Influential & Ignored

“It was Seattle circa 1984, I had an early version of Life Elsewhere on KCMU (now KEXP) radio. A teenage listener would call my show regularly, he’d say, “Can you play that Folk Devils record again? That young music fan went onto form his own band and a decade later he was a worldwide sensation, but sadly died soon after.” This is part of a story Norman B has not widely publicized before. He is in conversation with Nick Clift recalling the conundrum of discovering new music that was both influential and ignored. Clift, a one-time member of another overlooked band Ski Patrol, has lovingly curated a tribute to his friend and Folk Devils frontman Ian Lowery. The result is a stellar compilation, Folk Devils: Beautiful Monsters (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984 – 1986). Nick who was in Ski Patrol with Lowery, believes the legacy of the man and his band Folk Devils deserves to be remembered and perhaps rediscovered. Named after Stanley Cohen’s book on youth subcultures, Folk Devils and Moral Panics this highly underrated British band was as far as one could get from “folk music”. They were formed by Ian Lowery, (formerly of The Wall and Ski Patrol) in late 1983 with a line -up that consisted of Whiteley on bass, Kris Jozajtis on guitar and Alan Cole on drums. By early 1984, their heady brew of swampy rock on a bed of bastardized blues had created a vehicle for Lowery’s increasingly misanthropic worldview. A well-honed gutter poet since the early days of punk, Ian had developed an idiosyncratic style, fusing a natural gift for sly wordplay and a well-turned snarky phase with his often vitriolic and poignant lyrics channeled through an explosive onstage persona. Gigging constantly, yet by early 1986, frustration within their ranks had created a point of no return, and the band imploded. Ian’s artful and sparse tales of love, loss, loathing, and libation may well have been before their time. He died at the age of 45 in 2001. Nick Clift decided to resurrect the Folk Devils recordings and tracked down the original tapes, which had spent 30 years languishing in the home of the band’s former manager. With expert help, he re-mastered the recordings to capture the ragged fury and adrenalized energy that uniquely characterized the Folk Devils. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, you’ll hear tracks from the soon to be released compilation and Norman B’s conversation with Nick Clift.

Life Elsewhere Show #184 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

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If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Check out the Life Elsewhere Music page and download Norman B’s curated selections of new, obscure, rare, unique and extraordinary music; hits of the future; artists who deserve your attention and timeless recordings you probably missed.

Art & Authoritarianism

Kennicott

“What would happen to the arts if this country turned to authoritarian leadership?” That is the opening line from a perceptive commentary in the Washington Post, authored by Philip Kennicott, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Art and Architecture Critic. Mr. Kennicott imagines with clever wit, what would happen to the Arts in America if Mr. Trump becomes President. His scenarios are fantasy, but the context for Kennicott’s creativity is built on facts: In a gallery in Chelsea, New York, a crudely made sculpture of the new president sitting on a toilet, using the Constitution as tissue paper is ignored by collectors and critics, but amusing passersby. A church group is outraged, the President comments, “It’s disgraceful, they take your tax dollars to make this filth.” Agitated vandals are prompted to spray-paint graffiti on the gallery’s windows. Only they get the neighborhood right, but the address wrong. Many in the art world are amused, but it worries others. Philip Kennicott paints more disturbing scenes, he even manages to add a swipe at climate-change deniers. At Life Elsewhere, our sub-heading is About Art, Media & Culture, so we could not resist inviting Philip onto the program to talk about his noteworthy article, titled, Would Donald Trump make art great again?”

Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere with Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer Prize-winning Art and Architecture Critic at The Washington Post

Life Elsewhere Show #184 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

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If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Check out the Life Elsewhere Music page and download Norman B’s curated selections of new, obscure, rare, unique and extraordinary music; hits of the future; artists who deserve your attention and timeless recordings you probably missed.

Celebrity Fossils

Seven+Skeletons

Over the last century, the search for human ancestors has spanned four continents and resulted in the discovery of hundreds of fossils. While most of these discoveries live quietly in museum collections, there are a few that have become world-renowned celebrity personas – ambassadors of science that speak to public audiences. With wit and insight, 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 book 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. Make sure you don’t miss Norman B’s interview with Dr. Lydia Pyne in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere Show #183 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

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If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Check out the Life Elsewhere Music page and download Norman B’s curated selections of new, obscure, rare, unique and extraordinary music; hits of the future; artists who deserve your attention and timeless recordings you probably missed.

Virtue & Vice In Ancient Rome

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“Two thousand years ago, an aristocratic Roman matron named Vistalia faced a trial for adultery. Vistalia was notorious for conducting multiple extramarital affairs, but her husband, Titidius Labeo, refused to divorce her. Eventually, the Emperor Tiberius himself accused her of adultery, a crime punishable by exile to a remote island. Vistalia responded to this charge by publicly registering herself as a common prostate, since prostitutes were legally incapable of committing adultery.” So begins the introduction to Prostitutes And Matrons In The Roman World a new book by Anise K. Strong. Although this well-researched book with scores of footnotes and references could be classified as academic, don’t let that dissuade you from enjoying Ms. Strong’s terrific writing and her slightly droll observations. Anise K. Strong is an Assistant Professor of History at Western Michigan University, her substantial account of elite Roman concubines and courtesans explores the blurred line between proper matron and wicked prostitute, she illuminates the lives of sexually promiscuous women as well as prostitutes with hearts of gold. Ms. Strong, an avid feminist offers insights into the functions of erotic imagery and the roles of prostitutes in everyday Roman life. Don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere and learn about virtue and vice in ancient Rome.

Life Elsewhere Show #183 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

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If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

PS: You can now download the new WMNF mobile app for FREE and listen to LIfe Elsewhere as it streams live at 12 noon ET every Sunday

The Soccer Fan & An Alternate View

Felicia Pennant is possibly the most exuberant guest we have ever had the pleasure of inviting onto Life Elsewhere. When you hear Felicia rave on about the sport that inspired her to start a magazine, don’t be surprised if you too become a soccer fan. Felicia, a devoted Chelsea fan took a fashion course at St. Martins School of Art in London and wrote her graduating thesis on Fashion and Soccer. A brilliant combination that triggered the creation of Season Zine. It’s a cross between a fashion magazine and a football zine.”  Says Felicia, adding, Season is named after the shared time division, it reveals the experiences and rituals of fashion and football fans. Their perspectives on the world’s most popular sport are explored in thoughtful and intimate ways, focusing on why these fans care and what they wear.” Felicia Pennant, Season Zine, creator, and editor,  joins us for the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Robyn Walensky
Robyn Walensky

In the past year, we’ve had a number of trusted, informed commentators on the show to give their two cents worth on the antics and contradictions of Mr. Trump. But, as the days roll on and the General Election looms closer, the division between the parties and the opinions of the electorate grow further apart. Although we try to shy away from taking a political stand at Life Elsewhere, we will admit that the guests and topics we choose do suggest a certain bias. Yet, we are honestly confused by the hostility toward the Democratic Party, Mrs. Clinton, and President Obama. In an attempt to try to understand the appeal of Mr. Trump and the fierce opposition to Mrs. Clinton, et al, we invited Robyn Walensky, senior news anchor at the Blaze radio network to give us her take on why Donald Trump and the Republican agenda would be a better choice in the General Election.

Life Elsewhere Show #182 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

itunes-podcast-logo-250

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

PS: You can now download the new WMNF mobile app for FREE and listen to LIfe Elsewhere as it streams live at 12 noon ET every Sunday