Music at Elsewhere

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Mavis Staples: One True Vine (Anti)

28 Jun 2013  |  1 min read  |  3

The great Mavis Staples – now 74 – has been immersed deep in the spiritual waters, and therefore has more to draw on, than most singers. She was a child of the church and well before her teens was singing in the Staple Singers lead by her father Pops. They sang of spiritual redemption, the civil rights struggle for equality and dignity, recorded material by contemporary... > Read more

Every Step

Boards of Canada: Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp/Border)

24 Jun 2013  |  3 min read  |  2

In that crowded spectrum between major record companies, bandcamp and obscure indie releases, it is getting harder and harder for bands -- even established ones -- to get attention. Critics are forever wanting to discover "the next new thing" in some obscure corner of webworld to enhance their own cachet as much as that of the artist (you sometimes think the art runs a distant... > Read more

Come to Dust

Miracle Mile: In Cassidy's Care (MeMe Records)

24 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

It has been quite a few years since we've had an album from the previously productive Miracle Mile, a band once acclaimed as one of Britain's best kept secrets. In the past five years or so founder member Trevor Jones appeared to be out on his own (Hopeland of 2009, Keepers in 2010, both under the name Jones) yet, curiously, they sounded very much like MM projects, especially since his... > Read more

Primrose Hill

Bruce Soord/Jonas Renkse: Wisdom of Crowds (Kscope/Southbound)

24 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

The return of progressive rock has been stealthy in the past decade with British bands like Muse, Anathema, Porcupine Tree (lead by Steven Wilson) and The Pineapple Thief (founder Bruce Soord) staking out a wide sweep of territory which touches on dark metal as much as employing often pretentiously portentous lyrics. Here Soord hooks up with Renkse, formerly of the Swedish metal bands... > Read more

The Centre of Gravity

Sigur Ros: Kveikur/Candlewick (XL)

24 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

After this Icelandic post-rock group's singer Jonsi did his more pop-rock album Go in 2010 during the band's hiatus, it might have been expected some of that filter into their glacial if sometimes dramatic sound, but their excellent Valtari of last year mostly continued along their singular path. And despite them promising this one would be more aggressive there's only occasional... > Read more

Stormur

Various Artists: Sweet Dreams; Where Country Meets Soul Vol 2 (Kent/Border)

23 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

As the second volume to the excellent Behind Closed Doors collection, this one of black artists digging deep into country-soul should find favour easily. Many of these artists bring a sad gravitas to the lyrics about cheatin' and heartache (Facts of Life on Sometimes, Ralph Lamar tearing himself apart on Don't Let Me Cross Over) although there is just as much MOR here (the great William Bell... > Read more

Sometimes

Leafblade: The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh (KScope/Southbound)

20 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

Here are just a few reasons why many people quite rightly can't take the new era of prog-rock seriously: Two nouns ("leaf"+"blade") don't make a right and couplets like these are just ridiculously pretentious  and freighted with referential poetry: "A child of the prophets born 'neath the wandering star, honoured with gold and light from the wise men afar".... > Read more

Beneath a Woodland Moon

The Colourplates: Agony and Ecstasy (Green Monkey)

18 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

Because we all like to know about something no one else does, Elsewhere is pleased to bring you this collection (subtitled "Post-Punk Art Rock, Seattle 1979 - 1982") by a band that, by its own admission, played mostly for pals and some sailors, and at a friend's wedding ("They divorced eventually"). On the Green Monkey label run by Tom Dyer, this 21 track collection --... > Read more

Macho Woman

Miles Kane: Don't Forget Who You Are (Sony)

17 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

Readers of fine print will know Kane as half of The Last Shadow Puppets alongside Arctic Monkey's Alex Turner. Here he dials back to classic English pop-rock with roots in noisy Beatles (he references Birthday), glam-rock, Roy Woods' Wizzard and the axis of the Who/Jam (Paul Weller co-writes three songs including the bristling Start of Something Big). Ian (Lightning Seeds) Broudie... > Read more

Better Than That

Charlotte Yates; Archipelago (Universal)

17 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

For over a decade Wellington's Charlotte Yates put her energy into setting words by James K Baxter, Hone Tuwhare and Witi Ihimaera to music by all-star casts, but only managed two albums of her own, the last being the somewhat spare Beggar's Choice five years ago. Here however, across 12 originals, she invites in strings, flute and piano, embraces electronic touches from... > Read more

End of the Tunnel

Caro Emerald: The Shocking Miss Emerald (Dramatico)

17 Jun 2013  |  1 min read  |  2

When anyone asked "Why the Famous Elsewhere Questionaire?" I tell them of Little Richard who, when encountering James Brown and his newly formed band the Famous Flames, he said something along the lines, "You all is the only band that calls themselves famous before they've done anything". Put "Famous" -- in this instance "Shocking" -- out there and... > Read more

Black Valentine

Various Artists: Waiata 2 (Sony)

17 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

Here's my guess: At a party if you played certain songs by Tom Jones, Tony Christie, John Rowles, Englebert Humperdinck, Frankie Stevens or any number of other MOR big ballad singers, most people couldn't tell the difference. Or even care very much. Some of those artists covered the same songs (as did Elvis, whose ballads they also sometimes performed) so the lines just blurred between... > Read more

You're Such a Good Looking Woman

The Kingsbury Manx: Bronze Age (Odessa/Southbound)

13 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

Here is one/another of those indie bands which will perhaps only connect when they play a Laneway or some alt.festival. This snappy, pop-conscious and throughly enjoyable North Carolina four-piece have been around for over a decade (I did not know that!) and this is their . . . wow, sixth album (and there was an EP too, I believe). So after a few of these crafted, thoughtful and... > Read more

Lyon

Beady Eye: BE (Sony)

10 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

In the wake of the Oasis fallout, Liam Gallagher basically walked away with the band renamed as Beady Eye, and songwriting brother Noel got to go his own way, free from the shackles of being stuck with the limitations of Oasis to become a proper and great English songwriter like Ray Davies, Paul Weller and others he admired. Perhaps expectations for Noel were too great because his debut... > Read more

Soon Come Tomorrow

John Fogerty: Wrote a Song For Everyone (Sony)

10 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although John Fogerty refused to play his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs for years after litigation between him and his former record company, it hardly mattered. CCR songs were staples at classic hits radio, obligatory in any Vietnam movie (Fortunate Son, Run Through the Jungle, Bad Moon Rising) and a Creedence tape was in The Dude's car when it was stolen in The Big Lebowski.... > Read more

Fortunate Son

Various Artists: The World Needs Changing; Street Funk and Jazz Grooves 1967- 1976

10 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

Although to some extent a companion volume to the fascinating Liberation Music collection of material from the Flying Dutchman label, this is very much a lesser cousin as the politics is tuned down -- despite funk and groove-riding songs with titles like All Power to the People (Joe Savage and the Soul People) and Walk Tall (Esther Morrow). The very good liner notes make a useful point: that... > Read more

See-Saw Affair

Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers: The Black Soap from Monkeyburg (Red Rocks)

10 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read  |  3

It's widely acknowledged Rick Bryant has one of the country's best soul-blues voices. Or more correctly – on the evidence of this collection, most co-writes with guitarist Gordon Spittle – did have. Here his voice is frequently a lesser and often shredded version of what it once was, his range fraying at the edges and only rarely does he bring the fire or emotion that was... > Read more

Rum Jungle

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (Heavenly/Mushroom)

4 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

Singer Mark Lanegan is the familiar name here for his work Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell and Soulsavers, but Duke Garwood from London is perhaps less well known. A multi-instrumentalist with an ear on spooky blues (hence this pairing), he has worked with Seasick Steve, Wooden Wand and Wire, appeared on Lanegan's Blues Funeral (and Lanegan's band with Greg Dulli,... > Read more

Mescalito

Into the East: Fight from the Inside (intotheeast.co.nz/Aeroplane)

4 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

This duo might come from Southland in New Zealand but they could just as surely have found a foothold in the American Midwest with songs like the catchy On the Run (a slightly reshaped rockabilly number which twists on the Tequila riff) or the ballads Black Hills Dakota and How Could Have Known. But What I Have Done (subtitled On the Run Part II) would warm the cockles of your heart if you... > Read more

Old Man in a Fog

JJ Grey and Mofro: This River (Southbound)

4 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

Hard traveling and prolific JJ Grey and his horn-embellished band have been serving up a mix of Southern soul, New Orleans funk and swamp rock for such a long time now you'd think they might have made a global impact. When Grey gets into ballad mode -- as he does here beautifully on Somebody Else, Tame a Wild One and the title track -- he can melt hearts. And there's no doubt the upbeat or... > Read more

Tame a Wild One