Essential Elsewhere

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Various: Sideways (2007)

10 Jun 2008  |  3 min read

From Loxene Golden Disc Award albums in the 60s through the Class of 81 and the Dunedin Double (82), and the South Auckland Proud collection of 94, the breadth and texture of Kiwi music has often been represented on compilations. And, on reflection, those mentioned also defined their period. The Sideways collection of electronica, bossa-lounge, ambient grooves, scratching and charming... > Read more

SJD: Gigawati

Jacques Brel, Infiniment (2004 compilation)

20 Apr 2008  |  4 min read

Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in ... Well, back in his hometown of Brussels, funnily enough. This is odd because Brel (1929-78) was ambivalent about Brussels. "Everyone has to come from somewhere," he would sardonically remark. And Brussels has seemed a bit iffy about him. The great singer-songwriter, who made his home in Paris, called one of his daughters... > Read more

Jacques Brel: L'amour est mort

Joni Mitchell, Blue (1971)

24 Oct 2007  |  4 min read  |  1

In his 2006 book The Seventies -- excellent digressive but interlocked essays about the cultural and social movements of that volatile decade -- the London-based writer Howard Sounes namechecks singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell any number of times.As he should. Mitchell's albums helped define the Californian singer-songwriter movement which emerged at the tail end of the 60s and introduced the... > Read more

Joni Mitchell: Carey

Motian/Lovano/Frisell; Time and Time Again (2007)

19 Aug 2007  |  4 min read

Because jazz is -- as the critic Leonard Feather noted in the closing overs of the last millennium -- the classical music of the 20th century, in it you can hear the human condition reflected. Or in other words, each generation creates the jazz it requires. In the post-war period things adopted a cooler and more sophisticated mood (less dancing, more sitting around thinking, smoking and... > Read more

Motianj/Frisell/Lovano: Wednesday

Brian Eno, Before And After Science (1977)

25 Jun 2007  |  1 min read

Of the many dozens of diverse albums by Brian Eno -- who flared onto the music scene for the first two glam-louche Roxy Music albums -- this is the best window into his remarkable career. As a producer he was pivotal in the work of David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads, U2 among many others. But he also created seminal albums of ambient music (music as ignorable as it is enjoyable), helmed his... > Read more

Brian Eno: Here He Comes