Glass guitar, Hawaii
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Music at Elsewhere

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Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

Some artists may always be the private passion of a few, and you sense this American singer-songwriter is hailed by some and utterly unfamiliar to most, many of whom would like him if they only knew. Rouse has been a regular at Elsewhere and his albums like Under Cold Blue Stars (02), the slightly troublking 1972 (of 03 when some said he'd retreated into LA-lite pop) and the terrific... more >>

JOsh Rouse: Miserable South

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hellsongs: Hymns in the Key of 666 (Rhythmethod)

Hellsongs: Hymns in the Key of 666 (Rhythmethod)

It happens every now and again, someone turns a genre on its head -- like when Hayseed Dixie makeover hard rock as hoe-down bluegrass, Pat Boone takes metal classics and makes them big band ballads, or Metallica's music gets appropriated by a string quartet.This is familiar stuff, and Laibach taking Let It Be into aggressive martial music is a particular favourite at Elsewhere.So you only need... more >>

Hellsongs: We're Not Gonna Take It (originally by Twisted Sister)

The Black Leaf: The Black Leaf (Waht Records)

The Black Leaf: The Black Leaf (Waht Records)

We'll start at the start on The Black Leaf and Waht Records: this first posting is of the home-studio debut album by Aucklander Mark Howden (aka The Black Leaf) and from what I read Waht Records began as his PhD project in 2006. It has now branched off into three directions: a studio; a rock band; and Howden in acoustic singer-songwriter mode.This album takes off from the Church/the late... more >>

Black Leaf: Drawn Tight

Elvis Presley: The Complete '68 Comeback Special (SonyBMG)

Elvis Presley: The Complete '68 Comeback Special (SonyBMG)

By 1968 the man who had almost single-handedly created rock'n'roll culture just a decade previous was all but irrelevant: Elvis hadn't sung live since a concert in Hawaii in 1961; his last top selling single had been Good Luck Charm six years previous; and his recent single Guitar Man had failed to enter the Top 40. He hadn't been on television since a Frank Sinatra special in May 1960.While... more >>

Elvis Presley: Baby What You Want Me To Do (rehearsal)

Pete Molinari: A Virtual Landscape (Shock)

Pete Molinari: A Virtual Landscape (Shock)

English singer-songwriter Molinari's debut Walking off the Map was a beguiling, blatantly Dylanesque affair which found great favour at Elsewhere -- but this time out he's like a pub quiz: which song am I referencing now?Usually it's Dylan but he lifts shamelessly from Sam Cooke, Hank Williams, the Stones' in 65, young Donovan . . . And you gotta love a nasal line like this: "they all held... more >>

Pete Molinari: It Came Out of the Wilderness