The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Brett Adams and Dianne Swann, the Bads

18 Mar 2013  |  4 min read  |  1

For a band so right their name could not be more wrong: New Zealand group the Bads are good. Better than good, in fact. Way, way better than good. As you can see from the answers of Brett Adams and Dianne Swann below, they are steeped in music from classic rock though indie.pop to alt.country and . . . So much more. And for their third album Travel Light they have come to terms with their... > Read more

Don't Forget Yourself

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tami Neilson

18 Mar 2013  |  3 min read  |  1

Canada-born Tami Neilson has been a longtime Elsewhere favourite for her unique blend of classic and traditional country with originals which have a contemporary spin. She has won the country album of the year three times (2009, 2010 and 2012, in that between year she picked up best female country artist), impressed audiences on solo tours, when out with Lauren Thompson and Jackie Bristow, and... > Read more

Sweet Dreams

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Gary Harvey

11 Mar 2013  |  2 min read  |  1

Gary Harvey is one of New Zealand's great journeyman rock'n'roll blues musicians. He has been long overdue for the questionnaire (let alone a decent paycheque for his labours over the years) and when I asked him if I could put some gig dates with his answers he said, "no tours on the horizon, currently playing parties and back yards, but it's fun". For decades Harvey has done... > Read more

She's So Fine

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Simone Felice

10 Mar 2013  |  2 min read

The surname gives it away for lovers of Americana. Simone Felice was one of the much acclaimed band The Felice Brothers whose 2007 album Tonight at the Arizona was a best of Elsewhere selection, their self-titled album of 2008 made the same list that year. They effortlesly and intuitively channeled the spirits of Dylan and the Band but also made something for themselves out of that raw... > Read more

Stormy-Eyed Sarah

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Bernie Griffen

6 Mar 2013  |  3 min read

Pulling together the best elements of road-worn country-rock, folk, old style rhythm'n'blues and alt.country, Bernie Griffen and the Grifters have opened on New Zealand dates for Lil Band o' Gold, Justin Townes Earle, Emmylou Harris and Eilen Jewell. Griffen -- guitar and banjo -- brings to the band a wealth of writing and life experiences, and their recent album Everything So Far was a... > Read more

29 Diamonds

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Rickie Lee Jones

2 Mar 2013  |  4 min read  |  1

The first and only time I have seen Rickie Lee Jones was at the Laurie Anderson-Lou Reed curated Vivid Festival in Sydney a couple of years back. Rickie Lee played an intimate show with her band in a room of the Opera House and she was . . . different. My first impression was she was very stoned, or acting like someone very stoned. But then as the sorta/autobiographical show unfurled... > Read more

The Horses

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Salim Ghazi Saeedi

1 Mar 2013  |  5 min read

One of the many pleasures of Elsewhere is that we get to meet and hear from interesting people. Salim Ghazi Saeedi is certainly interesting, and not just because he has invented his own language on his most recent album namoWoman (reviewed here). Saeedi from Tehran is a multi-instrumentalist (he plays everything on the new album) who describes his music as "avant-garde ancient art-rock... > Read more

nam

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Donna Dean

28 Feb 2013  |  3 min read

New Zealand singer-songwriter Donna Dean might have won a number of local sogwriting awards (twice picking up country album of the year, twice winning APRA songwriting gong) but she is increasingly coming to global attention. How else to explain the presence of her new album Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts of great players like guitarists Gurf Morlix (longtime player with Lucinda Williams,... > Read more

How About Texas

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Joanne Shaw Taylor

23 Feb 2013  |  3 min read  |  1

Here's an interesting thing about blues-rock singer-guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor: she's the first I can recall who, given the Lennon Vs Jagger option in the questionnaire below, has gone with the man about whom Joan Rivers said, "He has child-bearing lips". But Shaw surprises on all counts: this astonishing guitarist and gutsy singer sounds like she was raised on Texas gin and... > Read more

Jealousy

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jack Landy

8 Feb 2013  |  3 min read

On the strength of his folksy troubadour-styled debut album Lost and Found -- and that he referenced Moby Dick, Flaubert, Kerouac and Cervantes -- it was pretty clear that Auckland-based Jack Landy would make a prime candidate for the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire. And as you can see from his witty answers below, we weren't wrong. Landry -- age 27 -- has busked his way around parts of... > Read more

Fare Well

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ken Matsutani of Marble Sheep

11 Jan 2013  |  3 min read

Okay, a rather different series of answers here because obviously Ken's first language isn't English and he had to run most of this through some kind of English-Japanese translation machine. But here the mainman behind Tokyo's cosmic space-rock outfit Marble Sheep – which he has helmed since the late Eighties – answers (most of) our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire in... > Read more

Mana

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ryan Munroe from Band of Horses

10 Jan 2013  |  3 min read

Band of Horses are an American group which a select but growing audience in New Zealand has embraced, largely on the strength of them touring here early (earlyish) in their career . . . and then coming back. And they make great records: Their Cease to Begin was in our 2007 "best of Elsewhere" list, their follow-up Infinite Arms was equally acclaimed in these pages (and Grammy... > Read more

A Little Biblical

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Mike Noga

25 Dec 2012  |  4 min read

Mike Noga is a singer-songwriter. Mike Noga is a drummer. Mike Noga is a tour manager. Yes, the drummer for Australia's noisy rock outfit the Drones has released a fine and slightly twisted solo album The Balladeer Hunter under his own name (think about the title, it's not The Ballad Hunter, but hunting the singer of ballads) and as a result he's having to organise his own solo shows.... > Read more

The Cold Year

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Spyros Charmanis

21 Dec 2012  |  3 min read  |  1

Elsewhere is frequently approached by musicians from all over the planet to review their work and perhaps interview them. But prog-rock maestro Syros Charmanis was the first from Greece and, given the poor nature of his country's economy and that he did a self-made and self-produced concept album, we were keen to hear what he was up to. That album Wound is an impressive piece of work (it is... > Read more

Our Time Expires

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Danny McCrum

5 Dec 2012  |  3 min read

New Zealand's Danny McCrum is one of those serial musicians: it's just what he does and he keeps on doing it. And at Elsewhere that is an admirable quality, especially when -- if like McCrum -- you can craft a good song with an intelligent lyric and deliver like you mean it. McCrum has done that with great consistency -- although when his album Awake and Restless came along in 2007 these... > Read more

Monday

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: SJD

3 Dec 2012  |  3 min read

With his new all-electronic album Elastic Wasteland picking up unanimously favourable reviews, it is timely to look back on the career of Sean James Donnelly, aka SJD. Elastic Wasteland -- which is far from that, it is a nuanced and rich tapestry of sound, see here -- is Donnelly's sixth album and follows such diverse and mature collections as Lost Soul Music, Southern Lights, Songs from a... > Read more

On the Driveway

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Plum Green

26 Nov 2012  |  3 min read

There is still a thrill in putting on an album by a hitherto unknown name and being taken aback. That's exactly how many might feel when they listen to Rushes, the debut albm by New Zealand's Plum Green. She has a fire inside, a way with a lyric which can twist up imagery and she isn't afraid to get raw. The album is reviewed here, and a little of her backstory is there too. But because... > Read more

Wait Here

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Delaney Davidson and Marlon Williams

5 Nov 2012  |  4 min read

On paper Delaney Davidson and Marlon Williams (the latter of Unfaithful Ways) have very divergent taste as you can see below, but put them together in a recording studio for their Sad But True album and something unique happens. The album – on the newly established Lyttelton Records label – is subtitled “the secret history of country music songwriting” and... > Read more

Bloodletter

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Neill Fraser of Villainy

29 Oct 2012  |  3 min read

Auckland alt.rock band Villainy scored a major coup for the cover of their debut album Mode Set Clear -- see below -- they had the famous Storm Thorgerson (renown for his Pink Floyd album artwork) design it. And how did that come about? They just asked. The contents however are at some distance from Floyd's tripped out moods. Villainy deliver a very focused fire-storm of tough-minded... > Read more

Gather Yourselves

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Trevor Reekie and Tom Ludvigson of Trip to the Moon

25 Oct 2012  |  4 min read

Jeez, where to begin with these two? The pocket edition story of Trevor Reekie would mention he spent time in the UK in the Seventies, back in New Zealand in the Eighties he played guitar in and produced the innovative electro-pop outfit Car Crash Set, helmed Stunn then Reaction Records (producing the Mockers aong others), founded his own Pagan Records which gave a first start to... > Read more

The Landscape Listens