Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Various by Various: a wrap-up of collections and compilations

Various by Various: a wrap-up of collections and compilations

With the season of giving approaching it is also the time when compilations by the dozen start to arrive and take up valuable shelf space in CD stores. As a "service to our readers" here's a look at some. And nope, I cannot lie and say I listened to every track on every album -- sometimes you can just look at a track listing and say "okay, uh-hu, I get it . . ." PAUL... more >>

22 Nov 2008    1

The Whispertown 2000: Swim (Acony)

The Whispertown 2000: Swim (Acony)

This alt.country/indie-pop four-piece from LA will doubtless be an acquired taste: but they are certainly alt.country (Jenny Lewis appeared on their debut which makes sense and they are the first signings on Gillian Welch's label so that means something); they do indie okay (a wee bit of fuzzy guitar) and pop pretty well too (jangle guitars). I'm going to leave it at that: it's an odd... more >>

The Whispertown 2000: Old Times

22 Nov 2008    1

The Bats: The Guilty Office (Arch Hill)

The Bats: The Guilty Office (Arch Hill)

The first time and the last time I saw the Bats (at the dawn of time, at the Big Day Out in . . . 2008?) I loved them. In fact at that BDO gig I thought they were one of the best bands on the bill, they seemed utterly invigorated and quite driven. However I often felt I was enduring rather than enjoying them every time between those two distant points. I recall seeing them at the Gluepot... more >>

The Bats: CastleLights

22 Nov 2008    2

Barry Saunders: Zodiac (Ode)

Barry Saunders: Zodiac (Ode)

By my count this is Saunders' fifth solo album, and is by far the strongest from the Warratah frontman. He reaches to the Phoenix Foundation for a downhome(ly) remake of their Going Fishing and his own lyrics are allusive, just specific enough to nail down some hard images ("down at the Kingdom Hall") and the snappy band (which includes guitarist David Long, Nick Brown on violin... more >>

Barry Saunders: To Roberta

22 Nov 2008    1

Forbidden Joe: Oh, what a queer sensation . . . (FJ)

Forbidden Joe: Oh, what a queer sensation . . . (FJ)

This three-piece from Auckland certainly arrive on this five-track EP with a weight of great expectation on their shoulders: singer Frances Dickinson has been hailed by someone on 95bFM as an "up and coming folk superstar" (it would be interesting to have our first) and they -- Dickinson, Emily Giles and Alex Borwick -- are billed as "the wicked new folk sound".... more >>

Forbidden Joe: The Bulgine Run

16 Nov 2008

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Live in Japan (Shock)

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Live in Japan (Shock)

The incendiary Dublin-based acoustic guitar duo out of Mexico that is Rodrigo y Gabriela have redefined what we might mean by "acoustic".  As post-punk hard rockers -- and Gabriela capable of hilarious, Ozzy-amounts of profanity in interviews -- they bring that kind of energy and intensity to their playing which is also driven along by using the guitar bodies as percussion... more >>

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Juan Loco

14 Nov 2008