Music at Elsewhere

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Mark Lanegan Band: Phantom Radio (Heavenly)

3 Nov 2014

Former Screaming Trees singer Lanegan isn't shy putting himself about. Alongside recent impressive solo albums (Blues Funeral and his covers album Imitations) he's appeared with Soulsavers, QOTSA, guitarist Duke Garwood and Isobel Campbell, as well as guesting for Moby, Unkle, Martina Topley-Bird . . . He has that go-to dark baritone freighted with gravitas which others want. This... > Read more

Torn Red Heart

French for Rabbits: Spirits (Lefse)

31 Oct 2014

This dreamscape debut album opens with such an elegantly simple guitar and piano part that it's hard not to be quickly seduced, and when vocalist Brooke Singer wafts in there is a lovely weightlessness at work above the undercurrents of drums and cymbal splashes. It sounds tidal and elemental. From their homebase at Waikuku Beach in New Zealand's South Island the duo of Singer and John... > Read more


Ha The Unclear; Bacterium, Look At Your Motor Go (bandcamp)

30 Oct 2014

And now for something completely different . . . Singer-songwriter Michael Cathro who fronts this oddly-named band is a real one-off. His accent is unashamedly antipodean: He pronounces the Dunedin suburb "Core-sto-feen" as is the habit there, in Edinburgh it's the suburb I was born in and is "ki-store-fin". And his vocal limitations have a real charm as he... > Read more

Mortality (A Million Years Ago)

Various Artists: Cold Cold Heart; Where Country Meets Soul Vol 3 (Kent/Border)

29 Oct 2014

The crossover between country and soul has long been acknowledged but this excellent series brings classics and obscurities together just to gently push the point home further. Elsewhere has hailed the previous two volumes and this one continues the thread, but to even greater effect. Here are some extraordinary black soul versions of songs you might only have heard as whitebread... > Read more

Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man

Scott Walker + Sun O))): Soused (4AD)

27 Oct 2014

Scott Walker's setting a breathless pace these days: it was usually a decade between albums but after The Drift (06) just six years before Bish Bosch and now only two years since that typically demanding, commanding art music. For newcomers, London-based American-born Walker was the romantically brooding baritone on Walker Brothers pop hits in the Sixties, moved towards European... > Read more


IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

27 Oct 2014    1

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 brief. This week people you know from elsewhere (and maybe Elsewhere) Johnny Marr; Playland (Warners): Marr's first solo album The Messenger post-The Smiths... > Read more

One Lost Year

Sola Rosa: Magnetics (Way Up)

20 Oct 2014

Andrew Spraggon, the man behind the ever-morphing Sola Rosa, is a clever fellow. His albums are astutely focused and when he stretches himself he never strays too far from exactly where you think the beat-driven music should be. As the song here -- featuring singer Georgia Anne Muldrow -- says, "You're never too far from the ground". Even when Sola Rosa aim for soulful pastures,... > Read more

Til the Sun

Lenny Kravitz, Strut (Roxie)

20 Oct 2014

With two new Prince albums, the reissue of two Hendrix albums (Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge) and the next installment of Hunger Games pending (in which continues his role as Cinna), it seems timely to mention Lenny Kravitz, a man whose musical career often seems incidental to his image. You would rarely accuse him of originality and his reference points remain somewhere between... > Read more

Happy Birthday

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

16 Oct 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. Sam RB; Finding Your Way Home ( Sometime Auckland street... > Read more


Electric Wire Hustle: Love Can Prevail (Every Waking Hour)

15 Oct 2014

Last month this album -- EWH down now from a trio to Mara TK and David "Taay Ninh" Wright -- got a very nice notice in the New York Times, noting their "knotty, disorienting studio fabrications, surrounding hand-played R&B" are "descendants of [Marvin Gaye's] What’s Going On". True, inasmuch as problems with love and God become intertwined... > Read more

By and Bye

Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (Thirty Tigers)

13 Oct 2014

Few artists would dare open an album – let alone a double set – with a spare song based on words of their accomplished poet father . . . especially when the worthy sentiment sounds like the old faux-philosophical hippie poster Desiderata. But Lucinda Williams – decades into an acclaimed career, now on her own label and with a faithful following – can take that... > Read more

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Seeds: Singles As and Bs 1065-1970 (Big Beat/Border)

13 Oct 2014    1

Elsewhere's advocacy of power pop and garageband rock (especially Sixties stuff) is well documented . . . so this collection of  24 songs by the legendary Seeds out of  LA was always going to be straight into the player (how I wish I could say "onto the turntable") and the volume knob turned heavily clockwise. The band that gave the world bona fide classics like Pushin'... > Read more

Up In Her Room

Stevie Nicks: 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Warners)

13 Oct 2014    2

With Christine McVie rejoining Fleetwood Mac after 16 years and the classic line-up touring again, the timing couldn't be better for this collection of Stevie Nicks' previously unreleased songs, most written between 1969 and 87. Using her demos as a guide, she linked up again with producer Dave Stewart, longtime friend/guitarist Waddy Wachtel, Heartbreakers' guitarist Mike Campbell... > Read more

Mabel Normand

Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (Sony)

6 Oct 2014

Although he long had the reputation of a “one-man Joy Division” or “Laughing Len” in reference to his gloom-soaked melancholy, Leonard Cohen always had an increasingly self-deflating streak. Just as he opened his Ten New Songs album of 2001 with the whispery and wry In My Secret Life (written and revised over a dozen years) and had the droll Because Of on Dear... > Read more


Engineers; Always Returning (Kscope/Southbound):

6 Oct 2014

 Another on the prog label Kscope -- home to Steven Wilson and his band Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Anathema and others -- and this double disc (songs on one, instrumental versions on t'other) is mighty impressive, and comes in a hardback cover with lyrics. Engineers -- who have been through a few line-up changes -- are British multi-instrumentalist Mark Peters and drummer/composer... > Read more

Innsbruck (instrumental version)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

6 Oct 2014

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 brief. The Pineapple Tree; Magnolia (Kscope/Southbound): Prog-rocker Bruce Soord (who essentially is Pineapple Thief) has appeared at Elsewhere previously... > Read more

The One You Left to Die

Steve Reich: Radio Rewrite (Nonesuch)

4 Oct 2014

When composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich objected the label "minimalism" being applied to their music -- which was, frankly, minimal -- you couldn't help but feel the sense of special pleading about a self-inflicted wound. The word was perfectly adequate and although they might have felt it limited the perception of them (and they did explore other less reductive areas... > Read more

Radio Rewrite, 4, Slow

Moana and the Tribe: Rima (Black Pearl)

29 Sep 2014

For my money the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on the mainstage at this year's Womad in Taranaki – and there were some over-acclaimed but perfunctory internationals – was Moana and the Tribe. They delivered a thumping, visually powerful and cleverly calculated implosion of waiata, haka and electronica-flavoured soul-funk. Moana also won the crowd with... > Read more


Prince: Art Official Age/Plectrumelectrum (Warners)

29 Sep 2014

As with Ryan Adams, Prince was one of those artists who was so prolific that neither his record company nor audience could keep up. It's been a while however since Prince graced us with an album but -- as was the case in the Eighties and NIneties when he was delivering at least one album a year -- now we get not one but two albums, Art Official Age (under his own name) and Plectrumelectrum... > Read more


Dylan Bakker: Atrophic Cascades (RR)

29 Sep 2014

Expat Kiwi Dylan Bakker wrote to Elsewhere from his home-base in Berlin recently wondering if we'd like to get a copy of his debut CD. We did a quick check of his wide and deep website which is chock full of artwork, prints, photography, a list of his numerous exhibitions and music projects and concluded, "Yes please". The CD duly arrived with hand-written note (in... > Read more

Give and Take