Nothing Ever Could
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.


Washington White - "I Am in the Heavenly Way"

How deep is Washington White? As deep as the Potomac River? As deep as the Georgetown philosophy department? The White Sox bullpen?

1. Greg is studying for his GREs and when I ran into him today, I asked him how it was going.

"Well, it's actually pretty hard to make an analogy using words you don't know."
"Impossible," I said.

2. My favourite records are to my record player as my conversations with acquaintances are to my mind.

3. So it occurred to me that in my conversation with Greg I made a terrible, terrible mistake, and that, as a result, my reputation (considerable and seemingly unassailable as it was) had been ruined. Now a pariah, I would have to leave Montreal as I had left so many cities before: humiliated, homeless, hungry, hoping that I would be always correct in San Francisco, or Lisbon, or Tokyo, or somewhere before the whole world finds out I'm a fraud.

4. You don't have to know any English to know that 'lived' is to 'devil' as 'peed' is to 'deep', for example.

5. Which is deep (maybe deeper than the Potomac), but not as deep as Washington White. The snowballing momentum, the insistent harping on the downbeat, the call and response of the male-female vocals all call to mind Blind Willie Johnson, a man whose depth is roughly the same as that of the universe itself. Like Johnson's "John The Revelator", "I Am in the Heavenly Way" works on an ecstatic momentum; White bangs his out of tune guitar like a coxswain bangs his drum, or a horseman cracks his whip, pushing, pushing, pushing, and after each strike, his focus and enthusiasm are concentrated and he pushes harder yet.

6. Listen to the silence after the song finishes. Though the sound has dissipated, the energy remains. Though White is gone, his performance persists, still deeply affecting seventy years later. [Buy]


Phil Ochs - "The Highwayman"

My roommates love this song, which means that I live in a sick and depressed household. It's probably why I'm dying of the flu right now. This kind of music is not good for your immune system. If you listen, you will likely become ill too.

Upside: perverse pleasure derived from beautifully executed tragic art.
Downside: pain and suffering.

Do what you want (though misery does love company). [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at August 9, 2006 1:32 PM

It makes me sad that these posts are not receiving huzzahs; perhaps it's because we are deep deep into summer holidays? I think that the last couple of weeks your collective posts have been consistently well-written, entertaining and somewhere between élan-full and zesty (of the orange zest kind). I thought someone should tell you, even if I am related. Oh, and, Jordan, look after that immune system.

Posted by Sean's Mum at August 9, 2006 2:23 PM

The quality doesn't go unappreciated. I don't even download the songs here 90% of the time, just read the essays. Generally like them better than the songs (and the songs are generally excellent).

Posted by Sam at August 9, 2006 5:50 PM

Phil Ochs rules

Posted by your roommate, not your friend at August 9, 2006 6:04 PM

C'mon, these two both rock. And yes, Mr. Ochs does in fact rule. And I am emphatically not a knee-jerk fan of either genre.

I might have programmed "There But For Fortune," though that may not be your household's favorite.

Posted by wcw at August 9, 2006 6:21 PM

I'm not sure how much you've been paying attention lately, but the White Sox bullpen isn't very deep at all.

Posted by Joe at August 9, 2006 9:04 PM

I absolutely adore your posts and your music. The songs are so varied; I recently learned that Dead Queen by Espers is perfect for walking on the tightwire and that Etno Camp by Félix Lajkó (or do I have his last and first name switched?) is perfect for rocking out.

I have wanted to comment during the months that I've been visiting (thank you for introducing me to Wolf Parade, by the way). But today, I had to comment because Phil Ochs is one of my favorite musicians, and "The Highwayman" is one of favorite songs by him. And the poem is, yeah, one of my favorite poems.

Thank you for months of awesome music. I can't wait for more smurftacular music.

Posted by Linka at August 9, 2006 9:38 PM

if you must know, our other favourite Phil Ochs song is "The Power and the Glory." it is so beautiful that it brings tears to our eyes.

Posted by jordan's roommate at August 9, 2006 10:18 PM

sad two by Ochs:
Cross My Heart
No More Songs

Read "Death of a Rebel" and learn about his John Train period, where he would punch people in the face if they called him Phil Ochs - a sad story of tortured genius.

I saw my mother crying when Phil Ochs died - I understood it when I turned 25.

Posted by BMR at August 10, 2006 10:39 AM

Sam, WCW, Linka - Thank you!

Joe - You'd say deeper than the White Sox bullpen, then?

Roommate, not friend - "The Power and the Glory" is not only a great song, The Power and the Glory is also the second best Gentle Giant album, and the power and the glory are two goals I constantly strive to achieve.

BMR - My 25th birthday is coming up. Would you mind not making it sound so depressing?

Mom - Why not take Sean's Mum as a model? See how loving and supportive she is?

Posted by Jordan at August 10, 2006 3:22 PM

ellerman, classic edition.

Posted by david b at August 10, 2006 10:32 PM

this blog is toooo hot!

Posted by damamama-bear at August 19, 2006 11:05 AM

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