Said the Gramophone - image by Daria Tessler
by Mitz
(photo source)

Jim noir - "Look Around You" [Buy]
I broke my glasses last night at soccer. I care barely see my screen right now. ISo Im writing this as a test and even without spellcheck. I
Im expoxying my glass frame right now. its 5mins set epoxy so I will soon find out.

I remember first time I got eye exam and bought glasses. I was 16 and grungy. I hated the world like my friend, Kurt. I thought no one understood my deep thoughts like how birds always shit on me. I just hated everything.

Then, I put my glasses on and I could see everything clearly. I remember "clearly" I thought "wow what a wonderful world! the mountains, birds, river! people smiling! old man faxing documents!" everything was beautiful!!!

Ok now my epoxy has dried and my glasses are good. I can only see a couple of mistakes I made. Oh well, same thing as my teenage years. A couple of mistakes.

the end

by Emma

Chuck Jackson - "Any Day Now"*
Z.Z. Hill - "That Ain't the Way You Make Love"**

One of the rarest and most magical kinds of songs is the one that taps into a feeling so universal everything in your body rises to meet its meaning when you hear it - but that also, at the same time, tells its own story, shades it in with details that couldn't ever belong to anyone else. Soul music is the greatest genre for this, and one of the best things about getting really into its most obscure corners and crannies is that the more songs you know, the more expansive and sympathetic and complex your vocabulary for talking and thinking about love becomes. It's true that there are only so many ways to say you adore someone, that you want them or that they are breaking your heart, but it's also true that there are one million different sets of circumstances that can give rise to those emotions and each one deserves an anthem. They exist; all you have to do is go diving. The more soul music*** you listen to, the more your knowledge of love and heartbreak expands, gains texture; your record collection becomes an index of subtypes, theme and endless variation.

I had heard this Chuck Jackson song a lot of times without ever really listening to the lyrics, and then a few weeks ago it came up on shuffle and I stopped. It lingers like an average love song - a little longing, plus that organ at the beginning, come on - but it's really a song about what it's like to be in love with someone when a basic unit of that feeling is the bitter conviction that someday that person is bound to see you for what you are and leave you for someone better. The Z.Z. Hill song is about being in love with someone so desperate to avoid you that she asks her brother to tell you she's not home when you call, but still, here you are, writing her a song, pleading while you try to play it cool; there's that low float of desperation in the background, something a little darker underneath the smooth, smooth surface. So many ways to conjure and configure it. So many different ways to dissolve love into heartbreak, or do it the other way around. Anthems for a single feeling each, parts of a whole that always shifts but never changes.

* This is a rip from a video because I'm having a tough time tracking down an mp3, but the video itself is very worth watching if you have a minute - the stage! His suit! Burt Bacharach!
**M.F. Doom - "Fancy Clown"
*** Or pop music, or music, or poetry, or art; the more people you kiss, the more sweet-hearted dogs you make eye contact with, etc. etc. etc.

by Mitz

The Submissives - "Betty Told Me" [Buy]

oh man, Ive been sick for over a week and realizing how awesome to be just healthy.
That is all for now.

Weather is getting better and I saw someone riding unicycle and people juggling in the park.
They seemed to be healthy. Very nice.

Take care.

by Jeff

a broken antique bottle

Minor Threat - "Bottled Violence" [buy]

A screed against getting boozed up and fighting kicks off with the sound of smashing glass. Sounds about right. The bass comes next, followed by the rest of the band, barrelling forward at speed, unwilling to waste any of the song's fifty-four seconds on anything as ornamental as a solo or breakdown. Ian MacKaye's yelling voice is raspy and perfect, delivering even the weakest rhyme in the song - "drink your grain / ... you don't feel pain" - with nothing but the purest conviction. My tape of the Anthology was a security blanket in grade ten.

The Gories - "Rat's Nest" [buy]

In "Rat's Nest" by The Gories smashing glass is just one of several homemade sound effects. The soundscape of a messed-up alleyway unravels behind the band's queasy minimal blues rock; shattering glass, hollering neighbours, clattering rubbish. It's enough to drive someone up the wall, and the grizzled character singing the song seems to be teetering on the edge as he narrates his Sisyphean labours to keep the damn alley clean. As the toms pound hypnotically, and the dual guitars veer in and out of skronking solos, the psychodrama of one citizen trying to keep the city tidy seems doomed to fail.

Royal Headache -"Garbage" [buy]

Beginning with a hail of smashing glass, "Garbage" is a revenge song. Riding in on a churning bass lick, Royal Headache's frontman, the preposterously named Shogun, lets his target have it. In his soulful Aussie voice he shouts "You belong in the GARBAGE!" Yikes! One of my favourite records of last year, High is a polished set of songs dealing with lost love and self-reflection. The wild vitriol of "Garbage" is a perfect intermission from the heavy themes, calling back to the band's scrappy origins and their powerful 2011 debut LP.

(image source)

by Mitz


Clio - "Faces" [Buy Reissue]

I've been face swapping like a teenager on snapchat, lately. It reminded me of the 1997 masterpiece, FACE/OFF featuring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta.

so ya, I looked it up on Wikipedia and it made $245 million world wide!!! Then, I was curious how old John Travolta is now and clicked on his, He is 62!!!!!! oh ya, kinda makes sense. I remembered when I was living in Lethbridge, Alberta, people tell me he often flies to the airport there since john loves to fly and Lethbridge airport was the only one let him come and go? not sure how story went. Is it true? now I'm too lazy to google this info.

Carry on to next wiki journey, now I'm reading his personal life part and oh he is Scientologist. I didn't know that. anyways, I went back and now looking at Nicolas Cage page. But ya, I should stop and go back to work now.

the end.

by Jeff

Basset hound running on beach

Big Eyes - "Wanted Sometimes"
Big Eyes - "Can't Catch a Break"

Almost Famous is a monster of a power pop record, full of riffs to pump your fist to and choruses to shout out loud. This is an album to listen to on repeat in the car, with the windows down on a hot day. A barbed-wire guitar fronting a rhythm section that sounds like a worn-in pair of blue jeans, Big Eyes just feel right.

But this album is all about feeling wrong. A break up album. The best one since Nick Cave's The Boatman's Call? Yup, and it's better because you can tap your feet to it. Singing in a clear voice, Kait Eldridge charts the arc of a break up in eleven of the pop-rockiest songs you'll ever hear. From the initial realization that it's over, to weird looks, numbness, sad bus rides, and outright rage and contempt; all the heartbroken feels are in these lyrics. But don't ever for one second think that it might bog down into misery worship. Heck no. This relentlessly poppy album about heartbreak is actually what you need to listen to when you're broken up and super sad. Not Mr. Cave dragging you down to the sea floor, but songs to bring you back to life, and get you kicking ass again, alright?

[bandcamp / buy]

(image source)


by Emma

Nap Eyes - "Stargazer"
Nap Eyes - "Click Clack"

On Friday, I got to see Nap Eyes play a show. I've seen them a few times before - in the Sackville summer sunshine, in an echoey Halifax church, in a thrift store on a gloomy Fredericton Sunday - but this time, in Toronto, at the Garrison, felt different just by virtue of its audience. By the time we got there it was packed and low-lit and I kept doing double takes; the room was sold-out-filled with the kind of people who show up when a band you already like gets a good review on Pitchfork - exactly like the people you already know but each a few molecules removed, somehow. Second choices from the same department of central casting where they sourced your life.

I have already made my case for Nap Eyes's albums here and elsewhere; I've talked about how their record didn't do much for me until suddenly it found its way into my spine and under my breath for weeks on end. But I have not talked about what it is like to see them live. So, gentle reader, here I am now, looking you right in the eye, putting my hand over yours across the table in a way that is gentle but firmly reassuring, saying unto you: if you have the chance to see Nap Eyes play a show, you must take it. If you already like this band the way I like them, then you have probably already done this - but if you are on the fence, or not quite sure, or if you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to make sure that the next time they come to your town, you do the whole terrible thing of leaving your house and going into the world and paying real stupid money to stand in a room full of chattering strangers and let the thing happen to you.

If you like this band the way I like them, then there is a good chance that what draws you in is something about the slow, steady sparking of warmth on remove. On tape, on record, coming through your headphones, Nap Eyes are gentle and kind and welcoming, but they also still hold you at arms' length, a little; there's a lot of space for your thoughts to roam around amid the lyrics, a lot of technical skill just sort of barely holding its breath behind the steady pacing. There's room for your thoughts and feelings to dissolve all the way in.

But live, it's different: the songs are the same, the band is the same, but they let Brad Loughead, their guitarist, do something with all those spaces, all that room. Brad is an amazing guitarist, a shredder with a shiny, expansive heart, and his playing is the kind that rings every bell in me so instantly that it catches me off-guard even when I'm expecting it. You know the type I mean: your Paul Saulniers, your Marissa Paternosters, people where there's no middle clouding step between the feeling they're feeling and the sound they make out of it, just one clear pure playful ringing charge straight through. These solos, these little moments of snarling and scratching and soaring in the middle of Nap Eyes' steady nod, they feel perfect; like a little glimpse, a new articulation, of the feelings glowing in the centre of these songs. Pure, shining. Alive. They feel alive.

[buy Thought Rock Fish Scale]