Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

ONE WE MISSED: Mark Mulcahy: The Gus (Mezzotint/Southbound)

21 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

Given the admirers who appeared on the 2009 tribute album to him included Frank Black, Thom Yorke, Juliana Hatfield, Michael Stipe, the National and many other luminaries, you'd think this US singer-songwriter would be much better known. He's released five albums under his own name (Elsewhere reviewed the last two) as well as those with his bands Miracle Legion (mostly defunct) and Polaris.... > Read more

Wicked World

The Four Fours; Complete Singles 1963-66. Human Instinct and the Four Fours; 1983-68 (both Frenzy)

20 Jul 2019  |  2 min read

While talking with a friend, who knows a lot about all kinds of New Zealand music, we agreed that not every local band was great and not every album a Kiwi classic. Despite what their champions might say. Yes, we had some excellent musicians, and even many great ones, but often the vehicles they had – the band around them, their singles and/or albums – were... > Read more

Renaissance Fair, by Human Instinct (1968)

Sarathy Korwar: More Arriving (Leaf/Southbound)

19 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

The previous studio album Day to Day by this US-born, India-raised and Britain-based percussionist/scene-maker received immense praise at Elsewhere and was in our best of 2016 list. It was a blazing and exciting fusion of samples, electronica and jazz. It was also quite the challenge. This time out Korwar – shying not a bit from making challenging music – invites in a number... > Read more


75 Dollar Bill: I Was Real (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

12 Jul 2019  |  2 min read

Anyone who saw the extraordinary Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania at Womad Taranaki in 2018 couldn't help but be impressed by her husband on guitar whose playing was fluid, mercurial, seemingly effortless and shapeshifting of melodies and chords. Unfortunately that playing by Jeiche Ould Chigaly was only hinted at on the album Arbina . . . but his name alone made such a deep impression... > Read more


Thom Yorke: Anima (XL/Rhythmethod)

8 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

When the Italian indie-cult horror film Suspiria – with a soundtrack by prog-rockers Goblin – appeared on television recently you had to wonder why, after more than 40 years, it would suddenly pop up on the small screen. Perhaps because of the recent remake which had new and very impressive music by Radiohead's Thom Yorke? Maybe encouraged by the approval his soundtrack... > Read more

Various Artists: Three Day Week (Ace/Border)

8 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

Think of the musical landscape of Britain in the early Seventies: the glam-camp of Bowie and T Rex and Wizzard; prog-rock by Genesis and the Moody Blues, the heavy boots of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and others; the art-rock of Roxy Music, mainstream pop and Hawkwind . . . Well, there was another more depressing Britain as this 26 song compilation – subtitled When The... > Read more

Home Fit for Heroes, by the Edgar Broughton Band (1972)

Phil Alvin: Un “Sung Stories” (Ace/Border)

8 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

Although America's Blasters never really got their due in the late Seventies/early Eighties for their full throated blues, rockabilly and rock'n'roll-based sound in the punk era, one of the co-founders Dave Alvin went on to a significant solo career. His co-founding brother Phil didn't pursue much music after the band broke up – he studied maths and AI at university and as a post-grad... > Read more

Daddy Rollin' Stone

Andrew Masseurs: Traveller in the Sky (digital outlets)

7 Jul 2019  |  <1 min read

Andrew Masseurs was the lung-power out front of Wellington's quite exceptional four-piece Ammp some years back, and in 2011 Elsewhere recommended their stadium-shaped album Back of the Sun. Now let it be said what he did then and does now, is go the whole Bono on the driving, wide-screen ballads of anthemic proportions. So if you've had your fill of U2 then you probably don't... > Read more

Black Keys: “Let's Rock” (Easy Eye)

6 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

The first time I saw the Black Keys was at a Kings Arms gig when they were just starting out and were being acclaimed by the bFM crowd as some kind of alt.blues band. They were pretty dire and I remember thinking (as I subsequently wrote) that even on a bad night – and I saw him on one – George Thorogood would wipe the floor with them for energy, chops and guitar fury. But... > Read more

Kokomo: Sunset Claws (Boatshed/digital outlets)

30 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

It's been a long time between new albums for this long-running Bay of Plenty band and their gritty blues-grounded pop-rock, country-rock and dark ballads. Three years ago they offered a damn fine career retrospective with Batten Down the Hatches and you might have thought that was acting as fine farewell . . . but no. Here they come again – five years on from their last studio... > Read more

Turn the Lights Down Low

Bob Dylan: The Rolling Thunder Revue; The 1975 Live Recordings (Sony, 14 CD box set)

24 Jun 2019  |  6 min read

When Bob Dylan resumed his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in April 1976 for dates around the South -- four months after the first incarnation had finished playing around the US North-east and into Canada -- there was a very different atmosphere around it. By every account, Dylan in the new year was more serious and introspective, his marriage was in serious trouble, his old folk-days friend... > Read more

One More Cup of Coffee

Jane Weaver: Loops in the Secret Society (Fire/Southbound)

24 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

After considerable interest in her excellent second album Modern Kosmology in 2017, Fire Records out of Britain reissued her '14 debut album for the label The Silver Globe by this electronica artist who has touchstones in late Seventies space-rock, motorik rhythms, ambient drones, dramatic rushes of synths and the post-rave psychedelic dancefloor. It is a heady brew and Elsewhere has... > Read more

Mission Desire

Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars (Sony)

23 Jun 2019  |  2 min read

In his Broadway spoken (and SHOUTED!!!) word show peppered by songs, the man they call The Boss joked that he'd written about those who do the daily working grind, but that he'd never done it himself. Yet from Born to Run – and more specifically Darkness on the Edge of Town – he started to channel the hopes, fears, dead-ends and lives of those out there struggling to survive... > Read more

The Wayfarer

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sonic Youth: Battery Park NYC, July 4th 2008 (Matador/Rhythmethod)

18 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

This live album was released as a bonus with Sonic Youth's final album The Eternal in 2009 (one of Elsewhere's best of that year) and reminds you what a seminal band they were. And how much missed they are in the current climate of seemingly unfashionable (if we believe the charts) guitar-based rock. Effortlessly creating a bridge between NYC avant-garde, guitar-noise... > Read more

100% (live)

Flying Lotus: Flamagra (Warp/Border)

17 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

Jazz composer/trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his cheerleader Stanley Crouch often used to talk about how much “musical information” there was on certain albums. You'd like to hear how they might interpret and decode this one by Flying Lotus aka Steven Ellison: Years in the making; a celebrity collision of guests including Thundercat, Anderson.Paak, George Clinton, Toro Y Moi and... > Read more

Debbie is Depressed

Marianne Faithfull: Come and Stay With Me (Ace/Border)

16 Jun 2019  |  2 min read

On her Strange Weather album in '87 and No Exit (live from 2016), Marianne Faithfull delivered more definitive versions of the song As Tears Go By which Jagger-Richards wrote for her in 1964 when she was a seemingly chaste Catholic schoolgirl full of innocence. Back then she sang it as if in a drawing room, the young Elizabethan girl looking out the world beyond the window and knowing she... > Read more


Scott Mannion: Loving Echoes (Lil' Chief)

10 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

Although recorded in Spain, Norway, New Zealand and Wales over six years with a cast of Lil' Chief artists and fellow travelers, this debut album by Scott Mannion – who came to attention with the wonderful Tokey Tones in 2003, and has lived in Spain since 2013 – holds together as a musically coherent work. His reflective and understated lyrics follow the arc of a relationship... > Read more

Somebody Else's Dream

Eli Paperboy Reed: 99 Cents Dreams (Yep Roc/Southbound)

9 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

Channeling the sound and spirit of classic soul (Smokey, young Otis and Marvin, Al Green, Sam Cooke and more), Eli Paperboy Reed -- a white guy originally from Massachusetts, now in his mid 30s – has seriously immersed himself in blues and soul. His track record has been convincing and this album – recorded at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis with local black backing singers the... > Read more

Lover's Compensation

Vanishing Twin: The Age of Immunology (Fire)

8 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

As the Felice Brothers stare into the abyss of Amerikkka on their current Undress album, this UK-based group of migrant members (Belgium, Japan, Italy, France and the US) – helmed by writer Cathy Lucas – deliver an album which willfully denies the borders erected between people and musical genres. So they offer hope (the seven minute-plus folk-jazz drift of You Are Not An... > Read more


Felice Brothers: Undress (Yep Roc/Southbound)

8 Jun 2019  |  <1 min read

After all these decades people still cheer, perhaps more loudly these days, when Bob Dylan sings “even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked” in It's Alright Ma. The idea of the trappings stripped away – rather than literal nakedness – propels the opener/title track here where the long-running country-rockers Felice Brothers tear away... > Read more