Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Fleetwood Mac; Then Play On (Warners)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Fleetwood Mac; Then Play On (Warners)

Released in 1969, this -- their third album -- was the last of the original Fleetwood Mac line-up which included guitar genius and Mac-founder Peter Green, another graduate of John Mayall's Blues Breakers and at the time spoken of with the same admiration reserved for the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Also in the line-up was acclaimed guitarist Jeremy Spencer, who by this time was... more >>

Closing My Eyes

19 Aug 2013    1

Peter Posa: Golden Guitar; The Peter Posa Anthology (Sony)

Peter Posa: Golden Guitar; The Peter Posa Anthology (Sony)

Where the recent chart-topping White Rabbit compilation of the great guitarist Peter Posa picked up his hits and more familiar tunes, this 46-track double disc draws on the extraordinary back-catalogue of 20 albums and showcases the breadth and depth of his musical stylings. The breath-taking opener -- a thrilling reinvention of the hoary old Sweet Georgia Brown -- is such a fleet-fingered... more >>

Blue Moon of Kentucky

16 Aug 2013

One Man Bannister: Evolver (Powertool Records)

One Man Bannister: Evolver (Powertool Records)

The idea behind this album is hardly new. It's now a commonplace for Britain's Mojo magazine, for example, to include a cover disc on which various contemporary artists record a classic album in its entirety, most often one by the Beatles. What makes this album unique however is that it is -- as far as I'm aware -- the first time a single New Zealand artist has revisited a classic album and... more >>

Love You To

12 Aug 2013    2

Kingston: Black and Bloom (Aeroplane)

Kingston: Black and Bloom (Aeroplane)

If you don't listen to ads you'd not know these locals with cloud-piercing shouty choruses have songs helping sell V, Pepsi, KFC and a Ford Kuga. Both those latter hook-filled heavyweights (Good Good Feeling and You Want It? respectively) are on this 14 song album which is big on “whoa-whoa” or “oh-ho-oh” hooks, forward momentum and songs which drill themselves... more >>

Lotto

12 Aug 2013

Aoife O'Donovan: Fossils (Yep Roc/Southbound)

Aoife O'Donovan: Fossils (Yep Roc/Southbound)

This American singer-songwriter will only be recognised if you read fine print. She wrote Lay My Burden Down – the opener here – which Alison Krauss recorded a few years back, although she was 10 years in a folk-bluegrass band Crooked Still, and appears on the Goat Radio Sessions alongside classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma. She's classically trained herself, but on this, her... more >>

Beekeeper

12 Aug 2013    1

Tom Russell/Norwegian Wind Ensemble: Aztec Jazz (Proper/Southbound)

Tom Russell/Norwegian Wind Ensemble: Aztec Jazz (Proper/Southbound)

Even within the alt.country/Americana world, the bittersweet storyteller Tom Russell remains a marginal figure, despite almost 30 albums (and books) steeped in what poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti called “the wounded heart of America”. His songs have been covered by Johnny Cash, Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith and others, but it is his own emotion-filled voice on albums like Hurricane... more >>

Nina Simone

5 Aug 2013

Transcendental Learning Collective: Shift (Powertool Records)

Transcendental Learning Collective: Shift (Powertool Records)

Given the pedigree of players on this debut album released a couple of months back – produced by Mike Hodgson from Pitch Black and Tinnitus, it is DJN (meulti-media artist Dan Newnham) of Drone, guitarist Sean O'Reilly of King Loser and others – it's a surprise it has gone woefully un-reviewed and largely undiscovered. Perhaps the recent Sheen of Gold doco on the Skeptics... more >>

5 Aug 2013

Various Artists: A Road Leading Home; Songs by Dan Penn (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: A Road Leading Home; Songs by Dan Penn (Ace/Border)

Those drawn to the more senior end of the Americana practioners -- who tend to deal less with death ballads and that ol' time religion which seems weirdly attractive to young secular artists -- found their band in the Hacienda Brothers. Their self-titled debut of 2005 and What's Wrong With Right the following year brought a mature ease, and both were produced by the great songwriter... more >>

One More Time With Feeling

5 Aug 2013    1

Luke Haines: Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red/Southbound)

Luke Haines: Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red/Southbound)

Formerly of Brit-pop band the Auteurs, Luke Haines has pursued film music, writing and interesting conceptual albums, and been the subject of a novel, a comic book and a doco. For this album he's being selective about his audience, we might say. It's a story whose characters are Jimmy Pursey (from punkers Sham 69) as a fox, a badger named Nick Lowe and rock'n'roll era Gene Vincent... more >>

A Badger Called Nick Lowe

5 Aug 2013    1

The Prophet Hens: Popular People Do Popular People (Fishrider)

The Prophet Hens: Popular People Do Popular People (Fishrider)

Although the promo sheet says this four-piece from Dunedin “is marinated in the melodic sounds of that mostly fictional 'Dunedin Sound' – think the Chills, The Bats . . .” you'd have say on this debut album they conclusively prove it was no fiction at all. They jangle like a new generation out of the Flying Nun school and frequently don't move too far from the templates... more >>

All Over the World

5 Aug 2013

Low Speed Bus Chase: Breathe (lowspeedbuschase.com)

Low Speed Bus Chase: Breathe (lowspeedbuschase.com)

Singer Jack Parker here is a graduate of Graeme Downes' excellent popular music course at Otago University but this band -- which formed in Dunedin -- is now based in Melbourne . . . and one listen to their edgy, sometimes aggressive music will tell you that is perhaps a better place for them. They make the kind of tough mainstream rock which plays well in Aussie pubs and clubs (and gets on... more >>

Ballad of JD

30 Jul 2013

Jonathan Bree: The Primrose Path (Lil' Chief)

Jonathan Bree: The Primrose Path (Lil' Chief)

If we think of "album" in the more traditonal sense of the word -- a collection of photos, memorabilia etc - then this quiet and remarkably honest album by Jonathan Bree (formerly one half of the Brunettes with Heather Mansfield) certainly qualitfies. This is not just the post-breakup record with all the self-centredness and slightly misanthropic tone which often comes with that,... more >>

Seven

29 Jul 2013

Jon Hopkins: Immunity (Warners)

Jon Hopkins: Immunity (Warners)

British electronica artist Hopkins' discreetly understated third album Insides four years ago deservedly won followers in cinema, downbeat, trip-tronica and chill-out rock. It was less an album than something which just “was”. Consequently Hopkins is now on film scores, alongside Brian Eno in the credible ambient-cum-atmospheric world, favoured at UK arts festivals,... more >>

Breathe This Air

29 Jul 2013

Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

As I understand it, this quietly fascinating collection by a Wellington four-piece is a reissue of songs previously unissued. To backtrack then: Some of these 10 songs topped the capital's Radio Active charts in the 90s and others did well on bNet stations. Hardly surprising as they mine that profitable post-Flying Nun ethos (they do the Clean's Do Your Thing as an eloquent soundswell... more >>

Shadows

29 Jul 2013    1

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

The PSBoys' aural fingerprint is so distinctive that it might be possible to go two ways on this one. You could say "heard it all before" in terms of dancefloor-directed beats, cool observations, themes of ennui and loneliness . . . Or you could say you love these dancefloor-directed beats, cool observations, themes of ennui and loneliness . . . You cannot deny how much... more >>

22 Jul 2013

Steve Gunn: Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

Steve Gunn: Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

In the late Sixties/early Seventies there were many acoustic/electric guitarists working the territory between British folk, Indian raga tuning and Middle Eastern sounds. But there are fewer today, which makes this album by New York-based Philadelphian Gunn – who is in Kurt Vile's touring band – quite refreshing. And he brings a slightly trip-folk style to his dreamy... more >>

New Decline

22 Jul 2013

Guided by Voices: English Little League (Fire)

Guided by Voices: English Little League (Fire)

Longtime loyalists of this once important alt-rock band from Ohio (b. 1983) enjoyed their exciting outsider pre-grunge rock then endured indifferent albums, line-up changes around core characters Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout, the inevitable break-up and farewell tour a decade ago, and the equally inevitable reunion these past few years. So, even for fans, they've tested patience.... more >>

The Sudden Death of Epstien's Ways

22 Jul 2013

Various Artists: Greatest Hits from Outer Space (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Greatest Hits from Outer Space (Ace/Border)

Aside from the broad theme there's little to determine what “outer space” music might be, given this opens with Richard Strauss' dramatic Also Sprach Zarathustra (the 2001 theme and Elvis' intro music) then moves into the Ames Brothers' close-harmony 50s pop hit Destination Moon and the Les Baxter Orchestra with Lunar Rhapsody (featuring Samuel Hoffman on theremin).... more >>

Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer

22 Jul 2013

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Royksopp (Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Royksopp (Southbound)

Another installment in the “you are feeling sleepy” series, this time music chosen Norway's premier electronica duo Royksopp who offer an eclectic selection and numerous nods to MOR with Australia's polished-smooth Little River Band (the startlingly lovely seven minute Light of Day), France's F.R. David (not his electro-pop hit Words but the similar ballad Music), English... more >>

Blade Runner Blues

22 Jul 2013

Masaaki Hirao and His All Stars Wagon: Nippon Rock'n'Roll (Big Beat/Border)

Masaaki Hirao and His All Stars Wagon: Nippon Rock'n'Roll (Big Beat/Border)

How global was Fifties rock'n'roll? In New Zealand we had Johnny Devlin, "the Wanganui Elvis" and within four months of Heartbreak Hotel and All Shook Up, Kazuya Kosaka and the Wagon Masters in Japan had covered them.  Rock'n'roll went global very quickly. Kosaka wasn't alone in Japan either. Or in his use of a band name with "wagon" in it. This 23... more >>

Jailhouse Rock

21 Jul 2013