In the mall beneath the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, with Christmas decorations
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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White Candles: Flowers for Delia (theactivelistener)

White Candles: Flowers for Delia (theactivelistener)

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... more >>

Tire-moi des mes reves

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

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

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... more >>

She Ain't No Good

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

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

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... more >>

Call Him Daylight

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

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

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... more >>

Happy Together

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

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

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... more >>

Country-to-Sea Pt 4

Beck: Morning Phase (Universal)

Beck: Morning Phase (Universal)

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... more >>

Unforgiven

Kitchen Cynics: The Orra Loon (theactivelistener)

Kitchen Cynics: The Orra Loon (theactivelistener)

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... more >>

Richard in Bedlam

Clap Clap Riot: Nobody/Everybody (Universal)

Clap Clap Riot: Nobody/Everybody (Universal)

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,... more >>

Keep Me Up All Night

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

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

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... more >>

The Universal

Temples: Sun Structures (Heavenly)

Temples: Sun Structures (Heavenly)

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... more >>

Shelter Song

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

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

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... more >>

Letter She Sent

Daniel Boobyer: Crazy Eyes (bandcamp)

Daniel Boobyer: Crazy Eyes (bandcamp)

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... more >>

Crazy Eyes

Snowbird: Moon (Bella Union)

Snowbird: Moon (Bella Union)

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).... more >>

We Carry White Mice (rxgibbs remix)

Shadow Folk: Seagull Visions (theactivelistener)

Shadow Folk: Seagull Visions (theactivelistener)

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... more >>

In the End

Trick Mammoth: Floristry (Fishrider)

Trick Mammoth: Floristry (Fishrider)

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... more >>

Pinker Sea

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Ticket; Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Ticket; Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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... more >>

And the Band Played

Beaulieu Porch: Beaulieu Porch (the activelistener)

Beaulieu Porch: Beaulieu Porch (the activelistener)

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... more >>

Amen

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

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

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... more >>

Song From a Short Lived TV Series

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks: Wig Out at Jagbags (Domino/Universal)

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks: Wig Out at Jagbags (Domino/Universal)

After fuzzed-out psychedelics with the Jicks along the lines of Neil Young/Television, former Pavement-man Malkmus reconnected with the programme in 2011 with his Mirror Traffic album (produced by Beck). And this one – with references to his indie.rock past, sometimes poking fun at it as on the one-listen comedic Rumble at the Rainbo about band reunions – continues in... more >>

Rumble at the Rainbo

Trappist Afterland Band: Like a Beehive, the Hill was Alive (theactivelistener)

Trappist Afterland Band: Like a Beehive, the Hill was Alive (theactivelistener)

While we here at Elsewhere have observed the steady rehabilitation and rise again of prog-rock -- albeit in a more focused form than its ancestors in the early Seventies -- it's pleasing to note that psychedelic music has never really gone away. But for discerning listeners and those in search of more obscure but contemporary practitioners, finding your way through all the music out there... more >>

Gardening in Lure