Something Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

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

FIVE FOR FEWER THAN FIFTY: Picking up homeless albums from the rescue shelter

29 Jul 2020  |  7 min read

There are websites and online pages dedicated to the serious art of collecting vinyl records from secondhand shops, junk bins and so on. Most people are looking for rarities and items of value, and that is fine and worthy. Nice to see them going into collections where they will be cared for. Elsewhere's not like that, our vinyl shopping entails assessments such as “that looks... > Read more

FIVE FAMOUS BUT OVER-RATED ALBUMS IN ROCK: Acclaimed often, disappointing or dull mostly

22 May 2020  |  7 min read

Picking bad albums is child's play, acclaiming classics even easier still because mostly the work has been done for you by generations of critics, fans and the foolhardy. And acclaiming some obscurity as a lost classic is a breeze because chances are most people haven't heard it so aren't in a position to agree or disagree. However picking over-rated albums is much more difficult... > Read more

The 11th TAITE MUSIC PRIZE (2020): Make a date for the Taite, mate

1 May 2020  |  3 min read

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the award recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one recording. The prize winner will receive a cash prize of NZ$12,500 to be spent as they wish, thanks to Taite Music Prize founding partner Recorded Music NZ; recording time at Red Bull Studios... > Read more

THE BRITISH COUNTERCULTURES, ARCHIVED (2020): Shall we go to the pub or the protest?

26 Apr 2020  |  3 min read  |  2

The British counterculture movements from the late Fifties onwards have been difficult to define and comprehend from our geographical, political and social distance. The decade up to the Rolling Stones' ambiguous Street Fighting Man simply blurs into images of CND protests, poetry events, Richard Neville and the Schoolkids issue of Oz, Tariq Ali, Michael X, the Grosvenor Square... > Read more

ANOTHER SPIN OF HISTORY'S WHEEL (2020): Music in the time of solitude

3 Apr 2020  |  4 min read

About 140 years ago when Thomas Edison made a machine which captured sound he initially thought it could preserve the grand statements and speeches of great men. But he quickly realised – even before his phonograph which used wax-coated cylinders was made available – here was how music could be passed down the generations, the past always present in the future. Edison wasn't... > Read more

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE AIN'T FREE (2020): The lives – and livelihoods – of others

27 Mar 2020  |  2 min read

Well, the “gig economy” that sociologists and economists were so excited about has gone belly-up for most of those involved. People in the creative arts who relied on an audience are doing it harder than many right now. Time for those of us who have enjoyed their labours to lend a hand. We here at Elsewhere have never illegally downloaded a movie or music, have... > Read more


13 Jan 2020  |  5 min read

The small town of Paeroa in New Zealand's North Island (the other island being named . . .) can make a couple of claims for itself. First, it is the origin of the “world famous in New Zealand” soft-drink Lemon & Paeroa, and second that it is the antiques capital of the country. These days “antiques” mostly just means old stuff, but in the town's many such... > Read more

CHRIS KNOX, COLLECTED AND DONATED (2019): From Enemy to archive

13 Dec 2019  |  3 min read

As some Elsewhere readers will perhaps know, for a couple of years I was one of the rostered caregivers for Chris Knox who suffered a stroke in June 2009. Although limited in physical function, Chris kept his wicked sense of humour, penchant for pranks and winding people up, and even began painting again . . . with his left hand. Examples of his work can be seen and purchased from... > Read more

10 UNUSUAL ECM ALBUMS OF THE EIGHTIES I OWN (2019): But there's no pattern to the pattern . . .

29 Nov 2019  |  9 min read

When Manfred Eicher founded his record label ECM (Editions of Contemporary Music) in 1969 it was, he told Elsewhere in a 1992 interview, with a view to recording jazz at the same high quality afforded to classical music.  At that time however most of the key jazz musicians had found homes on important big or small American labels, so ECM was launched with the... > Read more

THE NEW LOOK TUI AWARD (2019): A gift for stars inspired by stars

21 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

Last year at the invitation of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Award, the artist Dick Frizzell redesigned the iconic Tui award (see here) and the idea being that every year another artist or designer would bring their own stamp to it, making the Tui awards from now on being unique to that year. This year jeweler and designer Boh Runga  of the band Stellar* – and a former... > Read more

AND THE VNZMA ARTISAN FINALISTS ARE? (2019): Behind the scenes, the makers and creatives

10 Oct 2019  |  2 min read

Music which connects with an audience doesn't just drop from the heavens courtesy of a bandcamp or Soundcloud posting. Hundreds of songs out of bedrooms and cheap studios arrive on those portals every day, so somewhere along the line the music needs professional shaping and sharpening, a bit of promotion (video is logical) and a nice bit of packaging if it is an album.... > Read more


3 Oct 2019  |  <1 min read

Singer Ria Hall was invited to present the APRA Maioha Award at the 2019 Silver Scroll award. The finalists were: Ka Ao by Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna, and Mātauranga Te Rauna Korimako by Emily and Charles Looker, performed by Aro Paiheretia by Kaaterama Pou Te Kete Aronui by Mara Te Kahika and Cory Champion, performed by Mara TK And the winners were Tyna Keelan,... > Read more


26 Sep 2019  |  4 min read

And let the discussions begin. The finalists for this year's Vodafone NZ Music Awards to take place at Spark Arena on Thursday November 4 have just been announced. We bring you here the finalists and have highlighted artists or albums which Elsewhere has written about. For more on the awards go here.  All finalists are eligible for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Te... > Read more

THE APRA SILVER SCROLLS 2019: And the finalists are . . .

21 Sep 2019  |  3 min read

When you look back and try to identify pivotal years in New Zealand popular music one stands out: 1965. That was the year that youth culture – in the wake of the Beatles, Stones, Cilla, Dylan and many others – became a driving force. Young people had the money for concert tickets, records, entry to dances and so on . . . and so New Zealand musicians could actually make a living... > Read more

THE WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS FINALISTS (2019): Kia kaha and kon-gratulations

13 Aug 2019  |  3 min read  |  1

Now in its 12th year, the Waiata Maori Music Awards celebrate excellence in Maori music, honouring the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Maori music. And now, during Te Marama Puoru Waiata Maori - Maori Music Month - comes the announcement of the finalists for the 2019 Waiata Maori Music Awards, with four nominations each to Kora brothers-founded group L.A.B. and... > Read more

RIP IT UP, RECOVERED (2019): Music and culture on the printed page

16 May 2019  |  3 min read

You don't have to be nostalgic or a grumpy senior to lament the decline in music journalism since the advent on the internet. Where once there were lengthy interviews, overviews and reviews there is now click-bait, links to something the posting person didn't write (and often didn't read) and Instagram as a substitute for insight. But to be grumpy and nostalgic on a personal note, there was... > Read more

DISCOVER LIVE, INTRODUCED (2019): An invitation across the nation in NZ Music Month

1 May 2019  |  3 min read

In the interests of New Zealand Music Month, the musicians and the venues, we share this from Discover Live about some of the many things going on. . . . Aotearoa has an abundance of world-class talent that you can see on stages across the length and breadth of the country.  In clubs and pubs, community centres and RSAs, theatres and school halls, and so many other venues,... > Read more