Category Archives: Chris O’Leary

You Cannot Open A Book Without Learning Something*

The last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day. In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism. They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. Take a look at the photo above, it shows just a small selection of wonderful books we have talked about at Life Elsewhere. If you overlooked any of them. we encourage you to pop into your local independent bookstore and search them out. While you are there, help us a little and mention you heard about the book on Life Elsewhere.
*Confucius wrote our headline.

We are very pleased to announce that Life Elsewhere can now be heard on Cornucopia Radio

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

David Bowie – Rest In Peace

Dateline 2.30am Eastern Standard Time, Monday, January 11, 2016

For some reason, I could not sleep. Got up to get a drink. By habit, checked my emails and Twitter, then FaceBook. David Bowie Dead! Screamed one message. A dear friend in another time zone had sent me a wire feed from the New York Times: David Bowie, the infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and personae, died Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.” I sat stunned, staring at my computer screen, not moving. I had just completed a birthday tribute to Elvis and David for the latest edition of Life Elsewhere. Part of the tribute was a review of BlackstarDavid Bowie‘s 25th studio album, released officially, just two days ago on his 69th birthday. Chris O’Leary, who wrote, Rebel Rebel the definitive book on Bowie songs (volume one), gave his critical opinion of Blackstar. And, he also answered my question as to the rumors of perhaps David was illIn retrospect, it’s chilling to hear what Chris says. The news is devastating. It’s way too early (literally) to organize my thoughts in making a fitting tribute. Yet, already, social media and news channels are full with remembrances and spontaneous eulogies. Undoubtedly, David Bowie was a true cult hero, a living legend, a hugely influential icon. His passing will take much time to realize and understand. Personally, his death touches me in ways I would rather not go into here, but I can say, I was honored to have met the man and portions of our intimate conversations were recorded for posterity. Rest in peace, David. Much love.

Norman B

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

Mondays 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

The Year At Life Elsewhere

2015 was an eventful year at Life Elsewhere. We covered a vast array of topics and interviewed a stellar line-up of guests. Beginning in January, Norman B proclaimed Unbecoming, the debut novel by Rebecca Scherm, “One of the best books this year!” Sadly, the year had only just got underway, when news arrived of the death of George Romansic, an important figure in the early Seattle music scene. Norman gave a moving tribute. Photojournalist, Lynsey Addario recounted her graphic stories from the front-line inAfghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Congo in her book, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. A fitting subtitle for an investigative book on the “plush toys”, better known as Beanie Babies could be The Dark Side of Cute, bestselling author, Zac Bissonnette gave us the detailsEverything you want to know, everything you didn’t know about David Bowie’s songs, were explained by Chris O’Leary the author of Rebel RebelThat’s Not English said Erin Moore in her book on Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us. The legendary Wreckless Eric told stories about his early days at Stiff records. Comedy writer Jon Macks reflected on Monologue: What Makes America Laugh Before Bed. Growing up in the delta of Arkansas, Brandon Wallace, knew only two things about himself: he was called to ministry and he was attracted to the same sex. He talked about coming out and his book, Straight-Face The curious case of Sepp Blatter and FIFA was clarified by Eight By Eight creator Robert Priest. Talented Norwegian singer-songwriter Siv Jakobsen entertained with her music and observations. Heavy Metal guitarist, Marty Friedman talked frankly about life after Megadeth. Award-winning wildlife expert, Gareth Patterson spoke lovingly of his work with African lions and the death of Cecil. Frank Jenkinson shared memories of shooting photos of the then-fledgling and later influential British band, Killing Joke. British-American musician Zuzu caught Norman B’s attention, resulting in an engaging interview. And to round out our year at Life Elsewhere, acclaimed caricaturist Steve Brodner gave his definitive appraisals of the GOP Presidential candidates. 

We know you appreciate the loving effort we make in discovering new music and putting it on the air at Life Elsewhere. Please consider showing us some love in return by making a modest donation — however much you can afford, when it comes from the heart, it’s the kind of gesture that makes what we do worthwhile. To encourage your contribution Norman B, has produced a unique non-stop mix of the Life Elsewhere Music Of 2015. To get your copy of the Life Elsewhere Holiday Gift Mix 2015, click on the “Make A Donation” button below, complete the form, in return, we’ll send you a special code to unlock and download the Life Elsewhere Holiday Gift Mix. But don’t delay, the Gift Mix will only be available for a limited time. Thank you for supporting Life Elsewhere.

Make a Donation Button

Life Elsewhere airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Uplit – An Update!

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 9.29.32 AM

UpLit, a vintage rooftop-style installation features the phrase, “Can you stand perfectly still and hold this moment open? by poet Silvia CurbeloThe installation was part of Lights On Tampa, a program developed by the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division, in conjunction with regional businesses, volunteers, and art supporters. Norman B was invited to be one of the three jurors who selected the UpLit installation. The requirement for submissions was a simple, phrase that can capture the essence of something or some place, it could elude, evoke, suggest and inspire. The idea was  to encounter a phrase or words out of context in the streets of a city park that invite the passer-by to remember a story, give the element of surprise, start a conversation, bring a smile or encouragement, make a memory, perhaps invite us in, but into what we may not be exactly sure. “There were a lot of submissions to wade through”, say Norman B, “but Silvia Curbelo‘s phrase caught my attention immediately.” The project recognizes the value of the written word and invited readers, poets, writers—professional and amateur alike—to submit a phrase that captures how we live now and what that means. Curbelo says of her UpLit work, “I had been thinking about the concept of happiness – how hard we chase it; how tirelessly we work for it; how it’s always ahead; or, something to look forward to down the road. But, that road is long. It’s hard to be content and at peace when we’re always in motion. By the time we come to understand and appreciate a place or an experience, it’s already behind us.” Since we first mentioned UpLit in a post back in February, 2015, we have noticed an incredible number of “hits” on this site, so we thought it worth mentioning again and letting visitors know that currently, UpLit can be found along the Tampa Riverwalk at the Tampa Convention Center. The best advantage point is crossing the West Platt Street bridge, heading east to Channelside Drive.

Our recent interviews with and about musicians has generated tremendous interest in the Life Elsewhere archives. To hear Norman B’s conversations again, with Wreckless Eric, Carrie AkreGlyn JohnsChris O’Leary on his book Rebel Rebel about the songs of David BowieMartin AtkinsGary Wright and many more, go to info@lifeelsewhere.co

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

A Lad Insane?

Aladinsane

“Pop music is acting: it always has been. Yet only David Bowie got the rap for being rock’s pantomime artiste, its greatest pretender. He happily owned up to the charge, calling himself “The Actor” on the sleeve of Hunky Dory, “the faker” in “Changes.” Today, with Bowie a cross-national cultural icon (one can imagine his face on a Euro note someday), it may be hard to believe he was once considered the epitome of weedy English decadence. That he was seen as a fraud, as an affront to the “realness” of Sixties rock and roll. That he was suspect. He agreed with his critics, of course. There had never been so self-conscious an act as Bowie’s  in pop before. In part this was because he’d had such a lengthy incubation, as a marginal act in the mid-Sixties — it’s still strange to realize his first single predates A Hard Day’s Night — and as a struggling folkie and rocker at the turn of the decade. Bowie spent the Sixties in the audience, standing in the corner of a club or perched off stage, always taking mental notes. There was something unique about Bowie, in his assimilative capabilities (and his pack-rat instincts), in his way of imagining himself as his own audience, and so working to entertain himself, first and foremost. And his long internship made him a consummate pro, ready to grab opportunities.” This is from the introduction to Rebel Rebel a fascinating new book by talented author Chris O’Leary, who cleverly details with wit and dedication all of David Bowie’s recorded output from his first single in 1964 to Station to Station. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, when Chris O’Leary joins Norman B to explore Rebel Rebel and play samples of rare and obscure David Bowie recordings and ask if he really was Aladdin Sane.

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Make sure you check out the cultural links at BACK.

Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud

 

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