Category Archives: Ivy Sole

Daunting Reality That Reads Like Science Fiction & Hilarious Fiction That Reads Like Eccentric English Reality


The Earth’s magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology. Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. And, can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones–maybe no power grids at all? This is the premise of The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World–and Could Destroy It a riveting new book by award-winning journalist, Alanna Mitchell. She has crafted a beautiful story of surprising ideas and science, illuminating invisible parts of our own planet that are constantly changing around us. Alanna is an engaging interview who thoughtfully explains a complex and daunting subject. Her passion for her investigative work is compelling and not to be missed.

“I’m so pleased you laughed out loud.” Says, British author, Tim Orchard, after Life Elsewhere host, Norman B recounts how Tim’s new book, Stickle Island prompted his bouts of atypical chuckles. The very English, Orchard had taken a very English locale and built a quirky English tale with a cast of English characters. No doubt, if set in rural America, the anarchic DC, soused farmer Henry Stick, his bitter rival John, PC Paloney and erratic drug dealer, Carter would all be extraordinary eccentrics. But this story is set in the county of Kent on an island off the south coast of England. Tim Orchard uses his life experiences to fuel his fertile imagination and conjures up a believable place with realistic people, albeit quirky English people. This is a man who has a passion for writing. His dry British wit and smart economy of words make Stickle Island a deliciously funny read. And, the comfortable banter makes this another interview not to be missed.

Plus, we are very pleased to introduce you to a band out of London, Stick In The Wheel. We are raving about their new album, Follow Them True it has been on repeat play at Life Elsewhere tower for the past week or so. In this edition, you’ll hear, As I Roved Out and if you go to Life Elsewhere Music Vol 75, you’ll more cuts from this intriguing album.

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Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radion
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Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

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.

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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Not Another Best Of List!

It would be quite reasonable to expect that I would air a Life Elsewhere Music Best Of edition. But, all the music I curate for the show could be considered best. So instead, I’m going to present what I consider, to be the stand-out tracks I’ve played in 2016. Tracks I should add that have met a simple but stringent criteria:

  1. Would I want to hear this track again?
  2. Do I want to hear more from this artist?
  3. Did the track catch my attention on first hearing?

The Life Elsewhere Music 2016 Year End Edition begins with Berlin-based vocalist and instrumentalist, Mary Komasa and her track Lost Me. In a provocative video for this track, directed by Maria’s brother Jan, the singer and model Anja Rubik, mirror each other’s body language in a liberating dare. Next, Evangeline Ling and Kevin Emre make up London-based The Linedots with Small Talk, a track that meets all of my criteria. Teen Body are out of Brooklyn, Why Do We from their excellent album Get Home Safe showcases competent writing and production skills. Mitski Miyawaki or simply Mitski, has been turning up on a number of year-end best-of lists. Happy from her album Puberty 2, was an early discovery this year at Life Elsewhere Music. Nanna Schannong, Kasper Staub, Thomas Lund, Soffie Viemose and Steffen Lundtoft are five young musicians from Aarhus, Denmark who go under the moniker, Lowly. Their track Deer Eyes was an easy inclusion in the 2016 Year End Edition. If I had a category for the most valiant effort it would have to go to James Smith & Nancy Kells, who together curated a compilation with a stellar line-up of indie artists for their album Friends For Equality. Nancy of Spartan Jet-Plex and (other assorted bands) was so incensed by the outcome of the Presidential election she enlisted the help of James Smith from Fox Food Records. In a matter of days, they had managed to get over 40 bands and artists to each provides a track for Friends For Equality. The proceeds will go to Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and ACLU and honestly it is probably the best buy you’ll get this or any year. At $5, this album is worth every penny. I selected The Prids with Summer Cult to showcase this important album. I don’t bet. never have, but if I did my money would have been safe with a wager on Ivy Sole, an exceptional talent from Philadelphia. Her album Eden is flawless, with Enough (Float) being a perfect example. Back over in Scandinavia, there is another group you need to take notice of, Off Bloom. Their debut EP, Love To Hate It out on Sport Records is one of this year’s true gems. You’ll understand why when you hear, Orchid. The next track has a minimalist, almost retro feel, but Berlin-based Carla Dal Forno manages to make Fast Moving Cars very much a now sound. Every so often I’ll play a couple of cuts from a band because I think their work is good enough for the exposure. The aptly-named Girl Ray, a London-based four-piece caught my attention twice this year. One of those tracks is, Where Am I Now. The second-to-last track on this, the 2016 Year End Edition is quite brilliant, it’s Los Angeles-based Twin Oaks with Eighteen Minutes. A delicious and infectious number you’ll want to hear and again and again. Finally, for the last entry, a cut from what I’m calling the essential EP of 2016. I could go on at length as to why I believe Requiem is so special, but instead, I urge you to go to the Life Elsewhere archives to hear my interview with Rebecca and Frankie of Samana. There really isn’t anything this year as original or satisfying as Samana’s Requiem EP. We close with I’ll Keep You With Me and look forward to hearing more exceptional music from Samana in 2017. Thank you for listening, peace and love.
Norman B. December 28, 2016

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
You can hear all the volumes of Life Elsewhere Music over at Mixcloud