A BEARD DON'T MAKE YOU A MAN
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
Withered Hand - "Hard On". Withered Hand's debut LP, Good News, is not lo-fi. This is a change from the shambolic stuff that so struck me last year. When Dan Willson revisits those old songs - "Religious Songs", "New Dawn", "I Am Nothing" - the results aren't (sorry) very good. I don't know whether it's because of the nature of the songs or simply because the higher-fi adaptations are so-so. But they sound too careful, too choreographed; no one is going to get stung.
However this is all an unfair introduction to Good News. Because Withered Hand is great, and most of Good News is wonderful. The album's best songs feel fully born into this studio - sharp and fully realised. Listening, you get stung. "Hard On" is ultimately about erections, but mostly it's about the intersection between yearning and doing. And bless his heart, Withered Hand has realised the sound of yearning; it's this, simple and splendid and fierce. It's a chant that keeps changing, with words like flashpaper. Listen to the way he sings man, good, could, knife, car, go, FM radio, guitars, Thin Lizzy, pen, John Updike, hard-on. Each one, carelessly cast, could start a housefire.
(Update ~6pm: Edited this post to remove an embarrassing mistake about who produced Good News. Apologies to all.)
Earlier this year, I wrote about a Spirituals remix of Shelby Sifers' "Are You Devo". It's still one of the best things I've heard this year, and now Shelby has re-recorded the song (and added a different Spirituals remix) and loosed the whole thing onto the iTunes Music Store. I'm not offering it here because the whole thing is a grand charity project - a fundraiser for We Heart Arts. They're hoping to sell 2,500 downloads of "Are You Devo", boosting it into UK singles charts. It's a marvelous track - well worth that 99 cents. Go give them a hand.Posted by Sean at September 3, 2009 4:37 PM
Great music just on my doorstep and i hadnt even heard it yet. Funny how it works out that way.Posted by Dan at September 4, 2009 5:07 AM
there is a video on the group playing this song on YouTube and it is quite something, I can feel it in my innards:Posted by BMR at September 5, 2009 6:44 AM
the song 'hard on' is originally by Charles Latham but I often play it live, I love it so. Sean, if you haven't heard Charles Latham's work, do make amends. he is just fabulous.
www.myspace.com/sircharleslathamPosted by dan at September 8, 2009 2:16 PM
I'm with dan, latham is truly wonderful. 'hard on' was my favorite sound check song of all time.Posted by bryan at November 8, 2009 11:52 PM
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.
To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'
All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.
Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.
If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz
Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.
If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.
"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.
Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.
Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.
Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.
Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by .
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)
Back to the World
La Blogothèque ◊
Weird Canada ◊
Destination: Out ◊
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe) ◊
Ill Doctrine ◊
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music ◊
Petites planétes ◊
Gorilla vs Bear ◊
Silent Shout ◊
Clouds of Evil ◊
The Dolby Apposition ◊
Awesome Tapes from Africa ◊
Matana Roberts ◊
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews ◊
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan ◊
CKUT Music ◊
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater ◊
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden ◊
Passion of the Weiss ◊
Juan and Only ◊
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin) ◊
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad ◊
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross) ◊
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet ◊
things we like in Montreal
le pick up
au pied de cochon
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c
drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c
casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
cinema du parc
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe
The Morning News