Music at Elsewhere

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The Last Poets: Understand What Black Is (Studio Rockers)

16 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

University students have grown up in a post-gangsta rap world so taking them back to origins – preachers in the church, street poets, Gil Scott Heron and others – is always a challenge for them. They hear some of it as odd, simple and sometimes compelling. The Last Poets present a particular problem because of pieces like Niggers Are Scared of Revolution where you have to... > Read more

Rain of Terror

Danny Adler: Bit of Beatles (Ace/Border)

14 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

So here be 10 Lennon-McCartney covers and three originals (tributes to Lennon and Harrison) by a man whose sleeve photos would tell you he was clearly a teenager when the Beatles broke more than half a century ago. American singer-guitarist Adler – who once played with John Lee Hooker and other blues legends in California and the early Elephant's Memory (who later worked with Lennon... > Read more

I'm Only Sleeping

Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures/Pentimento Vol 1 (Ndeya/Border)

13 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

Trumpeter Jon Hassell came to attention at the dawn of the Eighties via a couple of innovative albums, Fourth World Vol 1/Possible Musics with Brian Eno and the even more interesting Dream Theory in Malaya (an Essential Elsewhere album) in which for one piece he used the rhythmic splashing of water by a Malay tribe as the base for his odd trumpet sound. Both albums had an appealing... > Read more


Various Artists: Jon Savage's 1965, The Year the Sixties Ignited (Ace/Border)

11 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

Our longtime From the Vaults column usually pulls out a single oddity, an interesting track or an artist with an unusual backstory . . . but here is a whole album which could fill our Vaults column for many months. Because this is whopping 48-song double CD (on Ace through Border in New Zealand) turns the spotlight on a remarkable year in pop music when – as Beatlemania was on the... > Read more

See My Friends, by the Kinks

Jonathan Bree: Sleepwalking (Lil' Chief)

8 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

In a cover which suggests the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte's masked figures in paintings like The Lovers and The Heart of the Matter, Jonathan Bree presents and equally mysterious and sometimes gorgeously strange collection of orchestrated songs which deal with seductions, online sexuality, former lovers and . . . So much more in these cleverly coded lyrics which sit in... > Read more

Boombox Serenade ft Crystal Choi

Alien Weaponry: Tu (Napalm Records)

8 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

Spotify is all very well but here is where it let's you down: With the vinyl album by this young (two members just 16), disciplined, experienced (they've been at it three years) metal outfit who frequently sing in te reo. Spotify will only give you a compressed sound but the vinyl version comes at you widescreen and about two centimetres from the end of your nose. The tracks are produced by... > Read more


IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

4 Jun 2018  |  3 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. .    Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy: Anchor (Topic/Southbound) Elsewhere's... > Read more

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Sparkle Hard (Matador)

4 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has loyally followed the path of former Pavement man Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks . . . and that has not always been easy. From bristling and fuzzed-up psychedelic rock to more refined yet still quirky power pop and even dialed back folk-pop, the trail has sometimes lead into blind alleys or very deep and dark woods. But that has kept him of interest and although,... > Read more

Solid Silk

Various Artists: Graceland, The Remixes (Sony)

3 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

The just published biography of Paul Simon by Robert Hilburn – written with the songwriter's full cooperation but without further interference – confirms how meticulously Simon constructed his lyrics and music on albums like the Grammy-winning Graceland. So there's an irony about this album in which Simon's songs are deconstructed by various remixers, DJs and studio boffins.... > Read more

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (Thievery Corporation remix)

Hi-Revving Tongues: The Complete Singles A's and B's (Frenzy)

2 Jun 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere is prepared to say it knows next to nothing about this New Zealand band from the late Sixties into the early Seventies, aside from a few singles: A Tropic of Capricorn, the heavily phased Elevator and Rain And Tears. And until this 24-song compilation by Grant Gillanders – which comes with a booklet of artwork, and an excellent essay which includes interviews with band... > Read more

A Tropic of Capricorn

The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Something Else (A Recordings/Southbound)

1 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

The title on this new album by the very prolific Anton Newcombe and his fellow travellers is interesting of itself. It may refer to the Beatles album of a similar title (the typically cobbled-togetherSomething New) which came out in the US in '64 because Newcombe has made such allusions in his long career on BJM albums such as Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, My Bloody Underground... > Read more

My Poor Heart

Sons of Kemet: Your Queen is a Reptile (Impulse!)

28 May 2018  |  1 min read

Recorded in London, this third album by the saxophonist/composer Shabaka Hutchings brings together tenor sax, double drums and tuba into a stew of Afro-Caribbean jazz-funk and, as much as the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen during the Queen Elizabeth's jubilee year, in its own way this is direct dismissal of those born into royalty while Hutchings titles his tracks after those who became real... > Read more

My Queen is Angela Davis

Tami Neilson: Sassafrass! (Southbound)

28 May 2018  |  2 min read

Taking its title from the description of a sassy person rather than the plant, this new Tami Neilson album not only expands her musical horizons even further into songs which mostly which have their roots in the music of the Fifties, but also delivers a strong and over-riding ethos of female assertion and empowerment welded seamlessly onto these great songs. The women here are devil-angels... > Read more

One Thought of You

Julia Deans: We Light Fire (Tardus/Rhythmethod)

28 May 2018  |  2 min read

Although women artists under their own name are still under-represented in our local music charts – just five albums in the New Zealand top 20, one still being Lorde's Melodrama after 49 weeks, another being Party by Aldous Harding after 53 weeks, and only Lorde in the main internationals chart – the other evidence is that many local women are making massive inroads into our... > Read more

All of the Above

Various Artists: Wild Things (Vostok)

27 May 2018  |  3 min read

When John Baker released his first Wild Things LP collection on record back at the dawn of the Nineties (subtitled “Wyld Kiwi Garage 1966-1969”) there was not the plethora of New Zealand music compilations there is today. Certainly there had been AK79, Class of '81, Goat's Milk Soap and Art for Chart's Sake among others . . . but none of them were quite like what Baker pulled... > Read more

Social End Product, by the Bluestars

Various Artists: 1968, The Kiwi Music Scene (Frenzy)

26 May 2018  |  1 min read

By any measure, 1968 was an extraordinary year in global politics: the year began with the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, rolled on through the student and workers' revolution in France, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Grosvenor Square anti-Vietnam protests in London . . . In music there was radical chic as the Stones went back to their blues roots for the... > Read more

Hey Gyp, by the Underdogs

Cut Worms: Hollow Ground (Jagjaguwar)

21 May 2018  |  <1 min read

An odd one, not because it's odd . . . but more because it isn't. Cut Worms is actually Midwest singer-songwriter/visual artist Max Clarke now based in Brooklyn. And what he writes are often gentle, deliberately pop-framed songs which often have the charm of, say, Gary Lewis and the Playboys' unashamed Beatlesque pop from the Sixties (on Think I Might Be in Love) and the country-edge of the... > Read more

Cash for Gold

Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow's Daughter (Honeycomb Hideout/online outlets)

21 May 2018  |  1 min read

And here's an object lesson in effortless power pop from a master. Elsewhere never apologises for loving this idiom which peels off slivers of pre-66 Beatles and Byrds, has a lineage in Big Star, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, early Petty and the Posies and comes right up to . . . Just so many good people. Matthew Sweet has had digressions off piste on three covers albums with Susanna... > Read more

Girl with Cat

Simon Hirst: Feet of God (usual online outlets)

21 May 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

There is an interesting and often ignored thread of slightly dreamy, widescreen pop out there from the likes of Jules Shear, Grant-Lee Phillips (before he went more twang), Matthew Sweet and many others, and at times it gets its head well above the parapet with the likes of Crowded House and Neil Finn's crafted songs. Simon Hirst is in that lineage, although when he hits the midpoint of... > Read more


Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly: Peter Pears; Balinese Ceremonial Music (Nonesuch/Universal)

14 May 2018  |  1 min read

Cards on the table now, this I like . . . but I just don't get it.The title is the first problem: Peter Pears; if you know him at all it is as a long-dead classical singer/composer. And is this Balinese ceremonial music?Well, not a lot of it. Those of us who have been to Bali and enjoyed a healthy distance from the bars and boozy Australians in Kuta for the quiet of village life and... > Read more

Taboeh Teleo