Music at Elsewhere

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Phosphorescent: To Willie (Rhythmethod)

Phosphorescent: To Willie (Rhythmethod)

Willie Nelson may be "quite a character" and the guy who smoked a joint on the White Roof, the golfer and outlaw and so on, but he is also an extraordinary songwriter (check out the'95 Rhino box set of early and unreleased material, three CDs of genius -- from before he became famous) and here he gets a whole tribute album from Phosporescent aka Matthew Houck. Houck from Brooklyn... more >>

Phosphorescent: The Last Thing I Needed

19 Apr 2009    1

Melody Gardot: My One and Only Thrill (Verve/Universal)

Melody Gardot: My One and Only Thrill (Verve/Universal)

This extraordinary jazz chanteuse has appeared at Elsewhere previously: her debut album Worriesome Heart was quite something and announced a new singer-songwriter as much as a voice imbued with sensuality and emotional depth. Her interesting backstory (at the Elsewhere posting) is worth checking out, it may explain something. This new album not only confirms that early impression but... more >>

Melody Gardot: My One and Only Thrill

19 Apr 2009

Cassette: The Jingle King (Paydirt)

Cassette: The Jingle King (Paydirt)

Alt.rockers Cassette from Wellington have pinned with tag "country loving" or "country rock" in some quarters and while that is fair, the definitions need some clarification: Cassette are from the downbeat Neil Young end of country as the Young/Crazy Horse-styled opener Three Four and the melancholy closer Slow Down here suggest. Or nod more towards Gram Parsons and those... more >>

Cassette:Day Goes By

17 Apr 2009    1

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Those sensible few who caught WGC mainman Robert Fisher when he toured solo last year will need no further urging towards this impressive set which finds him with the "band" of various members: this is a CD of a Radio Bremen session from 2006 and a DVD of a 2004 concert (with outakes and interview footage) with a four-song video clip collection included. And there's a booklet in... more >>

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Ghost of the Girl in the Well

17 Apr 2009

The Dead C:  Secret Earth (Ba Da Bing)

The Dead C: Secret Earth (Ba Da Bing)

Let it be said immediately The Dead C out of Port Chalmers are a taste that few have acquired: dense, often lo-fi guitar landscapes of scouring sound, feedback and distortion probably don't make it onto the playlists of people who prefer Norah Jones -- or even the more tuneful end of Sonic Youth, in fact. So here for Dead C aficionados -- and I suspect no one else -- is the lowdown on this... more >>

The Dead C: Plains

17 Apr 2009

Panther and the Zoo: Think About It Not Exploding (PZ)

Panther and the Zoo: Think About It Not Exploding (PZ)

This slight four song EP -- two songs not even making the two minute mark -- might not be much to go on in terms of getting any sense of the breadth of Auckland songwriter Graham Panthers' abilities or potential, but these are lovely little minatures rendered with a lightness of touch and a vocal confidence that belies their fragile textures. P&Zoo belong to that happy and charming vein... more >>

Panther and the Zoo: Sleep Over

17 Apr 2009    1

Sola Rosa: Get It Together (Way Up)

Sola Rosa: Get It Together (Way Up)

Sola Rosa (known to his folks as Andrew Spraggon) has frequently recalibrated our expectations of local electronica and for this ambitious outing, his fourth album, he once again sets his sights far over the immediate horizon. On a global sojourn through space and time he seems to stumble into the exotic world of James Bond flicks in the late Seventies (the opener The Ace of Space) and... more >>

Sola Rosa: Del Ray

14 Apr 2009    1

Beirut: March of the Zapotec/Realpeople Holland (Rhythmethod)

Beirut: March of the Zapotec/Realpeople Holland (Rhythmethod)

After the excellent Francophile-framed The Flying Cup by Beirut (aka peripatetic American Zach Condon), the Mexican music on the first of these two discs (a mere 15 minutes long) comes as a major disappointment and seldom sounds much other than what it is, soundtracks for footage we can't see (unless we go to his website). Setting himself up in a village in the Oaxaca region (from where Lila... more >>

Beirut: The Concubine (from Realpeople Holland)

13 Apr 2009

Obits: I Blame You (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

Obits: I Blame You (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

This new project for New Yorker singer-guitarist Rick Froberg (formerly of Drive Like Jehu) is prickly with energy and spikey pop-rock ideas, keeps things in tight control (short and sharp songs which owe a little to the Pixies, Only Ones, Billy Idol at his early best, the Clash, MC5, the Strokes, Link Wray, B52s) and doesn't outstay its welcome. This is power pop-rock'n'roll of the kind you... more >>

Obits: Light Sweet Crude

13 Apr 2009    1

Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD (Triton)

Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD (Triton)

In the same series as the previously posted DVD overview of the Small Faces, but having more in common with the far superior Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention doco comes this chronological account of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) and his Magic Band. Van Vliet's idiosyncratic and revolutionary blues-based music is part of rock culture but more properly belongs in some side... more >>

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: Run Paint Run Run (from Doc at the Radar Station, 1980)

12 Apr 2009

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: A Stranger Here (Anti/Shock)

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: A Stranger Here (Anti/Shock)

When the previous album by this one-time fellow traveller with Woody Guthrie and mentor to the young Bob Dylan arrived -- I Stand Alone of two years back  -- I had to admit I thought Elliott had long since passed on. But that album not only confirmed he was alive and well, but also pretty darned sprightly. This one produced by Joe Henry and with a band which includes David Hidalgo of... more >>

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Soul of a Man

12 Apr 2009

TransGlobal Underground: Run Devil and Demons: The Best of TGU (Triton)

TransGlobal Underground: Run Devil and Demons: The Best of TGU (Triton)

Although many of their innovative approaches have been overtaken by (often lesser) subsequent artists, TransGlobal Underground out of London set a high threshold throughout the Nineties with their implosion of dance beats, real instruments and in-house vocalists, world music references and samples, and general openness to musical ideas from Bollywood and bhangra to Jamaican toasting and jazzy... more >>

TransGlobal Underground: Lookee Here (remix)

12 Apr 2009

Fight Like Apes: Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion (Shock)

Fight Like Apes: Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion (Shock)

What we forget, because history is reductive, is that for every Beatles there were a dozen bands like the Merseybeats, for every Clash probably 20 like Sham 69 or UK Subs, for every Nirvana . . . What those other bands do, aside from add breadth (if not depth) to a style or period, is provide immeasurable pleasure, albeit one-off in some cases. Also, without someone like Jewel we might... more >>

Fight Like Apes: Something Global

6 Apr 2009

PJ Harvey and John Parish: A Woman A Man Walked By (Universal)

PJ Harvey and John Parish: A Woman A Man Walked By (Universal)

The very great and waywardly inventive PJ Harvey once told interviewer Barney Hoskyns, "I've spent my entire time trying to explain to people that I'm a creative writer. People jump to conclusions, and I can understand it, because if I'm very interested in an artist -- whether it's Neil Young, Bob Dylan, whoever -- I want to imagine that those stories are true. But I think also that when I... more >>

PJ Harvey and John Parish: Pig Will Not

6 Apr 2009

Hobotalk: Alone Again Or (Glitterhouse)

Hobotalk: Alone Again Or (Glitterhouse)

The previous album by Scottish singer-songwriter Marc Pilley who, with friends, is Hobotalk was the beguiling and understated Homesick For Nowhere which appeared at Elsewhere (and nowhere else in New Zealand that I saw) and followed the debut Beauty in Madness which had been nominated for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize. Add in that this new one comes through the very smart Glitterhouse... more >>

Hobotalk: Rise

6 Apr 2009

Rory Gallagher: Shadow Play, Concerts 1976-90 (DVD, Shock)

Rory Gallagher: Shadow Play, Concerts 1976-90 (DVD, Shock)

Of all the blues-based guitarists who emerged in the late Sixties, none was more self-effacing, unprepossessing and sartorially consistent than Irishman Rory Gallagher (1948-95). He shunned most of the trappings of rock excess and appeared most often in jeans and a checked shirt (two decades before Seattle grunge made lumberjack shirts a fashion item). Gallagher was a journeyman and if he... more >>

5 Apr 2009

Tim Garland and the Lighthouse Trio: Libra (Elite)

Tim Garland and the Lighthouse Trio: Libra (Elite)

Here with pianist Gwilym Simcock and percussion player Asaf Sirkis, plus the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the impressive genre-defying jazz-classical/Third Stream suite (the four-part Frontiers, which also features guitarist Paul Bollenback), this hot British saxophonist (and bass clarinetist) once more proves that he is the vanguard of a crossover music that should appeal to jazz and... more >>

Tim Garland Trio: Blue in Green

5 Apr 2009

The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

In the wake of the Who playing in New Zealand (which I missed due to an overseas engagement) a number of people asked about me posting some Who things at Elsewhere. Their absence thus far has only been due to time constraints and timeliness: but here is an excuse to post something, the remastered reissue of their complete Isle of Wight set in 1970 during which they played a truncated version... more >>

The Who: My Generation

5 Apr 2009

John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

Guitarist John Scofield -- previously interviewed at Elsewhere and who played blinding free jazz at times when he appeared here with saxophonist Joe Lovano last year -- is either a music chameleon or a man with a short attention span: he played blues fusion with Miles Davis; has duelled with fellow plank spankers Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell; done some drum’n’bass stuff; wrote a... more >>

John Scofield: The Angel of Death

29 Mar 2009

Seasick Steve: I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Got Most of it Left (Warners)

Seasick Steve: I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Got Most of it Left (Warners)

Sixtysomething Steve Wold appears to have been an authentic, rail-ridin' itinerant (although we can guess some exaggeration has gone on) and it seems he could count among his friends in a long life Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Kurt Cobain,and he also worked as a producer and engineer in Seattle. Latterly he has achieved considerable fame and attention in the UK following an... more >>

Seasick Steve: St Louis Slim

29 Mar 2009