Absolute Elsewhere

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PHIL SEYMOUR REMEMBERED (2018): Here then and gone yesterday . . .

18 Jun 2018  |  6 min read

If Phil Seymour – who came of age with the Beatles and the British Invasion – has been watching carefully enough he might have read the signs: the Spencer Davis Group, The Dave Clark Five, Manfred Mann . . . The clues were all there. These were Sixties bands which took their name from someone other than the singer/frontman. Spencer Davis... > Read more

Precious To Me

TAMI NEILSON, A VIDEO ESSAY (2018): Putting on the style

25 May 2018  |  1 min read

With the release of a sixth album under own name – Sassafrass! – attention once again turns to the award-winning Tami Neilson who has redefined country, brassy soul, rockabilly and rock'n'roll gospel into an amalgam which is distinct and her own. Her story has been well-canvased in the past, how the Canadian-born singer was part of their traveling family band (sharing bills with... > Read more

NEIL YOUNG CONSIDERED (2018): Every Now, and Then

14 May 2018  |  3 min read

For a long time – perhaps from even as far back as '75 – Neil Young earned the right to do exactly what he wants . . . because he just does exactly what he wants. By '75 he has moved from folk-rock to folk and rock as distinct genres as well as finding a place (sometimes very briefly) in Crosby Stills And Nash's close harmonies or going straight down to the darkest reaches with... > Read more

BOB DYLAN: THE RETURN OF THE TROUBADOUR (2018): Still on the road, heading for another joint . . .

14 May 2018  |  2 min read

Without even bothering to do a fact-check it's a safe bet that Bob Dylan's last album would have been one of the poorest-selling of his long career: It was Triplicate, a three album set of him singing standards and followed two prior single albums along the same lines, the wonderful Shadows in the Night and the somewhat lesser Fallen Angels. Even the most patient fans who accepted Shadows... > Read more

THE DURUTTI COLUMN CONSIDERED (2018): Not exactly living the life of Reilly

30 Apr 2018  |  8 min read

For most people the punk period of the late Seventies in Britain was an exciting – but short – time. As Mark E Smith of the Fall put it bluntly in his memoir-cum-rant Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E Smith in 2008: “I've never aligned myself to the whole punk thing. To me, punk is and was a quick statement. That's why most of the main players couldn't handle the... > Read more

Messidor (from LC, 1981)

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING, A VIDEO ESSAY (2018): Of speed, in space and under the ground

18 Apr 2018  |  2 min read

Over three albums, a batch of EPs, impressive videos and exciting live shows, Britain's Public Service Broadcasting have created a niche for themselves between the worlds of dance, electronica, rock, art music and audio-visual spectacular. New Zealand audiences caught them at a Womad in 2015 but each of their albums -- and the attendant videos -- are mesmersing home-play delights.... > Read more

HAMMOND GAMBLE INTERVIEWED (2018): Of another career in the same town

16 Apr 2018  |  10 min read  |  2

Trees are down, power is out everywhere, the temperature has dropped and our house is freezing. So when a conversation with Hammond Gamble is relocated to the warmth of Galbraith's Ale House in Eden Terrace it's very welcome. The purpose of meeting Gamble – one of this country's finest blues-rock guitarists, an earthy singer and a much underrated and Silver Scroll-winning songwriter... > Read more

EILEN JEWELL INTERVIEWED (2018): Got them weird, oldtime blues again

13 Apr 2018  |  6 min read

The weather’s often like this at this time, raining and cold,”says Eilen Jewell from her hometown of Boise, Idaho. “It’s the only time of year that it rains, because of the desert here, and most of that rain happens during this month.” Not that she, her drummer/husband Jason Beek, their young daughter Mavis and bandmates Jerry Miller (guitar) and bassist... > Read more

You'll Be Mine

PERE UBU REISSUED, PART FOUR (2018): The long and grinding road

6 Apr 2018  |  4 min read

Facts first: This final installment of the vinyl reissue of the singular Pere Ubu's extensive catalogue in four-album box sets comes under the title Les Haricots Sont Pas Sales 1987-1991. And it is somewhat chronologically confusing for fan-followers, because this record collection lies between two of the earlier reissue sets: The Architecture of Language 1979-1982 and Drive, He Said... > Read more

Mirror Man (from Worlds in Collision)

HEADLESS CHICKENS' STUNT CLOWN REVISITED (2018): And fly they did

4 Apr 2018  |  4 min read  |  1

In my collection at home I have a white label test pressing of the debut album by Headless Chickens, the wonderful and challenging Stunt Clown which came out in 1988, the year after they had won the Rheineck Rock Award of a whopping $60,000 which allowed them to record it. I guess I have it – and the hand written track listing in Flying Nun boss Roger Shepherd's distinctive style... > Read more

Expecting to Fly

JIMI HENDRIX, A SLIGHT RETURN (2018): Here's that train a comin'. Again

12 Mar 2018  |  4 min read

In a brief prologue to his hilarious and fictionalised war memoir Adolf Hitler, My Part in His Downfall, Spike Milligan made reference to his previous book Puckoon. He wrote, “After Puckoon I swore I'd never write another novel. This is it . . .” A few years ago on the release of the Jimi Hendrix album People, Hell and Angels, longtime Hendrix engineer and reissue man... > Read more

Jungle

THE JAZZ BUTCHER REVISITED, PART II (2018): Fish there at the dawn of Creation

9 Mar 2018  |  3 min read

The Jazz Butcher, the quirky and sometimes eccentric project of singer-writer Pat Fish, delivered interesting and increasingly crafted albums in the early Eighties. But by the time they arrived on Creation Record in '88 (alongside My Bloody Valentine) Fish had refined his sometimes wayward songs into crafted (but still quirky) pop confections and had a whole new band of jangling... > Read more

Girls Say Yes, from the album Condition Blue

FELT REISSUED (2018): Sometimes bathing in a golden glow

23 Feb 2018  |  6 min read

It is embarrassing when you have an album in your collection which is a famous cult item by a famous cult band and you famously have never bothered to listen to it. Elsewhere revealed that oversight regarding the album The Splendour of Fear by Felt in a column entitled 10 Odd Unplayed Albums in My Collection. That this album from '84 by British band Felt had languished unloved and... > Read more

Evergreen Dazed

BECK CONSIDERED (2018): A man in and out of his time

20 Feb 2018  |  5 min read  |  1

It was almost 20 years that I first saw Beck in concert, an extraordinary show at the glamorous Art Deco Wiltern Theatre on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. My recollection was he hadn't toured in a little while and it was just by chance I happened to be in LA – maybe to interview some film stars but also to have a look at Richard Meiers's Getty Centre. Beck was touring... > Read more

Don't Let It Go, from Morning Phase

JONATHAN BESSER CONSIDERED (2018): Here, there and every which where . . .

12 Feb 2018  |  4 min read

While we can say with certainty there has never been such as things as a “typical Jonathan Besser album” we can still express a little surprise at the direction he has taken for his new Time Travels, recorded in New Jersey with his Besser 3 band. To recap though. Pianist/composer Jonathan Besser arrived in New Zealand in the mid Seventies, and shortly thereafter the... > Read more

No Laughing Matter

SEX, SELLING AND MELODY GARDOT (2018): Wearing your arse on your sleeve

5 Feb 2018  |  5 min read

Before we get to jazz chanteuse Melody Gardot (a previous Elsewhere favourite, starting with her major label debut a cdecade ago), just a digression here about using sex to sell a product. And some images to support that long established convention. In pop and rock, sexy images – and sometimes more pleasing and sensually suggestive art and music, as with Vanessa Daou –... > Read more

Who Will Comfort Me

AUCKLAND'S LANEWAY FESTIVAL CONSIDERED (2018): Hot town, summer in the city . . .

30 Jan 2018  |  7 min read  |  2

As happened in the Eighties, it has become fashionable again – especially among those who don't live here or recent refugees who've had some road to Damascus enlightenment about bucolic provincial life – to knock Auckland as a city where the traffic is terrible, houses are unaffordable, public transport is woeful and so on. Some of this is true . . . but it is a city with... > Read more

DODSON AND FOGG. ONCE MORE, AGAIN (2018): No sleep until . . .

22 Jan 2018  |  2 min read

As our heading here suggests, you have to run very fast just to keep up with Britain's Chris Wade who goes under the name Dodson and Fogg. But if you've followed how often Elsewhere has written about his albums (frequently suggesting you have to run very fast . . .) then you know what we mean by our repeated use of the adjective “prolific”. We could say... > Read more

Dressed for the Night

THE JAZZ BUTCHER REVISITED, PART I (2017): The Bonzo Dogs of post-punk

4 Dec 2017  |  5 min read

Recently when considering the first album in 16 years by the re-formed Britpop-era band Shed Seven, Elsewhere noted how many extremely good second-tier bands were around behind the big name players like Blur, Oasis, Pulp, the short-lived Placebo and others. The same was true in the post-punk era when bands like Magazine, PiL, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Gang of Four, the Cure... > Read more

Still in the Kitchen (from Distressed Gentlefolk)

THE EAGLES' HOTEL CALIFORNIA ENCOUNTERED (2017): The late check in

29 Nov 2017  |  5 min read

Sometimes in life the important stuff goes past you. No need to apologise for not knowing things like how that Balkan conflict started. You kinda had to be there as it unfolded and keep up. If you started tuning in a bit late it was so complex you'd be forgiven for changing the channel. When it comes to real serious stuff I'll confess. I missed Pink Floyd's Animals and... > Read more

Hotel California (live 1976)