Music at Elsewhere

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Waco Brothers and Paul Burch: Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot)

16 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

Sounding like uncles who grew up on country-punk, Joe Ely's Texas rebel rock and some early Seventies Stones albums, the rootsy but rocking Waco Brothers here pull few surprises out of those influences but deliver an album which will raise a knowing smirk when the Keith Richards' riffs kick in (Wrong Side of Love) or they deliver rather silly countrified lyrics ("I'm like a rusty gate on... > Read more

Great Chicago Fire

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of New Orleans (Rough Guide/Southbound)

12 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Here's the compilation many would want to compile . . . then flee a mile from. How could you win? No matter who you included there will be dozens if not scores or hundreds of artists/tracks which could also have claimed equal time. So hats off to Mike Chadwick for being man enough to tie one on (maybe tie on quite a few) and trawl the vaults for these 15 songs which certainly give some of... > Read more


Various Artists: Winter (Loop)

12 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

Assembled by Loop's Mikee Tucker with a view to offering music for these colder and more indoor days, this collection of downbeat and ambient pieces will sit nicely with mulled wine and a warm fire at night, or nodding off behind glass as the sun beats down but outside there is a chill wind. Represented here in either previously released tracks, remixes or new pieces are Module, the late... > Read more

They Will Grow

Royal Southern Brotherhood: Royal Southern Brotherhood (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

11 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Although Aaron Neville gets the most attention for his angelic voice, other Neville brothers are just as interesting, not the least singer/drummer Cyril who was a member of the Meters and more recently worked with the edgy Galactic who pull from rock and hip hop as much as the New Orleans tradition. Cyril is here alongside guitarist Devon Allman (son of Gregg), singer/guitarist Mike Zito,... > Read more

Moonlight Over the Mississippi

The Flaming Lips: Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Warners)

9 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Anyone with a completist's mentality who signed up for Flaming Lips on the back of Soft Bulletin (1999) and their beguiling Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots back in '02, has been in for a typically bumpy ride when Wayne Coyne is the great helmsman. A natural collaborator, musical heretic and avant-experimentalist, Coyne thought nothing of releasing the soundtrack to his film Christmas on... > Read more

Is David Bowie Dying?

Savage: Mayhem and Miracles (Dawn Raid)

9 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Anyone looking for evidence of the seeming split personalities at work within hip hop culture -- gangbangers who love their kids etc -- need go no futher than this enjoyable if sometimes puzzling mix of strutting braggadocio, sensitivity, faith and family referencing . . . and a fair bit overt but low range sexism in the hilariously addictive Twerk ("Get your ass on the floor . . . can you... > Read more

Because of You

Jeb Loy Nicols: The Jeb Loy Nicols Special (Universal)

9 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Understated soul-jazz/folk-country singer Nichols lives in Wales but grew up in Missouri, moved to Austin where he assimilated, after seeing the Sex Pistols shifted to New York then on to London where he flatted with Adrian Sherwood (On U Sounds) and Ari Up (the Slits) before launching a solo career in the late NIneties. Quite some background, so as expected his albums... > Read more

The Quiet Life

Sunken Seas: Null Hour (Muzai)

9 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

With the recent online-only release of Christchurch band Factories' The Supreme Cosmic Consciousness Births a Star Child in Negative Space album and now this tripped-out cosmic rock journey by Wellington trio Sunken Seas, it seems there's some acid tinge in local water. If Factories offered a dreamscape astral trip, the discordant and aurally dense Sunken Seas strap you to the outside... > Read more

Photographs of the Dead

Paloma Faith: Fall to Grace (Sony)

2 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

As Poloma Faith's contemporaries Duffy and Rumer have shown, the difficult second album is much harder to survive than even the cliche suggests. Duffy's Endlessly was woeful and Rumer simply sidestepped the challenge by releasing a covers album Boys Don't Cry. Faith however -- who impressed on her debut Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? -- almost comes through the fire... > Read more

When You're Gone

Lee Hazlewood: The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides 1968-71 (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

2 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Although Lee Hazlewood (who died in 2007 age 78) enjoys a considerable cult reputation, it rests on two slender, if notable, styles; like Johnny Cash back from the 40 days in the wilderness with a head full of cosmic cowboy visions, and in duets with female singers providing the sweetness to his oak barrel baritone. Before hitting mainstream attention in the mid Sixties on duets with... > Read more


La Sera: Sees the Light (Hardly Art)

2 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Vivian Girls' singer Katy Goodman out of Brooklyn follows last year's dreamy self-titled debut with this 30 minute album which blends gently realised love-lorn songs with energetically brittle shoegaze guitars topped by her sometimes weightless vocals which can at times recall the Sundays. Seems life has dealt a blow (titles include Love That's Gone, Break My Heart, It's Over Now, I'm... > Read more

Break My Heart

New Build: Yesterday was Lived and Lost (Lanark)

2 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Something of a pocket-sized superduo – Felix Martin from Hot Chip, Al Doyle who has worked with Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem – New Build (augmented by friends and fellow travelers) shave off familiar electro-dance from their collective pasts as well as nodding modestly in other directions. If the first third hardly excites by offering much new, innovative or interesting... > Read more

The Third One

Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania (Martha's Music)

25 Jun 2012  |  2 min read

When Smashing Pumpkins splash down for an Auckland concert at Vector on August 4 -- from whatever planet mainman Billy Corgan has been on lately -- it will be on the back of this album which some have hailed as their best in quite a while (not saying much) or dismissed as a typically bloated but aggressively pumped-out edition full of familiar SP drama, melody and noise. Which, when you... > Read more

The Celestials

Here We Go Magic: A Different Ship (Secretly Canadian)

25 Jun 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

With gentle washes of pastel shades and the occasional sweep of vibrant Impressionist colour and energy, this collection of 10 songs by Brooklyn's experimental quartet feels like a series of aural paintings which also makes pit-stops in jerky white-funk minimalism (Make Up Your Mind) and folk primitivism (I Believe in Action sounds like a sophisticated, cool-kids big city take on West... > Read more

Make Up Your MInd

Clap Clap Riot: Counting Spins (Universal)

25 Jun 2012  |  1 min read

Must be four years at least since I saw this fizzy, fiery post-punk pop outfit play one of their early gigs, so this debut album does seem rather long overdue. Although it has been anticipated by some singles (three I think, among them the terrific top-down-highway pop-rock of Yoko Ono which appears here). There's a real power pop band lurking behind the buzzed up guitars and something like... > Read more

Growing Up

Max Merritt and the Meteors: Been Away Too Long (LosTraxx)

25 Jun 2012  |  1 min read  |  2

The excavation of New Zealand's musical history continues with this album, even though proto-rock'n'roll star Merritt from Christchurch had shifted to Australia and by 1969 -- when this 41 minute set was recorded at a Melbourne "club" -- was powering out r'n'b' touched with some ripping jazz licks (by saxophonist Bob Bertles). Merritt had been the next major star to emerge after... > Read more

Gonna Send You Back

Factories: The Supreme Cosmic Consciousness Births a Star Child in Negative Space at Absolute Zero (Monkey)

20 Jun 2012  |  1 min read

Calling all occupants of interplanetary craft, here's your soundtrack for space travel. Factories out of Christchurch (Matt Ragg and Sean Bennetts) appear to have strapped themselves into the studio and been fed a diet of astral-plane space rock, mind altering psychedelics, early Pink Floyd, the film 2001, A Space Odyssey, Amorphous Androgynous, Battles, Can, Tortoise . . .  And... > Read more


Patti Smith: Banga (Sony)

18 Jun 2012  |  2 min read  |  1

Although Patti Smith's albums have sometimes been given a rough ride at Elsewhere for their self-mythologising, pretentiousness and lack of subtlety (see here and here), there is no denying her importance in the rock pantheon, nor that her recent autobiography Just Kids is one of the finest books written by a musician-cum-poet. It is pleasing to report therefore that this collection finds... > Read more

This is the Girl

Various Artists: The Journey is Long; The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (Fuse/Border)

18 Jun 2012  |  <1 min read

If Gun Club's writer/singer Pierce's cult status wasn't achieved by his death at 37 in 1996, it has been confirmed by the Sessions Project in which fellow travelers (Nick Cave, various Bad Seeds, Tav Falco) and admirers (Tex Perkins, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan) pick up Gun Club or Pierce unreleased songs. The first collection We Are Only Riders last year let Cave, Lanegan, Harry, the... > Read more

The Brink

Various Artists: Born into This; The Music of Rattle (Rattle)

18 Jun 2012  |  1 min read

As regular readers of these pages will know (Ha! Always wanted to say that), the Auckland-based label Rattle -- and its imprint Rattle Jazz -- have been Firm Favourites at Elsewhere for delivering music which is often "elsewhere". If some of the jazz has been straight-ahead, you could not say the same for the albums by Dave Lisik, some of the avant-classical releases or those of... > Read more

Journey Pt 6 (from Hikoi/Journey)