Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (Mercury)

25 Oct 2011    2

Although comparisons are odious, you can hardly escape lining up this solo debut by Noel Gallagher (the brains of Oasis?) with that of brother Liam (the mouth?) whose recent album under the name Beady Eye whose Different Gear Still Speeding was an enjoyable post-Oasis romp and a lot more cheery fun than cynics might have expected. Of course expectations are higher for anything by Noel given... > Read more

Stop the Clocks

Various Artists: Late Night Tales, MGMT (Latenighttales/Southbound)

24 Oct 2011

Despite how pleasing it is to see the Chills' Pink Frost here alongside Velvet Underground's Ocean, Spacemen 3's Lord Can You Hear Me? and the largely overlooked country act Charlie Feathers (with Mound of Clay), this selection by MGMT doesn't have quite the same frisson of discovery and atmosphere as a recent LNTales predecessor, the compilation by Midlake. Nice to see The Great Society!... > Read more


Snakedog: Road (Snakedog)

19 Oct 2011

Singer-guitarist Dave Mulcahy (once of Flying Nun's JPSE back in the day) and drummer Steve Gilbero out of Christchurch in New Zealand have been chewing this one over for a while. Apparently they did the original demos five years ago, then looked at them again in '08 and finally this year re-arranged and edited the nine songs with assistance from producer Nick Roughan (Dimmer etc) and friends... > Read more


Shin Joong Hyun: Beautiful Rivers and Mountains; The Psychedelic Rock Sound of South Korea 1958-1974 (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

17 Oct 2011

Because hipper-than-thou DJs, compilers and archivists have been trawling the secondhand bins and record collections of the global village for the two decades or so, we have been introduced to the rare delights of local pop from unexpected places such as Kinshasa and Colombia, Soweto and tropicalia-infused Brazil.  Because there has been such a drift net trawl through Africa (and... > Read more

The Man Who Must Leave

Sonic Youth: Hits are for Squares (Geffen)

17 Oct 2011

Smart move under a great title. Not a "greatest hits" (has there been even one?) or even a "best of", but a selection of their favourite SY tracks chosen by the likes of longtime fans Radiohead, Eddie Vedder, film maker Gus Van Sandt, actress Catherine Keener, Beck and others. That piques interest on a number of levels -- and then they add the six minute-plus Slow... > Read more


The Bandana Splits: Mr Sam Presents The Bandana Splits (Boy Scout)

17 Oct 2011

Perhaps we should blame Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, but it seems there's a lot of retro-pop around these day (check Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents). And here Brooklyn's Annie Nero, Lauren Bathrop and Dawn Landes get together around a single microphone to revive lightweight 50s and 60s pop (close harmony singers, girl groups, bubblegum, kitsch) for frothy but largely unmemorable fun in the... > Read more

Coo Choo

JJ Grey and Mofro: Brighter Days; Live (Alligator/Southbound)

14 Oct 2011    1

For a decade, Florida singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Grey and his band (sax and trumpet alongside lap steel and organ) have joined the dots between Otis Redding and Stax singers out of Memphis, the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and disaffected Southerns on welfare. A white guy who sings up an aching rhythm and blues storm (“brighter days, where have they... > Read more


Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

12 Oct 2011

Although we have learned that Jeff Kelly of Seattle's Green Pajamas -- a band which has consistently delivers seductive and intelligent paisley-pop grounded in the spirit of the mid-Sixties, see here -- grew up playing country music with his father, this new album is something of a surprise. But a surprise in a good way. With longtime bassist Joe Ross, singer Laura Weller from his... > Read more

Why Good Men Go Bad

The Jezabels: Prisoner (MGM/Southbound)

11 Oct 2011

This Sydney quartet certainly get great cover art, a thrilling wide-screen production from Lachlan Mitchell (and courtesy of Peter Katis who mixed the National) and the kind of high-concept dramatics (and melodrama) you would normally associate with early Eighties bands like Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen. What saves this from being another run at Simple Minds/Echo et al is the... > Read more

Nobody Nowhere

Kerretta: Saansilo (Golden Antenna)

10 Oct 2011

This powerful second album by Auckland's instrumental prog-metal outfit (for want of a better term) has an undeniable internationalism and its reference points are post-rock bands (Mogwai), Explosions in the Sky, Opeth and of course just enough Bailter Space and Black Sabbath in terms of dark firepower. But this is not straight ahead metal, more like soundtracks for movies... > Read more

By the Throats

Fagan and the People: Admiral of the Narrow Seas (Aeroplane)

10 Oct 2011

Possibly because he is busy on so many other things -- see his answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire -- Andrew Fagan acknowledges this album was "recorded all over the place" and comes with a long list of contributors. Interestingly a pivotal figure is multi-instrumentalist Darryn Harkness on whose New Telapathics album Clapping with Rockets Fagan contributed some vocals.... > Read more


Guy Clark: Songs and Stories (Dualtone)

10 Oct 2011

Although the smart money would have been against his longevity, here is the road-worn troubadour Guy Clark -- 70 in November 2011 -- working his way through exactly what it says on the box, singing his back-catalogue (LA Freeway, The Randall Knife, The Cape, Homegrown Tomatoes among them) and Townes Van Zandt's If I Needed You. Recording live in Nashville with a small band, Clark also... > Read more

The Randall Knife

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

7 Oct 2011    1

Of all the albums in the early King Crimson catalogue -- those between their '69 debut In The Court of the Crimson King and Red in '74 -- Lizard is the one which has most divided critics and fans. Even KC founder and sole constant Robert Fripp has considered it largely unloved, and he doesn't strike anyone as being modest about his music. According to Steven Wilson (of contemporary... > Read more

Indoor Games

Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

3 Oct 2011

Recently it was my great privilege to be asked to write some liner notes for this album on the estimable Rattle label. It is a very special album as you may hear. So rather than relitigate those ideas why don't I simply reproduce the notes here and you can make what you will of it? This is what I wrote . . . We live in a world post-everything. Many paintings are post-Modern;... > Read more


Haunted Love: Spirit Revival (Round Trip Mars)

3 Oct 2011

Some CD cover photos -- like Feelstyle's Break it to Pieces and the most recent Whirimako Black album -- just cry out for vinyl-size reproduction. Yvonne Todd's striking photo on the cover of this debut album by New Zealand's Haunted Love (Rainy McMaster and Geva Downey) is another such cover.  Just take the time to look, and even in this tiny reproduction you can see the striking... > Read more


Steven Wilson: Grace for Drowning (Kscope/Southbound)

3 Oct 2011

The highly productive multi-instrumentalist, producer, guest performer and mixing engineer (most notably on the early King Crimson catalogue) Steve Wilson is perhaps best known as the mainman behind Porcupine Tree, the British prog-rock group which has gone its own ambitious way despite the indifference of fashionable media and more hip audiences. Yet PTree have served up 10 albums since... > Read more


Wooden Shjips: West (Fuse)

3 Oct 2011    1

Wooden Shjips (sic) out of San Francisco once again serve up their particular brand of astral plane psychedelic drone-rock which sounds filtered through steel wool. Their appealing tripped-out grunge sits somewhere along the faultline of their city's Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and a full volume, garageband metal overhaul of early Velvet Underground . . . with a bit of... > Read more


Various Artists: How Many Roads, Black America Sings Bob Dylan (Ace)

1 Oct 2011    1

Further to the previously posted collection of black artists singing the music of Lennon and McCartney (here) and posting Gary US Bonds singing Dylan's From a Buick 6 at From the Vaults, we should throw the spotlight on this 20-song album which came out a year ago. Dylan's early material -- Blowin' in the Wind especially -- found early favour with many black artists (Stevie Wonder... > Read more

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You

Whirimako Black: The Late Night Plays (Ode)

30 Sep 2011    1

Five years ago Whirimako Black received the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori music. Yet for some reason – because her albums have been in Maori perhaps? – she has rarely captured mainstream attention. Her decade-long recording career began with immediate acclaim (her debut Hine Pukohurangi won best Maori language album at the 2001 music awards) and... > Read more

Dance Me To The End of Love

Freaky Meat: Delicatessen (Bright Yellow Beetle Records)

27 Sep 2011

On what has already been described as "one of the unlikeliest liaisons -- in a musical sense -- that you're ever likely to find" (John Brinkman, Groove Guide), Freaky Meat pull together ragged-edge performance poet (Shane Hollands) and a funk-rock rhythm section. It's a debut album which will be something of a revelation for those who haven't heard similar predecessors in this... > Read more

Urbis Street Crossing