Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Who Slapped John: She Had Picasso's Child (UrbanHeadMusic)

Who Slapped John: She Had Picasso's Child (UrbanHeadMusic)

On a late-night (for him) phone call from the UK, Allan Evans -- who is Who Slapped John -- says although he hasn't lived in New Zealand for decades he still feels himself a Kiwi. Which is unusual for someone who was born in Liverpool, emigrated to New Zealand with his parents in the early Sixties, played in bands at high school and around Auckland (among them the Snipes which played at... more >>

Who Slapped John: In Your Shadow

28 Mar 2011

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Retrospective (Stem/Southbound)

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Retrospective (Stem/Southbound)

With this long-running gospel-cum-doo wop group due in New Zealand for a concert in April with Aaron Neville and Mavis Staples, this triple disc originally released in 2007 gets a timely re-release. The Blind Boys have been around in name since 1939 and recording since the late Forties -- a couple of their founders only died in the past decade -- and they extended their repertoire from... more >>

The Blind Boys of Alabama: He's Got What I Want

27 Mar 2011    1

The Thomas Oliver Band: Baby, I'll Play (Rhythmethod)

The Thomas Oliver Band: Baby, I'll Play (Rhythmethod)

As with his fellow Wellingtonian Darren Watson, Thomas Oliver is a finalist in the blues category of the International Song Writing Competition to be judged in April 2011. The song is Goin' Home - which kicks off this rootsy, bluesy and alt.country-tinged album -- and the video of it released a year ago was named among the top 30 internationally at the Rushes Soho Shorts in London, and it... more >>

The Thomas Oliver Band: Bad Talkin' Man

23 Mar 2011

The Low Anthem: Smart Flesh (Nonesuch)

The Low Anthem: Smart Flesh (Nonesuch)

Sin and death and guilt; archaisms like "apothecary", "Gatling gun" and "player piano"; harmonica, pump organ, violin, saw and cello; whiskey and gin; recorded in a freezing cold room in winter . . . all the right elements would seem to be in place for more rustic music grounded in an older America from educated urbanites. Smart Flesh is another mood piece of... more >>

The Low Anthem: Golden Cattle

21 Mar 2011    2

Asian Dub Foundation: A History of Now (Cooking Vinyl)

Asian Dub Foundation: A History of Now (Cooking Vinyl)

Nobody would thank you for being so politically incorrect as to observe that much of this is just a politicised Asian-British version of nu-metal: lots of raging against the machine; rock guitars colliding with white-knuckle rap (with tabla); plenty of socio-political sloganeering (the title track which yells "you can't download me" and "living the history of now", which... more >>

Asian Dub Foundation: In Another Life

21 Mar 2011    1

The Strokes: Angles (Sony)

The Strokes: Angles (Sony)

When the Stokes out of New York invaded the airwaves and pop glossies a decade ago they came with an advance guard of salivating journalists and those who heard them as leading a ragged garageband revival by conjuring up the late Sixties/Seventies spirit of the Big Apple by referencing the Velvet Underground and dirty arse art-rock. The Strokes were, put another way, necessary for American... more >>

The Strokes: Machu Picchu

21 Mar 2011    1

Matt Langley: Featherbones (Hometown)

Matt Langley: Featherbones (Hometown)

Langley's rootsy folk-cum-alt.country EP Lost Companions of 2007 – recorded in Wellington – announced a mature lyricist and a singer with a delivery like the best Americana artists (James McMurtry particularly) with a little Dylanesque drawl. It went past most, and this debut album is doing the same with few mainstream media reviews, despite it including 7.13 for which he won... more >>

Matt Langley: Love and Money

18 Mar 2011

Papercuts: Fading Parade (Sub Pop)

Papercuts: Fading Parade (Sub Pop)

Although San Francisco's Jason Robert Quever – who is for most purposes Papercuts – opens this fourth album with the drilling indie.pop of Do You Really Wanna Know and the dreamy Do What You Will, which puts them in the lineage running from the power pop of Shoes in the late Seventies through the shoegaze dreamscapes of Neil Halstead's Slowdive and to his more... more >>

Papercuts: The Messenger

18 Mar 2011

Imelda May: Mayhem (Universal)

Imelda May: Mayhem (Universal)

Irish singer Imelda May Higham started her profesional life singing folk, rock'n'roll and rockabilly but has made her way towards saucy, raunchy old-time jazz while losing none of her original passions. Which is why on the recent Jeff Beck tribute to Les Paul she could weigh in with everything from rockabilly to haunting torch singing, so much so that you could have been mistaken for... more >>

Imelda May: Sneaky Freak

16 Mar 2011

Marianne Dissard: L'abandon (Dissard/Rhythmethod)

Marianne Dissard: L'abandon (Dissard/Rhythmethod)

Although her impressive debut album L'entredeux took her to small audience (she sings in French) this Tucson-based singer and film-maker is rather more edgy on this outing which might win her an even bigger following. Dissard -- interviewed here and more recently answering our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here -- lets some of the Americana influences of the previous album take... more >>

Marianne Dissard: Un gros chat/A Big Cat

14 Mar 2011

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

Thirty years into a career and with this, their 15th studio album, it seems a bit rich for REM bassist Mike Mills to say this one is somehow different with really beautiful slow songs, some nice mid-tempo ones and three or four rockers. That pretty much describes every REM album in the past two decades, and for this one -- despite them talking it up, and Michael Stipe's lyrics even more... more >>

R.E.M.: Oh My Heart

14 Mar 2011    1

Teddy Thompson: Bella (Verve)

Teddy Thompson: Bella (Verve)

This 35-year old son of famed British folk-rockers Richard and Linda follows his own path. He took his powerful, sensitive voice to excellent originals on his second album Separate Ways in 05, followed it up with an album of country covers Upfront and Down Low (which boasted the stunning sole original in Down Low) then unveiled the exceptional album of mature pop and alt.country A Piece... more >>

Teddy Thompson: Delilah

11 Mar 2011    1

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

11 Mar 2011

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

10 Mar 2011

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

9 Mar 2011

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

8 Mar 2011

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

7 Mar 2011

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

6 Mar 2011

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)

6 Mar 2011

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

6 Mar 2011