brett dennen

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One Man Bannister: Moth (Powertool)

One Man Bannister: Moth (Powertool)

Auckland singer-songwriter and sometime member of Don McGlashan's band Matthew Bannister made some of the most charming, slightly unnerving and genuinely lovely music with his Flying Nun bands Sneaky Feelings and Dribbling Darts of Love, and in my opinion never really got his dues. He thought the same and wrote about his music and life in...

John Vanderslice: Emerald City (Longtime Listener)

John Vanderslice: Emerald City (Longtime Listener)

You have to admire someone who kicks off their solo career with a hoax in which it was suggested that Microsoft (whose logo he had mimicked on his first single Bill Gates Must Die) was getting litigious. Vanderslice was obviously a smart fellow with a sense of humour. (Although that's what is says at Wikipedia, and that could be one of his...

Paul McLaney: Diamond Side (Loop)

Paul McLaney: Diamond Side (Loop)

Given the critical acclaim rightly accorded his last album Edin, you might have thought this follow-up by the prolific Auckland-based singer-songwriter would have been widely reviewed, but it seems to have slipped out with little fanfare. Possibly there are two problems at work: McClaney is highly prolific (I have half a dozen albums under...

Steve Reynolds, Exile (Fulfill/Exile)

Steve Reynolds, Exile (Fulfill/Exile)

I know nothing of this LA-based Canadian singer-songwriter other than he turned up on that pretty good tribute to the Band, Endless Highway, that came out last year. (He did a fine version of Stage Fright) But this rollicking, often urgent-sounding acoustic driven folk-rock is an excellent showcase of his many talents, from finger-picking to...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

Another year and another Van album on yet another label . . . And with the reissue of his earlier albums drawing attention to great work like It's Too Late to Stop Now (read about it in Essential Elsewhere) it would hardly be surprising if this one was ignored by even longtime followers, many of whom might be picking up the remastered...

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...

Brett Dennen: So Much More (Rhythmethod)

Brett Dennen: So Much More (Rhythmethod)

This great album came out so long ago that I had it at Elsewhere about a year back and then deleted it because I just assumed it was lost to all (except me) and I needed to free up some space.Lord knows why it has now reappeared in a different cover and with "PRIORITY RELEASE!" emblazoned (three times) across the top of a promo flyer.I...

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

No one sang stuff like this at any watercooler of my acquaintance, but maybe that's because socio-political folktronica is hard to pull off without accompaniment -- and edgy violin solos just don't sound right when hummed.Matthias is a mate of Radiohead's Thom Yorke and some have drawn a line between this album and Yorke's abrasive solo album...

Ned Collette and Wirewalker: Over the Stones, Under the Stars (Fabric/Rhythmethod)

Ned Collette and Wirewalker: Over the Stones, Under the Stars (Fabric/Rhythmethod)

When Australian Ned Collette's previous album Future Suture appeared at Elsewhere the closing line was "check this guy out". I suspect few did, even though he visited New Zealand a couple of times. But here's another chance, although this sounds a little different to its predecessor: often downbeat, lean and less augmented, more...

Timothy Blackman: I've Never Lived (Home Alone)

Timothy Blackman: I've Never Lived (Home Alone)

Singer-songtwriter Blackman appeared at Elsewhere previously with his very interesting EP Modern Sprawl, and this is his short (half an hour) nine-song debut album recorded in  Berlin in December last year -- which must have been cold. With sole assistance from a drummer in a few places, these are Blackman's naked ruminations (some...

Bannerman: The Dusty Dream Hole (Rhythmethod)

Bannerman: The Dusty Dream Hole (Rhythmethod)

Bannerman is New Zealand singer-songwriter Richard Setford whose purpose in life seems to be to confound those who would easily pigeonhole him. He appeared at Elsewhere previously with his quietly intense EP (here) which stood at some distance from his work with the roiling Batucada Sound Machine and the soulful One Million Dollars. For this...

Brett Dennen: Lover Boy (Dualtone/Border)

Brett Dennen: Lover Boy (Dualtone/Border)

This fine singer-songwriter who is clearly in the pop camp on this outing, has appeared a couple of times previously at Elsewhere but never seems to get much attention elsewhere -- except when some songs appeared on US television shows. On this upbeat collection he manages to turn a funeral into a reason to celebrate life and in the liner...

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