Music at Elsewhere

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Jonathan Bree: Sleepwalking (Lil' Chief)

8 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

In a cover which suggests the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte's masked figures in paintings like The Lovers and The Heart of the Matter, Jonathan Bree presents and equally mysterious and sometimes gorgeously strange collection of orchestrated songs which deal with seductions, online sexuality, former lovers and . . . So much more in these cleverly coded lyrics which sit in... > Read more

Boombox Serenade ft Crystal Choi

Alien Weaponry: Tu (Napalm Records)

8 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

Spotify is all very well but here is where it let's you down: With the vinyl album by this young (two members just 16), disciplined, experienced (they've been at it three years) metal outfit who frequently sing in te reo. Spotify will only give you a compressed sound but the vinyl version comes at you widescreen and about two centimetres from the end of your nose. The tracks are produced by... > Read more


IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

4 Jun 2018  |  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 and Yasmin does with EPs. Comments will be brief. .    Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy: Anchor (Topic/Southbound) Elsewhere's... > Read more

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Sparkle Hard (Matador)

4 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has loyally followed the path of former Pavement man Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks . . . and that has not always been easy. From bristling and fuzzed-up psychedelic rock to more refined yet still quirky power pop and even dialed back folk-pop, the trail has sometimes lead into blind alleys or very deep and dark woods. But that has kept him of interest and although,... > Read more

Solid Silk

Various Artists: Graceland, The Remixes (Sony)

3 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

The just published biography of Paul Simon by Robert Hilburn – written with the songwriter's full cooperation but without further interference – confirms how meticulously Simon constructed his lyrics and music on albums like the Grammy-winning Graceland. So there's an irony about this album in which Simon's songs are deconstructed by various remixers, DJs and studio boffins.... > Read more

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (Thievery Corporation remix)

Hi-Revving Tongues: The Complete Singles A's and B's (Frenzy)

2 Jun 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere is prepared to say it knows next to nothing about this New Zealand band from the late Sixties into the early Seventies, aside from a few singles: A Tropic of Capricorn, the heavily phased Elevator and Rain And Tears. And until this 24-song compilation by Grant Gillanders – which comes with a booklet of artwork, and an excellent essay which includes interviews with band... > Read more

A Tropic of Capricorn

The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Something Else (A Recordings/Southbound)

1 Jun 2018  |  1 min read

The title on this new album by the very prolific Anton Newcombe and his fellow travellers is interesting of itself. It may refer to the Beatles album of a similar title (the typically cobbled-togetherSomething New) which came out in the US in '64 because Newcombe has made such allusions in his long career on BJM albums such as Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, My Bloody Underground... > Read more

My Poor Heart

Sons of Kemet: Your Queen is a Reptile (Impulse!)

28 May 2018  |  1 min read

Recorded in London, this third album by the saxophonist/composer Shabaka Hutchings brings together tenor sax, double drums and tuba into a stew of Afro-Caribbean jazz-funk and, as much as the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen during the Queen Elizabeth's jubilee year, in its own way this is direct dismissal of those born into royalty while Hutchings titles his tracks after those who became real... > Read more

My Queen is Angela Davis

Tami Neilson: Sassafrass! (Southbound)

28 May 2018  |  2 min read

Taking its title from the description of a sassy person rather than the plant, this new Tami Neilson album not only expands her musical horizons even further into songs which mostly which have their roots in the music of the Fifties, but also delivers a strong and over-riding ethos of female assertion and empowerment welded seamlessly onto these great songs. The women here are devil-angels... > Read more

One Thought of You

Julia Deans: We Light Fire (Tardus/Rhythmethod)

28 May 2018  |  2 min read

Although women artists under their own name are still under-represented in our local music charts – just five albums in the New Zealand top 20, one still being Lorde's Melodrama after 49 weeks, another being Party by Aldous Harding after 53 weeks, and only Lorde in the main internationals chart – the other evidence is that many local women are making massive inroads into our... > Read more

All of the Above

Various Artists: Wild Things (Vostok)

27 May 2018  |  3 min read

When John Baker released his first Wild Things LP collection on record back at the dawn of the Nineties (subtitled “Wyld Kiwi Garage 1966-1969”) there was not the plethora of New Zealand music compilations there is today. Certainly there had been AK79, Class of '81, Goat's Milk Soap and Art for Chart's Sake among others . . . but none of them were quite like what Baker pulled... > Read more

Social End Product, by the Bluestars

Various Artists: 1968, The Kiwi Music Scene (Frenzy)

26 May 2018  |  1 min read

By any measure, 1968 was an extraordinary year in global politics: the year began with the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, rolled on through the student and workers' revolution in France, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Grosvenor Square anti-Vietnam protests in London . . . In music there was radical chic as the Stones went back to their blues roots for the... > Read more

Hey Gyp, by the Underdogs

Cut Worms: Hollow Ground (Jagjaguwar)

21 May 2018  |  <1 min read

An odd one, not because it's odd . . . but more because it isn't. Cut Worms is actually Midwest singer-songwriter/visual artist Max Clarke now based in Brooklyn. And what he writes are often gentle, deliberately pop-framed songs which often have the charm of, say, Gary Lewis and the Playboys' unashamed Beatlesque pop from the Sixties (on Think I Might Be in Love) and the country-edge of the... > Read more

Cash for Gold

Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow's Daughter (Honeycomb Hideout/online outlets)

21 May 2018  |  1 min read

And here's an object lesson in effortless power pop from a master. Elsewhere never apologises for loving this idiom which peels off slivers of pre-66 Beatles and Byrds, has a lineage in Big Star, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, early Petty and the Posies and comes right up to . . . Just so many good people. Matthew Sweet has had digressions off piste on three covers albums with Susanna... > Read more

Girl with Cat

Simon Hirst: Feet of God (usual online outlets)

21 May 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

There is an interesting and often ignored thread of slightly dreamy, widescreen pop out there from the likes of Jules Shear, Grant-Lee Phillips (before he went more twang), Matthew Sweet and many others, and at times it gets its head well above the parapet with the likes of Crowded House and Neil Finn's crafted songs. Simon Hirst is in that lineage, although when he hits the midpoint of... > Read more


Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly: Peter Pears; Balinese Ceremonial Music (Nonesuch/Universal)

14 May 2018  |  1 min read

Cards on the table now, this I like . . . but I just don't get it.The title is the first problem: Peter Pears; if you know him at all it is as a long-dead classical singer/composer. And is this Balinese ceremonial music?Well, not a lot of it. Those of us who have been to Bali and enjoyed a healthy distance from the bars and boozy Australians in Kuta for the quiet of village life and... > Read more

Taboeh Teleo

Pieter T: Goliath (usual streaming services)

13 May 2018  |  1 min read

One of the finest Pasifika soul/r'n'b voices – and acknowledged as such by radio play – Pieter T builds a pleasing bridge between pop, r'n'b, electronica and the airy, falsetto soul much favoured by young men in the genre. And that perhaps explains why the first two singles here ROD and Moving On (with B Wise) were playlisted on Spotify's New Music Friday in Australia and New... > Read more

Used to Be

Steve Reich: Pulse/Quartet (Nonesuch/Universal)

10 May 2018  |  1 min read

As much in the vanguard of tape manipulation and phasing as he was in minimalism, Steve Reich increasingly brought a refined musicality to his larger projects like Tehillim and his opera The Cave which explored his Jewish heritage with historical resonances. In some of his work – especially the more minimalist and layered pieces – he is not that far from a kind of... > Read more

Quartet: Fast Part 3

Modern Studies: Welcome Strangers (Fire/Southbound)

7 May 2018  |  <1 min read

We caught the debut album Swell to Great by this group now based in Scotland over a year after it rose without a trace in 2016 and was reissued on Fire in late 2017. That album breathed a contemporary and melancholy folk style coupled with loops, and we observed it seemed still on the surface but things ran dark and deep. We might says the same of this, except this is much more orchestrated... > Read more

Fast as Flows

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Agnes Obel (latenighttales/Southbound)

7 May 2018  |  <1 min read

The Late Night Tales series always introduces unfamiliar artists in the selections but this collection by Agnes Obel is must more eccentric and eclectic than any others in the on-going series Opening with a disconcerting piece by Henry Mancini (The Evil Theme) and closing with Obel reading a poem of her own over percussion and a throbbing melody (Poem About Death), it digresses into Eden... > Read more

Glemmer Du, by Agnes Obel