Category Archives: A.A. Gill

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 250

In this volume Life Elsewhere Music we travel all over the world for a healthy dose of new releases, Brisbane, Seattle, Vancouver, BC, London, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield, Glasgow, Richmond, Virginia, Melbourne, and the delightful British seaside town of Hastings. Our 60-minute world tour demonstrates the abundance of exceptional new releases from all over the globe. We begin in London with The Games We Play label managed effectively by Antony O’Loughlin. First up, it’s the startlingly good, Damage Meter by Monkid. From the instant you hear the rapid-fire chant of “Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!” you know this is going to be one you’ll want to play again and again. We follow up with Cybermilk who give us the impressive Altered States from the EP of the same name, also on The Games We Play. These two cuts should prompt you to delve into the TGWP catalog. Special note, the name is usually stylized as “† ŦĦ€ ǤΔΜ€Ş Ŵ€ ƤŁΔ¥ †.” Austen, based in Brisbane gives us The Fire and says she is, “I’m just a down-to-Mars girl learning 2 be human.” Adding, The Fire is about living on the line between volatile and steady, in a sweet spot of intensity. I wanted it to sound otherworldly, as a reflection of that feeling”. Make sure you check out the pleasing promotional video on her website. Also in Brisbane is the lovely Mammal Sounds imprint, where you’ll find a fellow who goes by the moniker of Lemonade Baby. His new release, Is It Too Late poses an important question that Mr. Lemonade sums up with this, “Put simply, this song about the feeling of instant regret and the guilt you feel when you hurt someone you love. You wish you could undo what you said or done but you can’t. So, make sure you apologize when you’re wrong and understand that no one is perfect, and people will fuck up!” Not going to argue with that, but we should give kudos where due, this is one great production. We’ve been hearing good reports about The Kundalini Genie even before we heard, Half In, Half Out from their LP of the same name. “You gotta see The Kundalini Genie live!” Yelled a friend from Glasgow who had the opportunity to see the band strut their stuff on stage. “Effing great band!” He shouted via Zoom, as spittle fogged up his camera. He sent me a video, from what I can see, I agree! Next, A Ritual Sea is Donna McCabe and Florian Chombart, Season (Like You) is from their terrific self-titled album. Donna does all the vocals and Florian composed and recorded the music. They are on Icy Cold Records out of Paris and you advised to make the effort to check their work out. Enchanting! Over in one of my favorite cities, Vancouver, British Columbia you’ll find Haleluya Hailu. Breakfast from her debut Greetings And Salutations EP, it’s an honest and admirable collection of songs. Haleluya did the vocals, mixing, and production, Frederick Bantoe joins her on vocals. She says, “My EP was Inspired by the sounds of the 80s but also nothing like it”. Adding, “I’m a pasta-loving curly-haired teenage music person based in Vancouver, BC. To my parents’ dismay, I make songs about being sad, other teenagers making me sad, and how I miss parties.” Apologies to Haleluya Hailu for pronouncing your name in a variety of ways. My producer tried to correct me as we were recording. As we only do one take for the show, we had to keep in my mess-ups. Sorry. Your EP is Fabulous! Kate Bollinger is out of Richmond, Virginia, she has a song called Shadows. There is a lovely trippy video to accompany that Shadows. Make sure you listen carefully to this one. Workhorse is from the LP, Gap Tooth from Jaala. This Melbourne-based three-piece is fronted by the enigmatic Cosima Jaala, who delivers bold and plaintive vocals with jaggedly syncopated guitar lines, alongside textural and elastic rhythms prodigiously executed by drummer Maria Moles and otherworldly synth palettes generated by electronic artist Fia Fiell. Nice artwork, too. Chris Anderson, Ellie Shepherd, Gareth Hughes, Taran Ali, Nic Bowden, and J Palindrones together are New Ghost. Trust me, they make excellent well-constructed new music as you will hear on the marvelous, Burning Out. New Ghost are from Sheffield, all the money raised from their EP Mono No Aware will be donated to Sheffield Women’s Aid. Top Marks! It really is a change to hear music coming from Seattle that cannot easily be credited as a Pacific Northwest sound. Bad Optics are Christian Smith, Max Stephens, Stephanie Jones, and Joshua Ihler who seem intent on making music they are comfortable with instead of clinging onto an obvious bandwagon. Beach Front Property from their double-sided single is more than a rant, this is an angry commentary. The words cover the sleeve. A good ‘un! While you are paying attention to lyrics, listen up for the next one, “Dyed my hair, refused to eat to stay cool!” Teenage angst in all its glory from HotWax a genuinely impressive trio from Hastings on England’s south coast. There is a back story behind this one I’d like to share with you. My friend Martin Sayers, messaged me with an update about his son Alfie. Alfie has joined a new band, do you want to hear them?” He asked. Of course, I said yes. Honestly, I had forgotten that at the age of six, Alfie was already bashing away on a junior kit making a jolly good racket. Now that one-time little blond-haired scamp is 18 and working out behind a grown-up kit and the smart chap has joined up with two remarkable young ladies, both seventeen, Tallulah on lead vocals and lead guitar, Lola on Bass and vocals. On first listen, I will admit to being excited by their efforts, then Martin sent me a couple of videos. We have to get HotWax on the show I insisted to my producer. HotWax has more music to check out, go to the link and enjoy! Sadly, as the last volume of LEM was going out, news came in that reggae legend, Lee Scratch Perry had passed. It really is difficult to explain in a few sentences to impact and influence of Perry on not only reggae but all popular music. Quite simply, Lee Perry made over many years, so many ground-breaking releases. Included here is a cut from his Arkology LP, Curly Locks. Rest In Peace, Upsetter.

Playlist

  1. Monkid – Damage Meter
  2. Cybermilk – Altered States
  3. Austen – The Fire
  4. Lemonade Baby – Is It Too Late
  5. The Kundalini Genie – Half In, Half Out
  6. A Ritual Sea – Seasons (Like You)
  7. Haleluya Hailu – Breakfast
  8. Kate Bollinger – Shadows
  9. Jaala – Workhorse
  10. New Ghost – Burning Out
  11. Bad Optics – Beach Front Property
  12. HotWax – Stay Cool
  13. Lee Perry – Curly Locks

Artwork by Jules Aainsley-Welsh “Once upon a time we used little silver discs for entertainment” 2021 36” x 38” photo print on hardboard

LEM Vol 250

The Curious Hidden World Of Felines

“Billy, my cross-eyed Siamese cat had an unusual habit. Before he would settle in to enjoy a nice meal of whatever ridiculously expensive gourmet cat food I provided, he would clamber up to the top of a dresser in my bedroom. Once perched on top, he would skillfully reach down with a paw and open the top draw. Then, he would peek inside and carefully snatch hold of a pair of my underpants. Once secured on his claws, he would transfer the garment to his mouth. From there, he would almost bounce down from his perch and head for his food dish with Marks & Spencer’s* finest dangling from his clenched teeth. When he arrived at said dish, he would carefully arrange my undies around the edge and finally proceed to eat, with what I hope was a satisfied glint in his sadly misaligned eyes. This is a story I couldn’t wait to share with Thomas McNamee.” Says Norman B. It makes perfect sense, after all, McNamee is the author of The Inner Life of Cats – The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions. With a naturalist’s eye combined with humor and a warm heart, Thomas brings the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful and insightful focus. Thomas McNamee joins Norman B for the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk about his definitive book on the hidden world of felines and hopefully explain the curious antics of Billy, the cross-eyed Siamese cat.

*Marks & Spencer explained

We are very pleased to announce that Life Elsewhere will now be aired on Cornucopia Radio run by an enterprising and enthusiastic bunch over in the UK.

Life Elsewhere 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
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on I R N

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Fearless!

Who would you describe as Fearless? It’s a lofty accolade, coincidently used by the two guests in the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Frequent contributor, Dr. Binoy Kampmark says, A. A. Gill was Fearless. Mr. Gill was a noted cultural critic. For many years he wrote restaurant reviews for the London Sunday Times. He also wrote TV reviews, travel essays. He wrote and appeared in documentaries and television programs. He brandished his critical prose without apology. Gill also wrote a number of well-received books, including The Golden Door. This was one of the books Dr. Kampmark selected for his list in last week’s Life Elsewhere Holiday Gift Special. Kampmark had selected The Golden Door, because of Gill’s pertinent take on America. As the show was being produced, we were unaware that news was breaking that A. A. Gill had succumbed to his struggle with cancer. Binoy promptly wrote, The passing of a sharp tongue: the glorious hatchet of AA Gill, a thoughtful appreciation of A. A. Gill. Dr. Binoy Kampmark will join us to talk about the Fearless writer.

Leslie Bennetts, longtime Vanity Fair writer and former New York Times reporter has delivered an unflinching, warts-and-all biography of Joan Rivers, who she unequivocally calls FearlessBennetts new book, Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers tells the story of Joan Alexandra Molinsky who by the time she died at the age of 81 in 2014, was known as the iconic legend, Joan Rivers. Her story was a roller-coaster ride of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities.  But Rivers career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life. Leslie Bennetts joins Norman B for an extended, in-depth conversation about her new book and the Fearless Joan Rivers.

Life Elsewhere 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

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on Internet Radio Network
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You can hear all the volumes of Life Elsewhere Music over at Mixcloud