Something Elsewhere

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TEACHING TAYLOR SWIFT (2023): This bird is flying

19 Mar 2023  |  4 min read

No sooner was it announced that prestigious Stanford University in California was offering a 10 week course on Taylor Swift's song All Too Well that the internet lit up with condemnation, contempt and anger. There were the usual bores on Facebook who thought it witty to say “Taylor who?” or “Never heard of her”. But others bemoaned declining standards in academia... > Read more

THE TAITE MUSIC AWARDS (2023): It's the time again . . .

3 Mar 2023  |  2 min read

One of the most presigious events on the local music calendar is the annual Taite Music Prize which recognises an exceptional album and is judged on musical merit not sales. The awards have expanded to include Best Independent Debut Award, another for outstanding music journalism and a classic independently released album from our past. There is also an award for someone who has... > Read more


15 Jan 2023  |  <1 min read

In late 2020 -- on the 30th anniversary of it being revealed that Milli Vanilli didn't sing their own songs -- I was interviewed on Radio NZ about fake musicians, lip-synching, classical and pop music frauds and so much more. You can't take these "artists" seriously and as you may hear, most of it I didn't. I even dragged in sommeliers who couldn't spot the watering of wine,... > Read more


12 Dec 2022  |  10 min read  |  3

In a previous column I wrote with some embarrassment about 10 odd unplayed albums which had sat on my shelves for many, many years. Decades in some instances. And many of them never even getting close to being played. They were my adopted but unloved children.  Some had arrived in my halfway house between pressing and trashing on the strength of their weird cover ( I have... > Read more

THE NORTHMAN WHO WENT NORTHER: Into the ice with Arctic explorers

12 Dec 2022  |  5 min read

Exploration was different in the old days. Consider the case of the Arctic adventurer Sir John Franklin who lead an 1845 expedition of 129 men. When they set off 59-year old Franklin – who weighed 15 stone and was just 5ft 6in – took with him 1700 books, a hand organ, fine china and expensive cutlery . . . and his pet monkey. They were never heard of again. It... > Read more

THE JB HI-FI GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL VINYL, VOLUME 3 (2022): And another 101, and more, records in any serious collection

28 Nov 2022  |  1 min read

Yes, we've been down this path twice before with our first volume here and second here. But increasingly new albums are appearing on vinyl and back-catalogue is being reissued on lovely shiny records. So once more there was no problem finding 101 (and more) records to expand your mind and music collection. Again I thank the fine people at JB Hi-Fi for trusting me with this, and also... > Read more

THE JB HI-FI GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL VINYL, VOLUME 2 (2021): Another 101, and more, records in any serious collection

27 Nov 2022  |  7 min read  |  1

This time last year -- which seems a very long time ago now -- JB Hi-Fi published The JB Hi-Fi Guide to Essential VInyl Volume 1 which they commissioned me to write. There were 101 main entries of essential albums to have on record, but with suggestions of where to go after that, and also some essay pieces picking up box sets and such. So a great deal of vinyl suggestions by any... > Read more

THE JB HI-FI GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL VINYL, VOLUME 1 (2020): 101, and more, records in any serious collection

27 Nov 2022  |  4 min read  |  2

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... > Read more


25 Nov 2022  |  7 min read  |  1

There's going to an enjoyable amount of guesswork here, not just how or why I have these albums – among many other Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian records – but when I got them and why. And of course questions about who a few of them are by. Any further clarification on these gratefully received. We can start with an easy one however . . . . Beyond: The Best... > Read more


16 Jul 2022  |  <1 min read

Rolling Stone New Zealand has unveiled the nominees for its inaugurual annual Panhead Rolling Stone New Zealand Awards. Good luck to these familiar artists nominated! . BEST RECORD: Stan Walker – Te Arohanui BENEE – Lychee Ladyhawke – Time Flies Yumi Zouma – Present Tense L.A.B – L.A.B V Reb... > Read more

WHAT'S WHAT WITH AUSTRALIAN ROCK? (2022): Bizarre band names from across the Tasman

16 Jul 2022  |  3 min read

The place was some time in the Eighties and the time was a pub in suburban Sydney . . . and yes, that's how confused the memory is. But something comes through clearly, the band playing that night were called Nuns in Traction. I don't know that they played that often, or even ever again. They just joined that long list of bands with names like A Couple of Jugs of Cold Pork Fat who I... > Read more

FINALISTS, PACIFIC MUSIC AWARDS (2022): And the winner is . . .

25 Jun 2022  |  3 min read

It's that time again when the Pacific artists are honoured and here follows the list of nominees. The awards -- having had to be online the past two years -- are scheduled now for August 4. More details will follow.  Across 13 awards categories, this year’s 26 finalists are a mix of new musicians debuting music, established Pacific music icons and everything in between. ... > Read more

LIVERPOOL, A PHOTO ESSAY (2009 and 2022): And these memories lose their meaning?

13 Jun 2022  |  3 min read  |  1

In 2008, Liverpool was designated the European Capital of Culture, an honor acknowledging the heritage status of its buildings and the city's contribution of British, and indeed, global culture. It wasn't all about the Beatles and Merseybeat, either. Although those images and presence are everywhere from the excellent Beatle Story Museum to Magical Mystery bus tours of the city and... > Read more

CHARLIE WATTS AND JIM KELTNER, DISCOVERED (2022): The beats of different drummers

30 May 2022  |  1 min read

When Rolling Stones' drummer Charlie Watts died in 2021 he was spoken of as the heartbeat of the Stones and a jazz lover who seemingly by accident ended up in the most enduring and biggest rock band of our time. Obituaries certainly mentioned his side projects with his quintet and big bands, some of his droll witticisms but none, at least not that I saw, mentioned one his most unusual... > Read more

10 SOLO ALBUMS BY GROUP MEMBERS (2019): Lemme back in, I was in that band!

23 May 2022  |  9 min read  |  3

They are often as unexpected as they are uncalled for, as diverting as they are dire. They are the statement that people make when they step out of the band and try their hand at a solo album. Some should do more others should never even start.  So here are 10 solo albums by people who put the security of their band aside and released an album under their own name. We start... > Read more

THE 2022 MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD (2022): Fee Fi Foo won

16 May 2022  |  2 min read

The second annual Music Photography Awards - Whakaahua Puoro Toa was run by the Auckland Festival of Photography, and was one of several events in the lead up to 2022's Auckland Festival of Photography (June 2-12). Winners were announced on Saturday 14 May as part of celebrating New Zealand Music Month at Auckland's Silo Park, including outdoor exhibitions of photographs from the... > Read more


15 May 2022  |  8 min read

Elsewhere has been down a similar path with a series of 10 Shameful Record Covers I'm Proud to Own (see here, here, here and here). And there was also 10 Good Albums in Bad Covers . . . and two columns on 10 Odd Unplayed Albums in the Collection (here and here). But here are 10 albums which it just seems embarrassing to have in the same house as those Essential Elsewhere Albums let... > Read more

10 GOOD ALBUMS IN BAD COVERS: Wash in warm soapy water, dry and play

9 May 2022  |  10 min read  |  1

In the course of compiling the on-going series  10 Shameful Record Covers I'm Proud to Own I realised there were many albums in discount bins wrapped in unpromising covers but which were actually rather good. So with the caveat that you shouldn't pay more than $10 for any of these -- and ignoring greatest hits packages -- here are cheap albums worth the small outlay.... > Read more

She Went So Lonely

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

30 Apr 2022  |  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

10 ODD UNPLAYED ALBUMS IN MY COLLECTION (2016): Get back on the shelf!

13 Apr 2022  |  10 min read

Charlie Watts once said of Keith Richards that he was someone music liked being around. Records seem attracted me in much the same way because they just keep turning up. Mostly it has been my fault, $20 could go a long way in the Real Groovy bargain bins just five years ago and so strange records would follow me home. But then there are a swag of others which I have and... > Read more