Other Voices, Other Rooms

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GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO on twin-powered Japanese pop and Mothra movies

Madeline Bocaro  |  9 Mar 2015  |  4 min read

The Peanuts were one of Japan's first pop sensations, and the first to become well known internationally. Their career lasted from 1959-1975 and the diminutive duo comprised identical twin sisters Emi and Yumi Ito, born Hideyo and Tsukiko Ito on April 1, 1941 in Aichi prefecture. The twins were discovered by music impresario, and Watanabe Pro founder, Sho Watanabe. He first saw them... > Read more

Kawaii Hana

GUEST WRITER JARED HILL on the tainted legacy of Bob Marley

2 Mar 2015  |  6 min read

Of all the many historical figures in the 20th century regarded as forbearers of cultural revolution, Bob Marley is probably the most overlooked. While his unique brand of counterculture music and philosophy is certainly not forgotten (nor shall it ever be), a different set of associations with the man have long overshadowed the crux of what he stood for. Coming from Jamaica,... > Read more

Natural Mystic

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO revisits Sparks' classic album Kimono My House on its 40th anniversary

Madeline Bocaro  |  5 Feb 2015  |  9 min read

We have found the missing link between Sparks and Alvin & the Chipmunks! To some, the two groups are considered the most annoying of all time, but that’s not it. Come On-A My House was co-written by the man – and the actual voice – behind the vermin vocalists, Ross Bagdasarian (aka David Seville). But whereas the glamourised rats achieved vocal perfection... > Read more


GUEST WRITERS GAVIN AND ODETTE consider the romantic young John Lennon

18 Dec 2014  |  5 min read

A Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles is a mono vision. When you put it on – while reading this article of course – make sure you put it on loud. The first thing you will realize is that John is listening to Elvis and Roy Orbison – and dreaming of writing love songs – for that is John’s greatest artistic triumph – the Libran tender pop love song... > Read more

A Hard Day's Night (early takes)

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON looks back at punk as a new way forward

Andrew Dawson  |  15 Dec 2014  |  9 min read

“Texts are worldly,” the literary theorist Edward Said wrote in '83, “[they are] a part of the social world, human life, and of course the historical moments in which they are located and interpreted”. Of all modern musical genres, it's undoubtedly punk music that exemplifies Said’s thesis that texts (in the broadest definition) are produced by and engage... > Read more

The Sound of the Suburbs

GUEST MUSICIAN ADAM McGRATH OF THE EASTERN on what drives their new album, The Territory

13 Dec 2014  |  7 min read

It'd be good to know exactly where it's at. I mean the what it is, the what it was and what it shall be, are hard enough but the elusive “where it's at” creates all kinds of troubling rumbles in the back of your brain. It feels like we've been looking for the illusive 'it' since we started this long ramble we call The Eastern. Sometimes it’s... > Read more

The Territory


Jonathan Ganley  |  7 Dec 2014  |  2 min read

Auckland photographer Jonathan Ganley first photographed Nick Cave in 1983 at Mainstreet when Cave was with The Birthday Party. On the 30th anniversary of that show Elsewhere ran a photo essay by Ganley with his own recollections and those of others involved. So it seemed only fitting he should be there for Cave's appearance at the Civic on December 6, 2014. Ganley has written on... > Read more

GUEST AUTHOR DAVID VEART argues toys are us

1 Dec 2014  |  2 min read

Although many of our toys were produced in factories, others came from the backyard shed and the kitchen table: trolleys, tin canoes, dolls' houses, dolls' clothes, soft toys, made by cash- or import-strapped parents or by children themselves. In a world where basic sewing, woodwork and metalwork skills were taught, toys could be homemade, although they were not always the wholesome... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON considers Michael Houstoun's interpretations of Beethoven's piano sonatas

Andrew Dawson  |  21 Nov 2014  |  4 min read

If Chuck Berry’s hit Roll Over Beethoven was meant to dethrone the composer from his place in Western culture, it didn’t work. In the intervening years, Beethoven’s music has featured in over 700 movies alone, not to mention a plethora of commercials and even on the ‘77 Voyager Golden Record sent out for extra-terrestrial appreciation (with Berry as a fellow... > Read more

Appasionata; Allegro assai

GUEST ARTIST ALEXA SHAW writes about photographing a Pacific nation

1 Nov 2014  |  4 min read

Niue. Have you been? It’s a beautiful, rugged, raised coral atoll in the South Pacific. It’s a place for adventure, discovery, disconnecting oneself from the ‘real world’. Our host, Graham Reid has spent a bit of time in Niue discovering the place, and, most likely, something new about himself. To find out some of his highlights and definite ‘to... > Read more

GUEST ARTIST JOSEPHINE CACHEMAILLE on her new exhibition and current practice

23 Oct 2014  |  3 min read

I am interested in making objects, paintings and installations that provoke questions about our magical thinking tendencies. Magical thinking refers to causal reasoning that looks for correlations between objects, acts and utterances, where there are no plausible correlations. Despite its proliferation amongst ‘modern’ people, magical thinking it is still commonly seen... > Read more

GUEST COMMENTATOR SIMON GRIGG on New Zealand's patchy history of political songs

8 Oct 2014  |  6 min read

The story of political song in New Zealand is a mixed one. It goes from almost nothing to a flood to a trickle. For much of the history of popular song in New Zealand we simply did not make political statements in song – with very rare and sometimes accidental exceptions. Two of those exceptions are amongst the biggest hits of their eras and one was a definite pointer towards... > Read more


GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP considers One Direction and the idea of the concert film

6 Oct 2014  |  4 min read

It’s official: One Direction will be seen in cinemas again. The English boy group released a video message to Digital Spy announcing their new film, featuring footage from the San Siro Stadium in Milan. In their announcement, the boys say the film – entitled Where We Are; The Concert Film – was made for the fans who missed out on tickets to see them on their... > Read more

GUEST ILLUSTRATOR SARAH RYAN analyses the interface of text and art in her current work

29 Sep 2014  |  3 min read

In my current illustration work I have been exploring the ways which a narrative can be impelled by contradicting and contrasting ideas between illustration and typography. I have been playing with the way in which the ambiguous form of both illustration and typography can blur the line between what is illustration and what is typography. Through this approach I have been testing ways... > Read more

GUEST SONGWRITER GREG FLEMING recalls making his new album Forget the Past

13 Sep 2014  |  4 min read

A Sunday morning 2012. My daughter’s waiting for her poached eggs, my fiancĂ© is checking out travel deals on the net (a much promised, much delayed New Mexico holiday - making records ain't cheap!) and I’m sitting at the table picking on my acoustic guitar. My previous album Edge of the City with my band The Trains had been released a couple of months earlier. It was... > Read more

Cities in the Distance

GUEST RADIO HOST GRAHAM DONLON offers his 101 classic albums

25 Jul 2014  |  6 min read  |  4

Responding to Elsewhere's recently posted all-inclusive Cornerstones collection -- 101 albums which could be the building blocks of a decent CD collection -- my 101 list includes all genres, it's just that the albums that I have never got sick of tend to lie outside popular music.  This is my cornerstone collection, the discs that have sustained me over the years.  As requested, I... > Read more

GUEST WRITER CHRIS BOURKE on a moving doco about an influential recording studio

23 Jun 2014  |  1 min read  |  4

In 1967 Aretha Franklin went from the sophisticated studios of New York to a backwater in Alabama and finally had the hit that made her career: I Never Loved a Man. Arriving at the studio, she was surprised to find her backing band was young white boys. Looking back, and speaking with a royal “we” befitting the Queen of Soul, she said, “We didn’t know... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY talks the art and business of images from PhotoForum

2 Jun 2014  |  6 min read

The forthcoming Rim Books publication of PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand will mark four decades since PhotoForum was founded. Perhaps the society no longer has the profile it enjoyed in its first 10 years, when it published a bi-monthly magazine, but PhotoForum is still going strong. There is a comprehensive website, frequent exhibitions, and... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP on a doco about a music festival about unity and hope

25 May 2014  |  5 min read

Some of the most interesting music has been immersed in the politics of its day. The attitudes of musicians are a reaction to the social, political and economic happenings that surround them. The Made in America festival – which played out over two nights in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on September 1 and 2 in 2012 – was designed to accommodate the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP comes cold to the Clash

8 May 2014  |  3 min read

First, I should point out the Clash broke up before I was born and I'd not even heard much of them before I watched Danny Garcia’s film, The Rise and Fall of The Clash, at Elsewhere's invitation. Because of that I was confused for the better part of the 93 minutes duration. There were cuts from one idea to the other with the assumption the viewer had a clear understanding of the... > Read more

Radio Clash