Said the Gramophone - image by Kit Malo
by Sean
Man at blackboard

Jacno - "Rectangle".

An orderly process, a systematic day. Measure twice, cut once. Marry the correct partner, purchase a solid house, remember to season your cast-iron pans. Check for rust. Knock twice on the watermelon. I recommend products with lifetime warranties. Sometimes the sky is blazed with lightning-bolts and you think, It is ruined, it will never be the same. But the sky is not ruined; it is always mended. Do things right the first time - they will never need doing again.

[buy Jacno's debut, from 1979]

Kool A.D. ft Talib Kweli & Boots Riley - "Hickory".

      "This is my friend Sam."
      "Hi Sam."
      "Sam doesn't speak. He doesn't have a mouth."
      "Oh, right, yeah. I should have noticed that..."
      "Sam's not a person. He's a flavour."
      "Like... a taste?"
      "More than a taste; a flavour. A discrete and particular essence of a taste."
      "He's an abstract concept."
      "He's an abstract concept that's grounded in the real."
      "Like a horizon?"
      "Kind of like a horizon. He is an incredible dancer, an excellent friend, but he has no arms, legs or corporeal presence."
      "He seems nice."
      "We're talking about him like he isn't here! Hahaha!"
      "Hahahahahaha! Hahaha!"
      "I love hanging out with flavours. The best party I've ever been to in my life was at Sam's place. A house-party, but I was pretty much the only guest who wasn't a flavour. Just a whole house full of flavours, flavours in every room. It was euphoric, almost psychedelic. When I woke up the next day I felt like my senses had been scrubbed with grapefruit-juice."
      "That reminds me of this time I went to a party at a saxophone-player's house. Everyone was a saxophone-player. Saxophones everywhere, swinging from everyone's necks."
      "Except you."
      "Yeah, except me. I didn't have a sax to bring. I brought chips."
      "Sometimes I feel sad that Sam can't eat chips."

[thanks Casimir! / bandcamp]

by Sean

Walking into stars

QT - "Hey QT". Ten thousand CDs, boiled in a crucible. The material is opaque, gelatinous, silver; it oozes like sponsored swill. Pour the quivering polymer into a mould. Put the mould in a gyroscope. After seven days of spinning, the mould is ready. The manufacturer pries the two halves apart. A woman is standing there, a mannequin, with black eyelashes and rouged cheeks, a silver minidress. She is a mannequin and yet she moves. And yet she sings, in a voice like Dance Mix 94 and Dance Mix 95 and Mixes 96 through 99. The song is old and new again. It is consolidated, like liver mush. It is the finest product of the season. [website / out soon with XL]

(image source unknown)

by Dan

Owl John - "Stupid Boy"

There is no faster way to grow up than to watch candlelight be overtaken by the light of dawn. Every bit of punctuation in life's run-on sentence seem;s placed randoml,y and is simply a shrug that says "it's time to go." And if you charted all of summer's endings and all where-were-you-whens, the unceremoniousness would sag the axes. The news is so bad, the world is on fire, but not right here.


by Sean
Skateboarding the earthquake

Broken Social Scene - "Do The 95". At certain velocities, a fuck-up is almost inevitable. The smallest error, the tiniest misjudgment - suddenly you're flat on your face, suddenly you've torn through a wall. This is why wrecking balls move slow. This is why dragonflies weigh nothing. This is why we've made sure hopes & dreams fly unimpeded through the air, immaterial. If everything swift also had heft, ours would be a world of debris. We'd all be wrecks, wrecking. We'd all be shouting our heads off, with shearing voices, ruiners. [from a 2004 Exclaim compilation / more from Broken Social Scene]

Sun Kil Moon - "Neverending Math Equation". Song's like an old pair of jeans. Song's easy, a familiar operation. Song's a walk to your girlfriend's place, under gentle snowfall. Or under sun. Song's a Frank O'Hara poem you've learned by heart, song's a Modest Mouse song, song's a rhyme. Strum a chord, strum another, sing the song and hear it sung. [buy]

(photo source)

by Sean
Jeweled bird

Mecca Normal - "Odele's Bath". Adding commentary to "Odele's Bath" seems like adding a campaign speech to a campaign speech, throwing a novel at a novel. This is a masterpiece of story and manifesto, a lesson in life; it doesn't need me to scatter it with glitter. Shut the blog down, fire the staff, bin the servers. Light the house on fire, in an empty lot, with Mecca Normal on cassette and a boombox turned to high. [buy Empathy for the Evil / bandcamp]


Real excited for PS I Love You, Frog Eyes, and the rest of Passovah Fest tonight and this weekend.

(image source)

by Dan

Frog Eyes - "A Duration of Starts and Lines That Form Code"

Glue on the end of a domino. On the end of a postcard, on the tip of a chair, a standing leaf. Stacked diagonally, end to end, making a flight of misshapen stairs. Thousands of things stacked end to end, and climbing: a piece of broken sidewalk, a whole subway rail, a playing card, a floor lamp, a shoe. It makes one thin line stretching into the sky, and when it rains there is a speckled splatter beneath, it looks like a great weeping tree. It's unclear who built it (one wouldn't ask who built the rivers) or how it's supported (magnets?) but there it is, with a book in the middle, titled "The Explanation of the Staircase", pinched closed in such a way that to open it would make the stairs fall. There is often a man ascending and descending, counting the stairs as he goes. [Buy]

PS I Love You - "Bad Brain Day"

There is something floating outside my window and it could be a ghost or a hornet. It seems to tap its face against the glass, like it knows I'm in here. It doesn't give up, which could still either be a ghost or a hornet. A ghost is persistent, a hornet is dumb. It would be a mistake to fall in love with a hornet, and a mistake to still be in love with a ghost. In a world where everything is touch-sensitive, it would be a mistake either way to love a ghost or a hornet. [Buy]


Come with me to the Drake tonight to see Frog Eyes and PS I Love You. I'll be leaving in a few minutes.

by Sean

Spooky Black - "Idle".
Spooky Black - "Pull".

That thing where someone tells you all glass is still a liquid. It's not solid, it's liquid. It's slooooowly melting. You look at your window in a new way. Not a pane to look through, but a sheet of clear water. You consider the intersecting sunlight. You touch the glass with your fingers. Another thing, a different thing, when it is raining: the drops spatter your window and they are wet on wet, two likes coming together. You had never thought of this before. You had thought the outside was outside and the inside was inside and the window was your division. The division is not solid. It is slowly evaporating, liquid to gas. It is slowly piling at the bottom of your windowgrame, clear gorgeous sludge. You look into the world, sad-hearted, and wonder which other divisions could slowly spill away. What else out there is just like rain. [more from Minnesota's Spooky Black]


I have some upcoming readings in Toronto and Guelph, Ontario. Details at the Us Conductors website. Would love to see you there.

(photo by Paul Calver)