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


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  |  3 min read

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


KLAUS VOORMANN ARTIST: CREATING AN ICONIC ALBUM COVER (2017): Because it revolves around and around

6 Mar 2017  |  2 min read

Klaus Voormann's story is entwined with that of the Beatles from the day he saw them playing in a Hamburg bar. The story has become legend, how after an argument with his girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr -- an aspiring photographer -- he wandered the streets and was drawn by the sound coming from the club It was the Beatles playing a typically rowdy and ramshakle set, and Voormann was... > Read more

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)

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


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

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

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

PJ HARVEY CONSIDERED (2016): All killer and no Polly filler

12 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

When she first emerged under her own name in the early Nineties with the album Dry we called her “PJ Harvey”, because “Polly” seemed rather too familiar for someone so tightly wound and sharply poetic. And because Dry's follow-up Rid of Me was called “the best miserable album of all time” by Q magazine. She changed over time, but even in 2001... > Read more

JON HERINGTON PROFILED (2016): Ain't 'bout that adult entertainment, surely?

9 Dec 2016  |  4 min read

Chances are you've heard – and perhaps even seen – guitarist Jon Herington but never heard his name. Born on the Jersey Shore, Herington took his high school band into opened for the biggest local name (Bruce Springsteen, if you are uncertain) but subsequently slipped sideways into jazz . . . all of which was a solid background for what he has been doing since '99.... > Read more

Caroline Yes

THE ROLLING STONES, AGAIN (2016): Goin' back home to the blues

2 Dec 2016  |  4 min read  |  6

The massive screen in the lobby of the cinema complex was screening footage from the Rolling Stones' 2016 concert in Havana, rendering the lines on Keith Richards' face like deep scars on an alien landscape. Many in the crowd shuffling towards the next blow 'em blockbuster stopped and stared, most in silence. And then on the screen a drone flew over the Stones' audience and two... > Read more

Everybody Knows About My Good Thing

RAY COLUMBUS REMEMBERED (2016): The modfather forever young

30 Nov 2016  |  3 min read

Although Ray Columbus – who died in November 2016 in Auckland, age 71 – will go into the history books as the first New Zealand entertainer to have a number one single overseas (She's Mod with the Invaders in 1964, which topped the Australian charts), when he received his Order of the British Empire (OBE) in '74 it was for his long and diverse career in many aspects of New... > Read more

THE VOLUME EXHIBITION IN AUCKLAND: Exit through the gift shop

21 Nov 2016  |  3 min read  |  2

Because I was involved in the exhibition Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa currently running at the museum in Auckland – 60 years of popular music from 50s rock'n'roll to Lorde – people sometimes ask what I'm most pleased about. Well, I say, the fact that Volume exists at all is very pleasing . . . But aside from Chris Knox's famous TEAC tape recorder, the huge... > Read more

Jesus I Was Evil, by Darcy Clay

THE TURTLES REVISITED (2016): Sometimes it ain't them babe

21 Nov 2016  |  6 min read

It hasn't been uncommon for musicians or bands to hide behind another name. The Beatles briefly flirted with the idea for an album before they ran out of energy for it (“We're Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band . . .”) and in the early Seventies the late Leon Russell recorded a very credible country album as Hank Wilson. And, although it was obviously Russell, Hank was... > Read more

Grim Reaper of Love