Music at Elsewhere

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Wooden Shjips: Back to Land (Thrill Jockey/Border)

9 Dec 2013

Someone clever – probably Laurie Anderson or Brian Eno – said every musical style that ever existed is being played somewhere today. Which accounts for Appalachian death ballads, indie.folk, prog-rock, head-down boogie and psychedelic drone rock from decades ago still finding an audience. Of the latter style, San Francisco's Wooden Shjips explore a sound which is partly... > Read more

These Shadows

The Green Pajamas: November (Green Monkey)

8 Dec 2013

Because Elsewhere has long been convinced of the special musical gifts of Seattle's Jeff Kelly -- whose band Green Pajamas long parlayed a smart twist on the Beatles' Rain/Paperback Writer period, but with some real dreamy psychedelic touches -- we'll always bring you info on his albums, even if our enthusiasm might go into a chasm. But this is an unusual one. Way back in '88 Kelly had... > Read more

Stephanie Barber

Various Artists: The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

4 Dec 2013

There are quite a number of these kinds of collections available now -- the music on the imagined jukeboxes of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, the Cramps etc, and in this series the music which inspired Elvis Presley, the Ramones and Cliff Richard. But this one is interesting because the New York Dolls were so reviled by the mainstream music press in Britain when they arrived... > Read more

Too Much Monkey Business

Richard Bennett: New York City Swara (Times Music)

3 Dec 2013

This unexpectedly delightful album is pleasingly hard to pigeonhole: a classically trained New York pianist inspired by the classical music of India when his jazz vocalist wife Paula Jeanine went to Mumbai/Bombay to study with renowned singer Dhanashree Pandit-Ra. So this album might just as easily appear under classical music or world music -- and when you learn Bennett has also played... > Read more

Raga Puriya Pat 1/Nightfall

William Onyeabor: Who is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

2 Dec 2013

In some circles Onyeabor's name is one to drop. In part that might be because of this Nigerian funk and psychedelic soul master's obscurity (this is a hard-won collection of late Seventies to mid-Eighties songs he was reluctant to have reissued) as it is to his spaced-out grooves. And although many of these deftly bantamweight pieces stretch past seven minutes and a few beyond 10,... > Read more

Why Go To War

Filthy Boy: Smile That Won't Go Down (Shock)

2 Dec 2013

This young London four-piece – which includes twins Paraic and Michael Morrissey (no relation to Morrisseys you know) – may not be genuinely dirty but they certainly deliver a neat line in salaciousness where the rubber glove snaps in a darkened room of discipline, a wife conducts an adulterous affair while her husband waits outside and stories explore sex and fantasies over... > Read more

Spiral Eyes

Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band: Old World (Burgin)

1 Dec 2013

Wellington guitar maker and musician Burgin has recorded some understated and finely crafted albums of what he calls "Kiwi urban folk" or "unoffical Kiwi folk" and after his 2009 album My Sweet Town we had him answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here to point to his more recent one Gentle Landings. This time -- again with a reliable cast of equals on bass,... > Read more

Step By Step

Trentemoller: Lost (In My Room/Southbound)

29 Nov 2013

Aside from deftly peeling off shadowland intimacy on his own albums, Danish electronica artist Trentemoller also crafted one of the best selections in the LateNightTales a couple of years ago (see here) and the sheer number of vocal tracks on it suggested he had a keen ear for seductive and singular singers. This time out a full seven of these 12 tracks feature vocals, opening with the... > Read more

Come Undone

Various Artists: Bob Dylan, Constructing the Legend (BDA/Triton):

27 Nov 2013

As songs from the Sixties come into public domain (after 50 years) we can expect to see more albums like this. Here, alternating, are Bob Dylan's songs from his debut album released in March 1962 with the songs which inspired them. Given that all but two songs on that original album -- Talkin' New York Blues and Song to Woody -- were covers or adaptations of traditional songs (Man of... > Read more

See That My Grave is Kept Clean

T54: In Brush Park (Flying Nun)

26 Nov 2013

Although it must be irksome for some of the younger Flying Nun bands to find their music constantly being referred to in the context of their predecesors like the Clean, Chills, Bats and so forth, some (eg Surf Friends' Confusion) invariably invite the comparison. And certainly when this excellent album kicks in with the dreamy Nails Painted and there is a pulsing bassline prominent you... > Read more

Biscuit City Sisters

Jake Bugg: Shangri La (Island)

25 Nov 2013

Although this follow-up to his self-titled debut of a year ago cannot have the same frisson of discovery, there's no denying the sheer energy on display here as Bugg kicks up some gutsy rockabilly and folk-on-speed originals backed by a tight band . . . and manages to sound like no one else but himself. All those overplayed "new Dylan" references which attended his debut are here... > Read more

Pine Trees

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

24 Nov 2013

It's a measure of the enmity some have towards the Feelers that when it was announced their singer-songwriter James Reid (no relation) had this solo album coming out that some took to Facebook to deride it, without even listening to it. Certainly the inconvenience of having to listen to an album must make it easier to review or hold an opinion, but it's an option which does such people... > Read more

No Horizon

The Drab Doo-Riffs; Home Surgery (Liberation)

18 Nov 2013

Because Elsewhere has had to adopt a policy of not reviewing EPs (just so many full albums without inviting that particular landslide) Auckland's Drab Doo-Riffs -- three EPs and the vinyl-only Aquatic Ape Theory -- haven't had a mention in these pages. We sneakily rectify that because Home Surgery 2009-2013 is a 17 track compilation of songs pulled from their back-catalogue (five from... > Read more

Tesla Girl

The X-Rays; Booze'n'Speed (Cargo/Southbound)

18 Nov 2013

Umm, you can perhaps guess the sound of the contents here from the album title alone, but if you need more clues then here are some of the titles of the 26 flat-tack, lo-fi songs: Nitro Burnout, Hittin' the Booze, Trashed Out, Good for Nothing, Dragstrip Killer, Arrogant Fucked-Up Shit, Don't Fear the Repoman (that's funny), Grease Monkety Go, Special Agent Whore . . . We could go on (right... > Read more

Trashed Out

Blitzen Trapper: VII (Shock)

18 Nov 2013

Curiously, the edgy take Portland's Blitzen Trapper brought to Americana hasn't caught on in this country which embraces Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and singer-songwriters like Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, all of whom this five-piece have referred to in the past. Their American Goldwing two years ago should have broken them but didn't, and it's hard to see how this one could given... > Read more

Oregon Geography

Various Artists: Legendary Wild Rockers 3 (BBE)

17 Nov 2013

After the previous, somewhat unhinged collection of late Fifties/early Sixties garage rockabilly and surf rock this one counts as something of a disappointment. Across 20 songs -- compiled by UK DJs Keb DeBarge and Little Edith -- there are of course a few standouts (the B-grade horror of I'm The Wolf Man by Round Robin, the weird cat screech on Geraldine by Ole Miss Down Beats, the... > Read more

The Raging Sea

Various Artists: George Harrison's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

13 Nov 2013

Although no one would seriously argue that people should have fewer choices, it's interesting to observe that before the balkanisation of radio into genres and demographics which ensured audiences would ony listen to music that was narrowly focused, most people before the Seventies grew up listening to a wide range of songs. Because in the Fifties and Sixties one radio station would have to... > Read more

Raunchy (1957)

The Courtneys: The Courtneys (Conquest of Noise/Flying In)

12 Nov 2013

Dunno about you, but sometimes when you've heard enough polished pop you just want a bit of fun-infused, lo-fi, unschooled but thoroughly enjoyable pop-rock where fast strummed, chiming guitars and simple drumming are about as sophisticated as it gets. Enter then this trio from Vancouver -- Courtney Loove (sic), Sydney Koke, Jen Tynne Payne -- who might just have quite a number of Clean and... > Read more

Manion

Tumbleweed: Sounds from the Other Side (Shock)

11 Nov 2013

Wollongong's loud and hairy Tumbleweed enjoyed a decent reputation here in the Nineties on the back of a couple of fine albums (notably their self-titled debut of 92) and some live showings which confirmed their reputation as the post-psychedelic hard rock band for stoners who liked to party. Although they went through periods of inactivity and had some line-up changes, the good news... > Read more

ESP

Tiny Lies: The Oaks They Will Bow (Lyttelton/Southbound)

11 Nov 2013

Not to be confused with Tiny Ruins (Hollie Fullbrook), this Lyttelton-based duo of Harley Williams and Charlotte Ivey here deliver a debut album of dark and often bittersweet country-folk embellished by lap steel (from labelmate Delaney Davidson), violin (Anita Clark), pedal steel (John Egenes) and other appropriately evocative instruments. Ivey's melodic harmonica playing brings a... > Read more

Old Heart