Category Archives: Nancy Kells

What Would You Tell The Undecided?

When the next edition of Life Elsewhere first airs, we will be just two days away from the Presidential election. As unlikely as it may seem, there are still people who claim to have not made up their minds when it comes to casting their vote.  At this late stage, what would you tell someone who is still undecided? To find out if there is an answer to the question, we called upon some of our favorite contributors* to Life Elsewhere. And, to get a “fair and balanced” response, we went out of the studio, into the real world and posed the question to a random selection of people. The responses, although unrehearsed and unscripted are thoughtful and surprising. Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere to hear if you agree with our guests’ answers to, “What would you tell the undecided?”

*Our favorite contributors: Dr. Jennifer, Mercieca, professor of communications; Dr. Binoy Kampmark, senior lecturer & researcher in Global Studies; Terry Morgan, entertainment entrepreneur; Sean Dunne, filmmaker; Steve Brodner, caricaturist; Mark Haskell Smith, author; Nancy Kells, musician; Gillian Gaar, author; Bob Ross, film & media critic; Wreckless Eric, musician Stephen O’Connor, author.

Life Elsewhere Show #194 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

Good Good Music

Discovering new music has been a passion, if not an obsession for Norman B since, well since as far back as he can remember. The last couple of years or so have delivered a fabulous array of exciting new music, including Hugh, Zuzu, Sorcha Richardson, Barzin, Siv Jakobsen and recently, Spartan Jet-Plex along with Good Good Blood. The latter two acts are on the very wonderful Fox Food Records out of the UK. Now this is where things can get a little complicated, Spartan Jet-Plex is one of the many curious aliases Nancy Kells uses. Ms. Kells in any of her non-de-plumes makes excellent music which she releases through the above mentioned Fox Food Records, which happens to be the brainchild of one James Smith. And James has a band called Good Good Blood who have a new EP, Motion Sickness. And this is a collaboration between James Smith, Nancy Kells of Spartan Jet-Plex and Catherine DeGennaro  and Suzy Jivotovski of GRNDMS, (another Fox Food signing). We hope you are following along with this? These talented musicians have produced a superb set of songs on Motion Sickness by sending their tracks to and fro over the cloud. Hear the results on the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Plus a revealing interview with legendary music writer, Gene Sculatti author of Tryin’ to Tell a Stranger ‘Bout Rock and Roll: Selected Writings 1966-2016.

Samana is another new music discovery you’ll hear in an upcoming edition of Life Elsewhere. Frankie and Rebecca of Samana talk with Norman B about their nomadic life traveling around Europe, being in touch with nature, creating their beautiful, ethereal, haunting music and settling in an ancient stone cottage in the remote Brecon Beacons area of South Wales. Plus, revered author, Nicholson Baker, always a favorite guest on the program, will talk about his new book, Substitute – Going To School With A Thousand Kids. It’s a meticulously detailed account of his 28 days working as a K-12 substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. All this and more, in upcoming editions of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere Show #191 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

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A Fly On The Wall

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Generation Chef by Karen Stabiner is a captivating page-turner about the first year at a young chef’s first restaurant. Stabiner researched her story like a fly-on-the-wall in Jonah Miller’s New York kitchen. The result is a tale full of gripping details that reads like a novel. The author chronicles restaurant culture across the United States over the past decades, the growing, intense financial pressures, the overcrowded field, and the impact of social media, which can dictate who thrives, who survives, and who crashes and burns. Karen Stabiner joins us for the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk with Norman B about her new book, Generation Chef – Risking It All For A New American Dream.

Also in the program, we are very pleased to bring you the latest single from Spartan Jet Plex. The talented musician behind the odd-sounding name is Nancy Kells, and we believe she deserves your attention. Plus, Russian blogger, Sergey Armeyskov shares his opinion on how Russians view the US Presidential election, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere Show #187 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

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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.

Check out the Life Elsewhere Music page and download Norman B’s curated selections of new, obscure, rare, unique and extraordinary music; hits of the future; artists who deserve your attention and timeless recordings you probably missed.

Before There Was Reggae…

prince-buster

Before there was Reggae there was Rock Steady, before Rock Steady there was Ska. Ska was also known as Blue Beat and Blue Beat has to be attributed to Prince Buster. Musicologists may quibble over the evolution of Jamaica’s idiosyncratic music yet the facts are: Cecil Bustamente Campbell, born on Orange Street in Kingston, Jamaica, on 24 May 1938 was a musical pioneer. His middle name was given to him by his family in honour of the Labour activist and first post-Independence Prime Minister William Alexander Clarke Bustamante. The nickname of “Buster” stuck as Campbell became actively involved in the operational side of running a sound system after he was introduced to Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, a musically inclined businessman who operated one of Kingston’s most popular sound systems. The knowledge he gained about the financial and logistical aspects of staging a sound system dance was put to good use when Campbell made the decision to start his own sound system called ‘Voice of the People’. Campbell released his first single “Little Honey” featuring Jah Jerry, Drumbago and Rico Rodriquez recording under the name of Buster’s Group. Soon he went by Prince Buster, and recorded prolifically throughout the 1960s; notable early ska releases include: “Madness” (1963), Wash Wash” (1963, with Ernest Ranglin on bass), One Step Beyond (1964) and Al Capone (1964) In 1961. In the UK, Buster’s releases were on the Blue Beat label and in the early days of Mods, Blue Beat became the de facto name for the music. In 1964 Campbell met World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali who invited him to attend a Nation of Islam talk at Mosque 29 in Miami. That year Campbell joined the Nation of Islam. Campbell had a top twenty hit in the UK with the single “Al Capone” in 1967. The UK Ska revival at the end of the 1970s that started with the 2-Tone label from Coventry introduced Campbell’s music to a new generation of listeners. Madness released their first single on 2-Tone, a tribute to Campbell called The Prince“. The B-side was a cover of the Campbell song “Madness” from which they took their name. The Specials also included a cover of “Enjoy Yourself” on their second album More SpecialsThe Beat covered “Rough Rider”. Cover versions of Prince Buster’s records have continued throughout the years, no doubt there will be yet another revival since the man died at the of 78 on September 8, this year.

On the next edition of Life Elsewhere Music we will present a special tribute to Prince Buster. Plus, Nancy Kells of Spartan Jet-Plex has very kindly sent us her new song, you’ll hear that and releases from Snail Mail, Fresh Snow and Past You.

Life Elsewhere Music airs Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio. You can hear all the editions of Life Elsewhere Music over at Mixcloud.

Contrasts.

Steve Brodner for The Village Voice

Steve Brodner for The Village Voice

Acclaimed caricaturist Steve Brodner was commissioned by The Village Voice to live-illustrate the antics onstage at the Republican National Convention – covering everyone from Rudy Giuliani and Antonio Sabato Jr. to Rick Perry and Donald Trump himself. Brodner, a frequent commentator on Life Elsewhere put down his sketchpad and pencils for a few moments to share some of his adroit observations. You’ll hear what Steve Brodner has to say about the GOP convention on the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Meanwhile,  here is a reminder of Steve’s critical eye and acerbic wit from a Life Elsewhere interview, one year ago, when Mr. Trump announced his intention to run for President.

Spartan Jet-Plex

Spartan Jet-Plex

“I discovered Nancy Kells by accident…hold up…make that by good fortune!” Says Norman B, “You see, Nancy is a talented and prolific singer-songwriter and if there is any justice left in the world she will soon be jettisoned into worldwide acclaim by a clever forward-thinking agent/manager/promoter.” Nancy currently goes under the moniker of Spartan Jet-PLex and it was her track Meant that caught Norman’s attention as he did his daily scouring around online releases. This, in turn, led to an interview with James Smith of Fox Food Records, the UK label Nancy is on. James raved on about Spartan Jet-Plex which in turn prompted us to find out more about the musician from Virginia who appears to spend almost her every waking hour producing constantly wonderful music. We made contact with Nancy Kells and she responded with, as she says, probably one of the longest emails you’ll ever receive. Long it was, but beautifully full with lots of pertinent information and links to her many different musical projects and musicians she admires. We didn’t need any more persuading, Nancy Kells will join us for the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Here is a sneak preview of Spartan Jet-Plex.

Life Elsewhere Show #179 airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

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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.

PS: You can now download the new WMNF mobile app for FREE and listen to LIfe Elsewhere as it streams live at 12 noon ET every Sunday

Steve Brodner’s illustration for The Village Voice is used by kind permission of Mr. Brodner
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