Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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9Bach: Tincian (Real World/Southbound)

9Bach: Tincian (Real World/Southbound)

On the Real World label founded by Peter Gabriel, this Welsh duo of singer/pianist Lisa Jen and guitarist Martin Hoyland (with guests on percussion, harmonium, bass, harp and backing vocals) deliver an album of gorgeously featherweight trip-hop which sits somewhere between Clannad and early Portishead, but has a far more delicate touch than either. By all being sung in Welsh it also... more >>

Pebyll

26 May 2014

Various Artists: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 4 (Frenzy)

Various Artists: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 4 (Frenzy)

Although the recent initiative by recordedmusic.co.nz has brought some lost treasures (and some pretty ordinary music) back into public domain, this on-going compilation series pulls up some real obscurities. The work of researcher and archivist Grant Gillanders, the series turns the spotlight on a period in New Zealand music when the barriers between genres (not to mention brain... more >>

Gracious Lady Slice Dee

26 May 2014    1

The Icypoles: My World Was Made For You (Lil' Chief)

The Icypoles: My World Was Made For You (Lil' Chief)

While no band should be held to whatever promo blurb their record company put out -- although don't they have veto? -- it is howlingly absurd that this deliberately cute, soft and lightweight pop group of four women from Melbourne should be mentioned on the same piece of paper as the Shaggs, Julie Cruise (whose Just You they cover rather faithfully) and the Shirelles. The Camera Obscura... more >>

Gotta Stop It

22 May 2014

Delaney Davidson: Swim Down Low (Rough Trade/Southbound)

Delaney Davidson: Swim Down Low (Rough Trade/Southbound)

That recent Record Store Day has still been diverting me as I trawl through my purchases . . . which accounts for coming so late to this one by multiple-award winning singer-songwriter Davidson who is loosely placed in the country category, but who has much in common with dark European cabaret and sometimes Nick Cave as he does with Hank Williams. This came out on vinyl on Record Store Day... more >>

Down on Me

19 May 2014

Jack Ruby: Hit and Run (Saint Cecelia/Southbound)

Jack Ruby: Hit and Run (Saint Cecelia/Southbound)

The only Jack Ruby I know is the man pictured on the cover of this collection (see comment below) of what might just every recorded noise this avant-No Wave band from New York might have made. I've always been wary of claims made about how influential some underground films and bands are if they go largely unseen and unheard. Certainly the Velvet Underground had an influence far beyond the... more >>

Hit and Run (1977 version)

19 May 2014    1

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. Sherpa: Blues and Oranges (bandcamp): Having enjoyed Sherpa a number of... more >>

Nowhere Slow

19 May 2014

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Django Django (Late Night Tales/Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Django Django (Late Night Tales/Southbound)

The pleasure in the on-going Late Night Tales series which started in 2001 is in just what obscurities the artists chosen to collate the compilation pull out. As aldums they often hang together rather well (altough I'm not persuaded by the on-going readings of a story as the final track, here Benedict Cumberbatch is up to part four of Flat of Angles). The British band Django Django bring... more >>

Porpoise Song

19 May 2014

Tiny Ruins: Brightly Painted One (Unspk)

Tiny Ruins: Brightly Painted One (Unspk)

The previous album Some Were Meant For Sea by Holly Fullbrook -- who was then sole proprietor of the name Tiny Ruins -- was such a delicately nuanced and quiet affair it was hardly surprising on the two ocassions I saw her present it (at the Kings Arms and opening for Fleet Foxes in Auckland's Town Hall) she struggled to keep a boisterous audience's attention. That's what happens when the... more >>

White Sheet Lightning

16 May 2014

Great North: Up in Smoke (greatnorthband.com)

Great North: Up in Smoke (greatnorthband.com)

For a man with an almost obsessive regard for Springsteen – see his answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire – Auckland songwriter Hayden Donnell of Great North here rarely writes like a chip of the old Boss. Only the title track nudges towards the musical melodrama of Springsteen, the rest allude to Donnell's Christian background, eventual disillusion and a... more >>

The Sound of the Sea

12 May 2014

Golden Curtain: Dream City (cosmicolitanrecords)

Golden Curtain: Dream City (cosmicolitanrecords)

Elsewhere was mighty impressed by the unpretentious pop-rock of the previous Golden Curtain album English Tuning and we're now pleased to note that was an opinion shared – according to their bio – by the Toronto Star and some reviewer in San Francisco. Not bad for a New Zealand trio with a very low profile, despite their prior form in bands like Garageland and Grand Prix.... more >>

Sweet Louise

12 May 2014

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

Perhaps like most Elsewhere readers, I'd never heard of this quite remarkable woman previously, but a bit of research shows she was born in Missouri, is now based in Chicago and had a previous album Half Way Home on a small indie label out of North Carolina. She's been part of Bonnie Prince Billy's circle too. So, never having heard a note, this one hits the player and comes up with some... more >>

Enemy

12 May 2014

Dodson and Fogg: After the Fall (Wisdom Twins)

Dodson and Fogg: After the Fall (Wisdom Twins)

Some weeks ago Elsewhere invited its readers/listeners and the curious to be interested in a wonderful compilation album of the quietly excellent Dodson and Fogg. It was presented by The Active Listener website out of Wellington, New Zealand (an unprofitable labour love by Nathan Ford, interviewed here, much like Elsewhere) As a result Chris Wade from Leeds who is the one-man... more >>

Here in the Night

5 May 2014

Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust (SubPop)

Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust (SubPop)

Recorded in VanGaalen's own Yoko Eno studio in Calgary and described by him as his “country record” or some of the soundtrack to the animated film he's drawn, this 12-song collection opens with delicate acoustic guitar (fingers slipping on steel strings as loud as his voice) and him gently singing “cut off both my hands and threw them in the sand, watched them swim away... more >>

5 May 2014

Various Artists: Naga; New Music for Gamelan (Rattle)

Various Artists: Naga; New Music for Gamelan (Rattle)

Those of us lucky enough to have been to Java or Bali -- and who have ventured further than the beach or pool for cultural experiences -- will attest to the extraordinary sound of a gamelan orchestra in full flight. Whether it be on metal or wooden xylophones (for want of a better word), gongs large and small or massive vertical bamboo chimes, the sound can be hypnotic and exciting . . .... more >>

Volcano Song

3 May 2014

Neil Young: A Letter Home (Third Man)

Neil Young: A Letter Home (Third Man)

In a couple of weeks there will be an expanded edition of this album -- two vinyl albums, a DVD, a CD and seven singles and more in handmade box -- but here we are just dealing with the single vinyl album, recorded at Jack White's Third Man Studio in Nashville. At one level you could say it's a vanity project -- Young covering 11 songs which mean something personal to him -- and the record... more >>

My Hometown

2 May 2014

Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk/Southbound)

Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk/Southbound)

Although taking its title from Carl Sagan's 80s television series about the universe, the cosmological and astral references are musically few on this electronica-cum-alt.rock album by the Brooklyn four-piece around songwriter Alex Schaaf. The music beyond the electrobeats and sonic washes most often sounds grounded and even gritty, but it is in Schaaf's lyrics and an edgy ambience... more >>

You Are the Stars

28 Apr 2014

Tim Guy: Dreaming of a Night Mango (Lost and Lonesome)

Tim Guy: Dreaming of a Night Mango (Lost and Lonesome)

New Zealand singer-songwriter and producer Tim Guy has appeared at Elsewhere previously, notably for his delightfully thoughtful and airy 2007 album The Hummabyes, and when he answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire in 2011 when he toured his Big World album. Elsewhere lost touch with him in recent years but then was delighted when a vinyl-sized parcel turned up from him, and it... more >>

Many People I Know

27 Apr 2014

Scott H. Biram: Nothin' But Blood (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Scott H. Biram: Nothin' But Blood (Bloodshot/Southbound)

When this whisky-fueled, profanity spoutin' and somewhat misanthropic Texas singer-songwriter – who joins the dots between one-man electric blues and psychobilly rock - drops the energy levels he offers some terrific songs: Never Comin' Home is in the Kristofferson tradition of worldweary reflection and tells a convincing story in the manner of Hayes Carll or Steve Earle (the vet on... more >>

Never Comin' Home

21 Apr 2014

The Luck of Eden Hall; Greatest Hits Vol 1 (theactivelistener)

The Luck of Eden Hall; Greatest Hits Vol 1 (theactivelistener)

Another in The Active Listener Introduces . . . series, this one comes with an amusing title. This psych-pop outfit from Chicago may have been going for two decades but their "greatest hits" might not stretch to one side of a single. However this 12 track collection pulled together by the band themselves -- and drawing from all parts of that long history -- is a very impressive... more >>

Chrysalide

16 Apr 2014

Liam Finn: The Nihilist (Liberation)

Liam Finn: The Nihilist (Liberation)

What a remarkable year it has been so far in New Zealand music: bristling pop-rock from Clap Clap Riot, Grayson Gilmour's multi-layered album, singer-songwriter Greg Fleming stretching himself in various directions  . . . And now this excellent entry from Liam Finn, one of the sons of a senior statesman whose most recent album Dizzy Heights is among that favourites list. Critics... more >>

Dreary Droop

14 Apr 2014