Said the Gramophone - image by Neale McDavitt-van Fleet
by Mitz
(photo source)

Soft Opening - "Ride-On Mower" [Buy]

During summer break when I was Grade 10, I volunteered for a local history museum for school credits. It's a small town history museum ran by mostly volunteers. I met very nice people and they fed me a lot of home made cookies. It was really interesting to see old photos and I kept asking questions. At first, they were answering all of my questions but I think they got little annoyed and they told me, "ohhh long story."

My first task was to paint the old fire truck parked outside. They wanted it to be painted green like a grass color. It was a big job by myself. Initially, I was taking time painting very nicely like Bob Ross but I realized it would take me weeks to finish with second coat. So I sped up and painted fast. It was like speed-walking but painting. It probably also looked funny like speed-walker too. Speed-walkers look like they are looking for a bathroom but no one wants you to realize that. Every time, I see speed-walking in Olympics, there is a voice in my head, "oh shit, oh shit oh shit. where is the bathroom. I need to peeeeee."

(suggestion to IOC, there should be another event for Olympians to perform when they really need to pee.)

So I painted really fast. I was almost finishing up and then, I knocked over the green paint bucket on the grass. "oh man! I need to clean that up, otherwise, they think I'm a clumsy kid and they don't bring any more cookies for me!" I thought. But I was lucky that they wanted the truck to be painted green. The spilled green paint blended into the grass. I didn't even need to clean the paint....I thought.

I told them I finished the truck and they were quite happy with the result. I didn't tell them about the spilled paint since no one could see them.

"good job! Alright, next task is to mow the lawn!" the lady in charge told me.

I thought to myself, "hmmm, I wonder what happens if I mow over the paint and grass."
I just thought it would be ok. Maybe little sticky.

I did underestimate the power of mower they had. I don't know how many horse power it had but it was enough to splash some of green paints over my face and my clothes.

After I finished, I looked like avator or blue man group except i was green. or I guess just simply green screen guy.

"oh, what happened!?" the lady asked me.

"ohhhhh long story." I told her.

by Sean

David Bowie died. It's a sentence that feels like a contradiction somehow. As if silver died, or the rain. Bowie was once asked which historical figure "he most identified with." "Santa Claus," he answered. As Bowie receded more and more from public life, he came more and more to feel like a story someone told you - like folklore or myth. Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, Starman, Sailor, Aladdin Sane...

But Bowie was born David Robert Jones, in London, in 1947. He died of cancer, in New York, on Sunday. In between, he released 25 albums. He had two children and uncounted lovers. He was punched in the face and thereafter one of his eyes looked different. He played saxophone, mouth harp and guitar. He renamed himself after a famous knife, something to "cut through the lies and all that." He was clever and kind and stylish; he was shapeshifting and beautiful.

The last time I was falling in love, I listened to little else than David Bowie's song Sound and Vision. I drank it down like water, again and again. When you are falling in love the main thing you cannot bear is the thought that this ardour may fade, that it may leave you. Sound and Vision was my antidote. I drank it like a tonic, treating all the old dreads, soaking my heart.

Read the rest at the Globe & Mail.

by Jeff

Describe the image

David Bowie - "Life on Mars?"

It was August and the light was dusky. I was seven years old, waiting through the chatty goodbyes after a family birthday party at my Aunt Isobel's house on the Driveway. My Uncle Ian looked across the canal and told my father that workers had been setting up the stage for days. David Bowie was playing SuperEx in a few nights he said, and he was going. He pointed and there it was across the water, a looming construction in the shape of a spider. It seemed almost as tall as the Cattle Castle. That's how I remember it anyway. I absorbed those words David Bowie, repeated them to myself. I had no idea what they meant, but they seemed like something worth knowing, something magical, mysterious, something with the power to build a giant glass spider on the edge of the Rideau Canal.


(gif by Helen Green)

by Emma

The Commands - "I've Got Love for my Baby"

This year for my birthday I'm turning into the loveliest and most terrifying cloud you've ever seen. I'm going to be filled with static and edged in a soft pink glow so perfect you want to cry just thinking about it. I'm turning into the glinting metal insides of a smashed guitar on the sidewalk outside your apartment, I'm turning into a teen boy with perfect swished-up hair and acne and an ill-advised baggy knit sweater who's always in the middle of making a mixtape for the only other girl in his homeroom who wears band t-shirts, working on a hunch that she might actually own a machine that plays tapes, which is wrong. I'm turning into the heart-stirring rise and sweep at the end of this song, but also the perfect organ floating through it, the held-breath soaring way they tumble into that second last chorus. Years are for losers. I'm turning into the most brilliant cubic inch of sparkling air you've ever seen.

[buy // thank you Carlo]

by Mitz

(photo source)
The Zombies - "This will be our year" [Buy]

It's been almost a year since I started writing for STG. t I have to post this song. I've probably told you before but...Once I saw the Zombies play their 40th anniversary of Odessey and Oracle release. They looked so old that they actually looked like Zombies.

and also this sweet video which I watch every year. melts my heart. Did I post this already? I don't remember anymore. I sleep on memory foam but I'm getting old every year.

Happy new year to you!!!

by Jeff
Viv Albertine playing live with The Slits

The Slits - "Adventures Close to Home"
The Slits - "Instant Hit"

I knew I was going to love Viv Albertine's Clothes Music Boys for a long time. I waited all the way through the hardback run and then when it came out in paper I bought it and put it on the shelf over my records, along with England's Dreaming and Lipstick Traces and the scabrous Peter Hook memoirs and Tracey Thorne's really quite lovely Bedsit Disco Queen and my other books about punk. This week I finally pulled it off the shelf and, oh my god, it is so good. Albertine's prose is simple and plain but completely alive and honest and makes me feel again what it was like to fall in love with music and politics and culture when I was a teenager. Ooh, it's brilliant. I'm just at the part where she's dating Mick Jones and has bought her first guitar. I know what happens next from all the punk chronicles I've read, but reading this book is a reminder that nothing that happened was a foregone conclusion. Albertine makes the reader feel what it was like to live through the beginning of UK punk and it's like sticking your finger in an electrical socket. Thrilling!

(image source)

by Sean

Mizan - "Looking For". For me, sometimes, envy is like a tugging. A low tugging at the centre of my heart. Usually what I am envying is secrets. Other people's secrets, or their ability to uncover them. There are these rare moments when someone lowers their arms and their arms are filled with secrets and I wish I had these secrets, wish I knew how to obtain them. I feel that low tugging. The secrets are sometimes beautiful but they are not always beautiful. I envy even ugly secrets. The secrets I envy most are the ones I know to be true. I seem them resting in somebody else's arms and see their truth like a shine upon them. I wish I had that truth. I wish I had found those secrets with all their truth. Sometimes I think about this and I am melancholy. [more]