Einstein's eyes at the museum in Bern . . . which Spielberg used for Yoda
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Midlake (LateNightTales/Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Midlake (LateNightTales/Southbound)

The Late Night Tales mix-tape series continues with this especially interesting and quite lovely collection put together by Midlake who had a Best of Elsewhere 2010 album with The Courage of Others (and were instrumental in John Grant's Queen of Denmark, also a winner that year). The chief feature here -- aside from the coherence of the acoustic and post-folk theme -- is how it will... more >>

Bob Carpenter: Silent Passage

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding (Liberator)

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding (Liberator)

In one of life's great ironies it was, of all people, Ringo Starr who enjoyed the greatest chart success with a string of chart singles in the wake of the Beatles break-up. And who would have reckoned on Dave Grohl's subsequent career after Nirvana. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Liam Gallagher is the first Oasis brother out of the gates since the band split, or that this should... more >>

Beady Eye: For Anyone

Left Lane Cruiser: Junkyard Speed Ball (Alive/Southbound)

Left Lane Cruiser: Junkyard Speed Ball (Alive/Southbound)

Judge a band by its cover? Sure, why not? Here the raucous blues-rock duo of guitarist Freddy J IV and drummer Brenn "Sauasage Paw" Beck out of Indiana are almost horizontal in a bathroom sharing a bottle of Jameson whisky on the inner sleeve of the cover, and the album features tracks with the titles Lost My Mind, 24HR, Weed Vodka, Cracker Barrel, Pig Farm, Road Again and At The... more >>

Left Lane Cruiser: 24HR

The Baseball Project: High and Inside Vol. 2 (YepRoc/Southbound)

The Baseball Project: High and Inside Vol. 2 (YepRoc/Southbound)

A power pop supergroup of sorts -- Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball), Scott McCaughey (Fresh Young Fellows, REM), Peter Buck (REM) and Linda Pitmon (Golden Smog) -- here continue their passion for baseball after their similarly conceived debut project Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. You probably don't need to know too much about the sport to appreciate sentiments like Fair Weather Fans... more >>

The Baseball Project: Look Out Mom

Buffalo Tom: Skins (Scrawny/Southbound)

Buffalo Tom: Skins (Scrawny/Southbound)

When Boston band Buffalo Tom disappeared for almost a decade in the mid 2000s it would be hard to argue they were in the "much missed" category for most people. But their loyal core had their albums Birdbrain, Let Me Come Over (which included the wonderful Taillights Fade) and Sleepy Eyed as cornerstones in their collection. Their return in 2007 with Three Easy Pieces confirmed... more >>

Buffalo Tom: The Kids Just Sleep

The Tenderizers: Love Me Tender (Lefthand Gun)

The Tenderizers: Love Me Tender (Lefthand Gun)

With a vocal style which brings to mind Bill Lake's engagingly fragile delivery and narratives, singer-writer here John Newton can boast some considerable credentials: he has a PhD from Melbourne and works at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies in Wellington. He's hardly po-faced though: on his Facebook page for Religious Views he has written "aw c'mon" and his Political... more >>

The Tenderizers: Poison

Johnny Cash: From Memphis to Hollywood Bootleg Vol II (CBS)

Johnny Cash: From Memphis to Hollywood Bootleg Vol II (CBS)

Following Cash's Personal File: Bootleg Vol I -- and of course the Dylan bootleg series, Kris Kristofferson's Austin Sessions and demoes, George Jones' Great Lost Hits and various Willie Nelson issues of early demos and sessions -- there is no shortage of material for scholars researching these artists. This Johnny Cash double disc from his own archives places him in the context of the mid... more >>

Johnny Cash: The Folk Singer (1968)

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (ATCO)

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (ATCO)

Even those who have been his most ardent champions concede that guitarist Jeff Beck has always taken his own wayward path, often following a great album with an indifferent one. He may lack career focus -- he takes time out frequently -- but his recent years have seen him acclaimed for the consistency of his live performances, and the petty terrific album recorded live at Ronnie Scott's.... more >>

Jeff Beck and Imelda May: I'm a Fool to Care

An Emerald City: The Fourth (Banished from the Universe)

An Emerald City: The Fourth (Banished from the Universe)

After their impressive self-titled EP in '08 then the expansive, cinematic debut album Circa Scaria the following year, this Auckland-based band which brought together psychedelic space-flight guitar rock with touches of world music (Middle Eastern and North African from violinist Felix Lun, plus sitar, oud, lute and odd percussion from Rob Croft and Ede Giesen) relocated to Berlin.... more >>

An Emerald City: Circa Scaria

Bright Eyes: The People's Key (Polydor)

Bright Eyes: The People's Key (Polydor)

Weird, but in a strangely compelling way  . . . like the best sci-fi. Last time out Bright Eyes/Connor Oberst located his album in a Florida town Cassadaga which is apparently famous for the implosion of spiritualists there – and this one opens with a long and odd spoken word it about the spheres, Sumerian tablets and reptiles and Hitler and evolution and . . . Delivered... more >>

Bright Eyes: Ladder Song

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

Although much hailed -- perhaps because no one expected to hear from him again -- last year's I'm New Here by American poet Gil Scott-Heron did seem a little under-developed: pieces faded out, other bits were just snippets of conversations and so on. That didn't deny its visceral power -- made more so given his recently troubled life -- but this revision/reconsideration and expansion by... more >>

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: I'll Take Care of U

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

With their falsetto funk, tongue-in-cheek humour, camp dramatics, clever dynamics, pop-smarts and outrageous sense of fun, Of Montreal out of Athens, Georgia sound like Queen or a Fame-era Bowie for the 21st century. And if their terrific Skeletal Lamping of 2009 staked out their distinctive ground, this silly, suggestive, sexy and cinematic-sounding sequel just layers on the irony.... more >>

Of Montreal: Our Riotous Defects

Social Distortion: Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (Social Distortion)

Social Distortion: Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (Social Distortion)

Standing between metal-edge country-rock and disheveled Keith Richards riff-hard rock'n'roll blues, Social Distortion don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but they do enjoy burning rubber on this 11-song set which invites you to roll down the window, rack up the volume and point the bonnet down a strip of empty highway. For an American band they also have some of the swagger of Oasis... more >>

Social Distortion: California Hustle and Flow

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

There's enjoyable nostalgia -- for example the Hollies who, against expectation delivered a fine show some weeks ago -- and then there are old bands who still sound relevant, like Children's Hour who delivered a deafening but impressively irritable set at the Auckland Laneway's Festival just days before the Hollies served up their classic Sixties/Seventies pop to those who remember it from... more >>

Gang of Four: A Fruitfly in the Beehive

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

No surprise that Captain Cruise-Control, the laidback Jimmy Buffett, appears as a guest here because about half the songs have Buffett's easy Caribbean-country flavour and the world isn't something to worry about, you're better off going fishin' with your old cane pole and sit down in an easy chair by the riverbank and let the world go by . . . That kind of thing. Titles here include... more >>

Zac Brown Band: Knee Deep (with Jimmy Buffett)

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

It is hard to believe -- and somewhat sad -- that the authorship of Whiter Shade of Pale, this group's defining moment (and which also captured the dreamy, surreal English Summer of Love in '67), should only have been resolved in Britain's House of Lords a few years ago. It's also a shame that -- just as in any film about the war in Vietnam it seems obligatory to have Creedence song --... more >>

Procol Harum: Homburg

The Twilight Singers: Dynamite Steps (Sub Pop)

The Twilight Singers: Dynamite Steps (Sub Pop)

Given Greg Dulli's penchant for brooding menace, death and demonic imagery borrowed from the Bible and the blues this outfit might better be called The Midnight Singers. Here – with guest Ani DiFranco duetting on the cinematic Blackbird and the Fox, and Mark Lanegan who is part of the similarly dark Gutter Twins with Dulli – these “singers” deliver a stew of... more >>

The Twilight Singers: Gunshots

Edie Brickell: Edie Brickell (Racecarlotta)

Edie Brickell: Edie Brickell (Racecarlotta)

Brickell's debut album with the New Bohemians -- the quietly delightful neo-folk Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars – was over 20 years ago and it's fair to observe she hasn't had anything like the profile since as a solo artist, when the band reformed, or in the short-lived Heavy Circles with her stepson Harper Simon (yes, in the early 90s she married his... more >>

Edie Brickell: On the Avenue

Various Artists: Screen Freak (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various Artists: Screen Freak (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Elsewhere has previously posted the Late Night Tales album of movie themes At the Movies, but the segues between the pieces was jarring and the album -- mostly of snippets from movie themes -- didn't make much sense. Purist therefore will prefer this one, 39 distinctive themes or signature pieces from classic horror and thriller films (and B-grade classics like Son of Dracula and The... more >>

Henry Mancini: Peter Gunn

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me (Nonesuch)

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me (Nonesuch)

With a languid delivery not dissimilar to Lucinda Williams but with a whole swag more alt.rock in her system, Mayfield certainly keeps excellent company: she appeared on the Black Keys' album Attack and Release (the Keys' Dan Auerbach produced this); she has opened for familiar Elsewhere names such as the Avett Brothers, Ray LaMontagne and Jay Farrar; and came into her current musical location... more >>

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Trouble