Music at Elsewhere

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Glen Moffatt: Superheroes and Scary Things (SDL)

13 Aug 2014

Further proof that we export real talent. A little over a decade ago country-rock singer-songwriter Glen Moffatt quit New Zealand to base himself in Queensland, leaving behind three fine albums and a nomination in the songwriter of the year category. He immediately picked up good notices and awards in Queensland, but we haven't heard much from him in recent years. This album however --... > Read more

She's Not a Honky Tonk Woman

Fu Manchu: Gigantoid (At the Dojo/Southbound)

11 Aug 2014

Because Brant Bjork played with them and they're part of the Kyuss/Clutch/Monster Magnet cabal, this Southern California hard rock-stoner band has often been mentioned in dispatches but rarely made an impact here. That's surprising, given they should appeal to graybeards who loved the feedback rock of Sixties legends Blue Cheer and Australia's Tumbleweed as much as recent QTSA and... > Read more

The Last Question

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

11 Aug 2014    2

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be short . . . Richard Thompson; Acoustic Classics (Proper/Southbound): The great British singer-songwriter Thompson has made frequent appearances at Elsewhere by way... > Read more

Dimming of the Day

Murray McNabb Group: Every Day is a Beautiful Day (Sarang Bang)

5 Aug 2014

In the final days of his life -- which ended in early 2013 -- the New Zealand composer and keyboard player Murray McNabb was still working, despite being on morphine for pain relief from the cancer which would kill him. Towards the end it was my privilege to interview him about his long career, and I was struck by his philosophical approach to the inevitable as much as I had been by the... > Read more

Standing Babas

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye (Warners)

4 Aug 2014    2

Most rock fans agree TP and his cracking Heartbreakers had a decade-long dream run after their self-titled debut in 76. Their taut Beatles/Byrds pop-rock welded to a nuggety rock'n'roll attitude and Petty's economic songs made their albums sound like collections of snappy singles. And when this Florida-native expanded into “Southern accents” (the title of their impressive... > Read more

Shadow People

Hans Chew: Life and Love (Proper/Southbound)

4 Aug 2014

This is interesting, odd and unexpected. On the inside cover Chew -- shaven head, bearded -- looks pretty hardcore . . . but he plays grand piano. And he doesn't play the classical repertoire but rocks out in a Southern boogie style with a tough little band (which includes Dave Cavallo on guitars, including slide). The result is an enjoyable meltdown of blues, country, soul and rock... > Read more

Strange Love

Death Vessel: Island Intervals (Sub Pop)

4 Aug 2014

It does seem odd that the label which brought us Nirvana should now be so attached to alt.folk (and sometime mope.folk) with Luluc and Death Vessel. DV is in fact singer Joel Thibodeau (born in Germany, raised in the States) and any number of fellow travelers for the past decade, although for this album -- his third as Death Vessel -- he has honed it down to mostly just three or four pals.... > Read more

We Agreed

Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

31 Jul 2014

The first and only time Fink (known as Fin Greenall to his family) has appeared at Elsewhere was with his debut album Biscuits for Breakfast and although his career gone extremely well for this Britsh DJ, singer-songwriter and producer, he still sounds glum'n'moody. Which is no bad thing as he brings an intensity that is convincing, and he can back it all up with memorable melodies.... > Read more

Truth Begins

The Unsemble: The Unsemble (Ipecac/Southbound)

30 Jul 2014

If supergroups still exist this might not be one, but perhaps in the world of alt.rock and out-there readers of The Wire they could qualify. Here are drummer Brian Kotzur who has "worked with" Silver Jews, guitarist/keyboard player Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) and bassist/electronics player Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten, Crime and the City Solution). These... > Read more


The Antlers: Familiars (Inertia)

28 Jul 2014

Peter Silberman, the mainman behind and up-front of New York's Antlers, has been making steady and stealthy moves towards greater acclaim with a series of lovely and sometimes pained albums which have increasingly become more musically complex. They've also managed to retain a sense of the hurting heart within the orchestration. Their 2010 album Hospice was a 10-song cycle about... > Read more


Luluc: Passerby (SubPop)

28 Jul 2014

The early Seventies genre “sensitive singer-songwriter” was enjoyed by similarly attuned souls or ridiculed by those for whom moping around just seemed weak and pointless. The genre is back in other hands, as an offshoot of alt.folk, and we couldn't count the number of duos – like Australians Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett who are Luluc – which explore that... > Read more

Winter is Passing

Jungle: Jungle (XL)

28 Jul 2014

It's sometimes said that every music that ever existed is still being played somewhere in the world today. It's certainly true that Jungle -- an unusually secretive London duo heading a collective -- have taken Seventies disco and cool funk to their hearts and here on their debut album offer up a post-electronica version of these styles which is snappy, clever, groove-orientated and just... > Read more

Son of a Gun

Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business (Universal)

21 Jul 2014

Although no longer considered the monarch of misery he once was, Morrissey doesn't stray too far from the musical parameters he created for himself on this, the 10th studio album under his own name. For that he leaves it over to his brittle band to add grit and texture behind his familiarly melodic vocal style. That's when he isn't setting that effortless singing style against strings or... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Live in Amsterdam (Southbound)

21 Jul 2014

In a recent doco about Muddy Waters, American guitarist Joe Bonamassa was talking about the blues and said, "The British blues for me was more immediate and more exciting. It was louder, a Les Paul guitar in a Marshall amp, it was more rock". While there's no doubt Bonamassa can play the blues, he is at heart a rock guy and that's why his longtime paring with singer Beth Hart --... > Read more

Someday After a While

Wagons: Acid Rain and Sugar Cane (Spunk)

21 Jul 2014

The wide sonic sweep, aggregation of poetic images and ragged-swagger of Australia's Henry Wagons – here back with a band, and guests – gets the producer he deserves for this: Mick Harvey of the Bad Seeds. If anyone understands tumbling lyrics and melodramatic music delivered with menace it's a man who has worked with Nick Cave, to whom Wagons owes quite some debt. As he... > Read more

Search the Streets

Jimi Goodwin: Odludek (Heavenly)

14 Jul 2014

Some years go when Mojo magazine picked 40 Cosmic Rock Albums – prog-rock in other words – there alongside the inevitable (Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson etc) were Radiohead, the Mars Volta, Tool and Sigur Ros. Proof again prog wasn't killed off by punk in the late Seventies, and that adventurous musicians will always push the boundaries. Goodwin – singer,... > Read more

Man V Dingo

Steve Gunn and Mike Cooper: Cantos de Lisboa (FRKWYS)

14 Jul 2014

New York singer/guitarist Steve Gunn (often in Kurt Vile's touring band) has appeared at Elsewhere previously with his highly recommended Time Off album of last year, but British singer/guitarist/electronic experimenter Mike Cooper --a few decades Gunn's senior -- was, until recently (see below), a name new to us. But if experimental acoustic guitar duets with sometime vocals, some strange... > Read more

Song for Charlie

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

14 Jul 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. Toni Huata: Tomokia (Ode): Wellington singer-songwriter Huata (who won... > Read more

Deep Steady Hum

The Gary Harvey Band: Ghost Dance (

11 Jul 2014

The familiar line about singer/songwriter and bassist Gary Harvey is that he is a mainstay of blues-influenced rock in New Zealand who has been around for exactly the right number of decades, which is many. Eighteen months ago we had Gary answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire on the back of a live album with guitarist Tony Abbott as G'N'T Unhinged. Despite the indifference of mainstream... > Read more

Mr Healy

Dean Wareham: Dean Wareham (Double Feature/Southbound)

7 Jul 2014

When one-time Kiwi/longtime New Yorker Dean Wareham's former band Luna got to open for Velvet Underground at their brief reunion in '93 it must have semed like a dream come true: Luna owed a considerable debt to VU . . . and a few years ago Wareham and Britta Phillips (also in Luna) supplied the music for Andy Warhol's silent footage of Lou Reed, Nico and others from that hallowed... > Read more

Beat the Devil