Music at Elsewhere

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Advance Base: A Shut-In's Prayer (Caldo Verde/Southbound)

23 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

With the economy of a poet Owen Ashworth, who is Advance Base, sketches in lonely lives reduced down to telling images and gives his characters names, and delivers his songs with spare arrangments of rhythm box, synths and piano. If this idea sounds vageuly familiar it is because under a former guise Ashworth was the truly wonderful Casiotone for the Painfully Alone whose album Etiquette... > Read more

David Allen

Eleni Mandell: I Can See the Future (YepRoc)

23 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Possessed of kd lang's melodic skills and swooning delivery, with an ear on classic Fifties and Sixties pop which was a hallmark of the best Rumer songs and just enough folk-noir to bring shadows to what sometimes sounds sunlit, little-known Eleni Mandell from Los Angeles here serves up an album of real depth. It's a measure of Mandell's credibility that on her eighth studio album this... > Read more

I'm Lucky

Joan Osborne: Bring It On Home (Saguaro Road)

23 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read  |  3

Joan Osborne's mid-90s hit (“what if God was”) One of Us almost killed her career. A 32-year old gutsy soul-blues singer with an earthy stage act, she struggled to distance herself from the teen audience which embraced it. Osborne - interviewed at the tme here -- was closer to Joplin than Jewel. She increasingly sang blues and toured with Motown's Funk Brothers (she... > Read more

Game of Love

The Metropole Orkest: The Wine of Silence (DGM/Southbound)

23 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Holland's Metropole Orchestra has an impressive track record in performing with musicians from across the rock, pop, jazz and world music spectrum. Down the decades they have worked with people such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Tony Bennett to Antony and the Johnsons, Mike Patton, Joe Cocker, Brian Eno, Andrea Bocelli, Basement Jaxx . . . For this album they turned to the... > Read more

Midnight Blue

Various Artists: TV Sound and Image (Soul Jazz)

23 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

More than two decades ago a budget price company in the US put out a collection of 65 television theme songs (Popeye, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, The Munsters etc) and while serious critics and reviewers sniffed, they laughed all the way to the bank. In New Zealand there were similar such projects and again the public lapped them up because they brought back memories and settled... > Read more

The Avengers

Lawrence Arabia: The Sparrow (Unspk)

16 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Because this deftly orchestrated album of slightly worldweary pop by James Milne -- aka Lawrence Arabia -- has already picked up five star reviews and critical acclaim at home and abroad, it perhaps hardly needs Elsewhere's assistance to bring it to your attention. But let it be noted that references to the European sounds of Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg, whom Milne says he was... > Read more

Lick Your Wounds

Kurt Shanks: Blood Line Heart (Plus1/Aeroplane)

16 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

At a crucial point in the lovely Auckland-located ballad These Are The Days, the mood drops, hooking you with intimacy, and Kurt Shanks speak-sings, “No, I don't desire any sales pitch today . . .”. It goes down like a wooden wonton, and unfortunately such lyrics – cliches like “mind over matter”, or “girl, we fit like a glove” in the... > Read more

These are the Days

Waco Brothers and Paul Burch: Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot)

16 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

Sounding like uncles who grew up on country-punk, Joe Ely's Texas rebel rock and some early Seventies Stones albums, the rootsy but rocking Waco Brothers here pull few surprises out of those influences but deliver an album which will raise a knowing smirk when the Keith Richards' riffs kick in (Wrong Side of Love) or they deliver rather silly countrified lyrics ("I'm like a rusty gate on... > Read more

Great Chicago Fire

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of New Orleans (Rough Guide/Southbound)

12 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Here's the compilation many would want to compile . . . then flee a mile from. How could you win? No matter who you included there will be dozens if not scores or hundreds of artists/tracks which could also have claimed equal time. So hats off to Mike Chadwick for being man enough to tie one on (maybe tie on quite a few) and trawl the vaults for these 15 songs which certainly give some of... > Read more


Various Artists: Winter (Loop)

12 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read  |  1

Assembled by Loop's Mikee Tucker with a view to offering music for these colder and more indoor days, this collection of downbeat and ambient pieces will sit nicely with mulled wine and a warm fire at night, or nodding off behind glass as the sun beats down but outside there is a chill wind. Represented here in either previously released tracks, remixes or new pieces are Module, the late... > Read more

They Will Grow

Royal Southern Brotherhood: Royal Southern Brotherhood (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

11 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Although Aaron Neville gets the most attention for his angelic voice, other Neville brothers are just as interesting, not the least singer/drummer Cyril who was a member of the Meters and more recently worked with the edgy Galactic who pull from rock and hip hop as much as the New Orleans tradition. Cyril is here alongside guitarist Devon Allman (son of Gregg), singer/guitarist Mike Zito,... > Read more

Moonlight Over the Mississippi

The Flaming Lips: Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Warners)

9 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Anyone with a completist's mentality who signed up for Flaming Lips on the back of Soft Bulletin (1999) and their beguiling Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots back in '02, has been in for a typically bumpy ride when Wayne Coyne is the great helmsman. A natural collaborator, musical heretic and avant-experimentalist, Coyne thought nothing of releasing the soundtrack to his film Christmas on... > Read more

Is David Bowie Dying?

Savage: Mayhem and Miracles (Dawn Raid)

9 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Anyone looking for evidence of the seeming split personalities at work within hip hop culture -- gangbangers who love their kids etc -- need go no futher than this enjoyable if sometimes puzzling mix of strutting braggadocio, sensitivity, faith and family referencing . . . and a fair bit overt but low range sexism in the hilariously addictive Twerk ("Get your ass on the floor . . . can you... > Read more

Because of You

Jeb Loy Nicols: The Jeb Loy Nicols Special (Universal)

9 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Understated soul-jazz/folk-country singer Nichols lives in Wales but grew up in Missouri, moved to Austin where he assimilated, after seeing the Sex Pistols shifted to New York then on to London where he flatted with Adrian Sherwood (On U Sounds) and Ari Up (the Slits) before launching a solo career in the late NIneties. Quite some background, so as expected his albums... > Read more

The Quiet Life

Sunken Seas: Null Hour (Muzai)

9 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

With the recent online-only release of Christchurch band Factories' The Supreme Cosmic Consciousness Births a Star Child in Negative Space album and now this tripped-out cosmic rock journey by Wellington trio Sunken Seas, it seems there's some acid tinge in local water. If Factories offered a dreamscape astral trip, the discordant and aurally dense Sunken Seas strap you to the outside... > Read more

Photographs of the Dead

Paloma Faith: Fall to Grace (Sony)

2 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

As Poloma Faith's contemporaries Duffy and Rumer have shown, the difficult second album is much harder to survive than even the cliche suggests. Duffy's Endlessly was woeful and Rumer simply sidestepped the challenge by releasing a covers album Boys Don't Cry. Faith however -- who impressed on her debut Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? -- almost comes through the fire... > Read more

When You're Gone

Lee Hazlewood: The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides 1968-71 (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

2 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Although Lee Hazlewood (who died in 2007 age 78) enjoys a considerable cult reputation, it rests on two slender, if notable, styles; like Johnny Cash back from the 40 days in the wilderness with a head full of cosmic cowboy visions, and in duets with female singers providing the sweetness to his oak barrel baritone. Before hitting mainstream attention in the mid Sixties on duets with... > Read more


La Sera: Sees the Light (Hardly Art)

2 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Vivian Girls' singer Katy Goodman out of Brooklyn follows last year's dreamy self-titled debut with this 30 minute album which blends gently realised love-lorn songs with energetically brittle shoegaze guitars topped by her sometimes weightless vocals which can at times recall the Sundays. Seems life has dealt a blow (titles include Love That's Gone, Break My Heart, It's Over Now, I'm... > Read more

Break My Heart

New Build: Yesterday was Lived and Lost (Lanark)

2 Jul 2012  |  <1 min read

Something of a pocket-sized superduo – Felix Martin from Hot Chip, Al Doyle who has worked with Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem – New Build (augmented by friends and fellow travelers) shave off familiar electro-dance from their collective pasts as well as nodding modestly in other directions. If the first third hardly excites by offering much new, innovative or interesting... > Read more

The Third One

Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania (Martha's Music)

25 Jun 2012  |  2 min read

When Smashing Pumpkins splash down for an Auckland concert at Vector on August 4 -- from whatever planet mainman Billy Corgan has been on lately -- it will be on the back of this album which some have hailed as their best in quite a while (not saying much) or dismissed as a typically bloated but aggressively pumped-out edition full of familiar SP drama, melody and noise. Which, when you... > Read more

The Celestials