the empire strikes back

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as the empire strikes back.

Pere Ubu: Why I Hate Women (Glitterhouse)

Pere Ubu: Why I Hate Women (Glitterhouse)

This will definitely not be to everyone's taste -- but I have been a longtime follower of Pere Ubu and the solo career of its portly front man David Thomas whose vocals can be as appealing to some people as Yoko Ono's screaming. From the confrontational album title through tracks called Babylonian Warehouses, Flames Over Nebraska and Stolen...

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...

Delgirl: two, maybe three, days ride (Yellow Eye)

Delgirl: two, maybe three, days ride (Yellow Eye)

This Dunedin-based, folk-country three-piece of Deidre Newall, Erin Morton and Lynn Vare impressed with an earlier EP Live at the Wunderbar which hinted at something special, but wasn't quite strong enough to be placed on Elsewhere. But that promise has come with this album of close harmony, suggestions of alt.country and Polynesia,...

The Broken Heartbreakers: The Broken Heartbreakers (Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Broken Heartbreakers: The Broken Heartbreakers (Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a sound which draws equally on the Left Banke, the Everly Brothers, Brian Wilson, Beatles, alt.country harmonies and the Anglofolk tradition, this Auckland group can hardly fail. In songwriter John Guy Howell they also have someone with a genuine gift, and the arrangements here -- minimal guitars, a lovely drone quality in Angels,...

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

The Scottish singer-songwriter Marc Pilley who is the hub of Hobotalk has a gentle way with his music: nothing feels forced or false, and the augmentation of his simple tunes by mandolin, violin, female backing singers and the like just bring these songs to life even more. A refined simplicity is the key here and you can hear why he was...

Beck: Odelay Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Beck: Odelay Deluxe Edition (Universal)

This cornerstone album from '96 confirmed that Beck was going to be something much more than the one-hit wonder for Loser and even the "Dylan of his generation" as some writers had it. Odelay was good enough in itself to stand some kind of re-issue/repackaging, but this Deluxe Edition (some unreleased tracks, another disc of remixes...

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...

Tuung: And Then We Saw Land (Full Time Hobby)

Tuung: And Then We Saw Land (Full Time Hobby)

Somewhat improbably this English acoustic folk-rock outfit recently appeared on stage with the desert blues-rock band Tinariwen -- which really shouldn't have worked at all, yet reports were highly favourable. Tuung's debut album Comments of the Inner Chorus and the follow-up Good Arrows certainly offered a beguiling musical blend which had...

Thomas Dybdahl: "that great October sound" (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Thomas Dybdahl: "that great October sound" (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Some voices -- like those of Jeff Buckley, Antony (of the Johnsons) and Aretha Franklin -- just draw you to them. In the alt.folk scene the late Elliott Smith had such a gift. You felt he was speaking to only you as he revealed intimate secrets. This Norwegian singer-songwriter is like that -- and international critics have been quick to...

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