Music at Elsewhere

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Rhian Sheehan: Standing in Silence (Loop)

1 Feb 2009

I have no idea of Sheehan's standing in the local electronica community, I am sure some may pass this album off as a bit light -- but I've always had a soft spot for his interesting sonic landscapes which seem to me to owe an intellectual (not necessarily a musical) debt to Brian Eno's albums such as Music for Films, Music for Airports and his intelligent ambient output in the Seventies.... > Read more

Rhian Sheehan: Standing in Silence Part 2

Oumou Sangare: Seya (World Circuit/Elite)

1 Feb 2009

Somewhat surprisingly no previous album by this compelling singer from Mali has been posted at Elsewhere. Believe me she's a favourite around the house and this album now gives me the chance to rectify that oversight. The title means "joy" and that tells you where she is (mostly) coming from. A singer since she was in her teens, she toured Europe in a band which included the great... > Read more

Oumou Sangare: Donso

Various: Palermo Shooting soundtrack (Shock)

31 Jan 2009

Few soundtracks can be considered essential (although Ennio Morricone's music for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly certainly is) and this one is no exception. That said, there is a lot that is appealing here, not the least unreleased tracks by Elsewhere favourites Grinderman, Bonnie Prince Billy, German electronic genius Irmin Schmidt from Can and a couple of others I've never heard of (Get... > Read more

Grinderman: Dream

Stephen Oliver and Matt Ottley: King Hit (IP)

31 Jan 2009    1

Elsewhere has always had a soft spot for poetry/spoken word and interesting writing, and in the past has posted from the likes of Selina Tusitala Marsh who is a compelling Pasifika voice, and from the AUP book/double disc Contemporary New Zealand Poets in Performance, as well as posting interviews with, or articles about, writers such as Beat legend Lawrence Ferlinghetti, black-British reggae... > Read more

Stephen Oliver/Matt Ottley: Stalin's Cotton Socks

Empire of the Sun: Walking on a Dream (Capitol)

30 Jan 2009    1

Not to be confused with the Spielberg movie of the same name (or an album title perilously close to Springsteen's current Working on a Dream), this is a project of (former Kiwi/now Australian) Luke Steele of Elsewhere favourites The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore of the electro-band Pnau (and who previously in Teenager with Ladyhawke). One wag has said that when he saw photos of the duo... > Read more

Empire of the Sun: Half Mast

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

29 Jan 2009

For someone who was never a big fan, I seem to have an unnatural amount of Moody Blues on my shelves: their first six albums from '65 to '70, and the '94 four-disc box set Time Traveller (which actually has a 5th disc I discovered about four minutes!). To be honest I doubt I had played any of them for a decade, but when I first heard that exceptional Fleet Foxes album last year I thought I... > Read more

The Moody Blues: Have You Heard (Parts 1 and 2)

Shane Nicholson: Familiar Ghosts (Liberation)

26 Jan 2009

Anyone who heard the exceptional Rattlin' Bones album by Australians Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson of last year (one of the Best of Elsewhere 2008 albums) -- or better still caught them in concert -- will need no second invitation to this, Nicholson's third solo album. A number of these often brooding and always literate songs will be familiar from the concert, but here is... > Read more

Shane Nicholson: You and Your Enemy

Various: Manipulado (Love Monk/Border)

24 Jan 2009

The Spanish producer/composer Gecko Turner's album Guapapasea! got a good notice at Elsewhere some while back, so this remix album of his stuff hit the player pretty quick-smart . . . especially when among the "manipulado" artists are Boozoo Bajou, Quantic, Afrodisiac Soundsystem, Seiji, Mexican Institute of Sound and others. Let it just be observed then that, as we might... > Read more

Blackbeard's Scotch Mist Remix: Tieso

Old Crow Medicine Show: Tennessee Pusher (Shock)

23 Jan 2009

Reviewers have struggled to label this Nashville-based outfit, but they certainly sit somewhere along the contemporary bluegrass (new-grass?), alt.folk/country Americana axis with nods to old time music, Dylan (the opener here, Alabama High-Test, is bent bluegrass in the manner of Subterranean Homesick Blues) and the early Band. They may adopt the instrumentation of a century ago (acoustic... > Read more

Old Crow Medicine Show: Alabama High-Test

Jr Kong: 12 inch biscuit press (Kong)

22 Jan 2009

You will be no wiser about who Jr Kong is by looking at his website, where his bio says only that he's a budding songwriter, producer and DJ, has played in high school bands, sung in a church choir and scored for short films. Where and when any of this happened remains a mystery. (The phone number I have is a New Zealand mobile, and I do admire the fact that he has "an assistant".)... > Read more

Jr Kong: 6pm in the Morning

Lou Reed's Berlin: Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel (Madman DVD)

21 Jan 2009

Elsewhere last year posted Lou Reed's 1973 Berlin as an Essential Elsewhere album, also noting the CD release of the soundtrack to this filmed concert of the album, staged and directed by Julian Schabel. Berlin was an album that begged to be filmed and indeed there were loose plans, but then the album tanked, Reed had to hit the road to deliver his contractual obligation album Rock'n'Roll... > Read more

Jeb Loy Nichols: Parish Bar (Compass)

18 Jan 2009

Some background to this guy who kicks off this winning album with a terrific song which sounds likes a distillation of JJ Cale, classic soulful disco and slippery Boz Scaggs basslines. Nichols was born in Wyoming and raised in Missouri, assimilated country music and jazz from the radio, and when he was 14 his family moved to Austin where he saw "everything from Funkadelic to Bob Marley... > Read more

Jeb Loy Nichols:countrymusicdisco45

Gianmarco Liguori: Ancient Flight Text (Sarang Bang)

18 Jan 2009    1

The previous album by Liguori (guitarist in Salon Kingsadore) was Stolen Paintings which found favour at Elsewhere for its jazz stylings and nicely stretching quality. This time out -- again with Murray McNabb and Kim Paterson (and percussion player Steven Tait and Wes Prince on synths for one track) -- Liguori teases the threads even further apart for evocative, improvised... > Read more

Ascending Spirals

Various: Motown 50 (Universal)

17 Jan 2009    3

It would be very easy to acclaim this -- 50 of Motown's greatest hits over three discs to celebrate the classic soul label's 50th anniversary. Wow, what's not to like, huh? But then you listen to it: the copy that has arrived for Elsewhere consideration (and presumably the one in New Zealand stores) isn't the UK edition but something else. Possibly the French edition? The UK version... > Read more

The Four Tops: Reach Out (I'll Be There)

Alice Russell: Pot of Gold (Inertia/Rhythmethod)

11 Jan 2009    2

This white, funky-soul chanteuse from Britain who can sound like Nina Simone as much as having stepped out of the Motown roster, doesn't always pen the most memorable of songs -- but it's all in the gutsy and committed delivery. She can get down'n'gritty or deliver up a sensuous yelp, and she backs it up with a hot band of horns honking, offering stabbing punctuations or great sweeps of... > Read more

Alice Russell: Got the Hunger?

Various: Born to the Breed, A Tribute to Judy Collins (Wildflower)

10 Jan 2009

These past few years there has been something of a rediscovery of old folkies, what with Springsteen paying tribute to Pete Seeger, the various Woody Guthrie compilations, Bob Dylan's radio show (he's something of an old folkie himself), new albums by Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Larry Jon Wilson, collections like If You Ain't Got the Do-Re-Mi and Sowing the Seeds . . . Not to mention young... > Read more

James Mudriczki: Che

High Places: High Places (Mistletone/Rhythmethod)

10 Jan 2009

In an article posted at Elsewhere recently I wrote of the seductive charms of the quiet albums on Brian Eno's Obscure label in late Seventies/early Eighties, and of other such albums by the likes of Harold Budd, Laaraji, trumpeter Jon Hassell and others. On one of those lovely Hassell albums -- Dream Theory in Malaya from 1981, an Essnetial Elsewhere album -- there was a piece in which he... > Read more

High Places: Namer

Gotan Project: Live (Shock)

10 Jan 2009

To be honest I was never that enamoured with the little that I heard of this tango-cum-triphop outfit who seemed to command airtime at dinner parties and restaurants about five years back. (Probably hair salons too, but I never go to them) They seemed like designer wallpaper to me and I've also never got the whole "romance of the tango" thing which many got swept up in. I... > Read more

Gotan Project: Queremos paz

Jim Noir: Jim Noir (My Dad)

9 Jan 2009

Some six months ago the English magazine Q hailed this quirky, poppy and delightfully cheerful album as "the surprise soundtrack of summer 2008" -- which means that for us in the other hemisphere it is now we should be tuning in. Jim Noir (known to his family as Alan Roberts) from near Manchester is far from noir and in fact there is a Beach Boys breeziness at work here, married... > Read more

Jim Noir: Happy Day Today

Ginger Brown: Who Scared Who (Ginger Brown)

9 Jan 2009

Because I've been listening to some old Sixties vinyl -- Sam the Sham, Paul Revere, La De Das, the McCoys etc -- this album by a Wellington outfit which is driven by the organ playing of Lawrence Taula has captured my attention. There's real Sixties pop quality about the songwriting, Taula also sings like less addled Jim Morrison in places, the guitars of Matthew Armitage perhaps... > Read more

Ginger Brown: Blinded by the Light