Music at Elsewhere

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RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Golden Harvest; Golden Harvest (Frenzy/Key)

2 Oct 2017  |  <1 min read

With their glistening pop-rock sound deftly touched by disco and funk, the four Kaukau brothers and singer Karl Gordon delivered some of the most enjoyable music of their time . . . which was unfortunately far too short. They left behind just this excellent '78 album with the memorable songs I Need Your Love, Love is Everything and Mrs G plus a couple of singles -- and they are all on this... > Read more

Arthur Ahbez: Volume II (soundcloud/bandcamp etc)

29 Sep 2017  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere has long had an affection for slightlydelic and drone-based folk which comes with sitars and such. We remain unwavering in our enjoyment of the Incredible String Band and Shawn Phillips for example. So in that regard local singer-songwriter Arthur Ahbez - who we interviewed back in 2014 -- is one we are always going to find some pleasure in. Even more so than his... > Read more

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Warners)

26 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

In a recent issue of Uncut, a diligent writer Tyler Wilcox looked at the “Lost Albums of Neil Young” and pieced together the track listings for nine albums Young recorded but never released, although most of the songs in one form or other turned up on other albums. One of the unreleased albums was entitled Hitchhiker, a 10-song solo collection recorded in a single session... > Read more

Give Me Strength

Neil Finn: Out of Silence (EMI)

18 Sep 2017  |  3 min read

Even if you don't much care for Neil Finn's music – and there might be one or two who don't – you can't help but admire how he has successfully negotiated (at perilously close to 60) the troubled waters of becoming a senior statesman in a pop-rock culture which has the Youth Audience as its default position. Finn has constantly pushed himself into subtle new directions... > Read more

Terrorise Me

The National: Sleep Well Beast (4AD)

14 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

On the fashionable foreshore in Copenhagen at a prime spot just around the corner from the busy Nyhavn tourist-magnet area is a cluster of up-market restaurants and bars in a beautiful building with views across the water. Among them is the Michelin-starred pair of Almanak and Studio. We mention this because they are co-owned by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, a band... > Read more

Day I Die

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

11 Sep 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 BRIEF about international releases and Yasmin Brown does for EPs.... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

11 Sep 2017  |  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. .   Graham Reynolds: A Scanner Darkly (Fire/Southbound) Elsewhere has frequently referenced Miklos... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Grayson Gilmore; Otherness (Flying Nun)

11 Sep 2017  |  <1 min read

Although there never was anything such as generic “Flying Nun”, Grayson Gilmore has always seemed quite far from the centre of the label's usual releases. At times – and especially here – you feel he is more akin to an art music composer who is bringing electronica into his orbit. This appropriately entitled 10-song collection rides on washes of synths,... > Read more

Be a Beacon

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

4 Sep 2017  |  <1 min read  |  1

While it easy to point out the obvious on this album – the skull-pounding riffery which is a QOTSA signature (notably on the closing overs of the pounding Evil Has Landed) and the involvement of producer Mark Ronson to add a twist – there are other and slightly unexpected elements which emerge: the subtle Bowie-as-heroic-political-balladeer influence in Josh Homme's vocals... > Read more

The Black Seeds: Fabric (Black Seeds)

4 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

In our overseas absence the Black Seeds got the media vibe going in anticipation of this new album, which of course went past us. But did we really miss the excitement? On the evidence of the album/artifact, not really. As much as the Black Seeds have often delivered some of our favourite local albums (and been a thoroughly engaging live act), this first studio release in five... > Read more

Ride On

Sneaky Feelings: Progress Junction (Flying Nun)

4 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

One of the most musically ambitious and interesting band in the first decade of Flying Nun who sets their sights on pop-rock, Sneaky Feelings often seemed ignored in the haste at the time to acclaim the indie spirit of other bands over the craftsmanship this group applied. The irony was that the Chills, who also harboured mainstream acclaim, were frequently... > Read more

Eyes on the Horizon

Charlotte Yates: Then the Stars Start Singing (charlotteyates.com)

4 Sep 2017  |  1 min read

Many musicians must be plagued with self-doubt when putting their music into the world, but spare a sympathetic thought for Charlotte Yates because for many years she was offering songwriting advice in the pages of NZ Musician magazine (now online here). So you could imagine her trepidation at being judged on the release of this album, but Yates – who was also prime mover behind... > Read more

Where Have You Gone

Various Artists: Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (LITA/Southbound)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

Subtitled “Japanese Folk and Rock 1969 – 1973”, this 19 song collection with very useful liner notes shines a spotlight on music you might thought would have been much explored in that lust so many have for the obscure or left-field. As Yosuke Kitazawa observes in the notes, Japanese pop has only made one lone impact on the mainstream charts outside of the country,... > Read more

Aoi Natsu/Blue Summer by Takuro Yoshida

Richard Thompson: Acoustic Classics II (Proper/Southbound)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

For decades his fans have argued that Richard Thomson has been cruelly overlooked, but that only seems to apply to sales: he has been accorded just about every major songwriting and guitar accolade possible in the USA and UK and also has an OBE. But of course, none of that directly translates into a profile for a more mainstream audience. This album – the excellent sequel... > Read more

Pharaoh

Django Bates: Saluting Sgt Pepper (Edition)

21 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

Although you couldn't fault the timing of this album by British keyboard player/conductor/arranger Bates and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, the result is somewhat less engaging. The 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album invited many such opportunistic tributes but too often this, by remaining extremely faithful to the original right down to the replication of animal... > Read more

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Grawlixes: Set Free (Home Alone/Southbound)

14 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

This debut album for the Wellington indie.folk duo Grawlixes – Robin Cederman and Penelope Esplin, with violinist Alex Vaatstra in places here – appeared while Elsewhere was elsewhere so we missed their tour. Are we disappointed on the evidence here? Although the title track is an uninviting dirge as an opener – even at just two... > Read more

A Fine Rain

Ov Pain: Ov Pain (cocomuse.co.nz)

14 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

In the musical microcosm that is Dunedin/Port Chalmers these days, we might allow ourselves to consider the duo at the core of this multi-referencing Goth-cum-drone-cum-claustrophobically dark-rock-psyche release as something of a pocket-edition supergroup. Partners Renee Barrance and Tim Player are of Elan Vital and the very interesting Opposite Sex respectively. But, with all... > Read more

Cold as Ice

Mermaidens: Perfect Body (Flying Nun)

9 Aug 2017  |  <1 min read

This Wellington trio are quite rightly the hip, fashionable and classy name to drop because of their crafted, emotionally tense pop which holds up in the face of easy dismissal. To these ears so many young indie-rock groups lack any sense of bite let alone firepower. But Mermaidens walk a line between ethereal pop and brittle indie.rock which channels some of the essence of... > Read more

Satsuma

Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley (PIAS)

7 Aug 2017  |  2 min read  |  1

The two previous albums by Britain's boffinish PSB – Inform-Educate- Entertain and The Race for Space – had an audience outreach in their sampled themes: voices from the past evoking speed, progress, science, energy and vigour propelling us into the future . . . Couple those themes with energetic music borne out of techno, rock, pop and dance, and the albums were very hard... > Read more

People Will Always Need Coal

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Micronism; inside a quiet mind (Loop)

7 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

When Denver McCarthy released this album in the late Nineties the musical landscape in New Zealand was very different and electronica – although not a new genre – was very in the forefront of conversations. There was quite a schism between the electronica and rock factions (just as there had been previously between hip-hop and rock) and cheerleaders on each side took often... > Read more

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