Music at Elsewhere

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Ahoribuzz: Into the Sunshine (Warners)

24 Aug 2015  |  1 min read

The first time I saw Ben Harper play I turned to a pal and said "Taj Marley" and we laughed like drains then went straight to the bar. I felt the same the next time. Taj Mahal+Bob Marley can never go wrong, but can also never claim to be original.  But we being Kiwis who loved both artists embraced Harper who, in my opinion, didn't make any unique statement until he... > Read more

Turnaround

Jackie Greene: Back to Birth (YepRoc/Southbound)

24 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

Here produced by longtime friend Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, this former frontman/guitarist for Phil (Grateful Dead) Lesh's touring band, member of the Black Crowes (for two years before their disillusion a few months ago) and credible country-rock/roots player here delivers his seventh album which has some comfortably familiar reference points (the Band, Tom Petty, Allmans, Crowes of... > Read more

Where the Downhearted Go

Gurrumul: The Gospel Album (Skinnyfish/Southbound)

17 Aug 2015  |  1 min read

There is something just so right about this retiring, blind Aboriginal singer taking his rare gift to gospel songs, just as there's something equally right in Nick Cave exploring the antithesis. Both have the voice for their subjects.  Brought up in the local church on Elcho Island off the top of Australia, Gurrumul has appeared at Elsewhere for his previous albums where the... > Read more

Amazing Grace

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

13 Aug 2015  |  3 min read

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, in the same way it does IN BRIEF about international releases. Comments will be brief. Greg... > Read more

Mary Mary by Illegal Green (from Hamiltune)

Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Oceans)

10 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

In a cover which evokes the soft-focus pastoralism of Van Morrison's classic 60s albums His Band and Street Choir and, more specifically, Astral Weeks, this American singer-guitarist flies his influences high. And they are mostly Irish or British, especially folk-blues guitar improvisers such as Davy Graham, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and others from that same period as those Morrison... > Read more

Sweet Satisfaction

Mike Cooper: Fratello Mare (Room40)

10 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read

The more you listen to breadth and depth of expat British guitarist Mike Cooper's work, the more your respect his innovation . . . all the while acknowledging he is perhaps the least known of all the least known innovative players. He has crossed the Elsewhere path last year with some reissues (see here and here), but even as recently as then we conceded he had been off our radar.... > Read more

A Cinnamon Peeler

The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience: I Like Rain (Fire/Flying Nun)

5 Aug 2015  |  2 min read  |  1

Some months ago when Elsewhere added this Christchurch band's Bleeding Star (1993) to our Essential Elsewhere albums list, we conceded immediately that others had nominated their Love Songs ('87) as a better album, or would opt for their self-titled debut EP ('86) as superior. Each to their own, but it does say something about JPSE that so much of their work should be considered so... > Read more

Flex

Tame Impala: Currents (Universal)

3 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read

Kevin Parker from West Australia might just be the most tuned-in, turned-on and influence-dropping musician on the planet right now. His vehicle Tame Impala (in which he does just about everything) has always been impressively future-retro but with this third album -- a polished gem of soulful, psychedelic rock-cum-dance music with a rare palette of musical colours and dreamscapes --... > Read more

Past Life

Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

3 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

When he left country-rockers Drive-By Truckers in 07, songwriter Isbell was damaged by alcohol and a painful separation, but since then has steadily built a platform as a literate, heartfelt songwriter whose albums have penetrating narratives alongside nakedly soul-baring lyrics and aching songs about hard truths like cancer, abuse, family or a friend killed in Iraq. Like some... > Read more

Children of Children

Led Zeppelin: Coda, Deluxe Edition (Warners)

3 Aug 2015  |  1 min read

Even the most ardent Led Zeppelin fans are prepared to concede -- when they are claer-headed -- that the final studio albums Presence ('76), In Through the Out Door ('79) and Coda ('82, released a couple of years after they had broken up) are patchy . . . at best. Which may explain why the Jimmy Page remastered editions of all three of these have now appeared simultaneously, although... > Read more

Bring It On Home (rough mix)

Daughn Gibson: Carnations (SubPop)

27 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

Gibson from Pennsylvania has been getting some stick internationally for this, his third album. But presuming few if any here heard his previous soulfully dark-voiced outings we come to this fresh and it's an odd but interesting one, sometimes like widescreen Bowie around Station to Station, at others finding its feet in post-New Wave goth-pop or Depeche Mode. It could be accused... > Read more

Back With the Family

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

27 Jul 2015  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Houndmouth; Little Neon Limelight (Rough Trade): From Indiana and signed to Rough Trade, Houndmouth -- a four-piece of three guys and a... > Read more

Way Home by The Young Folk

Sleaford Mods: Key Markets (Harbinger)

24 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

With minimal musical backing, the focus of this exciting, political, funny and sometimes bitter duo of singer Jason Williamson and musician Andrew Fearn connect weith a lineage of British music. With echoes of Ian Dury, the Sex Pistols, the Fall, Crass, Two Tone acts, the Streets and sometimes B-grade British television comedy shows, the Sleaford Mods can burn like a potty-mouthed blowtorch... > Read more

Face to Faces

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

21 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

Free music is always a good thing and the very fine people at Loop in Auckland have once again offered a free downlaod of a mixtape collection Here's the tracklisting: 01. Bottom Line (Flako Mix) - Electric Wire Hustle02. Starfish - Aron Ottignon03. Heatwave - HIGH HØØPS04. Cushion Plant - Team Cat Food05. Hyakki Yakou Part2 - Haioka06. Losing You (Tennis Champ Mix) - Chambres07.... > Read more

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; After Dark, Nocturne (latenighttales/Southbound)

20 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

This remix compilation selection by DJ Bill Brewster follows broadly in the path of other such Late Night Tales collections but Brewster brings a bit of low end funk and humour into proceedings, notably with the early-up inclusion of Plastic Bertrand's clumsy proto-rap Stop Ou Encore which somehow morphs into the Afro-percussion track Third World by Paladin. Brewster pulls together remixes... > Read more

Chained to the Train of Love

Neil Young and Promise of the Real: The Monsanto Years (Warners)

19 Jul 2015  |  2 min read  |  2

When Neil Young -- who turns 70 later this year -- ascends to the great beyond you can be certain the obituaries will tick off his many great songs and albums, and note what a wilful and idiosyncratic artist he was. It will all be true. But while he's in the here and now it's also worth noting that for every great album there was at least one other indifferent one and -- increasingly by... > Read more

Monsanto Years

The Helio Sequence: Helio Sequence (Sub Pop/Rhythmethod)

13 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

Sometimes sounding more like a British dreamscape-cum-shoegaze band than some of their own earliest incarnations, this outfit from Oregon are now on their sixth album. But this is a perfectly acceptable point to tune in. Singer-writer Brandon Summers places himself in the mid-ground of the soundscape of shimmering washes of guitar, pulsing rhythms and a kind of summershine atmospheric... > Read more

Phantom Shore

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Freedom Tower (Southbound)

13 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

About halfway through these breathless 35 minutes you'd be forgiven for needing a cup of tea and a lie-down. And you've also forgotten how this implosion of Beastie Boys, RL Burnside-style electric blues, Aerosmith with Run DMC and much more actually started. In a cover like a mixtape and subtitled “No Wave Dance Party 2015”, here the Spencer trio fire off 13 raucous... > Read more

Bellevue Baby

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

8 Jul 2015  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Nadine Shah; Fast Food (Apollo/Southbound): Britain seems awash with talented women singers but some appear to get better coverage (Graham... > Read more

Werewolf by Tom Dyer's New Pagan Gods

Richard Thompson: Still (Proper/Southbound)

6 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

Those thrilled by this much acclaimed singer-guitarist's set at Womad in March, or who have immersed themselves in his often incendiary recent albums Dream Attic and Electric, will need no second invitation for this one. Produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (deploying members of Thompson's band and Wilco) and frequently impelled by the same energy Thompson brought to Taranaki, this 12-song... > Read more

Broken Doll