Absolute Elsewhere

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THE BEATLES AND THE BRITISH INVASION 1963-64 (2023): A beginners guide

26 May 2023  |  13 min read

"What a remarkable 50 years they have been for the world . . . think what we would have missed if we had never heard the Beatles" -- Queen Elizabeth II in a speech in November '97 at a luncheon to mark her golden wedding anniversary. "If it hadn't been for the Beatles, there wouldn't be anyone like us around" -- Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin "The... > Read more

THE BEACH BOYS, CREATING A CLASSIC (2023): Good and bad vibrations

24 May 2023  |  1 min read

The Beach Boys had begun their career in the early Sixties singing songs about surfing and cars and good times under the Californian sun. But their songwriter Brian Wilson -- copping licks from Chuck Berry and ideas from doo-wop harmony groups -- was always a keen student of arrangements and was musically ambitious. As Beach Boys' songs became more and more musically complex, Brian... > Read more

DURAND JONES, PROFILED (2023): Wait, he's coming over. And out.

22 May 2023  |  3 min read

The tiny community of Hillaryville, on a slow bend in the Mississippi, is about halfway between New Orleans and the Louisiana state capitol Baton Rouge, not far from Highway 61. There's not much there. So little tourism sites mention it only in passing and recommend other places to visit instead. However there's an interesting history here: it was founded after the... > Read more

Lord Have Mercy

A TOOT AND A SNORE IN '74 (2023): Supersession, but what a bore

26 Apr 2023  |  3 min read

Never intended as a serious session much less an album, A Toot And a Snore in '74 exists as a bootleg of merely historical, not musical, interest. That's because it was when John Lennon and Paul McCartney – mostly estranged in the previous five years – got together in a Los Angeles studio with Lennon's fellow drinkers Harry Nilsson, Jesse Ed Davis and Bobby Keys (and a more... > Read more


22 Apr 2023  |  1 min read

For many reasons, the conflict in Vietnam came with its own soundtrack. The war and the music were fed and defined by the young age of the Allied combatants; the turnover of new US, Australian and New Zealand troops arriving; those back from R’n’R leave (rest and recreation) in places like Sydney or Manila with their nightclubs and bands; the portability of records, transistor... > Read more

GRAMSCI, FINALLY ON VINYL (2023): the Permanence, Object and Like Stray Voltage LP editions

10 Apr 2023  |  5 min read

In a recent interview with Elsewhere, the Auckland-based musician Paul McLaney spoke of the long-held ambition for his music in a way that could resonate with young musicians starting out. For those concentrating on just the single before them and maybe the follow-up, McLaney offered the longer view. “I love artists who have a large body of work that once... > Read more

THE BEATLES, DISCOVERED LIVE IN 1963 (2023): It was 60 years ago today . . .

5 Apr 2023  |  4 min read

As Elsewhere has previously noted, among the many factors in the Beatles' early career were chance, coincidence and good luck What were the odds, for example, of them in their earliest days in Hamburg being befriended by German students with an interest in photography. But because of Astrid Kirchherr and Jurgen Volmer we have a few dozen quite exceptional and artistic photographs of the... > Read more

THE GROOVE/EUREKA STOCKADE, REISSUED AND DISCOVERED (2023): Stop me if you've never heard this one

3 Apr 2023  |  4 min read

Even diligent scholars of Aotearoa New Zealand's pop and rock artists would be forgiven for not having heard of this Australasian band of the late Sixties which had a strong Kiwi component. Which is why we need the work and research of enthusiast and archivist Grant Gillanders who here not only delivers the Groove's sole album and singles from '68 but their unreleased collection as Eureka... > Read more

I'll Be Home (by Eureka Stockade)

THE PET ROCKS, RELEASED AGAIN AT LAST (2023): Time has come today?

29 Mar 2023  |  2 min read

For some artists, more interesting than their album is the candid interview. And for others their backstory takes on such legendary proportions that the album is a disappointment. Consider then the problem faced by Auckland band Pet Rocks from the late Nineties who have a great backstory with a revolving door of drummers, a Big Day Out appearance in '96 described as “pants... > Read more

Shroud of Turin

THE 2023 IMNZ CLASSIC RECORD AWARD: Micronism; inside a quiet mind (1998)

23 Mar 2023  |  2 min read  |  1

This annual award acknowledges an Aotearoa New Zealand record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. Like the Taite Music Prize, the Independent Music NZ Classic Record is a critically judged award for originality considering the artistic merit, creativity, innovation and excellence of an album in its entirety irrespective of album sales, artist popularity, previous awards or... > Read more


GRAMSCI, ON THE RECORD (2023): Paul McLaney on the vinyl reissue of the first three Gramsci albums

20 Mar 2023  |  8 min read

After establishing himself as a gifted singer-songwriter under his own name in the late Eighties and Nineties, Paul McLaney launched his band Gramsci as another vehicle for expression. The band released three albums – Permanence in 2000, Object (2002) and Like Stray Voltage (2005) then there was a lengthy hiatus as McLaney moved on to other projects, notably, travel, his Impending... > Read more

U2 IN THE NOW AND THEN, AGAIN (2023): Back to their past future

18 Mar 2023  |  3 min read

In rock culture, playing Las Vegas is equivalent to one of Dante's circles of Hell – either greed or fraud – where the damned, at the fag-end of their careers, work out their twilight years. That's the cliché, largely based on an image of a bloated and sweating Elvis, emblematic of the neon seduction and curse of Vegas. But megastars – Elton, Cher, Adele, Katy Perry,... > Read more

YOUNG FATHERS INTERVIEWED (2023): Heavy heavy on the sources

13 Feb 2023  |  11 min read  |  1

Young Fathers are an Ediburgh-based band whose music ranges across a number of styles from funk and pop to hip-hop, raggae and more. The trio of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham “G” Hastings talk us through Heavy Heavy, their third acclaimed album. . How much did the pandemic shape the record? G: "I think the timing for us wasn't that major of a... > Read more

BOB DYLAN: FRAGMENTS: TIME OUT OF MIND SESSIONS 1996-1997; THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 17 (2023): Darkness but a beckoning light ahead

12 Feb 2023  |  3 min read

The 1980s – which began with the murder of John Lennon – was a cruel decade for those who'd made their reputations in Sixties. After his post-Beatles career resurrection with Wings in the 70s Paul McCartney as a solo artist delivered slick but hollow albums, the Rolling Stones seemed to lose heart and direction as Keith Richards and Mick Jagger sniped at each other, Joni... > Read more

Not Dark Yet (live 2000)


19 Dec 2022  |  10 min read

It's that time again when “best of” lists are prepared and people are outraged by the omissions or inclusions. But music tastes vary and art is subjective, so no one is right or wrong. Here's what we believe to be the 30 finest albums we've drawn attention to this past year (hence the link to our review) with the caveat that – as with our... > Read more


19 Dec 2022  |  11 min read

From where we sat near the stereo, 2022 was an extraordinary year for music. All those “lockdown” albums started pouring through so there were plenty to choose from when it came to particular favourites. Yep, a lousy year for many, especially those like us who endured a seemingly endless and dull second lockdown in Auckland. Last week we posted our picks of the best of... > Read more

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

19 Dec 2022  |  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


12 Dec 2022  |  4 min read

With rock culture now almost 70 years old, every year – if not every month – is the anniversary of something. And since record companies, artists and accountants discovered the market for reissues, and especially expanded reissues, we've seen scores of them every year roaring at us. Some are comprehensive to the point of being the exclusive domain of obsessive -- like the 19... > Read more

GRAEME JEFFERIES REVISITED (2022): Something's always cookin' in the Cakekitchen

28 Nov 2022  |  4 min read

In a recent correspondence about the vinyl reissue of an early Cakekitchen album, the Kitchen's head-chef Graeme Jefferies said, “my profile in New Zealand is very buried”. Which confirms the adage of the late Ken Nordine: “We all see the world from our own disadvantage point”. We don't mean Jefferies -- he's no doubt right – but Elsewhere's disadvantage... > Read more

Bad Bodied Girl

CHRISTINE WHITE AND THE RAVEN PROJECT (2022): Songs given wings and strings

27 Nov 2022  |  2 min read

Three decades ago singer-songwriter Christine White was a fixture in cafes and at gay, lesbian and folk festivals. With her three-piece band she could be a fiery electric guitarist, there were radio appearances . . . then she seemed to disappear. In fact, the woman who grew up singing in Baptist and school choirs, had pulled large crowds to Auckland's famous Java Jive for her edgy folk-rock... > Read more

Raven (Paddy Free remix)