Category Archives: Music

A Conversation With Rudy Tambala – Redux

Rudy Tambala is a smart guy, he’s well read, he’s articulate and he enjoys a spirited conversation. He’s sincere when he states, “Rock ’n’ roll is fucking sex! It’s the rhythm of your blood. It’s the most vital force. Without it, there isn’t any existence on this planet!” The irony of his words adds to the fascination of listening to a man whose creative talent has been on display for over three decades. Rudy Tambala first came to critical acclaim as one half of the influential duo, A. R. Kane. Released thirty years ago Lollita, their mesmerizing 12” EP for the enterprising 4AD label, remains as fresh and innovative now as it did way back then. During Norman B’s exclusive interview with Rudy, the forthright musician reveals how he and his bandmate, Alex Ayuli created their extraordinary and frequently emulated sound. He talks enthusiastically of the beginnings of A. R. Kane, detailing the creation of the noted Lollita artwork. Rudy shares his thoughts on current music, design and why style is important, “It’s not what you play it’s the way you hold your guitar. It not what you wear it’s how your hair looks…it’s a youth thing.” He says wryly. The legacy of A. R. Kane continues with his new band, Jübl and Rudy gives us an insider’s take on the demands of his new project. This is an interview full of warmth and candor. The conversation flows seamlessly from previously unheard details about recording techniques to spot-on observations about the business of life. Make a Donation Button

 

Summer Rayne Oakes. J Ryan Stradal. Gafacci.

“Is taking care of plants the best way to take care of yourself?” This question posed by Summer Rayne Oakes is creatively answered in her new book, How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart. She explores ways to elevate the common potted plant from a decorative object that makes one’s space “look good” to a gateway to something deeper. “Taking care of other living things is a basic human need.” Says, Summer, “Without exercising care for others, we become stuck in own heads, anxious, lonely, and unreceptive to beauty. Becoming a good plant parent can radically open your mind. Watering plants, listening to their needs, and breathing in their scents can mold you into a more mindful and caring person.” The urban houseplant expert and environmental scientist wants to bring nature indoors, Summer has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they are thriving). Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people.

J Ryan Stradal, the author of the best-selling, Kitchens Of The Great Midwest returns to Life Elsewhere to talk about his latest novel, The Lager Queen Of Minnesota. Edith Magnusson’s rhubarb pies are famous in the Twin Cities–they were named the third-best in the state of Minnesota and St. Anthony-Waterside Nursing Home has quickly become the hottest dinner ticket in town. Still, she lays awake wondering how her life might have been different if her father hadn’t left their family farm to her sister Helen, a decision that split their family in two. With the proceeds from the farm, her sister, Helen Blotz, built her husband Orval’s family soda business into the top-selling brewery in Minnesota. She singlehandedly created the light beer revolution and made their corporate motto ubiquitous: “Drink lots, it’s Blotz.” But Helen dismisses IPAs as a fad, and the Blotz fortune begins its inevitable decline. Soon, though, she finds a potential savior that’s surprisingly close to home. . .Diana Winter earns a shot at learning the beer business from the ground up just as the IPA revolution begins. The stakes couldn’t be higher: just as she’s launching her own brewpub, she’s due to deliver a baby girl. When the unthinkable happens, it’s up to Grandma Edith–and a delightfully surprising cadre of grandmother friends–to secure the next generation’s chances for a better future. Can Grandma Edith’s Rhubarb Pie In A Bottle Ale save Diana’s fledgling brewery, and change their hearts and fortunes forever?

Also in the show, we go to Accra, Ghana to hear new music from Gafacci. The beat-maker is known for his unique sounds and infusing afro rhythms into his electronic-based instrumentals.  This Ghanaian style is called aokpor directly influenced by his father, Sega Gafatche, a former band member of juju music legend, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. On Gafacci’s new four-track EP, Tash BNM, (meaning Tash bought new music) he collaborates with vocalists Tinuke, Lazee, and Amaarae. Listen, enjoy and dance!

Show #335

A Conversation With Wreckless Eric

His songwriting ability should not be ignored. From the poignant quest for the love of the perfect woman in his 1977 seminal hit, Whole Wide World to the sharp autobiographical, Father To The Man from his recent album, Transience. And, his musicianship should not be underestimated. As demonstrated throughout his career on numerous recordings, not least of all, Transience where his savvy as a true rock and roll guitarist, arranger and producer is in full effect. He is Eric Goulden, better known as Wreckless Eric, a frequent guest on Life Elsewhere. In an excellent review of Transience for Soundblab, Howard Scott closes with this, “It has been brought to my attention that many people in Britain count Wreckless Eric as a one-hit-wonder from decades ago. I find that not only strange but somewhat tragic. Apparently, too many people just weren’t listening to what was being offered, for a myriad of reasons.  From what I have managed to absorb Goulden’s long career, he is still improving with age, and the best just may be still to come. If life was as fair as we would all like it to be, Wreckless Eric should be a national treasure.” Well said, Howard. In A Conversation With Wreckless Eric, we discuss Transience, Eric tells stories, and, he recounts how hard the past year had been for him with the death of his mother. “I had to do something.” Says Eric, “So I made this album.” In all the times Eric has appeared on the show, we have come to expect his commentaries will be forthright, sometimes blunt. This time, Eric reflects on life and death, yet he is animated and seemingly optimistic. The conversation is hardly ever morbid as Eric easily throws in a witty comment here or a sardonic observation there. “I’ve lived my life in episodes.” Announces Eric. Thankfully, we were able to document his latest.

Show #334

Reggae + Passion = Brighton

Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England, located 47 miles south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Rome and Anglo-Saxon periods. The area underwent various stages of development throughout the centuries, eventually becoming a fashionable seaside resort in the Georgian era, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. With the arrival of railways in 1847, Brighton became a popular destination for day-trippers from London. The town continued to grow in the 20th century and become renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, arts and music scenes. Perfect then, for the home-base of Roots Garden which began storming Brighton’s club night scene in 1995 by presenting authentic Reggae sound system culture. Roots Garden’s passion and dedication to representing the very best of Reggae music and its many branches have secured its name as an integral part of Brighton’s musical landscape. Established in 2005, Roots Garden Records represents many of the talented artists, musicians and producers had been club favorites over the years. Working closely alongside pioneering UK Dub/Reggae Producer, Nick Manasseh, the label has released music with the cream of the crop of Jamaican and British artists and musicians including, Johnny Osbourne, Earl 16, Cate Ferris, Luciano, Danny Red, Johnny Clarke, Richie Phoe, Dark Angel, Jah Mali, Brother Culture, Vin Gordon, Freddie McGregor, Josey Wales, Bob Skeng, and Tiawa and more.

Nick Manasseh & Tiawa in the studio

In the next edition of Life Elsewhere we welcome Roots Garden label honcho, Jon Jones, Reggae Producer, Nick Manasseh, and upcoming singer-songwriter, Tiawa. The trio select exemplary cuts from their label – Earl 16, Vin Gordon, Danny Red, Cate Ferris, and Tiawa. Make sure you listen carefully to Tiawa talk about her new release, Pain Killa. “People think it’s about love…a love song. It’s not a love song!” She insists. “It’s about dealing with the world we live in.” We were already bowled over with Tiawa’s superb recording, and Nick’s creative production, now after hearing her impassioned explanation we are raving. Our conversation with Jon, Nick, and Tiawa explores their passion for Reggae, how Roots Garden came about, making Reggae music, and why they love Brighton.

The Podcast is available at NPR One, Apple Podcasts & Mixcloud

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3
Sundays 10.00am ET at WNRM The Root
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:
Sundays 11.00am ET at 
WNRM The Root
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

Show #333

The Killer. The Auteur. The Relationship.

Maureen Callan

Most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil,” Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried “kill kits”–cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools–in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years–uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous randomly committed crimes in his wake–many of which remain unsolved to this day. Norman B talks with Maureen about American Predator – The Hunt For The Most Meticulous Serial Killer Of The 21st Century. “The most horrific book I have ever read!” He tells Ms. Callahan, adding, “But, I loved every page!”

David J & Rose McGowan

David J of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets fame has released a digital-only single, The Auteur (Redux / The Starlet’s Cut) featuring actress and activist, Rose McGowan. This release serves as a taster for his forthcoming double album Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure, which is set for release on in the autumn. The track features a stellar line up of musicians, including Paul Wallfisch (Swans), Larry Mullins AKA Toby Dammit (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds), Sean Eden (Luna) and Emily Jane White (backing vocals). “The original version of The Auteur was released as part of an EP in 2002, an old song that tells a much older story but one which in light of the whole #metoo movement now has an addendum,” says David J. “The most vocal proponent of that righteous call for respect and culpability, Rose McGowan, makes a fitting and emotional appearance on this brand new version’s reprise”. David continues,Rose told me that she related to the lyrics on a very personal level and, because of this, she is also considering recording her own version of the song.”

Christopher Castellani

“I always think, less is more, when it comes to writing about sex.” Says Christopher Castellani, when the subject of physical intimacy comes up.  And, erotic descriptions of gay sex do come up, in Leading Men, Castellani’s sumptuous new novel. The author gently leads the reader through exquisitely realized scenarios that are full of passion; of lust; of yes – sex in a world of agreeable young gay men who appear to swan around languidly from one late night after another to nattering effortlessly as they lay photo-ready in the Mediterranean sun. Christopher paints his beautiful vistas of Portofino, or Rome or wherever he chooses so realistically, you have to remind yourself – often – that is a work of fiction. The clever title, Leading Men, perfectly announces the complexity and essence of this book – relationships. Christopher Castellani bases his gorgeous novel on the relationship between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo, who were together from roughly 1947 to 1963, a stretch during which the playwright composed some of the American theater’s enduring classics, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Suddenly Last Summer” and “The Rose Tattoo.” When they met, Tennessee Williams was already flush from the success of “A Streetcar Named Desire” From the first sentence, Castellani wows the reader with an almost unnoticed assertiveness, “Truman was throwing a party in Portofino, and Frank wanted to go.” No last name is given and just like his scenes of intimacy, Christopher allows us, the reader to fill in the unspoken words. It is this brilliant writing-gift that makes Leading Men so wonderful. Castellani conjures up a beautiful, haunting story. He introduces characters who are not only believable, you’ll be thumbing through John Lahr’s biography of Williams to find out how you could have missed them. In Leading Men, the author questions our idea, if not our ideal of what a relationship is – or could be. Make sure you don’t miss Christopher Castellani’s spirited conversation about his book in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

The Podcast is available at NPR One, Apple Podcasts & Mixcloud

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3
Sundays 10.00am ET at WNRM The Root
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:
Sundays 11.00am ET at 
WNRM The Root
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

Show #331

 

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