Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: The Felice Brothers: The Felice Brothers (Shock)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: The Felice Brothers: The Felice Brothers (Shock)

These three actual brothers (and a friend) weighed in with the Tonight at the Arizona which made the Best of Elsewhere 2007 list and turned up as many a critic's favourite Americana album.This long-awaited sequel follows an interim album sold at gigs, and a few of those songs are now available on this self-titled album (and some other tracks were, confusingly, recorded before their debut... more >>

Felice Brothers: Murder by Mistletoe

22 Dec 2008

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Emmylou Harris: All I Intended To Be (Warners)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Emmylou Harris: All I Intended To Be (Warners)

The crystalline quality of Emmylou Harris' voice is often so admired that people can look past that she is also a great interpreter of a lyric and has effortlessly brought traditional or familiar songs together with her originals.This time out she calls on kindred spirits (the McGarrigle sisters, Mike Auldridge, Buddy Miller) with her band which includes keyboard player Glenn D Hardin, drummer... more >>

Emmylou Harris: Not Enough

22 Dec 2008    1

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Paul Weller: 22 Dreams (Shock)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Paul Weller: 22 Dreams (Shock)

A couple of months ago I was invited to give a lecture to Auckland Uni music students about a contemporary songwriter of my choosing whose catalogue of work was interesting and worth studying.I picked Paul Weller on strength of this quote from him about his forthcoming album: "It takes in soul, rock'n'roll, there are some folky moments, some psych bits, a classical piece, some avant free... more >>

Paul Weller: Echoes Around the Sun

22 Dec 2008

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Bob Dylan: Tell Tale Signs, Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006, The Bootleg Series Vol 8

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Bob Dylan: Tell Tale Signs, Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006, The Bootleg Series Vol 8

After the less-than-essential Vol 7 which accompanied the brilliant Martin Scorsese Dylan-bioflick No Direction Home (if you got the DVD you could probably pass on the CD) this on-going series of unreleased/rare/alternative versions hits another peak with this exceptional collection. There are a number of reasons for that: look at the period it covers and you may see it is the late-career... more >>

Bob Dylan: Tell Ol' Bill

22 Dec 2008    4

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Lucinda Williams: Little Honey (Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Lucinda Williams: Little Honey (Universal)

After her last, quite exceptional but largely melancholy album West (in part influenced by death in the family) it is almost as if Williams is here staking her claim again to some sassy rock'n'roll threads. The opener Real Love blazes off the disc and the closer is a cover of AC/DC's It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock'n'Roll) which, it must be said, she delivers in her... more >>

Lucinda Williams: Little Rock Star

22 Dec 2008

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

For my money there are only two indispensible Beck albums: Odelay of '96 and Mutations of two years later. That said, there are another couple I'd prefer not to live without -- and this one produced by Danger Mouse shapes up to be one of those, and is still climbing in stature on repeat plays.As always this gifted, musical changeling and sonic shapeshifter filterfeeds his way through... more >>

Beck: Replica

22 Dec 2008

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Teddy Thompson: A Piece of What You Need (Verve)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Teddy Thompson: A Piece of What You Need (Verve)

This son of Richard and Linda keeps good company: among his friends and fellow travellers are the Wainwrights (Rufus, Martha, and their father Loudon), guitarist Marc Ribot, the Band's Garth Hudson and other hip congnoscenti.His last album Upfront and Down Low was mostly a country covers outing. And despite possessing the same kind of effete world weariness and post-sexual languor that infects... more >>

Teddy Thompson: In My Arms

22 Dec 2008    1

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Bond Street Bridge: The Mapmaker's Art (Monkey Records)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Bond Street Bridge: The Mapmaker's Art (Monkey Records)

Opening with an arresting, one minute challenge of scraped and stabbing violin you could be forgiven for thinking the one-man band of Sam Prebble who is Bond Street Bridge is being beamed at you from the Contemporary Classical department. It’ll certainly grip you, as will dark alt.folk drone Black Market Soul Transplant which follows (“the devil got me drunk . . .  woke up... more >>

Bond Street Bridge: Rain

22 Dec 2008

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Coldplay: Viva la Vida or Death And All Her Friends (EMI)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Coldplay: Viva la Vida or Death And All Her Friends (EMI)

One advantage of not listening to commercial radio is that you don't start going off songs or bands through over-familiarity. Which might explain why I quite like this new album by a band which seems to annoy most right-thinking people and serious music writers.But I hear so little of them -- I rarely play the albums I have -- that this one sounds intelligent and like a band prepared to take a... more >>

Coldplay: Yes

22 Dec 2008    3

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Johann Johannsson: Fordlandia (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Johann Johannsson: Fordlandia (4AD)

Part romantic and lyrical classical music, part minimalism of the early La Monte Young kind, and deftly orchestrated in the manner of albums on Eno's Obscure label of the Seventies (Gavin Bryars' Sinking of the Titanic comes to mind), this emotionally downbeat but eerily beautiful album is probably of as much appeal to those who like a bit of Mahler as anyone coming from Eno's ambient music end... more >>

Johann Johannsson: The Rocket Builder

22 Dec 2008    1

Tehimana Kerr: Defamation of Character (Capital)

Tehimana Kerr: Defamation of Character (Capital)

Over 10 years in the making by all accounts, which means that this is either a mammoth of Floyd-like dimensions or that Kerr is one helluva laidback character. It's the latter if this lazy Sunday outing is anything to go by -- and of course he has been busy as Jetlag Johnson, guitarist with Wellington band Fat Freddys Drop. This is mellow and soulful to the point of being horizontal -- it... more >>

Tehimana Kerr: Summer 97

15 Dec 2008    1

Various: Bob Dylan's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various: Bob Dylan's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

The influence of the young Bob Dylan (64-66) is evident today in singer-songwriters such as AA Bondy and Pete Molinari (among many others), and you can certainly hear unashamed echoes of Dylan 67 - 72 in the likes of the Felice Brothers and many more in the alt.country, folk-blues vein. So there should be an audience for this 25-track compilation of artists who influenced The Man Himself,... more >>

Hank Williams: Lost Highway

15 Dec 2008

AA Bondy: American Hearts (Fat Possum/Shock)

AA Bondy: American Hearts (Fat Possum/Shock)

From what I have read, this dark folk album isn't what we should have expected from Mr Bondy out of Alabama. It seems he was previously the lead singer of an alt.rock band and drew favourable comparisons with Kurt Cobain. Quite what made him drop the volume, pick up acoustic guitar and harmonica, craft literate and questioning songs, and aim for a place between Dylan (65 and... more >>

AA Bondy: How Will You Meet Your End?

15 Dec 2008

Various: Stars; Do You Trust Your Friends? (Shock)

Various: Stars; Do You Trust Your Friends? (Shock)

Very interesting if a little bewildering, especially if the Canadian band Stars' acclaimed 2004 album Set Yourself on Fire hasn't crossed your path. What they have done is invite friends to cover/remix tracks from that album and so the album is re-presented in the same running order as a kind of self-created tribute. I'm going to flip all the cards and tell you I haven't heard the... more >>

Jason Collett: Reunion

7 Dec 2008

Tim Finn: The Conversation (EMI)

Tim Finn: The Conversation (EMI)

Tim Finn has had an interesting solo career punctuated by as many great albums as disappointments. He's done the folk-Irish thing and a bit of Nashville, rocked out, been with an orchestra or back with Neil, and at times you wondered aloud if his voice hadn't really lost it. Some of his best work (the superb Feeding the Gods in 2002 for example) seemed to go past people who embraced his... more >>

Tim Finn: Invisible

7 Dec 2008

Brett Dennen: Hope for the Hopeless (Inertia)

Brett Dennen: Hope for the Hopeless (Inertia)

This American singer-songwriter has been an Elsewhere favorite long before Rolling Stone picked him as one of the 10 artists to watch in 2008. Elsewhere was clocking him in 2007 when his album So Much More arrived. Said it previously but he's got a touch of the Paul Simon in his lyrics although he delivers with a more jaunty, open-hearted strum style and has opened for artists as diverse as... more >>

Brett Dennen: Heaven

7 Dec 2008

CHRISTMAS STOCKING SHOPPING: Tis the season to be repackaging . . .

CHRISTMAS STOCKING SHOPPING: Tis the season to be repackaging . . .

In the absence of new "product" or to take advantage of the season of giving, there are a number of repackaged albums and/or bonus collections around right now. For your information they include the following . . . Amy Winehouse's two albums Frank and Back to Black have already appeared as deluxe editions with a bonus disc of extra tracks with each. Now both repackagings have... more >>

6 Dec 2008

Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak (RocAFella)

Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak (RocAFella)

Because I don't listen to much of the over-produced, schmaltzy, ululating music that passes for r'n'b these days (in my old-fashioned definition I still link r'n'b to the soul of Otis, Sam Cooke and others), and nor do I spend much time with rap outside of some old school 80s favourites when there seem innocent innovation going on, or enjoying the menace of NWA, Public Enemy and Tupac), I... more >>

Kayne West: RoboCop

1 Dec 2008    1

Car Crash Set: Join the Car Crash Set (Anna Logue Records)

Car Crash Set: Join the Car Crash Set (Anna Logue Records)

Elsewhere is always pleased to bring local vinyl to your attention (see Super Turtle and Body Corporate) and so here's another welcome opportunity: the album release of Auckland 80s electronic outfit Car Crash Set, here collected on vinyl by (of course) a German company. The Germans have a thing for archiving Kiwi music on record (in the early 90s Little Wing of Refugees pulled together... more >>

Car Crash Set: Outside 12" version

1 Dec 2008

Jason Collett: Here's to Being Here (Shock)

Jason Collett: Here's to Being Here (Shock)

This Canadian singer-songwriter's previous album Idols of Exile was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2006 so this one was always going to come to the top of the pack. As a former member of Elsewhere favourites Broken Social Scene alongside Feist he is also worthy of attention, and although this album doesn't quite have same frisson of surprise as his previous one, his blend of early... more >>

Jason Collett: Through the Night These Days

1 Dec 2008    1