Music at Elsewhere

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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 alt.country, 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

Califia

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

Chlorophyll

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)

The Walkmen: Heaven (Inertia)

18 Jun 2012  |  <1 min read

If your only previous encounter with New York's Walkmen was their wonderfully ramshackle 2004 album Bows+Arrows (which included the thrilling, student radio single The Rat) or their unasked-for remake of the Lennon/Nilsson album Pussy Cats, then the delightful and sometimes gripping Heaven will surprise. With producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues), they have stepped up... > Read more

Heartbreaker

Joey Ramone: " . . . ya know?" (Liberation)

13 Jun 2012  |  1 min read  |  1

Tall, skinny, not especially attractive and a bundle of emotional problems, Joey Ramone was one the most unlikely icons in rock. He hid behind hair and shades while the turmoil of the warring personalities in the Ramones battered him in ways which we will never fully understand. Yet it was because of that and his commitment to the cartoon cleverness of their music -- closer to the Bay City... > Read more

Waiting for That Railroad

Bobby Womack: The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL)

12 Jun 2012  |  2 min read

In addition to the trouble he inflicted on himself -- notably drugs, shot at by his wife when she discovered his affair with a step-daughter -- it seems life continues to deal hard blows to the great Bobby Womack. He grew up in poverty and now in his late 60s, as this -- his first album of new material in 13 years -- is released, he has been treated for a growth on his colon and pneumonia.... > Read more

Please Forgive My Heart