Said the Gramophone - image by Kit Malo
by Jeff

an image of the milky way among the mountains

Tinariwen (+IO:I) - "Ténéré Tàqqàl" [buy / beautiful music video]

A warm welcome to travelers. Fresh water and food. Coffee from the stove. Directions given when asked. Soap and shower. Listening without giving unasked-for advice. Tea, if desired. Sugar in the cupboard. Sitting at the table together. The pull-out couch, clean blankets. The warmth of conversation. Sharing what little. Preserving. Making-do and mending. Helping with the load. Love.

Attention to the small: the lit-up sunset, pollinating bee, occasional rainbow, ravens on the rooftops. Finding the pace, it may be slow, of getting through and moving on. Supporting what makes life shine. Laughter, song. Walking at night. Walking at day. The first warming sun in winter. The moon, emptying and filling like a well. The distant stars. The ragged cloth. These technologies will not steer you wrong as you travel through your years.

(image source)

by Emma

Mulatu Astatke - "Tezeta (Nostalgia)"

I have nothing clever to say about this song, no thoughtful way to write around it - just the plain fact that I have not yet found a single activity or mood that is not made a little better, a little brighter, by putting it on in the background. Packed into a streetcar, late for the late shift, walking through drifting snow or perplexing mid-February spring air, brushing the cat when he likes being brushed or when he doesn't, baking muffins instead of writing, reading, late nights when you're so far past should have been asleep that you're the most awake you've ever been, conducting stray memories with your bones the way some houses' wiring pulls radio signals out of the air. The small static at its edges, how free and thoughtful that piano is, the sweetness inside every pause. This song fits perfectly into everything, or maybe your life just fits perfectly along its track.

[buy Ethiopiques - Vol. 4]

by Jeff

a tiger stands next to a vulture in a little pond

Djivan Gasparyan - "I Will Not Be Sad In This World" [buy]

(Read part one of the story here)

Barnabas the tiger stalked the narrow mountain path in a frenzy. Moments before his master Lin had fallen into the steep canyon below. He looked for any traces of her but even with his sensitive vision he couldn't see anything in the chasm.

Barnabas didn't notice the vulture as it corkscrewed down from the heights and landed on an outcropping of rock nearby.

"Friend," the vulture began, but seeing the bird Barnabas reared up to leap. "Chill, son," the vulture said. "If you try to take me out you'll end up following your master to the rocky bottom."

"You mock me," Barnabas growled.

"Listen, listen. Easy. I was coming over here to warn you. Ever heard of old Wizard Landlock? He holds a power over the path, and most people who attempt it end up falling over the side. It's some kind of vertigo charm. Animals are immune to it."

"But why?" Barnabas asked. "We've never run afoul of wizards."

The vulture shrugged. "The dude's confused, he thinks the mountains are his. As if. And he likes his privacy so he littered the place with traps.

Barnabas's anger was subsiding and he let out a long howl of sadness.

"Wait, buddy. There's good news. At the bottom of this chasm there lives an old fisherman named Alonso. He set up his nets down there, out of the wizard's long sight. He catches almost everyone that takes a header, so I bet the lady's fine. I'll show you the way down if you like."

Barnabas considered his options. Quite likely the carrion bird would lead him off a precipice and make a meal of him. He thought of Mica, and their mission to save him. Perhaps if he pressed on--but he couldn't do it on his own. He needed Lin.

"Trust me," the vulture told him and took to the wing. "I'm Giselle, by the way."

Barnabas grunted his name in reply and followed Giselle to the secret path down the stony cliff.

(image source)

by Sean

ミツメ (Mitsume) - "あこがれ".

Suzy is a cactus, sunlit and loping, comfy in a J.J.

He's a friend of Pepe's, the old Pepe, before Pepe changed. They used to go down to the arcade together, watch older kids playing Street Fighter II. Then they'd stand by the dirty river, shouting slogans at swans. Pepe brought cheese sandwiches for lunch; Suzy had tuna salad.

Sometimes people ask Suzy where Suzy's from. He's not like most other cacti - he's friendlier, with a moist handshake. My family's from the Azores, he tells them. They own a garden hotel. "Suzy" is short for Suzanismo - which "is a boy's name, on the Azores. It's Portuguese."

Suzy keeps his apartment tidy. His kitchen counters are clean, his fridge is nicely stocked, his TV's properly mounted. He keeps a single magazine on the square, teak coffee table. The magazine is Thrasher magazine. In the fridge there are salad fixings, yoghurt drinks, bags and bags of oranges. Sometimes Suzy wears oranges on his face - he just sticks them on the spikes, goes out like that. Nice oranges, Pepe says. Suzy smiles, shrugs. Suzy's happy and weird. Suzy's comfy and no problem.

Suzy's bedroom's in the back. Suzy practices karate in the privacy of his room, with the red curtains drawn. His goal, if he thinks about it, is to save somebody someday. An innocent party, in an alley behind a bar - he'll karate-chop the adversaries, kick em to the kerb. In the meantime his karate practice is private, solitary, the most serious thing he does.

Suzy's favourite artist is Matt Furie.

When he gets on his skateboard it's like he's telling your favourite joke.

On a Sunday, Suzy makes fruit salad. Grabs the fruit from the icebox with the spines of his limbs, chucks it banana by apple by orange onto a beautiful burled cutting-board. He slices the banana thin, leaves the oranges in thick wedges. The morning's shouting sunshine through the window. Something from Tokyo's on the turntable. All the fruit's loose in a bowl; he adds grapes, raspberries, a few scoops of passionfruit. The secret ingredient's triple sec: one glug from the bottle. He isn't sure yet who the fruit salad's for. Maybe he's eating it himself. Maybe everyone's coming over.

[Mitsume aren't from the Azores / they're not cacti / they're from Japan / buy]

by Jeff
two fabulous guys at the beach

Rata Negra - "Aguas Negras" [buy]

Before you know it "Aquas Negras" is going to be the perfect punk rock beach song to sandwich on a mixtape between "Celebrated Summer" and "Rockaway Beach." Listen to this jam on your beat-up boombox when you are dressed in improvised swimwear, sitting on ratty towels, and surrounded by an enthusiastic pack of dogs. Ride that boogie board, let the sun sink into your old tattoos, eat salty chips by the bag, this will be your soundtrack. The catchy vocal hooks will worm into your brain and the cool breakdown, echoing the shredding of early college rock, will make you smile. From Madrid and emerging from the ashes of Juanita y Los Feos, Rata Negra are a perfect power trio harnessing melody, discordance, and tuneful rage.

(Nan Goldin, Bruce and Philippe on the beach, Truro, MA, 1975.)

by Mitz

There are a lot of musicians reaching out.

From Montreal's Homeshake and Alex Calder,

"We have decided to release two previously unreleased songs and donate all the sales to a good cause.
100% of album sales will be donated to IRAP (International Refugee Assistance Project).
Learn more and other ways to donate or help out here:

by Mitz

(photo source)

Dura - "Stage 1(Alpha)" [Buy]

I wonder how many people reading this and voted for Trump who have been waiting on one of us, writers to post new 3 Doors Down song.

I wonder if any of alt-right aka neo-nazis deserves to be punched aka control-alt-delete from the earth, reading this site, waiting for some white supremacy music to be posted.

anyways, some people probably want to get away from politics. There is music.