yourself to, music that shines, that's best kind of funny, the kind that's no joke.

[buy Ugly Cherries]

by Mitz

(photo source)

Durutti Column - "Sketch for Summer" [Buy]


Weird, my computer couldn't get on certain websites.

I could log into facebook and gmail but I couldn't get on STG. I couldn't log into my bank site. Maybe parental control? my mom lives in Okinawa and my dad lives in afterlife. Is it my dad telling me something from up above??

If internet is all you can eat buffet, it felt like I could only eat fried rice(facebook) and chicken balls(gmail). What about some seaweed salad(STG) nutritious to my soul and garlic stems and onions with oyster sauce!!!??(onion.com) I need them for my life!!!

I googled "can't connect to certain websites." and google search shows up but if I click on it, it doesn't work.

I used my phone to search and finally found out that I need to type in 8.8.8.8 in DNS settting on my preference on network.

What does 8.8.8.8 mean!!!!!?????

turns out number 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture.

wow! I was right! Internet is like all you can eat buffet!!

the end.

by Jeff

ticket stub for lollapalooza

The Breeders - "Cannonball"

When I was fourteen I convinced my parents to drive me and my friend James to Montreal so we could go to Lollapalooza. That hot day left a number of indelible traces on my mind. I remember the blue sky and wispy clouds as we drove through mysterious Quebec, and then seeing the streets of Montreal for the first time. They were so busy! My parents let us off on a street corner and pointed in the direction of the Metro, reminding us to change trains "at Barry YOU-kwam."

On Ile Sainte-Helene there was a long line to get in. We could hear the music muffled by wide open space. When we got to the front of the line and gave them our tickets, they searched our bags, adding our bottles of water to the pile of frisbees and even cameras that had been seized. It seemed unfair. Once inside, we sat in the dusty field and walked around. Most of the crowd was older than us; I remember a lot of topless men wearing shorts and backwards baseball caps and a few topless women wearing body paint.

I liked all the music, especially this song and the Beastie Boys's set. Also Nick Cave played "Red Right Hand" and A Tribe Called Quest played "Scenario."

After the concert James and I went to the train station with the big Canadiana friezes in blue and white, where we were supposed to meet my parents. They were an hour late when I called my grandmother, our contact person if anything went wrong. What was going to become of us? I woke her up and felt bad. My parents had died in a car crash and now I was robbing her of a good night's sleep. It was turning into an episode of Degrassi. I guess I would have to live with her now. (My parents eventually showed up, two hours late.)

[buy]

by Mitz

Guided by Voices - "Smothered In Hugs" [Buy]


These events happened in last week.

I was in the elevator and someone said, "what's your name? you look familiar!?" I thought this person was mistaking me for some other Asian guy so I replied with little annoyance in my voice, "my name is mitz." "OH you are the guy who got bike thief!" as the door was closing.

I went to Vietnamese place and the lady at the cashier asked me, "if I was Korean."
I said, " Im Japanese."
She replied, "I knew it."

Some guy on the loading dock at my studio asked me, "Chinese?"
So I asked him, "Guess!" like I'm a new modern quiz show host, "Guess my nationality"
He thought for 4 seconds, "hmmmmmm Chinese?"
"nope." I said it fast,
"korean??" he took another shot.
"nope! You only have one more chance," I responded with quiz show host voice,
he said, "tell me!"
So I told him, "Tibetan! kidding! Japanese!"

and Brexit happened. and then there is also the most hugs in one minute video.

I don't know what to think and hugs are not real hugs. Scary world, we all need hugs.


by Jeff
Description of image, for blind people


Mos Def - "Universal Magnetic"

1.

In McGill Metro waiting for my train home after work I heard a syncopated beat start up behind me. It was made by someone tapping against the wall, and it was in perfect time. After a few bars, quietly, oh so quietly, someone began rapping. I wanted to turn around, get closer and watch, but the rapper's voice was so low that I knew he wasn't trying to get attention. He was just practicing. Everything these two were doing was fragile and it seemed like even the slightest bit of attention might throw them off. I listened closely. All I could hear were some disconnected syllables, but from the shape of the words I guessed the language was English. When the train pulled up we went into the same carriage. I held my book in front of my face and snuck glances as a kid in a red shirt and red cap tapped against the plastic window well of the train, and his friend in a black t-shirt and thick-rimmed glasses kept rapping quietly. They were serious, scholars of sound.

2.

At two minutes to nine I spoke up. "Gentlemen, I'm afraid it's closing time." They had come in an hour earlier and had been sitting beside each other in the kids section of the bookstore reading. They were teens, old enough to be out on their own and I suppose they felt at home surrounded by shelves of YA novels.

But as they got up I saw they had both been reading the same book, Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry. They put the copies back on their shelf and we walked together to the door.

"What did you learn about the music industry?" I asked.

"It's really competitive," the smaller of the two said. "It seems hard to break into it."

"Yeah," I said. "But you should still try it out, right?"

"I think so," the taller one said, undaunted. "It's worth it if it's your dream."

I felt a sudden surge of emotion. "Absolutely."

"Thank you, sir," the tall one nodded as they went out the front door.

by Jeff
smiling blonde boy in overalls


Screaming Females - "Foul Mouth (Live)"

Every year I have an existential crisis in the week leading up to my birthday. This year it weirdly took the form of listening to all the Fugazi records on shuffle as I walked around town and thinking about how exciting it was to see them live. Sometimes they played album versions of the songs, but often they went on wild tangents, stretching short songs into epics, adding in strange timings or atonal solos. People tend to think of them as an ultra-serious political DC band, but in reality they were the post-hardcore Phish: a jam band. So I walked around moping, thinking that there was nothing equivalent today, no band as fiercely independent or wildly musical as my favourite band when I was seventeen, letting stupid nostalgia wash over me.

Then I went to see Screaming Females. My dear friend Kevin insisted I had to see them, even though I was tired and old. After two songs I had that feeling I used to get at Fugazi shows, of floating a bit, of not quite being able to process what was happening, of being totally swallowed up by the music. I can't quite process it even now. Marissa Paternoster has an enormous voice and while she sings she completely shreds non-stop on her guitar. And she's backed by a rock-solid rhythm section and when they play it's unreal and transcendent and completely wild. I just stood there in the crowd, watching, not even moving, trying to pay close attention. They were so fantastic. Fuck mopey nostalgia, there are so many great bands today. Happy birthday to me!

[buy records / bandcamp]

by Emma

The Tragically Hip - "In Sarnia"

First, and most importantly: this song is very, very beautiful. It sounds like a dream of being underwater, or it sounds like one of the top five most wistful summer nights of your life. This song is deep deep deep blue and last night, biking home along the overpass, I had to pull over to the side and stop, with the cars all streaming past me, just because of how it felt to look at the late sunset and remember this song at the same time.

Lately, in between the bouts of horrible news, I have been talking to my friends about helplessness; the sense of being overcome, incapable, when bad things seem to be happening all around you, in front of your face and completely out of reach. Of all the shitty feelings out there in this life, this one might burn the hardest; the sense that the world is coming apart, or that you yourself are on fire, and the only thing you can do about it is just sit there and wait to be consumed. It is very hard to live inside this feeling. It might be the hardest one.

I have listened to this song like eight or nine times now, and each time I feel more and more strongly that I don't know how to hear it right. I don't know how to listen to an album by someone who has a kind of brain cancer that is only supposed to get worse. Especially not when that person is someone I don't know but who has taken up space in my life since my childhood; especially when their songs feel as frenzied and loose and confident and hopeful as the ones on Man Machine Poem all do. Every time I've listened to this song I have felt knocked sideways by an enormous wave of pure feeling, but I do not feel capable of naming its constituent parts for you; I can't tell my sentiments from my thoughts, or its hope from my sadness from those sparkling guitar-sounds.

Here's what I've got so far: I think I am thankful that this song exists, and I think that it is hard to be always up to the challenges of being alive and paying attention in a world that sometimes (often) throws a mess of bad news at your feet and then just sits there waiting for you to untangle and learn or change or break against it. I think there is something to be learned from the feeling that swells in my ribcage every time I am made to see life for what it is: precarious and ungoverned by logic or fairness, lovely and terrible as a handful of lit matches. That lesson feels endless and impossible, but if I ever figure it out, I promise I will let you know.

[buy Man Machine Poem]