Music at Elsewhere

These pages - with sample tracks and videos posted - introduce and review new music which may otherwise go unheard and unnoticed. Music from Elsewhere reviews new albums (and some important reissues) you'll play more than once at home or in the car, and will want to tell friends about.

If you do, pass the word: you heard it first at Elsewhere.

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U2: Songs of Innocence (iTunes)

U2: Songs of Innocence (iTunes)

Because there's often a rush to judgement about U2 -- many hate them so passionately they don't feel the need to listen to them before dismissing an album as rubbish -- I've sat back on this new album released free through iTunes. I will declare my prejudices immediately: I liked very, very little of their work before Achtung Baby (I can be especially scathing about the pretension of Rattle... > Read more

Raised by Wolves

19 Sep 2014    1

Goat: Commune (Rocket/Southbound)

Goat: Commune (Rocket/Southbound)

Goat out of Sweden have certainly got their psychedelic trancerock-cum-world music references in perfect alignment as they explore territory that many thought might have been left behind in the very late Sixties. But to that San Francisco landscape they pull in tribal tropes, post-rock references, the rolling grooves of bands like Can and set their controls to the heart of Pink Floyd's... > Read more

Talk to God

19 Sep 2014

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be short . . . and today we turn attention to plank-spankers. Elvin Bishop, Can't Even Do Wrong Right (Alligator): It's one of those odd things that many people think... > Read more

Death Letter

17 Sep 2014

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar (Warners)

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar (Warners)

Although singing a generous number of highly reconfigured Led Zeppelin songs at his 2013 Vector show with this band, Plant continues to distance himself from Zepp's hard rock-cum-folk catalogue, leaving former bandmate Jimmy Page to mine the past while he moves further sideways through world music, American country, rebooted blues and even simple pop. With the Space Shifters discreetly... > Read more

Embrace Another Fall

15 Sep 2014

The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (4AD)

The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (4AD)

At times sounding filled with the overconfident swaggering, embellished pop of McCartney around Magical Mystery Tour or early Mika and Empire of the Sun glitterball fun, at others chugging like glam-rock or referring to the Mamas and the Papas and widescreen power-pop aimed at stadiums, this enormously enjoyable sixth outing by the Canadian collective around songwriter AC Newman deftly dance... > Read more

Champions of Red Wine

15 Sep 2014

Mahoney Harris: We Didn't Feel Alone (mahoneyharris)

Mahoney Harris: We Didn't Feel Alone (mahoneyharris)

At the midpoint of this debut album by Auckland singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris there is a lyric that can stop you in your tracks: just when you think you've got her pegged there is Miss You. On a cursory listen this piece -- which comes with an elegant musical setting with guitar by Tom Healy -- seems to be a piece about a former partner: "What would you say if I saw you today, would... > Read more

Miss You

8 Sep 2014    1

Various Artists: Bowie Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Bowie Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

The glue that barely holds this diverse 24-song collection together -- Paul Revere and the Raiders through Johnny Mathis, Lotte Lenya and Roxy Music -- is that these are the originals of songs David Bowie covered in his long and shapeshifting career. The timeframe is as wide as the songs: It runs from Revere's oddball garageband Louie Go Home which Bowie recorded when he was Davie Jones and... > Read more

I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship

8 Sep 2014

Jonah Tolchin: Clover Lane (YepRoc)

Jonah Tolchin: Clover Lane (YepRoc)

As enjoyably familiar as this rough-edged country-folk-blues album is, you can't help feel that you have traveled these paths many times from Bob Dylan through the Band and Tom Waits to Steve Earle in bluegrass mode and beyond. With some stellar assistance from the likes of harmonica player Mickey Raphael, Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin and others, Tolchin and his band shift from barn... > Read more

Hybrid Automobile

8 Sep 2014

J. Mascis: Tied to a Star (SubPop)

J. Mascis: Tied to a Star (SubPop)

The 2012 album I Bet on Sky by Dinosaur Jr – the band singer/guitarist J. Mascis helms with once-estranged Lou Barlow – divided loyalists, some heard it as a return to form and others (like me) thought it obvious. Mascis' albums under his own name have been more consistently interesting since Free So Free (with the Fog) over a decade ago, and especially 2011's Several... > Read more

Drifter

1 Sep 2014    1

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be short . . . Various Artists: Country Funk II 1967-74 (LITA/Southbound). The excellent archive label Light in the Attic continues its exploration of this loosely... > Read more

Don't Be Cruel

27 Aug 2014

ONE WE MISSED: Bobby Bare Jr: Undefeated (Bloodshot/Southbound)

ONE WE MISSED: Bobby Bare Jr: Undefeated (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Country music fans know Bare's dad as the voice out front of a string of mainstream but smart hit singles and albums in the 60s and 70s. But Jr – now close to 50 – has turned hard left into dark alt.country and some bruising boogie rock. However on this – which he has referred to as his break-up record – he's not beyond melancholy ballads (If She Cared comes on... > Read more

The Elegant Imposter

25 Aug 2014

Ron Gallipoli: Ron Gallipoli Loves You All (Freezing Works Music)

Ron Gallipoli: Ron Gallipoli Loves You All (Freezing Works Music)

In the other real world Ron Gallipoli is Sam Bradford who was the singer in New Zealand's Sharpie Crows, but here he nails down some droll, pleasingly weird, socio-political lo-fi electronica-cum-light industrial post-punk. It might be all over quickly -- nine songs in 34 minutes -- but he crams a lot of information (satirical comment) and sounds (nods towards bedroom-solo Chris Knox, what... > Read more

16000 Dead Pigs in the Huangpu River

25 Aug 2014

Wire: Document and Eyewitness (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Wire: Document and Eyewitness (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Post-punk arty-smarties Wire have delivered some excellent albums in recent years, notably Red Barked Tree in 2011 and more recently last year's Change Becomes Us for which they went back to tapes from the period covered here as the starting point for new configurations and ideas. Most people perhaps remember them from this formative period at the end of the Seventies and those three... > Read more

Eastern Standard

20 Aug 2014

Various Artists: XL Recordings, Pay Close Attention (XL)

Various Artists: XL Recordings, Pay Close Attention (XL)

Elsewhere rarely ventures towards compilations from record labels but this double CD (available on four album vinyl here) is so outstanding we think we should draw it you attention as both a sampler and a standalone collection of great songs from important artists in the 25 year history of this London-based indie labe. It's quite some journey from the Prodigy's Firestarter and Peaches' Fuck... > Read more

Sea Within a Sea

19 Aug 2014

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

Although he had some considerable advance hype, this New Orleans-based punk-edged rocker lives up to the claims being made on this debut album, simply by delivering gutsy rock'n'roll with a tight band and songs with titles like Violent Shiver, Wicked Waters, Spoon Out My Eyeballs and I Thought I Heard You Screaming. But those titles don't really tell the story because far from being some... > Read more

Old Hearts

18 Aug 2014

Kimbra: The Golden Echo (Warners)

Kimbra: The Golden Echo (Warners)

When Kimbra appeared at this year's Womad in Taranaki I observed at the time it allowed her to roadtest new material away from the prying eyes of the international -- and even local -- music media. She wasn't quite the unusual choice that many thought for a world music festival (other mainstream pop acts have been on previous bills) and she delivered a vigorously enthusiastic set full of... > Read more

Miracle

18 Aug 2014

Eric Clapton and Friends: The Breeze; An Appreciation of J.J. Cale (Universal)

Eric Clapton and Friends: The Breeze; An Appreciation of J.J. Cale (Universal)

Eric Clapton frequently speaks of himself as a messenger, originally passing on the blues then in the Seventies discovering the music of Bob Marley and J.J. Cale whose songs he covered to great success. Although not a close friend of the late Tulsa-based Cale until they collaborated on the Grammy-winning Road to Escondido in 2006, Clapton felt strongly enough about the man and his... > Read more

The Old Man and Me

18 Aug 2014    1

Mike Cooper: Trout Steel (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

Mike Cooper: Trout Steel (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

A few weeks ago when Elsewhere reviewed the predominantly guitar instrumental/experimental album Cantos de Lisboa by Steve Gunn and Mike Cooper, we confessed to knowing little about Cooper who counted among his folk and blues peers and admirers the likes of Bert Jansch and Davy Graham. This album -- its title lifted from stoner-favourite Richard Brautigan's famous book Trout Fishing in... > Read more

Sitting Here Watching

15 Aug 2014

Glen Moffatt: Superheroes and Scary Things (SDL)

Glen Moffatt: Superheroes and Scary Things (SDL)

Further proof that we export real talent. A little over a decade ago country-rock singer-songwriter Glen Moffatt quit New Zealand to base himself in Queensland, leaving behind three fine albums and a nomination in the songwriter of the year category. He immediately picked up good notices and awards in Queensland, but we haven't heard much from him in recent years. This album however --... > Read more

She's Not a Honky Tonk Woman

13 Aug 2014

Fu Manchu: Gigantoid (At the Dojo/Southbound)

Fu Manchu: Gigantoid (At the Dojo/Southbound)

Because Brant Bjork played with them and they're part of the Kyuss/Clutch/Monster Magnet cabal, this Southern California hard rock-stoner band has often been mentioned in dispatches but rarely made an impact here. That's surprising, given they should appeal to graybeards who loved the feedback rock of Sixties legends Blue Cheer and Australia's Tumbleweed as much as recent QTSA and... > Read more

The Last Question

11 Aug 2014