Something Elsewhere

Short stories, satires, thinking-out-loud stuff and nonsense for your enjoyment, amusement . . . or otherwise. Just utterly Elsewhere.

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MID-YEAR REPORT: THE TOP 21 OF (2021): It's just an opinion. And that's a fact, Jack!

21 Jun 2021  |  8 min read  |  3

It's the end of term and the report cards are being written and sent to anxious folks at home. Here Elsewhere singles out excellence from the many dozens of albums we have written about so far this year. But note, these are only chosen from what we have actually reviewed: we heard more but didn't write about them. And we also didn't hear albums which are doubtless your favourites from... > Read more

THE GREAT JB HI-FI VINYL MARKDOWN (2021): Darling, can I borrow your credit card?

11 Jun 2021  |  2 min read

And now a word from our sponsor. Not exactly, but JB Hi-Fi has been longtime supporter of Elsewhere and as readers would know we were invited to write a couple of magazines for them: The 2011 Cornerstone Collection of 101 (and more) CDs essential in any decent collection, and then the sequel late last year The JB Hi-Fi Guide to Essential Vinyl. With Record Store Day upon us and because JB... > Read more

THE FINALISTS, JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR (2021): Here they come again . . .

23 May 2021  |  1 min read

It's that time again when Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa/Best Jazz Artist and the APRA award for Best Jazz Composition. Elsewhere has written about many of these artists so the intralink will take you to our original reviews or interviews where relevant. Meantime we congratulate The Jac who have been performing original music since 2011, including tours in New... > Read more

FIVE ODD ALBUMS I'M FOOLISH ENOUGH TO OWN (2021): Hey! Ho! Let's . . . not go there!

9 May 2021  |  4 min read

You know how it happens. An album leaps out you from a dump bin in a secondhand record store (or dumped out in some strange neighbour's rubbish when they are moved on by the landlord ) and you think . . . why not? To Elsewhere's shame (and secret pride) we have more than our fair share of such stuff (see the links at the end of this embarrassment for further... > Read more

THE ART OF THE RECORD (2021): Pictures at an exhibition

2 May 2021  |  1 min read  |  1

As we well know, album covers can be works of art in themselves, sometimes a hint at an album's content, sometimes a self-aggradising image of the artist, sometimes whimsical art, and quite often not having a lot to do with the artist or music at all. To celebrate the 21styear since the start of New Zealand Music Week which quickly morphed into New Zealand Music Month every May, a touring... > Read more

TRASHY OLD MOVIES, TRASHY YOUNG PEOPLE (2021): Sex and drugs and out of control

2 May 2021  |  2 min read  |  1

Every now and again we need to remind ourselves just how appalling young people are. They smoke and drink, they take drugs and skip off from school or work. They are irresponsible, steal cars, drive too fast and they swear all the time. They terrorise the streets, their peers, whole communities and small towns. They run in packs like rats and talk back to their... > Read more

THIS YEAR'S IMNZ CLASSIC RECORD (2021): Taku poi, e!

2 Apr 2021  |  3 min read

Every year Independent Music NZ makes its classic record award to a landmark song, EP or album released on an independent label. Past winners have included Shona Laing for South, Moana and the Moahunters (Tahi), Headless Chickens (Stunt Clown), Herbs (Whats' Be Happen) . . . Into this company in 2021 comes the wonderful Poi E by Patea Maori, the first song in te reo Maori to top the New... > Read more

13TH FLOOR, CONGRATULATED (2021): That thing you do, Duda

24 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

This week the multi-layered 13thFloor website celebrated its 10thbirthday, a remarkable achievement given it is a project of love and passion with little thought of profit or how to make it pay. The helmsman is Marty Duda, a radio man, music lover and producer originally from Rochester in northwest New York State who came to New Zealand with an irrepressible enthusiasm for music of all... > Read more

BEHEMOTH BEERS, ENJOYED AND ENJOYED (2021): Four from the dark side

15 Mar 2021  |  3 min read

Elsewhere confesses: beer rarely finds favour at our place. Yes, we believe you when you say nothing tastes better than a cold one after mowing the lawns. But we got rid of that lawn-mowing nonsense decades ago and, even before that, a crispy pale ale didn't often enter the picture. We grew up with Guinness and hefty porters so developed a taste for dark, heavy and tasty... > Read more

THE TAITE MUSIC PRIZE FINALISTS (2021): The independent spirits

12 Mar 2021  |  2 min read

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one recording. The award is open to all genres of music and judged on artistic merit regardless of genre, sales, or record label. Any New Zealand album released during the calendar year... > Read more

THE CORNERSTONE VINYL COLLECTION (2020): 101, and more, records in any serious collection

16 Jan 2021  |  4 min read  |  1

It was almost a decade ago when I wrote The Cornerstone Collection, a booklet like this which picked out 101 albums on CD which could be used as the building blocks for a serious and diverse music collection. Even today I get e-mails from people who tell me they are still working their way through it, making discoveries and are following down... > Read more

THE BEATLES' CHRISTMAS RECORDS: They wanna wish you a merry crimble and a gear new year

21 Dec 2020  |  6 min read

Among the many remarkable things about the Beatles' short but crowded career in the global eye was that despite touring, recording, making films, doing interviews, filming clips of songs for broadcast (the precursors of video clips) and so much more, they managed to keep going in to the BBC studios to record radio shows. They first recorded for the Beeb before they had a record contract... > Read more

TODAY IN HISTORY: The day John Kennedy died

22 Nov 2020  |  1 min read

In an interview with Elsewhere in advance (well in advance) of his two concerts in New Zealand in 2014, the conversation with Steve Earle turned -- as it usually does with him -- to politics. After some to and fro about various issues of homelessness and such, I asked him why he had the same touchstones in his lyrics (Guthrie, Kennedy, Kerouac) and if they symbolised something in America... > Read more

Radio broadcast WQMR, Nov 22, 1963

THE NZ MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES (2020): Here's the who's who of "who?"

31 Oct 2020  |  5 min read

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame has been contentious, right from its first inductees Johnny Devlin and Jordan Luck in 2007. Many complain certain eras or important figures have not been represented. If you're a teenager you might look at an old inductee and say, “Who?”. If you're of pensionable age and some young upstart in their 40s is acknowledged you might say the same.... > Read more

AOTEAROA MUSIC AWARDS 2020 NOMINEES: I'd like to thank . . .

18 Oct 2020  |  5 min read

Now to be known as the Aotearoa Music Awards (AMA, same initials as the American Music Awards unfortunately), the annual awards for New Zealand music of all persuasions -- from alternative to children's music, from te reo Maori to cover design -- will take place this year on Sunday November 15. Obviously things have been a little confused and uncertain of late in these Covid days but more... > Read more

THE BEATLES AS COMIC AND CARTOON CHARACTERS (2020): The greatest story ever sold, and sold again . . .

16 Sep 2020  |  3 min read  |  1

From the moment they first appeared, the Beatles' look was so distinctive that it only took a few scribbles of a black pencil and you had the makings of a mop-top hairstyle. Often not much more than that appeared in advertisements and on Beatle product. It was a powerful enough visual signifier. As individuals they were also distinctive so by the time they had got a couple of hits... > Read more

THE ALBUM ART OF EXOTICA (2020): Bachelor pad images from a time before this

31 Aug 2020  |  3 min read

It was long ago and – for many in the US, UK and the rest of the Western world – far away and rather exotic. Hawaiian music was enormously popular from the Thirties onwards and for many people the restful sound of lap steel guitars evoked palm trees swaying in the breeze, the lap of the waves against the side of the outrigger and other such cliches poured into a... > Read more

THE FINALISTS, 2020 APRA SILVER SCROLL NOMINEES: And the judges decision will be final . . .

22 Aug 2020  |  3 min read

The annual Silver Scroll Award – which was founded in 1965 – acknowledges the depth of original songwriting in Aotearoa New Zealand, but there can only be one winner. The award goes to the song which the members of APRA considers the best song of the year, regardless of how much or little it sold or was played on media outlets. The award is for quality not quantity. The... > Read more

A FURTHER FIVE FOR FEWER THAN FIFTY: It looks weird and a bit scratched, but it's cheap

10 Aug 2020  |  6 min read

Previously Elsewhere has written about cheap vinyl picked up and enjoyed (or endured) because in a world of collectors out for rarities or obscurities we would like to note that not every old record is a hidden treasure. Some records are just rubbish. But a few even among the detritus can still be enjoyable albums going cheap. So once again we take $50 for a walk around a secondhand... > Read more

TONY'S RESTAURANT IN AUCKLAND (2020): Home away from home, endangered

4 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

There’s a scene that has played out hundreds of times at Tony’s restaurant on Wellesley Street in central Auckland. I’ve witnessed it frequently. A young person, possibly a student, asks if there’s any chance of waiting work. Often they are anxious and looking for their first paying job, maybe presenting what passes for a CV at their age. But time and again... > Read more