Music at Elsewhere

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The Head and the Heart: Let's Be Still (SubPop)

3 Feb 2014

Many online music reviews have the tag, “for fans of . . .” so let's cut to that for this musically delightful, thoughtful second album by a Seattle band of mostly out-of-state talents. This is for fans of Fleet Foxes, Paul Simon, orchestrated pop and finely crafted wistful nostalgia or emotional uncertainty wrapped up in lovely tunes. With a folk-pop approach... > Read more

10.000 Weight in Gold

British Sea Power: from the sea to the land beyond (Rough Trade)

27 Jan 2014    2

This UK group consistent delivered mature, diverse and largely overlooked but fine pop-rock albums, but have also made interesting digressions into soundtracks for old films, notably their music to accompany Robert J. Flaherty's heroic pseudo-doco Man of Aran from 1934. Here in mostly instrumental music which soars on glisteningly melodic guitars, deploys spare piano, pulls in... > Read more

Docklands Renewed

Rosanne Cash: The River and the Thread (Blue Note)

27 Jan 2014    2

One of the last songs Johnny Cash recorded was the moving September When It Comes with his daughter Rosanne for her 2003 album Rules of Travel. In a cracked baritone Cash confronted his own weaknesses and impending death, but just as powerful was Rosanne's honey-sweetened counterpoint vocal. Co-written with her husband/guitarist and producer John Leventhal, it remains a... > Read more

Tell Heaven

Mamaku: Twigs of Gold (

26 Jan 2014

It has been some while since this world music outfit from West Auckland appeared at Elsewhere: back in 2007 and 2008 in fact when they were Mamaku Project and we had good things to say about their two albums which were amalgams of Pacifika, dub, gypsy sounds and so on. Again they bring together a meltdown of styles -- yes, the Kiwi default position of a crowd-pleasing reggae rhythm is... > Read more

Pharaoh's Milkyway

Kim Dotcom: Good Times (kimdotcom)

25 Jan 2014    3

Is there not an irony that Kim Dotcom -- a man whose business model involves not paying for the creative work of others -- should appear on the cover of a weekly music guide which is available in record stores? If there is an irony, then the editors seemed not to have noticed, or maybe like so many they were seduced by the strange charisma and cachet the big man seems to enjoy. The odd... > Read more

Dance Dance Dance

The Cakekitchen: Calm Before the Storm (RPR)

20 Jan 2014    1

The Cakekitchen which revolves around former This Kind of Punishment/Nocturnal Projections singer/guitarist Graeme Jefferies have been around since the late Eighties -- although their posted discography doesn't note their excellent self-titled Flying Nun EP of '88 which featured Dave the Pimp, Witness to Your Secrets, Silence of the Sirens and Machines, some of which appear to have turned up on... > Read more

Little Blue Penguins

Ocean Full of Fins: OFOF (

20 Jan 2014

There's a funny old comment about the first Blood Sweat and Tears album from 1968 . . . that if you dropped the needle (as you did) randomly on the record you could hear a different band every time: jazz, funk, pop and even goddam classical Erik Satie on their treatment of his elegant Trois Gymnopedies. Well, something similar applies here with this band from Canada -- playing in New Zealnd... > Read more


Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes (Sony)

19 Jan 2014

If anyone is long overdue a decent royalty cheque it is the ferociously smart and wickedly funny Chris Bailey, formerly of Brisbane's Saints who delivered the classic pre-punk single (I'm) Stranded. His lengthy solo career has been rewarding to follow, but attention mostly falls on that Saints catalogue which also included the wonderfully downbeat Stones-like acoustic-driven... > Read more

Just Like Fire Would

Carnivorous Plant Society: Carnivorous Plant Society (bandcamp)

16 Jan 2014

Drawing on everything from cool and classic Miles Davis, sci-fi, Mexican music, Spaghetti Westerns and ambient sounds, this large ensemble lead by Auckland horn and keyboard player Finn Scholes (who also did the cover art and animated videos) doesn't exactly try to be all things to all people. But you can imagine listeners with catholic tastes and a disposition to the unexpected would... > Read more


National Wake: Walk in Africa 1979-81(Light in the Attic/Southbound)

14 Jan 2014

Although the unearthing of long forgotten -- if ever-known -- bands, genres and marginal artists has become the norm these days (another week, another cult artist you'd "always been into"?) it has to be said every now and again something comes along you sit up and pay attention to. So it is with this mixed-race band which formed and briefly played during South Africa's... > Read more



11 Dec 2013    8

By my approximate count, Elsewhere has written reviews or overviews on about 200 albums this past year (mostly new releases but also reissues, compilations and so on). Most of those reviews appeared at Music from Elsewhere, but -- given this is Elsewhere -- there were also some others under World Music, Jazz, Reggae and Blues. And when it came to box set reissues or the like, they got some... > Read more


11 Dec 2013    12

Okay, as editor of Elsewhere I have had my say on the 30 best albums I wrote about this past year (here) -- while freely conceding I did not, could not, hear everything. (Yes, yes the Arctic Monkeys didn't get reviewed ay Elsewhere . . . because it came out when I was in India and incommunicado.) Doubtless you heard some music which moved you and wish to tell others about. Here is... > Read more


11 Dec 2013    1

So how long is the history of the music which appears at Elsewhere? Well, it has been 60 years since Elvis Presley first crossed the threshold of Sun Studio in Memphis and Charlie Parker played at Massey Hall in Toronto with Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Max Roach and Bud Powell; 50 years since the Rolling Stones started pulling crowds for their British brand of black blues and the... > Read more

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

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