Music at Elsewhere

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Bond Street Bridge: The Explorers Club: Antarctica (Banished from the Universe)

28 Oct 2013

Auckland's Sam Prebble of Bond Street Bridge admits to something approaching obsession after reading about Robert Falcon Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole in 1912. Immersing himself in Scott's diary, books about the journey (they arrived at the South Pole to find Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten them) and looking at photographs of brave but doomed men in that aridly icy... > Read more

The Wreck of the Endurance

Paul McCartney: NEW (Universal)

21 Oct 2013

After his previous pop-rock album Memory Almost Full six years ago which included songs that seemed to be farewells or self-penned eulogies (“On the day that I die I'd like bells to be rung . . .”), this one by 71-year old McCartney comes with a title that exudes capital letter optimism and in a cover radiating assurance. Working with smart young producers (Paul Epworth... > Read more


Julian Cope: Revolutionary Suicide (Head Heritage/Southbound)

21 Oct 2013

When Julian Cope emerged in the late Seventies/early Eighties as the singer-writer with the often thrilling and melodramatic Liverpool band Teardrop Explodes, few could have guessed -- perhaps not even Cope himself -- what a life he would make for himself. He has written knowledgeably and with passion on Krautrock and Japanese rock, was very early on an advocate for the rediscovery of Scott... > Read more

Paradise Mislaid

Gareth Edwards: Nowhere To Go Nothing To Do (

20 Oct 2013

Although few -- actually none -- would hail UK-born singer-songwriter Edwards as an exciting new voice in New Zeaand music, his unpretentious and often rather simple take on country-rock and pop has some charm for the ordinariness of his worldview which takes straight shots at just hanging around, relationships and a laid-back existence. On the singalong Friends he sings; "Where would... > Read more

Sitting in the Sun

Tamikrest: Chatma (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

14 Oct 2013

More than a decade ago what became known as “Sahara blues” or “desert blues” -- the mesmerising sound of mercurial guitar, drone-like vocals and rolling rhythms – floated into consciousness via bands like Etran Finatawa and Tinariwen, and great female singer Malouma, out of North Africa. The next generation are represented by Terakaft and Tamikrest who have... > Read more

Toumast anlet

Lee Ranaldo and the Dust: Last Night on Earth (Matador)

14 Oct 2013

With the indie-rock generation's favourite aunt and uncle – Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth – having separated after more than 25 years of marriage and the band officially breaking up we might actually expect even more from various, and prolific, Youth members. Gordon's new project Body/Head has just released a debut album, Moore continues to record (check the... > Read more

Late Descent #2

Elton John: The Diving Board (Universal)

14 Oct 2013    1

The resurrection of Elton John continues as he approves of younger talent (recently praising Lorde) and gets remade/remixed by Pnau, yet also hooked up with seventysomething Leon Russell for The Union and goes the whole Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace. Here again with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin (and produced by T Bone Burnett) the piano-man and pals don't adjust the successful... > Read more

A Town Called Jubilee

Tony Joe White: Hoodoo (Yep Roc/Southbound)

7 Oct 2013

Perennial Southern swamp-rocker and the Louisiana man who defined the genre (although John Fogerty of Creedence got there around the same time, albeit from San Francisco), doesn't change his winning formula here. It's still low-growl'n'mumble vocals, rolling grooves and razor-sharp guitar on these nine tracks which look to his own life for source material. Which means a rich vein... > Read more

Alligator Mississippi

Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City/Universal)

7 Oct 2013

The final song on this short, emotionally dense album finds our weary, baritone narrator driving home in winter, listening to a Donald Sutherland interview on the truck radio as “time itself means nothing”. In this simple moment – as a slow fiddle keens supportively – he realises when things are beautiful you should just keep on with it. If Callahan's... > Read more


Various Artists: Good Vibrations; A Record Shop, a Label, a Film Soundtrack (Ace/Border)

4 Oct 2013

We'll have to wait for the acclaimed bio-pic to get the full measure of the life and times of Belfast's Terri Hooley who started his record shop Good Vibrations at the height of what is euphemistically called "the Troubles" and, as self-confessed hippie, found himself a convert to punk. His shop spawned a label and gave us, among other classic songs, the Undertones Teenage Kicks.... > Read more

You're a Disease

Various Artists: Louisiana Saturday Night Revisited (Ace/Border)

3 Oct 2013

The liner note writer  Ian Saddler echoes my experience driving through Louisiana, being dumbstruck by the lively Cajun, zydeco and swamp pop coming out of the local radio stations. About 20 years ago the Ace label issued a couple of albums of Louisiana Saturday Night music and this one picks up some of the players on the scene today whose names -- aside from the great Warren Storm who... > Read more

I'd Like to Hear From You

Lorde: Pure Heroine (Universal)

30 Sep 2013    3

It is a rare and wonderful thing when artists channel -- intuitively or otherwise -- their own concerns and those of their generation, and in the language of their peers. Into that illustrious lineage which in pop culture stretches through Dylan, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell is Lorde, a preternatural talent who on this debut album frequently adopts a slightly detached,... > Read more

White Teeth Teens

Neko Case: The Worse Things Get . . . (Anti)

30 Sep 2013

This album's full title – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – barely hints at the emotional depth, anger, passion and soul-baring on display from someone who comes out bruised but swinging: “Fat-fingered bullies were no match for me . . . you'll have to deal with me” she sneers on the furiously jagged pop of Man with... > Read more


Earth Wind and Fire: Now, Then and Forever (Sony Legacy)

30 Sep 2013

The infectious horn-driven sound of EWF changed the coordinates of black music when founders Maurice and Verdine White envisioned a band crossing genres from soul and funk to pop, rock and Afro-inflected rhythm'n'blues. Early on they brought in singer Philip Bailey and later drew from disco and electro-pop. This, their 21st studio album since 1971 and eight years since their last, is... > Read more

Guiding Lights

Cher: Closer to The Truth (Warners)

30 Sep 2013    1

The prices Cherilyn Sarkisian paid on her way to becoming the iconic figure she is today were recounted in stark and moving detail in J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography Cher of '89. At the end of that book Cher was on stage at the Oscars picking up the best actress award for her role in Moonstruck and beating out Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction), Holly Hunter (Broadcast News), Sally Kirkland... > Read more

My Love

Elvis Costello and the Roots: Wise Up Ghost (Blue Note)

23 Sep 2013

Even in Elvis Costello's unpredictable career (rock and country to string quartets, soundtracks and and music for a ballet among many other things), this album with the American hip-hop outfit the Roots comes as unexpected. But the real surprise is that it isn't what might be anticipated – typically wordy Costello's lyrics bent towards rap – but a clever mash-up of... > Read more


Babyshambles: Sequel to the Prequel (Parlophone)

23 Sep 2013

Although the damaged Pete Doherty may never live up to the promise of the Libertines, this third album with the very patient Babyshambles – five years on from their indifferent Shotter's Nation -- goes some way to redeeming him in his second stab at a career. It'll be divisive because they can hardly be accused of originality and the poetic spirit he once possessed often eludes... > Read more

Fall from Grace

The Impending Adorations: Further (bandcamp)

20 Sep 2013

The proposed quartet of beguiling download-only albums by Auckland's Paul McLaney under the name The Impending Adorations continues with this third installment, which -- given the quiet and almost liturgical atmosphere of the previous albums -- opens with the lovely, restful Canon. There is a warm domesticity present in this 10 minute opener but further along mildly disconcerting thoughts... > Read more

The Last Living Soul on Earth

Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backwards (Bloodshot/Southbound)

19 Sep 2013

Country singer Fulks will always get a fair hearing at Elsewhere on the basis of one song alone, his courageous cover of Cher's Believe which he delivered solo as a slow and aching ballad (with his own Autotune inflection). It was on his double live album Revenge! (and you can hear that song with our review here). That album had one disc with his band and the other him seated and solo, and... > Read more

I'll Trade You Money for Wine

King Krule: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (XL)

16 Sep 2013

While it's interesting to hear people banging on about "the 27 club" -- the coincidence of so famous musicians dying or killing themselves at that age -- it might be more rewarding to look to "the 19 club", an age when so many artists seem to emerge with preternaturally mature work. We'll exclude so many US pop acts because most are on a commercial path rather than an... > Read more

Border Line