Absolute Elsewhere

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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LAIBACH (2013): The politics of noise

12 Jun 2014    1

Out of the old Yugoslavia in the early Eighties they came, their industrial sound grinding like tank tracks across the earwaves of Europe, their look unacceptably miltaristic, their irony bludgeoning all before them into submission. Laibach - who took the name from the German version of their hometown Ljubljana -- were a four-piece band like no other. They brandished slogans and wore... > Read more

Dear Friends

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED, PART ONE (2014): How many more times?

9 Jun 2014

He may have been grumpy, sometimes racist and often on the wrong side of history when it came to the directions of jazz, but the writer and sometime jazz critic Philip Larkin could still make some valid points. With regard to critics who wrote that Billie Holiday used her voice like an instrument he said that was “a... > Read more

Gallows Pole (rough mix)

LARRY CARLTON INTERVIEWED (2104): Guitars for the stars

2 Jun 2014

Larry Carlton --- four time Grammy winner and during the 60s and 70s one of the most in-demand session guitarists on Los Angeles for a roll-call of rock, pop and jazz stars – recalls one especially hopeless session in 74. It came when John Lennon – then on an 18 month “lost weekend” break from Yoko Ono – ended up on a booze'n'coke binge in Los Angles and,... > Read more

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED. AGAIN (2014): Three steps along the road to the Stairway

30 May 2014    1

In all the words spilled about Led Zeppelin's classic Stairway to Heaven – a milestone or a millstone in popular music depending on where you stand, rock's national anthem, hippie vibe-meets-hard rock – it's often overlooked how obvious or inevitable it was in many ways. Although Led Zepp are most often thought of as a hard rock band, they were also just as much a... > Read more

The Immigrant Song (alternate version)

GRACE JONES, NIGHTCLUBBING REVISITED (2014): The ice-maiden returns

30 May 2014

In Roman Polanski's 1988 thriller Frantic, the actor Harrison Ford gets to play a role he would repeat many times: Homo Panicus, the ordinary man under pressure. When Ford's character, a surgeon from San Francisco, arrives in Paris with his wife for a conference they discover she has collected the wrong bag at the airport. And there the story begins: she disappears mysteriously, he... > Read more

Pull Up to the Bumper (remix)

LOU ADLER PROFILED (2014): What a wonderful world his would be

19 May 2014

In '69 the producer, songwriter, film producer, club owner and impresario Lou Adler - because he could -- took a bunch of soulful musicians into the studio to record a bunch of Bob Dylan's songs in a gospel style. That long forgotten item was given a recent reissue, and so Lou Adler's name went back into the wider world as reminder of what he once used to do. These days he's just as... > Read more

Oh No, Not My Baby

GARY NUMAN INTERVIEWED (2014): Loving the alien

16 May 2014

About 15 minutes into a very casual and chatty conversation with Gary Numan -- during which he's talked about his three kids, a prolonged bout of depression, almost breaking up with his wife and then how they'd undergone IVF treatment and lost the baby and being choked with emotion on stage – I interrupt and say, “Many people would be surprised to hear you talk like this... > Read more


BRIAN ENO (2014): The brain that wouldn't die

14 May 2014    1

I was so far behind on phone technology it wasn't until late December that I bought an iPhone. And I didn't muck about. I went straight for an iPhone 5 . . . which took me three weeks to figure out the basics. That's what happens when you leap from a secondhand pushbike into a new BMW. The first playful app I got was one my son recommended: Bloom created by Brian Eno. I've been an... > Read more

A Man Wakes Up

LAWRENCE ARABIA INTERVIEWED (2014): Going back, going forward, taking stock

12 May 2014

Lawrence Arabia – known at home as James Milne – has made some of the most interesting New Zealand music of the past decade. Over three albums he has crafted fascinating pop which is embellished by strings and strange sounds, but always highly melodic and lyrically engrossing.. His has been an interesting career from playing stand-in bassist for Okkervil River in Australia... > Read more

The Bisexual

BLACK KEYS, TURN BLUE (2014): What a long strange trip it's being

9 May 2014

For a band made up just two guys, the Black Keys can be awfully hard to keep up with. Akron's finest, now Nashville-based, duo – Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney – have not only been prolific on their own count (eight album since 2002, including their new one Turn Blue) but recorded with hip-hop artists on the Blakroc album (2009), flicked out EPs, and contributed songs on... > Read more

Weight of Love

BILL NELSON REVISITED (2014): Back on the beam

30 Apr 2014

Actually, the title on this article is a fib: this is not a revisit to the astonishingly prolific English musician Bill Nelson (whom Elsewhere has never previously visited), but merely an excuse to wax lyrical about his typically indefinable album from 1981 entitled -- hold your breath -- Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam. And that probably is a reference to . . . ? The absurdly... > Read more

Cubical Domes

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON INTERVIEWED (2014): Looking at the end of the road

29 Apr 2014

The call catches Kris Kristofferson where you might expect him to be, on the bus on the road heading for another show, this time in Australia. “I just woke up so I may sound stupid,” he says with a hoarse, apologetic laugh before his wife's phone cuts out yet again. But when they roll into somewhere with better coverage we get to discuss the reward of the road: he can put... > Read more

Final Attraction

SHARON O'NEILL INTERVIEWED (2014): Surviving in the fires of fame

25 Apr 2014    2

Go back and look at the newspaper and magazine articles from the late Seventies and early Eighties if you can -- and I can because I kept many shoved inside her album covers -- and see what writers and reviewers were saying about Sharon O'Neill at the time. After her backstory had been told -- singing as a kid growing up in Nelson, with the band Chapta in Christchurch, some overseas... > Read more

Smash Palace

ELVIS COSTELLO, COVER STAR (2014): 10 Great Interpretations

24 Apr 2014

When Elvis Costello plays in Auckland this weekend the expectation is going to be high. Last year he and the Imposters -- two thirds of the original Attractions but which Costello sees as a different animal entirely -- delivered a blinder of a show which offered a breathless pace of hit-after-hit and didn't let up until well in when they left the stage and remained came out for an equally... > Read more


WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . PETE BURNS (2014): What's on the a-gender?

21 Apr 2014

A lifetime and career trajectory from beautiful young New Wave pop-boy star to a very alarming botoxed older woman is not what most people would chart for themselves. But welcome to the world of the always androgynous Pete Burns who came to attention in the Eighties as the lead singer of Dead or Alive out of Wirral, across the Mersey from central Liverpool, and went on to become a media... > Read more

Sex Drive (Glam Driving Mix)

JACKSON C. FRANK PROFILED (2014): A folked up life

14 Apr 2014

Surely we will not only be forgiven for missing the recent reissue of the sole album by a lost British folk legend, but excused for never having heard of him at all. Jackson C. Frank died in '99 -- he'd been a diagnosed paranoid-schizophrenic and had been homeless on the streets of New York beforehand -- a full 34 years after his self-titled album was released. Frank was undeniaby... > Read more

My Name is Carnival

GRACE, INTERVIEWED (1995): North Shore to Black Sand Shore

6 Apr 2014    1

The rooms backstage at the Auckland Town Hall aren’t up to much. Clean, certainly, but this very small one comes with only a tiny mirror above the handbasin, the toilet is somewhere down the hall, and the six people waiting here are rotating in the five available seats. This is an important night for the room’s temporary occupants. Grace – the three Ioasa brothers... > Read more

Distant Blue

JASON ISBELL INTERVIEWED (2014): Living in Different Days

4 Apr 2014    3

Now well out on his own, Jason Isbell was formerly of Drive By Truckers for six years until 2007 and contributed some of their finest songs, like Dress Blue about the death of a school friend in Iraq, their classic Decoration Day and Danko/Manuel about the lives of the members of The Band. But he was young when he joined them, the road took its toll and he started drinking heavily,... > Read more

Different Days

DEAD MOON REVISITED (2014): Back from the graveyard

2 Apr 2014

The promoter John Baker – who brought Dead Moon over to New Zealand for the first time – reminded me recently of when that was: August 1992. I hadn't remembered the month only vaguely had the approximate year, however I have never forgotten the moment Dead Moon came into the highly conservative offices of what people jokingly then called “The Royal New Zealand... > Read more

Walking on My Grave

JYOSNA/JYOSHNA PROFILED (2014): When the spirit moves

31 Mar 2014    1

I first met Jyosna LaTrobe in January '91 after the release of her cassette Reign of Love which I had reviewed for the Herald. I was aware of who she was – she'd been a founding member of the all-women acoustic trio Turiiya – but her album came as “a modest delight” as I called it in my four-star lead review. The musical arrangements embraced sitar and... > Read more

Sakal maner vina