Music at Elsewhere

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Wanda Jackson: The Party Ain't Over (Third Man)

Wanda Jackson: The Party Ain't Over (Third Man)

The first Jack White-produced single from this album -- a shuddering Shakin' All Over and a discreetly revised version of Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good -- were hints that White wasn't going to simply reheat the career of this 73-year old rockabilly star with some rock'n'roll nostalgia. In an interview with Elsewhere for this album Jackson said that White -- who chose all but three of... > Read more

Wanda Jackson: Like a Baby

7 Feb 2011

British Sea Power: Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

British Sea Power: Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

After their interesting digression into providing a soundtrack to the 1934 film Man of Aran by Robert J Flaherty (and letting that remarkable and bleak film find a new audience with the CD/DVD set) it is business as usual for BSPower who here pump up the power chords and U2-like chest-and-soul-baring (with more cuss words) for an album that sometimes aims for heroics but comes off too often as... > Read more

British Sea Power: Georgie Ray

7 Feb 2011

The Dead C: Patience (Badabing)

The Dead C: Patience (Badabing)

As with a previous Dead C album posted at Elsewhere (Secret Earth), this will be -- for most I would guess -- and endurance test rather than an album. This time out though the four tracks (16 minutes, one and half, five and 14 respectively) are all instrumentals -- the drone vocals were something of a hinderance on Secret Earth -- and the whole feels much more coherent and cohesive. Much... > Read more

The Dead C: Shaft

7 Feb 2011

Amos Lee: Mission Bell (Blue Note)

Amos Lee: Mission Bell (Blue Note)

Singer-songwriter Lee's name has been inextricably linked with that of Norah Jones who heard his debut EP and had him open for her. Signed to her label Blue Note by president Bruce Lundvall (who signed him before the Jones connection), Jones' partner and bassist Lee Alexander produced his debut album. He's firmly in that lineage of crafted folk-rock singers like the younger solo Paul Simon... > Read more

Amos Lee: Hello Again

6 Feb 2011

Tom Principato: A Part of Me (Powerhouse)

Tom Principato: A Part of Me (Powerhouse)

Singer-guitarist Principato has some fine friends who line up to help out here. Slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, and Chuck Leavell (Allmans and Stones) on keyboards, keyboard player Brian Auger, bassist Willie Weeks . . . Sort of rootsy superstar session (with people who are rather far below the threshold for "superstar") and Principato's vocal... > Read more

Tom Principato: Down in Lou'siana

6 Feb 2011

Various Artists: Riddim Box (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various Artists: Riddim Box (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Perhaps just a heads-up for DJs and samplers on this one? Here be a double disc of UK underground and dancefloor tracks which should pull the punters to a spot under the mirrorball: chipping electro-bleep from MJ Cole (Volcano Riddum); lo-tech beat merchant NB Funky with the title piece; the slightly squelchy (Tubby T's Ready She Ready given a Seiji remix); various injunctions to get on the... > Read more

D-Malice: Gabryelle

6 Feb 2011

Tami Neilson: The Kitchen Table Session Volume II (Ode)

Tami Neilson: The Kitchen Table Session Volume II (Ode)

When reviewing her previous album The Kitchen Table Sessions Vol 1, I noted the promise of the title and looked forward to Auckland-based Neilson getting back around the table in her brother's house in Canada to deliver a follow-up. This time she took with her singer-songwriter Lauren Thomson who plays guitar, sings back-up in places here and shares the lead on the rollicking and salty... > Read more

Tami Neilson: This Town

31 Jan 2011    2

Lauren Thomson: Chanteuses and Shotguns (Ode)

Lauren Thomson: Chanteuses and Shotguns (Ode)

Auckland singer-songwriter Thomson deservedly struck lucky when she went to Canada with Tami Neilson to assist on Neilson's follow-up to The Kitchen Sessions Vol 1 . . . Thomson got this new album at the same time. As she writes in the liner notes here, "Playing music and hanging out with the Neilson family in the hot Canadian sun was an unbeatable cocktail of banjos and harmonicas,... > Read more

Lauren Thompson: Peter

31 Jan 2011

The Duke and The King: Long Live the Duke and The King (Shock)

The Duke and The King: Long Live the Duke and The King (Shock)

Hilarious. If there's another Austin Power movie and our spy gets dropped into the early Seventies in California -- the time of all those self-centred, earnest singer-songwriters in the Canyon -- then the formerly interesting The Duke and The King already have a few songs here which sound like pitch-perfect parodies of the style. Okay, I get that much of this is about the dislocated... > Read more

The Duke and the King: Children of the Sun

31 Jan 2011

Red Hot Chilli Pipers: Music for the Kilted Generation (Rel Records)

Red Hot Chilli Pipers: Music for the Kilted Generation (Rel Records)

This can be brief, and perhaps something of a consumer warning for those who only scan things. Look very, very carefully at the band name here. Yes, this is Scotland's revenge, a group of rock'n'roll bagpipers (Bagrock by any other name), and if you don't like the sound of the pipes then you should pass by rather quickly. It's a weird and rather clever one though, because with so much... > Read more

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers: Baba O'Riley

31 Jan 2011    1

Andrew McKenzie: The Edge of the World (Arch Hill)

Andrew McKenzie: The Edge of the World (Arch Hill)

Andrew McKenzie is the singer-guitarist in the New Zealand band Grand Prix which has long delivered a very pointed kind of slightly snarling alt.country with a rock'n'roll heartbeat and a dark, unsettling edge. For this album under his own name McKenzie (who plays almost everything from drums and bass to harmonica and sitar) mines some of that same rich vein, but also steps off into other... > Read more

Andrew McKenzie: The End of Summer

30 Jan 2011    1

Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle (4AD)

Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle (4AD)

This album by the US-based trio (Italian-born Montreal-raised twins and a Japanese singer, here with a keyboardist and a Moog player) arrived late last year but is timely to now address given they will appear at the forthcoming Laneway Festivals in New Zealand -- and what an enticing, dreamy and dim-the-lights collection this is to persuade you along to see them. Doubtless these songs will... > Read more

Blonde Redhead: There Will Be Stars

24 Jan 2011

Moondoggies: Tidelands (Hardly Art)

Moondoggies: Tidelands (Hardly Art)

Their name might not inspire much confidence -- the sort of band name 12-year olds think up -- but this rootsy, alt.country and indie-rock outfit from Seattle on a SubPop imprint label have a mainline connection to the same core of music (Neil Young, the Band) as informs the Felice Brothers, early Wilco and Richmond Fontaine. They certainly know their way around a melody (the... > Read more

Moondoggies: A Lot of People on My Mind

24 Jan 2011

The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

The Doobies' great Listen to the Music, Long Train Running and China Grove in the late 60s/early 70s were driven by urgent guitars and hammering keyboards delivering a forward momentum (which denied the stoner reference of their chosen name). But surely no old fans could fall for the limp, lame and geriatric opener here A Brighter Day (with steel drums and, of all things, a narrative)... > Read more

The Doobie Brothers: Law Dogs

24 Jan 2011    1

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Orange + Experimental Remixes (Shout Factory/Southbound)

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Orange + Experimental Remixes (Shout Factory/Southbound)

The JSB Explosion's early catalogue has undergone the remastering/expansion process but here's the essential starting point on any investigation: Orange from '94 was their career highpoint, an album which dragged their alt.rock/Elvis-on-speed, rock'n'roll blues into mainstream attention for its concise, harmonica-wheezing, Cramps-like energy and challengingly brittle sound. By this time they... > Read more

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Brenda

17 Jan 2011    1

Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

Cocker at 66 is candid enough to say that the idea behind this album was to get him on radio because -- good though his last one Hymn For My Soul was -- it didn't sell as expected. That meant bringing in another producer (Matt Serletic who had done good work for Collective Soul and Matchbox 20), getting the word out for radio-friendly singles from songwriters and tweaking things with... > Read more

Joe Cocker: I Hope

17 Jan 2011

Chris Thompson: Chris Thompson (Sunbeam)

Chris Thompson: Chris Thompson (Sunbeam)

Although it is common enough to acclaim great New Zealand bands from the late Sixties/early Seventies -- especially those with an acid-rock tinge -- as never quite getting their due internationally (Human Instinct, Ticket, the Fourmyula etc), the story of folk singer Chris Thompson has rarely been told. I have just the one album by him -- the hugely impressive Minstrelsy from '77 -- but (as... > Read more

Chris Thompson: Where is My Wild Rose?

17 Jan 2011

Dale Hawkins: Oh! Suzy-Q; The Definitive and Remastered Edition (Hoodoo)

Dale Hawkins: Oh! Suzy-Q; The Definitive and Remastered Edition (Hoodoo)

If he'd done nothing else other than his tough-edged swamp-rockabilly hit Suzy-Q, Dale Hawkins out of Louisiana would still have made the rock'n'roll history books: Suzy-Q was co-written with guitarist James Burton who plays the stinging and memorable solo, and it took Hawkins to the Apollo in Harlem where he was the first white rock'n'roll/rockabilly singer to play that prestigious place.... > Read more

Dale Hawkins: Suzy-Q

17 Jan 2011

Ticket: Awake (Aztec/Southbound)

Ticket: Awake (Aztec/Southbound)

When Kiwi acid-rockers Ticket from the early Seventies re-formed towards the end of 2010 for a couple of gigs it was hoped that this reissue of their trippy classic, Hendrix-inspired album would be available at the door. But that didn't happen because . . . Lots of reasons I suppose. But here it is now, remastered and in a gatefold sleeve with typically excellent liner notes by Nick... > Read more

Ticket: Broken Wings

17 Jan 2011

The Volcano Diary: The Volcano Diary (NoVo Arts)

The Volcano Diary: The Volcano Diary (NoVo Arts)

There is a considerable amount I don't know about this outfit from Seattle which is fronted by Alicia Dara. In fact I think I've just told you all I do know. But there is more to be said: this beguiling nine-song album arrived from the same source as the excellent My Pet Dragon (but is completely different), and Dara's enticingly soft but assured vocals just drag you into these... > Read more

The Volcano Diary: Pacifica

17 Jan 2011    1