The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

Fifteen revealing questions submitted to well-known musicians or newcomers to the game which they can answer seriously or as silly as they please.

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Wallis Bird

11 Mar 2019  |  3 min read

Berlin-based award-winning Irish-born singer-songwriter Wallis Bird comes with a lot of hyphens, right? At 37 she has five studio albums behind her as well as a couple of EPs and live one, but has been quiet on the recording front since her 2016 album Home which was nominated for Ireland's Choice Music Award and has overcome considerable early adversity. As a left-hander she lost four... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: A.U.R.A

11 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

AURA is a man (Albert Mikolaj) and AURA is a band touring soon (dates below) to back up the excellent new Secret Intelligent Light album. It is a finely crafted album of songs given interesting and appropriate settings of quasi-ambience or lightly-delic sounds from multi-instrumentalist Mikolaj and produce Ben Lemi. Mikolaj manages to locate his songs between the chill-out room and... > Read more

Nature/Nurture

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Amanda Cheng of Wax Chattels

4 Mar 2019  |  4 min read

Auckland's Wax Chattels -- the “guitarless guitar music” trio of bassist Amanda Cheng, vocals/organ Peter Ruddell and drummer Tom Leggett -- not only have an impressive and powerful stage presence but their self-titled debut album of May 2018 picked up critical acclaim internationally, especially in the US where it was released on Brooklyn's Captured Tracks. The band members met... > Read more

It (from the EP Live At Part Time Punks)

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Quaint of Polar Extremes

4 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

Where to begin with Quaint of the New Zealand band Polar Extremes? Well, we haven't a clue because we know so little about him (other than his real name which he doesn't use for this project) that all we can do is point to the weirdly engrossing, funny and serious debut album Strange Visions 1. It has received praise from many (although some suspiciously look to be friends) but we... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Li'l Chuck

28 Feb 2019  |  3 min read

Christchurch-based Li'l Chuck – aka David Thorpe – is the self-styled “One Man Skiffle Machine” whose latest album was appropriately recorded in mono in Sugar Ray's Vintage Recording Studio in Essex in single takes on original Fifties equipment. The album is 14 songs, all done in an eight-hour day and entitled . . . MONO. But you kinda guessed that, right?... > Read more

Sweet Sue

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Randa

26 Feb 2019  |  3 min read

In a crowded music market – even in this small country – it takes a lot to stand out, but Auckland-based Randa (born Mainard Larkin) achieves that by quirky music, an engaging persona and as a non-binary trans person. A self-described “rapper and oddball”, Randa began writing and performing bedroom projects about favourite foods and the non-gender life, and delivered... > Read more

Fashion

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Rob Joass

25 Feb 2019  |  3 min read

Based on the Kapiti Coast, singer-songwriter is an Elsewhere favourite for the power of songwriting and a voice we described as “lived in”. Other people agree: he has been three times nominated at the New Zealand Music Awards and he releases his third album, Pencarrow, on March 8 to coincide with a New Zealand tour and a couple of appearances in Sydney (see dates below).... > Read more

The Sweet Unknown

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Dave Baxter/Avalanche City

20 Feb 2019  |  3 min read

It has been some while – in pop culture terms – since Dave Baxter's 2011's hit Love Love Love was everywhere in the air. Performing and recording as Avalanche City, Baxter picked up a Silver Scroll for Love Love Love and considerable acclaim for his two subsequent albums Our New Life Above Ground and We Are For the Wild Places (2015). In some ways Baxter is a rarity, a man... > Read more

My Babylon

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nino Birch of Beat Rhythm Fashion

18 Feb 2019  |  4 min read

Beat Rhythm Fashion out of Wellington in the late Seventies/early Eighties was the project of brothers Nino and Dan Birch who had grown up in Hong Kong for a while. In the capital they caught the post-punk excitement and formed BRF (joined by Glen Stewart then later Caroline Easther on drums). They toured – found a very welcome audience in Christchurch – and recorded... > Read more

Nothing Damaged

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Juanita Stein

11 Feb 2019  |  3 min read

Former Australian of the London-based rock band Howling Bells, Juanita Stein, may not be a name familiar to most locals here and her second solo album Until the Lights Fade, recorded in Austin, of late last year probably went past just about everyone. But when she opens for Bryan Ferry and plays here own show in Auckland (dates below) she will get a chance to prove herself and her... > Read more

French Film

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Julien Baker

31 Jan 2019  |  3 min read

The American singer-songwriter Julien Baker – who has cancelled her Auckland Pride Festival show at Auckland's Tuning Fork on February 15 due to personal matters – has made quite a mark in the past few years, and she's still only 23. She has two studio and one live album behind her and her recent EP boygenius – with Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers – ended up in... > Read more

Funeral Pyre

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Anthony Furey from The Young Folk

24 Jan 2019  |  5 min read

Ireland's Young Folk may not be a familiar name to most but they did pop up at Elsewhere in 2015 with their debut album The Little Battle, of which we said, "A band you could miss entirely and therefore not miss at all, but if you catch them you'll be caught". Time to get caught then because the four-piece -- three Irish, one Kiwi -- with serious pedigree is touring in New Zealand... > Read more

Home

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

7 Jan 2019  |  2 min read

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Darren McShane has previously appeared on an Elsewhere questionnaire – five years ago – but on the back of the new Superturtle album which arrived at the end of last year we thought it time to give him a different set of questions. The new album is Student Flat Reunion and with its keyboards, slamming electrobeats and vocal angst it... > Read more

The Industry

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Fotis Vergopoulos of Rebetien

19 Dec 2018  |  2 min read

One of the more interesting and perhaps unexpected acts at the forthcoming Womad in Taranaki (see details below) will be the Greek group Rebetien whose songs are derived from the Rebetiko and the Greek traditional music repertoire, as well as originals in a similar vein. The music goes beyond the traditional into an area of nostalgia for a world most of us never knew, a world of old... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Jamie Smith of Mabon

10 Dec 2018  |  2 min read

Accordion player Jamie Smith has taken his version of traditional Celtic music from Wales (with contemporary influences) to concert halls and outdoor stages all over the world in the past two decades with his band Mabon. The band's sets are energetic – Elsewhere caught them at a Rainforest Festival in Sarawak in 2014 –and they bring a number of easily assimilated world music... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Brad Kang

4 Dec 2018  |  3 min read

Something of a power trio in jazz, Lockett Kang Zakaria – who start a short tour soon (dates below) – bring together some formidable and acclaimed local and international talent. Drummer Mark Lockett has appeared a number of times at Elsewhere, bassist Umar Zakaria won this year's jazz Tui award for the album Fearless Music and Christchurch's guitarist and educator... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE PRODUCER QUESTIONNAIRE: Mitchell Froom

3 Dec 2018  |  3 min read

If the unusual surname (it is Romanian in origin) hadn't attracted attention, the fact Mitchell Froom produced the first three Crowded House albums and Dave Dobbyn's Lament for the Numb (as well as work with McCartney, Vega, Lucinda Williams and dozens more) should have set off the alarm. And he did last year's Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie album (which was Fleetwood Mac wiothout... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Sharon Shannon from Ireland

30 Nov 2018  |  4 min read

For many decades now Sharon Shannon and her band have been in the vanguard of broadening the parameters of traditional Irish music into something a kin to folk-rock and bridges to reggae and country. She mostly plays accordion but is also respected as a fiddle player and over the years has worked with artists as diverse Dennis Bovell, Elvis Costello, Nigel Kennedy, Kate Bush, Steve Earle... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ben Lemi of Congress of Animals

29 Nov 2018  |  6 min read

The Congress of Animals is something of an alt.folk supergroup in that it includes Nigel Collins (Flight of the Conchords, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra), Justin Firefly Clark (Fly My Pretties, the Woolshed Sessions), Age Pryor (Fly My Pretties, Woolshed Sessions, Wellington Internatinal Ukulele Orchestra) and Ben Lemi. And for their current tour Bret McKenzie taking a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Gray Bartlett

26 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

Guitarist Gray Bartlett's music may be a little too mainstream for some tastes but there is no denying his technical prowess, his subtle way of interpreting a standard and, not the least, his work ethic. At 76, Bartlett has clocked up a lot of traveling miles which has seen him play in London in the Swinging Sixties as a session man and at the Top of the Town, touring in Japan, China and... > Read more

Painted Moon