Absolute Elsewhere

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THE REVOLUTIONARY SNAKE ENSEMBLE PROFILED (2017): The Nawlins beat of the Boston street

27 Mar 2017  |  3 min read

Okay, follow us back for a while, down a few by-ways and familiar names before we get to Boston’s much acclaimed funky New Orleans-influenced brass band. Let’s go way back to Boston’s post-punk outfit Moving Parts who broke up in the late Seventies . . . because out of their remnants came two more familiar names; Mission of Burma and an odd off-shoot called Birdsongs... > Read more

I'll Fly Away

TURKISH PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC FROM THE SEVENTIES REDISCOVERED (2017): Gonna take you wider

20 Mar 2017  |  5 min read

The wheel of history is turning faster and faster. Once, you could understand how Greece, which gave the world the important building blocks of democracy and philosophy, was labouring under the gun of a military dictatorship in the 20th century. Or how Rome, which once commanded a massive empire, had descended into the political chaos which is modern day Italy with its revolving... > Read more

Bu Ellerden Gocup. by Asik Emrah

BILL NELSON REVISITED (2017): Back on the beam

17 Mar 2017  |  3 min read  |  1

Actually, the title on this article is a fib: this is not a revisit to the astonishingly prolific English musician Bill Nelson (whom Elsewhere has never previously visited), but merely an excuse to wax lyrical about his typically indefinable album from 1981 entitled -- hold your breath -- Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam. And that probably is a reference to . . . ? The absurdly... > Read more

Cubical Domes

BILL FRISELL PROFILED (2017): Guitarist without portfolio

15 Mar 2017  |  1 min read

No matter where on the musical spectrum you try to place American guitarist/composer Bill Frisell – one of the chief guests at the Wellington Jazz festival — he always seems like the outsider on the inside. Trying to get a clear picture of him is like looking through a prism: From one perspective he's a jazz musician, from another the distinctive guitarist on albums by Tom... > Read more

Mandeville, Bill Frisell w Paul Motian Band, 1981

STRAND OF OAKS INTERVIEWED (2017): Coming to terms with himself

10 Mar 2017  |  13 min read  |  1

For a guy who has been battered by life and battered himself, Tim Showalter – who performs as Strand of Oaks – sounds remarkable cheerful, funny and upbeat when we catch at home in a Philadelphia suburb, albeit briefly. “I'm home for about 48 hours after playing in Europe,” he says, “and then we are starting the tour of the US. So we are pretty much going... > Read more

Everything

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT: Presenting, the one and only . . .

6 Mar 2017  |  4 min read

For way more than a decade, the sole album attributed to Deutsche Wertarbeit – which translates from the German as “German Craftsmanship” or “German quality” – was almost impossible to find. And even when it was finally reissued on CD in the mid Nineties it went past most people.  Released in 1981 and locating itself somewhere between... > Read more

Der Grosse Atem

VERNON REID OF LIVING COLOUR INTERVIEWED (2017): Matters of colour and Colour

27 Feb 2017  |  10 min read

Donald Trump's makeover of the American political landscape was always going to come up in the conversation. And as an articulate voice on black issues Vernon Reid – guitarist with Living Colour – has an amusing if bewildered take on it. “You know, I'm a huge science fiction and horror fan and this is like living in that. You accept it because it's a reality . . . but... > Read more

Cult of Personality

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . CHANCE: Searching for the chancer

27 Feb 2017  |  3 min read

Like the remarkable Vernon Dalhart who had numerous stage and recording names, the man born Chance Martin also used a lot of pseudonyms. Unfortunately unlike Dalhart (his extraordinary story is told here) who sold records by the shedload, Chance -- as he was known to friends -- barely shifted a copy of his sole album In Search, released in 1981. Chance -- who has been variously Mr Freedom... > Read more

Mr Freedom Man

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN CONSIDERED (2017): The needling and the damage done

20 Feb 2017  |  3 min read

The most unexpected thing about The Jesus and Mary Chain's debut album was that they made it at all. When they first started playing live their sets barely broke the double-figures minute mark. In part that was because they'd sometimes take the stage claiming to be the support band and get on and off before anyone twigged. But albums they did make, half a dozen between the... > Read more

Always Sad (from Damage and Joy)

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROSEMARY BROWN: Music from the great beyond

13 Feb 2017  |  6 min read

When the English composer and pianist Rosemary Brown died in 2001 at age 85 she took with her an intimate knowledge of the works by some of the greatest classical composers. This is not uncommon of course. Classical performers and conductors always have a deep and personal connection to the music of those whose compositions they have studied and played. But Brown's connection to... > Read more

Valse Brillante in E Minor

ELBOW, ONCE AGAIN (2017): Guy Garvey, the big Elbow bender

12 Feb 2017  |  3 min read  |  1

When Elsewhere interviewed Guy Garvey of Britain's acclaimed Elbow in 2011 he was amused by the fact he'd become something of a rock star. He was for too old for that description he felt -- he was 37 and happily in a relationship (“trying for baby”) at the time. Although I can't remember if it was me or him who noted he looked more like Ricky Gervais in The Office than a... > Read more

K2

THE CHURCHILL'S REMEMBERED (2017): It's a psikhidelish trip from Tel Aviv

6 Feb 2017  |  3 min read

Music news travels fast. Sometimes too fast. A group around the table, talking over bottles of wine and each other, was reminiscing about how scenes used to develop in glorious isolation. Tennessee in the mid Fifties, the South Side of Chicago and Liverpool in the early Sixties, a strange brew of dope smoke and religion on an off-beat in Jamaica a decade later, downtown New York... > Read more

Subsequent Finale

HERMAN'S HERMITS' BLAZE RECONSIDERED (2017): Going out to a blaze of indifference

3 Feb 2017  |  6 min read

In the mid Sixties, no self-respecting fan of the Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks and others took Herman's Hermits seriously. They were a vacuous pop band fronted by the cute Herman (Peter Noone) whose crooked front tooth seemed to get as much attention as their music. To their small credit however, they were sometimes pretty enjoyable in what they did and their early singles included... > Read more

Moonshine Man

LYDIA COLE INTERVIEWED (2017): Then we take Berlin . . .

30 Jan 2017  |  8 min read

Sitting in a Kingsland cafe just a few minutes walk from where she's been flatting for the past few years, singer-songwriter Lydia Cole is a charming and guileless combination of candour, caution and confidence. You get the impression that, even at 29, she is assured about where she is in life but also still feeling her way. And fair enough: she is putting a tour together (dates... > Read more

MONICA ZETTERLUND CONSIDERED (2017): From smalltown Sweden to the world stage

30 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

From this physical and historical distance, it is easy to consider Monica Zetterlund, who died in 2005 aged 67, as simply “world famous in Sweden”. But there was time when she infamous in her homeland. It came when she represented Sweden in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest. Her song En Gang i Stockholm/Once Upon a Time in Stockholm (aka Winter City) scored exactly... > Read more

En gang i Stockholm

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . CARL T SPRAGUE: At home on the range in the Eighteen Seventies

27 Jan 2017  |  5 min read

Some musicians are so close to the source they are almost part of it. The young Rolling Stones -- despite their cultural, emotional and physical distance from American blues – heard that music speak to them and, in their emulation of their heroes like Jimmy Reed, Middy Waters, Howling Wolf, Willie Dixon and others, located themselves as part of the lineage. When they first... > Read more

Utah Carrol

MUSIC BEYOND GENRE (2017): The brave new post-modern world of Fatima Al Qadiri

23 Jan 2017  |  5 min read

When Aaradhna was awarded but declined to accept the best urban hip-hop award at the 2016 New Zealand Music Awards for her album Brown Girl – saying, among other things she was a singer not a rapper and that she felt marginalised by being put in what she saw as the “brown” category – it set off a small debate about how we label music and artists. Unhelpfully... > Read more

Shanghai Freeway

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROBERT GRAETTINGER: The ghoul of Third Stream

16 Jan 2017  |  5 min read

When big-band leader Stan Kenton took a left turn from the dancefloor into music for the concert halls in the late Forties he increasingly left much of his audience behind. By aiming more for the head than the feet he was embarking on a path that had already been laid out by George Russell and Dave Brubeck, and Gunther Schuller gave it the name Third Stream Music because it belonged... > Read more

City of Glass, Second Movement

THE FLAMING LIPS CONSIDERED (2017): White punks on dope

16 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

It was the costumes and huge balloons really, wasn't it? Flaming Lips – the vehicle of Wayne Coyne – proved that even at the height of post-grunge seriousness in the Nineties you were allowed to be silly and have fun. And he always looked like he was. But Flaming Lips had been around a long time — they started in the early Eighties — before their dreamy,... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LOLA FALANA: Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl . . .

9 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

When the singer-dancer-actress Lola Falana arrived in New York in the early Sixties with, by her account just US$26 in her pocket, she took whatever dancing jobs she could get, mostly in Harlem clubs. And it was in one such place that she was spotted by Sammy Davis Jnr. In quick succession she appeared in his Broadway musical Golden Boy, recorded her debut single My Baby, appeared in... > Read more