A walk across the rooftops of some slums in Mumbai
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Larry Jon Wilson; Larry Jon Wilson (1965 Records)

Larry Jon Wilson; Larry Jon Wilson (1965 Records)

Strange though it may seem that in the same week Elsewhere gives a heads-up to the forthcoming album by the formidable Grace Jones, we also acknowledge this positively ancient country-folk singer. But Elsewhere has always found a place for the likes of Wilson, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and others in their 60s and beyond. Wilson won't be a familiar name -- his last album was a whopping 28... more >>

Larry Jon Wilson: Heartland

Atlas Sounds: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (Rhythmethod)

Atlas Sounds: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (Rhythmethod)

This is either a strange coincidence or some weird serendipity -- but this solo album by Brandford Cox of the Atlanta band Deerhunter sounds like it has been made after he eavesdropped on my listenings in the past few weeks: a bit of JPSE's widescreen fuzzypop from Bleeding Star as filtered through Fripp & Eno's tonal landscapes, plus a colouring of Eno's moonscape Apollo, a seasoning of... more >>

Atlas Sounds: Cold as Ice

Carrie Rodriguez: She Ain't Me (Manhattan)

Carrie Rodriguez: She Ain't Me (Manhattan)

This alt.country/rock singer out of Austin and Berklee College of Music in Boston came to attention with her 2006 solo album Seven Angels on a Bicycle which won great praise from the likes of Lucinda Williams and Elsewhere for its melodic darkness delivered by Rodriguez in a voice pitched somewhere between innocence and experience. And she brought a Williams-like world weariness to some of the... more >>

Carrie Rodriguez: Mask of Moses

Various: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Universal)

Various: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Universal)

There's a lot wrong with this double disc compilation: the title track is from the late Jeff Healy not by its author George Harrison; Thin Lizzy's Still in Love With You is the studio version rather than the far superior live one; you get soft-rockers Bread (Guitar Man) and Matthews' Southern Comfort (Woodstock) jammed between Fleetwood Mac's Black Magic Woman and Peter Frampton's live Show Me... more >>

Doobie Brothers: Long Train Running

Stereolab: Chemical Chords (4AD)

Stereolab: Chemical Chords (4AD)

Last week, for reasons too embarrassing to explain, we went on a brief bender of Roger Moore's Bond films. Awful, slow, wooden and guaranteed to have you asleep on the couch within 20 minutes. Anyway, my suspicion is that Stereolab might have been doing much the same at some point because there are a few tracks here which could have stepped neatly out of those soundtracks as incidental music... more >>

Stereolab: Daisy Click Clack

Everest: Ghost Notes (Vapor/Elite)

Everest: Ghost Notes (Vapor/Elite)

We can make this easy, a kind of tick-the-boxes thing: this LA band of indie.rock-cum-alt.folk people are signed to Neil Young's label (yes, they have a slice of his brittle and stuttering guitar solo-style), have performed alongside or been in bands with John Vanderslice and the Watson Twins (Elsewhere favourites), Sebadoh and Folk Implosion, and they sometimes nod towards mid-period Wilco.If... more >>

Everest: Reloader

Sonny Day: The Collection (Ode)

Sonny Day: The Collection (Ode)

It's a shame that it took Sonny Day's death last year to prompt this compilation, as one of this country's great journeyman musicians his career spanned from the early days of rock'n'roll and then through the Beatles/Motown era when he effortless shifted his style, taking in country and soulful material, and in '85 covered Springsteen's little known Saving Up.Sonny Day was a man who moved with... more >>

Sonny Day: Things Will Be Different (1964)

The Dutchess and the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke (Rhythmethod)

The Dutchess and the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke (Rhythmethod)

About 20 years ago there was a short-lived but interesting "new folk" movement which emerged out of New York's Downtown. Following the success of Michelle Shocked's Texas Campfire Tapes ('86) came Roger Manning, Cindy Lee Berryhill and Kirk Kelly who sometimes rapped like Beat poets, pulled in a fair swag of young Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and dressed like they were auditioning for... more >>

Back to Me

The Rosie Taylor Project: This City Draws Maps (Bad Sneakers/Ode)

The Rosie Taylor Project: This City Draws Maps (Bad Sneakers/Ode)

This six-piece from Leeds have a charming alt.folk/indie.pop thing going which also has one ear on Americana. Okay, you've heard all that before, right? But there is something quite beguiling and emotionally disarming about their understatement, the wee splashes of colour from trumpet and French horn, the haiku-like lyrics ("cut from paper/a line of dolls/drawn-on dresses/ a biroed... more >>

A Good Cafe on George Street

Various: The Empire Strikes Back! (Glitterhouse)

Various: The Empire Strikes Back! (Glitterhouse)

Compilations and samplers don't often get a look in at Elsewhere (except for this week I note!) and this double disc stood even less of chance: it arrived about two months ago but after I listened to it and enjoyed it I lost the damn thing down the side of the bookcase. Which is where i found it last week.Ah well, better than . . .This is an excellent collection from the Germany-based... more >>

Michael J Sheehy: Company Man

Paddy Free: Karekare: Te reo o te whenua (Dub Conspiracy)

Paddy Free: Karekare: Te reo o te whenua (Dub Conspiracy)

Despite being one of the founding fathers of New Zealand electronica -- in the ambitious multi-media outfit Pitch Black with Mike Hodgson -- Paddy Free is perhaps largely unknown to a new generation of musicians.I believe he makes much of his living off-shore these days and has always struck me as preferring to be out of the spotlight if he isn't performing (which has been infrequent as Hodgson... more >>

Paddy Free and Richard Nunns: Whai Atu

Miracle Mile: Coffee and Stars (Miracle Mile)

Miracle Mile: Coffee and Stars (Miracle Mile)

As with the equally wonderful Blue Nile, this UK band (of Marcus Cliffe and Trevor Jones plus guests) take a leisurely approach to albums and only release something when it is refined and ready.Miracle Mile too work the treacherous -- and often casually dismissed -- area of "adult pop", that is music based around memorable and sometimes delicate melodies, and lyrics that don't talk... more >>

Miracle Mile: Yuri's Dream

Jonathan Richman: Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild (Vapor Records)

Jonathan Richman: Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild (Vapor Records)

Some people know Jonathan Richman for being the singer-songwriter in the terrific New York new wave band The Modern Lovers -- although their "terrific" period was short-lived, in truth just the debut album which was produced by John Cale and spawned the classic songs Modern World (the title track), Pablo Picasso ("never got called an asshole"), Old World, Roadrunner and the... more >>

Jonathan Richman: No One Was Like Vermeer

Death Vessel: Nothing is Precious Enough For Us (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

Death Vessel: Nothing is Precious Enough For Us (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

Just bringing this one to your attention because the band name might sound like a warning to many.Nope, this isn't death metal or anything much louder than acoustic guitars (mostly) -- but even if you get past that misconception another may get you.I listened to this right through before I realised that it was actually a man singing, a guy called Joel Thibodeau (the singer/songwriter etc) who... more >>

Death Vessel: Bruno's Torso

Joan As Police Woman: To Survive (Liberator)

Joan As Police Woman: To Survive (Liberator)

Joan As Police Woman certainly has an arresting name (sorry!) but it is her remarkable voice that will capture you (and sorry again!).Joan Wasser's debut album Real Life of two years ago was a remarkable album and was hailed at Elsewhere and elsewhere. The Guardian said of her voice  that it was "so wondrous and moving that it makes everyone else's seem ordinary and mundane".That... more >>

Joan as Police Woman: To Be Loved

Cassandra Wilson: Loverly (Blue Note)

Cassandra Wilson: Loverly (Blue Note)

More so than her Blue Note labelmate Norah Jones, vocalist Wilson (along with violinist Regina Carter on Verve incidentally) has redefined the parameters of what we know as "jazz" in the 21st century.Jones may be a superb jazzy singer-songwriter with a country heart, but Wilson can turn her attention to material from all across the musical spectrum (not unlike what used to happen in... more >>

Cassandra Wilson: Gone with the Wind

Various: Life Beyond Mars. Bowie Covered (Border)

Various: Life Beyond Mars. Bowie Covered (Border)

The ever-increasing pile of tribute albums/covers is so high it is starting to topple under its own weight. Just last week Elsewhere offered the amusing lounge-sweet versions of heavy metal by Hellsongs.Bowie has always been ripe for covers and there have been any number of such projects already: the point of difference here is the obscurity of the bands (only Au Revior Simone, Kelley Polar and... more >>

Leo Minor: Ashes to Ashes

Pop Levi: Never Never Love (Border)

Pop Levi: Never Never Love (Border)

Recently Mika and Kylie proved the durability of mindless, glam-pop which comes splattered with glitter and huge choruses, not much in the way of emotional depth and is just a whole heap of mindless fun.Those who criticised the enormously enjoyable Mika (see below) for ripping off Queen rather missed the point -- which was to rip off Queen.Pop Levi is in the same territory: he keeps the songs... more >>

Pop Levi: Wannamama

The Tindersticks: The Hungry Saw (Beggars Banquet)

The Tindersticks: The Hungry Saw (Beggars Banquet)

Tindersticks frontman Stuart A Staples -- whose solo album Lucky Dog Recordings 03-04 is excellent -- has a rich and soulful baritone which someone said recently reminded them of a more louche and brandy-sodden Roland Gift (if you remember Fine Young Cannibals). Maybe.Bryan Ferry without the over-emoting quaver is a fair call too.Certainly there is a world weariness in this languid, string... more >>

The Tindersticks: Mother Dear

Renee-Louise Carafice: Tells You To Fight! (Monkey)

Renee-Louise Carafice: Tells You To Fight! (Monkey)

Frankly I'm always suspicious about the whole music-as-therapy thing: most often the music is godawful, and the lyrics so tortured and self-referential that they rarely reach any further than the bedroom or hospital ward that spawned them.Which is why I come to Carafice -- institutionalised in Auckland with severe depression in 2005 -- with considerable reservation. And it cuts no ice with me... more >>

Renee-Louise carafice: Sweet, The Leaves of Jamestown