Other Voices, Other Rooms

This page offers the opportunity for other opinions to be added to Elsewhere. Contributions should be around 600 - 1000 words and can be sent to Graham Reid for consideration. (Use the "contact" link, bottom left.)

And because this is Elsewhere, there are no constraints on the subject matter. A small idea written large or a big idea distilled down are equally acceptable. We invite your contributions. 

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GUEST WRITER JONATHAN GANLEY considers a day in 1979, when Iggy popped in

11 Nov 2023  |  9 min read  |  1

On a Wednesday afternoon in July 1979, Iggy Pop was sitting comfortably cross-legged in a Parnell hotel bar, with a tall drink and a cigarette. The loosest rock star of the late ‘60s and ‘70s was surrounded by an assortment of "scribes, DJs and other assorted layabouts" as Colin Hogg later wrote in the Auckland Star. Pop was at the White Heron Hotel, meeting... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY introduces his book Crush: Photos from Post-Punk Auckland

29 May 2023  |  3 min read  |  1

I was in the wrong place at the right time. Auckland at the beginning of the 1980s felt remote from the eclectic music scenes of London, Manchester, or New York. Gigs by international bands were rare and highly anticipated occasions. My interests were photography and music, and I started photographing gigs to capture fleeting moments from what seemed likely to be once-in-a-lifetime... > Read more

GUEST WRITER GARETH SHUTE picks five must-see acts at the Taranaki Womad

11 Mar 2023  |  5 min read

It can be tricky to get your head around a WOMAD line-up in Taranaki. There are some acts that are better discovered on the day since their live performance is so key to their appeal.  This year I’d put into that category: Korean act ADG7 who update folk tunes in a modern style, all while using traditional instruments; and Taraf de Caliu led by ex-Taraf De Haidouks violinist... > Read more

GUEST DESIGNER DAVID TRUBRIDGE writes about two cups and prisoner 46664

3 Feb 2023  |  2 min read  |  1

Not long ago a lady walked into our New Zealand showroom with a small package addressed to me. It had come from South Africa, carried by several different people in a tenuous chain of connection. Inside were two gorgeous ceramic mugs. My memory ran back to Cape Town the previous year where I had given a talk and workshop at their design festival. While there I had been asked to take... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MITCH MYERS considers Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music album from the distance of decades

27 Nov 2022  |  9 min read  |  1

In 2000 American writer Mitch Myers, who has appeared at Elsewhere previously, wrote the following essay for Magnet Magazine about Lou Reed's most contentious and divisive album, Metal Machine Music. Even today the jury is out on the album but nine years after Reed's death and almost half a century on from the album's release, what Myers had to say still stands. We publish it here with... > Read more

GUEST WRITER LISA PERROTT considers the director's innovative approach to David Bowie in the film Moonage Daydream

16 Sep 2022  |  5 min read

Don’t fake it baby, lay the real thing on me – David Bowie, Moonage Daydream (1971) Hypnotic, immersive, kaleidoscopic, sublime: Brett Morgen’s film Moonage Daydream has been described as an "experimental cinematic odyssey" and a "colossal tidal wave of vibrant images and overpowering sound”.  But as a Bowie fan of 40 years,... > Read more

WRITER ROGER HORROCKS adds to his exploration of culture in Aotearoa New Zealand (2022): But wait, there's more . . .

11 Sep 2022  |  2 min read

Auckland academic and cultural commentator Roger Horrocks' recent book Culture in a Small Country; The Arts in New Zealand has been reviewed at Elsewhere. But that was only part of the story. He has posted additional material online and so we draw attention to it here as he writes about modern dance, jazz and craft. .  Here is the introduction to this chapter . . .... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN STINKY JIM walks us through his new Spacial Awareness album

22 Aug 2022  |  5 min read

Editor's note: Jim Pinckney (aka Stinky Jim) has been a fixture on the New Zealand music scene for about four decades as a live DJ, music writer, radio presenter (he long-running Stinky Grooves on Auckland's 95bFM), label owner (Round Trip Mars), facilitator, co-founder of Unitone Hi-Fi with Joost Langeveld and much more. The compilation on Round Trip Mars, Sideways, has long... > Read more

Le Creak

GUEST MUSICIAN STEVE WELLS talks us through his new album Songs For Summer Rain

19 Jun 2022  |  2 min read

Ed note: As we said when we reviewed the album Songs for Summer Rain by Steve Wells, his name might be most familiar as being the guitarist in Fur Patrol in the Nineties, but he left the band to pursue a career as a photographer in Paris. He continues that career but has also returned to making music, but it is very different from Fur Patrol's guitar-orientated rock. Here Wells... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN DEAN HAPETA (AKA D-WORD, TE KUPU) walks us through the new album by UHP (Upper Hutt Posse)

16 May 2022  |  2 min read

Hau is the eighth studio album by UHP (Upper Hutt Posse) who are now utilising the three-letter initialism as their official name. Hau, which translates as breath/air/vital essence, is a double album incorporating seven dub versions and six instrumentals of the thirteen songs. The album was recorded and mixed at Matakahi Studios by me, the group's long-time frontman/lead composer and... > Read more


GUEST SINGER-SONGWRITER MOUSEY talks us through her new album My Friends

14 Mar 2022  |  4 min read

Put simply, this is an album about my friends, focused on my friends and my relationships with them. My intention was to write an album that was focused on something other than my family, so I decided on the name My Friends before I’d even written any of the songs in order to pull my writing into the subject. I initially hoped the album was going to be really light, cute and... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN JOSH MEHRTENS OF MILD ORANGE offers a track-by-track account of their third album Looking for Space

14 Feb 2022  |  9 min read

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Josh Mehrtens is the excellent dream-pop band Mild Orange. Yes, there are other members -- Jah, Barry and Jack -- but Mehrtens is the songwriter, singer-guitarist, producer, engineer, mixer and controls the artwork and creative direction of the band. So who better to talk us through their jangling, melodic pop-rock third album Looking for Space... > Read more


5 Nov 2021  |  3 min read

Henika Tornyai – who goes simply by Henika – is an Auckland-based songwriter, experimenting with and blending unlikely genres. Her previous  self-titled EP saw her nominated for Best Independent Debut in the long-list for the Taite Music Awards in 2017.  Dripping with avian-inspired songs and sounds comes Henika's debut album Strange... > Read more

Strange Creatures

GUEST WRITER BILL DIREEN ON THE STRUGGLE TO SAVE OUR BOOKS (2021): Intellectual assets of no financial value?

3 Nov 2021  |  2 min read

Some months ago Elsewhere was pleased to publish a piece by the writer/musician Bill Direen about the astonishing cull of books from our National Library of New Zealand. Hundreds of thousands of books have already and will continue to be disposed of by those who arrogantly presume to know what future generations might, or might not, be interested in. This is shameful and the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER BILL DIREEN writes about a project to save books from being disposed of by the National Library of New Zealand

25 Jul 2021  |  2 min read

Mass book disposals are being carried out by the National Library of New Zealand/Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa (the wellsprings of knowledge).  If allowed to continue, a fine research library will be gutted. This will deprive New Zealanders of a research portal to their roots. Scholars will have no access to published studies about the rest of the world. Future... > Read more

GUEST ENSEMBLE TARARUA talk about their groundbreaking debut album Bird Like Men

21 Jul 2021  |  4 min read

Our ensemble is made up of four established artists -- Al Fraser, Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly and Phil Boniface (see our biographies below) -- who are leaders in their various fields. Our evocative music combines taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (story) with a strong southern Māori influence, with the western instrumental elements of cello and doublebass.... > Read more


GUEST WRITER YASMIN BROWN considers a timely album by an Iraqi Kiwi

9 Dec 2020  |  3 min read

As politics become more polarised, political commentary is becoming stronger, and while it has long since seeped into (or indeed, driven) punk music, as these issues become more prevalent in day to day life, pop music is now embracing such themes, too.  One wonderful example of this is Yasamin, a young woman whose recently released Songs Over Baghdad album is made... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN PAUL McLANEY OF GRAMSCI considers the journey to sobriety and the new album Inheritance

12 Oct 2020  |  6 min read

Music and the performance of music are to me a public communion of grace; to share, collectively, in some form of majesty beyond self, of pure surrender and release. Obviously in a post Covid-19 world the luxury of congregation has been temporarily removed from us but Music’s facility to engage multiple minds via the recorded medium means that we can still share and connect. ... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN sees a Beat and a Beatle in performance

5 Sep 2020  |  4 min read

It was in my early twenties, an American Literature lecture at the old University of Canterbury townsite that I first heard Allen Ginsberg’s poetry read aloud, complete with an unheard of lecture hall profanity when David Walker our teacher, a poet himself, read us the poem America, from Howl and other Poems. He launched into the subject with, “America I’ve given you all... > Read more

Ballad of the Skeletons

GUEST ART WRITER AND RESEARCHER PETER SIMPSON on a turning point in painter Colin McCahon's career

3 Aug 2020  |  6 min read

This is an edited extract of the speech Peter Simpson gave at Gow Langsford Gallery, July 28 2020 on the launch of the second and final volume of his biography of Colin McCahon, Is This The Promised land? Vol II 1960 - 1987. . I would like to say something about the methodology which I followed in the books and focus on just one brief sequence in McCahon’s career to describe some... > Read more