Category Archives: Next On Life Elsewhere

Three Very Different Books + One New EP

        

About a week or so ago, late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon introduced The Tonight Show’s first ever book club and included The Immortalists, the brilliant new novel by Chloe Benjamin. Perhaps, because Fallon has come under critical scrutiny after his gentle-cozy interview with Trump, the least cerebral of late-night comedians is not usually associated with anything other than chummy-chats with show-biz guests promoting whatever they are obligated to flog to the masses. So it came as no surprise when a few of Life Elsewhere’s attentive listeners decided to voice their opinions. Our interview with Chloe Benjamin had been well-received but our listeners were mystified as to how such a smart book managed to be on Jimmy’s book list! Had they missed the plot? Laney wrote to say that she wondered, “Is The Immortalists that lightweight?” And Meredith asked, “The book sounded serious and intense, did I miss the part about it being funny?” These questions prompted us to revisit Norman B’s interview with Chloe Benjamin. Yes, it is an intense book and it’s a note-worthy interview. Hear it again in this edition of Life Elsewhere, then perhaps we can all reevaluate the intellectual standing of Fallon, or at least give a big thumbs up to his producers.
Katja Pantzar discovered the simple, nature-inspired ways that Finns stay happy, healthy and strong – no matter what life has in store. This included swimming every day, even in winter when the water is 1 degree Celsius (34 Fahrenheit and feels as if hundreds of pins and needles are pricking your body. Katja joins the program to discuss her new helpful book, The Finnish Way.
The Great Believers is one of the first books to chronicle the AIDS epidemic from its initial outbreak to the present. Rebecca Makkai has written a powerful novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy. She weaves together 1980’s Chicago and contemporary Paris to tell a story of survivors who were forever affected by the AIDS crisis. Rebecca’s achingly beautiful novel touches on governmental indifference, survivor’s guilt, and a broken healthcare system. This is an emotive interview, you won’t want to miss.

Every so often, we like to squeeze in a new music discovery, Slippery Eyes are from Portland, Oregon. Their excellent EP is titled Take Care, Be Well and the track we selected is Slippery Eyes. The band is Cai on vocals and guitar. Cassie plays bass, Christian is on drums and Jesse is also on guitar. Check out more new music at Life Elsewhere Music.

 

Life Elsewhere is now 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
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

Make a Donation Button

A Conversation With Rudy Tambala

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. 

Life Elsewhere is now 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
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

Make a Donation Button

 

Extraordinary Music

          

Thirty years ago when I first caught sight of the cover I knew this was going to be a record I would like. Little did I know then it would be a release that I would instantly adore and over the years I would herald it as groundbreaking. At any given opportunity I would reference it as having a lasting profound impact on me. I would consistently include it in my “Best of Lists”. Sometimes, for no other reason than I thought it was perfectly brilliant, I’d slip it into a set if I was doing live radio or if I was deejaying in a club, I’d take the crowd to a pulsing rhythmic high and then hold them in a state of near climax as blended in its open bars, knowing only full well the crashing, thunderous crescendo of guitars would send everyone into ecstasy. Yes, the sleeve did catch my attention, back then Vaughan Oliver’s graphic’s for the 4AD label were the must-haves for every record snob on the planet. This one was all the more exceptional perhaps because of Juergen Teller’s alluring, erotic photos on the front and back. But for me, I didn’t get giddy with excitement over the cool 4AD covers, no, for me the music had to be as good, if not better than the precious covers. Lollita, the 3 track 12” EP by A. R. Kane was a landmark. The duo of Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala made music that came along just at the right time. It was like nothing else. Which probably explains why not everyone, not even die-hard 4AD aficionados treated it with the same reverence as I. There was another titillating facet to Lollita that fascinated me – the lyrics. Was he saying, “Winkie girl” or could it be, “Wicked girl”? Did he really say, “Love to go on down and kiss your curls”? It really didn’t matter, the more I played it the bigger the mystery. And, did I play it! My copy is still if not in pristine condition, it sounds fine, the cover is a little grubby around the corners though. What an absolute thrill then when I opened up my inbox the other day to discover a new track, Thinking About You, from an outfit named, Jübl. The name was intriguing, but it was the sound…that sound. Could it be a close relation of A. R. Kane? With a little closer inspection, I discovered that Jübl is Rudy Tambala, (one half of A. R. Kane) who has been performing and recording with Maggie Tambala and Andy Taylor since 2015. Their debut EP is titled, Thinking Sweet has just been released. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere I’ll play Thinking About You from Jübl and follow that up with, Lollita. I promise, not only are you in for a treat, you’ll learn why I have been raving on about A. R. Kane for so long and why I’m now excited to hear the new music from Rudy as he move forward with Jübl.
Also in the show, my interview with Australian author, Elizabeth Tan about her beautifully complex debut novel, Rubik. A new release arrived just as this show was being edited that sounded just right to almost work as a soundtrack to Elizabeth’s extraordinary work. From London, it’s a new female talent who goes by the moniker, Grand Pax. The song is titled, Destroyer and it’s available on the Blue Flowers imprint. Enjoy!

Life Elsewhere is now 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
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

Make a Donation Button

A Beautifully Complex Debut

Elizabeth Tan with Norman B in suburban Perth, Australia

The demure young woman sitting opposite me gives no clue that she is the author of the most beautifully complex and engrossing book I’ve read in ages. Her darkly comedic interconnected stories follow Elena Rubik, her best friend Jules Valentine, and wannabe investigative reporter April Kuan, as a viral marketing scheme’s motivations become a cause for concern. There are the adventures of a model turned visual artist, a tech support voice actor, enigmatic schoolchildren, clever anime characters and more. She deftly blends the real and imagined with biting social satire, exploring the lives of her diverse group of characters with deep empathy and insight into our contemporary world. In her astonishing debut novel, Rubik, Elizabeth Tan may have created a new unexpected genre. As she delicately sips on an over-sized mug of ginger and orange juice blended with a shopping list of herbs and spices, (a concoction that would that would fit right into Rubik), Elizabeth quietly explains that the dead aren’t really gone, they persist as phone numbers, social media accounts, newsletter recipients, aliases on fan-fiction. She goes deeper: digital ghosts move and connect us, so we feel we know people we have only seen online just as corporations masquerade as familiar friends. My interview with Elizabeth Tan was recorded at a cafe in suburban Perth, Australia. When you listen and then read Elizabeth’s book, I know you’ll agree the ambient noises are perfectly fitting.

Norman B June 20, 2018

Life Elsewhere is now available at NPR One & iTunes

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
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

Make a Donation Button

Funny, With A Message

                           

When Katie Met Cassidy and Blown are two new, clever-funny novels. Both are very much set in the present, each book reels off timely iconic observations and pop-culture references without a hint of self-consciousness. Their fast-pasted comedic well-constructed narratives with believable characters draw the reader in, while almost slyly revealing a deeper, thought-provoking message. In When Katie Met CassidyCamille Perri proudly writes about, as she says, “her queerness” without preaching, pontificating or even pandering. She knows the LGBTQ community inside out and she takes the reader into what is most likely for many, a mysterious scary world. Perri devises a simple love story for the plot. There’s Katie, born and raised in Kentucky, now an aspiring, late- twenties lawyer in New York. She’s a good girl, a people pleaser and a rule follower.  Katie finds herself sitting in a disoriented haze across a boardroom table from another a lawyer in a sharply tailored man’s suit, who on first look Katie mistakes for a man. This is native New Yorker, Cassidy, a confident, beautiful woman who seems to break all the rules Katie has tried so hard to follow. A hot passionate love story unfolds between two women, yet Camille Perri skillfully avoids cliches and stylized caricatures. Instead, her message is, no matter what your gender or sexual preference, when you’re in love you share the same emotions as anyone else in love. It’s a straightforward notion, but even in this modern age, there are still too many amongst us who would rather call it a love that dare not speak its name.

With five comic novels, all with one-word titles: Raw, Baked, Moist, Delicious and Salty (recently adapted into a major motion picture, titled Gun Shy, starring Antonio Banderas), Mark Haskell Smith excels at cooking up a supremely weird atmosphere and spicing it up with equally weird sex and violence. With Blown, his latest novel, Mark Haskell Smith goes all out with a wildly entertaining satire of corporate greed, sexual desire, and crime in the global financial services industry. Exceptionally funny, ribald and sharp-eyed, Blown starts as a simple case of embezzlement and explodes into a fatal high-stakes gamble for money and the pursuit of happiness. With his trade-mark knack of creating a cast of believable if not eccentric characters, in realistic but extraordinary circumstances, Smith gives his quizzical take on greed and human frailty. All the while the reader cannot stop laughing.

Make sure not to miss Norman B’s spirited interviews with two keenly talented and engaging authors on the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere is now available at NPR One & iTunes

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
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

Make a Donation Button

« Older Entries Recent Entries »