Music at Elsewhere

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Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

12 Oct 2011

Although we have learned that Jeff Kelly of Seattle's Green Pajamas -- a band which has consistently delivers seductive and intelligent paisley-pop grounded in the spirit of the mid-Sixties, see here -- grew up playing country music with his father, this new album is something of a surprise. But a surprise in a good way. With longtime bassist Joe Ross, singer Laura Weller from his... > Read more

Why Good Men Go Bad

The Jezabels: Prisoner (MGM/Southbound)

11 Oct 2011

This Sydney quartet certainly get great cover art, a thrilling wide-screen production from Lachlan Mitchell (and courtesy of Peter Katis who mixed the National) and the kind of high-concept dramatics (and melodrama) you would normally associate with early Eighties bands like Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen. What saves this from being another run at Simple Minds/Echo et al is the... > Read more

Nobody Nowhere

Kerretta: Saansilo (Golden Antenna)

10 Oct 2011

This powerful second album by Auckland's instrumental prog-metal outfit (for want of a better term) has an undeniable internationalism and its reference points are post-rock bands (Mogwai), Explosions in the Sky, Opeth and of course just enough Bailter Space and Black Sabbath in terms of dark firepower. But this is not straight ahead metal, more like soundtracks for movies... > Read more

By the Throats

Fagan and the People: Admiral of the Narrow Seas (Aeroplane)

10 Oct 2011

Possibly because he is busy on so many other things -- see his answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire -- Andrew Fagan acknowledges this album was "recorded all over the place" and comes with a long list of contributors. Interestingly a pivotal figure is multi-instrumentalist Darryn Harkness on whose New Telapathics album Clapping with Rockets Fagan contributed some vocals.... > Read more


Guy Clark: Songs and Stories (Dualtone)

10 Oct 2011

Although the smart money would have been against his longevity, here is the road-worn troubadour Guy Clark -- 70 in November 2011 -- working his way through exactly what it says on the box, singing his back-catalogue (LA Freeway, The Randall Knife, The Cape, Homegrown Tomatoes among them) and Townes Van Zandt's If I Needed You. Recording live in Nashville with a small band, Clark also... > Read more

The Randall Knife

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

7 Oct 2011    1

Of all the albums in the early King Crimson catalogue -- those between their '69 debut In The Court of the Crimson King and Red in '74 -- Lizard is the one which has most divided critics and fans. Even KC founder and sole constant Robert Fripp has considered it largely unloved, and he doesn't strike anyone as being modest about his music. According to Steven Wilson (of contemporary... > Read more

Indoor Games

Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

3 Oct 2011

Recently it was my great privilege to be asked to write some liner notes for this album on the estimable Rattle label. It is a very special album as you may hear. So rather than relitigate those ideas why don't I simply reproduce the notes here and you can make what you will of it? This is what I wrote . . . We live in a world post-everything. Many paintings are post-Modern;... > Read more


Haunted Love: Spirit Revival (Round Trip Mars)

3 Oct 2011

Some CD cover photos -- like Feelstyle's Break it to Pieces and the most recent Whirimako Black album -- just cry out for vinyl-size reproduction. Yvonne Todd's striking photo on the cover of this debut album by New Zealand's Haunted Love (Rainy McMaster and Geva Downey) is another such cover.  Just take the time to look, and even in this tiny reproduction you can see the striking... > Read more


Steven Wilson: Grace for Drowning (Kscope/Southbound)

3 Oct 2011

The highly productive multi-instrumentalist, producer, guest performer and mixing engineer (most notably on the early King Crimson catalogue) Steve Wilson is perhaps best known as the mainman behind Porcupine Tree, the British prog-rock group which has gone its own ambitious way despite the indifference of fashionable media and more hip audiences. Yet PTree have served up 10 albums since... > Read more


Wooden Shjips: West (Fuse)

3 Oct 2011    1

Wooden Shjips (sic) out of San Francisco once again serve up their particular brand of astral plane psychedelic drone-rock which sounds filtered through steel wool. Their appealing tripped-out grunge sits somewhere along the faultline of their city's Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and a full volume, garageband metal overhaul of early Velvet Underground . . . with a bit of... > Read more


Various Artists: How Many Roads, Black America Sings Bob Dylan (Ace)

1 Oct 2011    1

Further to the previously posted collection of black artists singing the music of Lennon and McCartney (here) and posting Gary US Bonds singing Dylan's From a Buick 6 at From the Vaults, we should throw the spotlight on this 20-song album which came out a year ago. Dylan's early material -- Blowin' in the Wind especially -- found early favour with many black artists (Stevie Wonder... > Read more

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You

Whirimako Black: The Late Night Plays (Ode)

30 Sep 2011    1

Five years ago Whirimako Black received the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori music. Yet for some reason – because her albums have been in Maori perhaps? – she has rarely captured mainstream attention. Her decade-long recording career began with immediate acclaim (her debut Hine Pukohurangi won best Maori language album at the 2001 music awards) and... > Read more

Dance Me To The End of Love

Freaky Meat: Delicatessen (Bright Yellow Beetle Records)

27 Sep 2011

On what has already been described as "one of the unlikeliest liaisons -- in a musical sense -- that you're ever likely to find" (John Brinkman, Groove Guide), Freaky Meat pull together ragged-edge performance poet (Shane Hollands) and a funk-rock rhythm section. It's a debut album which will be something of a revelation for those who haven't heard similar predecessors in this... > Read more

Urbis Street Crossing

Nirvana: Nevermind, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

26 Sep 2011

Recently, for an impending publication, I was relistening to hundreds of albums, many of them considered classics. Some had aged very badly, others sounded more interesting (and influential) after the passages of years . . . and rare ones sounded as thrilling now as they did at the time. Shorn of the detritus of hype, grunge fashion, fandom and all the others things Nevermind accrued at... > Read more

Immodium aka Breed (Smart Studio Sessions)

Various Artists: Come Together, Black America sings Lennon and McCartney (Ace)

26 Sep 2011    1

Although their peers like the Rolling Stones, the Downliner Sect and Pretty Things were more profoundly influenced by black American music, the Beatles certainly drew on that deep well. In their Hamburg days they played songs by Chuck Berry, Arthur Alexander and Little Richard, on their first two UK albums they covered the Isley Brothers' Twist and Shout (Lennon's definitive version),... > Read more

Come Together

Jess Chambers: Desire (Chambers)

23 Sep 2011

Right at the end of this hushed album, Wellington singer-songwriter Chambers adapts the old gospel-country hand-clap This Little Light of Mine into something very different. She takes it right down to an intimate whisper over piano (Peter Hill) and guitar. It sounds like it has been recorded in the empty front parlour of an abandoned home where there are dust-covered family photos on the wall.... > Read more

Full of Fire

Mel Parsons: Red Grey Blue (Border)

20 Sep 2011

In a country which sometimes seems too profligate with singer-songwriters, a few stand out -- and it was no surprise Mel Parsons should have been nominated for a music award on the strength of her previous album Over My Shoulder, although being in the folk album of the year category would seem to marginalise her in some ways. For many "folk" would be a strange tag for someone like... > Read more

Things Will Get Good

Little Feat: 40 Feat, The Hot Tomato Anthology 1971-2011 (Proper/Southbound)

20 Sep 2011    3

As with Amazing Rhythm Aces, Little Feat seem a band loyally followed by many . . . but largely overlooked by contemporary critics or those who never fell for their particularly imaginative gumbo of sleazy rock, New Orleans funk'n'voodoo, psychedelic country, dirty blues and whatever else made you feel good right at that moment. The drug death of Feat's expressive singer, slide guitarist... > Read more

Apolitical Blues

Superheavy: Superheavy (Universal)

19 Sep 2011    1

There are few bona fide bands worthy of the appellation “supergroup” (these people, or these?) but it's fair to say anything with Mick Jagger, former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, Bollywood megastar A.H. Rahman, hip-hop reggae-rocker Damian Marley and soul singer Joss Stone would unquestionably qualify. Yet given the melange of cultures there it's hardly surprising this... > Read more


Thrashing Marlin: Donkey Deep (Braille)

19 Sep 2011

Four albums in a 15 year career seems a leisurely pace but David Donaldson and Steve Roche – the core of Wellington's Thrashing Marlin – are busy on other projects, as Donaldson indicates in his interesting answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire. Still, this album is worth the wait as they throw their considerable multi-instrumental skills at a collection of 14 songs... > Read more