Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

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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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... 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... more >>

The Elegant Imposter

25 Aug 2014

Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

Too often in popular culture, controversy and craziness are substitutes for, or get in the way of us seeing, real talent. O'Connor has courted her share of both and that often blurred the focus of her. Strangeness still circles her private life, but this straightforward album – 12 well-arranged, emotionally and musically direct songs – finds her at top form on economic songs,... more >>

The Vishnu Room

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... more >>

16000 Dead Pigs in the Huangpu River

25 Aug 2014

Into Orbit: Caverns (bandcamp)

Into Orbit: Caverns (bandcamp)

This Wellington duo of Paul Stewart and Ian Moir (guitars and drums respectively) work the line of dynamically delivered astral psychedelica with nods to widescreen drone rock, but really make something of their own out of it. The emotional breadth and sonic textures on display here -- and our reference points might be Jakob, Wooden Shjips, Kerretta, early Explosions in the Sky etc -- are... more >>

Set Adrift

21 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... more >>

Eastern Standard

20 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... 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... 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... 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... more >>

Sitting Here Watching

15 Aug 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 . . . Richard Thompson; Acoustic Classics (Proper/Southbound): The great British singer-songwriter Thompson has made frequent appearances at Elsewhere by way... more >>

Dimming of the Day

11 Aug 2014    2

Murray McNabb Group: Every Day is a Beautiful Day (Sarang Bang)

Murray McNabb Group: Every Day is a Beautiful Day (Sarang Bang)

In the final days of his life -- which ended in early 2013 -- the New Zealand composer and keyboard player Murray McNabb was still working, despite being on morphine for pain relief from the cancer which would kill him. Towards the end it was my privilege to interview him about his long career, and I was struck by his philosophical approach to the inevitable as much as I had been by the... more >>

Standing Babas

5 Aug 2014

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye (Warners)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye (Warners)

Most rock fans agree TP and his cracking Heartbreakers had a decade-long dream run after their self-titled debut in 76. Their taut Beatles/Byrds pop-rock welded to a nuggety rock'n'roll attitude and Petty's economic songs made their albums sound like collections of snappy singles. And when this Florida-native expanded into “Southern accents” (the title of their impressive... more >>

Shadow People

4 Aug 2014    2

Hans Chew: Life and Love (Proper/Southbound)

Hans Chew: Life and Love (Proper/Southbound)

This is interesting, odd and unexpected. On the inside cover Chew -- shaven head, bearded -- looks pretty hardcore . . . but he plays grand piano. And he doesn't play the classical repertoire but rocks out in a Southern boogie style with a tough little band (which includes Dave Cavallo on guitars, including slide). The result is an enjoyable meltdown of blues, country, soul and rock... more >>

Strange Love

4 Aug 2014

Death Vessel: Island Intervals (Sub Pop)

Death Vessel: Island Intervals (Sub Pop)

It does seem odd that the label which brought us Nirvana should now be so attached to alt.folk (and sometime mope.folk) with Luluc and Death Vessel. DV is in fact singer Joel Thibodeau (born in Germany, raised in the States) and any number of fellow travelers for the past decade, although for this album -- his third as Death Vessel -- he has honed it down to mostly just three or four pals.... more >>

We Agreed

4 Aug 2014

Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

The first and only time Fink (known as Fin Greenall to his family) has appeared at Elsewhere was with his debut album Biscuits for Breakfast and although his career gone extremely well for this Britsh DJ, singer-songwriter and producer, he still sounds glum'n'moody. Which is no bad thing as he brings an intensity that is convincing, and he can back it all up with memorable melodies.... more >>

Truth Begins

31 Jul 2014

The Unsemble: The Unsemble (Ipecac/Southbound)

The Unsemble: The Unsemble (Ipecac/Southbound)

If supergroups still exist this might not be one, but perhaps in the world of alt.rock and out-there readers of The Wire they could qualify. Here are drummer Brian Kotzur who has "worked with" Silver Jews, guitarist/keyboard player Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) and bassist/electronics player Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten, Crime and the City Solution). These... more >>

Voices

30 Jul 2014

Jungle: Jungle (XL)

Jungle: Jungle (XL)

It's sometimes said that every music that ever existed is still being played somewhere in the world today. It's certainly true that Jungle -- an unusually secretive London duo heading a collective -- have taken Seventies disco and cool funk to their hearts and here on their debut album offer up a post-electronica version of these styles which is snappy, clever, groove-orientated and just... more >>

Son of a Gun

28 Jul 2014

Luluc: Passerby (SubPop)

Luluc: Passerby (SubPop)

The early Seventies genre “sensitive singer-songwriter” was enjoyed by similarly attuned souls or ridiculed by those for whom moping around just seemed weak and pointless. The genre is back in other hands, as an offshoot of alt.folk, and we couldn't count the number of duos – like Australians Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett who are Luluc – which explore that... more >>

Winter is Passing

28 Jul 2014

Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business (Universal)

Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business (Universal)

Although no longer considered the monarch of misery he once was, Morrissey doesn't stray too far from the musical parameters he created for himself on this, the 10th studio album under his own name. For that he leaves it over to his brittle band to add grit and texture behind his familiarly melodic vocal style. That's when he isn't setting that effortless singing style against strings or... more >>

21 Jul 2014