Absolute Elsewhere

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17 Jan 2020  |  3 min read

Ahead of his veteran band Violent Femmes' return to New Zealand, Brian Ritchie talks about his other life – working at Tasmania’s Mona art gallery. When Brian Ritchie – bassist in Milwaukee folk-punk band Violent Femmes – moved to Hobart 12 years ago, as the band he founded was in a fractious hiatus, he had... > Read more

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: Away with the faeries and poets

15 Jan 2020  |  4 min read

Unexpected people are into the Incredible String Band: Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin you can understand, given Led Zepp played a kind of Anglofolk/Tolkein thing alongside their hijacking of black blues and other hoary riffs. But bristling DIY post-punk Chris Knox speaking highly of this slightly fey Scottish folk group who pioneered the use of instruments from across the planet and... > Read more

The Incredible String Band: The Mad Hatter's Song (from The 5000 Spirits/Onion album)

BOB DYLAN; ON LOVE AND LOST OPPORTUNITY (2020): If you see her say more than hello

1 Jan 2020  |  2 min read

As a new decade dawns even Bob Dylan's most loyal fans must sense that they might not be hearing any new music from their man. His last album of original songs was more than nine years ago and since then he has delivered three albums of covers -- Shadows in the Night, Fallen Angels and the triple CD/vinyl set Triplicate. Many of these were songs associated with Frank Sinatra (not Strangers... > Read more

PAUL SIMON'S AMERICAN TUNE AND ITS MELODIC ORIGINS (2019): The distant past informing the damaged present

30 Dec 2019  |  1 min read  |  1

As Bob Dylan famously said (and obviously wasn't the first to expres this sentiment)., "amateurs borrow, professionals steal". It's what you do with what you take. Case in point, Paul Simon's American Tune. In the early Seventies, Paul Simon began writing this song which would capture the mood of many Americans in that era of politcal uncertainty, the on-going and... > Read more

AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS (2019): Jingle beatle-bell rock

20 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

The Warehouse Stationery outlet store near my place in central Auckland is the last place I'd expect to be surprised by the sounds of their muzak. But a fortnight ago when they played the Beatles' Eight Days A Week it was not just a surprising selection but an enjoyable moment when I looked around at the other customers of all cultural and age demographics. Everyone, and I mean... > Read more

DEDIKATION, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Covering their way to the top

18 Dec 2019  |  <1 min read

The tail-end of the 1960s was a rare moment for Kiwi singles. In late October 1969, four of the top five places on the charts were held by New Zealand artists: Shane (with Saint Paul), Hi Revving Tongues (Rain and Tears), Dedikation (Wait For Me Mary-Anne) and Larry Morris (The Hunt) were all there behind Robin Gibb's Saved by the Bell. The following week Gibb and Morris slipped down... > Read more


16 Dec 2019  |  6 min read  |  1

Following Elsewhere posting its choices for the Best of the Year albums and The Best in Reissues (of what we heard, obviously a lot went past us) we invited Elsewhere readers to tell us what they were impressed by this year. Here is what people told us . . . and where Elsewhere had reviewed the album we have highlighted it with a link to our original... > Read more

BOB DYLAN REWRITING HIMSELF (2019): Sometimes he didn't have such a tight connection

15 Dec 2019  |  3 min read

Right from the very start of his career Bobn Dylan was rewriting songs. First those by others -- or folk and blues songs whose origins were remote -- which he turned into his own. And then increasingly changing lyrics in his own songs in performance or in the studio. Elsewhere has shone the spotlight on New Danville Girl which became Brownsville Girl on the '86 album Knocked Out Loaded.... > Read more

GENE CLARK, NO OTHER, REISSUED AND EXPANDED (2019): An album quite like no other

13 Dec 2019  |  5 min read

Just a personal observation: Gene Clark – who died in '91 at age 46 – wrote and sang some of my favourite songs by the Byrds. He co-wrote Eight Miles High with Roger McGuinn and David Crosby, and wrote the Byrds' jangle classic I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better (the b-side to All I Really Want to Do). But best of all for me, one of my favourite... > Read more

Silver Raven (remastered album version)


9 Dec 2019  |  8 min read

Round the Elsewhere way we used to joke that there's a reason people want to live in the past: It was cheaper back then. That's no longer true if in your listening habits you allow the past back into your life in box sets and reissues. Well -- unashamedly – we do, because round here we're always curious to hear not just what was done but – in the case of outtakes and... > Read more

HORST STUNZNER OF THE SAMOAN SURF RIDERS INTERVIEWED (2018): Fresh off the boat and into the studio

9 Dec 2019  |  7 min read  |  1

To hear 84-year old Horst Stunzner tell it, the recording session in 1964 took place somewhere just off Queen St in Auckland. The group was in and out quickly, he expected there might be a single come of it and as far as he remembers little if any money changed hands. “Rudolf and Hugo might have signed something,” he recalls, “but the rest of us never saw any contract, and... > Read more

Tiligiligi (Medley)

MALCHICKS REVISITED AND REISSUED (2019): Flying high then, then flying away

4 Dec 2019  |  10 min read

Despite a fine EP Lotus, the excellent album Mercury and songs beloved at student radio (notably Drive), Auckland's Malchicks barely rate a mention in overviews of the New Zealand rock scene of the Nineties. Yet there they were, a tight four-piece which had elements of shoegaze, dream-pop, Goth gloom and melodic thrash alongside real roof-raisers. They were produced by Chris van der... > Read more


2 Dec 2019  |  11 min read

Yes, it is that time again when contentious lists are posted about the Best Albums of The Year. And we can only reiterate what we always say,: the “best” albums are those which you enjoyed the most. End of that discussion? The more obscure an album does not – in Elsewhere's world anyway – mean it is any better than a blockbuster by, say, Taylor Swift.... > Read more

PHIL GARLAND REMEMBERED (2019): Singer of a young colony

25 Nov 2019  |  3 min read

Had it not been for a chance encounter, Phil Garland's career might have gone in a very different direction. Garland – who died in 2017 and is considered this country's foremost archivist of colonial-era folk songs and singer-songwriter in the genre – was born in Christchurch and came of age during the rock'n'roll era of the Fifties. Despite singing in the church choir and... > Read more

ROUTE 66 REVISITED (2019): On the road again . . . and again

20 Nov 2019  |  2 min read

Route 66 has been covered by everyone from Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones to big band jazz groups and bar bands everywhere. It's a rock'n'roll standard largely because of Berry's version so . . . Here's Chuck Berry from 1961 who made this song into a rock'n'roll era hit in the late Fifties, even though its origins were earlier. and his version influenced the young Rolling... > Read more

BOB DYLAN: TRAVELIN' THRU; THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 15 CONSIDERED (2019): Were we ready for the country?

7 Nov 2019  |  5 min read  |  1

In retrospect, it was really no surprise that in the late Sixties as the psychedelic top spun wildly that Bob Dylan should return after an 18 month absence with simpler music on the albums John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait, much of which had a country influence. The motorcycle accident in July '66 which literally took him off the road allowed him to go up country into... > Read more

Mountain Dew

THE BEATLES, THE SINGLES COLLECTION (2019): The long and winding road to your . . .

3 Nov 2019  |  6 min read  |  1

Should anyone still be in any doubt, let's be clear. That long and winding road which Paul McCartney sang about half a century ago leads from the office of the Beatles' Apple accountants and marketing department to your wallet. How does it do that? Let me count just some of the ways. Since the Beatles' final recordings 50 years ago there have been... > Read more

JAMES MACKINTOSH OF SHOOGLENIFTY INTERVIEWED (2019): From the Scottish Highlands to northwest India

16 Oct 2019  |  10 min read

Percussionist James Mackintosh sees the irony. When he was a teenager growing up in the picturesque Scottish Highlands at Fort William he was in a spiky-haired punk band playing Clash covers. It was only when he went to the big smoke of Edinburgh – once nicknamed Auld Reekie for the smoke from coal fires – that he started to play traditional Scottish music. These days,... > Read more

The High Road to Jodhpur/Am Bothan a Bh'aig Fionnghuala

GREG FLEMING, GET OFF AT LINCOLN ALBUM: (2019) A track-by-track drive-by from Greg

14 Oct 2019  |  5 min read

Elsewhere makes no secret of its admiration for the work of Auckland singer-songwriter Greg Fleming and his band the Working Poor. Call them country-rock or rocking-country if you will, we think they just deliver hard-edged songs about real life and lives, snapshots of people and places, political and social commentary and much more. Previous Fleming albums have ended up in... > Read more

BOB DYLAN, BROWNSVILLE GIRL CONSIDERED (1986): The classic that got away?

14 Oct 2019  |  11 min read

By the mid Eighties, Bob Dylan's career was in considerable disarray. After the so-called "Christian trilogy" there had been two mostly middling albums -- Infidels and Empire Burlesque -- and he seemed directionless. The old gunfighter who once commanded the territory had been outdrawn by his acolytes, notably Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen. There had been any number of... > Read more