Music at Elsewhere

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Bill Frisell: Music IS (Okeh/Sony)

7 Apr 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

When Elsewhere profiled Bill Frisell in advance of his appearances at the Wellington Jazz festival in 2017 we headed the piece “Guitarist Without Portfolio”. And that was because – as the piece outlined – he has been claimed by and appeared in the ranks of jazz, avant-garde music and rock, played alongside the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Brian Eno, Keith... > Read more

The Pioneers

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar)

6 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

Much has been made of the various locations at which the tracks on this album were recorded – Seoul, Hanoi, Portland, Mexico City, Auckland and Reykjavik – as well as how eclectic it is: Prince-like soul, scouring rock, funk etc. But it is just how coherent and self-contained it sounds which is so impressive, despite those seemingly disparate factors of place and genre. It... > Read more

How Many Zeros

Eb and Sparrow: Seeing Things (Deadbeat/Southbound)

2 Apr 2018  |  1 min read

In which Ebony Lamb makes a convincing leap from the broadly folk territory into a singer of brooding soulfulness and coiled constraint (The Timbers, and Death which opens this impressive nine song collection). Here too however are persuasive reinventions of her classic, yearning country balladry (the lovely Baby Blue Eyes, the soaring and sensual Working) and timeless... > Read more

Mt Vic

Hopetoun Brown: Don't Let Them Lock You Up (Rhythmethod)

25 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

The first two albums by the duo of Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart – Burning Fuse and Look So Good – were enjoyable outings, especially the latter where they broadened their palette beyond their horns with guests like trumpeter Finn Scholes, and singers Tami Neilson and Marlon Williams. But on this third outing they really stretch into new areas with synth beats, backing... > Read more

Two Boots

Stills and Collins: Everybody Knows (Sony)

19 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

In 1985 Julie Burchill, the brief champion of British punk, wrote a withering attack on the Eurythmics in Time Out. She skewered the duo of Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox as hippies, and beige people who bleached out black artists. She reserved her particular venom for Lennox who was “one minute insisting that sisters were doing it for themselves, the next collapsing into a... > Read more


Tall Dwarfs: Bovril (Thokei Tapes)

19 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

Officially sanctioned by the Tall Dwarf-men Alec Bathgate and Chris Knox – as was the earlier Knox compilation KnoxTraxFine and the Matthew Bannister album Birds and Bees -- this tape-only release from Thoeki in Hamburg gets together in one convenient place (if you have cassette player) rarities, oddities, live material, solo outings (more recent Knox with the Rackets on Gagarin,... > Read more

Carnivorous Plant Society: The New King (Border)

16 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

The various members of CPS – Finn Scholes; Tam Scholes, Cass Basil and Siobhanne Thompson, Alistair Deverick – represent an aggregation of talent and are perhaps better known for who they appear with: Respectively Avalanche City and Neil Finn in the case of Finn Scholes, Tam and Thompson with Bannerman, Basil with Bic Runga and Tiny Ruins, Deverick with Lawrence Arabia and... > Read more

Don't Go Outside ft Don McGlashan, Tiny Ruins

David Byrne: American Utopia (Warners)

10 Mar 2018  |  2 min read  |  1

The title of this album by David Byrne, his first under his own name since Grown Backwards about 14 years ago, is timely when we consider the state of the Great Society today, a nation which has written into its raison d'ĂȘtre, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. As American government machinery crumbles from within, its people seem increasingly polarised –... > Read more

Dogs Mind

Frank Burkitt Band: Raconteur (streaming outlets)

9 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

Elsewhere has acknowledged this Edinburgh-born/Kiwi resident singer-songwriter previously and would say immediately that his up-front style of alt-folk-blues probably doesn't suit the laid-back, cheers-'bro mood of many in this country. Burkitt often writes and sings songs of emotional power within the orbit of sometimes strident and uncomfortably real songs which locates them a long... > Read more


Red River Dialect: Broken Stay Open Sky (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

5 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

This London-based group originally out of Cornwall find themselves on the US label Paradise of Bachelors for their fourth album which – given each party's folk/guitar/thoughtful inclinations – makes excellent sense. With cello, banjo, harp, violin and dulcimer alongside guitars, piano and sometimes urgent drums, this series of songs evokes the windswept great outdoors near... > Read more


Dystopia: Rough Art of the Spiritual (Monkey)

5 Mar 2018  |  1 min read

A soft and engaging mix of languid spoken word/poetry by Liz Maw (who also did the cover art) and music by some very well known New Zealand players (among them Nigel Braddock on piano, keys and bass, trumpeter Kingsley Melhuish, saxophonists Ben Campbell and Ben McNicoll, and the late Sam Prebble on violin), these five pieces have a breezy, pastoral feel with the most subtle musical... > Read more

New Wet Weather

Joan Baez: Whistle Down the Wind (Proper/Southbound)

2 Mar 2018  |  3 min read  |  1

Sometimes you just have to come clean and admit you were wrong: As I did in '94 when I wrote about Across the Great Divide, a box set of The Band, a group whose music I had found terminally dull when I first hear it. I was into noisy Zepp/Sabbath rock in the late Sixties and these guys just seemed prematurely old and boring. But I admitted, belatedly, I was wrong about them when... > Read more

The Things That We Are Made Of

Grant-Lee Phillips: Widdershins (Yep Roc/Southbound)

2 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

Back in 2004 when we went on a two month, mostly aimless drive around the Southern USA, I only took one CD from home but on the first day out of LA as we headed east I banged it on. It was Grant-Lee Phillips' glorious 2001 album Mobilize and the lead song became our repeat-play. It was See America, a dreamy, weightless electro-pop affair about weariness and travel which has the... > Read more

Great Acceleration

The Low Anthem: The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea (Joyful Noise/Flying Out)

2 Mar 2018  |  <1 min read

Formerly more folk-rock and assertive than this collection which drifts more towards the aquatic depths of its title, the Low Anthem out of Rhode Island here explore the nature of water, the sea and the idea of ambient immersion. At their most quietly poppy Give My Body Back offers an almost childlike wonder (it mentions an octopus' garden) and seems sung from the perspective of... > Read more

Toowee Toowee

Laurie Anderson/The Kronos Quartet: Landfall (Nonesuch/Warners)

26 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

Although they have long moved in similar circles this is, surprisingly, the first album violinist/storyteller and composer Laurie Anderson and the avant-classical Kronos Quartet have recorded together. Revolving around, recounting and recreating Anderson's experiences of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it pulls together strings, electronica, subtle samples and Anderson's coolly dispassionate... > Read more

It Twisted the Street Signs

Salmonella Dub: Commercial Grates (salmonelladub)

24 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

There is no denying the impact Salmonella Dub had when they emerged 25 years ago. Aside from the exceptional shows and genre-defining, distinctive albums they also paved the way for bands like Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy's Drop, Black Seeds, Trinity Roots and many others, not to mention giving the band's one-time live sound guy then subsequently vocalist Tiki Taane the springboard for a... > Read more

Mercy (DJ Mu remix)

Dominic Blaazer: The Lights of Te Atatu (vinyl/streaming services)

24 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

Auckland keyboard player/singer/guitarist Dominic Blaazer is perhaps best known for the excellent bands he has been in, among them Greg Fleming's Trains, a stint in the Chills in the mid Nineties and the hipster favourites The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist. But he was also in the power pop outfit Smoothy, was in the SJD band, has played with Don McGlashan and is currently in Ghost Town.... > Read more

Simple Love

Salon Kingsadore: Instant Compositions by Salon Kingsadore (Sarang Bang)

22 Feb 2018  |  1 min read

The Sarang Bang label helmed by Auckland guitarist/composer Gianmarco Liguori is a marvelous labour of love (my guess is it barely turns a profit) because it has released not just interesting albums but also some very important one. In the latter category would be the handsome double vinyl The Way In Is The Way Out which scooped up unreleased work by the late Auckland keyboard... > Read more

Marlon Williams: Make Way For Love (Caroline)

19 Feb 2018  |  3 min read  |  4

Late last year when Marlon Williams was back in New Zealand for a short while and playing a couple of shows at the Pt Chevalier RSA in Auckland, it was my pleasure to be invited to conduct an afternoon interview and a Q&A session with him before a small group of music writers and critics. The topic, of course, would be this then-impending album which I had been supplied a copy of.... > Read more

Make Way for Love

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

19 Feb 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. .    The Plot in You: Dispose (Fearless) From the first few whispered yet angry minutes of this... > Read more