Music at Elsewhere

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Shane Nicholson: Familiar Ghosts (Liberation)

26 Jan 2009

Anyone who heard the exceptional alt.country 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?

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff Beck: Performing this Week . . . Live at Ronnie Scott's (Shock)

8 Jan 2009    2

In a recent interview in advance of his Auckland concert next February, I put a quote to this guitar legend whose career started back in the mid-Sixties when he took over from Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds: that of all the guitar heroes his career had been the most slippery to follow. He laughed and agreed -- then I told him that quote came from 1976, over 30 years ago. He laughed even... > Read more

Jeff Beck: A Day in the Life

David Byrne and Brian Eno: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Inertia)

8 Jan 2009    1

It has been almost 30 years since David Byrne and Brian Eno teamed up for the groundbreaking My Life in the Bush of Ghosts which brought sampling, found sounds, world music, trip-hop beats, studio manipulations and much more together in way that really hadn't been heard before. But anyone expecting this collaboration to be in a similar vein hasn't been listening to the work of either in... > Read more

David Byrne and Brian Eno: My Big Nurse

The Aliens: Luna (Pet Rock)

6 Jan 2009

Back in the late Ninenties the Beta Band from Britain were, for some of us at least, the most exciting and promising thing around. They released three charming folkadelic EPs -- packaged on CD as, you guessed it, The Three EPs -- and they were heard at the best barbecues. They were pastoral, trippy, sort of hip-hop if you only had acoustic instruments (although they had a turntablist), and... > Read more

The Aliens: Dove Returning

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Moana and the Tribe: Wha (Black Pearl/Ode)

22 Dec 2008

Across her previous three albums Moana Maniapoto confirmed her status as one of New Zealand's most significant voices whose sound could just as comfortably incorporate politics and culture as seduce with her flowing lyrics in te reo and her astute ear for using the traditional within a contemporary context. This album might lack the obviously powerful and overt statements of material like... > Read more

Moana and the Tribe: Te Apo

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

22 Dec 2008

Another year and another Van album on yet another label . . . And with the reissue of his earlier albums drawing attention to great work like It's Too Late to Stop Now (read about it in Essential Elsewhere) it would hardly be surprising if this one was ignored by even longtime followers, many of whom might be picking up the remastered back-catalogue or one of the new greatest hits... > Read more

Van Morrison: No Thing

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

22 Dec 2008

As regular visitors to Elsewhere are aware, not everything posted here is a work of unalloyed genius which will be treasured down many lifetimes. (Although there are however more than a few like that I would hope.) But sometimes albums just come along that you are very glad to have heard and simply enjoy for what they mean to you on some odd subconscious level. I suspect this one is like... > Read more

MGMT: The Youth