Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Charlotte Yates; Archipelago (Universal)

Charlotte Yates; Archipelago (Universal)

For over a decade Wellington's Charlotte Yates put her energy into setting words by James K Baxter, Hone Tuwhare and Witi Ihimaera to music by all-star casts, but only managed two albums of her own, the last being the somewhat spare Beggar's Choice five years ago. Here however, across 12 originals, she invites in strings, flute and piano, embraces electronic touches from... more >>

End of the Tunnel

17 Jun 2013

Various Artists: Waiata 2 (Sony)

Various Artists: Waiata 2 (Sony)

Here's my guess: At a party if you played certain songs by Tom Jones, Tony Christie, John Rowles, Englebert Humperdinck, Frankie Stevens or any number of other MOR big ballad singers, most people couldn't tell the difference. Or even care very much. Some of those artists covered the same songs (as did Elvis, whose ballads they also sometimes performed) so the lines just blurred between... more >>

You're Such a Good Looking Woman

17 Jun 2013

The Kingsbury Manx: Bronze Age (Odessa/Southbound)

The Kingsbury Manx: Bronze Age (Odessa/Southbound)

Here is one/another of those indie bands which will perhaps only connect when they play a Laneway or some alt.festival. This snappy, pop-conscious and throughly enjoyable North Carolina four-piece have been around for over a decade (I did not know that!) and this is their . . . wow, sixth album (and there was an EP too, I believe). So after a few of these crafted, thoughtful and... more >>

13 Jun 2013

Beady Eye: BE (Sony)

Beady Eye: BE (Sony)

In the wake of the Oasis fallout, Liam Gallagher basically walked away with the band renamed as Beady Eye, and songwriting brother Noel got to go his own way, free from the shackles of being stuck with the limitations of Oasis to become a proper and great English songwriter like Ray Davies, Paul Weller and others he admired. Perhaps expectations for Noel were too great because his debut... more >>

Soon Come Tomorrow

10 Jun 2013

John Fogerty: Wrote a Song For Everyone (Sony)

John Fogerty: Wrote a Song For Everyone (Sony)

Although John Fogerty refused to play his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs for years after litigation between him and his former record company, it hardly mattered. CCR songs were staples at classic hits radio, obligatory in any Vietnam movie (Fortunate Son, Run Through the Jungle, Bad Moon Rising) and a Creedence tape was in The Dude's car when it was stolen in The Big Lebowski.... more >>

Fortunate Son

10 Jun 2013    1

Various Artists: The World Needs Changing; Street Funk and Jazz Grooves 1967- 1976

Various Artists: The World Needs Changing; Street Funk and Jazz Grooves 1967- 1976

Although to some extent a companion volume to the fascinating Liberation Music collection of material from the Flying Dutchman label, this is very much a lesser cousin as the politics is tuned down -- despite funk and groove-riding songs with titles like All Power to the People (Joe Savage and the Soul People) and Walk Tall (Esther Morrow). The very good liner notes make a useful point: that... more >>

See-Saw Affair

10 Jun 2013

Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers: The Black Soap from Monkeyburg (Red Rocks)

Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers: The Black Soap from Monkeyburg (Red Rocks)

It's widely acknowledged Rick Bryant has one of the country's best soul-blues voices. Or more correctly – on the evidence of this collection, most co-writes with guitarist Gordon Spittle – did have. Here his voice is frequently a lesser and often shredded version of what it once was, his range fraying at the edges and only rarely does he bring the fire or emotion that was... more >>

Rum Jungle

10 Jun 2013    3

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (Heavenly/Mushroom)

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (Heavenly/Mushroom)

Singer Mark Lanegan is the familiar name here for his work Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell and Soulsavers, but Duke Garwood from London is perhaps less well known. A multi-instrumentalist with an ear on spooky blues (hence this pairing), he has worked with Seasick Steve, Wooden Wand and Wire, appeared on Lanegan's Blues Funeral (and Lanegan's band with Greg Dulli,... more >>

Mescalito

4 Jun 2013

Into the East: Fight from the Inside (intotheeast.co.nz/Aeroplane)

Into the East: Fight from the Inside (intotheeast.co.nz/Aeroplane)

This duo might come from Southland in New Zealand but they could just as surely have found a foothold in the American Midwest with songs like the catchy On the Run (a slightly reshaped rockabilly number which twists on the Tequila riff) or the ballads Black Hills Dakota and How Could Have Known. But What I Have Done (subtitled On the Run Part II) would warm the cockles of your heart if you... more >>

Old Man in a Fog

4 Jun 2013

JJ Grey and Mofro: This River (Southbound)

JJ Grey and Mofro: This River (Southbound)

Hard traveling and prolific JJ Grey and his horn-embellished band have been serving up a mix of Southern soul, New Orleans funk and swamp rock for such a long time now you'd think they might have made a global impact. When Grey gets into ballad mode -- as he does here beautifully on Somebody Else, Tame a Wild One and the title track -- he can melt hearts. And there's no doubt the upbeat or... more >>

Tame a Wild One

4 Jun 2013

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (4AD)

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (4AD)

Scotland's Camera Obscura have consistently delivered a line in thoughtful, sunshine-baked pop which still allows room for deep emotional shadows. For this album they took their songs off to Portland where producer Tucker Martine added some extra lustre, and Neko Case and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) dropped by to add extra vocals. But central always is Tracyanne Campbell's warm,... more >>

Troublemaker

4 Jun 2013

Savages: Silence Yourself (Matador)

Savages: Silence Yourself (Matador)

As often happens -- and we notice this with the advantage of distance -- the British music press sometimes works itself into a lather about some exciting new band. They seem to have over Savages who, undeniably, make some very exciting post-punk indie.rock all over this debut. It is disciplined, passionate, emotionally committed and . . . And frankly it is 1982 revisited, specifically Sioux... more >>

She Will

4 Jun 2013

Black Star Riders: All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast/Southbound)

Black Star Riders: All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast/Southbound)

Following Phil Lynott's death in 86 – three years after quitting the band he founded -- Thin Lizzy reformed and since then there has been an occasional, revolving-door membership band touring under that name. BSR includes Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham (from their classic period), post-Lynott members and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth/Alice Cooper). Originally they were going to... more >>

Bound for Glory

3 Jun 2013

Flavor Crystals: Three (bandcamp/Crooked Little Fingers)

Flavor Crystals: Three (bandcamp/Crooked Little Fingers)

These trippy, ambient and strange sonic landscapes by this Minneapolis quartet have commanded an unfeasible amount of time at Elsewhere recently, because the music fits many moods (not dancing, of course) and the pieces sweep loosely into each other. Spread across two discs -- originally three slices of shiny white vinyl -- there is also so much music it never sounds like it is repeating... more >>

look at me and say yes

1 Jun 2013

Wire: Change Becomes Us (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Wire: Change Becomes Us (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Few bands are worth a biography but Britain's Wire certainly earned the just-published Read & Burn which traces their story from influential post-punk minimalists (the first three albums) into art projects, electronica-engagement, side projects and back into sometimes searing rock (on the excellent Red Barked Tree two years ago). This album connects quite a few of those dots: they... more >>

Doubles and Trebles

27 May 2013

The Impending Adorations: Intentions (bandcamp)

The Impending Adorations: Intentions (bandcamp)

Late last year the New Zealand musician Paul McLaney wrote a piece for Other Voices Other Rooms (here) about the thinking and work process behind his album Gestalt, released under the name The Impending Adorations. It is a beautiful album full of texture and nuance, and the first of his four planned releases under the Impending Adorations name. The second in that series, Intentions,... more >>

Life Burns Brightly

27 May 2013    1

Public Service Broadcasting: Inform-Educate-Entertain (Test-Card/Southbound)

Public Service Broadcasting: Inform-Educate-Entertain (Test-Card/Southbound)

When a perilous space walk barely rates a mention on this week's nightly news, PSB's remarkable album reminds us of when progress, science and discovery meant the world stood on a thrilling threshold of promise. But it doesn't do it through finger-in-ear retro-folk nostalgia. This canny British duo use relentlessly exciting electro-beats, astutely chosen samples from newsreel and... more >>

Signal 30

20 May 2013    6

Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampire of the City (XL)

Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampire of the City (XL)

Vampire Weekend are one of the cleverest American bands of the moment, and for many that won't be a compliment. They are smart and knowing, and that meant on their last album Contra they shaved of a bit of Afrobeat and Paul Simon's Graceland as they expanded their musical palette. This time out though they seem to have gne for somethng we might call "beauty" in songs which often... more >>

Diane Young

20 May 2013

Rod Stewart: Time (Warners)

Rod Stewart: Time (Warners)

At the end of his enjoyable, candid autobiography last year Stewart said he'd started serious songwriting again (after decades). Given he was once a successful and often inspired writer, that was good news. The reflection necessary for that book seem to have prompted the co-writes here where he declares love for his wife Penny (She Makes Me Happy, Beautiful Morning), respect for the... more >>

It's Over

20 May 2013

Terry Allen: Bottom of the World (Allen/Southbound)

Terry Allen: Bottom of the World (Allen/Southbound)

On the basis of his excellent Lubbock on Everything of '79, you'd probably always give country singer Allen the benefit of the doubt. But this one of sometimes laboured rhymes, small ideas writ large (actually just medium-sized), the understatement of things which barely deserved even that and the occasional lyrical (and musical) cliche will only be embraced by the most hardcore of fans who... more >>

Wake of the Red Witch

14 May 2013