Music at Elsewhere

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The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

5 Jul 2011

Inspired by everything from the Pixies and Neil Young's El Dorado EP, sonic noise and folk music, the 3D's were a Flying Nun band which inspired passionate loyalty for the visceral power of their sound and often weaving, beguling melodies (from singer Denise Roughan as well as the guitars). The re-release last year of their early albums (Hellzapoppin', The Venus Trail and Strange News from... > Read more

Evil Kid

Neil Young and the International Harvesters: A Treasure (Reprise)

4 Jul 2011    2

While many of us would wish Neil Young release the next long-awaited installement of his Archives series (ho ho ho, like that'll happen any time soon), in his wilful and non-chronological release schedule it was almost expected a follow-up to the terrific and raw Le Noise would be . . . a country music album. But even so, A Treasure is a little unexpected as it comes from his on-going... > Read more

Flying on the Ground is Wrong

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis: Smoking in Heaven (Sunday Best)

4 Jul 2011

While some have be quite taken by KD&Lewis' retro look and sound -- which is undeniably entertaining on the surface and live -- I have remained immune and indifferent to their charms. And nothing on this album of all originals can persuade me to be otherwise. These songs sound lame when they aren't just plain dull, or working out some tropes which so many others have not only done... > Read more

I'm Going Back

Various Artists: Watch the Closing Doors (Year Zero/Southbound)

4 Jul 2011

This ambitious double disc compilation of New York's musical melting pot (1945-59) by writer Kris Needs – who delivered the free-wheeling collection Dirty Water; The Birth of Punk Attitude – scoops up jazz (Ellington, Armstrong, Mingus), pop (Frankie Lymon), folk (Dave Van Ronk), blues (Sonny Terry, Big Maybelle) and Latin (Machito). Disc one ends with John Cage reading... > Read more

Autumn in New York

Various Artists: LateNightTales; Trentemoller (LateNightTales)

4 Jul 2011

Another installment in the on-going LNT series, this compiled by Danish electronica artist Trentemoller who opts for a dark, almost suffocating and disturbing evening at home by many less familiar but very interesting artists (The Black Angels, Chimes and Bells, Darkness Falls, Thee Oh See's) alongside a few moody notables (This Mortal Coil, Low, Mazzy Star, Velvet Underground, M.Ward,... > Read more

Science Killer

Mickey Newbury: An American Trilogy (Saint Cecilia Knows/Southbound)

28 Jun 2011    1

Not many people know about Texan Mickey Newbury, who died almost a decade ago, age 62. Maybe it's enough Elvis (who made Newbury's medley An American Trilogy a cornerstone of his latter performances) did. And that Mickey's songs were covered by Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Joan Baez and dozens of others. Often spoken of in the same sentence as Kris Kristofferson... > Read more

33rd of August/When the Baby in My Lady Gets the Blues

Urge Overkill: Rock&Roll Submarine (Redeye)

27 Jun 2011

Possibly the most coolly knowing, confidently aloof band since Steely Dan, Urge Overkill out of Chicago were touring mates with Nirvana and Pearl Jam but their stylish and increasingly power pop sound (and cover of Neil Diamond's Girl You'll be a Woman Soon which was used in Pulp Fiction) took them to a mainstream, but small, audience. This, their first album in over 15 years, and has... > Read more

Poison Flower

Highway: Highway (Ode)

26 Jun 2011

A decade or so ago there was a major excavation undertaken of New Zealand pop and rock of the Sixties, thanks to enthusiasts like John Baker and Andrew Schmidt, and Chris Caddick at EMI who actioned a series of terrific compilations. Some of the work of these people spilled over into the early Seventies. Thierry Pannetier at EMI was responsible for the three decade-bridging double discs of... > Read more

New Day

Tamar McLeod Sinclair: The Heart Notes (TaMartin)

22 Jun 2011

No one would accuse this Auckland-born graduate of Wellington's Massey University Conservatorium of Music of lacking ambition. This, her debut, is the result of her internationalism (she has worked in various parts of Europe for over five years) and the songs were written everywhere from Sydney and parts of Italy to Scotland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic (where it was recorded, as well as... > Read more

Thankful

Apanui: Matariki (Frequency)

21 Jun 2011

Ngahiwi Apanui, formerly of the seminal reggae band Aotearoa, was in the vanguard of the use of taonga puoro (traditional instruments) with his autobiographical solo album Te hono ke te Kainga/The Link with the Homeland in '89 which also brought in reggae and folk. A staunch advocate of te reo and cultural pride, he opens this album with an electro-thump call for everyone to support... > Read more

Apanui: Ko Ko/Call Call

Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day (Sarang Bang)

20 Jun 2011

On a cursory listen, this album by the Auckland three-piece Spa (Steven Tait, Hayden Sinclair, Brian Donnelly) plus guests seems a little slight and unfocused. An acoustic instrumental opens proceedings, later there is indie.pop, alt.rock, a touch of Plastic Bertrand/Ramones-like punk-pop (Lionel Lopez, about a former sports star?), a little shoo-wop pop . . .. But -- and might we mention... > Read more

Please Let Me Down

The Wronglers with Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Heirloom Music (Neanderthal)

20 Jun 2011

Jimmie Dale Gilmore possesses one of the most distinctive voices and when deployed on lachrymose ballads he can tear your heart out. But this is an odd and old time project, Gilmore out front of a band of mixed abilities (interesting, but not interesting enough) and performing mostly songs from the Thirties and Forties, some of which come from bluegrass, others from blues and country. And... > Read more

If I Should Wander Back

Greg Brown: Freak Flag (YepRoc)

20 Jun 2011

When you get to your 24th album you probably aren't expecting a major breakthrough in terms of having a whole new audience find you. And nothing on this fine album sounds like either a departure, or capable of taking this poet/singer beyond those who already know of him. Formerly the musical director on the famous A Prairie Home Companion radio show, married to Iris De Ment and with a... > Read more

Rain and Snow

Known Associates: Penny Love (Warcat)

15 Jun 2011    1

Auckland singer/writer/guitarist Warren Cate of Known Associates has made some fine and deliberately unpolished rock albums under his own name in the past but here, with a team of equals who hunkered down for weekly sessions last year to toughen themselves up and work out material, he excels himself. Cate always possessed a slightly dangerous edge in his vocals but here he sounds angry and... > Read more

Made of Blue

Various Artists: Forbidden Planets Vol 2 (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

13 Jun 2011

Subtitled "More Music from the Pioneers of Electronic Sound", this double disc with a booklet will not be for everyone. But if the original theme to Dr Who, the Bebe and Louis Barron soundtrack on the film Forbidden Planet and even the more demanding music in 2001: A Space Odyssey (nope, not the Strauss) held any appeal then you should sign up for this collection. Much electronic... > Read more

Serenata (1924)

Seasick Steve: You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks (Liberator)

13 Jun 2011    1

Steve – who makes or adapts his own guitars, counted Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain as friends and had Grinderman, Ruby Turner and KT Tunstall on his raw 08 album Started Out With Nothing And I Still Got Most of It Left – has been a hobo, busker and record producer in his time, and his blues-infused albums reflect stories of a hard life. He got his break on an '06 Jools... > Read more

Treasures

The Webb Sisters: Savages (Proper)

6 Jun 2011

Best known in the wider world as part of Leonard Cohen's touring band – the backing vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and cartwheelers – Charley and Hattie from Kent have at the studio desk here uber-producer, heavy-hitter and fan Peter Asher (James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, longtime senior vice-president at Sony). And you can guess they aren't short of studio talent either:... > Read more

Calling This a Life

Boris: Attention Please (Sargent House)

6 Jun 2011

Witnessing the full firepower of this Japanese psychedelic drone-rock band at Sydney's Vivid Festival last year – earplugs supplied – was a revelation. When they were loud they were very, very loud but when guitarist Wata stepped up to bring her ethereal voice into play they were dreamily psychedelic and rather special in a cinematic prog-rock way. This, their 17th studio,... > Read more

Party Boy

The Feelies: Here Before (Pop Frenzy)

30 May 2011

When a band which made one your favourite albums three decades ago -- Crazy Rhythms, an Essential Elsewhere album (here) -- gets together for their first album in 19 years you enter with trepidiation. You know things can't and shouldn't be the same, and you remind yourself that after some dodgy stuff Wire of the same era delivered a more than merely creditable album last year. The... > Read more

On And On

Holly Throbsy: Team (Spunk)

30 May 2011

There has been an audible trend in blockbuster movies to employ actors who speak in a constant whisper which is then amplified for the big screen. The normal speaking voice of these actors we do not know. It happens in music too and a couple of tracks here are little more than amplified whispers (prime offender It's Only Need), and much of this album is in the barely-there category in its... > Read more

To See You Out