Palace - "Gulf Shores"
Will Oldham illuminates a languid summer feeling on this gauzy 1994 Palace b-side. Using a loose melody, echoing drums, and ghostly barroom piano, "Gulf Shores" paints a landscape of the sandy meeting point of land and sea. This song shuffles along the beach, getting sand in its shoes.
On display are the long tan limbs, cold drinks, and ocean fauna of summer. This is the sun-drunk world where you endure the heat for as long as possible before returning to sea, and then repeat. Time melts like a popsicle, skin crinkles around the eyes and mouth, and hair gets lightened by several shades
Like every landscape artist worth his salt, Oldham creates drama by painting a few ominous clouds on the horizon. The narrator gives us vague hints of family drama, their companion's self-destructive urges, and a haunting desire for oblivion. But most concerns melt away when set against the blue sea on a hot day. Listening to the song, it feels like those off-shore clouds rimmed with darkness will never make landfall, and that life can remain forever suspended in the haze of seaside existence.
(photo by Spike)
12:53 AM on Aug 18, 2015
Mary Afi Usuah & the South Eastern State Cultural Band - "From Me To You". An experiment for you, a Monday afternoon challenge: don't hear this song as a plea, a calling "from me to you"; hear it as a ratification of feelings already foretold. Neither question nor answer but the thing that follows the answer, the rubber-stamp, the lock clicking shut. Hear the strength of it, the certainty, not any of the asking. Listen deep down past Usuah's voice and those pokes of brass, under the middle-certainty of the band singing "la-la, la-la, la": listen to the drums, djembe, snare and high-hat, the groove that's locked, that was living there even before we could hear it. [buy]
My friend the producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Silver Mt Zion, Wolf Parade) reminisces upon the death of studio legend Bob Johnston.
10:52 AM on Aug 17, 2015
Miguel - "Waves"
Miguel - "Leaves"
Two songs that press, casual-hard, on two separate parts of your brain that belong to each other. Like photonegatives, like a fever. Like if you crossed Prince with ten days of spilled glitter and sky, with kaleidoscope light breaking over itself, with a long list of slow drifting sparks rising into the night, with your body, with everyone's bodies. With bruised air, with thunderheads, August's low pile. With dusk settling into the sway and weave of everything. Even the light in the morning.
[buy Wildheart] // [image]
Brian Protheroe - "Fly Now" [Buy]
So this has totally nothing to do with the song but my friend told me a long long time ago in the 90's, when Smashing Pumpkins played in Osaka, the audience kept chanting "co-gan! co-gan!" to Billy Corgan who probably felt almighty and like all he was doing was great. he even thought he could fly.. Little did he know "co-gan" means "testicles" in Japanese...
Frau - "Punk Is My Boyfriend"
Frau - "Orca"
Frau do not banter between songs. There's only a short pause, as in Morse code, to signify the beginning of the next barrage of dots and dashes.
Then they blast through another discordant, irregular punk song. The guitar player thrashes as she repeats the jagged chords, the rhythm section lock in and propel the song forward at speed. The singer stares into the audience, or squints her eyes, or stomps her feet, all with intimidating power. Her voice alternates between speaking, yelling, screaming, and squeaking in a high register. This summer is ruled by the women vocalists of Downtown Boys, Sheer Mag, and Vexx, and Ash from Frau is up there with the best of them. Every squeak and squeal is menacing, searing.
With two singles and a demo tape to their name, Frau somehow embody several contradictory strains of punk rock, from the Anarcho rat-a-tat of Crass to the rantings of The Fall, from the sunny primitiveness of Beat Happening to the black-as-night nihilism of Poison Idea. Their music lies on the borderlands between the cool affect of minimal punk and the psychological darklands of hardcore. On stage, the tension between these two poles exerts an enormous pressure. Each Frau song is a perfect black diamond, sharp and hard.
During their set in Montreal I threw my fist up, danced wobbly, and yelled my appreciation. They came all the way from London just to play a twenty-five minute set. There was no time for banter.
Jon McKiel - "Still Remain". Oh life's a slow work; oh it's such a slow work. Toby came over to hang a sign in our yard. We all stood around with zip-ties and twine, a big pair of scissors. Grape-vines sprawled over everything. Sunlight dazed over leaves. A wind arrived and went away. Oh, life's a slow work; oh it's such a slow work. Look at all we know how to do: standing around with zip-ties and twine, knowing friends, volunteering for elections and doing civic duty. Grown-ups being grown-ups, capable and committed - oh, but I don't know a thing. I'm a dummy with an RRSP. I'm a tumbledown and paste-up. Never mind the herbs in my windowbox, the Brahms on the turntable, my proper quality bath-towels. I'm just the sum of it all, the flimsy sum, not much more than my reflection. And I'm OK with that; really I'm OK. I know that you're all right / I know you are all right. Life's a slow work and I'm working at it, slowly. [This song's such a great song, more from Jon at bandcamp]
Partner - "Hot Knives (Sappy Mix)"
I was at Sappyfest last week too, my second one ever. It feels silly to write about it at all when there's Sean's perfect record of the festival just a few posts behind me, but whatever. I was away for a week, and by the end my nerves felt like stripped wire; any kind of defence against the world I had had been dissolved, systematically, by all-friends and day drinking, by swimming and not sleeping, by 3am generator-powered shows at the place where the train tracks run into the marsh.
It feels good, in a different way, to be back in the real world again after a week of living in a sweet blur of magic and shotgunning. Putting the walls back up. You know how this works: pile routine on routine, make the phone calls, fold the ragged trailing edges of your life back up until the whole thing starts to look coherent again. Grocery store, post office, email, dishes. Real alarms. Set yourself in lines against the day.
But all morning I've been listening to this Partner song on my headphones. Their set, in the Thunder and Lightning bowling alley, was one of my favourite shows I've ever seen - loud and funny and serious and so much excellent, breathtaking shredding - and finding this song feels like one of those moments in a movie where the character wakes up and thinks, oh god, maybe it was all just a dream. And later, they dig in their pocket for their keys but instead they find something else. There's that look we all know, crossing over their face. And then they uncurl their fist, zoom in, and we see it: some token carried over from the other world, the better one. The gold coin, the note. Proof, shining. Incredibly, impossibly real.
This song is that, except it's about doing knife tokes. Keep it in your pocket. The summer's still happening. There's still time to yell, loud as you can.
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs
. All tracks are posted out of love
. Please go out and buy the records
To hear a song in your browser, click the
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All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.
Said the Gramophone
launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.
If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
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Montreal, Canada: Mitz
Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.
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if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link
to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.
"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors
. Follow him on Twitter
or reach him by email here
. Click here
to browse his posts.
writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This
is her website and email her here
is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True
and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter
is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker
in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here
Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet
. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Kit Malo
wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here
to browse his posts. Email him here
wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star
. Click here
to browse his posts. Email him here
our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)
Back to the World
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Gorilla vs Bear
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In FocusAMASS BLOG
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet
things we like in Montreal
le pick up
au pied de cochon
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, café italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c
drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c
casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
cinema du parc
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe
The Morning News