Music at Elsewhere

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Jeff Buckley: You and I (Sony)

14 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Although he only released two EPs (the excellent Live at Sin-E and the lesser Live From the Bataclan) and the Grace album in his lifetime, the small catalogue of Jeff Buckley – who drowned in May 97 – has considerably inflated with posthumous live releases, expanded editions and such, which are uneven and mostly songs never intended for release. These 10 songs –... > Read more

Various Artists: The Ultimate Guide to Scottish Folk (Arc)

14 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

One of the more annoying and often-repeated comments  in the New Zealand flag debate -- especially on talkback radio from Pakeha and Maori alike -- is that the current one has the English flag on it and that is a relic of our colonial history. Well, we're certainly down with the whole post-colonial thing these days . . . but how could trust anyone in the matter of discussing... > Read more

Toom Tabard (by Saor Patrol)

Josephine Foster: No More Lamps in the Morning (Fire/Southbound)

7 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Out of Colorado, Josephine Foster defies many expectations if you come to her having heard the word "folk" appended. Because here, at least her 12th album by my count, she applies her quasi-operatic voice and nylon-string acoustic guitar to songs recorded live in a studio with husband Victor Herrero playing Portuguese guitar (and a cellist on two pieces) which sound closer to... > Read more

The Garden of Earthly Delights

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Michael Jackson; Off the Wall (Sony CD/DVD)

7 Mar 2016  |  2 min read

Yes agreed, Thriller three years later was bigger and better, but Jackson's '79 Off the Wall is historically more important because it was such a pop/r'n'b/disco-cum-funk game-changer. He put his youth behind him -- he was 20 when he started recording -- and stepped out as a young adult and contemporary artist. With producer Quincy Jones, he was on his way to becoming the... > Read more

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Slade: The Slade Box; A 4CD Anthology 1968-1991 (Salvo)

2 Mar 2016  |  1 min read  |  2

In 1977 Slade released the album Whatever Happened to Slade.  And it was a fair enough question. Their version of club-shaking and stomping glam rock, dirty arse rock'n'roll and scuffed-bellbottom pop had been wiped away by inconsiderate punk, probably because their clothes (top hats, braces), singer Noddy Holder's mutton-chop sideboards and song titles designed to bait... > Read more

Born to be Wild (live)

Lorenzo Masotto: Rule and Case (Preserved Sound/bandcamp)

26 Feb 2016  |  <1 min read

Late last year this Italian composer wrote on his bandcamp page that he composed "music for the lonely souls, travelers and dreamers". If the last three of those categories sounds a bit wishy-washy keep the first two in focus: the titles of two previous albums have been Traveling to Alaska and Desert, both released late last year. This gentle outing full of melancholy strings... > Read more

Bert Jansch: Avocet (Earth/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

The late Scottish singer/guitarist and songwriter Bert Jansch who co-founded the influential Pentangle and died in 2011, left a vast legacy which many are still coming to terms with. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page -- as a young man then smitted by American blues guitarists -- has said of Jansch's self-titled debut album of '65, "When I first heard that album I couldn't believe it. It was so... > Read more


Freakwater: Scheherazade (Bloodshot/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  2 min read

That looks like a pretty ordinary motel room on the cover, and in the first song -- a fiddle-dragged dark and disturbing piece entitled What the People Want -- is the story of a rural rape and then throwing her body down the well. The second song is The Asp and the Albatross, two animals -- if you know you Shakespeare and Coleridge -- which do not bode well.  Welcome to the darkest... > Read more


Dream Theater: The Astonishing (Warners)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Those celebrating 40 years since the punk game-changer and still believe it wiped away prog-rock haven't been paying attention. Concept albums, double CDs, orchestration and towering guitars have made a return these past two decades. Case in point, this double CD – two acts more correctly, with an entr'acte instrumental at the middle – by these long-running American... > Read more

Act of Faythe

Spiro: Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow (Real World/Southbound)

22 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Given the similarity of the styles – repetition, if nothing else – it should come as little surprise that some instrumental folk music can be alarmingly close to the minimalism of Philip Glass, Steve Reich et al. This British quartet – violin/viola, mandolin, piano and guitar/cello – undertake a number of traditional English tunes but in their intensity and... > Read more


Elton John: Wonderful Crazy Night (Warners)

15 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Recently at Elsewhere we offered a kind of "how to buy Elton" column and, given the four albums we chose, concluded the shorthand might be, if longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin is on board you are pretty safe. Well, Taupin's back for this one -- which comes in a terrible cover -- and producer T Bone Burnett has also signed on again. And so, running true to form, this is another... > Read more

Claw Hammer

Suede: Night Thoughts (Warners)

11 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Although still identifiably Suede (yearning melodrama, emotional Bowie-esque ballads) since their return after a decade-long hiatus in 2013 with the unexpectedly sound Bloodsports, there's a more nakedly autobiographical and deliberate uncertainty to singer Brett Anderson's lyrics here (What I'm Trying to Tell You). Married with two children and closing in on 50, Anderson here offers... > Read more

Pale Snow

Shearwater: Jet Plane and Oxbow (Sub Pop)

8 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Although somewhat difficult listening (because the lyrics needed decoding, if not footnotes), the previous Shearwater albums which passed Elsewhere's way have been quite beguiling. On both occasions though we noted the absence of a lyric sheet which might have been helpful . . . and lo! This one comes with such a thing. The irony is that it is hardly needed because Jonathan Melburg's... > Read more

Wildlife in America

Pete Astor: Spilt Milk (Southbound)

8 Feb 2016  |  <1 min read

Any number of mid-level British bands and artists go past us at this distance, often known only to music writers who either assiduously follow the small print or stumble upon an album early on and follow the barely visible career thereafter. So it is with the Weather Prophets (and the more left-field Ellis Island Sound) and their singer-songwriter Pete Astor who here – on a home... > Read more

Perfect Life

Thunderbitch: Thunderbitch (Rough Trade/The Label)

1 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Given the band name and that this is a side project for the leather-lunged Brittany Howard, the frontwoman for Alabama Shakes, you can perhaps guess what it sounds like. Actually it doesn't, it sounds like . . . But first a digression into the word “bitch” which newspaper editors and subtitle writers for reality shows seem, to me anyway, a little oversensitive. It... > Read more

Eastside Party

Edgarville: ; Fingerprints and Handwriting (bandcamp)

1 Feb 2016  |  <1 min read

There are probably hundreds of acoustic post-punk duos out there like Edgarville from the UK, who have self-funded this debut and recently done a three month European tour. But there's something honest and serious about what these guys (whose names I don't know) do here where they address everything from emo-adolescent love on Corn (although they look a bit beardy and self-confident... > Read more

The Flow

Jackie Bristow: Shot of Gold (Montana)

1 Feb 2016  |  <1 min read

Former South Islander Bristow has lived in Austin for -- as far as I can tell -- almost a decade now and that seems her natural home. These 10 songs on her fourth album ring with the sound of a Texas wind across a flatland desert courtesy of multi-instrumentalist/producer Mark Punch's guitars and spacious production which compliment the mood of these spare and lonely meditations. Love... > Read more

Fallen Youth

Link Wray: Early Recordings (Ace/Border)

29 Jan 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

When we recently wrote about Link Wray it was to draw attention to an unexpectedly interesting double disc compilation 3-Track Shack. It brought together three of his albums from the early Seventies where he effectively worked a country-cum-blues rock area along the axis of The Band and Exile-era Rolling Stones. The revelation was not just in the music but in Wray's vocals, because if... > Read more

Jack the Ripper

Savages: Adore Life (Matador)

25 Jan 2016  |  <1 min read  |  1

At this distance it was easy to be sceptical about the British music press embracing Savages and their album-cum-manifesto Silence Yourself three years ago. The all-women quartet — who asked people not to take photos at their shows and are thrilling live by all accounts — delivered a bellicose take on Siouxsie and the Banshees/Penetrations//post-punk thrash which was... > Read more

When in Love

Max Stowers: Elements of Funk (bandcamp)

25 Jan 2016  |  1 min read

Anyone who doesn't know of New Zealand bass player Max Stowers clearly hasn't been paying attention for the past few decades. Here is a very short list (taken from a very long one) of the bands he has been in and people he's played with: Te Vaka, Moana and the Tribe, Annie Crummer, King Kapisi, Emma Paki, Strawpeople, Lisa Hunt, Nathan Haines, Mark Williams, Manu Katche, Leo Sayer,... > Read more