Music at Elsewhere

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Daniel Gadd: as if in a dream I drifted at sea (107/Southbound)

11 Dec 2017  |  <1 min read

With a similar downbeat melancholy, emotionally focused and intense lyrics, and simple but memorable melodies picked out on acoustic guitar, Cape Town-born and London-based singer-songwriter Gadd taps into the spirit and style of the early Leonard Cohen albums. Classically trained (in composition, he's done film scores and music for contemporary dance companies), Gadd recorded this... > Read more

Siri Linn

Howe Gelb and Lonna Kelly: Further Standards (Fire)

10 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

The always interesting Howe Gelb does exactly what he wants and in recent years that has seen the man behind desert psych-rockers Giant Sand work with Spanish musicians, write albums of piano music and on his last outing Future Standards explore the idea of new original material which are in the vein of piano jazz classics. Future Standards was interesting enough (not to Giant Sand... > Read more

Ownin' It


9 Dec 2017  |  7 min read  |  1

The past is another country, but sometimes it still sounds interesting. Half a century after the Beatles' Sgt Peppers, debut albums by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and others . . .  and a decade more back to the emergence of rock'n'roll, there have been many anniversary reissues to be repackaged, remastered and reissued . . . many of which are just credit card gouging exercises. So... > Read more

Various Artists: The Kiwi Pop Music Scene 1967 (Frenzy)

8 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

As this interesting anniversary year in rock culture draws to a close – and every year for the past decade or so seems to have been a milestone anniversary – the estimable and assiduous Kiwi music compiler Grant Gillanders pulls together a double CD of 60 songs which reflects on the music scene here half a century ago. They admirable range from those which are perhaps by... > Read more

The Principals, I'll Be Around

The Rolling Stones: On Air DeLuxe Edition (Universal)

4 Dec 2017  |  4 min read  |  1

There are two glaring problems with this release of these Stones' songs recorded live for British radio from 1963-65. The first is they are unnecessarily non-chronological: a version of their first single, Chuck Berry's Come On, followed by the mature Satisfaction of two years later then it's back to Berry's crowd-pleasing Roll Over Beethoven. That's just stupid. And that... > Read more

Crackin' Up (1964)

Neil Young and Promise of the Real: The Visitor (Warners)

4 Dec 2017  |  2 min read

You have to go a long way back to find a truly great and new – not just a “pretty good” – Neil Young studio album. As Elsewhere has noted, much of his best stuff has been – like the recent Hitchhiker – pulled from his vaults, a never-ending process it seems. This one of new material – with the excellent Promise of the Real who bridge... > Read more

Almost Always

L.A.B.: L.A.B. (Loop)

1 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

Opening like a classic and spiritually inclined Santana album or one of David Gilmour's refined moments in Pink Floyd with guitar by Joel Shadbolt (Batucada Sound Machine), then morphing into a slinky reggae groove, the seven minute-plus She's Gone is as ambitious as it accomplished . . . and sets the tone for what is something of local supergroup. LAB are drummer Brad and Stu Kora on... > Read more

Jimmy Boy

Rob Ruha and the Witch Dr: Survivance (Border)

1 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

One of Elsewhere favourite artists is one we've never actually written about, the great Garland Jeffreys who is one those interesting mixed-race New Yorkers (African American/Puerto Rican) who effortlessly synthesised folk, reggae, soul, r'n'b and rock (and more) into something unique . . . and he had something to say. We lost touch with him until this year's 14 Steps to Harlem (his... > Read more

Black Letters

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo

1 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

Although not the first country rock album – Gee, even Britain's r'n'b rockers the Downliners Sect had done a country album three years previous – this '68 album by former folk-rockers the Byrds (now with a much changed line-up from their classic early period) certainly made the case for the emerging genre. Although it's fair to observe that this was more country than... > Read more

One Hundred Years From Now

Troy Kingi: Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron (AAA)

30 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

Elsewhere was quick out of the gate to acclaim last year's enjoyable and diverse double album by singer/guitarist (and actor) Troy Kingi. With his Electric Haka Boogie band on Guitar Party at Uncle's Bach, Kingi delivered what was almost a compilation album of styles, none of which outstayed their welcome and provided the perfect summertime listening (but with important messages woven... > Read more

Aquarii B

Various Artists: Heed the Call (Vostok)

27 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

I'm sure this has been mentioned previously at Elsewhere, but some years ago the conversation turned to prog-rock and I sagely said there hadn't been much made in New Zealand. My wiser friend disagreed and not long after a double CD compilation of Kiwi prog-rock he'd put together – entitled Taniwha from Topographic Oceans – turned up and I was suitably chastened. I... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

27 Nov 2017  |  3 min read

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEFabout international releases and Yasmin Brown does for EPs.... > Read more

Shed Seven: Instant Pleasures (Universal)

27 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

To be in the UK during the Britpop years – even just, as I was, in and out a few times for a few weeks at a time – was exciting. There were bands everywhere and you felt you were encountering some of them at a peak – Oasis in Leicester a week after their Earl's Court shows, the exceptional  Ocean Colour Scene and Jesus Jones in Birmingham (years apart) – and... > Read more

It's Not Easy

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

24 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

With Sharon O'Neill's 2017 induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, this 20-song collection from 2014 gets deserved re-presentation. But it also serves as useful reminder of just how gifted she was with a pop-rock song (Words, Baby Don't Fight, Danced in the Fire etc), ballads (Asian Paradise), mature truth-telling (Luck's On Your Table Tonight, Maxine, Physical Favours,... > Read more

Baby Don't Fight

Midge Marsden: The Midge Marsden Collection (SDL)

24 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

It's all too easy to misrepresent Midge Marsden, one of the long distance runners in New Zealand music. It's a quick and easy description to call him a “bluesman” or a “blues musician”. But as he would be equally quick – if incredibly frustrated – to respond, in his long career (and this double CD reflects on 50 years) he never actually... > Read more

Growing Out of the Blues

Sina: Sina (Huh!/Universal)

21 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

They say good things come to those who wait . . . but it's unlikely Sina (as in “sweet Sina's in the front” in OMC's How Bizarre) thought she'd have to wait two decades for her solo album to come out. But back in the late Nineties with her songs produced by Alan Jansson (who'd worked his magic on How Bizarre, Sisters Underground's In the Neighbourhood among many other... > Read more

Beautiful Day

Various Artists: Ten Guitars; Homegrown Heroes (Universal)

20 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

In a sequel of sorts to the previous Ten Guitars; 40 Songs from Heartland New Zealand which included international artists, this 42-song collection throws the spotlight exclusively on locals . . . and across an impressively wide spectrum, but all songs which resonate here and probably nowhere else. In these days of Spotify and Apple etc playlists and such you might wonder whether... > Read more

Cairo Knife Fight: Seven (Universal)

19 Nov 2017  |  <1 min read

The first thing we observe here on the second album by this powerful duo of American guitarist George Pajon and New Zealand drummer Nick Gaffaney is that the track titles are . . . hmmm. The opener is (1), the next is A-Nine, then it is (5), A-Six, (7), A-Four, (9), A-Seven and . . . we'd say “and so on” but there seems no discernible mathematical or alphabetical pattern... > Read more


Taylor Swift: Reputation (Big Machine/Universal)

16 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

At 15 songs and 55 minutes this new album by Taylor Swift may be just be a bit too long, but it's hard to see where the cull could be. Perhaps Dancing With Our Hands Tied because it isn't up to much, and do we need any more songs like Delicate deploying vocoder? However as with the shapeshifting careers of the likes of Bjork, the Beatles, Radiohead and others, the prolific Swift... > Read more

Getaway Car

Robert Plant: Carry Fire (Nonesuch/Warners)

15 Nov 2017  |  1 min read

It's salutary to think that Robert Plant has now been out of Led Zeppelin for more than three times longer than he was in it. It should mean that references to that former life should have long been set aside, if for no other reason than his musical path in the current century has moved closer to a kind of mystical world music and allusion to more folk blues than blues rock.... > Read more

Bones of Saints