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.


Helvetia - "Old New Bicycle".

If you think of an encyclopedia less like a contribution to science, less of a mountain of facts, and more like a friend to help you get through something, then you're beginning to understand The Encyclopedia Dan. It will contain answers, though maybe not the answers, to questions that I wish I could have read about before I finding out for myself. ... You can add your own in the comments.

file under: travel: london
it is very expensive to take the bus and train in london, england, but you can get an "oyster card" in a few minutes, basically for free, which makes the Underground and everything much, much cheaper, and that's the way you should do it when you visit.

file under: things worth spending a little more money on
headphones, sushi, birthday presents, dark chocolate, winter coats, the train, baklava, taxis home

file under: sundays
lots of people feel blue on sundays. it is common. don't worry about it. maybe you will feel better if you call a friend on the telephone or go out for ice-cream cones before it gets too late.

file under: cabin fever
if you are isolated from people for a few days or maybe even a week, you might begin to go a little crazy, and feel hollow and depressed and tired and desperately unhappy, and it's not because you are depressed or tired or desperately unhappy - it just means you should have some conversations with people, and then you will feel better so fast.

file under: distances
chicago's quite a long way from new york city, if you were planning to go.

file under: quitting: jobs
it's always easier than you think.

file under: goodbyes
avoid them.

file under: growing up: long-distance relationships
you cannot under any circumstances believe your eyes or your ears. not because people are liars but because when two hearts aren't under the same sheets it is very hard for them to know each other and beat in time, no matter how much you think you can hear the thump-&-thump down the telephone wires.

file under: travel: montreal
get a bike.

[Helvetia MySpace / The Acrobats is out in March]


Elsewhere: Torture Garden's favourite songs of 2007 are recommended.

Posted by Sean at January 11, 2008 12:45 PM

I would put bicycle under 'things worth spending a little more money on', but then my bike is worth more than many cars. Also, I can't drive.

Otherwise, good work. ;) (Especially re long distance relationships. When will I ever learn?)

Posted by Robert P at January 11, 2008 1:10 PM

good lord, stg. you have quite the way with words.

Posted by joanna at January 11, 2008 3:15 PM

Alternate Versions

file under: cabin fever
occasionally people really suck or become overwhelming, and being alone is better than having a conversation. taking walks alone or striking up conversations when appropriate with strangers can help when i really don't have anyone to talk to.

file under: quitting: jobs
not always easy depending on one's financial situation and if you are poor & lack job skills

file under: growing up: long-distance relationships
sometimes hearts don't beat in sync even when they are under the same sheets, but they can feel astonishingly close over long distances. long distance relationships are also easier if you know you might live in the same city some day.

file under: goodbyes

file under: travel: montreal
not in the winter!

Posted by dirty at January 11, 2008 4:03 PM

file under: travel: Ireland
while traveling the narrow windy hedge-rowed roads, bring snacks, because though the pubs have signs that say "Food Served All Day" this does not mean food is served all day.


seean and dan, this feature is a wonderful new addition to the StG lexicon.

Posted by BMR at January 11, 2008 4:11 PM

oh well, I do own a old and a new bike, can't drive too. great song!

Posted by harm job at January 11, 2008 6:08 PM

every day you remind me why i love this blog

Posted by emily at January 12, 2008 12:17 AM

Beautiful entry. You've made my day. Thank you for that.

Posted by Christopher at January 12, 2008 3:22 AM

Thank you so much for this delightful anchor. It meant a lot to me today, as I relearn everything sometimes daily.

Posted by Bill at January 12, 2008 10:55 AM

thanks for the link, sean.

file under travel: berlin
walk the city centre in a straight line from alex to else.

Posted by shane at January 12, 2008 12:08 PM

thanks for this song today, sean, it was perfect.

Posted by katherine at January 12, 2008 10:57 PM

What's Baklava?

Posted by Susanna at January 13, 2008 2:04 AM

Thank you so much for your blog - I have never found anything else like it and don't think I ever will!

Posted by Amy at January 13, 2008 2:29 AM

I have met someone who doesn't get the Sunday blues and has no idea what I am talking about.
also, extend the cabin fever time frame down to 'a few minutes'

Posted by davidb at January 14, 2008 11:53 AM

Amazingly enough, I was just feeling desperately unhappy when I came across this, but I've also been sick and confined to my apartment for four days, so it made me feel better.

Posted by brytt at January 17, 2008 8:21 PM

so what happens if you are stuck between making the choice of a goodbye or a long distance relationship? will two years of hearts in-synch beating crack so easily that this feeling of sad fear is warrented?

file under:Quality of Life:Love and Happiness
do not expect uninterupted joy. Sleep soundly in the arms of him(her) when they are there and don't expect not to (don't be afraid to) miss them when they're gone.

Posted by camille at January 20, 2008 6:32 PM

>so what happens if you are stuck between making
>the choice of a goodbye or a long distance
>relationship? will two years of hearts in-synch
>beating crack so easily that this feeling of sad
>fear is warrented?

i'm sorry camille, but yes.

Posted by sean at January 20, 2008 6:34 PM

that is so incredibly and unnaturally unfair

Posted by camille at January 20, 2008 11:50 PM

File under: Maps
Some people use maps to find out where they are...others paper their rooms with them and dream about where they are not.

File under: Lying: Little White Lies
Compare to sugar: everyone requires some, but too much and your tongue will bleed and grate against the roof of your mouth.

File under: Travel: Singapore
The smell of the wet and water. Getting the "Western" meal at a hawker centre because of your fear of new things--eggs, sunny-side-up, baked beans, sausage. Signs that outlaw durian, spitting, picking flowers.

File under: Literature: James Joyce
The rush of language is overwhelming. A journey with a goal: to emerge inside someone else's head.

File under: Quitting: You
It was cheesy before Brokeback Mountain. Now it's just cliché.

File under: Music: Twentieth Century: John Adams: Road Movies
Sometimes new music is confusing and everything inside you exclaims "this is crap!" When this happens, you listen to John Adams for hours in the dark, with your eyes half-closed.

Posted by Ren at January 27, 2008 2:22 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...'

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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

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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.

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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
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chez boris
alati caserta
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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