The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Billy Ebeling

10 Jun 2013  |  2 min read

American singer-songwriter and busker extraordinaire Billy Ebeling has appeared at Elsewhere previously and got our vote as the most inventive, funny and talented busker to ever appear on Auckland's Queen St. He makes the occasional trip to New Zealand but a recent e-mail tells me his back in Kansas City and playing six nights a week . . . and has a new album out. The album This Life of... > Read more

Wrap Me in Your Skin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Ubana Jones

2 Jun 2013  |  3 min read

It is over two decades, and perhaps getting close to three, since I first met Paul Ubana Jones and I believe I described him then as a big man with big hair, a big voice and a big guitar sound. And it's still true. He has been a prolific recording artist (at least half a dozen albums) and he has also toured New Zealand regularly, and made a mark overseas. He was born in London to a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Leigh Franklin

27 May 2013  |  2 min read

Leigh Franklin has created quite a ripple with the title-track single from her debut album On a Saturday. And that self-funded album is the end of a long journey -- and the start of another -- for the former graduate of the Christchurch Jazz School who then relocated to Melbourne for gigging and more studies. Then she bought a one-way ticket to London carrying her acoustic guitar where she... > Read more

River

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jan Hellriegel

10 May 2013  |  4 min read

For far too long Jan Hellriegel was known by the shorthand of "Westie singer" which might have been literally true -- she lived in West Auckland, she sang -- but rather diminished her songwriting skills and the power of her delivery. You often read more about how she worked in her dad's panelbeaters than the quality of her songs on albums like her impressive debut album It's My... > Read more

On Ice

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nadia Reid

4 May 2013  |  2 min read

Raised in Port Chalmers and Christchurch but now living in Auckland, singer-songwriter Nadia Reid (no relation to Elsewhere) has won consistent acclaim for her sometimes melancholy voice coupled with intelligent and insightful lyrics. Her debut EP Letters I Wrote and Never Sent appeared in 2011 and since then she has won praise from the likes of Adam McGrath of The Eastern whose opinion you... > Read more

I Will Never Cut My Ties

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Luckless

4 May 2013  |  5 min read

As singer-songwriter Luckless, Auckland-raised but now footloose Ivy Rossiter has been taking her charged up songs which employ loops and loudness to audiences nationwide for some years now. Her self-titled debut album won consistent praise (four stars just about everywhere) and as a live performer she is dynamic and committed. So as she embarks on a national Ballads and Badlands tour... > Read more

Hummingbird Heart

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Etana

29 Apr 2013  |  2 min read

With a sound located between emotional soul and street-smart reggae, Etana (Shauna McKenzie) from Kingston, Jamaica has certainly made her mark. After a brief period in the States (where she was studying) in a girly-girl band she returned to her homeland and concentrated on a serious music career when she embraced Rastafarianism. Her debut album The Strong One brought reggae and folk... > Read more

Whole New World

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Hamilton of British Sea Power

22 Apr 2013  |  2 min read

Elsewhere has had a long interesting in and affection for the UK band British Sea Power who have delivered four previous albums and a couple of soundtracks and yet never quite got the wide acclaim they deserve. So it was a pleasure to hear their new one Machineries of Joy because it marks a career high and economically encapsulates their many styles but pulls them together in songs which... > Read more

What You Need the Most

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Clayton Anderson of Beastwars

18 Apr 2013  |  3 min read

So of course the new Beastwars album Blood Becomes Fire out on limited edition 12" record for Record Store Day -- when they play free at Real Groovy in Auckland -- is on blood red vinyl. That's utterly fitting because this thrillingly disciplined metal band from Wellington deliver songs with titles like Tower of Skulls, Ruins, Blood Becomes Fire and Shadow King with all the intensity of a... > Read more

Caul of Time

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

15 Apr 2013  |  2 min read

Darren McShane has been a serial offender in the New Zealand music scene, and we've all been the better for it. Way back he formed Stick No Bills (brilliant name, you'd see it everywhere) and then went on to form Chainsaw Masochist (on Flying Nun) who roared and sawed. He was also on bFM hosting The Electric Chair show on which he played rarities and imports. He moved on to the band... > Read more

Sit Still Now

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam RB

27 Mar 2013  |  5 min read

Singer-songwriter Sam RB is probably seen by more people than most others in the country. She busks regularly on Queen Street, and it was through that she self-funded her second album Queen Sreet Acoustics. But don't let the title fool you, it isn't some lo-fi thing recorded on the street but a smart, sensitive and mature studio album which comes with some excellent assistance (see review... > Read more

1989

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