Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Luluc: Passerby (SubPop)

Luluc: Passerby (SubPop)

The early Seventies genre “sensitive singer-songwriter” was enjoyed by similarly attuned souls or ridiculed by those for whom moping around just seemed weak and pointless. The genre is back in other hands, as an offshoot of alt.folk, and we couldn't count the number of duos – like Australians Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett who are Luluc – which explore that... more >>

Winter is Passing

28 Jul 2014

Jungle: Jungle (XL)

Jungle: Jungle (XL)

It's sometimes said that every music that ever existed is still being played somewhere in the world today. It's certainly true that Jungle -- an unusually secretive London duo heading a collective -- have taken Seventies disco and cool funk to their hearts and here on their debut album offer up a post-electronica version of these styles which is snappy, clever, groove-orientated and just... more >>

Son of a Gun

28 Jul 2014

Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business (Universal)

Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business (Universal)

Although no longer considered the monarch of misery he once was, Morrissey doesn't stray too far from the musical parameters he created for himself on this, the 10th studio album under his own name. For that he leaves it over to his brittle band to add grit and texture behind his familiarly melodic vocal style. That's when he isn't setting that effortless singing style against strings or... more >>

21 Jul 2014

ONE WE MISSED: Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Live in Amsterdam (Southbound)

ONE WE MISSED: Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Live in Amsterdam (Southbound)

In a recent doco about Muddy Waters, American guitarist Joe Bonamassa was talking about the blues and said, "The British blues for me was more immediate and more exciting. It was louder, a Les Paul guitar in a Marshall amp, it was more rock". While there's no doubt Bonamassa can play the blues, he is at heart a rock guy and that's why his longtime paring with singer Beth Hart --... more >>

Someday After a While

21 Jul 2014

Wagons: Acid Rain and Sugar Cane (Spunk)

Wagons: Acid Rain and Sugar Cane (Spunk)

The wide sonic sweep, aggregation of poetic images and ragged-swagger of Australia's Henry Wagons – here back with a band, and guests – gets the producer he deserves for this: Mick Harvey of the Bad Seeds. If anyone understands tumbling lyrics and melodramatic music delivered with menace it's a man who has worked with Nick Cave, to whom Wagons owes quite some debt. As he... more >>

Search the Streets

21 Jul 2014

Jimi Goodwin: Odludek (Heavenly)

Jimi Goodwin: Odludek (Heavenly)

Some years go when Mojo magazine picked 40 Cosmic Rock Albums – prog-rock in other words – there alongside the inevitable (Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson etc) were Radiohead, the Mars Volta, Tool and Sigur Ros. Proof again prog wasn't killed off by punk in the late Seventies, and that adventurous musicians will always push the boundaries. Goodwin – singer,... more >>

Man V Dingo

14 Jul 2014

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. Toni Huata: Tomokia (Ode): Wellington singer-songwriter Huata (who won... more >>

Deep Steady Hum

14 Jul 2014

The Gary Harvey Band: Ghost Dance (garyharvey.co.nz)

The Gary Harvey Band: Ghost Dance (garyharvey.co.nz)

The familiar line about singer/songwriter and bassist Gary Harvey is that he is a mainstay of blues-influenced rock in New Zealand who has been around for exactly the right number of decades, which is many. Eighteen months ago we had Gary answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire on the back of a live album with guitarist Tony Abbott as G'N'T Unhinged. Despite the indifference of mainstream... more >>

Mr Healy

11 Jul 2014

Dean Wareham: Dean Wareham (Double Feature/Southbound)

Dean Wareham: Dean Wareham (Double Feature/Southbound)

When one-time Kiwi/longtime New Yorker Dean Wareham's former band Luna got to open for Velvet Underground at their brief reunion in '93 it must have semed like a dream come true: Luna owed a considerable debt to VU . . . and a few years ago Wareham and Britta Phillips (also in Luna) supplied the music for Andy Warhol's silent footage of Lou Reed, Nico and others from that hallowed... more >>

Beat the Devil

7 Jul 2014

Kishi Bashi: Lighght (Inertia)

Kishi Bashi: Lighght (Inertia)

The debut album 151a two years ago by Seattle's songwriter/violinist Kaoru Ishibashi was an impressively upbeat-then-melancholy collection, equally confident in dance pop as melodrama. Here he's barely fiddled with the formula of early Mika/Empire of the Sun-meets-Of Montreal, although on Carry On Phenomenon he's dangerously close to Supertramp which, to these ears, is rarely a good... more >>

In Fantasia

7 Jul 2014    1

Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

It's one the great ironies that Hal David's name is less familiar today than that of his most famous writing partner Burt Bacharach. It sometimes seems that the shorthand of pop speaks about Bacharach's songs . . . but that rather ignores that Hal David provided all those memorable words which people sing. David -- who died in September 2012, aged 91 -- was a poet of pop who could... more >>

Another Tear Falls

30 Jun 2014

Various Artists: What Did You Do in the Beat Era . . . Daddy!!!; Let Me Take You Down  . . . Under (both Frenzy)

Various Artists: What Did You Do in the Beat Era . . . Daddy!!!; Let Me Take You Down . . . Under (both Frenzy)

The signature sound of the Beatles – three guitars, three singers and a backbeat – so changed the musical landscape in the early 60s that artists everywhere scrambled to catch up and copy it. Kiwis were no exception. From Ray Columbus and the Invaders' She's a Mod (an obscure British b-side) and the mop-tops (the Librettos), to polo-necks and suits (just about every... more >>

The Inner Light

23 Jun 2014

Ian McLagan: United States (Yep Roc/Southbound)

Ian McLagan: United States (Yep Roc/Southbound)

Many years ago it was my great pleasure to spend a bit of time with keyboard player Ian McLagan when he was in Auckland playing with an artist whom I have forgotten. McLagan -- who was, in the words of Noel Gallagher, jammy enough to be in two great bands (the Small Faces and Faces) -- was very amusing and well-balanced and happily took time out to hammer the lobby piano to the amusement of... more >>

He's Not For You

23 Jun 2014    1

Lykke Li: I Never Learn (Atlantic)

Lykke Li: I Never Learn (Atlantic)

Recently while talking with one of my sons who lives in Stockholm I asked him what the hell was going on in Sweden, it seems every week I am hearing great music from artists out of that northern clime . . . and it crosses all genres from psychedelic (Les Big Byrd) to jazz (Jonas Kullhammar). Just have a look here at what has popped up at Elsewhere from Sweden -- between the travel stories,... more >>

Never Gonna Love Again

20 Jun 2014

Les Big Byrd: They Worshipped Cats (A Recordings/Southbound)

Les Big Byrd: They Worshipped Cats (A Recordings/Southbound)

On the label founded by Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe, this tripped-out keyboard-and-guitar Swedish duo recorded some of this – with an expanded band – in Newcombe's Berlin studio in what must have been cosmic sessions if these rolling, spaceflight grooves are any measure. Their vocals are the least of it (flattened but sometimes appropriately droning) however... more >>

Just One Time

16 Jun 2014    1

Jones: To the Bone (Meme)

Jones: To the Bone (Meme)

On the basis of this, his previous solo albums and those with Miracle Mile (with Marcus Cliffe, the multi-instrumentalist here who also produces) you'd imagine Britain's Trevor Jones this way: it's late afternoon in his beautifully modern home with a view over the Med and he's in a wicker chair by the open glass door, the book of Romantic poetry lying in his lap, a glass of fine wine on the... more >>

Somewhere North of Here

16 Jun 2014    1

Tom Vek: Luck (Moshi Moshi)

Tom Vek: Luck (Moshi Moshi)

This UK jack-of-all-trades (electrorock, synth-punk, Seattle grunge, stentorian trip-hop, an acoustic song etc) only proves here that, for the most part, he is master of none. On this third album in a staggered and staggering career (his debut was almost a decade ago, his second album three years back) one gets the clear impression that he is not too far above the dilettante threshold and... more >>

Let's Pray

11 Jun 2014    1

Mark De Cive-Lowe: CHURCH (ropeadope)

Mark De Cive-Lowe: CHURCH (ropeadope)

When I interviewed expat keyboard player/producer and remixer Mark De Clive-Lowe during his recent 36-hour visit to Auckland he was aware – after 10 years in London and five in LA where he lives with his wife, singer Nia Andrews, and two children – he was seen as a former Kiwi by some, although was insistent ours was the flag he flew, and how he was known internationally.... more >>

The Processional

9 Jun 2014

ONE WE MISSED: Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Burger/Southbound)

ONE WE MISSED: Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Burger/Southbound)

This fascinating, genre-defying album appeared more than a month ago but has been one of those problematic listening experiences, it's so good it deserves a wider hearing . . . but to whom might it be recommended? It is very much the sum of separate parts, although often those parts remain distinct, so some background is required . . . because there's much more than just the soul power of... more >>

I Don't Wanna Go Home

9 Jun 2014

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Revelation (A/Southbound)

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Revelation (A/Southbound)

The music of BJM has largely been overshadowed by the doco DIG! in which the seemingly career-destroying frontman Anton Newcombe's antics were aligned with the more canny Dandy Warhols. But that was a decade ago and -- given recent albums have erred towards interesting, stretched-out but economic psychedelic rock-cum-shoegaze pop – a re-evaluation is in order. It made sense... more >>

Food for Clouds

2 Jun 2014