Something Elsewhere

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DOES HUMOUR BELONG IN MUSIC? (2021): Does anybody remember laughter?

20 Dec 2021  |  5 min read  |  1

If you look at the charts, MTV or scoure your way through iTunes or whatever you'd be mistaken for thinking that songwriters only ever write about serious stuff. Not at all, there is a looooong tradition of comedy songs, parodies and so on. Most of them are gimmicky songs however and the artists are soon forgotten (one-hit wonders like Bob the Builder) but a number of them had good careers.... > Read more

THE EIGHTIES: THE AGE OF XS (2021): The music industry as the serpent that swallowed its tale

30 Oct 2021  |  2 min read

A century ago few musicians expected to make money from their records. Most were paid a flat fee for the session and if the record was popular then they could raise their performance rate. Records were incidental to making a living on the live circuit. In fact, when Thomas Edison created his gramophone he didn't think of it as a machine to record music, he expected it to be... > Read more

SEX vs SENSUALITY (2021): What's love got to do with it?

24 Oct 2021  |  11 min read  |  1

"you gotta sin to get saved" -- old saying . Aside from love -- falling in love, falling out of love, moping around afterwards and writing bad poetry -- there are other great themes to explore in song. It goes without saying, surely, that death, redemption and the Devil have alwys been big ideas. And sex and sensuality have preoccupied writers ever since . . . Well... > Read more

10 MORE SOMEWHAT RARE REGGAE ALBUMS I'M PROUD TO OWN (2021): Off-beat and x-ray sounds

14 Oct 2021  |  10 min read

Has it been four years since Elsewhere grabbed 10 rare reggae albums off the shelves? Ahh, yes. So . . .   Here then is the belated sequel as another 10 fairly rare reggae albums come to hand. (Actually nine, one is not that hard to find if you are prepared spend much of your life in secondhand record shops.) These albums all came my way various sources: those... > Read more

THE IMPENDING ADORATIONS and PROTEINS OF MAGIC (2021): A sound and vision collaboration

4 Oct 2021  |  1 min read

These are strange and inconvenient times but artists can often cleverly work their way around them. Paul McLaney from Auckland was in Wellington during the current lockdown which meant his new Gramsci project (The Hinterland) had to be put on hold until next year. "But the silver lining," he says, "is that it's opened up a window for some musical collaboration. I started... > Read more

OK GO. ON WITH THE VIDEO SHOW (2021): Trickery, trompe l'oeil and pop art in pop music

1 Oct 2021  |  2 min read

The music by the US band OK Go might be fairly mainstream and poppy for most tastes, but they are as much an art project as a band when it comes to their most innovative work, their videos. The cleverly choreographed clip for the single Here It Goes Again from their second album Oh No in 2005 had them moving between treadmills in a series of complex and interlocking manoeuvres. It went... > Read more

DOCPLAY DELIVERING (2021): The truth is out there . . .

31 Aug 2021  |  2 min read  |  1

You see it from time to time. Something “broke the Internet”. Or you hear someone say they've seen everything on Netflix/Apple+ or whatever, announcing they can't find anything of interest anymore on those constantly refilling platforms. But you take their point, especially in these lockdown days. Just how many more murders in Scandinavia can you take?... > Read more


26 Aug 2021  |  2 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

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


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

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