by Sean
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.


Von Roy

Withered Hand - "Oldsmobile Car".

You were checking your email at your parents house. You had come over for dinner because your mum asked you, and you realised it had been a long time, and without Jonathan there you thought maybe the house would feel empty. It didn't, though. You ate your mum's chicken and they poured you wine and your dad had for some reason baked a cake, since when does he bake cakes?, but he had, something with peaches, and you ate it and it was pretty good.

Now your parents were in the living-room, in easy chairs, watching Law & Order. It was 8:41pm. You were at the black IKEA computer desk checking your email; the only light in the room was the big buzzing CRT monitor.

You clicked refresh and there was an email from L.

I need to talk to you. I'll be at the park at 9:30.

At 8:51 you padded into the living-room and asked if you could borrow their car. "Night owl," said your father.

The garage was darker than you remembered it. You pressed the button that lifted the garage door and you looked at the Oldsmobile glinting in the street-light. You got in and turned your keys in the ignition and the radio began to mumble. You sat blinking at the bottom of your parents' driveway in the rear-view mirror. You thought of L, in the park.

You got out of the car, you left it running, you scampered up the stairs to your old bedroom, to the cardboard box in the corner of the closet, under packets of unopened athletes' socks and suit jackets that didn't fit you any more. The box held cassettes. You closed your eyes and you thought of L and you grabbed a mixtape without looking. You scampered back down the stairs. "Everything okay?" called your dad, and you yelled "Yep!" just as you closed the back door with a thump.

You got back into the Oldsmobile and you clattered the cassette into the tapedeck and on the mixtape's case you saw in your handwriting the words OLDIES AND NEWIES 1996.

Looking over your right shoulder, with your hand on the back of the passenger-side head-rest, you backed out of the garage.

And you drove. The lines on the street seemed freshly painted. The conifers seemed further away from the road. The Denny's had become a Dairy Queen. The car felt good and strong & it felt like it was under your foot, like the gas pedal was the engine of the car, like you could feel its heartbeat through your right sole; and the tape played "Lola", and "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)", and something that reminded you of King Creosote, but of course it wasn't King Creosote because the tape was from 1996. And you drove toward the park where L would be waiting for you, words on her lips, and you wondered if there were more yeses or more no's on her lips, and you wondered where she was right now, walking or bicycling or still at home.

And you looked at the empty passenger seat beside you and hurtling down the highway you wanted more than anything to have L here beside you, no matter what she was going to say, no matter if it were yeses or no's; just to have her here with streetlights flashing in your faces and this cassette playing. You would take a corner and she would look at the case and she would say, "You still write your e's the same way."

["Oldsmobile Car" is from Withered Hand's new EP, You're Not Alone, recorded by King Creosote. Withered Hand is my favourite new Scottish artist and I loved his debut EP, last year's Religious Songs. Dan launches the new EP in Edinburgh on June 9 - together with Benni Hemm Hemm, Ish Marquez, Emily Scott and Sebastian Fors. Scots, mark your calendars & non-Scots, send in an order.]


Beloved Montreal record-shop Phonopolis writes about the pleasures of Bach.


If you speak French, read Garrincha's precise and elegiac words on Iron & Wine's "The Trapeze Singer", so that you will never hear it any other way again.


My dear, dear, dear friend P is participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and is earnestly seeking donations. It would be really wonderful if you donated any amount.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at May 25, 2009 7:03 PM

i adore this blog so.
thank you, again, for sharing your thoughts, words and songs.

Posted by jessica at May 27, 2009 2:44 AM

a friend has just sent me a long to this blog....very intriguing and the WH song is just awesome...

thank you

Posted by Rampant Chutney Consumerism at May 28, 2009 6:55 AM

this is one of my favourite posts in a long time, and getting in to withered hands just opened up so many other doors of bands for me. thanks sean!

Posted by michelle at June 3, 2009 2:51 PM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
about said the gramophone
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 Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
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.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
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
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
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
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny