for a while
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.


A happy Monday to all. Ju-ly ju-ly.

SJD - "Superman, You're Crying". SJD is Sean James Donnelly, a laptop songwriter from Auckland. Yeah, I know, 'laptop songwriter' is an idea that's about eleven months stale. Hold on, though, and give this song a try. Give it a feel. Because it's wonderful - it's got a melody that takes you by the tuxedo lapels, that sings to you eye-to-eye. It has rippling strings and teeming electronics, a black matte bass-line and, like an unexpected homecoming, the lazy murmur of a harmonica. Donnelly's got Elbow's backup vocals and David Bowie's falsetto; he's got Sea Change's melancholy and his own earthbrown pulse. Better yet, it's the best Superman song we've heard in years: on snowy nights at the Fortress of Solitude, Kal El won't be turning on Coldplay. (Thanks so much, Adele.) [buy]

Hui Ohana - "Ulupalakua". Mike passes on this summer sweet track, taken from Hui Ohana's 1972 debut. It's so wonderfully gentle, harmonies like the nestling of clouds. They perform without any formal musical training, just the natural affinity of their voices, the play of fingers on slack-key guitar. Hui Ohana - Dennis Pavao and twin brothers, Led and Ned Kaapana, - was at the forefront of the 70s Hawaiian folk renaissance. As with Iz, their music is soft without being insipid; there's a hope, an open-heartedness to it. Maybe even a little sadness, there in the end of the phrases. [buy]


Download an entire Tilly and the Wall record at their website. Yes, they have a tapdancer instead of drums.


I'm always the last one to a party. I've long held Neil Young in esteem, but I can't say that I've much enjoyed his music. "Heart of Gold" is a scourge upon the earth, and the rawk side of his persona is not really my cup of tea. But thanks to the wise recommendations of my friend Jordan, I've been dipping a toe into Neil's back catalog. (Bob Dylan is next.) What do I discover but the bluegrey pleasure of Comes A Time: it's a magnificent little album, surprisingly reminiscent of Leonard Cohen's Songs From A Room and bits of recent Wilco. While I'm sure that you're all way ahead of me on this one, if you were an ignorant fool like me, well - i've done what i can. :)


Gramophone business:

Starting at the end of September, Said the Gramophone will be on hiatus as I go travelling in Europe. I'll be backpacking and hostelling with my good friend Julian, visiting slightly familiar haunts and the colourful unknown. We really hope to get a feel for the places we visit, rather than being limited to museums and tourist traps. We're both E.U. citizens; when the train-hopping's done, we'll be finding somewhere we like and settling in.

If anyone out there lives in one of the following cities and would be willing to say hello, I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you. We want to meet people and listen to music, to find good conversation and magical places. We're both 22 and although he's got a distorted English accent, I assure you that we both possess a Canadian good humour.

Anyway, if you think you can help us out or meet for a pint, drop me a note. Human beings know the best haunts, I'm sure.

Our September-December itinerary includes (but is not necessary limited to): Brighton, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Tampere, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Ljubjlana. After that, we'll hang around Italy or sweep up through Spain/Portugal/France; whatever our bank-accounts permit. And then live somewhere.

As always, thanks for reading. Tomorrow - a special tune for any MeFites who decide to stick around.

Posted by Sean at July 12, 2004 12:27 AM

you should start a blog chronicling your travels.

Posted by Anonymous at July 12, 2004 1:42 AM

Hi there,

I live in Oxford and would be happy to show you around for some Radiohead related highlights in the fall.

Posted by James at July 12, 2004 4:24 AM

What, no Sweden? Shame on you, Mr Gramophone! ;)

Posted by Marcus at July 12, 2004 4:34 AM

Well since I nicked so many songs off you, the least I could do is show you 'round London. I know some killer record stores...which may blow your budget though!

Posted by Matthew at July 12, 2004 4:43 AM

And no Norway? As a matter of fact NO SCANDINAVIA at all? That's just sad, Sean!;-) Well, I know some really nice people in Bratislava and Ljubljana. I'll be happy to help you out!


Posted by KuntaKinte at July 12, 2004 5:18 AM

Not sure about showing you the sights, but I should be able to show you where to get a decent pint when you get to Cambridge ;-)

Posted by Adrian at July 12, 2004 6:49 AM

Neil's "On The Beach". Get it.

Posted by frank at July 12, 2004 10:07 AM

Wow! So much generosity - thank-you! I'll definitely be in touch with a bunch with those who have extended invitations.

As for Sweden and Norway, I -wish- we were visiting (and I'll try to make up for the omission at a later date), but the cost of travelling through there was prohibitive, for the momemt.

Posted by Sean at July 12, 2004 10:09 AM

Oh, and Frank - "On the Beach" is indeed good. It's the one Neil Young album I enjoyed up to now; but apart from the title track, it still didn't knock my socks off.

Posted by Sean at July 12, 2004 10:10 AM

i'd like to reccomend my former haunt of manchester (UK) for really good small venues, and great pubs and bars... i'd be happy to reccomend a few spots, as well as the best record shops to visit

Posted by robot blair at July 12, 2004 11:43 AM

What no Switzerland?
When are you thinking of being in Glasgow, I might be back over sometime around the start of December.

Posted by stx at July 12, 2004 1:05 PM

Sean, have you listened to "Tonights the Night" by Neil Young? if you like dark music, that is for you. it has the same feel to me as "Magnolia Electric Co.". in fact i think Jason Molina sometimes does the title track live.....
also if you can get your hands on the out of print "Time Fades Away" that completes the doom trilogy of (w/ On the BEach, T'nites the Night) which represent some scary dark times for Mr. Young.
For Mr. Dylan....try out "New Morning". it is not a well loved record by big time fans but I am in love with it.
-bmr (formerly SF)

Posted by bmr at July 12, 2004 1:28 PM

This Tilly and the Wall album is amazing! Thanks for sharing the link.

Posted by Aurelien at July 12, 2004 2:54 PM

Sweet songs... I just bought the SJD album. Damn, it'll probably take a few weeks to get out here to California, too :/

Posted by eric at July 12, 2004 3:32 PM

Well, what d'ya know... I'll be in London from September to December too :P Yay, Bloomsbury. I almost ended up in Florence, but London actually had, y'know, classes that I needed for my major.

Ooh, Estonia! I visited like 7 years ago, but I have to tell you... try the seafood restaurants there (that is, if prices and quality haven't changed drastically for the worse) :3

Posted by elchan at July 12, 2004 4:18 PM

The soundtrack to the movie 'Dead Man'. Wasn't that Neil Young? The CD got stolen some years ago, but I liked it back then. And the movie was pretty great!

Posted by KuntaKinte at July 12, 2004 5:55 PM

stx - Glasgow will be in mid-October, and then (if we like it) again at the end of December or January. Maybe we'll cross paths?

And elchan, that's a lovely coinkydink. Maybe there'll be room or time for an mp3blogger get-together. :) I'm definitely looking forward to cheap and yummy Estonian seafood. Let's hope it's unchanged!

and blair, i'll be in touch!

Posted by Sean at July 12, 2004 8:27 PM

er, oh yeah - and thanks for the young rec, brian. i'll look it up.

Posted by Sean at July 12, 2004 8:28 PM

hello from an occasional reader type person

i live in the town of brighton so feel free to drop me a line for some tiperoonys


Posted by kelvin at July 13, 2004 6:03 AM

hey Sean,

I live near Belfast, so if you are going to be in the vicinity, get in touch.

Also, I know a girl who lives and works in Dublin, so I am sure she would be happy to show you the best haunts / record shops / cafes / hostels there.

Let me know if you need a hand.

All the best,


Posted by Ross at July 13, 2004 7:23 AM

I'll be in Cambridge from October to early December then again from early January, so feel free to drop me a line and I'll show you nice pubs. I like pubs.

Posted by Chris at September 13, 2004 7:19 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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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.

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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drawn + quarterly
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