Author Archives: normanbradio

Conversations With Vegans

                

Imagine for a moment, the following scenario: You are a guest at an elegant diner party. You’re seated with the other guests at an ornately set table. The room is warm, candlelight flickers across crystal wine glasses, and the conversation is flowing freely. Mouthwatering smells of rich foods emanate from the kitchen. You haven’t eaten all day, and your stomach is growling. At last, after what feels like hours, your friend who is hosting the party emerges from the kitchen with a steaming pot of savory stew. The aromas of meat, seasonings, and vegetables fill the room. You serve yourself a generous portion, and after eating several mouthfuls of tender meat, you ask your friend for the recipe. “I’d be happy to tell you,” she replies. “You begin with five pounds of golden retriever, well marinated, and then…”

This is the opening paragraph of Dr. Melanie Joy’s, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows – An Introduction To Carnism. The best-selling author does intend to shock the reader as she recounts facts and figures with true, yet albeit at times all-too-graphic anecdotes, Melanie isn’t evangelical as a vegan. Instead, she lays out the information and asks the reader to consider what we eat. She addresses readers with empathy. She reminds us of who we are. Melanie Joy is gently authoritative, and a wonderful, informative guest. 

“In the Vegan ManifestoSue Coe, human champion of rights for those whose voice most humans do not hear, has crafted a masterpiece: at once visually stunning and spiritually invigorating.” – Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die Sue Coe is the most important and prolific political artist of our time. Her work explores and exposes every form of injustice suffered by both humans and nonhumans. With respect to the latter, her incisive eye-both trenchant and gentle-lays bare the profound immorality of animal exploitation and constitutes a clarion call to us all to reject it. Coe understands that the moral status of animals requires that we go vegan and no one who looks at the stunning work in this book will be able to disagree.” – Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy, Rutgers School of Law. Sue Coe also garners impressive accolades from distinguished figures in the world of graphic design, including famed art directors, Robert Priest and Robert Newman, and political caricaturist, Steve Brodner. Plus, Life Elsewhere creator and host, Norman B says, Sue Coe’s extraordinarily powerful work has intrigued me since my art school days! What a treat to be able to welcome her to the program.” 

To hear the original unedited version of this conversation with Sue Coe, go here

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Life Elsewhere Music Vol 257

Something a little different in this volume, a non-stop continuous mix of music. The simple reason, I ran out of time to record my notes for the usual commentary. A very busy week of interviews, speaking engagements, and voice-work left no time to get in front of the microphone to meet the deadline to get the show produced and off to the computers at our affiliate stations. So, for this volume, everything you would have heard me say is right here in print. To begin, Pam Risourié tells us all about Holding You As A New Past. The French band’s new LP, So Be It, Eternity displays a knowing sensibility to excellent songwriting and production, kudos to Rémi, Octave, Antonin, Vincent, and Maxime. Pam Risourié is on the first-class Shoredive label, so you know they have to be worthwhile of your attention. Next up, Efterklang a Danish band consisting of the 3 childhood friends Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen & Rasmus Stolberg. Hauntingly beautiful music. Listen out for curious sounds, the result of Mads experimenting in the studio, sampling instrumental loops. The album is titled, Wildflowers, the cut you’ll hear, Beautiful Eclipse. Efterklang is on City Slang and if you happen to be in Valencia, Spain on November 3, pop on into Loco Club ‘cause that’s where they will be playing. Dream Room says they are a new dream-pop band, originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne and currently based in Melbourne, Australia. They have mastered the knack of making their vocals sound as if they were recorded down a long echoey hallway on Ride, their first single. “It’s a song about rediscovering a feeling and being afraid of its power,” comments the band’s guitarist, vocalist, and founder Nad Khan. “Even though I was surrounded by loving people during the pandemic, I had a really tough time physically and mentally. I felt alone and then began to reconnect with my creative side, which was something I was very apprehensive about”.  In their promo material, Traitrs say they are, “A post-punk band” and I’m not sure if this proves it but they pose in a moody black and white photo with dour faces and de rigueur haircuts. Toronto-based Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker clearly take their music seriously and to prove it they present, Horses In The Abattoir. I selected Sea Howl to give you a taste of what these lads are capable of. Big Red Machine with June’s a River (feat. Ben Howard & This Is The Kit) is a recording I would like to get your feedback on. Ben Howard and Kate Staples have been on my radar for some time. The album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? Is essential listening. Sam Gayton admits to writing children’s books, plays, and “being young, irate and living in Margate”. He also goes by the name, Monofrau and has released a number of recordings under that moniker as well as his own name. It really is a conundrum to ascertain if Sam is having a jolly jape. Then again, it really doesn’t matter, Speak My Name, Death is fascinating albeit disturbing. Luckiest Girl In The World is the second cut I have chosen from Lilacjack’s EP, Her Heartbeat Pressed Against My Feet. The three tacks have to be autobiographical. I am intrigued by this work. I need to know more. Dust is by You’ll Never Get To Heaven who are Alice Hansen and Chuck Blazevic. The duo says they named their album, Wave Your Moonlight Hat For The Snowfall Train after the closing track on Phil Yost’s 1967 release Bent City. Written, recorded, performed, mixed, produced, and mastered at home by Alice and Chuck. Trainspotters will have fun with this one citing the obvious references. Australian trio, Daste first came to our attention courtesy of Jez Ryan of Mammal Sounds. Their debut 10 track album, Dusk & Dawn spotlights the almost effortlessly way this trio conjures up accessible pop music, yet with an edgy filter that makes for inclusion in LEM. Light On is a perfect example. English Teacher doesn’t mess about and get straight into a tasty slice of real rock ’n’ roll. This 4 piece out of Leeds is fronted by Lily Fontaine who shares a confidence along with her bandmates that is so important. Their cut R & B, the band says is about “the cyclical, productivity-diminishing paradox of low self-esteem and imposter syndrome-induced writer’s block that then fuels low self-esteem and imposter syndrome. It’s also about racial identity and putting the love that you have to offer a potential romantic partner back into yourself”. You should also note they are on the Nice Swan imprint. You’ll be happily rewarded if you check out their catalog. For example, Anorak Patch out of Colchester is another excellent combo you need to take note of. Their 7” Delilah “is a story. It’s about a girl who’s struggling her way through life…the song is sort of a snapshot of how difficult life can be when you are in a bad headspace without good people around you. It’s a lonely place to be” says, keyboardist Effie Lawrence who formed the group in late 2019 with high school friends Luca Ryland on drums, her brother Oscar on guitar, and on bass Eleanor Helliwell. Serious talent here at such a young age, ranging from 15 to 18! I like Anorak Patch so much, I had this on repeat play this afternoon. Telefís, is the Irish Gaelic word for Television, it also happens to be the name for the collaboration between two acclaimed Irish iconoclasts, composer/mixer/producer Garret “Jacknife” Lee and singer/lyricist/composer Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, Fatima Mansions). Jacknife now based in Los Angeles and Cathal based in London, the two spent 2020 trading ideas and musical files during lockdown, hatching plans for a satirical, mischievous examination of Irish history and pop culture in their lifetimes, what the two have labeled “a corrosive nostalgia”. The result is an album entitled a hAon (Number One), Mister Imperator is the cut I selected loosely recounting the tale of a beloved pianist who was a light entertainment staple of early TV fare dating back to the first broadcasts in The Irish Republic in 1961. The remix is by Maurice & Charles featuring a special radio edit by Jacknife Lee. We played Hanging Freud on the show a few volumes back, so they kindly sent us Persona Normal their 6th full-length album in a career spanning over 10 years. Hanging Freud is the Glasgow-based production duo of Paula Borges and Jonathan Skinner. Written in between Sao Paulo Brazil via London UK and Glasgow, their music could be described as uncompromising and genre-defying as you’ll with the title cut. From one of my favorite cities, Vancouver B.C. comes Stephen Nicholas White who uses the moniker, Revolution Above Disorder. Originally from Dublin, Stephen says, Illuminate kickstarted Revolution Above Disorder, he had just come off a European tour with Magic Shoppe and Covid hit. “In my downtime, I began to reevaluate where I was headed musically and I realized I’d become dissatisfied with what I’d been doing. I wanted to finish what I’d started many years prior. ‘Illuminate’ was the first one I needed to record,” From Moscow, electronic producer, Kedr Livanskiy gives us Your Turn (ft. Flaty) from her exquisite album, Liminal Soul. This is such satisfyingly good music. And, there is a lovely video to accompany Your Turn directed and shot by Masha Demianova. Enjoy and don’t forget to send me your thoughts and comments. Be well, be safe, and remember, it costs nothing, be nice.

Playlist

  1. Pam Risourié – Holding You As A New Past
  2. Efterklang – Beautiful Eclipse
  3. Dream Room – Ride
  4. Traitrs – Sea Howl
  5. Big Red Machine – June’s a River (feat. Ben Howard & This Is The Kit)
  6. Monofrau – Speak My Name, Death
  7. Lilacjack – Luckiest Girl In The World
  8. You’ll Never Get To Heaven – Dust
  9. Daste – Light On
  10. English Teacher – R & B
  11. Anorak Patch – Delilah
  12. Telefis – Mister Imposanter
  13. Hanging Freud – Persona Normal
  14. Revolution Above Disorder – Illuminate (Delta Omega Remix)
  15. Kedr Livanskiy – Your Turn (ft. Flaty)

Artwork by Norman B. “James Halloween 2015” jpeg. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

A Shocking Experiment, Examined

Stephen G. Bloom – Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes: A Cautionary Tale of Race and Brutality

The day after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Jane Elliott, a schoolteacher in rural Iowa, introduced to her all-white third-grade class a shocking experiment to demonstrate the scorching impact of racism. Elliott separated students into two groups. She instructed the brown-eyed children to heckle and berate the blue-eyed students, even to start fights with them. Without telling the children the experiment’s purpose, Elliott demonstrated how easy it was to create abhorrent racist behavior based on students’ eye color, not skin color. As a result, Elliott would go on to appear on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, followed by a stormy White House conference, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and thousands of media events and diversity-training sessions worldwide, during which she employed the provocative experiment to induce racism. Was the experiment benign? Or was it a cruel, self-serving exercise in sadism? Did it work? Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes is a meticulously researched book that details for the first time Jane Elliott’s jagged rise to stardom. It is an unflinching assessment of the incendiary experiment forever associated with Elliott, even though she was not the first to try it out. Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes offers an intimate portrait of the insular community where Elliott grew up and conducted the experiment on the town’s children for more than a decade. The searing story is a cautionary tale that examines power and privilege in and out of the classroom. It also documents small-town White America’s reflex reaction to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the subsequent meteoric rise of diversity training that flourishes today. All the while, Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes reveals the struggles that tormented a determined and righteous woman, today referred to as the “Mother of Diversity Training,” who was driven against all odds to succeed.

Stephen G. Bloom is an award-winning journalist and author of five nonfiction books: The Audacity of Inez Burns, Tears of Mermaids, The Oxford Project, Inside the Writer’s Mind, and Postville. He is Professor of Journalism at the University of Iowa.

To close this edition of Life Elsewhere, we have selected a cut from a compilation album on 1631 Recordings out of Sweden. Piano Cloud Series – Vol Six is a beautiful selection of piano works, by a wide range of artists. Bruno Bavota’s  What’s Left is a charming short piece, we hope will encourage you to search out more intimate piano music.

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Life Elsewhere Music Vol 256

Here we go on a musical adventure, crossing frontiers and embracing as many genres as possible, to begin, we visit Nashville to hear from Pretty Embers who tells all about Inside. I particularly like the arrangement and the reverb on the singer’s voice halfway through. Looking forward to their debut EP coming soon. Fears is London-based Irish artist, musician, and producer Constance Keane who says, “Fears invites the listener on an ethereal journey, blurring the boundaries between music and visual art”. Fabric is from Constance’s debut LP, Oíche, (that’s ‘night’ in Irish). Lovely reflective electronics, acoustic samples, and haunting vocals going on here. Next, we travel to Hamilton, Ontario to hear UBRS by Scott Orr from his album, Oh Man. According to Scott, “This is an album about death, our planet, and the afterlife through a folky, smooth-jazz lens”. Yes, I’m a bit bothered by that description, but Mr. Orr is good at what he does. We played a cut from James M. Carson’s LP,  It Starts With A Shaker a few volumes ago. At the time, I mentioned it would be good to hear more from James. He didn’t waste any time, he sent us his complete LP, plus he generously sent a few videos from his acoustic sessions. An excellent songwriter is Mr. Carson as you’ll hear on ’Till The Morning. Demonstrating more of his musical ability, James shared Suburban Tides a cut from The Swells, another band he plays with.  The lads are Matt Grayson, Dom Marsh, Louis Smith, and Rob Cieka, all out of Manchester. Sticking with mixing up the genres, we dash off to Sydney, Australia to hear from Morilla & Oliver who are Midnight Pool Party. About their disco banger, Potential they say “It’s about shooting your shot with someone and just taking a risk, but it’s also about having fun, being free, and having the confidence to be someone’s fantasy”. Fair enough. Midnight Pool Party are courtesy of Mammal Sounds management, so with that pedigree, your know they are worth your time. We stay in a disco stylee with Spray who reckon we should all get Hammered In An Airport. Ambiguous Poems About Death is the LP on Analogue Trash out of Manchester. Siblings Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn are Spray and we approve of their retro sound. We stay in Manchester to catch up with our good friend, Harry Stafford, yes he of Inca Babies fame who are having a new lease of life with their latest album, Swamp Street Soul. Original Inca Babies guitarist, Harry Stafford, has joined up with Vince Hunt and Rob Haynes to revitalize the band which began in 1984. Walk In The Park is a fine reason to check out, Swamp Street Soul. “Alternative music for the curious minds and hungry xenophiles”, says Brooklyn-based Anjali Rose about her LP, Shadow Works. Such a lot of interesting ideas here as you’ll hear on Beautiful. Anjali Rose describes herself as a musician, videographer, and freak. We like that. Maxine Funke’s distinctive and charming dialect comes to the fore as she almost whispers, Homage from her album, Seance. The New Zealand-based artist’s voice reminds me of something, somewhere, it may not be even music, but it does evoke a feeling, not necessarily sad, perhaps – knowing? Alluring. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Pictoria Vark is out of Grinnal, Iowa. Yet, the real surprise is just how good I Can’t Bike is. Here we have Victoria Park on bass and vocals, Gavin Caine is busy with drums, percussion, keys, and guitar, and Jason Ross is also on guitar. And, what a marvelous sound they all make. I love this record. To take us to the close, crucial, authentic, jungle from London by LMajor with Feelin’ featuring Fracture. Their Can’t Do It EP is essential listening. Thank you for listening, do let us know what you think of LEM, send your thoughts to normanb@lifeelsewhere.co

Playlist

  1. Pretty Embers – Inside
  2. Fears – Fabric
  3. Scott Orr – UBRS
  4. James M. Carson – ’Till The Morning
  5. The Swells – Suburban Tides
  6. Midnight Pool Party – Potential
  7. Spray – Hammered In An Airport
  8. Inca Babies – Walk In The Park
  9. Anjali Rose – Beautiful
  10. Maxine Funke – Homage
  11. Pictoria Vark – I Can’t Bike
  12. LMajor – Feeling (ft. Fracture)

Artwork by Gordon L. Reeves 1939 – 2002 “Southgate, Lakeland, FL” 1967 Kodachrome print 36” x 36” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection 

Chris Connelly. An Ongoing Conversation Part 2

Arriving in Chicago, Chris Connelly was greeted at the airport by Dannie Fletcher and Al Jourgensen who was preoccupied at the time with getting his new Walkman to work. When every attempt failed, the founder of Ministry did the only thing he reckoned would work, he smashed the much-sought-after gadget repeatedly against a concrete pillar in the airport’s baggage claim area. Chris doesn’t say if Jourgensen vented his frustration with a torrent of expletives and ear-piercing yelps, but he does recall that Al’s antics did arouse the attention of security so the trio hi-tailed it to Dannie’s gold-painted Jaguar. It wasn’t much later that night when Al introduced his Scottish guest to bars that were the hang for Chicago’s black-clad, pierced, and tattooed alternative crowd. This was the beginning of a new life for the lad from Edinburgh. In part 2 of our ongoing conversation with Chris Connelly, he recalls more stories and anecdotes from his early years in America. Plus, Chris selects and talks about music from Mark Stewart and the Mafia, Swanns, and Wire

Life Elsewhere is now available at Anchor FM

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