essential elsewhere on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - browse 51 items of content tagged as 'essential elsewhere'.
Springsteen's live shows with a band have, for the most part, been celebratory affairs: initially celebrating the spirit of rock'n'roll; later his connection with an audience; and then increasingly with a vast catalogue of songs whose meanings often changed over time.
After his last album We Shall Overcome when he explored the catalogue of...
After Joe Strummer's terrific showing at the Big Day Out in 2000, albums by his old band the Clash got a fair thrashing round my way, especially their sprawling three-album set from 1980, Sandinista!
Over six sides of vinyl, they dragged together garage-trash rock and dub reggae, power pop and rockabilly, and most points in...
When the British rock magazine Mojo published a special supplement on psychedelic rock back in February 2005, among the albums noted were all the usual suspects: Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix took out the top spot and further down were Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s and albums by the...
When Time magazine declared then New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani its "person
of the year" for 2001 -- over Osama Bin Laden who, like it or not, appeared to have made a
greater impact -- and Oprah's dubbed him "America's Mayor", you could
reasonably feel the Big Apple had become the centre of the known
When this band emerged as Paul Revere and the Raiders in the Sixties they were a rocking, sometimes salacious and rather terrific garageband (albeit one which dressed kinda funny) and so, quite rightly, a compilation of their Greatest Hits appears at Essential Elsewhere.
By 1970 the world had turned through hippies, horn-augmented bands like...
Pub quiz time and your starter for 10 points: Who was the drummer in Talking Heads?
“Okay there was David Byrne and . . . Tina Weymouth on bass and . . . Any of you guys know?”
“Jerry . . . Harrison? Yeah, Jerry Harrison was the guitarist and the drummer was . . . . . .”
Okay, let’s flip all the cards...
Because of its lo-fi, raw and untutored quality, the Black Monk Time album by a group of five former GIs who had been stationed in Germany in the early Sixties has been widely hailed by the likes of Jack White, Iggy Pop, Jay Reatard, Fred Cole of Dead Moon and many others who favour its elemental quality.
The fact that it has been largely...
In his recent book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, the writer/broadcaster Nick Bollinger lists three albums by the Fourmyula (1967-71) out of Upper Hutt.
Not bad for a band that only released three -- and one of those Bollinger cites was the unreleased Turn Your Back on the Wind.
Bollinger doesn't list their self-titled...
The purpose of books of lists - and the list of lists is growing by the day -- is probably two-fold: you get to look through and tick off what you've got/done/seen or whatever and make a note of other points of interest to see/collect/experience.
The second point is to argue with them: in your head you question the selections, howl in...
The life, times, opinions and music of Frank Zappa are too huge and diverse to come to terms with easily. What is beyond question (and some of his music and opinions were questionable) is that the man had a rare and impressive musical reach -- from doo-wop to orchestral music and all points between and beyond -- and when he was in satirical mode...
Here's a rare and odd one, taken from the vinyl album You're A Hook: The 15th Anniversary of Dial-A-Poem (1968-1983), a record which came through the label Giorno Poetry Systems.
The idea behind Dial-A-Poem was exactly that: call this phone number and hear a poem.
The contributors included John Giorno (who initiated the project), William...
people lie about their school days: no one wants to admit they were
ordinary. Better to say you hung around behind the bike shed, that
teachers and kids hated you for your music, clothes or whatever.
Oh, and you smoked.
makes you seem more cool and interesting -- and most people weren’t.
of the lies people...
The J Geils Band out of Massachusetts is best known for their terrific single Angel in a Centrefold (aw, c'mon, it's great, in a rock'n'roll Benny Hill way . . . see clip below) and Freeze Frame -- and in this country probably not a lot else.
No one I know has ever had a J Geils Band album -- or has admitted to as much.
I do. Just the...
Anton Fier was, until recently, a star
without a bank account -- or manager come to that -- and yet at the
nucleus of the hippest collection of New York’s avant-garde ever to
When Fier gets going, the going gets
fearful as left-field jazz players, peripheral rockists and unusual combinations of singers,squawkers and...
Like many of my generation, I can
remember exactly where I was when JFK, RFK and John Lennon were shot.
And when Kurt Cobain proved, contrary to what he sang, he did have a
But with as much clarity I can also
remember when I first heard the Ramones’ Sheena is a Punk Rocker.
It came on a tape from a friend in London and I was...
The apartment seven floors up on Park
Ave South, just around the corner from the exclusive Gramercy Park
area of New York, is much as you might expect. Albums and CDs line
Over there the new Last Poets 12-inch
single leans against the wall, on that shelf there the Yoko Ono CD
box set sits alongside books by Carlos Castenada....
This is easy: any album which makes it into the Essential Elsewhere list is obviously recommended (for one reason or another, the list is absurdly diverse).
But this one gets through on sheer firepower and pop value alone.
Smarter than they looked and smarter than they sounded, the Ramones were the Bay City Rollers/Monkees of bratty NYC...
First, there is a moral here, honest.
But there's a lot of drugs to get through first. So, let’s set the
scene: the Chelsea Hotel on West Twenty Third, New York City, for
decades home to the talented and the tragic.
Within these thick walls Arthur Miller
wrote three novels, a plaque outside acknowledges Dylan Thomas “from...
From She Loves You and She's a Mod, pop music has always rung to the affirmation of "yeah yeah yeah" -- and to hear this Auckland band work it so well on their newly minted classic single Young Blood (which recently won the Silver Scroll for songwriting) was thrilling.
This debut album has been so well canvassed and reviewed that...
Bitter irony is how Matthew Sweet's small but devoted following might describe his recent profile and measure of success: this gifted singer-songwriter, power-pop rocker and fine interpreter of a lyric is currently gathering kudos for the Under the Covers albums he has been doing with former Bangle Susanna Hoffs.
Yes, it's good to know he's...
The perfect pop gig, no doubt about it.
A tidy 40 minutes of three minute songs accompanied by lots of
bouncing up and down -- then off.
And back for a four-song encore. By my
reckoning, that's the playing time of two sides of vinyl and an
encore of EP dimensions. Perfect.
And this was pop -- power pop more
correctly – and...
Here's my theory about The Young Veins, for what it's worth: they are aliens who crashed landed secretly in California behind a music store, got on the computer late at night and Googled "pop music".
Disturbed by the cops they grabbed some band names and songs at random, fled with some instruments and have subsequently launched...
are two stories every young musician should read, the first is
obvious. The Beatles story is full of magic and coincidence;
McCartney's meeting with a drunk Lennon, Harrison getting in by
to them while on a bus, the Hamburg days and the death of Stu
Sutcliffe, the firing of Pete Best and Ringo entering just before...
It was hardly surprising that Ringo Starr, then an aspiring film-maker because he had little else to do other than churn out hits, should have made a film of Marc Bolan in 1972.
Bolan was at the peak of his powers with T.Rex and the "T.Rexstacy" of screaming girls drowning out the music and trying to get a lock of Bolan's hair...
By the time of the Tanx album in 1973, things were starting to go sour for T.Rex's frontman Marc Bolan. He hadn't cared when his old champion John Peel had dismissed his glam pop for its shallowness, or that Bowie and others were starting to snap at his heels. He was in fact oblivious to it all, he was far too busy being the star he always...
Soundtrack albums of songs -- as opposed to a commissioned score -- should be perhaps reviewed in the absence of having seen the movie. That way you find if they hang together as a stand alone item.
Not having seen this much acclaimed film about marginalised people in an urban society (the mad, unfortunate, deluded and different) means these...
At the fag-end of the Seventies, the sound of
the Sex Pistols explosion in Britain had faded and in the place of
furious punk anger came the more intellectual and cooler sound of
post-punk: bands like Magazine, Wire and Joy Division.
Across the Atlantic the Ramones'
flat-tack energy was faltering and the names to note were Talking...
Aside from meeting some interesting (and ocassionally odd) people, interviewing musicians gets you into some different places. In another life I doubt I would have ever been backstage at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall in New York, inside Abbey Road, in expensive hotel rooms in places like Tokyo or Los Angeles, or sitting in a BBC studio...
One of the many funny lines in the
profanity-strewn satirical film In the Loop came from the
character Jamie Macdonald, the senior press officer in 10 Downing
Street and the “angriest man in Scotland”.
On hearing opera he bellowed, “It's
just vowels! Subsidised, foreign fucking vowels!”
The New Yorker music...
It would be a fair guess to say Michael
Chugg has been at more shows than any musician you can name. Because
when musicians take a break Chugg is at another show. Not that he
actually sits down and sees them, as a promoter he's more likely to
be backstage somewhere or, as at Gorillaz last year, just popping out
to stand at the side of the...
The irritation, pleasure and difficulty
with Frank Zappa was that he was always part of rock culture - but
not exactly a rock musician. Well, not when it suits him.
“Being a rock star is nothing to
aspire to," he once said. “Rock stars have to be cute and I`m
a realistic guy. I shave this face every day. I know the...
Since Richie Unterberger wrote Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Genuises, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks and More in 1998, many of the artists he unearthed (Wanda Jackson, the Chocolate Watch Band, Roky Erickson, Can etc) have enjoyed some considerable cult -- and sometimes even mainstream, success.
Jeez, Sandy Denny...
Because he wrote She's the One which became a hit for Robbie Williams in 1999 -- and more so because he was sidelined for four years by a brain aneurysm in 2000 -- little has been heard of Karl Wallinger (who is the sole constant in World Party) since his creative peak in the mid Nineties.
At that time he'd cracked the Grammy-nominated album...
Elsewhere doesn't usually trouble itself with singles -- but this one may be of some interest for longtime Oasis fans, or those just curious to know what's up with the Gallagher brothers since Noel quit.
Beady Eye are Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell (from Oasis) with Chris Sharrock.
This is the first single from the forthcoming...
A power pop supergroup of sorts -- Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball), Scott McCaughey (Fresh Young Fellows, REM), Peter Buck (REM) and Linda Pitmon (Golden Smog) -- here continue their passion for baseball after their similarly conceived debut project Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.
You probably don't need to know too much about the...
There's quite a tradition of death ballads in rock -- Pearl Jam tapped into it when they covered Last Kiss which had been recorded to no great public interest by Wayne Cochran in '61. Perhaps the greatest of them all was Leader of the Pack ("look out look out look out!") by the Shangri-Las in '64.
Coincidentally at exactly the same...
With a new Stevie Nicks solo album about to arrive it is time to . . .
Well, there's no real reason for this particular installment of From the Vaults other than the sheer silliness of it.
The trick here is to look at the video clip first before you play the sample track: what you get is singer Ronnie Hammond up front of the Atlanta Rhythm...
Looked at one way, the great Roy Orbison (who died in late '88) had five separate careers, but he only ever changed musical direction once.
"The Big O" -- or "the Caruso of Rock" -- as he was known, had long periods away from the spotlight and it would be fair to observe his defining work was done in an exceptional period...
As has been noted here, there is a lot more of Bob Dylan's past out there in the world than there ever was -- and of course he has quite some past.
This from the very distant days in May '63 was recorded at the peak of his politicised folk period (the anthems Blowing in the Wind and Masters of War, the former not here, would be on his album...
For her first album in a decade the fairie queen and producer Dave Stewart have opened their fat Rolladecks and made some calls. Here are Fleetwood Macs' Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, Mike Campbell from Petty's Heartbreakers, guitarists Waddy Watchel and Glen Ballard (among other six stringers), Greg Leisz on mandolin, percusson player...
When a band which made one your favourite albums three decades ago -- Crazy Rhythms, an Essential Elsewhere album (here) -- gets together for their first album in 19 years you enter with trepidiation.
You know things can't and shouldn't be the same, and you remind yourself that after some dodgy stuff Wire of the same era delivered a...
Chants R&B, who styled themselves
"soul agents for r'n'b," were a raucous four-piece from Christchurch, New Zealand who would seem to have been in cultural isolation from r'n'b rock of the mid Sixties by them being at the bottom of the bottom island at the bottom of the world.
But Christchurch had an American airforce base and...
Chants R&B out of Christchurch in
the Sixties were a rare New Zealand band, on so many levels. Rare in
that they played exciting, noisy, feedback-infused rhythm and blues
rock at a time when most other New Zealand bands were following the
Beatles into bright pop.Rare that they recorded a live album.Rare that they were so often...
With the (almost) complete Pink Floyd catalogue being re-presented shortly, the Moody Blues arriving on our shores and bands like
The Mars Volta, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree pushing the boundaries,
there seems to be quite a lot of progressive rock, if not exactly old
school prog-rock, out there.
Of course it never really went away and...
As with jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk who had complex careers, so too Frank Sinatra poses a problem for beginners.
Where to start?
Let's make it simple.
You start right here with this album from 1955.
In the Wee Small Hours -- only Sinatra's second album, he'd been recording for years but the LP...
In 2002 after a Rolling Stones concert in Chicago I asked my friend, who lived in the city, to take me down to 2120 South Michigan Avenue, the old home of Chess Records.
Aside from wanting to see this legendary place where Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon once held court, I also half thought...
When veteran British bluesman John
Mayall played the Civic in Auckland in 2010, the concert was both disappointing
and crowd-pleasing. Disappointing because, although professionally
executed, it failed to really take flight. Crowd-pleasing because he
played his hits.
The joke, of course, is Mayall has
never had hits and at 77 it seems...
In the excellent DVD doco The Never Ending Narrative, a legion of rock writing worthies line up to discuss Bob Dylan's remarkable late-career reinvention.
Nigel Williamson is both amused and slightly annoyed that not only did Dylan start making some of the best music of his career, but he also took on Williamson's area and proved to be one...
Sometimes in history there comes that rare conjunction of the artist, the time and the art.
In the case of Jean Michel Jarre it seemed they were all out of alignment. He could not have chosen a more inhospitable climate into which release his work. Jarre's album Oxygene came out in France in 1976 but wasn't given release in...
The relationship between some movie directors and composers is so close that it is hard to imagine certain films without their soundtracks: Hitchcock had Bernard Herrmann's gripping scores for Psycho and North by Northwest and others; Werner Herzog with the German avant-rock band Popul Vuh providing the eerie music to Aguirre, Wrath of God and...
Those who were there say everything changed when he walked in the room and started to play. He’d been away a long time -- learning guitar was what they said -- but the last time anyone had seen him he was an uppity kid and not that good.
You can imagine how it must have been that Saturday night in a small run-down club in Banks,...
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