Random Play by Graham Reid


Soundtrack of a stay-at-home

Because I am a freelancer I get to stay at home most days. I see things like a change in the weather, empty suburban streets, St Lukes shopping mall before people arrive and the postie.

When I am not gainfully employed on some short-term project (ha!) I listen to music, my music. Right now I am playing a record from about 1968, Bill Deal and the Rhondels whose sole hit as far as I know was I’ve Been Hurt (in which the word “hurt” appears 40 times in 2.10 seconds).

Bill was a white soul shouter, but with his horn-driven band (in frilly-front shirts and bow ties) he also delivers covers of the Doors’ Touch Me, the Beatles’ Hey Bulldog, the MOR cringer Hooked on A Feeling and some sweet soul music.

I’m a sucker for such stuff. I loved I’ve Been Hurt (here) back in the day (until recently I thought he was black, actually) but never had the single so bought the album a month ago, $15 at Slowboat in Wellington.

And on any given day I am listening to cowboy rock by The Unforgiven (one album, some members went on to become Cracker), Ghanaian funk from the Seventies, quiet sounds from Brian Eno if I am concentrating, or something from my growing collection of 10” records that I am buying by cover art rather than by quality or artist. That’s a lottery -- but with better odds than Big Wednesday or the casino.

But mostly I listen to new music -- of all persuasions. This week at Elsewhere I posted over a dozen albums which range from the new Tom Waits live album and alt.country punk-folk from Sweden, to experimental sonics recorded at a festival in Auckland in ‘07, an Ethiopian jazz master and a solo album by Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes.

And more -- including an essay/article/review on the 40th anniversary edition of the Rolling Stones classic live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! here.

These are all albums I have played repeatedly in the past fortnight or so. I listen to a lot of music, always have (which explains the conversation yesterday with my doctor about tinnitus.)

The point of this being that I have surprised myself about how many albums I have posted at Elsewhere this past year. About 200 at a guess, there are pages of them put up with comment, a sample track, a video clip where I could find one and the cover art reproduced. Now that would be 200 posted. There was other stuff I listened to and didn’t think was much cop or accidentally overlooked -- and guys like Bill Deal and all that other crass or classy vinyl I listen to between times are never going to appear. Some people are well read, I am well listened. And suffering from tinnitus!

By Thursday I am going to have bitten off much more than I can swallow and will have chosen my Best of Elsewhere 2009 list out of this diverse collection of Elsewhere reviews which runs from world music and local oddities to alt.country, nu-folk, esoteric jazz and contemporary classical (only a few of those, don’t be frightened) . . . And other styles which probably don’t have a name yet. I call them Elsewhere.

I’d invite Public Address readers to take time out of their busy day (and is it that busy pre-Christmas? Things kinda stop for me so I have no idea what goes on in Officeworld anymore) and pick your best out of what I have put up for your listening pleasure, enlightenment or confusion.

The albums of ‘09 are the most recent 25 pages of Music From Elsewhere and if that sounds formidable it is actually quite easy to negotiate your way through. Simply scroll down looking at titles and covers and when you hit the bottom click to the next page. Repeat as required.

When you see something along the way that connected to you this year just hit the “more” link or the title and use the Post A Comment at the bottom of the review to offer your opinion.
Of course you are free to Post A Comment on albums you couldn’t have hated more also.

By the way, Bill Deal and the Rhondels’ Vintage Rock album isn’t that great. I should only have paid $10 for it.

Righto, enjoy your trawl -- and while you are at it have a look at this. The worst film ever made? Probably.

Final orders? A new “shipment” of The Idiot Boy Who Flew has just arrived if you are looking for holiday reading. For ordering details and further info see below. A couple of companies have recently come to me asking for copies as gifts for clients. If you are a company wanting to explore that idea of buying multiple copies I am offering “a deal on the bill”.

Hey! Another “Bill Deal“!
What were the odds of that happening?

Graham Reid is the author of the book 'The Idiot Boy Who Flew'.

(Click here to find out more)

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