Music at Elsewhere

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Pantha Du Prince and the Bell Laboratory; Elements of Light (Rough Trade)

11 Feb 2013  |  <1 min read

Very much in the territory of ambient music (publishing held by the appropriately named Outer Worlds), this 43 minute album is one long piece of five seamlessly interlocking parts and owes something to Balinese gamelan and people like Phillip Glass (in his so-called “minimalist” period). But it has been conceived by producer/remixer Du Prince (aka Berlin-based Hendrik... > Read more

Photon

Richard Thompson; Electric (Proper/Southbound)

11 Feb 2013  |  <1 min read

Englishman Richard Thompson's 2010 Dream Attic was a courageous leap of faith: a live album of all new and therefore unfamiliar songs recorded before American audiences. But this godfather of Anglofolk – and superb electric guitarist – pulled it off in some dyspeptic and angry songs, and that energy spills over onto this album in the taut Stuck on a Treadmill (the indignity... > Read more

Where's Home?

Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing: Eeling (Muzai)

11 Feb 2013  |  1 min read

Given their chosen name, you can guess that this Auckland four-piece don't expect (or possibly want) mainstream recognition either at home or abroad. And you don't want to know what comes up if you do a web-search or look on You Tube for them.  But because this is on the always interesting indie label Muzai (who have Bemsha Swing which, despite being named for a Thelonious Monk tune... > Read more

Dance of Salome

Omar Carmenates: The Gaia Theory (Rattle)

6 Feb 2013  |  1 min read

At its most extreme interpretation (as some have joking applied it), the Giaia theory which contends all life on Earth is interconnected says if a butterfly flaps its wings in China there may be a tornado in Kansas some time later. Okay, that is ridiculously extreme but the principles of interconnectivity would seem to be becoming more and more apparent as species die out and others (their... > Read more

Waiting: Still

Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note)

4 Feb 2013  |  <1 min read

Hmmm. Neville – whose high voice is most often described as angelic – on a selection of favourite doo-wop songs from the 50s/early 60s, and produced by Keith Richards and Don Was? First question: Who does backing doo-wop vocals behind That Voice? Fortunately it isn't guitarist Richards' throaty croak but members of some original doo-wop groups (the Jive-Five,... > Read more

Be My Baby

Jack Landy: Lost and Found (independent release)

4 Feb 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

If we were allowed to use big words like "peripatetic" here at Elsewhere we'd certainly use it about world traveler, musical itinerant, busker and on-the-road singer-songwriter Landy, originally of Auckland to where he has now returned. His bio says he's worked at sea, busked in Italy and Maseilles, and the opener here is Lost In Copenhagen (Later there are songs of farewells... > Read more

High Society

Various Artists; West of Memphis; Voices for Justice (Sony)

4 Feb 2013  |  <1 min read

Celebrity has been debased by reality television, but its power and influence to do good (rather than flog a product or self-serving career) shouldn't be underestimated. Amy Berg's doco West of Memphis about three US teenagers convicted of triple murder in 93 was made with high-powered support from Sir Peter Jackson (who produced it) and came with the heft of  Johnny Depp, Eddie... > Read more

Joy

Villagers: {Awayland} (EMI)

29 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

If there was an issue with multi-instrumentalist Conor O'Brien's otherwise excellent 2010 solo debut album Becoming a Jackal (under his nom de disque Villagers) it was that he repeatedly wrote as a universal, wisdom-infused observer, the all-seeing “I” as it were. This more sonically expansive outing – former pop-rocker and sometime folkie embraces electronics, horns,... > Read more

Judgement Call

Pop Levi: Medicine (Counter/Border)

28 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read

Back in 2007/2008 Mika and Pop Levi brought welcome injections of camp, glam-pop fun back into the foreground. Dressing up, being silly in videos, and delivering hand-clap and often ironically enjoyable songs were their hallmarks. Not to be taken seriously. Unfortunately after Levi's Never Never Love album the puff went out him. You'd hope this new one would put breeze back in the... > Read more

Police $ign

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Friendly Fires (Universal)

21 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read

The Late Night Tales series of invited-guest's mix-tapes succeeds or fails not just on the compilers' taste, but how they craft a running order of diverse tracks. Some smart invitees – Trentemoller's spooky collection and Midlake's post-folk theme come to mind – go for an over-arching mood while others – 39 film theme snippets for At the Movies – never identify... > Read more

One Most Memorable

Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Dunham)

21 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read

Released late last year so lost between Rod/Buble Christmas carol albums and non-stick reggae vibes, this all-instrumental outing by the house band for Brooklyn's Dunham Records (a subsidiary of Daptone) – who did the honours on Charles Bradley's retro-soul gem No Time for Dreaming in 2011 – is a quietly smoldering outing treading lightly between ensemble jazz, slo-soul... > Read more

Keep Coming Back

Various Artists: So French So Chic 2013 (Carte!l/Border)

21 Jan 2013  |  1 min read

It has been fashionable in hip circles to be instantly dismissive of the annual So Frenchy So Chic double-disc compilations of French pop and sometimes with good reason: they do err to the lightweight (Barbara Carlotti increasingly sounding like a one note artist) and for cool club sounds. As with any such collection, these have been patchy -- but as always there are pop nuggets (often... > Read more

De Toi a Moi

Yo La Tengo: Fade (Matador)

14 Jan 2013  |  1 min read

One of the smartest minds and mouths in rock David Lee Roth (of Van Halen) once remarked that the reason so many rock critics liked Elvis Costello was because so many rock critics looked like Elvis Costello. In the Nineties the same might have been said of why so many record shop counter-jockeys liked Yo La Tengo, so many of them had that slightly nerdy but nice look, a line in gentle... > Read more

Is That Enough

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale: Buddy and Jim (New West)

14 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

Miller and Lauderdale should need no introduction to many Elsewhere readers (they have links to Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, Dwight Yoakam and have credible solo careers etc) and were roots Americana before the term was invented. Here -- recording in just three days -- they knock off a lively selection of rockin' roots (Looking For a Heartache Like You, The Wobble), country-rock blues (I... > Read more

Vampire Girl

Two Cartoons: Tiny Terrors (Far South/Yellow Eye)

4 Jan 2013  |  <1 min read

This New Zealand duo of Isaac McFarlane and Brad Craig -- based in Dunedin but only partially inspired/influenced by the Flying Nun sounds which emerged from that city in the Eighties -- again deliver an economic EP which extends the ideas of their impressively diverse debut Jelly Tip Lips of last year. With an unashamed pop skew and lo-fi hints of bands like Beach House, Arcade Fire, Field... > Read more

Dreams

Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg (Mercury)

30 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

Released around the time people were collating their "best of 2012" lists (see here and here), this excellent album probably went past most people. A precocious talent, 18-year old Bugg from Nottingham has already drawn praise from Noel Gallagher (who probably hears how great Oasis might have been if he'd been a better lyricist) but reference points beyond Oasis might say that on... > Read more

Simple as This

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2012: THE EDITOR'S TOP 40

17 Dec 2012  |  14 min read  |  6

Well, we did our best. In 2012 Elsewhere reviewed over 200 albums (at least) at the Music from Elsewhere pages, essayed reissues at Absolute Elsewhere, interviewed many musicians and offered even more the chance to have their say through the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire or our Other Voices Other Rooms pages. In short, a lot of music of all persuasions – not just pop and rock... > Read more

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2012: READERS' CHOICES

17 Dec 2012  |  8 min read  |  2

That time of year again folks when Elsewhere invites you to name one or two – or three or four -- albums which shook your tree during 2012. Elsewhere tried to keep up with the game and reviewed well over 200 albums (new, reissues) and a couple of dozen box sets. But we can't be everywhere. If you want to see just what was covered at Elsewhere under "music" just go here... > Read more

Museum: traces of (Inakustik/Yellow Eye)

17 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

In the shorthand of the internet (where this group gave away their first two EPs) this is “for fans of Interpol, Bauhaus, Placebo . . .” which is helpful, but doesn't explain everything about this four-piece rock outfit from Germany. Although this debut album sometimes seems more alt.New York/New Wave or angsty-Anglorock than hip'n'happening Berlin, they have a pared back... > Read more

Midwinter

Mala: Mala in Cuba (Brownswood/Southbound)

15 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

When UK DJ and Cuban music aficionado Gilles Peterson went back to Havana in May last year to record local musicians (who have appeared on his excellent on-going Havana Cultura series), he took with him South London dubstep pioneer and producer Mala (aka Mark Lawrence of Digital Mystikz) who set himself up in another room beside Peterson's studio and recorded various passing-traffic... > Read more

Revolution