Music at Elsewhere

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Eric Clapton: Clapton (Reprise)

27 Sep 2010    1

It's fair to say Eric Clapton at 20, while playing with John Mayall's Blues Breakers, never gave much thought to a “career”. Yet with this new album he can reflect on more than 40 years in the game, of highs and lows, successes and mis-steps (most of the 80s). Inevitably Clapton at 65 doesn't have the fire which propelled the late 60s power-trio Cream or gave his desperate... > Read more

Eric Clapton: River Runs Deep

Yes: Keys to Ascension (CD/DVD, Proper/Southbound)

26 Sep 2010    1

San Luis Obispo isn't a name you readily associate with rock music. The picturesque coastal town in northern California -- near Hearst's castle -- still isn't on the radar despite it being the place where Yes -- the original line-up -- relaunched their career in '95. Well, "relaunched" might be overstating it, but they certainly re-formed in their San Luis Obispo studio (world... > Read more

Yes: Roundabout (live)

Various artists: The Cramps' Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

26 Sep 2010

The Cramps' passion for old rock'n'roll is well known: they are archivists for music styles, bands and old singles which might have otherwise been forgotten or lost. This double disc (with a useful backgrounder booklet) pulls together 30 obscure songs on one disc and on the other Lux Interior and Poison Ivy speak about their passions through a collection of interviews recorded from 1990.... > Read more

The Flamingoes: I Only Have Eyes For You (1959)

Nina Simone: At Town Hall/The Amazing Nina Simone (Jackpot/Southbound)

26 Sep 2010

Troublesome woman though she may have been -- angry, politically volatile, courageously self-obssessed -- there was never any denying her phenomenal, rare talent. Classically trained but with her heart also in gospel, r'n'b, jazz and blues, Nina Simone (1933 - 2003) crossed stylistic boundaries on piano as if they didn't exist, and her expression-filled vocals would occupy a lyric in a way... > Read more

Nina Simone: You Can Have Him

Mark Eitzel, Klamath (101/Southbound)

26 Sep 2010

Eitzel was the former frontman for the very wonderful but poorly named American Music Club (probably still is, I think they have reformed) but this solo album dates from a retreat to a cabin (around Klamath Falls in central Oregon I guess) a year or so ago. As befits it origins this is very intimate music -- although far from the introspective Nick Drake-folk tag some have laid on it.... > Read more

Mark Eitzel: Remember

Bannerman: The Dusty Dream Home (Rhythmethod)

20 Sep 2010

Bannerman is New Zealand singer-songwriter Richard Setford whose purpose in life seems to be to confound those who would easily pigeonhole him. He appeared at Elsewhere previously with his quietly intense EP (here) which stood at some distance from his work with the roiling Batucada Sound Machine and the soulful One Million Dollars. For this debut album under his own nom de disque he... > Read more

Bannerman: She was a Mountainside

Robert Plant: Band of Joy (Decca)

19 Sep 2010

In 2003 this former frontman for Led Zeppelin released Sixty Six to Timbuktu, a double disc retrospective of material from his solo years which was impressive in its scope: old blues and r'n'b to Zepp-framed stadium rock and his journey into music from North Africa. As a musical explorer Plant hasn't stopped: two years later came the exceptional album with his band Strange Sensation,... > Read more

Robert Plant: Monkey

The Yardbirds: Shapes of Things, The Best of the Yardbirds (Music Club/Triton)

13 Sep 2010    1

Aside from the obvious ones -- the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and arguably the Small Faces and perhaps the Animals -- was there any other group in the mid-Sixties which was such a magnet for, and breeding ground of, talent? And it's not just the roster of guitarists who passed through its ranks -- Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page -- or that in their closing overs (with no... > Read more

The Yardbirds: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (1966)

JJ Grey and Mofro: Georgia Warhorse (Alligator/Southbound)

13 Sep 2010    1

Grey and his companions out of Florida have been pulling Southern funk, Memphis soul and dirty blues together for the best part of a decade now and their 07 Country Ghetto album should have gained them a lot of mainstream attention. But it didn't. This one – with guest vocalist Toots (of the Maytals), and hot young blues guitarist Derek Trucks laying sweet and spooky slide on... > Read more

JJ Grey and Mofro: Lullaby

The Coral: Butterfly House (Shock)

13 Sep 2010

Sometimes sounding like an odd collision in the studio of early Echo and the Bunnymen and America, Liverpool's the Coral here deliver their big songs (big on melody, choruses, drama and references) with enjoyable passion but never quite approach that frisson they had on their thrilling self-titled debut album of '02. However these lightly-delic and powerfully pop-conscious songs (produced by... > Read more

The Coral: Two Faces

Grinderman: Grinderman 2 (EMI)

13 Sep 2010

The black wings beat at the window and there is a smell of sulphur in this dark southern land where crazed prophets and murderous mountain men walk . . . From a distance, through the leafless trees comes what sounds like the voice of judgement and doom. A man in black is declaiming filthy sex and raw passion, killing and redemption. Must be Nick Cave, right? Ever since he left the... > Read more

Grinderman: Kitchenette

Eels: Tomorrow Morning (Shock)

13 Sep 2010

The story of Eels - aka E, or Mark Oliver Everett -- has been one of the most interesting, and often autobiographical, journeys to follow in recent years. There were many, rather too many, dark days in Everett's earlier life and he scrupulously recorded them in a way which made them universal. His candour and lyrical directness was not only courageous but affecting. He was also hard on... > Read more

Eels: Baby Loves Me

Various Artists: The Ideal . . . Dinner Party (Global Journey/Rajon)

12 Sep 2010

And now for something completely different, just because we can. I spotted this series of CDs with recipes and they are absurdly cheap, so . . . This series by chef Bettina Samain offers you simple four course, themed dinner party recipes for Mexican, Italian, Chinese, French, Indian and Thai evenings. The recipes are alarmingly simple -- chefs among you will embellish, more chilli... > Read more

Generic Mexican music to eat to

Various Artists: Head Over High Heels; Strong and Female 1927-59 (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

12 Sep 2010

Much as some might like to think strong females arrived with Madonna (or maybe in the late Sixties with feminism), there were always those independent, tough-minded and free-spirited women out there -- especially in the world of jazz and blues. This collection which opens with Pearl Bailey and You Can be Replaced (from her album Pearl Bailey Sings for Adults Only, 1959) and closes with... > Read more

Mae West: A Guy What Takes His Time

Annemarie Duff: Music for Sleep and Creativity (Mmdelai)

12 Sep 2010    1

Because I confess a love for Brian Eno's ambient music -- and that what I call "massage music" isn't unfamiliar in my home (my wife does massage) -- I have heard my share of music which can be either vacuous or beguiling . . . and there's a fine line betweeen them. New Age spawned a lot of music which was also neither, it just was. But wasn't really. Duff out of Christchurch... > Read more

Annemarie Duff: Bark Sketches

John Prine: In Person and On Stage (Oh Boy)

6 Sep 2010

The great John Prine falls somewhere between folk and country, but also has a rare downbeat sense of humour and his wry observations have always elevated his albums. Here on a collection of live tracks -- essentially a greatest hits by a man who has rarely had a hit -- he has some grin-inducing anecdotes at times which are kinda downhome'n'aw-shucks country. But don't be fooled -- when he... > Read more

John Prine: Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

Endless Boogie: Full House Head (Shock)

6 Sep 2010

In his rock'n'roll essays and fiction collection The Boy Who Cried Freebird, the American writer Mitch Myers traces the notion of “boogie” from its name (having sex, basically) through the blues (John Lee Hooker's Boogie Chillun in 48) and boogie-woogie piano a building block of early rock'n'roll and then into those endless jams which longhaired guitarists get down'n'boogie on... > Read more

Endless Boogie: Tarmac City

TrinityRoots: Music is Choice (Rhythmethod CD/DVD)

6 Sep 2010

There was good news for Flight of the Conchords fans this week: Jemaine Clement confirmed, yet again, there wouldn't be another series. Strange as that sounds, some things are so perfectly formed they are best left alone: Fawlty Towers and the English version of The Office . . . or the never-ending Lost and drearily drawn out V? Great bands deserve an enclosed lifespan. Those... > Read more

TrinityRoots: Home, Land and Sea (live, from Music is Choice)

Eru Dangerspiel: Great News for Modern Man (Loop)

6 Sep 2010

The Eru Dangerspiel rock'n'rolling caravan of soul, funk, reggae and more is helmed by Riki Gooch, formerly of TrinityRoots and here, recorded live at the Auckland Town Hall in August '09, the whole huge ensemble invited you to "leave your shit at the door" and get down with their good time grooves. With an extraordinary line-up of talent -- Jonathan Crayord on keyboards, jazz... > Read more

Eru Dangerspiel: You Would Know

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

6 Sep 2010

By abandoning the pure pop-economy of their terrific, 05 self-titled debut for the more embellished and ambitious sound Those the Brokes in 06, this English outfit of two sets of siblings lost followers, and momentum. But where that debut was a radio/car album, Brokes was a headphones experience. The openers here – a string-enhanced five minutes of The Pulse and the gently... > Read more

The Magic Numbers: A Start with No Ending