Category Archives: Alan Connor

Remembering George

George Romansic

As we were putting this edition of Life Elsewhere together, news came in that George Romansicpioneer of the alternative music scene in Seattle had died after a long battle with brain cancer. George, played drums with a gusto that belied his unobtrusive, placid demeanour. He will be remembered for his crucial part in now cult favorites, The Beakers, 3 Swimmers and Danger Bunny. What is not so widely known is the significant part George played in how Life Elsewhere came about. Noman B will pay tribute to his long-time friend in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Also in the program, author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda, will talk about his new book, The B-Side, The Death Of Tin Pan Alley And The Rebirth Of The Great American Song. The acclaimed cultural historian has written an entertaining, well-researched exploration of America’s songwriting history. The story has many twists and turns, but the reality of why and how the great American songbook almost vanished is not as straightforward as you may think. Make sure you listen in to catch samples of music you may have almost forgotten.

Alan Connor, London-based author and TV producer joins the program to talk about his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. You’ll hear about the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. The A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers, may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

Frank Tovey aka Fad GadgetThis week, in the portion of the program where a listener takes over and selects The Hit That Never Was, we’ll play the first single released on the innovative Mute records in 1979, Fad Gadget with Back To Nature. The late Francis John “Frank” Tovey, was a British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist. He was a proponent of both new wave and early industrial music, fusing together a unique blend of pop structured songs mixed with mechanised experimentation. As Fad Gadget, his music was characterised by the use of synthesizers in conjunction with sounds of found objects, including drills and electric razors. His bleak, sarcastic and darkly humorous lyrics were filled with biting social commentary toward subjects such as machinery, industrialisation, consumerism, human sexuality, mass media, religion, domestic violence and dehumanization while often being sung in a deadpan voice.

Make sure you take notice of our new live broadcast time and place: 12 noon ET, every Sunday at WMNF The Source HD3. It’s easy to listen, click here in your browser. And, you can listen on your iPhone or iPad, get the new WMNF player here. Life Elsewhere can also be heard at NWCZ Radio, every Monday at 5.00pm Pacific Time.

Tin Pan Alley, Crosswords & A Tribute

On the next edition of Life Elsewhere, author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda, will talk about his new book, The B-Side, The Death Of Tin Pan Alley And The Rebirth Of The Great American Song. The acclaimed cultural historian has written an entertaining, well-researched exploration of America’s songwriting history. The story has many twists and turns, but the reality of why and how the great American songbook almost vanished is not as straightforward as you may think. Make sure you listen in to catch samples of music you almost forgot about.

Alan Connor, London-based author and TV producer joins the program to talk about his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. You’ll hear about the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. The A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers, may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

This week in the portion of the program where a listener takes over and selects The Hit That Never Was, we’ll play the first single released on the innovative Mute records in 1979, Fad Gadget with Back To Nature. The late Francis John “Frank” Tovey, was a British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist. He was a proponent of both new wave and early industrial music, fusing together a unique blend of pop structured songs mixed with mechanised experimentation. As Fad Gadget, his music was characterised by the use of synthesizers in conjunction with sounds of found objects, including drills and electric razors. His bleak, sarcastic and darkly humorous lyrics were filled with biting social commentary toward subjects such as machinery, industrialisation, consumerism, human sexuality, mass media, religion, domestic violence and dehumanization while often being sung in a deadpan voice.

Sadly, as we were putting this edition of Life Elsewhere together, news came in that George Romansic, a man who played a significant part in how Life Elsewhere began, had succumbed to brain cancer. George was a pioneer of the alternative music scene in Seattle, playing drums with effortless verve in now cult favorites, The Beakers, 3 Swimmers and Danger Bunny, Noman B will pay tribute to his long-time friend.

Coincidences, coincidences…Norman saw George Romansic for the last time in April, 2014, in Seattle. George had just returned from a cancer treatment, when they met up; instead of bemoaning his disconcerting condition, he prefered to quizz Norman on which Killing Joke record was the best. Undoubtedly, George would be eager to read Norman B’s interview with Martin “Youth” Glover, legendary Killing Joke  bassist and producer… just published one day ago at the excellent Trebuchet Magazine.

Make sure you take notice of our new live broadcast time and place: 12 noon ET, every Sunday at WMNF The Source HD3. It’s easy to listen, click here in your browser. And, you can listen on your iPhone or iPad, get the new WMNF player here.

Life ELsewhere Podcast With Paul Greenberg & Alan Connor Available Now

Two fascinating interviews with two authors of two very different books, The Hit That Never Was and a bonus music track

Paul GreenbergPaul Greenberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.He joins Life Elsewhere to talk about his latest book, American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood. The book explores why the United States, the country that controls more ocean than any nation on earth imports 90 percent of its seafood from abroad. Greenberg deftly explores three quintessential American seafoods: The New York oyster, the Gulf shrimp and the Alaskan sockeye salmon. We may believe that we are what we eat, but Greenberg argues that we do not eat what we truly are. We are an ocean nation, the author says, yet we eat a minimal amount of seafood in comparison to meat and poultry. Study after study has touted the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s from fish, and we have access to a wealth of nutritious, local food options, but we opt out.

Alan Connor is a comedy writer, television presenter, quizmaster and author. He writesAlan Connor a weekly column for The Guardian on crosswords and writes for the BBC on languages and arts. Connor’s obvious passion for the ubiquitous puzzle, led him to write about its fascinating history in his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief . He chronicles every twist and turn from the 1920′s, when crosswords were considered to be a menace to productive society, to World War II, when they were used to recruit code breakers, to their starring role in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.  He describes the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. He gives us the A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers, may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

Also in this edition of Life Elsewhere, the Hit That Never Was, featuring Only Real with Cadillac Girl, selected by a listener named Scott. You too can get your Hit That Never Was played on Life Elsewhere by sending your suggestion to hitthatneverwas at lifeelsewhere dot co. With a critical eye on the latest developments in Israel and Gaza, Norman B decided to play an uplifting piece of music from Riff Cohen, a sing-songwriter, actress and musician who was born in Tel Aviv, to a Tunisian father and an Algerian-French mother. Riff performs in Hebrew and French and in her single A Paris, she happily touts the pleasure of her adopted home.

Download the Podcast

Life Elsewhere airs every Monday at 9.00am ET

WMNF 88.5fm

www.wmnf.org

 

 

American Catch & The Crosswords Century

 

Next on Life Elsewhere two authors talk about their fascinating must-read books

The U.S. has access to 94,000 miles of coastline, and nearly half the population lives less than ten miles from the sea. Yet 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. In contrast, a third of all the fish and shellfish we catch are sold to foreign countries. What is keeping us from eating from our local waters?

Norman B interviews New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg who’s new book  American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood examines the logic-defying problem with American seafood consumption. Greenberg deftly explores three quintessential American seafoods: The New York oyster, the Gulf shrimp and the Alaskan sockeye salmon. We may believe that we are what we eat, but Greenberg argues that we do not eat what we truly are. We are an ocean nation, the author says, yet we eat a minimal amount of seafood in comparison to meat and poultry. Study after study has touted the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s from fish, and we have access to a wealth of nutritious, local food options, but we opt out.

 

London-based author, journalist, television producer and academic Alan Connor, writes a bi-weekly column for The Guardian on crosswords. Connor’s obvious passion for the ubiquitous puzzle, led him to write about its fascinating history. He chronicles every twist and turn from the 1920’s, when crosswords were considered to be a menace to productive society, to World War II, when they were used to recruit code breakers, to their starring role in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.  

Alan Connor joins Life Elsewhere and Norman B to talk about his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. You’ll hear about the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. The A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

Life Elsewhere airs every Monday

9.00am ET (1400 GMT) 

WMNF 88.5fm

streaming at www.wmnf.org

Podcast