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: 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: 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 Luke Buda: Vesuvius (Arch Hill)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Luke Buda: Vesuvius (Arch Hill)

This exceptional album by Buda of the Phoenix Foundation may take some getting used to for a few people: it is ambitious (and often lyrically funny or provocative) wide-screen pop which unashamedly doesn't shy from a McCartney-like hook, or deploying lap steel to fine effect -- as well as conjuring up the innocence of mid 60s pop (Electric Waterfall has a melody, guitar solo and vocal harmonies... more >>

22 Dec 2008    1

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: 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

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: 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

Various: The Woolshed Sessions (Creature)

Various: The Woolshed Sessions (Creature)

The low-key sessions which led to this album must have been a pleasure to observe or participate in: they took place at a shed in Golden Bay with singer-songwriter Age Pryor, Justin Clarke and Lee Prebble variously on production, engineering and/or mixing. This is a collection of wide-open singer-songwriter material from Jess Chambers, Andy Hummel, Age Pryor and others with gentle lap... more >>

Age Pryor: Waterfall

1 Dec 2008

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

Mary Coughlan: House of Ill Repute (Shock)

Mary Coughlan: House of Ill Repute (Shock)

This remarkable Irish singer who soaked her life and songs in whisky at the start of her career slipped from sight for a number of years but here returns with an album that should be counted among her best. In 2004 at the end of a 13-year relationship she ended up in New Zealand (according to the liner notes) where she felt quite at home and so later returned with Erik Visser who had helped... more >>

Mary Coughlan: Love is Extra

1 Dec 2008    3

Guns N Roses: Chinese Democracy (Geffen)

Guns N Roses: Chinese Democracy (Geffen)

On a recent Panel discussion on National Radio the topic of this new Guns N' Roses album came up. Why you would ask these people (columnist Rosemary McLeod and Investigate magazine editor Ian Wishart if I heard right) their opinion of a rock'n'roll album is beyond me. You might as well as a 14-year old streetkid their opinion of the New Zealand Ballet. My guess is the streetkid would... more >>

Guns N' Roses: Scraped

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

Strange Fruit: Whole (Odd)

Strange Fruit: Whole (Odd)

A long time between drinks, as they say: more than a decade I think since this Auckland jazz group released an album - and that seems tardy or just plain careless. Their two previous outings - the self-titled debut in 94 and Eavesdropping in 97 - were very enjoyable affairs and in Barbara Cartwright they had a vocalist who was sultry and memorable. So that means this one gets straight to the... more >>

Strange Fruit: Dream to Return

30 Nov 2008    1

Arthur Russell: Love is Overtaking Me (Rough Trade)

Arthur Russell: Love is Overtaking Me (Rough Trade)

Well over a decade ago I was introduced to a remarkable album on Point, the label started by minimalist/composer Philip Glass. It was Another Thought by Arthur Russell and its weird poetics, mix of cello and electronics, and just out-there but almost pop attractiveness made me want to hear a whole lot more from this New Yorker. That wasn't going to be easy, he'd died of Aids-related... more >>

Arthur Russell: What It's Like

24 Nov 2008

Super Turtle: All Our Friends b/w Never Came Back single (Sarang Bang)

Super Turtle: All Our Friends b/w Never Came Back single (Sarang Bang)

Elsewhere has previously applauded bands/artists who release vinyl albums and there is still something special about getting that slice of black plastic. So it is only fair to put the spotlight on this Auckland band (fronted by Darren McShane formerly of Chainsaw Masochist) which has gone the 7" single route (fold-out sleeve! manufactured in the Czech Republic) to promote their... more >>

Super Turtle: Never Came Back

23 Nov 2008

IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

In November 68 the Beatles released what became known as The White Album, a diffuse and diverse double-vinyl which in places sounded like the work of three separate songwriters who has seconded various other band members. Their producer George Martin argued for a tight single album, and many others have suggested since it might have been stronger if some of the lesser material had been dropped.... more >>

The Neil Cowley Trio: Revolution 9

23 Nov 2008