Next at Life Elsewhere we take a look at us…the Exceptional Species. First, we’ll go back in time to discover our ancestors. Dr. Lydia Pyne has drawn from archives, museums, and interviews to build a cultural history of seven celebrity fossils, the enterprising result is collated in her new book, Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils. It’s a fascinating and entertaining study that puts the impact of paleoanthropology into a new context and serves as a reminder of how our past as a species continues to affect, in astounding ways, our present culture, and imagination. Then, an investigation into what makes humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth? Agustin Fuentes has studied human creativity, the results are expertly explored in his new book, The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional where the renowned anthropologist presents a bold synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself. Finally, can we create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are? Bill Burnett and Dave Evans explain that everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve. This is the premise of their wonderfully informative book. Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well-Lived Joyful Life. Don’t miss three intriguing interviews on the next edition of Life Elsewhere about us: the Exceptional Species.
Comedian, writer, musician, actor and radio host, Dave Hill returns to Life Elsewhere along with his good friend and fellow comedian, Greg Barris, who is a staple of New York’s downtown stand-up scene. The two young funny guys have been performing recently together and as they were in the neighborhood, we asked them to take time out from their hectic schedule to stop by the studio to chat with Norman B. The ensuing conversation delved into what is funny in the age of Trump? From there, Dave and Greg shared their opinions a wide range of topics, including the fraternity of comics; the evolution of comedy; Robin Williams and Johnny Carson; comedy specials; hecklers and the use of profanity. Comedians seldom reveal what’s behind their on-stage persona, in this hour of conversation, Norman B guides Dave Hill and Greg Barris to comfortably offer insights into the minds of two very funny guys, seriously.
“Rock ’n’ Roll began when I was born…in 1947!” A bold, challenging proclamation if uttered by anyone else, other than Ronny Elliott. Often referred to as a cult artist, Ronny has many-a-story to back up his claim. The fact that he has played on bills with Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers, Wilco, Sly & The Family Stone, Michael Bloomfield, Canned Heat, Steve Miller, NRBQ, Patti Smith, Pete Seeger, Steve Earle and many more adds to his credibility. Touring with Bo Diddley and Bill Haley and the Comets and backed Chuck Berry, The Coasters and Gene Vincent confirms that Ronny Elliott is the real thing. His stories are what legends are made of, from hanging with Elvis to keeping guard of Jimi Hendrix’s equipment. For the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Ronny Elliott joins Norman B to chat about Rock ’n’ Roll, the good, the bad and the ugly of the music biz and maintaining a cool sense of humor throughout the years, as witnessed in his self-composed promotional graphics shown above.
Two regular contributors to Life Elsewhere join Norman B to chat about everything from the extraordinary mess-up at the Oscars to pissing off Martha Stewart. Noted film and media critic, Bob Ross weighs in with his take on the relevance of the Oscars and asks, “Do movies cause social ills?” Esteemed political caricaturist and social commentator, Steve Brodner wonders if Mr. Trump could possibly be the loneliest man to hold the office of President. While Brodner has crafted many satirical cartoons of Mr. Trump, to date he has not received an early morning tirade from the President, but he does recall hearing from an angry Martha Stewart at a time she was under a cloud of legal scrutiny. All this plus new music from the unlikely named, Pat Windpipe & Windy Teamplayer.
“I consider myself, an American patriot. I write this with no irony, although with plenty of outrage, a new outrage.” The stirring words of David Ulin in a vibrant essay titled, How To Be A Patriot In America for Literary Hub. David uses his well-honed literary skills to take us on a journey of discovery. Self-discovery. He uses the opera Hopscotch to illustrate his point, “It’s a love story, loosely inspired by Julio Cortázar’s 1963 novel; it was first staged—if that’s the word—during the fall of 2015 by performers riding with small audience clusters in 24 cars. The intent (or one of them) was to activate the streets of Los Angeles as public space” he says, “The streets are so important because when we give them up or turn away from them, we also give up any notion of common destiny. Look at the president, at the fear, the isolation, that governs every one of his positions; look at the states—including Michigan, North Dakota, Washington, and Iowa—where Republican legislators are proposing bills to limit public protest and dissent. Why do they do this? Because they understand that to reclaim the streets is in a very real way to reclaim the discourse because it requires us to be engaged. That’s the message of Hopscotch also, which operates from a simple premise: Art, like the streets, like the very country, not only belongs to but depends on us. If we want it, we have to create, or take back, the space for it. We have to participate.” David Ulin wants you to know he is not happy about the new administration, “On election day, I walked home in tears, A month later, there’s plenty of despair to go around—and yet, what about the resistance that has grown?” But, the author and book critic is not about to give up or preach to the choir, “In such a disconnected landscape, I want to believe art affords us certain answers or at least a common experience.” David Ulin will join us to discuss How To Be A Patriot In America in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.