Absolute Elsewhere

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STEPHEN STILLS INTERVIEWED (2012): He's a real everywhere man

23 Jan 2012    2

Few musicians can claim to have played at the three defining musical festivals of the Sixties. But a few, very few, were on stage at all of them. One of them was in Buffalo Springfield at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 which launched the peace'n'love era, and with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Woodstock in mid 69 which was the zenith of the era (CS&N's second concert). And he was... > Read more

My Love is a Gentle Thing (demo)

THE STORY OF SOUTHERN SOUL 1961-1977: We go down to the river

16 Jan 2012    1

In early 2009 at the Mojo Honours List celebrations, Yoko Ono and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top flashed peace signs together, White Lies were acclaimed as the breakthrough act of the moment and the very late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy was the recipient of the Icon Award. There was also an award for the best compilation of the previous year. Among the contenders were Dark Was the Night, a... > Read more

Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone

BILLY EBELING PROFILED (2012): Troubadour for our time

10 Jan 2012    3

The way I remember it goes something like this. It was the early Nineties and on Auckland's Queen St there were very few buskers. And they were uniformly awful. A man playing a guitar who can't play guitar was funny once . . . but after that it was just sad. And it did no credit to the student radio station that they adopted him for a little while. So any busker who could stop... > Read more

I Want You To Want Me

CHARLIE RICH (1932-1995): The Smash hits that never were

9 Jan 2012

When the Beatles visited Elvis Presley for the first and only time in August 1965, it wasn't quite the great meeting of minds or collision of musical genius as might have been expected. The Beatles were, by their own account, so into marijuana at the time they forgot where it was they were going until the limo pulled up outside Elvis place in Los Angeles' Benedict Canyon. When they got... > Read more

Dance of Love

RADIO BIRDMAN REMEMBERED: Detroit rock'n'roll . . . . outta Sydney, Australia

6 Jan 2012

Radio Birdman were one of the great Detroit rock bands, except they came from Sydney. Inspired by the Stooges and MC5, they blasted out of Australia in the pre-punk Seventies in one of those short, fast flights that would end in legend or obscurity. They managed to achieve both. Most people have never heard of them let alone their sonic boom thrash-pop, but the few who did became... > Read more

New Race

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LARAAJI (2012): Relax, you are feeling sleepy

4 Jan 2012

Rather cruelly, when the English rock writer Andy Gill reviewed the Laraaji album Days of Radiance back in 1980 he opened with "Zzzzz . . ." Fair call in some ways, but in its defense the album was the third in Brian Eno's ambient series and the second side was taken up with two long pieces entitled Meditation #1 and Meditation #2. And you could hardly expect someone who played... > Read more

Meditation #1 (extract only, from vinyl some surface pops)

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011: History repeats in box sets

16 Dec 2011

 Any clear-eyed look back on 2011 would say it wasn't a great one for electric guitars. Classic, mainstream rock albums were few and far between, and the singles charts – often a bridge between guitar pop and indie.rock – have long been the domain of r'n'b/hip-hop (“featuring Bulldog”). In what might loosely be called “rock culture”, rock music... > Read more

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SONGBOOK (2011): Songs from the great southern land

15 Dec 2011    1

As many Elsewhere readers will know, for my sins (and yes, driven by ego perhaps), I recently agreed to compile a list of albums which I thought would be useful building blocks in any serious music collection. From our initial discussions which started with the idea of 20 albums, over a beer that quickly expanded to 50 then at some point -- after more beers probably -- it became 101. ... > Read more

Friday on my Mind

THE ROLLING STONES, SOME GIRLS REISSUED (2011): Some girls give me diamonds

14 Dec 2011    4

There are a couple of unusual features about the sporadic reissue of the Rolling Stones' back-catalogue. Although all their albums have been sprung on CD a few times in the past, the current phase of expanded reissues seem to follow no chronology but a pattern running on an interesting internal logic. In recent years there have been the expanded live set Get Yer Yas Yas Out (with DVD) and... > Read more

When You're Gone (previously unreleased

PETER GABRIEL, THE SOLO FLIGHT 1985-2011: Into another world

12 Dec 2011

By the mid Eighties when his years in Genesis should have been well behind him and his solo career was four albums down, Peter Gabriel was rather more battered than he had a right to expect. He's done good work -- some of it more worthy than wonderful -- but for his self-titled album of '82 (aka Security), he had been labelled by the NME reviewer as an "art-house bore". And... > Read more

Only Us

FAME STUDIOS: Where the good bizness got done

8 Dec 2011    1

In their 2003 book Temples of Sound -- a look into the history of great American recording studios such as Chess in Chicago, Sun in Memphis and Motown in Detroit -- the authors Jim Cogan and William Clark acknowledge there were others they could have included. And conspicious by its absence is FAME Studios. Admittedly FAME moved around -- from above a drug store to two stand-alone sites... > Read more

I Hope They Get Their Eyes Full

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED: Doug "Cosmo" Clifford interviewed (2011)

7 Dec 2011    2

When a marriage breaks up or a couple separates there can be messy stuff, not the least of which can be fighting over property. It can be the same with bands when they split up – but the property is sometimes less tangible. Songs may belong to the writer, but anyone can sing them, so often the battle is over the band's name if some members want to continue you using it. Pink... > Read more

CAN'S CLASSIC TAGO MAGO; 40 YEARS ON (2011): Pre-post-rock with a sonic sweep

5 Dec 2011    1

If you applied cold logic, on paper most band line-ups wouldn't make much sense. With hindsight you can see the internal faultlines which would pull apart so many of them. None of that matters of course, as long as at some point they make great music. And Can out of Germany certainly did that, although on paper the line-up for their extraordinary Tago Mago album of 1971 -- a highwater... > Read more

Mushroom (live 1972)

BRIAN WILSON, THE LOST MASTERPIECE AT LAST (2011): And finally we can all SMiLE

14 Nov 2011    1

In the current issue of Uncut magazine, the editors have compiled a list of the 50 greatest bootlegs. Among the usual suspects are never-released Bob Dylan and the Band, the Clash, the Velvet Underground, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush (her demo sessions) and so on. Topping the list was the Beach Boys' SMiLE which the authors duly noted would... > Read more

Good Vibrations session

THE BEACH BOYS' SMiLE (2011): Reconstructing the jigsaw puzzle

14 Nov 2011    1

In a sense, the group's name was the problem: The Beach Boys. It was ideal when they were singing short-hair clean-cut Californian surf and hotrod songs in the innocent early Sixties. But as the decade turned, the Beatles arrived, passing marijuana replaced waxing down the board, and the Beach Boys music became more complex . . . but the band's name sounded juvenile and not a little... > Read more

Good Vibrations session

FLYING NUN AT 30 (2011): Getting older and bolder

4 Nov 2011

If you are 20, jeez even if you are 30, the great days of Flying Nun -- that thrilling period between the Clean's rallying cry-cum-single Tally Ho in '81 and, say, Martin Phillipps announcing the end of the Chills on-stage in America in '92 to the surprise of his bandmates – is not something you experienced. Not for you the excitement of seeing the young Straitjacket Fits,... > Read more

Drawing to a Hole

TOM WAITS INTERVIEWED (2011): Cutting through tough scrub

31 Oct 2011    1

As many who've tried will attest, you don't so much interview Tom Waits as ask a question . . . then hope for the best. His reply might be an oddball witticism which is funny but evasive, a yawning and uncomfortable silence, a strange but insightful analogy which makes better sense later or a mumbled “I dunno, you know”. Of course sometimes he is sharp and penetratingly... > Read more

New Year's Eve

GURRUMUL PROFILED (2011): Songs of the sacred world

27 Oct 2011    1

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu – known to his people as Gudjuk and in the wider world as simply Gurrumul – is an overnight sensation which has been about two decades in the making. The blind, self-taught, singer-songwriter from an Aboriginal community on the small and remote Elcho -- an island off the north coast of Australia near Darwin (population 2300) -- has toured Europe... > Read more

Gurrumul: Djarimirri

U2, ACHTUNG BABY TURNS 20 (2011): The handbrake turn

25 Oct 2011    1

In Dublin, at the end of the final U2 concert on the Lovetown tour in 1989 -- broadcast to 200 million in a live radio link up -- Bono said they would now “go away and dream it all up again”. From a scrappy post-punk band at the start of the decade they had delivered half a dozen albums which connected them with a global audience, and had written stadium anthems which are... > Read more

Zoo Station

JIMI HENDRIX IN 2011: Return to Winterland 1968

17 Oct 2011    1

From the moment Jimi Hendrix arrived in London in the early hours of September 24 1966 to his death in the same city just a few days short of four years later, he seemed to be constantly moving, playing and recording. He played his first jam in London the night he arrived, and a fortnight later -- after jamming with the Brian Auger Trinity, the VIPs at the famous Scotch of St James and... > Read more

Foxey Lady