Said the Gramophone - image by Kit Malo
by Jeff

photo of a rocky beach

Alvvays - "Next of Kin"

Walking down the rocky beach is a good way to spend an afternoon, especially if the wind is up to keep the bugs off. Sometimes at the head of the beach a golden dog barks at us from a house in the distance, but he means no harm. Walking on rocks requires care and balance, looking down and putting a foot on one rock and the other foot on another and trying not to slip. At the pond a frightened duck always flies off in a perfectly straight line. Further down the beach I once saw an eagle up close, and another time an osprey dove into the harbour and flew off with a wriggling fish in its talons.

A ways past the old camp there are a few patches of salicornia growing along the shore of the marsh. Standing a few centimetres tall, they grow in clumps, and look like tiny trees from another planet. I crouch down and pick the stems, making sure not to tear out the root. They're salty, but also moist and incredibly fresh tasting. After a bit of snacking we continue on to the headland, or past it, and then turn around and go back home for supper.

[buy]

(photo by Spike)

by Sean
Inside a penguin's mouth


Chairs - "Animals". A gorgeous, strange, strained cut of dappled pop. Like a giraffe's neck, a giraffe's-neck of a song; and the thick jade leaves, the sound of chewing. A sunbeam can page through you like a book, make certain things clear. "We're all animals / don't try to tell me." But then the light changes; clouds, clouds. And: "We're not animals." Which would you rather? To be an animal, not to be an animal? It depends on the masters, the pastures, the other animals in your paddock. It depends on the trees and their thick jade leaves.

Riddles are good for us. They teach us that answers that can be found, that there are truths hiding inside the things that confound us. And so I am very grateful to Chairs. A band from Montreal that records fascinating riddles. Gorgeous, strange, strained, fascinating riddles - a sour pop sound that grows like a crystal, slightly more expansive with every passing bar, every passing listen. Some guitars and some echo, some voices and reverb, it don't take much; not in the right hands, before the right mics, or from atop the right steeds. Recommended.

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(photo by Alexey Trofimov, via National Geographic)

by Mitz
(photo source) Future States - "Get Some Rest" [Buy] Teenage Fanclub - "Baby Lee" [Buy]

I just remembered the time in Grade 7 or something. I was sick but there was a science test I had to take so I had to go to school. My rose was running like Rivers Runs Through It. RIP River Phoenix. I was quite sick.

So during the science test, obviously, my head was spinning and dizziness got to me and I couldn't think fast enough for the questions.

"What is Mass/Energy formula?" my answer "E=MC5" oh ya that's a band.
"About 70% of the earth's surface is covered with ----fill in the blank----." my answer Assholes!

It wasn't exactly like that. I just made these answers up now but Im sure I was answering pretty dumb. I don't remember.

So it was taking quite a long time to finish this test. Then, I sneezed hard and of course, I covered my mouth with my right hand not to spread this germs. I recently watched Outbreak featuring Morgan Freeman so I was extra conscious. I looked at my hand and there was a huge mucus and snot combined. I could describe it in detail but I already talk about farting and pooping and stuff here on STG so I stop now. Im 35 years old now and don't wanna sound like 13 years old anymore. Well, I can email you in 10 pages PDF files if you'd like.

I had mucus and snot in my right hand. I should have asked to go to the bathroom but there was only short time left to complete the test so I held my right hand hiding snots etc. and had to act fast. Just like the movie Outbreak.

I did completed the test. But I think I got like 40% or something dumb as usual. hahaha.

After the test, my friend asked me if I was cheating. He said that I looked like I was hiding cheating notes on right hand. But I told him, I was holding snots. We loled and Outbreak was prevented.

The end.

by Jeff

Empty streets at dawn

Nennen - "Villeray"

I always waited to see the quiet bands. They were usually slotted right at the end of marathon all-ages matinees. Some of the crowd would have gone by the time they set up, so there was room for me to sprawl out on the floor, exhausted. When they started playing, someone at the back would turn off a few of the overhead lights and the quality of the room would change.

In the half-empty space we listened closely to the whispered vocals and the slow-building music. Playing out of small amps, with brushes on drums, this music was like a cool shower after the lightning storms of the loud bands. And a stillness would grow in the space. When the set ended, a whisper falling into silence, we moved slower. We spoke softly as we left the darkened room and stepped into the evening light.

Nennen's new LP Two Mountains carries the same feelings as the quiet bands of my youth. The songs on this record are slow, intentional, and their power builds over time. This is music that rewards careful listening in the dark.

[buy/bandcamp]

(Untitled photo by Gregory Crewdson)

by Sean
Mario 3


TW Walsh - "Shallow Water". This song begins, literally, with the sound of fumbling. Something is happening, some shifting of gestures, some slipping of fabrics, as the melody begins. Rising chords and falling vocals, old synths or new software, everything wet and dry at the same time. What is happening to those drums? Are they breaking or being made? It is as if Walsh is singing hopefully of defeats. Singing of defeats, defeat after defeat, inevitable defeats - and yet in a hopeful way. As if the obvious ending is in fact a twist. As if there's a cheat at the last second, sometimes you haven't noticed yet, some way that fumbling isn't fumbling. Is it something the monks know? Or the fisher-people? Is it something the musicians have found, turning dying instants into ever afters?

Maybe.

[buy/bandcamp]

by Emma

Basia Bulat - "Infamous"
Basia Bulat - "The Garden"

No matter how loud they are, Basia Bulat's songs never feel loud enough to me. I used to think this was some fault in the recording, some technical thing I didn't have the words for and had no grounds to complain about, until the first time I saw her play a show; the first time I watched her voice move across an enormous, shifting crowd like weather, saw it still everyone, enormously, like it was nothing at all. Once that happened, I realized that what I wanted wasn't louder, not exactly - it was that I wanted to wrap the sound of around me; to reel it, clear and ringing, across my nervous system, get as close as possible to the angle at which it struck me, impossibly so. To move inside it, move it with me, like a mood.

[Buy Good Advice]

by Mitz
(Photo Source)

Neu! - "Negativland"
[Buy]

Good afternoon, everyone. I think people are freaking out of facebook emoticon thingy today but please calm down and if you are a real slim shady, please sit down.

So I was walking home the other night and I was listening to Neu! First a couple of seconds of this song just scare me every time.

It just sounds like snowplow machine is chasing me and running me over. I don't know where you live but here in Montreal, Snowplower will run you over. They are top of food-chain of sidewalk. They drive that thing so fast and they run over as many bicycles as possible and run you over. Kidding! I'm sure most of them are nice snow plowers. I just don't want to offend them because they will run me over.

Anyways, when I listen to this song, I have to look back to make sure I don't get shredded into pieces and bloods everywhere on white snow and my hand still holding vape and my ass still farting in snow for the last time. Pigeons will eat my body parts and they fly away but as soon as they are flying over condos, pigeons start shitting on condos and they all die. People from condos come outside and they freak out. Some of them would say, "What is happening!?" and another person say same thing. Maybe, Hollywood will make a B-movie called, "Happening" and all the main casts are white.

This is Mitz Takahashi reporting, back to you, Mutsumi.