Music at Elsewhere

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The Seeds: Singles As and Bs 1065-1970 (Big Beat/Border)

13 Oct 2014    1

Elsewhere's advocacy of power pop and garageband rock (especially Sixties stuff) is well documented . . . so this collection of  24 songs by the legendary Seeds out of  LA was always going to be straight into the player (how I wish I could say "onto the turntable") and the volume knob turned heavily clockwise. The band that gave the world bona fide classics like Pushin'... > Read more

Up In Her Room

Stevie Nicks: 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Warners)

13 Oct 2014    2

With Christine McVie rejoining Fleetwood Mac after 16 years and the classic line-up touring again, the timing couldn't be better for this collection of Stevie Nicks' previously unreleased songs, most written between 1969 and 87. Using her demos as a guide, she linked up again with producer Dave Stewart, longtime friend/guitarist Waddy Wachtel, Heartbreakers' guitarist Mike Campbell... > Read more

Mabel Normand

Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (Sony)

6 Oct 2014

Although he long had the reputation of a “one-man Joy Division” or “Laughing Len” in reference to his gloom-soaked melancholy, Leonard Cohen always had an increasingly self-deflating streak. Just as he opened his Ten New Songs album of 2001 with the whispery and wry In My Secret Life (written and revised over a dozen years) and had the droll Because Of on Dear... > Read more

Nevermind

Engineers; Always Returning (Kscope/Southbound):

6 Oct 2014

 Another on the prog label Kscope -- home to Steven Wilson and his band Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Anathema and others -- and this double disc (songs on one, instrumental versions on t'other) is mighty impressive, and comes in a hardback cover with lyrics. Engineers -- who have been through a few line-up changes -- are British multi-instrumentalist Mark Peters and drummer/composer... > Read more

Innsbruck (instrumental version)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

6 Oct 2014

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 brief. The Pineapple Tree; Magnolia (Kscope/Southbound): Prog-rocker Bruce Soord (who essentially is Pineapple Thief) has appeared at Elsewhere previously... > Read more

The One You Left to Die

Steve Reich: Radio Rewrite (Nonesuch)

4 Oct 2014

When composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich objected the label "minimalism" being applied to their music -- which was, frankly, minimal -- you couldn't help but feel the sense of special pleading about a self-inflicted wound. The word was perfectly adequate and although they might have felt it limited the perception of them (and they did explore other less reductive areas... > Read more

Radio Rewrite, 4, Slow

Moana and the Tribe: Rima (Black Pearl)

29 Sep 2014

For my money the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on the mainstage at this year's Womad in Taranaki – and there were some over-acclaimed but perfunctory internationals – was Moana and the Tribe. They delivered a thumping, visually powerful and cleverly calculated implosion of waiata, haka and electronica-flavoured soul-funk. Moana also won the crowd with... > Read more

Aotearoa

Prince: Art Official Age/Plectrumelectrum (Warners)

29 Sep 2014

As with Ryan Adams, Prince was one of those artists who was so prolific that neither his record company nor audience could keep up. It's been a while however since Prince graced us with an album but -- as was the case in the Eighties and NIneties when he was delivering at least one album a year -- now we get not one but two albums, Art Official Age (under his own name) and Plectrumelectrum... > Read more

Marz

Dylan Bakker: Atrophic Cascades (RR)

29 Sep 2014

Expat Kiwi Dylan Bakker wrote to Elsewhere from his home-base in Berlin recently wondering if we'd like to get a copy of his debut CD. We did a quick check of his wide and deep website which is chock full of artwork, prints, photography, a list of his numerous exhibitions and music projects and concluded, "Yes please". The CD duly arrived with hand-written note (in... > Read more

Give and Take

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: JImi Hendrix, Cry of Love (Sony)

29 Sep 2014    3

Long out of print (although not unavailable) and derided (unfairly) by some, Cry of Love was the first posthumous, artificially created album after Hendrix's death. Cry of Love has awkward provenance because these songs were possibly intended for a proposed double album (possibly entitled First Rays of the New Rising Sun). The other songs which would make that up were released... > Read more

Angel

Alt-J: This is All Yours (Infectious)

23 Sep 2014

Much as I liked the debut album by this British outfit An Awesome Wave and said they seemed likely to be the Next Indie.Cult Thing to go bigger, I certainly had reservations about seeing them live. Their music was so studio-crafted and often inward looking that I couldn't see how it would translate live. Well, I saw them and although I concede others liked them much better than I did , but... > Read more

Warm Foothills

Pere Ubu: Carnival of Souls (Fire / Southbound)

22 Sep 2014

With so much music codified into genres and artists reluctant to alienate an audience, Pere Ubu remain refreshingly abrasive, marginal and theatrically challenging. Frontman David Thomas has barely toned down the confrontational sound they deployed when emerging out of Cleveland in the late Seventies. Their early albums The Modern Dance (an Essential Elsewhere album, see here)... > Read more

Road to Utah

U2: Songs of Innocence (iTunes)

19 Sep 2014    1

Because there's often a rush to judgement about U2 -- many hate them so passionately they don't feel the need to listen to them before dismissing an album as rubbish -- I've sat back on this new album released free through iTunes. I will declare my prejudices immediately: I liked very, very little of their work before Achtung Baby (I can be especially scathing about the pretension of Rattle... > Read more

Raised by Wolves

Goat: Commune (Rocket / Southbound)

19 Sep 2014    1

Goat out of Sweden have certainly got their psychedelic trancerock-cum-world music references in perfect alignment as they explore territory that many thought might have been left behind in the very late Sixties. But to that San Francisco landscape they pull in tribal tropes, post-rock references, the rolling grooves of bands like Can and set their controls to the heart of Pink Floyd's... > Read more

Talk to God

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

17 Sep 2014

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 . . . and today we turn attention to plank-spankers. Elvin Bishop, Can't Even Do Wrong Right (Alligator): It's one of those odd things that many people think... > Read more

Death Letter

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar (Warners)

15 Sep 2014

Although singing a generous number of highly reconfigured Led Zeppelin songs at his 2013 Vector show with this band, Plant continues to distance himself from Zepp's hard rock-cum-folk catalogue, leaving former bandmate Jimmy Page to mine the past while he moves further sideways through world music, American country, rebooted blues and even simple pop. With the Space Shifters discreetly... > Read more

Embrace Another Fall

The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (4AD)

15 Sep 2014

At times sounding filled with the overconfident swaggering, embellished pop of McCartney around Magical Mystery Tour or early Mika and Empire of the Sun glitterball fun, at others chugging like glam-rock or referring to the Mamas and the Papas and widescreen power-pop aimed at stadiums, this enormously enjoyable sixth outing by the Canadian collective around songwriter AC Newman deftly dance... > Read more

Champions of Red Wine

Mirel Wagner: When the Cellar Children See The Light of Day (subPop)

8 Sep 2014    2

Pitched somewhere between a weary self-analysing Kurt Cobain acoustic session, Mazzy Star raised on death ballads and P.J Harvey's most introspective work, this concise collection – 10 songs, 32 minutes – comes from an unlikely but powerfully impressive source. Wagner is a 23-year old Ethiopian adoptee who was raised in Finland from the age of 18 months and considers... > Read more

What Love Looks Like

Mahoney Harris: We Didn't Feel Alone (mahoneyharris)

8 Sep 2014    1

At the midpoint of this debut album by Auckland singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris there is a lyric that can stop you in your tracks: just when you think you've got her pegged there is Miss You. On a cursory listen this piece -- which comes with an elegant musical setting with guitar by Tom Healy -- seems to be a piece about a former partner: "What would you say if I saw you today, would... > Read more

Miss You

Various Artists: Bowie Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

8 Sep 2014

The glue that barely holds this diverse 24-song collection together -- Paul Revere and the Raiders through Johnny Mathis, Lotte Lenya and Roxy Music -- is that these are the originals of songs David Bowie covered in his long and shapeshifting career. The timeframe is as wide as the songs: It runs from Revere's oddball garageband Louie Go Home which Bowie recorded when he was Davie Jones and... > Read more

I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship