Absolute Elsewhere

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HEAD LIKE A HOLE, INTERVIEWED (1994): The serious business of not being serious

29 Dec 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

CRASH, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): The band that was, the album that wasn't.

22 Dec 2023  |  1 min read

By the late 1990s, amidst the turmoil of local guitar bands which emerged in the wake of Guns ’N Roses’ hair-metal and angst-fuelled grunge, Auckland band Crash would seem to have as good a shot as any against peers like Push Push, Dead Flowers, The Feelers, Pluto, Zed and many others. Formed in 1991, Crash hit student radio with their single... > Read more


18 Dec 2023  |  10 min read  |  1

Following Elsewhere posting its choices for the Best of Elsewhere 2023; The Editor's Picks and The Year in Reissue (And Such) we invited Elsewhere readers to tell us what they were impressed by this year. . . . because we only chose from what we had written about, and a lot went past us. Here is what people told us . . . and where Elsewhere had reviewed the album we have highlighted it with... > Read more

PETER GABRIEL, THE RETURN AT LAST (2023): Bright, dark and inside/outside

18 Dec 2023  |  3 min read

Age shall not weary them? Guns'N Roses' 2008 album Chinese Democracy arrived 17 years after their previous album of original music and was so long-promised that some suggested China would get democracy before we'd get the album. The Rolling Stones' recent Hackney Diamonds appeared 18 years after their last album of original material (A Bigger Bang in case you had forgotten). And now... > Read more


11 Dec 2023  |  8 min read  |  2

When Joe Strummer sang “no Elvis, Beatles, no Rolling Stones in 1977” he couldn't have anticipated what 2023 would hold. All of those artists had albums remastered, reissued or released this year, the Rolling Stones roaring back to life after gap of 17 years since their previous album of original songs. Was it any good? Well, let's see . . . because here are Elsewhere's... > Read more


11 Dec 2023  |  5 min read

In recent years with the extensive programme of reissues (with additional songs) or the release of albums you never knew existed, the vaults of record companies and recording studios seem like Aladdin's Cave. Here we just single out 10 which we found important and interesting, just the ones we wrote about. We have set aside the Beatles' Red and Blue albums but you can read about them here.... > Read more

ELSEWHERE'S PEOPLE OF THE YEAR 2023: The young and the restless

11 Dec 2023  |  4 min read

We've never done this before, but the thought occurred that while the Beatles and Rolling Stones gained lengthy coverage this year and the list of musicians and other celebrities who had died just kept getting longer and more depressing (see the collage here), the year was dominated by two artists, diametrically different in musical style, gender, age and profile. We are talking about... > Read more

THE 1:12 LABEL, PROFILED (2023): And why not?

9 Dec 2023  |  4 min read

Small independent labels – from Zodiac through Ripper, Propellor, Flying Nun and Pagan to Rattle and Lil' Chief – have been not just the backbone of New Zealand music but have given platforms for great songs, albums and artists. And sometimes they just allow people to get something off their chests. Somewhere between those points is Auckland's 1:12 label which has allowed... > Read more

Punk Nuns, by Thee Golden Geese

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

30 Nov 2023  |  2 min read  |  1

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