Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Ian McLagan: United States (Yep Roc/Southbound)

23 Jun 2014    1

Many years ago it was my great pleasure to spend a bit of time with keyboard player Ian McLagan when he was in Auckland playing with an artist whom I have forgotten. McLagan -- who was, in the words of Noel Gallagher, jammy enough to be in two great bands (the Small Faces and Faces) -- was very amusing and well-balanced and happily took time out to hammer the lobby piano to the amusement of... > Read more

He's Not For You

Lykke Li: I Never Learn (Atlantic)

20 Jun 2014

Recently while talking with one of my sons who lives in Stockholm I asked him what the hell was going on in Sweden, it seems every week I am hearing great music from artists out of that northern clime . . . and it crosses all genres from psychedelic (Les Big Byrd) to jazz (Jonas Kullhammar). Just have a look here at what has popped up at Elsewhere from Sweden -- between the travel stories,... > Read more

Never Gonna Love Again

Jones: To the Bone (Meme)

16 Jun 2014    1

On the basis of this, his previous solo albums and those with Miracle Mile (with Marcus Cliffe, the multi-instrumentalist here who also produces) you'd imagine Britain's Trevor Jones this way: it's late afternoon in his beautifully modern home with a view over the Med and he's in a wicker chair by the open glass door, the book of Romantic poetry lying in his lap, a glass of fine wine on the... > Read more

Somewhere North of Here

Les Big Byrd: They Worshipped Cats (A Recordings/Southbound)

16 Jun 2014    1

On the label founded by Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe, this tripped-out keyboard-and-guitar Swedish duo recorded some of this – with an expanded band – in Newcombe's Berlin studio in what must have been cosmic sessions if these rolling, spaceflight grooves are any measure. Their vocals are the least of it (flattened but sometimes appropriately droning) however... > Read more

Just One Time

Tom Vek: Luck (Moshi Moshi)

11 Jun 2014    1

This UK jack-of-all-trades (electrorock, synth-punk, Seattle grunge, stentorian trip-hop, an acoustic song etc) only proves here that, for the most part, he is master of none. On this third album in a staggered and staggering career (his debut was almost a decade ago, his second album three years back) one gets the clear impression that he is not too far above the dilettante threshold and... > Read more

Let's Pray

Mark De Cive-Lowe: CHURCH (ropeadope)

9 Jun 2014

When I interviewed expat keyboard player/producer and remixer Mark De Clive-Lowe during his recent 36-hour visit to Auckland he was aware – after 10 years in London and five in LA where he lives with his wife, singer Nia Andrews, and two children – he was seen as a former Kiwi by some, although was insistent ours was the flag he flew, and how he was known internationally.... > Read more

The Processional

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Revelation (A/Southbound)

2 Jun 2014

The music of BJM has largely been overshadowed by the doco DIG! in which the seemingly career-destroying frontman Anton Newcombe's antics were aligned with the more canny Dandy Warhols. But that was a decade ago and -- given recent albums have erred towards interesting, stretched-out but economic psychedelic rock-cum-shoegaze pop – a re-evaluation is in order. It made sense... > Read more

Food for Clouds

Eleni Karaindrou: Euripedes, Medea (ECM/Ode)

2 Jun 2014    1

Although the Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou writes mostly for screen and theatre productions, her albums are always like stand-alone statements of great beauty or drama. This entrancingly dark album is no exception. It is the music for a modern stage production of the solemn play by Euripedes, one of the great ancient Greek tragedies of vengeance, murder, dark passions and retribution.... > Read more

Loss

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires: Dereconstructed (SubPop)

26 May 2014

With young bands naming for cute fluffy animals and avoiding any pretense of rock music, it's a pleasure this Alabama outfit takes Seventies' Stones, the Clash and fuzzed-up punk fury as their sonic reference point while extending the contract of Southern rock laid down by the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Crowes and Drive By Truckers. It makes for a furious 36 minutes,... > Read more

The Weeds Downtown

9Bach: Tincian (Real World/Southbound)

26 May 2014

On the Real World label founded by Peter Gabriel, this Welsh duo of singer/pianist Lisa Jen and guitarist Martin Hoyland (with guests on percussion, harmonium, bass, harp and backing vocals) deliver an album of gorgeously featherweight trip-hop which sits somewhere between Clannad and early Portishead, but has a far more delicate touch than either. By all being sung in Welsh it also... > Read more

Pebyll

Various Artists: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 4 (Frenzy)

26 May 2014    1

Although the recent initiative by recordedmusic.co.nz has brought some lost treasures (and some pretty ordinary music) back into public domain, this on-going compilation series pulls up some real obscurities. The work of researcher and archivist Grant Gillanders, the series turns the spotlight on a period in New Zealand music when the barriers between genres (not to mention brain... > Read more

Gracious Lady Slice Dee

The Icypoles: My World Was Made For You (Lil' Chief)

22 May 2014

While no band should be held to whatever promo blurb their record company put out -- although don't they have veto? -- it is howlingly absurd that this deliberately cute, soft and lightweight pop group of four women from Melbourne should be mentioned on the same piece of paper as the Shaggs, Julie Cruise (whose Just You they cover rather faithfully) and the Shirelles. The Camera Obscura... > Read more

Gotta Stop It

Delaney Davidson: Swim Down Low (Rough Trade/Southbound)

19 May 2014

That recent Record Store Day has still been diverting me as I trawl through my purchases . . . which accounts for coming so late to this one by multiple-award winning singer-songwriter Davidson who is loosely placed in the country category, but who has much in common with dark European cabaret and sometimes Nick Cave as he does with Hank Williams. This came out on vinyl on Record Store Day... > Read more

Down on Me

Jack Ruby: Hit and Run (Saint Cecelia/Southbound)

19 May 2014    1

The only Jack Ruby I know is the man pictured on the cover of this collection (see comment below) of what might just every recorded noise this avant-No Wave band from New York might have made. I've always been wary of claims made about how influential some underground films and bands are if they go largely unseen and unheard. Certainly the Velvet Underground had an influence far beyond the... > Read more

Hit and Run (1977 version)

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

19 May 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. Sherpa: Blues and Oranges (bandcamp): Having enjoyed Sherpa a number of... > Read more

Nowhere Slow

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Django Django (Late Night Tales/Southbound)

19 May 2014

The pleasure in the on-going Late Night Tales series which started in 2001 is in just what obscurities the artists chosen to collate the compilation pull out. As aldums they often hang together rather well (altough I'm not persuaded by the on-going readings of a story as the final track, here Benedict Cumberbatch is up to part four of Flat of Angles). The British band Django Django bring... > Read more

Porpoise Song

Tiny Ruins: Brightly Painted One (Unspk)

16 May 2014

The previous album Some Were Meant For Sea by Holly Fullbrook -- who was then sole proprietor of the name Tiny Ruins -- was such a delicately nuanced and quiet affair it was hardly surprising on the two ocassions I saw her present it (at the Kings Arms and opening for Fleet Foxes in Auckland's Town Hall) she struggled to keep a boisterous audience's attention. That's what happens when the... > Read more

White Sheet Lightning

Great North: Up in Smoke (greatnorthband.com)

12 May 2014

For a man with an almost obsessive regard for Springsteen – see his answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire – Auckland songwriter Hayden Donnell of Great North here rarely writes like a chip of the old Boss. Only the title track nudges towards the musical melodrama of Springsteen, the rest allude to Donnell's Christian background, eventual disillusion and a... > Read more

The Sound of the Sea

Golden Curtain: Dream City (cosmicolitanrecords)

12 May 2014

Elsewhere was mighty impressed by the unpretentious pop-rock of the previous Golden Curtain album English Tuning and we're now pleased to note that was an opinion shared – according to their bio – by the Toronto Star and some reviewer in San Francisco. Not bad for a New Zealand trio with a very low profile, despite their prior form in bands like Garageland and Grand Prix.... > Read more

Sweet Louise

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

12 May 2014

Perhaps like most Elsewhere readers, I'd never heard of this quite remarkable woman previously, but a bit of research shows she was born in Missouri, is now based in Chicago and had a previous album Half Way Home on a small indie label out of North Carolina. She's been part of Bonnie Prince Billy's circle too. So, never having heard a note, this one hits the player and comes up with some... > Read more

Enemy