Music at Elsewhere

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Charlie Horse: I Hope I Am Not a Monster (

6 May 2013  |  <1 min read

Better a few months late than not at all for this gritty, pleasingly ragged and sometimes boisterous rock from an Australian band which has done the character-building work through pubs but sensibly take themselves off to a cabin the Blue Mountains where they write and have a studio. The focus of the band is on singers/writers Crystal Rose and Paul McDonald who have an ear for darkly... > Read more

I Killed My Mind

Wayne Hancock: Ride (Bloodshot/Southbound)

6 May 2013  |  <1 min read

Wayne "The Train" Hancock is best described as a truck-stop rocker. He's the guy you'd love to see at some juke-joint or country bar with his band as they take rockabilly, Hank Williams country, blues, honky tonk and some serious swinging'n'twangin' guitar to a crowd ready to dance, drink or dig into their crawfish or grits. He's got lowdown blues songs, road songs (with pedal... > Read more

Deal Gone Down

Suede: Bloodsports (Warner)

29 Apr 2013  |  1 min read

The timing of this first Suede album couldn't be better: David Bowie's got a new album out and his Alladin Sane celebrates an anniversary reissue. And for a band whose singer Brett Anderson owed a clear debt to aspects of Bowie in the Seventies this synergy for Suede should be useful. Quite what should we expect from a reunion album is however another question. Graham Parker and the... > Read more

Hit Me

Billy Bragg: Tooth and Nail (Cooking Vinyl)

29 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

The self-described Big Nose From Barking has always dealt a lovely line in romantic but clear-eyed sentiment alongside his more obvious political songs. And sometimes the politics has been personal and vice-versa. This album -- with a excellent small band, recorded by Joe Henry and following the death of Bragg's mother -- finds him in a mostly turned-down and reflective mood. The opener... > Read more

Swallow My Pride

Ethan Johns: If Not Now Then When? (Three Crows/Southbound)

29 Apr 2013  |  1 min read

Good title and cover shot for the debut album from someone whose name usually follows the words "Produced by" on albums from Crowded House, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Rufus Wainwright, Ray LaMontagne and other luminaries. He's also the son of Glyn whose name followed "Produced by" on records by the Stones, Clapton, Led Zepp and the Who . . . and who is still active... > Read more


British Sea Power: Machineries of Joy (Rough Trade)

22 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  3

IN the current roll call of great bands out of Blighty, the fascinating and heroically named British Sea Power seem to have gone woefully overlooked. Their intelligence and musical curiosity has manifested itself in two soundtracks, the one for Robert Flaherty's Man of Aran film from 1934 being a particular Elsewhere favourite for its sympathetic understanding of the stark images. Their... > Read more

K Hole

Steve Earle: The Low Highway (New West/Southbound)

22 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

The final track on this -- Earle's 15th studio album -- is Remember Me, a moving message to his child who might never see him when grown. Earle, now 58 and with a three-year old, knows this possibility and such honest emotion (sometimes fueled by political anger) has been a hallmark of a career which looked finished in the mid Nineties when he was jailed for drug and weapon possession.... > Read more

Remember Me

Kurt Vile: Wakin' on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

15 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  2

The improbably-named Philadelphian here opens this beguiling fifth album with the nine minutes-plus sorta-title track which lazily reassures his love/the listener that it's okay, he's fried, living low and lazy before a delightfully long skygaze-meets-Neil Young guitar part glistens off into the distance. As a statement of intent it's enormously impressive and – after his... > Read more

Girl Called Alex

Superturtle: Beat Manifesto (Sarang Bang)

15 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

This is how all vinyl purchases should come, with a CD. If you'r going to shell out for a record -- and there's a limited edition of this one -- then you should of course get a free CD or download link. Good on local label Sarang Bang for doing that. Superturtle -- who launch this at Auckland's Hard Luck Cafe on Saturday -- here throw you back to the mid Eighties  for a dozen... > Read more

You're Gonna Get There Too

Karl Bartos: Off the Record (Bureau B)

15 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

One glance at the cover photo and two bars of the first track and you know Bartos has some serious Kraftwerk origins. In fact he was in the group for 15 years from 1975 and then -- if we believe the slightly disco-pop ballad Without a Trace of Emotion here -- quit with little love lost to pursue a solo career with "the world at my feet". If that were entirely true however you'd... > Read more

Without a Trace of Emotion

Wooden Wand: Blood Oath of the New Blues (Fire/Southbound)

8 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

In the real world “a songwriter's songwriter” usually translates into “respected, but no commercial potential”. Wooden Wand – aka James Jackson Toth – has been been described as having “that picaresque quality Dylan had in his heyday” by Swans' Michael Gira, and some have cited Neil Young, Springsteen and Cohen in reviews. Hard to make... > Read more

Southern Colorado Song

Stornoway: Tales from Terra Firma (4AD)

8 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

The Anglofolk 2012 debut album Beachcomber's Windowsill by this Oxford group (named for a small town in the windblown Outer Hebrides) didn't quite cut it with its folksy pop and songs about bird watching, or people preferring to watch television rather than roaming free. Just seemed a bit twee and earnest. However here they paint with bigger brushes and aim for spiritually-imbued... > Read more

The Bigger Picture

The Pogues: 30:30 (Rhino)

5 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

Few bands did bruised romanticism, battered beauty and boozy narratives as well as the Pogues. In Shane MacGowan they had a songwriter who was a poet of the streets with his heart in some mythical vision of rural Ireland, a visionary who didn't disguise his ideas in florid language but kept his florid nose close to the blunt real world. The Pogues may have been heroic drinkers but they... > Read more

Streams of Whiskey

Darkstar: News From Nowhere (Warp)

1 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

The 2010 debut album North by the one-time dub-step British duo of Aiden Whalley and James Young brought in vocals by James Buttery for an album of unexpected and understated beauty full of beat-driven ambience, minimalism and discreet touches of romanticism. Now seemingly an official three-piece with Buttery, Darkstar are purveyors of liquid melodies, Eno'n'Fripp-like sonic textures... > Read more


Tom Morgan: Orange Syringe (Fire/Southbound)

1 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read

Tom Morgan's name should be better known. Formerly in the Australian indie-rock band Smudge, he came to the attention of Evan Dando (Lemonheads) and co-wrote with him many songs on the Lemonheads' excellent albums It's a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel the Lemonheads, among them Big Gay Heart, It's About Time, Bit Part, It's Shame About Ray and Rick James Style. Big indie-pop... > Read more

Taste for Blood

Josh Rouse: The Happiness Waltz (Yep Roc/Southbound)

1 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

I imagine Josh Rouse has long ago accepted that -- despite some fine early albums like Under Cold Blue Stars -- he will perhaps, after almost 20 years in the game, be one of those respected writers whose albums fall into the laps of fans but travel little further. Elsewhere has always followed his career with interest (and occasional disappointment) so this pleasant collection which... > Read more

It's Good to Have You

Eric Clapton: Old Sock (Universal)

1 Apr 2013  |  <1 min read  |  3

As at the start of his career – the Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith in six years – lately Clapton has engaged in short projects with B.B. King (Riding with the King) and J.J. Cale (Road to Escondido), doing his disappointingly patchy Robert Johnson tribute (Me and Mr Johnson) or been a man at ease with himself and taking it easy, albeit professionally and... > Read more

The Folks Who Live on the Hill

Tattletale Saints: How Red is the Blood (Old Oak/Aeroplane)

29 Mar 2013  |  1 min read

The duo behind this debut album of sensitively understated folk and subtle simplicity have a bit of "form", we might say. They are expat Kiwis Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan who were previously in Her Make Believe Band. Their AM Radio album of two years ago got a very good notice here at Elsewhere, and McGowan offered a solo album Mermaids and Whiskey last year. They spent time... > Read more

Doctor Doctor

Jesse Will: Hold Your Cards (jesswillmusic)

28 Mar 2013  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere rarely bothers with EPs: too many of them; too few songs to glean a picture; too often juvenilia which the artists come to regret . . . But we make an exception for Auckland singer-songwriter Jesse Will who learned some of his craft at MAINZ and late last year won a Songwriter of the Year award which alowed him to record two of these three songs at Roundhead Studio. He has... > Read more

Hold Your Cards

Rhian Sheehan: Stories from Elsewhere (Loop)

25 Mar 2013  |  1 min read  |  2

Given its title -- and that I wrote a travel collection called Postcards From Elsewhere -- how could we not be interested in this textured, electronica-cum-ambient outing from New Zealand's Sheehan? And here he brings a real human warmth and some fascinating musical references from a wide palette to this, his first full length album since Standing in Silence about four years ago. This is... > Read more

La Boite a Musique