Music at Elsewhere

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Grayson Gilmour: Infinite Life! (Flying Nun)

22 Mar 2014

When Grayson Gilmour signed to Flying Nun four years ago, back in that brief period when Roger Shepherd took control again of the label he had founded, there was considerable optimism that it might signal a rebirth for the label. Gilmour was quite unlike most FN artists in that his music was multi-layered, his songcraft highy refined and, if nothing else, he composed on piano and not the... > Read more

Silence and Youth

Hard Working Americans: Hard Working Americans (Melvin/Southbound)

17 Mar 2014    1

Post-Springsteen, working class dignity is in the air and in the US they have the same political shorthand we endure about “hard working families” when any Leftist politician steps up for a microphone soundbite. This semi-supergroup – best known are guitarist Neal Casal (Ryan Adams' bands) and singer-songwriter Todd Snyder who helms this – picks up songs... > Read more

Welfare Music

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

14 Mar 2014

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this. Comments will be brief. Shayna King; The Day is Young (Te Ao): The undeniably talented... > Read more

Why I Need You

Lake Street Dive: Bad Self Portraits (Signature/Southbound)

10 Mar 2014

For some reason – having an upright bass player and trumpeter perhaps? – this conservatory-educated Boston quartet is referred to as “indie jazz” in some promo bumpf, which hardy squares with the soul-edged, alt.rock-cum-country and girl group-influenced pop on this, their third studio album. And confusingly their You Tube breakout video three years ago... > Read more

Seventeen

ONE WE MISSED: Devils Elbow; Absolute Domain (Hit Your Head)

10 Mar 2014

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under the banner . . . One We Missed. This one -- by an Auckland band which has previously delivered an Elsewhere Best of 2010 album with Sand on Chrome and last year an excellent almost-album of B-sides... > Read more

A Little More

The Fleshtones: Wheel of Talent (YepRoc/Southbound)

10 Mar 2014

New York's Fleshtones have been cranking out raw rock'n'roll since the mid Seventies and their schtick is to trawl the history of the genre (girl groups, garageband rock, punk etc) and shape it to their own ends. They've gone through quite a few members but their guests have included Fred Smith of Television and Clem Burke from Blondie, who probably just liked the idea of letting their hair... > Read more

Tear for Tear

Rob Thorne: Whaia te Maramatanga (Rattle)

4 Mar 2014

Those with a greater understanding of Maori spirituality than me will doubtless get more from this gentle, frequently trance-inducing album of taonga puoro (traditional instruments) which evoke the natural world (wind, bird song) and disembodied voices. Rob Thorne speaks of the album in the liner notes as "a re-aquaintance of ancestor with descendant . . . these ancient practices and... > Read more

Pursue Enlightenment Pt 2; Gateway

Benmont Tench: You Should Be So Lucky (Blue Note)

3 Mar 2014    4

At 60, keyboard player Tench -- a founder member of Petty's Heartbreakers and sessions for everyone from Dylan, the Stones and U2 to Johnny Cash, Green Day and Lucinda Williams – belatedly delivers a solo album. But rather than brashly surrounding himself with a roll call of famous friends he goes for deliberate understatement in the company of Ryan Adams, Don Was, Gillian... > Read more

Today I Took Your Picture Down

White Candles: Flowers for Delia (theactivelistener)

3 Mar 2014

Quite a few bands -- ELO spring to mind -- have built a career around a certain period of Beatles' songs. But after the first couple of songs by White Candles here you might conclude them to be that rarity. They have built their music around a single song. The spirit if not the actual sound of Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite (from Sgt Pepper) appears to be the inspiration for White... > Read more

Tire-moi des mes reves

ONE WE MISSED: Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes (P&W/Border)

3 Mar 2014

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under the banner . . . One We Missed. This album came out at the end of last year when Elsewhere was snowed under in advance of going Northern Hemisphere elsewhere for five weeks, so it just never got an... > Read more

She Ain't No Good

Hiss Golden Messenger: Bad Debt (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

3 Mar 2014

This quietly gripping acoustic album of faith and doubt, loneliness and family, affirmation and melancholy has a fascinating backstory. Hiss Golden Messenger is MC Taylor from North Carolina and this album was recorded and released before his albums Poor Moon (2012) and Haw (2013). He recorded in austere circumstances on a cassette tape-recorder in the kitchen at his home -- which was... > Read more

Call Him Daylight

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

28 Feb 2014

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this. Comments will be brief. Soulahula: You & Me (Choice): In the late Seventies and through to... > Read more

Happy Together

Midwich Youth Club: From the City to the Country, From the Country to the Sea (bandcamp)

28 Feb 2014

Further to Elsewhere's exploration of contemporary psychedelic music (courtesy of The Active Listener, see reviews and interview here), this outing by the multi-instrumentalist Allan R Murphy from Britain connects a few dots on the psych-into-prog map. This all-instrumental outing -- guitars to the fore in cinemascope -- consists of 10 parts, the first five the City-to-County and the second... > Read more

Country-to-Sea Pt 4

Beck: Morning Phase (Universal)

24 Feb 2014

Because few "heard" Beck's 2012 album Song Reader (it was sheet music for material he hadn't recorded), this one comes as the belated follow-up to 2008's well-received Modern Guilt, although he considers Morning Phase a companion to his excellent Sea Change of '02. That latter album was read as his break-up record (he and his longtime partner split) and although soaked... > Read more

Unforgiven

Kitchen Cynics: The Orra Loon (theactivelistener)

24 Feb 2014

Anyone coming new to Scottish singer-songwriter Alan Davidson who goes by the moniker Kitchen Cynics -- and my guess is that will be just about everyone -- will be astonished if they do a bit of reading and discover how prolific he has been. And they may well ask themselves, how can someone who recorded many dozens of albums since the late Eighties (for a partial list see here) have gone... > Read more

Richard in Bedlam

Clap Clap Riot: Nobody/Everybody (Universal)

17 Feb 2014

Clap Clap Riot's previous album Counting Spins was such an instant Elsewhere favourite for its sharp, slightly bratty pop and keen intelligence (see here) that this new one was always going to command attention. But first, this . . . in the heydey of pop in the Sixties what was interesting was how singles came with an identifiable aural fingerprint which set them apart; Farfisa organ,... > Read more

Keep Me Up All Night

The Small Faces: Greatest Hits; The Immediate Years 1967-1969 (Immediate/Southbound)

17 Feb 2014    1

As we all know certain songs hold a special place in our lives. For me the Smal Faces' My Mind's Eye is very significant. It was the first single I shoplifted. In fact it was the only single I ever stole. The economies of stealing and selling meant albums were by far more sensible to swipe (a story I shamelessly tell here). But I was such a fan of the Small Faces I just had to have... > Read more

The Universal

Temples: Sun Structures (Heavenly)

17 Feb 2014

Because psychedelic music never went away, you can't welcome it back (although Tame Impala are very welcome indeed). But there's an interesting new psych-wave which owes more to the Paisley Underground movement of the Eighties (Dream Syndicate, Plimsouls, Church etc) than the tripped-out late Sixties. That PU sound drew more from the Beatles' drone-pop of Rain and... > Read more

Shelter Song

Laura Cantrell: No Way There From Here (Thrift Shop/Southbound)

17 Feb 2014

Cantrell is emblematic of what “country” can mean today. Nashville-born (where she hosted an oldtime music radio show), she studied law and accountancy in New York which is now her home, and she's a sometime contributor to the New York Times. At 46 she's recorded half a dozen albums, was a darling of influential DJ John Peel in the UK, yet hasn't lost a connection to... > Read more

Letter She Sent

Daniel Boobyer: Crazy Eyes (bandcamp)

12 Feb 2014

Wellington singer-songwriter Boobyer appeared at Elsewhere at the end of 2012 when he wrote a column about recording his own vinyl album Time Killed the Clock (reviewed here, his article here). His appealing lo-fi and up-close songs sounded like weird blues and the opener here Hone Knows -- which also includes the refrain "Titewhai knows" if I'm not mistaken, timely given Waitangi... > Read more

Crazy Eyes