washing with coconut soap
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.


Shinobu - "T- T- T- Trepanning". If you had drilled a hole in your head, you'd stutter too. Shinobu are all over the place, guitars goin' wildly while the singer yells a song more slurred than sung. But the secret, inevitably, is in the hooks: one at the beginning of each line, in a whine that's totally pop. When the backing vocals come in ("Ahhhhhhhhhhh!"), I've just about resolved to go shoving through this rock'n'roll until I make it to the other side. This is an awesome minute and a half for fans of McLusky and men with megaphones.

[buy Worstward, Ho! for a mere $8]

Okkervil River - "O, Dana". The band called Okkervil River are presently (or were until recently) on tour in Australia and NZ. While travelling, they brought with them an EP, released on Oz's Inertia Records. It's a handful of new songs and a live recording of "Westfall". One of the songs that's received the most blog love is "The President's Dead", which is a sympathetic first-person eulogy on the death of a [presumably Republican] president. I interviewed songwriter Will Sheff much earlier this year (for a piece that is hopefully going to be published soon), and one of the things we talked about was Neil Young's recent Living With War record. It got Will mad. "Well, from a political standpoint," he said, "kudos to him. But from an artistic standpoint, that’s just so... It’s just so dumb. It made me want to write a song that gives people sympathy for Bush. I just don’t like things that massage your beliefs and say 'What you believed all along is in fact the truth.'" And so he did.

Anyway, I'm not posting "The President's Dead" because I don't think it's nearly as compelling a track as another song on the EP, called "O, Dana". This one doesn't have a political back-story: it just has a chorus. "O, Dana - o Dana come on!" It's the stuff that old jukeboxes are made of; honky-tonk piano, trumpet ba-ba-ba, everyone yelling that couplet. Like "The Latest Toughs" (from last year's Black Sheep Boy), each go-round of the chorus renders the rest of the track irrelevant; let me just hear that hook fading out all night, right til the sunrise.

Update: And of course a helpful anonymous commenter reminds me to check the liner notes: the song is originally by Big Star. Face: a little red.

[buy, replete with splendid William Schaff artwork]


Contest time! Said the Gramophone has two pairs of tickets to give away to Grizzly Bear's September 26th show at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. I last wrote about the band (and their album Yellow House) last week. If you'd like to go, email contests@saidthegramophone.com with a message guessing what Grizzly Bear (the band not the animal) would most like to eat, if it were lost in a forest. Either I or Ed Droste will pick our two favourite answers - and you'll be good to go. Deadline: Midnight EST on Wednesday, September 20th.


Eric Marathonpacks writes some sociological thoughts on musicblogs. Please ignore my lightweight and scattered comment in response.


Spoilt Victorian Child, an early and exceptional mp3blog, seems to have wrapped things up. I'd be sad if they had not done such tremendous work, over the years. All the best in what's to come, Simon.

Posted by Sean at September 18, 2006 3:00 AM

Mention the Big Star original.

Posted by Anonymous at September 18, 2006 4:57 AM

The banjo in that Okkervil River track wants to make friends, but it's afraid to say hello.

Posted by Tuwa at September 18, 2006 5:03 AM

not to make you double-blush, but inertia seems to be some kind of distributor that happens to carry the okkervil ep. it was released by low transit industries (www.lowtransitindustries.com).

Posted by george at September 18, 2006 12:27 PM

That Grizzly Bear ticket ain't coming with free transaltantic flights, is it... :(

Posted by Chloe at September 18, 2006 4:07 PM

niiiiiiice shinobu! how'd you hear about them, sean?

Posted by eric at September 19, 2006 10:02 PM

i was sent their cd!

Posted by Sean at September 20, 2006 3:56 AM

awesome. they're buddies of mine from california, when i lived there during college. and i forwarded them the blog link, and they were pretty stoked. i still need a copy of their cd cause when they were on tour, they almost ran out and i didn't want to take one of the previous last few. soon enough, though.

i'm also a big fan of 'same bastards' and 'regular love triangle' on that album. been listening to those songs for years at concerts, and i'm glad i finally have a studio version.

Posted by eric at September 24, 2006 10:45 PM

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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:
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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.

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"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.
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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