Music at Elsewhere

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Chris Knox: KnoxTraxFine (thokeitapes cassette/download)

4 Jul 2016  |  2 min read  |  2

At the time of this writing it has been just over seven years (June 2009) since Chris Knox had his massive and debilitating stroke. In that period he has largely been a man of good cheer despite not being able to speak beyond a few words (he understands visitors and friends reasonably well) and -- being afflicted down his right-hand side -- has taught himself to paint with his left hand.... > Read more

MarineVille: Penguins Ate My Chips (bandcamp)

4 Jul 2016  |  1 min read

For the most part it's usually better to hear the debut album by a rock band than their fourth outing. On their debut they are young, hungry and working things out, by their fourth or fifth they've probably run out of puff and/or have codified their sound into something acceptable to whatever audience has supported them. Few rock bands surprise as their career progresses and you'd have... > Read more

Semiotic Rock

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

27 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop; Love Letter for Fire (SubPop): Yes he's beardy Beam (Iron and Wine) and she wears a Patsy Cline dress on the cover... > Read more

The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (Universal CD and DVD)

21 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

So here's a question Elsewhere asked last year: Whatever happened to the Rolling Stones' bassist Bill Wyman? He appears to have been written out of recent photos of the band in their various reissue projects . . . but let's ask another question. Why doesn't his replacement Darryl Jones -- who has been an on-stage and in-studio Stone for 21 years -- yes twenty-one years -- not appear as an... > Read more

Faraway Eyes (live Brixton Academy, July '95)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

20 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Billie Ray Martin; The Soul Tapes (Sonnenstahl) Although this German-born singer – who has spent decades in Britain and the... > Read more

Gareth Thomas: Fizzy Milk (gareththomastunes.com)

20 Jun 2016  |  1 min read

In a cover so good you want it album-size to frame, this second solo album by Auckland songwriter Gareth Thomas – formerly of Goodshirt – really does fizz with addictive pop which exists at a very comfortable and happy midpoint between canny synth-pop and mainstream guitar pop-rock. And it's telling that the word “pop” appears there twice because Thomas and... > Read more

So Unbelievable

Venetic: Black Boxcars (WSM Recordings)

20 Jun 2016  |  1 min read

Despite a cover which suggests something akin to John Cale at his most manic, it's the acoustic guitar whch undercuts the image and gives a clearer picture to this, the eighth (eighth?) album in 10 years by Wellington's Venetic. Venetic is Wayne Stuart McCallum who maintains a fascinating website (unusual psychedelic albums, snippets of music writing, travel photos from Europe, the US and... > Read more

Come Out Michelle

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Terry Allen, Juarez (PoB/Southbound)

20 Jun 2016  |  <1 min read

Part Tex-Mex short story about murder, desperation and consequences, and part song-cycle in a spare style, this '75 debut album by the artist/musician and Lubbock-born cult figure Allen was years ahead of its time in in its broad conception. The storyline reaches back across time from the contemporary world to the Aztecs and the Catholic colonialist Cortez ("he crossed all that water... > Read more

The Radio . . . and Real Life

Paul McCartney; Pure McCartney (Universal)

18 Jun 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

This big but perhaps unnecessary retrospective of a living legend is available in double disc, four-CD or four-LP formats. Enough product for you? So here's a non-chronological, self-chosen overview of Macca's vast post-Beatles career. And yes, we get the picture . . . At 73, Sir James Paul McCartney is -- for some reason -- still trying to ensure his legacy as one of the... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

12 Jun 2016  |  3 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Whitney; Light Upon the Lake (Secretly Canadian): It's forward into the past for this Chicago six-piece who reach back to the folk-pop... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

10 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Michael Daves; Orchids and Violence (Nonesuch): Here's one for real bluegrass fans, and those with a taste its energy but gone electric.... > Read more

Orchestra of Spheres: Brothers and Sisters of the Black Lagoon (Fire)

8 Jun 2016  |  <1 min read

This quirky Wellington ensemble have been prolific on the recording front, toured extensively (China, Scandinavia, Europe and the US) and now find themselves on the estimable Fire Records out of the UK, the people behind excellent reissues like the Pere Ubu box sets and the complete JPSE, as well as the excellent new Chills album Silver Bullets. Let it be said there are no planetary... > Read more

Rocket #9

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

7 Jun 2016  |  3 min read  |  1

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, in the same way it does IN BRIEF about international releases. Comments will be brief. Into... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Funkadelic; Maggot Brain (Border)

7 Jun 2016  |  1 min read

Okay, this will be blurry: Sometime in New York City, early Nineties maybe, somewhere in a club where the line outside was almost exclusively black . . . and there was me. Because -- and this is where it gets really unfocused -- Parliament/Funkadelic were going to play and somehow I had a ticket. I remember thinking that with decent shoes I'm pretty close to 6 feet but on the night I... > Read more

Super Stupid

The Claypool Lennon Delirium: Monoliths of Phobos (ATO)

7 Jun 2016  |  1 min read

It's an odd thing that James McCartney and Julian Lennon encountered a damned-if they do and damned-if they-don't critical reception to their albums with regard to them sounding like the pedigree they inherited. Dhani Harrison seems to be have been given an easier ride by critics (in fact his band thenewno2 went largely unreviewed and the "supergroup" with Ben Harper and Joseph... > Read more

Ohmerica

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

5 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Methyl Ethel; Oh Inhuman Spectacle (4AD): Out of Perth, Western Australia – which has given us Empire of the Sun – comes more... > Read more

The Monkees: Good Times! (Warners)

30 May 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

Half a century after they first appeared as a made-for-television pop band, the surviving Monkees (Mickey Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork) have reconvened to tie up some unfinished business and record new songs written for them by the likes of Noel Gallagher with Paul Weller, River Cuomo of Weezer and Andy Partridge (XTC). Nesmith and Tork also wrote a song apiece, and Dolenz gets... > Read more

Birth of an Accidental Hipster

Kevin Morby: Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)

23 May 2016  |  1 min read

On the cover of this frequently mesmerising album where the music and arrangements can take unexpected but subtle turns, Texas singer-songwriter Morby is a tiny figure caught in a dark landscape with a spot of mysterious colour (a fire). There seems to be a city of lights beyond the ridge. His songs are like this too: they come from dark and solitary places, have a sense of... > Read more

Water

Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor's Guide to Earth (Warners)

23 May 2016  |  2 min read  |  1

There is a very special and comfortable place in Heaven for the best country-soul singers, those with the gift of bringing a soulful voice to country music tropes, sometimes touching a little r'n'b with jazz phrasing or saxophones. In the Sixties a lot of this stuff was pouring out of the South, and Simpson from smalltown Kentucky -- who played bluegrass and moved to Nashville four... > Read more

Breakers Roar

Brian Eno: The Ship (Opal/Border)

16 May 2016  |  1 min read

In a recent interview Brian Eno noted he is a different person these days, and in fact – like all of us – has been a series of different people. Which rather suggests he is constantly leaving past selves behind . . . and he has seemed to have done that aesthetically by moving into different territories of art, installations, painting, music for specific purposes and so on.... > Read more

I'm Set Free