Music at Elsewhere

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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

Dodson and Fogg: After the Fall (Wisdom Twins)

5 May 2014

Some weeks ago Elsewhere invited its readers/listeners and the curious to be interested in a wonderful compilation album of the quietly excellent Dodson and Fogg. It was presented by The Active Listener website out of Wellington, New Zealand (an unprofitable labour love by Nathan Ford, interviewed here, much like Elsewhere) As a result Chris Wade from Leeds who is the one-man... > Read more

Here in the Night

Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust (SubPop)

5 May 2014

Recorded in VanGaalen's own Yoko Eno studio in Calgary and described by him as his “country record” or some of the soundtrack to the animated film he's drawn, this 12-song collection opens with delicate acoustic guitar (fingers slipping on steel strings as loud as his voice) and him gently singing “cut off both my hands and threw them in the sand, watched them swim away... > Read more

Lila

Various Artists: Naga; New Music for Gamelan (Rattle)

3 May 2014

Those of us lucky enough to have been to Java or Bali -- and who have ventured further than the beach or pool for cultural experiences -- will attest to the extraordinary sound of a gamelan orchestra in full flight. Whether it be on metal or wooden xylophones (for want of a better word), gongs large and small or massive vertical bamboo chimes, the sound can be hypnotic and exciting . . .... > Read more

Volcano Song

Neil Young: A Letter Home (Third Man)

2 May 2014

In a couple of weeks there will be an expanded edition of this album -- two vinyl albums, a DVD, a CD and seven singles and more in handmade box -- but here we are just dealing with the single vinyl album, recorded at Jack White's Third Man Studio in Nashville. At one level you could say it's a vanity project -- Young covering 11 songs which mean something personal to him -- and the record... > Read more

My Hometown

Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk/Southbound)

28 Apr 2014

Although taking its title from Carl Sagan's 80s television series about the universe, the cosmological and astral references are musically few on this electronica-cum-alt.rock album by the Brooklyn four-piece around songwriter Alex Schaaf. The music beyond the electrobeats and sonic washes most often sounds grounded and even gritty, but it is in Schaaf's lyrics and an edgy ambience... > Read more

You Are the Stars

Tim Guy: Dreaming of a Night Mango (Lost and Lonesome)

27 Apr 2014

New Zealand singer-songwriter and producer Tim Guy has appeared at Elsewhere previously, notably for his delightfully thoughtful and airy 2007 album The Hummabyes, and when he answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire in 2011 when he toured his Big World album. Elsewhere lost touch with him in recent years but then was delighted when a vinyl-sized parcel turned up from him, and it... > Read more

Many People I Know

Scott H. Biram: Nothin' But Blood (Bloodshot/Southbound)

21 Apr 2014

When this whisky-fueled, profanity spoutin' and somewhat misanthropic Texas singer-songwriter – who joins the dots between one-man electric blues and psychobilly rock - drops the energy levels he offers some terrific songs: Never Comin' Home is in the Kristofferson tradition of worldweary reflection and tells a convincing story in the manner of Hayes Carll or Steve Earle (the vet on... > Read more

Never Comin' Home