Music at Elsewhere

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Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backwards (Bloodshot/Southbound)

19 Sep 2013

Country singer Fulks will always get a fair hearing at Elsewhere on the basis of one song alone, his courageous cover of Cher's Believe which he delivered solo as a slow and aching ballad (with his own Autotune inflection). It was on his double live album Revenge! (and you can hear that song with our review here). That album had one disc with his band and the other him seated and solo, and... > Read more

I'll Trade You Money for Wine

King Krule: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (XL)

16 Sep 2013

While it's interesting to hear people banging on about "the 27 club" -- the coincidence of so famous musicians dying or killing themselves at that age -- it might be more rewarding to look to "the 19 club", an age when so many artists seem to emerge with preternaturally mature work. We'll exclude so many US pop acts because most are on a commercial path rather than an... > Read more

Border Line

Willis Earl Beal: Nobody knows (XL)

16 Sep 2013    2

Those who discovered the extraordinary Beal on last year's debut Acousmatic Sorcery – a weird, literate concoction of clanking Tom Waits, boho poetics, soul'n'gospel balladry and alt.folk filtered through a backstory of depression and itinerancy – may be surprised by this. That previous collection was pulled together from home demos, this is him in a studio and revealing... > Read more

Too Dry to Cry

Mark Lanegan: Imitations (Heavenly/PIAS)

16 Sep 2013    1

Pity anyone collecting the complete works of Mark Lanegan who not only runs a solo career but has been a gravitas-filled voice in Screaming Trees, QOTSA, the Gutter Twins, Soulsavers, Twilight Singers, on albums with Isobel Campbell and, just four months ago, Black Pudding with London multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood. Here he covers a moody selection of songs which include a... > Read more

She's Gone

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Murray McNabb; Songs for the Dream Weaver (Sarang Bang)

16 Sep 2013

The late Murray McNabb was proud of these recordings (despite the financial cost) done in New York in 1990 and, in an interview just a month before his death he mentioned them as a high point in a long career. He had gone to New York -- the first and only time I believe -- and hooked up with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Adam Nussbaum whom he'd met when they'd toured in New Zealand with... > Read more

Dark Windows

Ry Cooder: Live in San Francisco (Warners)

9 Sep 2013

After his excellent but demanding concept album trilogy (Chavez Ravine, My Name is Buddy, I Flathead) then two political albums (Pull Up Some Dust, Election Special), Cooder's mainstream audience might have been tuning out. This live album recorded two years ago – his first in 35 years – might be the commercial corrective because it has an easy familiarity with well-known... > Read more

Lord Tell Me Why

Over The Rhine: Meet Me at the Edge of the World (GSD/Southbound)

9 Sep 2013    3

When this alt.country duo from Cincinnati made a short promo tour in '06 they were widely interviewed, and their albums Ohio ('03) and The Drunkard's Prayer ('05) much acclaimed. Then, oddly, their equally excellent subsequent releases The Trumpet Child ('07) and The Long Surrender ('11, produced by Joe Henry and including a stellar supporting cast) went largely ignored.... > Read more

Sacred Ground

Tama Waipara: Fill Up the Silence (tamawaipara)

9 Sep 2013

In a recent interview with Elsewhere, Tama Waipara conceded some of the songs on this diverse but thoroughly consistent album were built up from rhythms, was flattered by the comparisons with Rufus Wainwright in some material and Talking Heads/Peter Gabriel in others. If that sounds like an album of spot-the-references, that is not the case. Here Waipara makes a very clear break with... > Read more

Letter

Bob Dylan: Another Self Portrait (Sony)

2 Sep 2013    2

Among the more strange interpretations or readings of Bob Dylan songs -- and you aren't short of strangeness in this field -- is what many people have believed about his song Went to See The Gypsy which appeared on his New Morning album in 1970. Pivotal lines about meeting a mysterious man in a big hotel, and a reference to Las Vegas, were enough to persuade many that the song had been... > Read more

If Not For You (alternate version)

Mandolin Orange: This Side of Jordan (YepRoc/Southbound)

2 Sep 2013

This North Carolina duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz mine a well-worked seam of Americana with acoustic guitars, flattened harmonies, mandolin, Appalachian fiddle and so on. Which means they won't sound especially original to casual ears. But in their atmospherically listless songs and emotionally turned-down narratives – which come with subtle arrangements and discreet... > Read more

Hey Adam

Hollywoodfun Downstairs: "The Mancunian Swing" (Muzai)

29 Aug 2013

Things not quite in alignment here? One part concept album, another part “What I did on my holidays”, this debut from Wellington noise-rockers apparently documents singer Kurt Williams' time in London during post-Britpop – which is when exactly? – or it's a day in the lager-life of a very un-Merrie England (isn't it always like that?) during a “booze, brawls... > Read more

Colours of Soho

Sheep, Dog & Wolf: Egospect (Lil' Chief)

26 Aug 2013

On Auckland's Lil' Chief label which brought us the charming Tokey Tones a decade ago, the Brunettes, the barbed-pop of Princess Chelsea and more recently ex-Brunette Jonathan Bree's melancholy Primrose Path break-up album (and others), comes this debut from 19-year old former Aucklander Daniel McBride who's already been named “a young Sufjan Stevens” by The Guardian for his... > Read more

Problems/Canvas

The Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind (Sony)

26 Aug 2013

The slight Susan Tedeschi can belt out blues with the fervour of Janis Joplin, and with husband/guitarist Derek Trucks (who also plays in Clapton's band and the Allman Brothers) she's had interesting musical settings. This time – on co-writes with Trucks and name players like Doyle Bramhall II also from Clapton's band, John Leventhal, Jayhawk Gary Louris and others -- she's... > Read more

Misunderstood

Peter Jefferies: The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (DeStijl//Flying In)

26 Aug 2013    1

To be honest, I had not heard -- or even heard of -- this debut solo album by Jefferies. Forgiveable perhaps given it first came out as an Xpressway cassette-only release in 1990. But its legend loomed large because after some underground critical acclaim internationally it -- plus the single Fate of the Human Carbine b/w  Catapult -- was released on record and CD by Chicago's Ajax... > Read more

While I've Been Waiting

Various Artists: Hugs and Kisses; Tender to All Gender (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

26 Aug 2013

Some years ago I was in the States when television person Ellen DeGeneris seemed to be in a protracted state of "coming out". The media was full of speculation about how this might affect her ratings. There were think-pieces in papers and it was a topic of conversation in bars and clubs. One night over drinks with some people, I was asked what might happen if a high-profile... > Read more

She Likes to Party

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Clash; Hits Back (Sony)

26 Aug 2013    1

Okay, this isn't exactly a reissue (although everything here has been readily available) and it also isn't a hits collection despite the suggestion of the title because the Clash didn't have enough hits to fill one disc let alone the two here. But what it is -- and this is why it is recommended -- is a decent, 32-song career overview (which sensibly avoids anything from their crash'n'burn... > Read more

Train in Vain

K.T. Tunstall: Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon (Virgin)

19 Aug 2013    1

Recording with the insightful Howe Gelb (Giant Sand, from which Calexico emerged) in Tucson with his Danish band (plus guests like Andrew Bird), Tunstall – who appeared in Neil Finn's Seven Worlds Collide concerts – here turns things down from the electro-beat she explored on 2010's Tiger Suit (recorded in Berlin) in favour of her folk-poetry persona, with a nod to... > Read more

Old Man Song

Cloud Control: Dream Cave (Mushroom)

19 Aug 2013

This self-styled indie-rock outfit from Sydney's Blue Mountains have won two Arias and, in 2011, the Australian Music Prize which netted them a cool A$30,000. And on this, their second album, you can hear what the fuss is about when they open with a strangely compelling non-song Scream Rave then wind down in a slo-mo power-pop ballad Dojo Rising. Later they surprise with the bouncy... > Read more

Moonrabbit

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

19 Aug 2013    1

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... > Read more

Closing My Eyes

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

16 Aug 2013

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... > Read more

Blue Moon of Kentucky