Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Rob Ruha and the Witch Dr: Survivance (Border)

1 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

One of Elsewhere favourite artists is one we've never actually written about, the great Garland Jeffreys who is one those interesting mixed-race New Yorkers (African American/Puerto Rican) who effortlessly synthesised folk, reggae, soul, r'n'b and rock (and more) into something unique . . . and he had something to say. We lost touch with him until this year's 14 Steps to Harlem (his... > Read more

Black Letters

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo

1 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

Although not the first country rock album – Gee, even Britain's r'n'b rockers the Downliners Sect had done a country album three years previous – this '68 album by former folk-rockers the Byrds (now with a much changed line-up from their classic early period) certainly made the case for the emerging genre. Although it's fair to observe that this was more country than... > Read more

One Hundred Years From Now

Troy Kingi: Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron (AAA)

30 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

Elsewhere was quick out of the gate to acclaim last year's enjoyable and diverse double album by singer/guitarist (and actor) Troy Kingi. With his Electric Haka Boogie band on Guitar Party at Uncle's Bach, Kingi delivered what was almost a compilation album of styles, none of which outstayed their welcome and provided the perfect summertime listening (but with important messages woven... > Read more

Aquarii B

Various Artists: Heed the Call (Vostok)

27 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

I'm sure this has been mentioned previously at Elsewhere, but some years ago the conversation turned to prog-rock and I sagely said there hadn't been much made in New Zealand. My wiser friend disagreed and not long after a double CD compilation of Kiwi prog-rock he'd put together – entitled Taniwha from Topographic Oceans – turned up and I was suitably chastened. I... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

27 Nov 2017  |  3 min read

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEFabout international releases and Yasmin Brown does for EPs.... > Read more

Shed Seven: Instant Pleasures (Universal)

27 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

To be in the UK during the Britpop years – even just, as I was, in and out a few times for a few weeks at a time – was exciting. There were bands everywhere and you felt you were encountering some of them at a peak – Oasis in Leicester a week after their Earl's Court shows, the exceptional  Ocean Colour Scene and Jesus Jones in Birmingham (years apart) – and... > Read more

It's Not Easy

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

24 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

With Sharon O'Neill's 2017 induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, this 20-song collection from 2014 gets deserved re-presentation. But it also serves as useful reminder of just how gifted she was with a pop-rock song (Words, Baby Don't Fight, Danced in the Fire etc), ballads (Asian Paradise), mature truth-telling (Luck's On Your Table Tonight, Maxine, Physical Favours,... > Read more

Baby Don't Fight

Midge Marsden: The Midge Marsden Collection (SDL)

24 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

It's all too easy to misrepresent Midge Marsden, one of the long distance runners in New Zealand music. It's a quick and easy description to call him a “bluesman” or a “blues musician”. But as he would be equally quick – if incredibly frustrated – to respond, in his long career (and this double CD reflects on 50 years) he never actually... > Read more

Growing Out of the Blues

Sina: Sina (Huh!/Universal)

21 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

They say good things come to those who wait . . . but it's unlikely Sina (as in “sweet Sina's in the front” in OMC's How Bizarre) thought she'd have to wait two decades for her solo album to come out. But back in the late Nineties with her songs produced by Alan Jansson (who'd worked his magic on How Bizarre, Sisters Underground's In the Neighbourhood among many other... > Read more

Beautiful Day

Various Artists: Ten Guitars; Homegrown Heroes (Universal)

20 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

In a sequel of sorts to the previous Ten Guitars; 40 Songs from Heartland New Zealand which included international artists, this 42-song collection throws the spotlight exclusively on locals . . . and across an impressively wide spectrum, but all songs which resonate here and probably nowhere else. In these days of Spotify and Apple etc playlists and such you might wonder whether... > Read more

Cairo Knife Fight: Seven (Universal)

19 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

The first thing we observe here on the second album by this powerful duo of American guitarist George Pajon and New Zealand drummer Nick Gaffaney is that the track titles are . . . hmmm. The opener is (1), the next is A-Nine, then it is (5), A-Six, (7), A-Four, (9), A-Seven and . . . we'd say “and so on” but there seems no discernible mathematical or alphabetical pattern... > Read more

A-Eight

Taylor Swift: Reputation (Big Machine/Universal)

16 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

At 15 songs and 55 minutes this new album by Taylor Swift may be just be a bit too long, but it's hard to see where the cull could be. Perhaps Dancing With Our Hands Tied because it isn't up to much, and do we need any more songs like Delicate deploying vocoder? However as with the shapeshifting careers of the likes of Bjork, the Beatles, Radiohead and others, the prolific Swift... > Read more

Getaway Car

Robert Plant: Carry Fire (Nonesuch/Warners)

15 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

It's salutary to think that Robert Plant has now been out of Led Zeppelin for more than three times longer than he was in it. It should mean that references to that former life should have long been set aside, if for no other reason than his musical path in the current century has moved closer to a kind of mystical world music and allusion to more folk blues than blues rock.... > Read more

Bones of Saints

Rostam: Half Light (Nonesuch/Warner)

6 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

Any record company exec would be glad to sign Rostam Batmanglij as a solo artist after his role as mainman in the musically expansive and interesting Vampire Weekend who he also produced. His other production roles alone would recommend him (Das Racist, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Santigold, Haim, Frank Ocean) and he's got a rolodex of good contacts. But if he delivered these... > Read more

Wood

ONE WE MISSED: Randy Newman; Dark Matter (Nonesuch/Warners)

6 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

Time was – a long time ago, admittedly – that a Randy Newman album would command some serious attention. And you'd think in these troubled time in America that one of that country's greatest, most insightful, acerbic, witty and sometimes oblique socio-political songwriters would be very much in the centre of the satirical frame again. But the times have changed and maybe... > Read more

She Chose Me

Matthew Bourne: Isotach (Leaf/Southbound)

5 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

It's certainly not important that you have heard the previous album by this British keyboard player: It was Moogmemory of last year and as the title suggests it was him on quirky and welterweight Moog synth with deft nods to Kraftwerk at their most minimal but gentle. And you probably don't need to explore his prior catalogue of jazz improvisations, collaborations (John Zorn, Annette... > Read more

Isogone

Various Artists: Sky Music; A Tribute to Terje Rypdal (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

30 Oct 2017  |  1 min read

The great guitarist Terje Rypdal – who has appeared at Elsewhere many times – has been a mainstay of the long-running ECM label with a couple of dozen albums under his own name in that discography, as well as working with the likes of drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Miroslav Vitous, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, cellist David Darling, the Hilliard Ensemble and Norwegian... > Read more

Ornen, by Bill Frisell

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

30 Oct 2017  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists and Yasmin does with EPs. Comments will be brief. .    Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls: John Langford's Four Lost Souls (Bloodshot/Southbound) No... > Read more

Dion Lunadon: Dion Lunadon (Agitated/Border)

30 Oct 2017  |  1 min read

It is extremely good news to see on the line-up for next year's Auckland City Limits the re-formed D4 who – in the late Nineties and early 2000s – held high the banner for punk-fueled rock'n'roll along with running mates the Datsuns. Bassist Dion Palmer aka the Lunadon here, came into the D4 from the equally incendiary Nothing At All! and was the pure embodiment of take no... > Read more

Fire

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

23 Oct 2017  |  4 min read

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEFabout international releases and Yasmin Brown does for EPs.... > Read more