Absolute Elsewhere

Music interviews, overviews, critical essays and reviews. Big names, cult acts and interviews exclusive to Elsewhere. Straight and bizarre, oddball and ordinary music and musicians. Important moments from the past . . . and things happening right now. Or about to. The Elsewhere place if you are curious about music.

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THE MERSEYMEN, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): Well shake it up baby now . . .

30 Nov 2023  |  2 min read

You probably had to be there. Because it wasn’t about the hair, the boots and the suits. And it wasn’t only about the music either, although that certainly drove everything. It was the sheer excitement of the time, the thrill of being young in the early 60s and having a music of your own which was upbeat, fresh and just kept arriving. Not just from The Beatles, but... > Read more


20 Nov 2023  |  5 min read

Our call finds Adam Granduciel, mainman of the American band War on Drugs, back home in Los Angeles for a couple of months with his wife Krysten and 4-year old Bruce after being on the road through Europe. He's a couple of weeks into two months of downtime with family although sometimes pops into the much-cherished home studio (“it's the greatest”), where he is now, to work... > Read more

1968: SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION (2023): The world on a short fuse

15 Nov 2023  |  19 min read  |  1

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD? "Somehow Sgt Pepper did not stop the war in Vietnam. Somehow it didn't work. Somebody isn't listening" -- David Crosby of Crosby Stills and Nash, 1970  "Rock stars believed that they possessed the latent power to effect political and cultural change: one anthem and the walls of the citadel would crack, like Jericho under... > Read more

THE BEATLES' 1962-1966 AND 1967-1970 COMPILATIONS, RE-COLLECTED (2023): More red and blue for you

11 Nov 2023  |  5 min read  |  1

The two 1973 Beatle double albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 were far from the first Beatle compilations. In fact, there's a case to be made that most of their US releases – albums cobbled together British singles, EPs and album tracks – were compilations more than the coherent albums the band and EMI intended. There had been a number of interesting, if somewhat wayward,... > Read more


THE BEATLES' LOVE ME DO (2023): And before the beginning of the beginning

7 Nov 2023  |  8 min read

The release of the Beatles "final" song Now And Then came with -- on CD, vinyl and digital release -- a reminder of where they started, the 2023 remix of their first single Love Me Do. For decades it has seemed a modest beginning but . . .  To understand why the Beatles were such a breakthrough in popular music we need only look at the year before their arrival in 1963... > Read more

Love Me Do (2023 remix)

MERMAIDENS, INTERVIEWED (2023): New album, new look, new beginnings

5 Nov 2023  |  5 min read

With their new self-titled album, Mermaidens have made a couple of interesting moves: to hear them tell it they re-thought their approach to their music and have also reclaimed their independence by leaving the Flying Nun label. That last matter does raise some questions. Why leave the Nunnery when they had enjoyed such success with their previous two albums Perfect Body (2017,... > Read more

1965, THE TURNING POINT (2023): When pop became art and folk became poetry

5 Nov 2023  |  24 min read

"If I told you what our music is really about we'd probably all get arrested" -- Bob Dylan 1965 "I think of myself as just a song and dance man" -- Bob Dylan, 1965 "Never trust the artist, trust the tale" - DH Lawrence, 1924 1965, a pivotal year and the transition from pop to rock, and songs which actually said something beyond boy-girl... > Read more

GETTING BACK MORE BEATLES (2023): Peter Jackson's video for Now and Then

4 Nov 2023  |  3 min read

In the last half of the Seventies when the tumult and litigation following the break-up of the Beatles had faded a bit, or at least was coming into some perspective, John Lennon had time to think. Without a recording contract and it seems not much interest in writing – although he was doubtless exaggerating when he said in 1980 he hadn't picked up a guitar in five years – Lennon... > Read more

Now And Then

THE CRASH OF THE NINETIES (2023): The lost promise of an Auckland rock band

4 Nov 2023  |  4 min read

The idea of a decade having a distinctive musical signature is a nonsense, obviously: the rock'n'roll Fifties didn't kick off until halfway through that decade; the Swinging Sixties lasted just a few years from 1965 then shivered itself to death in the face of the Manson murders and Altamont; the Seventies started with prog and hard rock and ended with disco and post-punk . . . and... > Read more

Peach Fuzz

MERMAIDENS, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): The journey into their new now

3 Nov 2023  |  1 min read

When Mermaidens opened for The Beths at the Auckland Town Hall in November 2020, the guy next to me – who knew about such things – said, “it reminds me of Fillmore West”. He was referring to the great San Francisco venue for psychedelic bands in the late 60s and was spot-on, because singers Gussie Larkin (guitar) and Lily West (bass) with drummer Abe Hollingsworth... > Read more

NOW THEN, IT'S THE BEATLES AGAIN? (2023): Then and now, Now And Then

3 Nov 2023  |  5 min read  |  1

For many years, rolling into decades even, whenever Paul McCartney was talking up another of his largely indifferent new solo albums he'd drop in the possibility that the lost Beatles' track Carnival of Light might perhaps get released. “You never know, you know,” became the refrain with a wink. Carnival of Light is the Holy Grail for Beatle fanatics, but the... > Read more

Now And Then

EVEN MORE PROVOCATIONS OF RATTLES (2023): In here and out there

2 Nov 2023  |  4 min read

In what seems like an enjoyably endless series, we again try to catch up with releases from Auckland's Rattle label which we scoop up under the favourable description “provocations”. It's a race to the finish line with their final releases for 2023. . Auckland Jazz Orchestra: Inverted One of the great gaps in readily available New Zealand music are the albums on Ode and... > Read more

DEAN WAREHAM of LUNA, INTERVIEWED (1994): If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere

30 Oct 2023  |  <1 min read

When there is time, Elsewhere will be sourcing a rich vein of its archival material which was published in various places during the Eighties and Nineties which are not available on-line. These will most often be reproduced as they appeared in print. Some may be a little fuzzy in the reproduction but we think the story or interview are worth it for researchers or fans. Best read on a... > Read more

BOB DYLAN, 1960-1962 (2023): The man, the music, the myth-making and the marketing

27 Oct 2023  |  7 min read

. . "Do you think that you've played any role in the change of popular music in the last few years? "I hope not."-- Bob Dylan, interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine's Jan Wenner in 1969 THE MAN Dylan's background 1941: Born in to a middle-class Jewish family in Duluth, Minnesota. Real name Robert Zimmerman. Family moved to... > Read more

VAN, DON AND JAKE; DON, LORI, PHOEBE . . . AND TUPAC? (2023): The long and winding songline

25 Oct 2023  |  5 min read

Artists take inspiration from so many sources we might as well just say, "anywhere". But one of the most unexpected -- and it was to him -- comes from Jake Bugg who released his 2012 self-titled debut album at 18 and immediately won praise from the likes of Noel Gallagher. He was a kid from a council estate and had grown up hard but sensitive (as we shall see).... > Read more

CHUCK BERRY, THE LEGACY CONSIDERED (2023): The poet who gave us rock'n'roll music

22 Oct 2023  |  7 min read

There's a very easy case to be made that Chuck Berry – who died in 2017 at 90 – was Elvis Presley's equal in the emerging of rock'n'roll in the Fifties. And that he actually surpassed the King when it came to consolidating and embedding this exciting music in popular culture. As with Presley, Berry forged an amalgam of white country... > Read more

Big Boys

SISTERS UNDERGROUND, INTERVIEWED (1994): Takin' from the street

15 Oct 2023  |  <1 min read

When there is time, Elsewhere will be sourcing a rich vein of its archival material which was published in various places during the Eighties and Nineties which are not available on-line. These will most often be reproduced as they appeared in print. Some may be a little fuzzy in the reproduction but we think the story or interview are worth it for researchers or fans. Best read on a... > Read more

BARRY MARKWICK, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): The man who jazzed on the Bealtes

12 Oct 2023  |  1 min read

In Christchurch in 1965, years before jazz musicians came around to the Beatles’ music, a young pianist Barry Markwick – with bassist Gerald Newson and drummer Harry Voice – recorded an album of Lennon-McCartney tunes, perhaps the first full album of jazz interpretations of Beatle songs anywhere in the world. At 22, Markwick wasn’t much of a Beatles fan.... > Read more

All My Loving

THE BEAU BRUMMELS' COMPLETE RECORDINGS 1964-1970 (2023): Beat-pop out of LA, destination Nashville

9 Oct 2023  |  4 min read

Like their peers the Beat-era Buckinghams from Chicago, the Beau Brummels out of San Francisco formed in the wake of the British Invasion and adopted the look, style and a name which ensured that they would be mistaken for another great UK pop-rock band. Needless to say they would insist that much of this wasn't deliberate – yeah, like naming yourself after an English Regency dandy... > Read more

NEIL YOUNG. YET AGAIN? (2023): It's yesterday once more.

8 Oct 2023  |  2 min read  |  1

Elsewhere has been clear about what we think of the never-ending releases by Neil Young, new albums and those pulled from his archive. This slew of releases – at a guess almost a dozen studio albums and even more live sessions in the past decade – has, in the words of PR, tainted his brand and confused the market. There have been box sets and collections which have included... > Read more