Music at Elsewhere

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Sola Rosa: Get It Together (Way Up)

14 Apr 2009    1

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... > Read more

Sola Rosa: Del Ray

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

13 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

Beirut: The Concubine (from Realpeople Holland)

Obits: I Blame You (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

13 Apr 2009    1

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... > Read more

Obits: Light Sweet Crude

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

12 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Soul of a Man

Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD (Triton)

12 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

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

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

12 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

TransGlobal Underground: Lookee Here (remix)

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

6 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

Fight Like Apes: Something Global

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

6 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

PJ Harvey and John Parish: Pig Will Not

Hobotalk: Alone Again Or (Glitterhouse)

6 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

Hobotalk: Rise

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

5 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

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

5 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

The Who: My Generation

Tim Garland and the Lighthouse Trio: Libra (Elite)

5 Apr 2009

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... > Read more

Tim Garland Trio: Blue in Green

John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

29 Mar 2009

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... > Read more

John Scofield: The Angel of Death

JJ Cale: Roll On (Warners)

29 Mar 2009

Cale has always made a kind of mood music, for the back porch usually. So while this album offers few surprises (his lyrics still aren't his strong point, but if it ain't broke) the subtle diversity of styles -- from New Orleans-influenced ragtime to swamp rock and a little foot stomping rock'n'soul -- means over time each track takes on its own character. His signature guitar sound... > Read more

JJ Cale: Fonda-lina

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

29 Mar 2009

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... > Read more

Seasick Steve: St Louis Slim

Various: The Best of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour (Chrome Dreams)

29 Mar 2009    1

Elsewhere readers would be familiar with Bob Dylan's extensive website (he's got another new album in April) and his radio programme  and will have doubtless noted the many Dylan articles, music etc at Elsewhere, most recently the posting of the album Bob Dylan's Jukebox which was a compilation of songs which had influenced him. From the same source -- and no doubt... > Read more

Blind Willie Johnson: John the Revelator

The Flamin' Groovies: This Band is Red Hot 1969-79 (Raven)

29 Mar 2009    1

About 30 years ago during the UK punk/post-punk period a friend in London would send me cassettes of all the exciting new music he was hearing: Little Bob Story from France covering the Small Faces' All or Nothing, the Runaway's Cherry Bomb, the first Dire Straits single Sultans of Swing with Mark Knopfler's sublime guitar playing, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Sham 69, Nick Lowe, Mikey Dread,... > Read more

The Flamin' Groovies: Good Laugh Mun (1978)

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! (Universal)

29 Mar 2009

You only need to hear a few bars of the first three tracks on this one to say "James Brown". And Black Joe and band out of Austin wouldn't deny the influence. There's also a smattering of emotional Otis, the stab of Junior Walker saxophone, the funk of Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Howlin' Wolf blues and much more distilled into these 10 urgent tracks. Real sassy and sharp... > Read more

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Big Booty Woman

Lucinda Williams: Live from Austin, Tx 1989 (DVD, New West)

28 Mar 2009

With the great Lucinda Williams due to return for long overdue concerts, it seems only right to draw attention to this DVD of her first appearance on the Austin City Limits telelvison show in 1989. It was almost 20 years ago and at the time -- although she'd released her first album a decade previous -- she was riding on the crest of her self-titled album which had sprung the critical hits... > Read more

Lucinda Williams: Changed the Locks (from the album Lucinda Williams, 1988)

Various: Timeless Memories from the 50s and 60s (EMI)

28 Mar 2009

For some of us, many of these 50 tracks will be embedded somewhere in the subconscious from that period before the Beatles broke through and people like Helen Shapiro (whom the Beatles supported on one of their first UK tours) and Lesley Gore were all over radio. Here is ample evidence that the songs were soft and dreary before guitar bands swept everything away: The Four Aces with Three... > Read more

Helen Shapiro: Don't Treat Me Like A Child