Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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The Raincoats: The Raincoats (We Three/Southbound)

The Raincoats: The Raincoats (We Three/Southbound)

I'm pretty sure I shared an elevator with some of the Raincoats at a hotel in New York in the mid Nineties, but I may be wrong. And that's the end of my anecdote. This is a reissue (The second? Third?) of their important '79 debut album when this London group of Ana da Silva, Gina Birch, Palmolive and Vicky Aspinall were hailed as the first all female post-punk band. Owing a little to... more >>

The Raincoats: In Love

14 Mar 2010

Various Artists: The Gerry Goffin and Carole King Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Gerry Goffin and Carole King Songbook (EMI)

While Carole King went on to greater fame, it is worth remembering that of the songs she wrote with her writing partner-then-husband Gerry Goffin in the early Sixties it was he who penned those memorable and often extremely adult lyrics: think of the pre-sex doubt in "will you still love me tomorrow", the post-sex pleasures of "you make me feel like a natural woman" and then... more >>

The Byrds: Wasn't Born to Follow

13 Mar 2010

The Fourmyula: The Complete Fourmyula (EMI)

The Fourmyula: The Complete Fourmyula (EMI)

In his recent book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, the writer/broadcaster Nick Bollinger lists three albums by the Fourmyula (1967-71) out of Upper Hutt. Not bad for a band that only released three -- and one of those Bollinger cites was the unreleased Turn Your Back on the Wind. Confused? Bollinger doesn't list their self-titled debut but includes Turn Your Back because it has... more >>

The Fourmyula: Please Take Me (1969)

13 Mar 2010

Memory Tapes: Seek Magic (Inertia)

Memory Tapes: Seek Magic (Inertia)

This hazy and sometimes hypnotic album is the project of Dayve Hawk out of New Jersey who also works under a number of other names. Memory Tapes is his sweeping, electronica-pop personae and this MT debut hits an unusual ground between the less outre Mika, MGMT and Empire of the Sun at the poppy end, and the more interesting experimental types like Atlas Sound (Branford Cox of Deerhunter) at... more >>

Memory Tapes: Bicycle (Horrors remix)

8 Mar 2010

Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune (Sony)

Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune (Sony)

The old joke -- usually applied to the death of Elvis -- is “good career move”. Death sells, just ask -- if you could -- Elvis, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Otis Redding, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain who saw their record sales soar after their deaths. Or would have, if they could have. As a magazine cover said of Jim Morrison: “He’s hot. He’s sexy -- and... more >>

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin'

8 Mar 2010    2

The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You (American)

The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You (American)

This trio (and guests) is fronted by North Carolina brothers Scott and Seth Avett who recorded five albums before this major label debut on Rick Rubin’s American label. Rubin -- producer of the Beastie Boys, recent Johnny Cash albums and now the Avetts -- was taken by this band’s honest emotions whose music is framed by acoustic guitars, fiddles, banjo, upright piano and the... more >>

The Avett Brothers: January Wedding

8 Mar 2010

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

As with Syd Barrett, the music of 13th Floor Elevators has been overshadowed by the story of the madness, in the case of the Elevators the increasingly bizarre behaviour of their frontman Roky Erickson. Out of Austin, Texas in the mid Sixties, the Elevators were a raw and elemental garageband along the lines of England's Downliners Sect and Pretty Things, or Paul Revere and the... more >>

The Thirteen Floor Elevators: It's All Over Now Baby Blue

8 Mar 2010

Jaga Jazzist: One Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune/Border)

Jaga Jazzist: One Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune/Border)

In which our Norwegian big band of jazz-and-elsewhere players borrow heftily from all comers (epic soundtracks and European art films, minimalists, Afrobeat, jazz-rock) and deliver something of a quilt of jazzy colours. They say it is "Zappa-esque, more humorous prog-rock" but in its scale and changing moods, much of it sounds written with an eye on getting soundtrack... more >>

Jaga Jazzist: Toccata

1 Mar 2010

Johnny Cash: Cash, American VI; Ain't No Grave (American)

Johnny Cash: Cash, American VI; Ain't No Grave (American)

In recent years I have been lecturing in contemporary music (rock'n'roll to hip-hop) and it has been an insight for me. After showing clips of a young and wild Elvis for example some students will come to me afterwards and express surprise: they only knew him from parodies as that boring fat guy. History is reductive: it's necessary to remind people that Elvis was only a porker for the last... more >>

Johnny Cash: Satisfied Mind

1 Mar 2010

Galactic: Ya-ka-may (Anti)

Galactic: Ya-ka-may (Anti)

New Orleans may have been the birthplace of jazz and home to funky pianists (Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Dr John), but in the 90s a new form of hip-hop (called bounce) came from the streets and incorporated punchy rhythms and second-line bass parts which drew from NO funeral marches. The bruising bounce movement -- the soundtrack to the dangerous wards outside the tourist enclaves... more >>

Galactic: Do It Again (ft Cheeky Blakk)

1 Mar 2010

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The charming, wispy and intimate pop of this London outfit has long been an Elsewhere favourite: their album God Save the Clientele was among The Best of Elsewhere 2007 and they share the same PopFrenzy label as equally delightful pop bands such as Camera Obscura, Lightning Dust, Radio Dept and Institut Polaire. The Clientele embark here on an even more pastoral, breezy and light direction... more >>

The Clientele: I Know I Will See Your Face

1 Mar 2010

Kath Bloom: Thin Thin Line (Caldo Verde)

Kath Bloom: Thin Thin Line (Caldo Verde)

Although this wobbly-voiced American folkie has been around since the late Seventies I confess I have never heard/heard of her. On a first hearing I can't say I think I missed much: vocally she comes off like a shaky-voiced version of Daniel Johnston and Yoko Ono (when Ono gets in "ballad" mode). Notes are there but sometimes a little out of reach and that quivering top end of the... more >>

Kath Bloom: Long Ago

1 Mar 2010

The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly (Li'l Chief)

The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly (Li'l Chief)

The dreamy pop landscape that Ryan McPhun, mainman behind the Ruby Suns, conjures up usually wouldn't sound too far removed from that of bands on the PopFrenzy label which Elsewhere has always favoured. The last Ruby Suns album Sea Lion had an identifiable pop-folkadelic quality coming from the Pacific Rim (he's a Californian transplanted to New Zealand) but this time out there is a... more >>

The Ruby Suns: Dusty Fruit

1 Mar 2010

20th Century Steel Band: Warm Heart, Cold Steel (Mr Bongo)

20th Century Steel Band: Warm Heart, Cold Steel (Mr Bongo)

The fate of this reissue by a mid Seventies steel band from the UK (in disco-funk outfits) is probably going to be on one of those summertime radio programmes where wild'n'crazy hosts play odd versions of big hits. And this group can certainly oblige because here are steel band treatments of the theme to Shaft, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, a dramatically brooding spoken-word version of Standing in... more >>

20th Century Steel Band: Heaven and Hell

28 Feb 2010

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

We'll make this a quick product description to coincide with this great alt.American band playing in New Zealand -- here is a remastered 23-track collection which draws on their singles, tracks from their classic albums (Slanted and Enchanted, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, Brighten the Corners) and adds three early songs from before their Matador signing plus a track from an obscure... more >>

Pavement: Stereo (1996)

28 Feb 2010

Arbouretum: Song of the Pearl (Thrill Jockey)

Arbouretum: Song of the Pearl (Thrill Jockey)

Although this album was released almost a year ago Stateside it has only just appeared here -- but its collision of electric Neil Young, heavy strum Anglofolk and indie.rock should see it find a ready audience in the post-grunge era. No unique ground is staked out by this four-piece and so the appeal is in the extension of the familiar rather than the shock of the new, but when the guitars... more >>

Arbouretum: Thin Dominion

27 Feb 2010

Various artists: Crazy Heart soundtrack (New West)

Various artists: Crazy Heart soundtrack (New West)

This soundtrack album is from the excellent movie which has been picking up Jeff Bridges acclaim and awards, as it should. He does a terrific job as an aging country singer whose career has been derailed by booze and drugs and itinerancy. And who looks for all the world like Kris Kristofferson might have if he hadn't pulled himself up a notch or two. As Bridges (who plays singer/songwriter... more >>

Jeff Bridges: Fallin' and Flyin'

23 Feb 2010

Jackie Bristow: Freedom (Ode)

Jackie Bristow: Freedom (Ode)

Singer-songwriter Bristow moved from New Zealand to Austin in 2008 (where this, her third album, was recorded) and it would be easy and convenient to drop her into the alt.country/country category. Certainly on the recent tour with Tami Neilson and Lauren Thomson she fitted into that zone. Those three gals delivered a terrific show which would have been acclaimed in any country music bar in... more >>

Jackie Bristow: River

22 Feb 2010    3

Shearwater: The Golden Archipelago (Matador)

Shearwater: The Golden Archipelago (Matador)

The problem as I see it with this sonically fascinating and musically dramatic album is that it lacks a lyric sheet and the poetic words are frequently difficult to distinguish because singer Jonathan Meiburg's vocals are often buried behind those odd instrumentations, or sung in soft high Anglofolk voice which is hard to decipher. Because of that, I defy anyone coming to this cold to... more >>

Shearwater: God Made Me

22 Feb 2010

The Haints of Dean Hall: Sleeper (Arch Hill)

The Haints of Dean Hall: Sleeper (Arch Hill)

The mystery continues as this poetic, dark alt.country outfit once more -- as on their impressive self-titled debut album -- explore understated, musically and emotionally stark songs which sometimes evoke empty rooms in spider-webbed old houses and an emotional ennui. But although they suggest a more ancient time and place these are very contemporary lyrics ("doing donuts in the... more >>

The Haints of Dean Hall: My Pomeranian

22 Feb 2010