Music at Elsewhere

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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


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


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


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


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


Spyros Charmanis: Wound (

11 Dec 2012  |  2 min read

There is precious little good news coming out of economically beleaguered Greece these days . . . but here's some if you are of the prog-rock persuasion (with emphasis on the "rock"). Multi-instrumentalist Spyros Charmanis has put in the hard yards in the worlds of classical music (oboe as a kid, member of the Youth Orchestra of Volos) then became self-taught on guitar, drums and... > Read more


Efterklang: Piramida (4AD)

10 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

Those familiar with television's Danish crime drama Forbrydelsen might be relieved to know not everything up there takes place against a background of shadows'n'menace. This innovative and flexible line-up around a dapper-looking trio from from Copenhagen sit somewhere between the ethereal sonic textures of Iceland's Sigur Ros and the balladry of Britain's Blue Nile, and when this... > Read more


Kishi Bashi: 151a (Pod)

10 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although this album has floated around for a while, it seems to have gone past the very people who might like it. Imagine where the axis of Alt-J and Of Montreal crosses with less frantic Mika and the harmonies of the Beach Boys and you're getting close. Except factor in Kishi Bashi (Seattle-born Kaoru Ishibashi) is a singer-songwriter and violinist. It's that prominent, soaring,... > Read more

Beat the Bright Out of Me

Massive Attack: Blue Lines 2012 Mix/Master (Virgin)

3 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

Few albums can claim to have invented and come to define a genre -- but Blue Lines did that for trip-hop . . . and more. It turned the spotlight on Bristol, introduced Tricky and Shara Nelson to the wider world, reminded people of the distinctive and smooth voice of reggae singer Horace Andy, spawned bands like Portishead, influenced Moby and a dozen others, and provided the soundtrack to a... > Read more

One Love

Scott Walker: Bish Bosch (4AD)

3 Dec 2012  |  1 min read

Some musicians are revered, reviewed and written about, but rather less listened to. Put Scott Walker at the top of that list. This is only his fourth album in the past three decades and their abstruse lyrics, electronic effects and often declamatory tone have nothing in common with his acclaimed ballad style in the Walker Brothers and on a series of orchestrated solo albums in the... > Read more

See You Don't Bump His Head

Donald Fagen: Sunken Condos (Warners)

3 Dec 2012  |  <1 min read

In the first wave of FM radio and adult-rock formats, Steely Dan stood out for their ineffable cool, poised aloofness and slippery musical craftsmanship which scooped up jazz and rock fans alike. Fagen – half of the Dan – brings many of those qualities to this solo outing, although his vocals are considerably weaker and in places this appears more personal than Dan albums... > Read more

Slinky Thing

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock Vol 2 (Soul Jazz)

3 Dec 2012  |  1 min read

Although picking up the scent from the first excellent volume in this series which joins the dots between rock, soul and country music, these 20 tracks -- while not without interest -- don't have quite the same weight or depth. Area Code 615 -- the band formed by Nashville studio owners/musiucians Charley McCoy and Wayne Moss, in whose studio the Steve Miller Band recorded -- kicks things... > Read more

The Box Tops

SJD: Elastic Wasteland (Round Trip Mars)

30 Nov 2012  |  1 min read

Few New Zealand songwriters work with a sense of the mysterious in their lyrics, most are grounded in relationships (far too many going the you/I route) but SJD -- Sean James Donnelly -- not only reaches in that profitable direction but has the airy voice to pull it off. So on the opener here when he sings of giving thanks to lizard kings above -- and marries that to ethereal electronics --... > Read more

Make Love Ask Questions Later

Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted (Kscope/Southbound)

26 Nov 2012  |  2 min read

When considering the recent 35th anniversary reissue of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, it was salutory to look at what had changed since that politically and socially volatile era in which it was released. Yes, the punk DIY ethic is still adhered to (made even easier by the internet) but Britain has a Conservative government, unemployment recently stood at 2.6 million (around 8... > Read more

The Seance

Ariana Tikao: From Dust to Light (Ode)

25 Nov 2012  |  1 min read

The much acclaimed Tikao presents a pleasant style which might be called te reo-folk as it has its roots in the Maori language and tikanga but is equally at home with the acoustic guitar folk tradition. On this, her third album, the music is light, stripped back and simple, reverts to the customary reggae lope in a couple of places and . . . And to these ears anyway, barely grips with... > Read more