steve abel

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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...

Tim Guy: Hummabyes (Monkey)

Tim Guy: Hummabyes (Monkey)

This gentle album is so light it makes the Bats sound like Thin Lizzy. Auckland-based singer-songwriter Guy has stripped his music back to airy arrangments for guitar and bass (with ukulele, slide, harmonica and triangle where required) but the whole thing has a summershine spaciousness and the smart production lets these whimsical (but never...

Jeffrey Foucault: Ghost Repeater (Signature)

Jeffrey Foucault: Ghost Repeater (Signature)

Not sure where this album has been -- it was recorded in 2005 and released in the rest of the world the following year - but it has just turned up in my letterbox. Produced by Bo Ramsey (a hallmark of quality) these are troubadour country songs grounded in a dark America of lonesome travellers, the search for a place, ghosts of the past and...

Various: Monkey Magic Vol II (Monkey)

Various: Monkey Magic Vol II (Monkey)

I doubt Auckland's Monkey Records has a motto, but I'm prepared to suggest one: "When you are smaller you have to be smarter." And although this label may be small it certainly is smart -- as this excellent CD/DVD compilation package proves. The label boasts many fine artists who have been posted at Elsewhere in the recent past...

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Among the many unaddressed issues about the effectiveness of New Zealand Music Month is that of so many albums being released: they cancel each other out and some just won't get the attention they deserve. I sincerly hope that out of the mountain released -- around 50 albums in, or in time for, NZMM, which is just self-defeating -- that this...

The Pines: Tremolo (Red House/Ode)

The Pines: Tremolo (Red House/Ode)

Quite why the Pines -- who are Branson, the son of the legendary singer-songwriter Bo Ramsey, and David Huckfelt -- didn't get more alt.country/indie.rock traction with their excellent Sparrows in the Bell album was a mystery to me. Maybe the father association put people off in that Lennon-kids way?  To me they sounded like a bridge...

Josh Rouse: El Turista (Bedroom Classics)

Josh Rouse: El Turista (Bedroom Classics)

The musically itinerant Josh Rouse has long been an Elsewhere favourite for his musical curiosity (Seventies singer-songwriters, Nashville, indie-rock and so on) and he doesn't disappoint here as he gets his passport stamped and takes off for the tropical pleasures of Brazilian moods and music (in Portuguese mostly) which come subtlely...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Guy

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Guy

Singer-songwriter Tim Guy returned to New Zealand from Australia a few years ago and in that time has released three fine albums, the most recent being Big World. He has toured New Zealand regularly – sometimes with the likes of Anika Moa, Bic Runga, Anna Coddington and Paul McLaney – but his current tour is slightly...

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