Music at Elsewhere

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Loretta Lynn: Full Circle (Sony)

28 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Opening this album of old originals, standards and duets with Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello, we hear Lynn speaking about – then singing – the first song she ever wrote, the lovely Pacific-flavoured country ballad Whispering Sea. Thereafter between standards (the always delightful Secret Love, a strong Always on My Mind, In the Pines, a lightly stepping honky-tonk Band... > Read more

Whispering Sea

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: From Scratch: Five Rhythm Works (EM)

28 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

Although not strictly the reissue of a specific album, this collection put together (with approval) by a Japanese enthusiast and with excellent liner notes by Andrew Clifford picks up five pieces by this seminal New Zealand percussion ensemble. With the exception of an out-of-print CD reissue of Pacific 3,2,1, Zero and Eye/Drum and perhaps the odd vinyl album turning up in secondhand... > Read more

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

28 Mar 2016  |  2 min read

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.... > Read more

The Cars: Moving in Stereo; The Best of the Cars (Warners)

28 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Ric Ocasek might not be the best looking man in rock, but he's certainly one of the smartest songwriters and producers, and almost single-handedly drove the Cars to chart-topping success. He added polish to their snappy New Wave, kept the radio-length songs tight and snappy, and steered a course between artful rock and power pop with plenty of hooks to get them on the charts. The... > Read more

My Best Friend's Girl

Heron Oblivion: Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop)

21 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although billed in overseas critical circles as a psychedelic supergroup, we're forgiven for not having heard of the bands this San Franciscan quartet come from. Unless Comets on Fire and Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound have been on your radar. Only singer/drummer Meg Baird may be familiar from the excellent ambient folkadelic albums by Philadelphia's Espers which have turned up... > Read more

Oriar

Bonnie Raitt: Dig in Deep (Redwing)

21 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

Bonnie Raitt, everyone's favourite red-haired slide guitarist – is there another? – is looking more grey these days, but in the blues-rock world she inhabits and has defined that's a distinction rather than a demerit. It's been four years since her excellent, Grammy-winning Slipstream – and 45 years since her self-titled debut – but the album title here (which... > Read more

All Alone with Something to Say

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

21 Mar 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. Mass Gothic; Mass Gothic (Sub Pop): Largely the solo project (with a few pals) for New Yorker Noel Heroux – formerly of local... > Read more

Cinnamon (by Cullen Omori)

Lapsley: Long Way Home (X)

21 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

We're prefectly prepared to concede that the attractive 19-year old Holly Fletcher from Liverpool doesn't make music for people like us . . . but if we can get FKA Twigs, Taylor Swift and others who also don't, then we may be permitted to note that this debut album is an anodyne amalgam of white soul and trip-hop. Because she mostly deals with the pains of love and is very much within a... > Read more

Hurt Me

Jeff Buckley: You and I (Sony)

14 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Although he only released two EPs (the excellent Live at Sin-E and the lesser Live From the Bataclan) and the Grace album in his lifetime, the small catalogue of Jeff Buckley – who drowned in May 97 – has considerably inflated with posthumous live releases, expanded editions and such, which are uneven and mostly songs never intended for release. These 10 songs –... > Read more

Various Artists: The Ultimate Guide to Scottish Folk (Arc)

14 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

One of the more annoying and often-repeated comments  in the New Zealand flag debate -- especially on talkback radio from Pakeha and Maori alike -- is that the current one has the English flag on it and that is a relic of our colonial history. Well, we're certainly down with the whole post-colonial thing these days . . . but how could trust anyone in the matter of discussing... > Read more

Toom Tabard (by Saor Patrol)

Josephine Foster: No More Lamps in the Morning (Fire/Southbound)

7 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Out of Colorado, Josephine Foster defies many expectations if you come to her having heard the word "folk" appended. Because here, at least her 12th album by my count, she applies her quasi-operatic voice and nylon-string acoustic guitar to songs recorded live in a studio with husband Victor Herrero playing Portuguese guitar (and a cellist on two pieces) which sound closer to... > Read more

The Garden of Earthly Delights

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Michael Jackson; Off the Wall (Sony CD/DVD)

7 Mar 2016  |  2 min read

Yes agreed, Thriller three years later was bigger and better, but Jackson's '79 Off the Wall is historically more important because it was such a pop/r'n'b/disco-cum-funk game-changer. He put his youth behind him -- he was 20 when he started recording -- and stepped out as a young adult and contemporary artist. With producer Quincy Jones, he was on his way to becoming the... > Read more

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Slade: The Slade Box; A 4CD Anthology 1968-1991 (Salvo)

2 Mar 2016  |  1 min read  |  2

In 1977 Slade released the album Whatever Happened to Slade.  And it was a fair enough question. Their version of club-shaking and stomping glam rock, dirty arse rock'n'roll and scuffed-bellbottom pop had been wiped away by inconsiderate punk, probably because their clothes (top hats, braces), singer Noddy Holder's mutton-chop sideboards and song titles designed to bait... > Read more

Born to be Wild (live)

Lorenzo Masotto: Rule and Case (Preserved Sound/bandcamp)

26 Feb 2016  |  <1 min read

Late last year this Italian composer wrote on his bandcamp page that he composed "music for the lonely souls, travelers and dreamers". If the last three of those categories sounds a bit wishy-washy keep the first two in focus: the titles of two previous albums have been Traveling to Alaska and Desert, both released late last year. This gentle outing full of melancholy strings... > Read more

Freakwater: Scheherazade (Bloodshot/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  2 min read

That looks like a pretty ordinary motel room on the cover, and in the first song -- a fiddle-dragged dark and disturbing piece entitled What the People Want -- is the story of a rural rape and then throwing her body down the well. The second song is The Asp and the Albatross, two animals -- if you know you Shakespeare and Coleridge -- which do not bode well.  Welcome to the darkest... > Read more

MIssionfield

Bert Jansch: Avocet (Earth/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

The late Scottish singer/guitarist and songwriter Bert Jansch who co-founded the influential Pentangle and died in 2011, left a vast legacy which many are still coming to terms with. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page -- as a young man then smitted by American blues guitarists -- has said of Jansch's self-titled debut album of '65, "When I first heard that album I couldn't believe it. It was so... > Read more

Osprey

Dream Theater: The Astonishing (Warners)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Those celebrating 40 years since the punk game-changer and still believe it wiped away prog-rock haven't been paying attention. Concept albums, double CDs, orchestration and towering guitars have made a return these past two decades. Case in point, this double CD – two acts more correctly, with an entr'acte instrumental at the middle – by these long-running American... > Read more

Act of Faythe

Spiro: Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow (Real World/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Given the similarity of the styles – repetition, if nothing else – it should come as little surprise that some instrumental folk music can be alarmingly close to the minimalism of Philip Glass, Steve Reich et al. This British quartet – violin/viola, mandolin, piano and guitar/cello – undertake a number of traditional English tunes but in their intensity and... > Read more

Orrery

Elton John: Wonderful Crazy Night (Warners)

15 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Recently at Elsewhere we offered a kind of "how to buy Elton" column and, given the four albums we chose, concluded the shorthand might be, if longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin is on board you are pretty safe. Well, Taupin's back for this one -- which comes in a terrible cover -- and producer T Bone Burnett has also signed on again. And so, running true to form, this is another... > Read more

Claw Hammer

Suede: Night Thoughts (Warners)

11 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Although still identifiably Suede (yearning melodrama, emotional Bowie-esque ballads) since their return after a decade-long hiatus in 2013 with the unexpectedly sound Bloodsports, there's a more nakedly autobiographical and deliberate uncertainty to singer Brett Anderson's lyrics here (What I'm Trying to Tell You). Married with two children and closing in on 50, Anderson here offers... > Read more

Pale Snow