Music at Elsewhere

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RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Mint Chicks; Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! (Warners)

8 May 2016  |  <1 min read

Has it really been a decade since this fizzing crunch of rock, pop, electronica and metal was unleashed? With it the Mint Chicks picked up album of the year, best group, best video, best cover art and even best music video (for the title track). Now re-presented as a double vinyl (with download code), the lo-fi C?Y!D?N! still sounds like timeless adolescent enthusiasm, bottled... > Read more

Wire: Nocturnal Koreans (Pink Flag/Southbound)

2 May 2016  |  <1 min read

Few, if any, British post-punk bands have been as consistently inventive as Wire who began life as fascinatingly minimalist outfit (on three defining albums in fewer than two years after late '77) and evolved into something akin to an indie pop-rock/art project. For their recommended 2013 album Change Becomes Us, they revisited ideas from their earliest days in a challenging... > Read more

Forward Position

Guy Wishart: West by North (Southbound)

2 May 2016  |  1 min read

Even though it has been many years since we last heard from Auckland singer-songwriter Guy Wishart -- who won the Silver Scroll in 1990 -- these mostly melancholy songs suggest a man who has been through some emotional pain in recent times. Throughout these 12 new originals -- essayed by a terrific country-rock/folk-rock band -- there are image of broken dreams, departure, death, darkness,... > Read more

River Red

Tim Hecker: Love Streams (4AD)

25 Apr 2016  |  <1 min read  |  1

On this, his third album, Canadian electronica artist Hecker – again recording in Reykjavik with an Icelandic choir – reaches across six centuries, drawing inspiration equally from 15th century choral works and 21st century ambient music post-Brian Eno. The mysterious and glowing cover image captures the mystical contents where elements of electronic minimalism from the... > Read more

Music of the Air

Dodson and Fogg: Walk On (wisdomtwinsbooks)

25 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

Imagine this if you will: A world where Marc Bolan wasn't killed in 1977 when his car hit a tree. That instead he took time out, trimmed down, cleaned up and left London for some more benign pastoral environment to replenish himself. In his time away he reconnected with his folk-framed Tyrannosaurus Rex style but brought to it the same pop economy of the best of T. Rex (songs like... > Read more

No One on the Phone

Santana: Santana IV (Santana IV)

25 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

While there was understandable anticipation for this reunion of (almost) all of the original Woodstock era band, this one reminds you Santana songs were often the vehicle for his autograph guitar work, the playing of keyboard player Gregg Rolie and the crisscross Latin rhythms from the percussionists. But even accepting that, there is something cheesy if not sleazy and creepy about the... > Read more

Freedom in Your Mind w Ronald Isley

King Crimson; Live in Toronto (DGM/Southbound)

22 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

Of course it's a bloody double-live. And it comes with a request at the start for the audience to refrain from recording, photography etc “and we'd like to have a good time and please join in and have a party with King Crimson”. (Why would you just not edit that stage announcement out?) Recorded on November 20, 2015 (we be specific because KC obsessives know and care... > Read more

Sailor's Tale

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

18 Apr 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. Haelos; Full Circle (Matador): In which this British electronica trio step lightly between British trip-hop, Pet Shop Boys pop and... > Read more

Bob Mould; Patch the Sky (Merge/Southbound)

18 Apr 2016  |  <1 min read

After their bands broke up Bob Mould and Frank Black (of Husker Du and the Pixies, respectively) rediscovered their love of pop structures, although didn't sacrificing much in their former outfits' intensity or volume. At times on this pleasingly familiar, ear-blistering outing Mould again comes off close to hardcore power-pop (the thrilling End of Things and Pray For Rain).... > Read more

Pray for Rain

Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade)

18 Apr 2016  |  <1 min read

The weird pop opener here Dust (“Dust is everywhere. Sweep”) reminds you this band's singer-songwriter Andrew Savage was once in the Zappa-influenced electronica outfit Fergus and Geronimo. PC's bent take on pop and rock is all over this quirky collection which sometimes sounds like Television, Velvet Underground or Devo schooled on Mad magazine, or Jonathan Richman's... > Read more

One Man, No City

Moon: The Orbitor (Golden Robot)

18 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

Every now and again we in New Zealand are reminded just how Australians make hard rock . . . and not just of the Rose Tattoo kind. This impressive eight-song debut has its foot on the accelerator from the start line and Moon run like a finely tuned, well-oiled machine for the full 29 minutes. You'd guess this might be a product of some hefty touring for years through tough Aussie pubs... > Read more

Taking a Right

Mice on Stilts: Hope for a Mourning (bandcamp/Aeroplane)

11 Apr 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

A couple of years ago in a music lecture I made light-hearted comments about prog-rock of the Seventies (maybe I said “pretentious” or “bloated”) and after the class a nice young man approached me. He was into prog and good-natured enough not to have taken umbrage . . . but did suggest I listen to Mice on Stilts, an Auckland ensemble in which he sometimes... > Read more

And We Saw His Needs Through the Casket

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

11 Apr 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

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)