Music at Elsewhere

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Paper Cranes: Voices (digital outlets)

14 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

This second album by the New Zealand duo of Fraser and Naomi Brown (and fellow travelers) builds on the excellence of their debut The Road Home, sometimes with pleasing digressions into territory once occupied by the emerging Fleet Foxes but here with a quieter, front-parlour elegance (the piano ballad Follow). These are beautifully crafted and arranged songs – from hushed intimacy... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Blair Parkes and Cardigan Bay: Little Rapids (bandcamp)

14 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

Christchurch musician/artist Blair Parkes has appeared previously at Elsewhere but this album arrived in November just as Elsewhere was mopping up paying work and folding its tents for a while so . . . Parkes is a remarkable character, not the least for writing this life-affirming piece at the very end of last year about previously being diagnosed with cancer, love and life when living with... > Read more

Active Listener

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith (Tricki-Woo/Southbound)

14 Jan 2019  |  <1 min read  |  1

Although this band fronted by Atlanta-born and Nashville-based sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell are most frequently referred to as blues there is as much raw soul and edgy alt.rock on this fourth album which is frequently freighted with dark meanings (the menacing “ride at your own risk” on the chunky Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues, references to inviting the President to get in the... > Read more

Ain't Gonna Cry

Kikagaku Moyo: Masana Temples (Guruguru Brain/Southbound)

14 Jan 2019  |  <1 min read

Self-described “psychedelic” rock from Japan recorded in Lisbon by a jazz musician (Bruno Pernadas) and which opens with a sitar piece? Then gets into a bit of funk? And why not, we say. Umm, here's why not. This five-piece from Tokyo on their fourth album hardly push the envelope in terms of serious wig-out or even into new areas but rather meld together some very... > Read more

Majupose

The Bleeding Allstars: Uneasy Listening (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

4 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

When the former members of Sneaky Feelings – one of the finest and musically most durable of the first wave of Flying Nun – found themselves in close proximity after many decades they reformed and delivered the damn fine Progress Junction. The Sneakies major weapon was having a number of songwriters in their ranks and here one of them, David Pine, steps out under a band... > Read more

Oh It's Been Forever

Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen on Broadway (Sony)

29 Dec 2018  |  1 min read  |  2

When Bruce Springsteen took up residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York for a year of his autobiographical one-man spoken word and song shows, there was unanimous acclaim for it. He told a selected version of his life through anecdotes and acoustic reworkings of some of his classic songs over more than two hours. Night after night. He'd avoided the Elvis'n'Elton etc route to... > Read more

Dancing in the Dark (spoken word intro)

My Baby: Mounaiki – By the Bright of Night (Prehistoric/Rhythmethod)

19 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

Although this trio of Dutch-Kiwi connections play at Womad next year (as they should on the back of their meltdown of world music, blues and jazzy trip-hop), the intimate nature of this album suggests they might be better seen in a smaller environment. And happily enough they are undertaking an extensive tour starting soon (see dates below) which should take care of that. This more... > Read more

Shadow Dancer

Tempist Fujit: Time Flies (digital outlets)

17 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read

First let it be said that yes, their name is a deliberate play on “tempus fugit” (time flies, in Latin). And second that there seem to be two bands working under that moniker on this 12 song debut album by the Northland quartet. The first half are solid originals grounded in Bon Jovi and US stadium rock (and they acquit themselves well on the wall-shakers and ballads) then in... > Read more

Midnight Train

The Late Pages: Yellow and Grey (Ellamy)

10 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

Recorded by Louis Bernstone at his Ellamy Studios in Auckland (as was the recent Flaming Mudcats album) this searing album of 11 powerful power-pop, alt.rock and dynamic ballads all come from the pen of singer, guitarist and producer Andy Smith who formed the Late Pages seven years ago and has seen off an EP before this. So you get the sense there are, if not road miles then at least some... > Read more

Come and Go

DOG Power: DOG Power (Flying Nun)

10 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

No musician should ever be judged by their audience (although those Norwegian black metal bands did seem to attract “the wrong crowd” . . . for a reason, the bad fknbastards). And nor should musicians be held to press release or claims made in their PR. But you can't help but be diverted by the blurb sticker on the front of the vinyl release for this Christchurch-founded,... > Read more

King

Big Brother and the Holding Company: Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills (Sony)

6 Dec 2018  |  3 min read

Aside from the great Beth Hart – who played her in a theatre production – few women singers today have any of the grit, depth and soul-scouring style of Janis Joplin. And even fewer seem to aspire to that kind of rawness. Joplin's influence isn't evident in many corners of rock these days – heaven forbid but Jewel seems more influential – and you do wonder if it was... > Read more

I Need a Man to Love (take three)

Mel Parsons: Glass Heart (Cape Road/Border)

3 Dec 2018  |  2 min read

Singer-songwriter Mel Parsons has been written up and interviewed a number of times at Elsewhere but not for an album like this which is quite some leap into new and rewarding territory for her. And there are a number of related factors which account for that: the shift from her more folk style into darker country-rock and deeply personal – sometimes emotional open-heart surgery --... > Read more

Breaking

Flea BITE: Bite Me (Border)

3 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read

And now something for our younger listeners. Or at least their parents or caregivers. Robin Nathan (aka Flea BITE) out of Wellington has been making children's music which has adult appeal for its musical and often lyrical cleverness. With Plan 9 (Janet Roddick, Stephen Roche and David Donaldson), Jeff Henderson and others this is a collection designed to amuse the young ones and... > Read more

Virus

ONE WE MISSED: Parquet Courts; Wide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade/Rhythmethod)

30 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

This smart New York City outfit – transplanted from Texas – has a solid following here on the basis of a couple of shows but on album they have painted some pretty haphazard pictures and in some ways this doesn't reign in their catch-all tendencies. But with producer Danger Mouse on hand, some glistening songs like the classic dream-pop of Mardi Gras Beads, the pointed political... > Read more

Before the Water Gets Too High

Mark Knopfler: Down the Road Wherever (Universal)

26 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Despite two fine albums (the self-titled debut and Making Movies. Other arguments on a postcard), there are those who will probably never forgive Mark Knopfler for Dire Straits: Too successful, sometimes too bland, the headband, Twisting by the Pool . . . But his solo career in recent years has been extremely impressive and albums like the highly recommended double Privateering of 2012... > Read more

When You Leave

Blair Jollands: 7 Blood (Glowb)

26 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Elsewhere first encountered London-based expat and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Blair Jollands in an odd Indian restaurant in Brick Lane in 2004. He was riding a measure of success having been nominated for an Emmy for his soundtrack work on the television series Shackleton which had got him a trip to Hollywood for the ceremony. "We got a limo to the show, didn't win and so got... > Read more

Not Enough

Josephine Foster: Faithful Fairy Harmony (Fire/Southbound)

25 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Let us reiterate a point made about her previous album No More Lamps in the Morning, that Josephine Foster's voice and style is not for the casual listener. Really, it's not. She gets placed in the “folk” category but others will hear a strange take on front-parlour ballads from the Thirties around the piano, German lieder, odd waltzes, operatic drama, piano cut across by... > Read more

Lord of Love

Yoko-Zuna: Voyager (Loop)

19 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

With a lowkey Prologue, a Midterlude and an Epilogue, this cracking second album by Auckland's electronica/dance/hip-hip four-piece (with guests) Yoko-Zuna might be a tad too long at an hour and perhaps a little pretentious with those bookends and the halftime entertainment. But . . . that will seem a carping criticism of a play-loud collection which rides addictive beats, comes with... > Read more

Voltron

Mimi and Rivers: Simple Lives (digital outlets)

16 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

The Rivers here is Chris Baigent who is the singer-songwriter for the neo-folk band Rivers Edge and Mimi is his ex-partner Aimee Belton who here harmonise beautifully on these nine originals. There is delicacy here (Love Kills Fear brings extraordinary passion and acceptance to the threadbare phrase “I love you”) but these folk-pop songs also have real sinew: In the Light buoyed... > Read more

Rising Up

The Wooden Box Band: Far Far Away (woodenboxbandmusic.com)

11 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

Formerly Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band but now projecting the new band members and allowing Wellington guitar-maker Burgin to step back a little, this small ensemble recorded these 10 originals at Lee Prebble's Surgery studio. This is dialed down folk (trumpet, violin, mandolin, lap steel etc) where there sheer pleasure is evident in material like the softly jaunty but lyrically pointed... > Read more

Pitchfork