Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Benmont Tench: You Should Be So Lucky (Blue Note)

3 Mar 2014    4

At 60, keyboard player Tench -- a founder member of Petty's Heartbreakers and sessions for everyone from Dylan, the Stones and U2 to Johnny Cash, Green Day and Lucinda Williams – belatedly delivers a solo album. But rather than brashly surrounding himself with a roll call of famous friends he goes for deliberate understatement in the company of Ryan Adams, Don Was, Gillian... > Read more

Today I Took Your Picture Down

White Candles: Flowers for Delia (theactivelistener)

3 Mar 2014

Quite a few bands -- ELO spring to mind -- have built a career around a certain period of Beatles' songs. But after the first couple of songs by White Candles here you might conclude them to be that rarity. They have built their music around a single song. The spirit if not the actual sound of Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite (from Sgt Pepper) appears to be the inspiration for White... > Read more

Tire-moi des mes reves

ONE WE MISSED: Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes (P&W/Border)

3 Mar 2014

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under the banner . . . One We Missed. This album came out at the end of last year when Elsewhere was snowed under in advance of going Northern Hemisphere elsewhere for five weeks, so it just never got an... > Read more

She Ain't No Good

Hiss Golden Messenger: Bad Debt (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

3 Mar 2014

This quietly gripping acoustic album of faith and doubt, loneliness and family, affirmation and melancholy has a fascinating backstory. Hiss Golden Messenger is MC Taylor from North Carolina and this album was recorded and released before his albums Poor Moon (2012) and Haw (2013). He recorded in austere circumstances on a cassette tape-recorder in the kitchen at his home -- which was... > Read more

Call Him Daylight

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

28 Feb 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. Soulahula: You & Me (Choice): In the late Seventies and through to... > Read more

Happy Together

Midwich Youth Club: From the City to the Country, From the Country to the Sea (bandcamp)

28 Feb 2014

Further to Elsewhere's exploration of contemporary psychedelic music (courtesy of The Active Listener, see reviews and interview here), this outing by the multi-instrumentalist Allan R Murphy from Britain connects a few dots on the psych-into-prog map. This all-instrumental outing -- guitars to the fore in cinemascope -- consists of 10 parts, the first five the City-to-County and the second... > Read more

Country-to-Sea Pt 4

Beck: Morning Phase (Universal)

24 Feb 2014

Because few "heard" Beck's 2012 album Song Reader (it was sheet music for material he hadn't recorded), this one comes as the belated follow-up to 2008's well-received Modern Guilt, although he considers Morning Phase a companion to his excellent Sea Change of '02. That latter album was read as his break-up record (he and his longtime partner split) and although soaked... > Read more


Kitchen Cynics: The Orra Loon (theactivelistener)

24 Feb 2014

Anyone coming new to Scottish singer-songwriter Alan Davidson who goes by the moniker Kitchen Cynics -- and my guess is that will be just about everyone -- will be astonished if they do a bit of reading and discover how prolific he has been. And they may well ask themselves, how can someone who recorded many dozens of albums since the late Eighties (for a partial list see here) have gone... > Read more

Richard in Bedlam

Clap Clap Riot: Nobody/Everybody (Universal)

17 Feb 2014

Clap Clap Riot's previous album Counting Spins was such an instant Elsewhere favourite for its sharp, slightly bratty pop and keen intelligence (see here) that this new one was always going to command attention. But first, this . . . in the heydey of pop in the Sixties what was interesting was how singles came with an identifiable aural fingerprint which set them apart; Farfisa organ,... > Read more

Keep Me Up All Night

The Small Faces: Greatest Hits; The Immediate Years 1967-1969 (Immediate/Southbound)

17 Feb 2014    1

As we all know certain songs hold a special place in our lives. For me the Smal Faces' My Mind's Eye is very significant. It was the first single I shoplifted. In fact it was the only single I ever stole. The economies of stealing and selling meant albums were by far more sensible to swipe (a story I shamelessly tell here). But I was such a fan of the Small Faces I just had to have... > Read more

The Universal

Temples: Sun Structures (Heavenly)

17 Feb 2014

Because psychedelic music never went away, you can't welcome it back (although Tame Impala are very welcome indeed). But there's an interesting new psych-wave which owes more to the Paisley Underground movement of the Eighties (Dream Syndicate, Plimsouls, Church etc) than the tripped-out late Sixties. That PU sound drew more from the Beatles' drone-pop of Rain and... > Read more

Shelter Song

Laura Cantrell: No Way There From Here (Thrift Shop/Southbound)

17 Feb 2014

Cantrell is emblematic of what “country” can mean today. Nashville-born (where she hosted an oldtime music radio show), she studied law and accountancy in New York which is now her home, and she's a sometime contributor to the New York Times. At 46 she's recorded half a dozen albums, was a darling of influential DJ John Peel in the UK, yet hasn't lost a connection to... > Read more

Letter She Sent

Daniel Boobyer: Crazy Eyes (bandcamp)

12 Feb 2014

Wellington singer-songwriter Boobyer appeared at Elsewhere at the end of 2012 when he wrote a column about recording his own vinyl album Time Killed the Clock (reviewed here, his article here). His appealing lo-fi and up-close songs sounded like weird blues and the opener here Hone Knows -- which also includes the refrain "Titewhai knows" if I'm not mistaken, timely given Waitangi... > Read more

Crazy Eyes

Neil Finn: Dizzy Heights (Lester)

10 Feb 2014    2

Last week a friend and I were discussing artists with long careers who simply cannot acknowldege their best years are well behind them. While there are exceptions of course, the vast majority of artists in the pop-rock genre do their best work early in their career and much of what follows is repetition with diminishing returns. Unless U2, for example, do a serious career-change as they... > Read more


Snowbird: Moon (Bella Union)

10 Feb 2014

While there are too many insipid indie bands/artists named after soft wee animals or for inoffensive cuteness (start your list), we sidestep prejudice here. Snowbird is former Cocteau Twin jack-of-all-instruments and astute Bella Union label boss Simon Raymonde with ethereal singer Stephanie Dosen (a Chemical Brothers, Jose Gonzalez, Massive Attack and Midlake collaborator).... > Read more

We Carry White Mice (rxgibbs remix)

Shadow Folk: Seagull Visions (theactivelistener)

10 Feb 2014

Although this is another digital release through theactivelistener -- alongside the previously reviewed Trappist Afterland Band and Beaulieu Porch -- this one, as the name suggests, isn't quite as tripped out. This four-piece from Nova Scotia embrace a rather more Anglo-folk and laid-back version of mid Sixties psychedelia, closer to Fool on the Hill and the Incredible String Band than say... > Read more

In the End

Trick Mammoth: Floristry (Fishrider)

10 Feb 2014

Someone has to say it, so . . . Trick Mammoth – described as “a flower cult pop band from Dunedin, New Zealand”, which presumes an international audience – rarely rise above a very low thresh-hold for originality. Especially for anyone who heard Look Blue Go Purple/Sneaky Feelings/Britain's the Sunday and all those other pop band decades ago... > Read more

Pinker Sea

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Ticket; Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

9 Feb 2014

Recommended if for no other reason than people have been paying unfeasibly large sums for the original vinyl (doubtless rather scratched, the record came out in '72) . . . But more seriously because this second album by Christchurch's Ticket -- recorded in Australia and following their excellent post-Hendrix debut Awake -- is a fine example of that intersection of hard rock and... > Read more

And the Band Played

Beaulieu Porch: Beaulieu Porch (the activelistener)

7 Feb 2014

With a name which suggests Southern soul more than psychedelics, this project by Simon Berry from Salisbury, England quite specifically narrows the focus of influences to between May '67 (the release of Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale, hinted at here on Virgil) and December of that year (the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour) for this impressive debut. This collection of material from... > Read more


ONE WE MISSED: Surf City; We Knew It Was Not Going to be Like This (Arch Hill)

6 Feb 2014

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere as you may see here -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under the banner . . . One We Missed. And given we thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 album by this Auckland band Kudos (see here) we do need to bring this album by Surf City to attention of... > Read more

Song From a Short Lived TV Series