Music at Elsewhere

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RECOMMENDED REISSUE: John Cale; Fragments of a Rainy Season, expanded edition

16 Feb 2017  |  2 min read

Last year a great wedge of Lou Reed's solo albums from the Seventies and Eighties were reissued, 17 CDs in a box set between his self-titled outing from early '72 through to Mistrial in mid '86. You'd think this would have been an opportunity for a reconsideration of his work and to elevate it. But most critics were scratching for something to say about these albums which slewed from... > Read more

Chinese Envoy

Neil Watson: Studies in Tubular (neilwatson.co.nz/Southbound)

16 Feb 2017  |  1 min read

Guitarist Neil Watson is a man with an impeccable track record of appearances on albums by Mel Parsons, the Finn Brothers, Caitlin Smith and more than a dozen others. He's a man who can sit in, and comfortably fit in, with visiting jazz artists (Mike Nock, Michael Brecker) or people at the mainstream centre of spectrum he commands, and his day job at the University of Auckland in the... > Read more

Kerala

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

13 Feb 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. Comments will be brief. Strand of Oaks: Hard Love (Dead Oceans) Further proof never to judge an album by its cover; the tattooed biker and jagged lettering... > Read more

The Nudge: Dark Arts (Keen for a Nudge/Rhythmethod)

13 Feb 2017  |  2 min read  |  1

When Wellington's Nudge first appeared at Elsewhere it was an alarmingly long five and half years ago. They arrived with their bluesy, psychedelic Big Nudge Pie which we hailed for their unique take – in this country anyway – on their evident influences. Given the time lag until this outing, we might conclude the Nudge are “an occasional band” because... > Read more

Dark Arts

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Bert Jansch; Living in the Shadows (Earth/Southbound)

9 Feb 2017  |  1 min read

Elsewhere concedes immediately that this four disc set might be of limited interest to the general reader, but for Jansch fans -- and they seem to be growing in number every year -- these three reissues and an extra disc of more recent home recordings contain real nuggets to be chivvied out. The three studio albums are The Ornament Tree (1990), When the Circus Comes to Town ('93) and Toy... > Read more

Toy Balloon

Garth Brooks: Gunslinger (Sony)

9 Feb 2017  |  1 min read

When Garth Brooks emerged in the Nineties and professed as much love for rock bands like Kansas and Kiss as the country legends he invited immediate derision from critics who looked for something they called authenticity. And this marketing graduate wasn't it. Well, Brooks was simply being an honest product of his generation and it wasn't the music of those Middle American rock bands... > Read more

Pure Adrenalin

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

7 Feb 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. Comments will be brief. A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Iris (Erased Tapes/Southbound) Although it is usually foolish to get attached to a record... > Read more

Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

6 Feb 2017  |  2 min read

Late last month this outsider singer-songwriter turned 76 and the album title refers to just how long he's been in the game. And mostly on the losing side when it came to public affection, but a hands-down winner with a small cabal of critics. When he first appeared in the late Sixties he was on Britain's innovative Harvest label with the likes of Roy Harper, Pink Floyd, Kevin Ayers and the... > Read more

Sometimes You Just Drive

Luisa Maita: Fio da Memoria (Cumbancha/Ode)

6 Feb 2017  |  1 min read

As the daughter of a Brazilian composer (her father) and an equally well-known producer (her mother), this singer-songwriter was perhaps always destined for a music career. In her younger days she sang in her father's band and her interests were in samba and bossa nova. So far, so familiar. But this, her second solo album, steps even away from the tropes of those styles and... > Read more

Na Asa

Evgeny Ukhanov: Introspection; Performs Griffths (griffithscomposer.com)

2 Feb 2017  |  <1 min read

When Malawi-born, Christchurch-raised and now Melbourne-based composer Alan Griffiths approached Elsewhere to see if we were interested in reviewing an album of his solo piano works entitled Introspection we were curious. The title suggested ambient music of the kind we have a soft spot for . . . but the title is deceptive. Here among the nine Griffiths pieces played by Evgeny... > Read more

Reverie III

Tweed: High-Brow Blues (Southbound)

30 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Although this Auckland-based trio bill themselves as alternative-folk, grey-haired Anglofolk followers will hear in them something which was once mainstream acoutsic folk, back in the days when Steeleye Span, Amazing Blondel, Fairport Convention and others were right at the centre of the frame. About 1972, I guess. The difference is that while these young people -- who assuredly might... > Read more

Evacuee

Gillian Welch; Boots No 1, The Official Revival Bootleg (Acony/Southbound)

23 Jan 2017  |  <1 min read

The numerical nature of this double CDs title whets the appetite for those who have followed the intense and interesting career of this Americana artist (and her musical partner Dave Rawlings). It has been 20 years since her breakthrough debut album Revival which brought together folk roots, that ol' time religion, elements of bluegrass and Appalachian country. It was a persuasive album of... > Read more

Orphan Girl (home demo)

Various Artists: The Ultimate Guide to English Folk (Arc Music)

23 Jan 2017  |  <1 min read

For anyone with an interest in British folk music, Elsewhere can highly recommend Electric Britain: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music by Rob Young which appeared in 201`0. But be warned, Young is such a persuasive writer he'll have you scouring the internet or record stores for dozens of albums. He set Elsewhere back a pretty penny. This double disc collection of 35 songs with useful... > Read more

The xx: I See You (Young Turks)

20 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

The verdict came in very quickly in the case of this album. After their stellar 2009 debut xx –which won them Britain's Mercury Prize, an award often out of synch with taste and commercial success – came the somewhat lesser but still interesting Coexist in '12 (a case of more of the same but less so) which meant this one could be make-or-break. Right from the economic... > Read more

Lips

Simon Thacker and Justyna Jablonska: Karmana (Slap the Moon)

16 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

When we interviewed Scottish guitarist Simon Thacker in 2015 in advance of his New Zealand tour it was hard to know how describe him. “Guitarist without portfolio” seems about as close as you might get. Back home in Edinburgh he teaches classical guitar but he also helms his own Ritmata ensemble (which he brought to New Zealand) and consider them his more jazz oriented... > Read more

Obyrtac (trad Polish)

Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody (Bella Union/Warners)

16 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

At first blush this is possibly one of those albums you want to like more than you do, just out of regard for the band's wonderfully wayward path. But the path has lead them to this? Calling it a slow grower – usually a compliment, meaning an album which will endure – is apt. The first third is laboriously slow in its dreamy psychedelia (a less clinical early Floyd)... > Read more

Sunrise/Eyes of the Young

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

16 Jan 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. Comments will be brief. Douglas Dare: Aforger (Erased Tapes/Southbound) At the intersection of electronica artist and melodramatic singer-songwriter,... > Read more

SOHN: Rennen (4AD)

16 Jan 2017  |  <1 min read

More lowkey pop-electronica from 4AD, this from British-born SOHN (Chris Taylor) who has relocated from Europe to LA and created these 10 gently soulful songs for his second album while on a quiet retreat in Northern California. There are some tasty groove-riding r’n’b influences here: Conrad, the leisurely pulse of Signal, the especially lovely Primary with its... > Read more

Still Waters

Phil Judd: uniQue (philjudd.com)

16 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

Few characters, if any, in New Zealand music can claim to have been involved with as many crucial bands as Phil Judd. He was a founder member, contributing writer and guitarist in Split Enz (he also did the album cover for their debut album Mental Notes), and after his departure he produced the Saturday Night single for proto-punk band Suburban Reptiles, and had a brief stint in the... > Read more

Half Japanese: Hear the Lions Roar (Fire)

13 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Always something of an acquired taste, the avant-rock, inspired but wilful amateurism, indie cult-cum-comedic sound of Half Japanese – now more than 35 years into a “career” – can rightly claim that time caught up with them. With the embrace of shock horror films and B-grade sci-fi, outsider artists like Daniel Johnson, quirky Jonathan Richman and Fred Frith,... > Read more

Do It Now