Music at Elsewhere

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Harry Nilsson: Losst and Founnd (Omnivore/digital outlets)

21 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

Even Harry Nilsson's biggest fans – Elsewhere counts itself among their number – reluctantly concede that he never made a truly satisfying album. Nilsson Schmilsson came very close, close enough for it to have been a longtime Essential Elsewhere album. His was a flawed genius where lapses of taste, poor song choices and lesser material were propped up by... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: A Winged Victory for the Sullen: The Undivided Five (Ninja Tune)

15 Dec 2019  |  <1 min read

Amusingly, we previously said of this ambient-cum-soundtrack-cum-classical duo who were on the fascinating Erased Tapes label that their work ensured anything on that label would grab our immediate attention. They are now on Ninja Tune. This stately and sometimes funereal music opens with Our Lord Debussy where sweeping slo-mo strings and dark piano chords set the tone for pieces... > Read more

Juliana Hatfield: Sings the Police (American Laundromat)

6 Dec 2019  |  <1 min read

Here's a conversation starter or stopper: that given their diverse backgrounds in prog-rock, jazz and pop the Police were akin to the Cream -- another aggregation of trio talent -- of their period. Where Cream had blues and LSD the Police had reggae, a touch of dub and dope. Discuss among yourselves. The Police certainly sprung hits but they expanded the contract of post-punk pop... > Read more

Murder by Numbers

Various Artists: The Kiwi Music Scene 1969 (Frenzy)

6 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

By the end of the Sixties – a decade which began with a musical whimper – New Zealand pop and rock was recognised as a business and cultural force. The APRA Silver Scroll awards launched in 1965 acknowledged local writing talent, there were music and entertainer awards, Radio Hauraki was playing local music, a thriving live scene and local pop stars were all... > Read more

Hayride, by Dedikation

Prince: 1999 Super Deluxe Edition (Warners)

1 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

In 1982 when Prince invited us to “party like it's 1999” he didn't so much anticipate some Y2K apocalypse as invite us into millennial hedonism at a New Year's Eve party like no other. And drove it home in the sexual-imagery of Little Red Corvette. The double album 1999 tipped him into the Serious Contender category after his sometimes alienating overt salaciousness on... > Read more

Jimi Hendrix: Songs for Groovy Children; The Fillmore East Concerts (Sony)

30 Nov 2019  |  2 min read

The Jimi Industry shows little sign of slowing down and since Eddie Kramer – his longtime engineer and designated producer of posthumous albums – announced the vaults of studio recordings were now emptied, attention has turned to releasing live sets. And lord knows there were enough of those in his short lifetime. Many of course have been released (about 30,... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Brian Eno: Apollo, Atmospheres and Soundtracks; Extended Edition (Universal)

29 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

Although Brian Eno's Before and After Science was the album we launched our Essential Elsewhere series with, it has always been his Apollo and Music for Films albums we have returned to in quieter moments. The whole music for imagined films has become a bit played out in recent decades but in '78 when Brian Eno delivered his album it was revelation for its discreet sounds and evocative... > Read more

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Ghosteen (Awal)

26 Nov 2019  |  2 min read

Audiences at secular concerts can have a spiritual, almost religious, experience at times. Consider when people sang quietly along with Leonard Cohen when he performed Hallelujah, or even when Paul McCartney sings Here Comes the Sun in tribute to George Harrison. The former song has an in-built spirituality to it, in the case of the latter it is that collective emotion... > Read more

Leonard Cohen: Thanks for the Dance (Columbia/Sony)

25 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

Posthumous albums can be dodgy affairs: the cash-in of incomplete songs or those the artist refused to have released in their lifetime . . . You can understand the paired imperatives: death is good for business and also fans just want that little bit more. Commerce and art can be fulfilled concurrently, although mostly the art – such as it is – finishes well... > Read more

The Magick Heads: Intakes and Outtakes (Thokei Tapes)

24 Nov 2019  |  <1 min read

Robert Scott (Bats, Clean and other projects) teamed up with vocalist Jane Sinnott as the core of Magick Heads in the late Nineties, with various members of 3Ds at one point. Their recording career on Flying Nun was short (there were limited releases on other labels) but their increasingly folksy sounded was ideally suited to Sinnott's voice and Scott's acoustic-framed songs, as witnessed... > Read more

Shiver (home demo)

The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed Deluxe (ABKCO)

24 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

If their '68 album Beggar's Banquet got the Stones out of the debacle that was '67's Satanic Majesties and saw them progressing beyond their r'n'b roots, this essential follow-up confirmed that now they weren't a singles band which made albums but an album band with great singles. Martin Scorsese's constant use of Gimme Shelter may have made that the most familiar track of the nine –... > Read more

Si Si Es: Ode to Holger/Spaced (bandcamp)

18 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

The platform of bandcamp (as with Spotify, soundcloud and other digital platforms) allows artists to put up their music and draw attention to it. Or not, in the case of New Zealand's seminal Eighties synth-pop band Car Crash Set. CCS were initially Nigel Russell and David Bulog, subsequently joined by producer Trevor Reekie on guitar. They were relatively short-lived, even by... > Read more

Fly My Pretties: The Studio Recordings, Part One (Loop)

18 Nov 2019  |  <1 min read

Fly My Pretties' reputation rests on performances but their latest is a studio recording, their first after half a dozen live releases. Most of the songs are familiar: Pryor revisits Singing in My Soul, Mitchell returns to her lovely Apple Heart, Samuel Flynn Scott crafts a more haunting treatment of Quiet Girl, Ryan Prebble digs into the rolling funk ofIt's Never Blown Like It's... > Read more

Carla Dal Forno: Look Up Sharp (Kallista/digital outlets)

17 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

Melbourne-born and Berlin-based Carla Dal Forno is very much the independent artist we expect to hear from in the 21stcentury: drawing from tasting notes of pop history (depressive 4AD artists, Eno, This Mortal Coil, gloomy pop but not the full Goth) and wrapping her emotionally distant speak-sing vocals into them with music which is stately and often slow (which flags that she's A Serious... > Read more

I'm Conscious

Ori Barel: Centrifugal Force for Player Piano (Albany/digital outlets)

16 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

We expect by now few people come to Elsewhere expecting the always-familiar, so this album by American composer Ori Barel for player piano is one for those prepared for something elsewhere. Inspired by robotic art, the speed of technology and the musical reach from concert hall to free jazz, Barel has created “programmes” for the player piano using algorithms which created... > Read more

Centrifugal Force Part 2

Hayden Wood: Sixty Years On (Frenzy)

15 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

Despite the considerable collective musical knowledge at the table not one of us could place Hayden Wood, the subject of this new archive compilation by Grant Gillanders. Fortunately, as he always does on his Frenzy releases, Gillanders provides considerable information in the sleeve of this 26-song collection subtitled “the NEMS, Spin, Parlophone, Jam and Cherokee Recordings 1966... > Read more

Cannons Plain

Bert Jansch: Avocet 40th Anniversary Edition (Earth/Southbound)

15 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

The late Scottish singer/guitarist and songwriter Bert Jansch who co-founded the influential Pentangle and died in 2011, left a vast legacy of albums of which many are still coming to terms with. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page -- as a young man then smitted by American blues guitarists -- has said of Jansch's self-titled debut album of '65, "When I first heard that album I couldn't believe... > Read more


Dead Little Penny: Urge Surfing (digital outlets)

13 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

This Auckland-based three-piece of Hayley Smith, Simon Buxton and Sean Martin-Buss deliver up a frequently exciting mix of power pop-cum-shoegaze songs which are as melodic as they assertive. Smith has a voice which can sit effortlessly as a tuneful dream-pop element in songs like the guitar fuzz of U 4 Me and the drone of the thrilling surging intensity of Out of Body Experience, but also... > Read more

Lankum: The Livelong Day (Rough Trade/Rhythmethod)

11 Nov 2019  |  2 min read  |  1

Many decades ago I wrote an essay for a glossy monthly about The Joy of Music. It was a celebration of how music of all persuasions can inform and enrich your life. I did however say that I could barely abide earnest folk music and reserved a special place in Hell for most Irish music which I found to be either irredeemably glum or mindlessly cheerful. Well, time wounds all heels as... > Read more

The Talkies: Girl Band (Rough Trade/Rhythmethod)

8 Nov 2019  |  <1 min read

Just as you might think when you see a pensionable age person with a brand new Smiley face tattoo, so you might look at the photos of the thirtysomethings on this album cover and after enduring their noise say something like, “Act your age” or “Are you serious?” This Irish quartet open their second album with the sound of singer Dara Kiely apparently breathing... > Read more