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SubAudible Hum: In Time For Spring, On Came The Snow (Inertia)

SubAudible Hum: In Time For Spring, On Came The Snow (Inertia)

The Melbourne-based outfit open this, their second album, with a pulsating electronic track which is increasingly dense and chant-like, and sounds like U2's guitarman the Edge has also been roped in while struggling with a hangover. However it is an atypical track from a band that has previously owed more than a little to Radiohead's most...

Wilco; Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Wilco; Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The career trajectory of Wilco, helmed by Jeff Tweedy, has been fascinating to follow, if not always easy for many. From alt.country through to ambitious and complex pop in the late 90s, they then made the "Radiohead leap" with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002 where the experimentation, noise factor and angularity of ther material was...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL)

Over the Christmas 07-08 period I heard a radio interview with a young musician denouncing the gross villany of major record companies -- about which I expect he had no personal experience -- and pointing to Radiohead's on-line/download release in October 2007 of In Rainbows (with buyers paying what they liked for it) as evidence the music...

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid (Mag)

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid (Mag)

Back in 2001 Elbow were shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize for their debut album Asleep in the Back* and for my money it has all been up since then, although I suspect sales haven't followed accordingly. They are a cult name in New Zealand (mid-sized cult however) and a band that is too easy to let slip past you. But they...

British Sea Power: Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)

British Sea Power: Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)

The title of this glisteningly melodic album is doubtless rhetorical -- but these guys also seem to like Brian Wilson's ambitious pop symphonies, ambient music in the manner of Brian Eno, Paul McCartney's better pop ballads, Anglofolk, having mates hauled in to act as a choir, strings . . . So yes, they like rock music -- but aren't...

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...

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

There is an easy and convincing case to be made for Radiohead's more obvious OK Computer of '97 -- or the even more edgy Kid A of 2000 -- as an Essential Elsewhere album. But The Bends was their turning point. This was the album which took them from the pop culture hit Creep (which appeared in the teen comedy Clueless where the main...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warners)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warners)

Anyone coming to this sprawling and musically diverse (not to say sometimes bewildering) 80 minute album because they were seduced by the Lips' earlier album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (with that sublime hit Do You Realise) might want to take a big breath. This is different in many, many ways. This is the Lips' fascinating and...

2am Orchestra: Impermanence (DJK)

2am Orchestra: Impermanence (DJK)

You'd be wise to put aside any preconceptions of what this music might sound like if you simply guessed from the band's name (dark, slow, ambient?), because David Kelley who is the mainman here aims (with a lot of help from his friends) to be nothing less than Arcade Fire with hints of mid-period Radiohead. This is dramatic music full...

Malajube: Labyrinthes (Shock)

Malajube: Labyrinthes (Shock)

Elsewhere is certainly not immune to charms of Canada: we have acknowledged Arcade Fire, the collective Broken Social Scene, Patrick Watson, the challenge of vocal contortionist Tagaq and others (as well as watching the Anvil doco with tightening sphincter, hailing the droll TV comedy Corner Gas, and delighting in the landscape and people)....

The Church: Priest = Aura (1992)

The Church: Priest = Aura (1992)

With the luxury of time, lowered expectation and some haze-inducing drugs, a kind of sublime, relaxed psychedelia can be the happy result.  As in the case of this album by one of Australia‘s finest bands of the Eighties and Nineties. When the Church emerged out of Canberra in the early Eighties they had some of the guitar...

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

An album where an artist covers the material of others is hardly a new concept, but you can guess that Peter Gabriel -- the ever sensitive quality controller, with his first album in eight years -- brings something special to the table. Here he is on songs by those of his generation such as David Bowie (Heroes), Paul Simon (Boy in the...

The Antlers: Hospice (FrenchKiss/Border)

The Antlers: Hospice (FrenchKiss/Border)

This may not sound like everyone's idea of an album to listen to -- it is a 10-track concept piece about caring for someone in a hospice who has been emotionally abusive. But whaddya gonna do? They are dying so you can hardly pay out on them. Here New York's Peter Silberman crafts a song cycle of great depth and sometimes alarmingly beauty,...

The Doves: The Places Between; The Best of the Doves (EMI CD/DVD)

The Doves: The Places Between; The Best of the Doves (EMI CD/DVD)

This alt.rock English outfit -- here wrapping up their first decade with a double CD and DVD set -- are one of those bands which people feel passionately about (one of my sons) or just let go right on by. They were nominated for the Mercury Award for both of their first two albums (Lost Souls in 2000, the even better The Last Broadcast two...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

Just as Achtung Baby and Zooropa represented a watershed period for U2, so The Bends of '95 and especially OK Computer of two years later marked a turning point in Radiohead's still-young career. On reflection it is hard to believe that on just their second album (The Bends) that a band could make such a daring, sideways career move -- and...

Phil Selway: Familial (Shock)

Phil Selway: Familial (Shock)

Despite the careers of Phil Collins and Dave Grohl – and Ringo's country music record after the Beatles' break-up – no one expects much of solo albums by drummers: Peter Criss' was the worst seller of the Kiss solo releases in 78. Pussycat whiskers didn't help. But Radiohead's Selway – one of Neil Finn's 7 Worlds...

U2: Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Remix, 1991)

U2: Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Remix, 1991)

U2 may have reverted to musical type with stadium anthems and those long chiming chords which roll towards singalong or bellicose choruses, but around the time of Achtung Baby and Zooropa they were a genuinely innovative band. And much of the music of that period lent itself to remixing and mashing.  Their fan magazine Propaganda issued...

British Sea Power: Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

British Sea Power: Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

After their interesting digression into providing a soundtrack to the 1934 film Man of Aran by Robert J Flaherty (and letting that remarkable and bleak film find a new audience with the CD/DVD set) it is business as usual for BSPower who here pump up the power chords and U2-like chest-and-soul-baring (with more cuss words) for an album that...

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

The very personable Guy Garvey – songwriter and singer for the award-grabbing British band Elbow – laughs when he describes himself as “a rock star”, in part because at 37 he's getting a bit old for that game, but mostly because he knows he looks more like the plump Ricky Gervais than the buffed Ricky Martin....

U2, ACHTUNG BABY TURNS 20 (2011): The handbrake turn

U2, ACHTUNG BABY TURNS 20 (2011): The handbrake turn

In Dublin, at the end of the final U2 concert on the Lovetown tour in 1989 -- broadcast to 200 million in a live radio link up -- Bono said they would now “go away and dream it all up again”. From a scrappy post-punk band at the start of the decade they had delivered half a dozen albums which connected them with a global...

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