Category Archives: New Music

A Tribute to Albert Finney + New Music From The UK

“The death of Albert Finney could mark the end of a certain generation of British actors.” Says film and media critic, Bob Ross in our tribute to the highly-rated star of stage, screen, and TV, who sadly died a few days ago on February 7. Finney came to prominence in the era of the “Angry Young Men”. It was a period that transformed the face of British theater and cinema from the 1950s. Powerfully built, Finney had the resonant voice beloved by earlier generations of stage actors. Born in Salford, Lancashire, May 1936, Finney’s father was a bookmaker. Always proud of his working-class roots, he once said, “It’s part of you, it’s in your blood.” Although he had acquired a taste for acting while still at Salford Grammar School where he won a scholarship to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He worked first with Birmingham Repertory Theatre before moving on to the Old Vic and National Theatre. His first London stage appearance was in 1958 in Jane Arden’s The Party, which was directed by Charles Laughton, who also starred. A year later, the young Finney was at Stratford where he replaced an ill Laurence Olivier in the role of Coriolanus. In 1960, he appeared alongside Olivier in his first film, The Entertainer, directed by Tony Richardson. Based on a play by John Osborne, it was an example of a new gritty style of British film-making that became known as kitchen-sink drama. Its heroes were invariably working-class, the backdrops often that of northern England, and it explored themes of social alienation. Finney’s next film, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, gave him a starring role as a young factory worker who was disillusioned with his lot. The plot, based on a novel by Alan Sillitoe, featured extramarital sex and abortion, earning it an X-certificate from the British Board of Film Censors. He was approached to play Lawrence of Arabia in David Lean’s film but, after going through a four-day screen test, Finney decided not to take the role that eventually went to Peter O’Toole. Instead, he teamed up with Tony Richardson again for Tom Jones, an adaptation of Henry Fielding’s bawdy 18th Century novel. Tom Jones made Finney an international star and he was voted one of the top ten British actors of 1963 by cinema owners. In the 1967 film Charlie Bubbles, which Finney also directed, he played a writer returning to his northern roots after becoming successful in London. In one scene, Finney’s character is pictured driving his gold Rolls Royce through the crumbling streets of his native Salford. He also proved he could sing, first in the title role of the 1970 musical film Scrooge and then in the 1982 film version of the Broadway musical Annie. In 1974, he played the pedantic Hercule Poirot in the film Murder on the Orient Express. He had a magnetic presence off-screen too. His lovers included Joan Baez, Carly Simon, Billie Whitelaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Shelley Winters, and Diana Quick. In 1957, he married Jane Wenham, with whom he had a son. The couple divorced just five years later. In 1970, he married the French actress Anouk Aimee. Later in life, he settled down with Penne Delmarche and admitted to only two vices – wine and horseracing. He owned several racehorses, stabled in America. He had kidney cancer diagnosed in 2007, and he disappeared from public view but returned with roles in The Bourne Ultimatum and James Bond film Skyfall. He largely ignored the celebrity lifestyle and refused becoming CBE in 1980 and a knight in 2000. “I think the Sir thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery,” he said at the time. “And it also helps keep us ‘quaint’, which I’m not a great fan of.”

Also in this edition of Life Elsewhere, three new singles from the United Kingdom. First up, a four-piece band who prefer their name in all caps, ISLAND with All In My Head. On our show, you’ll hear instrumental and vocal versions from the London-based band. If you don’t understand the song, you’re not alone, this is what frontman, Rollo Doherty says about their new single, “It’s weird, we didn’t really understand the song when we started writing it but we liked that about it, we didn’t try to understand it. The lyrics just take that idea and put it through a blender. Weirdness just mixed up with more weirdness. Just like what’s in my head.” Next up, a young gentleman we have been raving about for around two years now, the very talented, Leaone. The singer-songwriter was in the US a few months back and had the opportunity to record a few cuts in a Brooklyn studio with producer, Tom Marsh. The results are what Leaone refers to as “The Brooklyn Sessions”, Prairie Fire is his latest single. Our third new release is from the fine folks associated with Gad Whip. Lee who tinkers around in his Yuba Recording Studio sent us a new single, Now, a mesmerizing track that we have had on repeat play for the last few days. Yubamusic is the moniker Lee is using for this release. If we can be of any encouragement at all, we’d like to hear more cuts in this vein from Yubamusic.

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

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:
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 #310 V3

A Conversation With Thomas Pitts

“Doing a long interview like this is kind of cathartic.” Says Thomas Pitts of London-based Auld. Talking about himself and his music does not come easily for Thom. Being verbose about your own talent is often difficult for artists, adding to the contradiction that so often surrounds a person who chooses to get up on stage as an entertainer. Yet, for all the questions Mr. Pitts implies about shyness, you cannot overlook his mastery of writing and performing listenable music. Thankfully, Thom and his cohorts in Auld embrace what they term as “genre fluid” as they frame their story through the lens of indie pop, sometimes rock, and sometimes electro. They like a good cry and they like a good dance and they want you to join them. Their just-released first single, Need Her Still is a good introduction to the Auld sound. I wrote this and then everything started to fall into place afterward,” says Pitts.“This is the only love song I have ever written. Lyrically it is quite simple – it is a list of things that would make life quite nice and more enjoyable on paper but all of these mean nothing without the person you love”.

Thomas Pitts’ fascination with music began with an obsession over the Spice Girls at 9 years of age. He wrote songs to the tunes of their songs and also to the tunes of the Lion King. Fast forward to the appearance of The Strokes, which influenced Pitts to form a rather young band emulating that sound. Auld started by Thomas Pitts as a solo project. They currently perform as a 6-piece, with Pitts joined by Alan Giles, Brian Wortman, Rachel Hearne, Glen Giles, and James Milner. Their debut album, Mainstream Music will be released in the middle of March. On the next edition of Life Elsewhere, hear cuts from the album and Thomas Pitts’s uninhibited conversation with Norman B.

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

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:
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 #309 V2

Poetry. It’s the Ultimate Freedom

Richard Price says, “When you call someone a poet, it’s like a praise word.” Price has a lot of thoughts about poetry and music and religion and life and, well…Richard is after all poet. He is also one-third of The Loss Adjusters. Their single, The World Brims came to Norman B’s attention a few weeks back. “It’s a fantastic piece of mesmerizing music,” the Life Elsewhere host says, “I couldn’t stop playing it non-stop. Then I wanted to know more. Who was behind it? We reached out and discovered the lyrics and vocals were by Richard Price.” The erudite Scotsman was invited onto the show to talk about his music and his poetry, but the conversation covered so much more. Price recalls how he was originally influenced by songwriters like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and, Leonard Cohen. Poetry, he says is a kind of urgency in writing. “One of the most important things about that blank page is I can write anything on there. It’s the ultimate privacy. It’s the ultimate freedom. To be able to control that blank space with something you have made. To shut out all the noises, the sorrows, and the anxieties”. On politics and poetry, Richard Price suggests, “Poetry allows you to think slowly and carefully, a lot of the political environment now, is about not thinking.” And, when considering lyrics set to music, he tells fellow Loss Adjuster, Roberto, “He can do whatever he wants with my words, he can mix them in, erase them, change them, I want the whole experience!” Richard is an intriguing conversationalist, a mind of splendid ideas. Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Richard Price recommends Poetry Magazine. And we recommend you visit Richard’s site, Hydro Hotel 

 

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

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:
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 #302 V2

A Conversation With Colin Moulding

 

2018 marks the 40-year anniversary of XTC’s first studio album White Music. While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK charting single. Although less prolific than his bandmate, Andy Partridge, bass-player, Colin Moulding wrote the first three charting singles Life Begins At The Hop, Making Plans For Nigel, and Generals and Majors. By 2007 it was reported that Colin “was not interested in music”. Yet over the next couple of years, he made guest appearances on a number of recordings with various artists. Then, in 2017 Moulding announced that he and former XTC drummer, Terry Chambers had recorded a four-track EP, titled Great Aspirations.  The bass player and drummer began promoting their new project under the moniker of, TC&I and planned a small tour in England. After hearing the remarkable new recordings, and recognizing a large ongoing interest in XTC and Moulding, we set about arranging an intimate conversation with the Swindon-based musician. The result, an unabridged chat between Colin Moulding and Life Elsewhere host, Norman B. You’ll hear Colin talk about the early days of a fledgeling rock band, his early influences and a preference for an intuitive approach to song-writing. He also dismisses the ragged myths of unquenchable availability sex and drugs for young musicians, but he does endorse being reasonable while learning along the way. Colin Moulding is a gracious talented man and a delightful conversationalist. Make sure you don’t miss this edition of Life Elsewhere.

The Podcast is available at NPR One & iTunes

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

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:
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 #293

Fans Of An Enigma

We admit it, we’re fans. Their music won us over on the very first listen. Of course, they are an enigma. They don’t fit neatly into any genre. And for us, that’s a good thing ‘cause we gave up on separating every new release into teeny-tiny categories, many moons ago. They achieve that much-desired ability to entertain, intrigue and inform at the same time. All of the above were more than enough reasons to reach out and request an interview. Pete Davis, the bloke who performs the potent vocals and his mate, Lee Drinkall, who competently bashes away on the drums agreed to a chat via the wonders of Skype. The resulting conversation reveals their earnest passion for the music they create. Do make sure you listen, because we believe you too, will become a fan of an enigma that is Gad Whip.

Gad Whip’s latest album, Post Internet Blues is available via Bandcamp and highly recommended by us fans.

The Podcast is available at NPR One & iTunes

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

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:
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

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