Music at Elsewhere

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Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

11 Feb 2015

If you are bit over bands reforming to tour their classic album or just to pick up the cheque, then put aside such cynicism for this, the return album from former riot grrrls Sleater-Kinney who broke up a decade ago and seemed to have gone their own ways. But from the thrilling, fuzzy riff on the opener Price Tag here right through the furious 33 minutes which follow, here's a band which... > Read more


Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

9 Feb 2015

Before we even address the music on this new album by Josh Tillman (aka FJMisty) who was previously in Fleet Foxes, let's just tip the hat to the value-added packaging here. The gatefold sleeve comes with a pop-up centrefold, there's a large fold-out poster with lyrics on one side, and a booklet with "Exercises for Listening" which reads a bit like a 21st century computer-literate... > Read more

I Went to the Store One Day

Various Artists: Girls With Guitars (Ace/Border)

9 Feb 2015

At the end of the first side of this record -- yes, it's a record, bright red vinyl too -- is a great lost classic. It is soulful belter Gail Harris from Washington state with the semi-legendary local group The Wailers (not Bob's band) tearing into Ike and Tina Turner's I Idolize You. The song was lifted from the album The Fabulous Wailers at the Castle (which you can stream free here, and... > Read more


Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India (Rough Guide/Southbound)

2 Feb 2015

The on-going Rough Guide psychedelic series certainly throws up some fascinating – if not always strictly psychedelic – music from many corners of the globe. Elsewhere unequivocally recommends The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood and The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia (both of which come with a bonus disc) for their sheer mind-bending sounds which are exotic,... > Read more

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Various Artists: The Active Listener Sampler 28 (activelistener)

2 Feb 2015

The generous Nathan Ford out of Wellington continues his unique vision of psychedelic-cum-tripfolk compilations with this wee gem, one of the most persuasive in his already vast catalogue. A labour of love, The Active Listener (see here, and an interview with Nathan here), really is quite a find for those of us who have limited time but know there is a galaxy of such music out there we can... > Read more

Sunfire Drug Haus

The Waterboys: Modern Blues (Kobalt)

23 Jan 2015    1

There are two difficulties writing about this new album by Mike Scott's Waterboys: The first is he's such a strong image-maker, storyteller and wordsmith you want to quote large chunks of his lyrics, like . . . “I saw three crosses pierce the sky above the distant hill, the sky burned red as I turned my head and left that scene behind, I took another... > Read more

November Tale

DYSE: Das Nation (Cargo)

23 Jan 2015

Don't believe the publicity material, let alone the hype. Right? The advance PR for this duo of guitar/drums/vocalists -- who play in New Zealand soon, see dates below -- bills them as a "German experimental noise-rock" band. But frankly, while they may be German and noisy, they do rather fall well short of "experimental". There's nothing "experimental"... > Read more


Belle and Sebastian: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)

19 Jan 2015

One of the must-see acts at Laneway, B&S from Scotland have over two decades quietly built a large fanbase for their gorgeously melodic, cleverly literate and often wry pop-rock which owes nods to embellished Bacharach as much as crafted Anglofolk. And they haven't been averse to stretching into glam-style pop. So here when they go all Sparks-styled disco (on the seven-minute... > Read more

Ever Had a Little Faith?

The Remarkables: Swinging on the Gate (Fragile Colours)

19 Jan 2015

When Tim Julian of the record company Fragile Colours got in touch about this album, told me who was on it and asked if Elsewhere might be interested I replied immedfiately. I said, "You had me at 'Robbie Laven'." People of A Certain Age fondly remember the gifted multi-instrumentalist Laven for his band Red Hot Peppers in the Seventies, and in fact we have previously posted a... > Read more

Minuet in G

Jim White Vs The Packway Handle Band: Take It Like a Man (YepRoc/Southbound)

15 Jan 2015

If he weren't so popular in various spheres (albums which have been hailed at Elsewhere, his film Searching For the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, art exhibitions etc) and is often surrounded by high-profile pals, you'd argue Jim White was an outsider artist. But there he is, quite solidly within the frame of Southern music and and, if not quite a household name, enjoys a degree of... > Read more

Sorrow's Shine

Over the Rhine: Blood Oranges in the Snow (GSD/Southbound)

12 Jan 2015

Because this is a Christmas album we should perhaps have mentioned it a few weeks ago. But frankly I'm still trying to hold on -- even this far into adulthood -- to the vague idea that Christmas can be the season of good cheer. Not for these people, obviously. This is seasonal folk-misery from the usually interesting Over the Rhine which is at times hilariously maudlin and kitschy (the... > Read more

Another Christmas

Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Born, Raised and Live from Flint (Bloodshot/Southbound)

5 Jan 2015

If there's any honkytonk, rockin' country cliche missed by this post-Waylon longhair wildman, it's probably only the one about the dog up'n'dyin'. With his hard rockin' band recorded live before a hometown crowd in Michigan, he ticks off the Cocaine Train, being a bad man on Crazy ("by any other name") and Bad News ("I've been hired and fired and jailed in any town you can... > Read more

Cheatin' Again

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

29 Dec 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. Here were some that slipped in during the closing overs of this year. Marianne Faithfull; Give My Love to London (Naive): It's easy to argue Ms... > Read more

Man Against Machine

The Chills: The BBC Sessions (Fire/Southbound)

26 Dec 2014

During their peak in the Eighties -- in '85, '87 and '88 -- various line-ups of the Chills recorded sessions for John Peel's famous radio shows on the BBC. Here collected are all 12 of the songs, and it is a thrill to hear this group/these groups at the top of their game as Martin Phillipps helms them through some classics (Rolling Moon, Brave Words, Night of Chill Blue) and other songs... > Read more

Moonlight on Flesh


22 Dec 2014    3

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. Doubtless you heard some music which moved you and wish to tell others about. Here is your chance. You could look at what Elsewhere covered in 2014 if you need some reminders or guidance (just start at this... > Read more


22 Dec 2014

Just before we consider the best reissues of the year can we just pause for a moment and note that Jimmy Page is the year's most over-rated man: his photo autobiography was a crashing bore (unless you just want pages of an increasingly aging Jimmy playing guitar on page after page) and the Led Zeppelin reissues with additional material did little to enhance their legacy and much to diminish it.... > Read more


19 Dec 2014    1

At a very rough guess Elsewhere probably reviewed or wrote about more than 200 albums in the past year . . . and we certainly didn't get to many excellent ones simply by constraints of time. So what follows are simply the 30 most durable albums from the past year in our opinion. The ones that you could listen to repeatedly . . .  as we've done. They aren't “the... > Read more

Dictaphone Blues: Mufti Day (bandcamp)

18 Dec 2014

Ed Castelow aka Dictaphone Blues is, for Elsewhere's money, one of the most talented, smartest and best pop-rock songwriter/singers at work in this country right now. He's also very funny as he plunders doo-wop (here on the absurd intro to Lance's Tape), writes very witty lyrics and some highly moving ones, latches them to memorable tunes (Her Heart Breaks Like a Wave deserves to be pouring... > Read more

Prepaid Fare

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

11 Dec 2014

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. The Eastern; The Territory (RPR): Adam McGrath of the Eastern... > Read more

Talking Americana Cowboy Yeeha Blues

Nathan Haines: 5 A Day (Warners)

8 Dec 2014

In a recent in-depth interview with Elsewhere, Nathan Haines spoke about how hard it was for him and his longtime producer Mike Patto to make this new album. In comments we didn't publish there he said, “we were running up against deadlines and it took a massive toll on our lives”. “I had to stop working because there were a lot of man hours in there. You read... > Read more

Hidden Fortress