Music at Elsewhere

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Marianne Dissard: L'abandon (Dissard/Rhythmethod)

14 Mar 2011  |  <1 min read

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... > Read more

Marianne Dissard: Un gros chat/A Big Cat

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

14 Mar 2011  |  1 min read  |  1

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... > Read more

R.E.M.: Oh My Heart

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Midlake (LateNightTales/Southbound)

11 Mar 2011  |  <1 min read

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... > Read more

Bob Carpenter: Silent Passage

Teddy Thompson: Bella (Verve)

11 Mar 2011  |  1 min read  |  1

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 A Piece... > Read more

Teddy Thompson: Delilah

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding (Liberator)

10 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

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... > Read more

Beady Eye: For Anyone

Left Lane Cruiser: Junkyard Speed Ball (Alive/Southbound)

9 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

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... > Read more

Left Lane Cruiser: 24HR

The Baseball Project: High and Inside Vol. 2 (YepRoc/Southbound)

8 Mar 2011  |  <1 min read

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... > Read more

The Baseball Project: Look Out Mom

Buffalo Tom: Skins (Scrawny/Southbound)

7 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

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... > Read more

Buffalo Tom: The Kids Just Sleep

The Tenderizers: Love Me Tender (Lefthand Gun)

6 Mar 2011  |  <1 min read

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... > Read more

The Tenderizers: Poison

Johnny Cash: From Memphis to Hollywood Bootleg Vol II (CBS)

6 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

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... > Read more

Johnny Cash: The Folk Singer (1968)

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (ATCO)

6 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

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.... > Read more

Jeff Beck and Imelda May: I'm a Fool to Care

An Emerald City: The Fourth (Banished from the Universe)

4 Mar 2011  |  1 min read

After their impressive self-titled EP in '08 then the expansive, cinematic debut album Circa Scaria the following year, this Auckland-based band which brought together psychedelic space-flight guitar rock with touches of world music (Middle Eastern and North African from violinist Felix Lun, plus sitar, oud, lute and odd percussion from Rob Croft and Ede Giesen) relocated to Berlin.... > Read more

An Emerald City: Circa Scaria

Bright Eyes: The People's Key (Polydor)

28 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Weird, but in a strangely compelling way  . . . like the best sci-fi. Last time out Bright Eyes/Connor Oberst located his album in a Florida town Cassadaga which is apparently famous for the implosion of spiritualists there – and this one opens with a long and odd spoken word it about the spheres, Sumerian tablets and reptiles and Hitler and evolution and . . . Delivered... > Read more

Bright Eyes: Ladder Song

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

27 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Although much hailed -- perhaps because no one expected to hear from him again -- last year's I'm New Here by American poet Gil Scott-Heron did seem a little under-developed: pieces faded out, other bits were just snippets of conversations and so on. That didn't deny its visceral power -- made more so given his recently troubled life -- but this revision/reconsideration and expansion by... > Read more

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: I'll Take Care of U

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

27 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

With their falsetto funk, tongue-in-cheek humour, camp dramatics, clever dynamics, pop-smarts and outrageous sense of fun, Of Montreal out of Athens, Georgia sound like Queen or a Fame-era Bowie for the 21st century. And if their terrific Skeletal Lamping of 2009 staked out their distinctive ground, this silly, suggestive, sexy and cinematic-sounding sequel just layers on the irony.... > Read more

Of Montreal: Our Riotous Defects

Social Distortion: Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (Social Distortion)

27 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

Standing between metal-edge country-rock and disheveled Keith Richards riff-hard rock'n'roll blues, Social Distortion don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but they do enjoy burning rubber on this 11-song set which invites you to roll down the window, rack up the volume and point the bonnet down a strip of empty highway. For an American band they also have some of the swagger of Oasis... > Read more

Social Distortion: California Hustle and Flow

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

21 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

There's enjoyable nostalgia -- for example the Hollies who, against expectation delivered a fine show some weeks ago -- and then there are old bands who still sound relevant, like Children's Hour who delivered a deafening but impressively irritable set at the Auckland Laneway's Festival just days before the Hollies served up their classic Sixties/Seventies pop to those who remember it from... > Read more

Gang of Four: A Fruitfly in the Beehive

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

21 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

No surprise that Captain Cruise-Control, the laidback Jimmy Buffett, appears as a guest here because about half the songs have Buffett's easy Caribbean-country flavour and the world isn't something to worry about, you're better off going fishin' with your old cane pole and sit down in an easy chair by the riverbank and let the world go by . . . That kind of thing. Titles here include... > Read more

Zac Brown Band: Knee Deep (with Jimmy Buffett)

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

20 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

It is hard to believe -- and somewhat sad -- that the authorship of Whiter Shade of Pale, this group's defining moment (and which also captured the dreamy, surreal English Summer of Love in '67), should only have been resolved in Britain's House of Lords a few years ago. It's also a shame that -- just as in any film about the war in Vietnam it seems obligatory to have Creedence song --... > Read more

Procol Harum: Homburg

The Twilight Singers: Dynamite Steps (Sub Pop)

18 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Given Greg Dulli's penchant for brooding menace, death and demonic imagery borrowed from the Bible and the blues this outfit might better be called The Midnight Singers. Here – with guest Ani DiFranco duetting on the cinematic Blackbird and the Fox, and Mark Lanegan who is part of the similarly dark Gutter Twins with Dulli – these “singers” deliver a stew of... > Read more

The Twilight Singers: Gunshots