Music at Elsewhere

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T54: In Brush Park (Flying Nun)

26 Nov 2013

Although it must be irksome for some of the younger Flying Nun bands to find their music constantly being referred to in the context of their predecesors like the Clean, Chills, Bats and so forth, some (eg Surf Friends' Confusion) invariably invite the comparison. And certainly when this excellent album kicks in with the dreamy Nails Painted and there is a pulsing bassline prominent you... > Read more

Biscuit City Sisters

Jake Bugg: Shangri La (Island)

25 Nov 2013

Although this follow-up to his self-titled debut of a year ago cannot have the same frisson of discovery, there's no denying the sheer energy on display here as Bugg kicks up some gutsy rockabilly and folk-on-speed originals backed by a tight band . . . and manages to sound like no one else but himself. All those overplayed "new Dylan" references which attended his debut are here... > Read more

Pine Trees

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

24 Nov 2013

It's a measure of the enmity some have towards the Feelers that when it was announced their singer-songwriter James Reid (no relation) had this solo album coming out that some took to Facebook to deride it, without even listening to it. Certainly the inconvenience of having to listen to an album must make it easier to review or hold an opinion, but it's an option which does such people... > Read more

No Horizon

The Drab Doo-Riffs; Home Surgery (Liberation)

18 Nov 2013

Because Elsewhere has had to adopt a policy of not reviewing EPs (just so many full albums without inviting that particular landslide) Auckland's Drab Doo-Riffs -- three EPs and the vinyl-only Aquatic Ape Theory -- haven't had a mention in these pages. We sneakily rectify that because Home Surgery 2009-2013 is a 17 track compilation of songs pulled from their back-catalogue (five from... > Read more

Tesla Girl

Blitzen Trapper: VII (Shock)

18 Nov 2013

Curiously, the edgy take Portland's Blitzen Trapper brought to Americana hasn't caught on in this country which embraces Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and singer-songwriters like Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, all of whom this five-piece have referred to in the past. Their American Goldwing two years ago should have broken them but didn't, and it's hard to see how this one could given... > Read more

Oregon Geography

The X-Rays; Booze'n'Speed (Cargo/Southbound)

18 Nov 2013

Umm, you can perhaps guess the sound of the contents here from the album title alone, but if you need more clues then here are some of the titles of the 26 flat-tack, lo-fi songs: Nitro Burnout, Hittin' the Booze, Trashed Out, Good for Nothing, Dragstrip Killer, Arrogant Fucked-Up Shit, Don't Fear the Repoman (that's funny), Grease Monkety Go, Special Agent Whore . . . We could go on (right... > Read more

Trashed Out

Various Artists: Legendary Wild Rockers 3 (BBE)

17 Nov 2013

After the previous, somewhat unhinged collection of late Fifties/early Sixties garage rockabilly and surf rock this one counts as something of a disappointment. Across 20 songs -- compiled by UK DJs Keb DeBarge and Little Edith -- there are of course a few standouts (the B-grade horror of I'm The Wolf Man by Round Robin, the weird cat screech on Geraldine by Ole Miss Down Beats, the... > Read more

The Raging Sea

Various Artists: George Harrison's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

13 Nov 2013

Although no one would seriously argue that people should have fewer choices, it's interesting to observe that before the balkanisation of radio into genres and demographics which ensured audiences would ony listen to music that was narrowly focused, most people before the Seventies grew up listening to a wide range of songs. Because in the Fifties and Sixties one radio station would have to... > Read more

Raunchy (1957)

The Courtneys: The Courtneys (Conquest of Noise/Flying In)

12 Nov 2013

Dunno about you, but sometimes when you've heard enough polished pop you just want a bit of fun-infused, lo-fi, unschooled but thoroughly enjoyable pop-rock where fast strummed, chiming guitars and simple drumming are about as sophisticated as it gets. Enter then this trio from Vancouver -- Courtney Loove (sic), Sydney Koke, Jen Tynne Payne -- who might just have quite a number of Clean and... > Read more


Tumbleweed: Sounds from the Other Side (Shock)

11 Nov 2013

Wollongong's loud and hairy Tumbleweed enjoyed a decent reputation here in the Nineties on the back of a couple of fine albums (notably their self-titled debut of 92) and some live showings which confirmed their reputation as the post-psychedelic hard rock band for stoners who liked to party. Although they went through periods of inactivity and had some line-up changes, the good news... > Read more


Tiny Lies: The Oaks They Will Bow (Lyttelton/Southbound)

11 Nov 2013

Not to be confused with Tiny Ruins (Hollie Fullbrook), this Lyttelton-based duo of Harley Williams and Charlotte Ivey here deliver a debut album of dark and often bittersweet country-folk embellished by lap steel (from labelmate Delaney Davidson), violin (Anita Clark), pedal steel (John Egenes) and other appropriately evocative instruments. Ivey's melodic harmonica playing brings a... > Read more

Old Heart

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Golden Harvest; Golden Harvest

11 Nov 2013

With six out of 10 music purchases now being downloads, Elsewhere is happy to recommend albums now available on iTunes which have no physical release (or which may be hard to find or prohibitively expensive). The good people at who look after licensing, copyright and so forth have a major project underway of trying to get every New Zealand album up online and... > Read more

All Along the Watchtower

Robert Ellis: Photographs (New West)

10 Nov 2013

Although this album was released two years ago, we bring it to attention now because Ellis from Texas is appearing in Auckland this coming week (details below) and it's never too late to discover a country singer who frequently comes off like a softer version of George Jones. In many ways he is very traditional and also in the lineage of Randy Travis, although there's as much of the LA... > Read more

Westbound Train

Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox)

10 Nov 2013    1

In these times when artists stick with an identifiable sound (Gee, what might the next Coldplay album sound like?) you don't expect anyone to offer a reviewer that humorous line, "Hope you like our new direction?" So it's hats off then to Arcade Fire who here across a double disc get in touch with their inner Eighties and at times conjure up the spirits of Tears For Fears/Duran... > Read more

It's Never Over

Nightmares on Wax: Feelin' Good (Warp)

9 Nov 2013

Now this is downbeat electronica which effortlessly keeps the beats and pulses moving, but also puts the trip-hop in the same emotional space as touches of reggae (Now is the Time) and the electro-glitch stuff (the very cool Tapestry). NoWax is George Evelyn (first signing to the now legendary English label Warp) and although much of this can drift past you in the manner of the best... > Read more

Luna 2

The Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Universal)

8 Nov 2013

Just as the Beatles enjoyed that long and rare association with producer George Martin and EMI's Abbey Road studios, so too they had a mutually beneficial relationship with the BBC. The "Beeb" as it is affectionately knows may have been the conservative face of British broadcasting, but it was also aware of its mandate to represent a wide cross-section of British tastes and... > Read more

I'm Talking About You (March 1963)

Barrence Whitefield and The Savages: Dig Thy Savage Soul (Bloodshot/Southbound)

4 Nov 2013    2

On the bruising evidence of this album – the energy of British pub-rock in a noisy collision with bluesy Chicago-soaked rock'n'soul – you'd probably crawl across broken booze bottles to see them live. This, the third album by this re-formed (but not reformed) band from Boston, finds classic rock and soul shouter Whitfield in roaring form in front of the band helmed by... > Read more


David Dallas: Falling into Place (Dirty/Universal)

4 Nov 2013

In times to come when collections of contemporary New Zealand poetry are written (if not published in the form we have been used to), you'd like to think recent lyrics by Miriam Clancy, Moana Maniapoto, the Veils, Dubious Brothers, Lorde and people like Mareko will be in there as a reflection of who we are/were. And I'd be astonished -- if not outraged -- if lyrics from this sometimes... > Read more


Males: Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales (Fishrider)

3 Nov 2013    1

Attuned to elevating West Coast USA pop – with a twist of power-pop in the manner of the close-harmony Shoes – this Dunedin duo here add an early single (the likably chipper, slightly New Wave So High) and last year's MalesMalesMales EP to a new EP Run Run Run. The result is an economic nine-song collection of mostly brightly summertime pop cramming a lot of melodic hooks... > Read more


Blackfield: Blackfield IV (Kscope/Southbound)

2 Nov 2013

This century has seen the rehabilitation of prog-rock. Generations which weren't around for punk's late Seventis scorched-earth policy towards progressive tendencies are finding something in thoughtful, musically interesting and vaguely philosophical prog. Contemporary prog is often more economic, sometimes hauls in elements from metal as much as whiffily pretentious poetics, and the... > Read more