Category Archives: Creativity

The Brain + Math + Natasha Tells All!

           

Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist, and poet, he joins Life Elsewhere to discuss his latest book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity. They thought that the brain was too sophisticated for its own good. That during evolution, it became so complex that it lost the ability to repair itself and to restore lost functions or to preserve itself. They were wrong. Because it turns out that its very sophistication can be the source of a unique kind of healing… The brain’s way of healing.” Says Doidge. The subject of his book could be daunting if it were not for Norman Doidge’s enthusiasm and easy to understand explanations

“I believe you have Dyscalculia”, mathematics Professor, Jordan Ellenberg tells Norman B, who admits to having difficulty with numbers and being daunted by interviewing the author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking. The professor’s book, now out in paperback is all about math, but not the math we learn in school which can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. Instead, Jordan Ellenberg explains to us how terribly limiting this view is. “Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it, the math.” the professor says.

She was the last person to be hired at Andy Warhol’s Factory and she wants to talk about it. Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni wants to talk about all of her experiences including an affair with Mick Jagger when she was a seventeen-year-old school girl. Ms. Fraser-Cavassoni isn’t one to hold back, in her new book, After Andy – Adventures In Warhol Land, she tells all. It’s a glitzy, fast-paced, juicy, gossipy, name-dropping chronicle. She saw firsthand the end of an era and the establishment of a global phenomenon. From behind the scenes disagreements and the assessment of his estate, which included Interview magazine and his art inventory, to the record-breaking auction of his belongings and the publication of his diaries. Natasha examines the immediate aftermath of Warhol’s death and his ever-growing impact. In the next edition of Life ElsewhereNatasha Fraser-Cavassoni chats with Norman B about her riveting eyewitness memoir.

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ALT-AMERICA: THE RISE OF THE RADICAL RIGHT IN THE AGE OF TRUMP

Donald Trump’s victorious campaign for the US presidency shocked the world, the seemingly sudden national prominence of white supremacists, xenophobes, militia leaders, and mysterious “alt-right” figures mystifies many. But the American extreme right has been growing steadily in number and influence since the 1990s with the rise of patriot militias. Following 9/11, conspiracy theorists found fresh life; and in virulent reaction to the first black US president, militant racists have come out of the woodwork. Nurtured by a powerful right-wing media sector in radio, TV, and online, the far right, Tea Party movement conservatives and Republican activists found common ground. Figures such as Stephen Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones, once rightly dismissed as cranks, now haunt the reports of mainstream journalism. Investigative reporter David Neiwert has been tracking extremists for more than two decades. In his latest book, Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of TrumpNeiwert provides a deeply researched and authoritative report on the growth of fascism and far-right terrorism, the violence of which in the last decade has surpassed anything inspired by Islamist or other ideologies in the United States. David Neiwert joins Norman B for the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk about his years of reportage, including the most in-depth investigation of Trump’s ties to the far right.

Also in the program, new music from Copenhagen-based singer-songwriter, Ellis May. About her song, Father she says this, “Father is the most personal work I have done. It’s about loss. It’s about carrying on. It’s about acceptance, and about how accepting things will move you forward, and get you through hard times and push you onto your own path.” Listen carefully and make sure you let us know what you think. Write to normanb@lifeelsewhere.co

 

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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.

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The Artful Storyteller Avoids Disclosing The Plot Twist

It’s 1955, at a party in a lush Roman palazzo. A wealthy American art collector has invited all the expat socialites — plus one of the great painters of modern art, Bear Bavinsky, a brawny, beardy charmer known for his wildly colored (and wildly sexualized) canvases. As Bear regales everyone with tales of his rivals such as Picasso and Pollock, another guest is observing from afar: his wife, Natalie, a superb artist but overlooked. For comfort, she clutches the hand of their son, Pinch, who is 5. This novel is itself a portrait — not depicting the life of the great Bear, nor of Natalie, but of their son, Pinch, who grows up longing to equal his father’s greatness, is sometimes elevated by his old man, sometimes crushed. Until one day, Pinch begins an astonishing plan that’ll change art history forever…This is a tantalizing glimpse into the new must-read novel, The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Tom talks spiritedly about his intriguing book, but with his artful storyteller’s skill, he never reveals the crucial plot twist of his entertaining, heartbreaking novel about art, family, loyalty, and authenticity. The conversation between Tom and Life Elsewhere host, Norman B is all the more fascinating because of how they delve into the story and the characters. Makes sure you do not miss an exceptional interview with Tom Rachman, an enormously talented writer, and listen carefully to see if you can decipher the plot twist, he avoids disclosing.

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Life Elsewhere Music airs:
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Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

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Show #271

The Language Divide & A Musical Discovery

        

 

How do you say,  aluminum? Go on, say it out loud. If you happen to be an American in Great Britain and say əˈlo͞omənəm you will have managed to cause any Brit in hearing range to contort their face into a disdainful grimace. And, more than likely, you’ll hear a WTF-style sigh. You may even receive a comment along the lines of, “How can you mangle alyəˈminēəm?” Of course, if you happen to be a Brit in the US of A, and say, alyəˈminēəm in the company of Yanks, most likely you’ll be looked at as a curio who speaks Old Timey English. As linguist, Lynne Murphy says in her book, The Prodigal Tongue“Will Yanks and Brits ever really understand each other?”  This is the premise Lynne explores in her impeccably researched book. With a generous dollop of humor, the linguistic professor looks at the social, political, and yes, the linguistic forces that have driven American and British English in different directions. With a foot in each culture, Lynne Murphy will explain “How we got our knickers in a twist” on the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Also in the program, a full, unexpurgated interview with one of Norman B’s new musical discoveries, “Every so often new music comes my way that makes my heart beat differently, CADE did just that!” CADE is the recording project of Toronto based Kaiya Cade who creates ethereal and haunting dream-folk, combining acoustic instruments and synthetic sounds with her bewitching and spellbinding vocals. The musical awareness and critical ear Kaiya has developed has evolved into a passion for film composition. Creating ethereal and haunting sonic landscapes, Kaiya combines synthetic sound with the acoustic instrumentation of piano, guitar, strings, sound bowls, and percussion, and finishes the musical environment with her characteristic vocal overlaying. Her passion, enthusiasm, and enchanting storytelling, along with her exceptional music are required listening.

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Life Elsewhere Music airs:
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Show #268

Eric Makes It Clear!

Reflective. Angry. Opinionated. Unpretentious. Confident. These are just some of the words I jotted down as I listened to, Construction Time & Demolition, Wreckless Eric’s new album. Eric Goulden has been making music since the 70’s when he first emerged on Stiff Records in 1977 with the brilliant, Whole Wide World. On his latest release, Eric makes it clear that these are his songs, his music, his words and he wants you to know it. He begins with the title, Construction Time & Demolition, which gets straight to the point. Eric is looking ahead while he looks back as illustrated in the song 40 Years. You know he is addressing ghosts from his past, certainly not fondly, but definitely with honesty, the line “the wickedness of men” would be awkward in another writer’s hands, but Eric has no such problem. On Forget Who You Are, Eric teases us with the opening coda as he snarls, “everything is going to be groovy, like some happy crappy iPhone movie” but, is Eric giving advice or admonishing? That’s the wonderful conundrum of listening to Eric Goulden. Could The Two Of Us, be Eric’s version of a poignant love song? He doesn’t hesitate on this one to let us know what is important to him, as the intro builds he includes a cough, setting us up for the ever-increasing frantic pace of this song. Eric repeats the title over and over, not letting us forget what’s important to him. It should be noted that Eric’s wife, the very talented Amy Rigby has just released her own new album, The Old Guys, produced by Eric. His spirited production on Amy’s album is in full effect on Construction Time & Demolition. A master at telling a story and recounting his experiences, Eric displays his talent perfectly in Gateway To Europe. You don’t have to know all the references, but this is a song that deserves repeated listening. Eric is an accomplished rock and roll guitarist, a lot of bands could do well from listening to this album, the cut, Wow & Flutter is Wreckless Eric is full force, that would be a good start. Wreckless Eric’s new album, Construction Time & Demolition will be released next week.

Norman B April 1, 2018

Norman B’s review of Wreckless Eric’s album, Construction Time & Demolition will air on our next show #266

Life Elsewhere is available at NPR One & iTunes

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

Another way to listen to past editions of Life Elsewhere: go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

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Show #266

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