Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

27 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Although much hailed -- perhaps because no one expected to hear from him again -- last year's I'm New Here by American poet Gil Scott-Heron did seem a little under-developed: pieces faded out, other bits were just snippets of conversations and so on. That didn't deny its visceral power -- made more so given his recently troubled life -- but this revision/reconsideration and expansion by... > Read more

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: I'll Take Care of U

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

27 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

With their falsetto funk, tongue-in-cheek humour, camp dramatics, clever dynamics, pop-smarts and outrageous sense of fun, Of Montreal out of Athens, Georgia sound like Queen or a Fame-era Bowie for the 21st century. And if their terrific Skeletal Lamping of 2009 staked out their distinctive ground, this silly, suggestive, sexy and cinematic-sounding sequel just layers on the irony.... > Read more

Of Montreal: Our Riotous Defects

Social Distortion: Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (Social Distortion)

27 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

Standing between metal-edge country-rock and disheveled Keith Richards riff-hard rock'n'roll blues, Social Distortion don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but they do enjoy burning rubber on this 11-song set which invites you to roll down the window, rack up the volume and point the bonnet down a strip of empty highway. For an American band they also have some of the swagger of Oasis... > Read more

Social Distortion: California Hustle and Flow

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

21 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

There's enjoyable nostalgia -- for example the Hollies who, against expectation delivered a fine show some weeks ago -- and then there are old bands who still sound relevant, like Children's Hour who delivered a deafening but impressively irritable set at the Auckland Laneway's Festival just days before the Hollies served up their classic Sixties/Seventies pop to those who remember it from... > Read more

Gang of Four: A Fruitfly in the Beehive

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

21 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

No surprise that Captain Cruise-Control, the laidback Jimmy Buffett, appears as a guest here because about half the songs have Buffett's easy Caribbean-country flavour and the world isn't something to worry about, you're better off going fishin' with your old cane pole and sit down in an easy chair by the riverbank and let the world go by . . . That kind of thing. Titles here include... > Read more

Zac Brown Band: Knee Deep (with Jimmy Buffett)

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

20 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

It is hard to believe -- and somewhat sad -- that the authorship of Whiter Shade of Pale, this group's defining moment (and which also captured the dreamy, surreal English Summer of Love in '67), should only have been resolved in Britain's House of Lords a few years ago. It's also a shame that -- just as in any film about the war in Vietnam it seems obligatory to have Creedence song --... > Read more

Procol Harum: Homburg

The Twilight Singers: Dynamite Steps (Sub Pop)

18 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Given Greg Dulli's penchant for brooding menace, death and demonic imagery borrowed from the Bible and the blues this outfit might better be called The Midnight Singers. Here – with guest Ani DiFranco duetting on the cinematic Blackbird and the Fox, and Mark Lanegan who is part of the similarly dark Gutter Twins with Dulli – these “singers” deliver a stew of... > Read more

The Twilight Singers: Gunshots

Edie Brickell: Edie Brickell (Racecarlotta)

17 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Brickell's debut album with the New Bohemians -- the quietly delightful neo-folk Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars – was over 20 years ago and it's fair to observe she hasn't had anything like the profile since as a solo artist, when the band reformed, or in the short-lived Heavy Circles with her stepson Harper Simon (yes, in the early 90s she married his... > Read more

Edie Brickell: On the Avenue

Various Artists: Screen Freak (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

17 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has previously posted the Late Night Tales album of movie themes At the Movies, but the segues between the pieces was jarring and the album -- mostly of snippets from movie themes -- didn't make much sense. Purist therefore will prefer this one, 39 distinctive themes or signature pieces from classic horror and thriller films (and B-grade classics like Son of Dracula and The... > Read more

Henry Mancini: Peter Gunn

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me (Nonesuch)

15 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

With a languid delivery not dissimilar to Lucinda Williams but with a whole swag more alt.rock in her system, Mayfield certainly keeps excellent company: she appeared on the Black Keys' album Attack and Release (the Keys' Dan Auerbach produced this); she has opened for familiar Elsewhere names such as the Avett Brothers, Ray LaMontagne and Jay Farrar; and came into her current musical location... > Read more

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Trouble

Various Artists: Ihimaera (Universal)

14 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Following the successful projects setting the poems of New Zealand writers James K Baxter and Hone Tuwhare to music comes this, the words of writer Witi Ihimaera getting musical adaptation by the likes of Warren Maxwell (of Trinity Roots), LA Mitchell, King Kapisi, Teremoana Rapley, Charlotte Yates (prime mover behind these projects) and others. The major point of difference with this... > Read more

Warren Maxwell: Don't Call Me Sir

The Veils: Trouble of the Brain EP (Pitch Beast/Native Tongue)

14 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

Produced in large part by Bernard Butler (Suede etc), this sharp, fat-free six-song EP finds Finn Andrews and band delivering a smart line in slightly dark pop, but in a few places it is pop nonetheless where the reference points are T Rex (the bouncy Don't Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice) and a more folksy but still menacing Nick Cave (the light industrial edge on the cautionary Wishbone, and... > Read more

The Veils: Us Godless Teenagers

Joan As Police Woman: The Deep Field (Liberator)

13 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

After two excellent albums, notably her previous and admittedly dark To Survive in 2008, Joan Wasser has more fully immersed herself in slow and slightly funky soul music with reference points in classic Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder's more introspective 70s songs. And she's pulled it together here with references to that art music of Antony and the Johnsons with whom she once sang. So... > Read more

Joan As Police Woman: Flash

Timothy Armstrong: Portraits (TA)

13 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Based in Wellington, New Zealand this singer-songwriter is also in the band The Novelist but has run a parallel but separate career as a solo artist. This, the second outing under his own name, appeared in the last quarter of 2010 but has been making its way slowly into the world since, picking up favourable comment from longtime followers but otherwise barely making a ripple in the... > Read more

Timothy Armstrong: Furnaces

Holmes: Stop Go (Yellow Eye)

13 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

Okay, this album came out in 2007 -- which is of course an eon ago in the world of of pop -- but Elsewhere has an unashamed affection for power pop, and this album seems to have just been given distribution on New Zealand so . . . Holmes is a US indie band but really the work of producer Roy Shakked who made his name remixing tracks by Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Griff, McCoy Tyner and other jazz... > Read more

Holmes: Gray World

Beady Eye: The Roller (Liberator)

13 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere doesn't usually trouble itself with singles -- but this one may be of some interest for longtime Oasis fans, or those just curious to know what's up with the Gallagher brothers since Noel quit. Beady Eye are Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell (from Oasis) with Chris Sharrock. This is the first single from the forthcoming album Different Gear, Still Speeding. There is a... > Read more

Beady Eye: The Roller

Wanda Jackson: The Party Ain't Over (Third Man)

7 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

The first Jack White-produced single from this album -- a shuddering Shakin' All Over and a discreetly revised version of Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good -- were hints that White wasn't going to simply reheat the career of this 73-year old rockabilly star with some rock'n'roll nostalgia. In an interview with Elsewhere for this album Jackson said that White -- who chose all but three of... > Read more

Wanda Jackson: Like a Baby

British Sea Power: Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

7 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

After their interesting digression into providing a soundtrack to the 1934 film Man of Aran by Robert J Flaherty (and letting that remarkable and bleak film find a new audience with the CD/DVD set) it is business as usual for BSPower who here pump up the power chords and U2-like chest-and-soul-baring (with more cuss words) for an album that sometimes aims for heroics but comes off too often as... > Read more

British Sea Power: Georgie Ray

The Dead C: Patience (Badabing)

7 Feb 2011  |  <1 min read

As with a previous Dead C album posted at Elsewhere (Secret Earth), this will be -- for most I would guess -- and endurance test rather than an album. This time out though the four tracks (16 minutes, one and half, five and 14 respectively) are all instrumentals -- the drone vocals were something of a hinderance on Secret Earth -- and the whole feels much more coherent and cohesive. Much... > Read more

The Dead C: Shaft

Amos Lee: Mission Bell (Blue Note)

6 Feb 2011  |  1 min read

Singer-songwriter Lee's name has been inextricably linked with that of Norah Jones who heard his debut EP and had him open for her. Signed to her label Blue Note by president Bruce Lundvall (who signed him before the Jones connection), Jones' partner and bassist Lee Alexander produced his debut album. He's firmly in that lineage of crafted folk-rock singers like the younger solo Paul Simon... > Read more

Amos Lee: Hello Again