Category Archives: Media

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 261

There is a wee bit of a problem curating a new music show every week. My inbox becomes overloaded with music files. Because you take the trouble to send me your work, I take the time to listen. Which can mean I’m constantly glued to my computer for hours and hours. I’m not complaining of course. It’s just that I don’t get around to taking care of simple tasks like having a shave occasionally or washing a coffee cup instead of grabbing a clean one or trundling off to the gym for a much-needed workout. Thankfully, I do get to hear a marvelous assortment of music and that’s what LEM is all about. To begin Vol 261 a tasty cut, Morning Song from Moll & Zeis the album by David Long & Shane O’Neill. Both artists are from Dublin and were singers and songwriters in 80’s Irish bands. This terrifically competent collection of songs were recorded long-distance as David and Shane communicated by email. Full marks! Fleeting Joys are John Loring and Rorika Loring, they wrote, recorded, and mixed all the songs on, All Lost Eyes And Glitter. We selected Something In Your Melody to illustrate how well this California couple delver their work. Plaintive vocals somewhat buried in the mix have become a staple it would seem lately, yet John and Rorika manage this with expert finesse. Whenever I’m asked to provide a list of my all-time favorite recording, you can bet that Another Girl, Another Planet from The Only Ones is way up at the top of my list. It truly is the quintessential rock-pop song. It’s timeless, it’s moving, it’s so damn perfect. It also features one of the most distinctive English rock voices – ever. Even if you were not aware of Peter Perrett’s personal history, you would be a heartless soul if you weren’t moved by the man’s emotive voice. Fragile, knowing, and powerful all wrapped up together. Heartbreaking and perfect at the same time. So, it stands to reason that Peter’s son, Jamie would most likely be a chip off the old block, as they say. With Masquerade Of Love, Jamie makes good use of his heritage. His dad’s vocal stylings are right there, Jamie uses what he has. He can’t help it. Then, with a large tip-of-the-hat to a retro flavor, the shoo-be-doo’s tell us young Mr. Perrett knows his stuff. Quality pop.  The late Dave Kusworth is/was another distinctive English voice. A long out-of-print compilation, Champagne Eyes, Lemonade Pockets by Dave Kusworth was brought to my attention by the noted music archivist, Wally Salem. I chose, What Time Blows Away, a previously unreleased version. If you are a keen Kusworth fan, this album is definitely worth your while searching out. Dave Kusworth was also well-known for his partnership with Nikki Sudden, together they were The Jacobites, if perchance you are not familiar with their music, I suggest you start out with Robespierre’s Velvet Basement from 1985. In some regard, I’m not really surprised that another artist would be influenced by the music of Dave Kusworth and Nikki Sudden, yet I will admit to being a little startled by how much a fellow by the name of David Christian has studied his influencers. Listen to Lockets, Drop-outs, And Dragnets to hear what I mean. The LP, For Those We Met On The Way by David Christian And The Pinecone Orchestra, suggests he is an unabashed fan of The Jacobites. A conversation is scheduled with the one-time Comet Gain frontman, soon. There is one artist who has repeatedly appeared on LEM and LE in his many guises, including Hugh, Calabashed, Benin City, and as himself. It’s British-born Nigerian now based in Sweden, the one and only, Joshua Idehen. Recently, Josh teamed up with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, AKA Daedelus, a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, producer, and music director who also carries a dizzying list of credits. We played their first collaboration, Standing In My Own Way (Part One) a few volumes back, now Josh very kindly sent us their EP, Holy Water Over Stones. You know I approve when I select two cuts. You’ll hear, Floyd, followed by Pedal Down, No Breaks. Ace! With your castanets at the ready enjoy Alfredo And Ricardo Brought Me Here from Bawrut out of Madrid. The fine folks over at Ransom Note sent me the album, In The Middle featuring several guest vocalists, it’s a story about movement and migration around the Mediterranean. It’s about movement and migration around the Mediterranean. It’s about being in the middle of music and cultures. It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. There is a note with this album that says, “Disco never died, it just went underground, had a baby, and named it house”. Love it. 5% of the album profits will be donated to Open Arms, a non-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting those who try to reach Europe by sea, fleeing from armed conflict, persecution, or poverty. From Spain we head to San Paulo, Brasil to hear from Jennifer Souza with Pacifica Pedra Branca from her LP of the same name. Such a delightful album, listen to each cut carefully. Ryan Little is out of Washington D.C. he goes by the moniker, Soft Punch, you’ll hear, Astering from his double-sided single. Ryan does the vocals, instruments, and art. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this artist. Happy People Records out of the UK continue to put out quality music, for example here is one from the vaults, originally recorded in 2015, reworked in 2017 by producer Eeyun Purkins and released now. It’s Crime by Joe Yorke & The Co-Operators. I searched for a dub version, couldn’t find one, so I selected a brilliant drum ’n’ bass cut, Untitled Dub from Breakage. James Boyle is the man behind the controls, coincidently the EP is titled, At The Controls – Vol 2. Masterful. Jez Ryan at Mammal Sounds appears to not be to distracted by Bondi beach as he stares out of the office window because he working constantly on new releases and management projects like CLN. This is the work of Callan Alexander with Redeemed. We love this one., But apologies to Mr. Alexander. Why producer says, CLN should be pronounced Callan. Of course, I went and read the initials C L N. By the time we realized the mistake the recording had been produced and sent off to the computer machines at our affiliate stations and Podcast platforms. We continue to work in isolation, not having my producer directly across from me as I do the voice part can be a bit of an issue if I fuck up a name. I don’t immediately see her scathing face ranting at me. But I do get an earful when she gets the sound file, but by then, as in this case, there was no time to edit. Enjoy! 

Playlist

  1. David Long & Shane O’Neill – Morning Song
  2. Fleeting Joys – Something In Your Melody
  3. Jamie Perrett – Masquerade Of Love
  4. Dave Kusworth – What Time Blows Away
  5. David Christian And The Pinecone Orchestra – Lockets, Drop-outs, And Dragnets
  6. Daedalus and Joshua Idehen – Floyd
  7. Daedelus and Joshua Idehen – Pedal Down, No Breaks
  8. Bawrut – Alfredo And Ricardo Brought Me Here
  9. Jennifer Souza – Pacifica Pedra Branca
  10. Soft Punch – Astering
  11. Joe Yorke & The Co-Operators – Crime
  12. Breakage – Untitled Dubplate
  13. cln – Redeemed

Artwork by Patricia Burrell 1951 – 2002 “Cafe shadows and reflections” 1989 giclée print on archival paper 30” x 31” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 260

When you rave about a band and try to encourage all and sundry to join in with your enthusiasm, it’s gratifying to learn that at last, that band is getting the attention they deserve. I’m talking about King Hannah, their debut LP is out in February and already they are receiving accolades. More about Hannah and Craig later. To begin volume 260 we travel to Wuppertal, Germany to hear Dead On The Inside by Casino Garden from their LP, Oliver Oliver. They were founded in 2017 by singer and guitarist Matthias Wiercinski, keyboardist Helene Ballke, bassist Oliver Kroker, and drummer Alexander Alaimo Di Loro. You know this album has to be worth a serious listen because it’s on the very smart, Shoredive Records imprint. Another label and management outfit that never disappoints is Mammal Sounds out of Sydney who bring us, Clovo a new project via Australia’s Gold Coast. This is Chloe Magee with her debut single Girls, which she says was written on International Women’s Day (March 8th) and is an anthem for all women who stand against sexual assault and discrimination (something that not just women should be doing of course). Clovo directed a captivating for Girls and says, “The music video portrays the toxicity of a male-dominated culture, set in a dystopian parallel universe where women are subjects to men, the video narrates Clovo as a prisoner trying to escape, only to be caught and put back in her ‘place’ in society.” Next is a charming cut from José González out of Sweden with the title cut from his album, Local Valley. Make sure you listen to the whole album and admire the cool artwork. Originally from Scotland, Olivia Rafferty is now based in London where she has produced her excellent Hurricane EP. The title track is almost unassuming yet Olivia’s beautiful voice and arrangement deliver a powerful forlorn love song, “You don’t remember anything” she gently admonishes. Impressive. Neither Is, Nor Ever Was is the debut album by Constant Follower, and what a gem this is. Stephen McAll says this was written after ten years of isolation on the west coast of Scotland, following a violent attack by a gang in Glasgow. And, in adolescence, McAll suffered a very serious head injury, was temporarily semi-paralyzed, and lost his long-term memory. While in isolation, he had to, with patience and a lot of calm, start over, write on the blank slate of his memories, learn again to compose music, and play the guitar. Stephen goes on to say, Neither Is, Nor Ever Was is the culmination of a slow and tiring healing journey and every single note is a testament to that painful process”. The album was co-produced by Shimmy-Disc founder Kramer. The Merry Dancers On TV is a perfect example of exquisite production, superb songwriting, and masterful performance. American singer Juliette Rapp and British singer-songwriter Chris Marks (also known as Lake Michigan) met in Rome at an unlikely time, just before the global pandemic brought the world to its knees and stopped time. During the long lockdown, the two found themselves staring out the window at the empty streets, the idea for Permanent Vacation was born. Now based in Mexico City, the duo suggests their LP, Hymns From The Backseat is in many ways the concept album for your twenties. Trying and failing at love, enduring the pressure of getting our shit together, getting older, and just trying to make sense of it all. Reading into things, looking for meaning in everything. I love what they are doing so much, you’ll hear two songs from Permanent Vacation, Strange Pets, and the title cut, Hymns From The Backseat. Take note, the LP is available on the excellent, Z Tapes. From Ireland comes the exceptionally talented Keeley, who is back with a new EP, Echo Everywhere. On Dimple Discs. I admit to being very fond of this artist not least of all because I like her music but also because she is a terrific conversationalist. To A London Sunrise caught my attention from her new EP. On the cover of Pili Coït’s new LP, Love Everywhere, Jessica Martin Maresco appears to be raising her shirt to display her breasts to the world. It’s a beautiful bold statement, in keeping with the music she makes with Guilhem Meier. The Lyon-based duo will have you moving along to Endless Make Love Everywhere. The constantly energetic Alex of Blackjack Illuminist Records fame sent us his latest outing as Fir Cone Children, featuring Krissy Vanderwoude on Knees In The Sand. This rousing cut demonstrates the attention to detail Alex invests in everything he does. The Blackjack Illuminist is a treasure trove of delights you need to explore. Here is a sad story, a couple of volumes back I raved on about I Can’t Bike by Pictoria Vark. This is so good I said. And it is. Since then, I have been following Victoria Park on Twitter because her tweets are often funny, observational, and always honest. Then the other day, I read that Victoria (AKA Pictoria) had been in a car accident in Chicago. This was her second accident in recent weeks. Worse still Victoria collided with a cop, while she was driving a rental car, the damage and trauma from the collision resulted in abandoning the tour she was on and a lot of out-of-pocket expenses. Victoria says, “I’m physically okay but am having a tough time. struggling to process it after the last one I was in and as a “touring musician” who can’t even do that right”. Why don’t you send a few words of encouragement to Victoria? To remind you why I think Pictoria Vark is so important, take a listen to I Can’t Bike. Before she abandoned her tour, Pictoria Vark asked on Twitter if there were any headlining bands she could open for if they were going on tour. I suggested Pictoria Vark would be perfect to open for King Hannah if they were setting off on a tour of the US of A. That may not be so far off if the recent media attention Hannah and Craig are getting is anything to go by. Their debut album, I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me does not come out until February next year, but there is a definite buzz about this exceptional band. We were lucky enough to spot them some while back and captured a refreshingly honest conversation with the pair from Liverpool. All Being Fine is from King Hannah’s album. We love it! Well done, Hannah and Craig, we look forward to your much-deserved success in 2022. 

Playlist

  1. Casino Garden – Dead On The Inside
  2. Clovo – Girls
  3. José González – Valle Local
  4. Olivia Rafferty – Hurricane
  5. Constant Follower – The Merry Dancers On TV
  6. Permanent Vacation – Strange Pets
  7. Permanent Vacation – Hymns From The Backseat
  8. Keeley – To A London Sunrise
  9. Pili Coït – Endless Make Love Everywhere
  10. Fir Cone Children – Knees In The Sand (ft. Krissy Vanderwoude
  11. Pictoria Vark – I Can’t Bike
  12. King Hannah – All Being Fine

Artwork by Patricia Burrell 1951 – 2002 “Flower study #43” 1983 giclée print on archival paper 20” x 23” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection 

Index Funds Explained. Drug God’s Ruse. 

               
Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever by Robin Wigglesworth

Fifty years ago, the Manhattan Project of money management was quietly assembled in the financial industry’s backwaters, unified by the heretical idea that even many of the world’s finest investors couldn’t beat the market in the long run. The motley crew of nerds—including economist wunderkind Gene Fama, humiliated industry executive Jack Bogle, bull-headed and computer-obsessive John McQuown, and avuncular former WWII submariner Nate Most—succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Passive investing now accounts for more than $20 trillion, equal to the entire gross domestic product of the US, and is today a force reshaping markets, finance, and even capitalism itself in myriad subtle but pivotal ways. Yet even some fans of index funds and ETFs are growing perturbed that their swelling heft is destabilizing markets, wrecking the investment industry, and leading to an unwelcome concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands. In Trillions, Financial Times journalist Robin Wigglesworth unveils the vivid secret history of an invention Wall Street wishes was never created, bringing to life the characters behind its birth, growth, and evolution into a world-conquering phenomenon. This engrossing narrative is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand modern finance—and one of the most pressing financial uncertainties of our time.

Roxy by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman

The freeway is coming. It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life. The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager – a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first – is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer – tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond. But there are two I Rameys – Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor, and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy. Which one are you? Roxy is authored by the best-selling father and son team, Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

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Chris Connelly. An Ongoing Conversation Part 3

“I admit it!” Asserts Chris Connelly, “I’m addicted to collecting records!” We were deep into part three of our ongoing conversation, the topic of drugs couldn’t be avoided. Chris had recalled his early days in Chicago, hanging with Al Jourgensen and cohorts. The craziness surrounding the young lad from Scotland was fun at first, but there was a limit he soon discovered. “When it was time to stop, I did and went to bed.” Chris says, adding, “I didn’t get addicted, except for cigarettes.” Then, he admits to his addiction to records. It’s obvious from our conversations and Chris’s music selections his knowledge is immense. And, Connelly’s appreciation of so many genres of music prompts unabashed enthusiasm as we veer off on yet another tangent. This is why chatting with Chris Connelly is so rewarding, the man does not hesitate to share his opinions on whatever topic we are discussing. In part three, we cover Sex and Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll, but not in the same order as Ian Dury’s legendary song. Again, here is another reason to enjoy listening to Chris as he can comfortably move from one topic to another. For this edition, Chris picked music from Killing Joke, Durutti Column, and Roxy Music. Enjoy.

About the photo above: Chris Connelly with Sons Of The Silent Age performing, David Bowie’s Joe The Lion at Metro’s TopNote Theatre in Chicago 2018

LEM Vol 258

Conversations With Vegans

                

Imagine for a moment, the following scenario: You are a guest at an elegant diner party. You’re seated with the other guests at an ornately set table. The room is warm, candlelight flickers across crystal wine glasses, and the conversation is flowing freely. Mouthwatering smells of rich foods emanate from the kitchen. You haven’t eaten all day, and your stomach is growling. At last, after what feels like hours, your friend who is hosting the party emerges from the kitchen with a steaming pot of savory stew. The aromas of meat, seasonings, and vegetables fill the room. You serve yourself a generous portion, and after eating several mouthfuls of tender meat, you ask your friend for the recipe. “I’d be happy to tell you,” she replies. “You begin with five pounds of golden retriever, well marinated, and then…”

This is the opening paragraph of Dr. Melanie Joy’s, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows – An Introduction To Carnism. The best-selling author does intend to shock the reader as she recounts facts and figures with true, yet albeit at times all-too-graphic anecdotes, Melanie isn’t evangelical as a vegan. Instead, she lays out the information and asks the reader to consider what we eat. She addresses readers with empathy. She reminds us of who we are. Melanie Joy is gently authoritative, and a wonderful, informative guest. 

“In the Vegan ManifestoSue Coe, human champion of rights for those whose voice most humans do not hear, has crafted a masterpiece: at once visually stunning and spiritually invigorating.” – Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die Sue Coe is the most important and prolific political artist of our time. Her work explores and exposes every form of injustice suffered by both humans and nonhumans. With respect to the latter, her incisive eye-both trenchant and gentle-lays bare the profound immorality of animal exploitation and constitutes a clarion call to us all to reject it. Coe understands that the moral status of animals requires that we go vegan and no one who looks at the stunning work in this book will be able to disagree.” – Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy, Rutgers School of Law. Sue Coe also garners impressive accolades from distinguished figures in the world of graphic design, including famed art directors, Robert Priest and Robert Newman, and political caricaturist, Steve Brodner. Plus, Life Elsewhere creator and host, Norman B says, Sue Coe’s extraordinarily powerful work has intrigued me since my art school days! What a treat to be able to welcome her to the program.” 

To hear the original unedited version of this conversation with Sue Coe, go here

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