Category Archives: Norman B

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 239

 

To curate, a 60-minute show of new music takes on average about a week of listening, not that I’m complaining. Considering how much excellent new music comes my way, it really is an enjoyable occupation. In this volume, we have such a diverse selection, beginning in Brighton on the south coast of England where Nico runs the enterprising Shoredive Record label. The Insatiable Disquiet is his latest project, teaming up with American vocalist Cat Hall of Industrial pioneers Dissonance. Their new EP, Unbidden has a wonderful, familiar feel, yet it’s totally original as you’ll hear on Justify. 50 miles up the road from Brighton in London you’ll find Toby Burroughs on drums & vocals, Tom Jones on bass & vocals, and Rosa Brook on violin & vocals – together they are Pozi. Their Typing EP displays their collective talents with Sea Song. Jot their name down, I expect to hear more from Pozi. Over in Dublin, it appears there must be something in the water because such a lot of creative talent is emanating from that beautiful city. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Keeley, we have Keeley! Their Brave Warrior EP is dedicated to the memory of Inga Maria Hauser, which we’ll learn more about in our upcoming conversation. We selected, Last Words, expect to hear more cuts from Keeley soon on LEM. Over in Brooklyn, Sem Azhak says, “Hello I’m Sem and this is Semetery it’s nice to meet you”. Sem writes and performs all the songs on the album, I Know It’s A Sore Subject, But These Things Fall Apart, listen to Freckles and you’ll understand why I included Semetery in this volume. In Auckland, New Zealand a fellow by the name of A. Evans uses the moniker, Black Sand for his musical output. The Place You Call Home is from his 8th album Hypnotic Revolutions. Mr. Evans says, Black Sand continues to chart a course through spaced-out psychedelic rock n roll. Put your headphones on and enjoy the ride”. Excellent suggestion. I’ve mentioned it before, I love compilations. Such a good way to get a variety of music in one package. Agreed, not every cut is going to be on repeat play, but I always find at least a couple of cuts worthwhile – sometimes a whole lot more. For example, take a listen to Kongodoom with The City Is A Desert from Here is Minimal City Vol 1 c/o Petite Victory Collective out of Copenhagen. OK, I admit I’m partial to a little minimalist-dubby-electronica. This LP is worth the price of admission. Another comp I want you to know about is 1980 Something – An 80s Cover Comp For No More Dysphoria. This comes courtesy of Heavenly Creature Records out of Scotland who has put together 80s covers by 32 different artists. Importantly, all funds raised will go directly to No More Dysphoria, the album is available on a pay-what-you-want/can basis. No More Dysphoria is a non-profit organization created with the goal of helping transgender individuals pay for major aspects of their transition. From the album you’ll hear, a cover of Bowie’s Modern Love by Regal Cheer, followed by How I Became Invisible with a cover of The Pixies, Where Is My Mind. The name Chris Connelly must trigger recognition to even the most casual music aficionado. Mr. Connelly has a new album, The Birthday Poems spotlighting the centenary of Scottish poet George Mackay Brown. Chris has teamed up with Monica Queen for this adventure. The title cut is included in this volume. Chris Connelly is going to be my guest very soon for an in-depth conversation. So much to talk about with a man who has been involved with such a lot of influential bands and projects. A curiously unassuming LP came my way a few weeks back, Years In Marble by Raoul Vignal. The musician, originally from Lyon is definitely worth your time following up on, Red Fresco being a good example. Josienne Clarke knows what she is doing and what she wants. A short video shows Josienne auditioning guitar players. In the end, the Scottish artist lets us know she wrote and composed the songs, she does the vocals, plays guitar, harmonium, and saxophone, she also arraigned and produced the album, A Small Unknowable Thing. But, we must give a tip of the hat to Dave Hamblett for the smart drumming, along with Matt Robinson on keyboards, Alec Bowman-Clarke on Bass, and Mary Ann Kennedy on Harp. Make sure you listen to Sit Out carefully. Next, the EP In These Times arrived on my desk without much information, except Science Fiction Review are from Austin, Texas and all the tracks are super – e.g. Like A Church. Made up of members Curtis Wakeling (The Ocean Party/Pop Filter) and his partner Kayleigh Heydon, a Visual Artist from the U.K, Deuce is a project out of Melbourne. They say their collaboration enables them to further understand each other’s stories and experiences. The outcome so far is their self-titled album with seemingly effortless songs that underplay well-crafted songs about relationships. There is a knowingness here in each song that could easily be the result of many years of working together, yet the immediacy of their relationship is never in doubt. That Curtis and Kayleigh each take turns in lead vocals proves the confidence they have in their collaboration. Such a good album, it’s hard to choose one cut, we selected, Swim. To close, a fine example of dub production from Tuff Scout out of London with the title cut from the LP, Out On The Floor Dub, is a splendid reworking of The Wailer’s Really For A Reason. Do make sure you let me know what you think of LEM. 

Playlist

  1. The Insatiable Disquiet – Justify
  2. Pozi – Sea Song
  3. Keeley – Last Words
  4. Semetery – Freckles
  5. Black Sand – The Place You Call Home
  6. Kongodoom – The City Is A Desert
  7. Regal Cheer – Modern Love
  8. How I Became Invisible – Where Is My Mind
  9. Chris Connelly & Monica Queen – The Birthday Poems
  10. Raoul Vignal – Red Fresco
  11. Josienne Clarke – Sit Out
  12. Science Fiction Review – Like A Church
  13. Deuce – Swim
  14. Tuff Scout – Out On The Floor Dub

Artwork by D. Chasomè “MJ Sitting #2″ 2001 2′ x 2’6” giclée print on archival paper. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

LEM Vol 239

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Producing a weekly sixty-minute mix of new releases just became a little more difficult than usual because of the stay-in-place order. We cannot get into our studio to record, mix, and produce. Instead, our shows will be produced at home and that means the commentary may not sound so polished but the music will definitely sound as good as always. Until things change you’ll hear an open and close message and in between a non-stop music mix. The usual ad-libbed info about the cuts will be posted here, every week.

We begin with an artist out of Brooklyn, Margaret Glaspy with Killing What Keeps Us Alive from her album, Devotion. Don’t let the vocoder effect at the start of the song bother you, Ms. Glaspy has an excellent voice and on this outing, she proves she is a good songwriter. Next, we head to Halifax, Nova Scotia to hear So Tired from Nap Eyes, a cut from their fine Snapshot Of A Beginner album. The new single, Circles by Francis Of Delirium remind us that their earlier single this year, Quit Fucking Around is worth your opinion. So we have included both cuts. The band says this about themselves, “A sometimes rock band based in Luxembourg. Homemade indie rock from our hearts to yours.” Songwriter/Producer Mazlyn hails from Suffolk in the UK, his tune is Confessed. We have played Biig Piig on the before and gave a large thumbs up to the London-based Irish singer. We are continuing o rave with her latest, Switch. Clair Adams, Bobby Glew, and Kathy Grey are Nape Neck. Leeds is their hometown and they, unfortunately, list all the places they would have been playing along with a message saying there are more Euro dates coming. On a happier note, the sleeve artwork for their self-titled album is wonderful. You Stand, You Sit displays a band you need to check out. From the excellent LP, Less Of Everything we selected, Hidden Track by Es is next up. We hear Maria Cecillia Tedemalm, Katy Cotterel, Tamsin M Leach, and Flora Watters were putting on amazing live shows before being ensconced in their homes. All Or Nothing the title track from the LP of the same name by Shopping shows off their skills. From London originally, now the band are spread across the globe with Billy in LA and Andrew and Rachel in Glasgow. A change of genre for the next cut by San Francisco’s Monophonics. Day By Day from their LP, It’s Only Us, led by Kelly Finnigan the band has drawn on their colorful history, both their experiences as veteran touring performers and as individuals growing up in the Bay Area. Witch Prophet takes us in another direction with Makda from the album DNA Activation. Out of Toronto, produced by Sun Sun and Witch Prophet, named after Witch Prophet’s family members, and inspired by biblical stories, myths, and her Ethiopian, Eritrean roots. Seb Taylor is Kaya Project and says, “I present to you a song full of hope, love & devotion – another uplifting & optimistic track to counteract the uncertain times we are currently living through.” There are five different versions of Souls Entwined Featuring the beautiful vocals of Pooja Tiwari, together with two Classical Indian Violinists (Deepak Pandit & Kartik Raghunathan) & Hungarian Flute Virtuosa Fatima Gozlan making a cameo appearance in the middle of the track. We selected the bass-forward Digitalis Remix. The kora is an ancient African, 21-string harp-lute hand made from natural materials. “Our aim is to expose the beauty of this instrument to a more diverse audience,” said John Haycock & Alan Keary. Mostly recorded in an afternoon at Alan’s place to sell at a busking festival in Switzerland. You’ll hear Abode from the LP, John & Alan. Next, we bring you dubstep in fine style from Manchester’s Biome with Found You from Unreleased Dubs Part 2. Qiii Snacks Records are out of Guangzhou, China. We are not sure where Your Boyfriend Sucks are from but their EP Episode 2 is really cool and Mathias is a perfect example. Dub Invasion Records are out of Italy and Wellette Seyon’s Spiritual Thing is a worthy addition to this mix. The other side is a nice dub version. Staying on a Dub Reggae tip. The closing cut is Isaac Chambers featuring Dub Princess with Back To My Roots (Deep Fried Dub’s Refried Remix), from Melbourne, Australia. 

Make sure you let us know what you think of LEM Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Be well, be safe and be nice. 

LEM Vol 175 

 

Dispelling The Myths Of Thomas Cromwell – Redux

After a decade of researching the Royal Archives, the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, Diarmaid MacCulloch has emerged with the most thoroughly researched and complete biography of Thomas Crowell – a polarizing political figure most know for his unwavering service to volatile King Henry VIII, the demise of Anne Boleyn, and his hand in the Reformation. Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life sheds light onto a fascinating part of history, one that helped shape the course of English politics and the future of the Protestant religion. Since Crowell’s life met its end on the scaffold in 1540, history has not been kind to this self-made commoner who rose from obscurity to become the architect of England’s split with Rome. However, MacCulloch unveils a more sympathetic figure. Was Cromwell the villain of history or the victim of its creation? A masterful storyteller, not afraid to interject a healthy portion of English wit, MacCulloch dispels popular myths. Despite being unable to control the violent humor of his King, Cromwell made his mark on England, setting her on a path to religious awakening and indelibly transforming the system of government of the English-speaking world. Norman B’s conversation with Diarmaid MacCulloch is certainly not for history buffs alone, as illustrated by the author’s deadpan reference to the current US President’s possible resemblance to the one-time narcissistic, volatile ruler of England.

Show #338 V1

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

 

Two Books, Two Conversations

                            

It would be reasonable to presume by the title, Why We Elect Narcissists And Sociopaths – And How We Can Stop is yet another book determined to explain how Donald J. Trump became President of the United States. But, bestselling author, therapist, lawyer, and mediator Bill Eddy accomplishes more by describing how dangerous, high-conflict personalities have gained power in governments worldwide – and what citizens can do to keep these people out of office. Eddy suggests democracy is under siege. He says the reason isn’t politics but personalities: too many countries have come under the sway of high-conflict people (HCPs) who have become politicians. Most of these high-conflict politicians have traits of narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial (i.e., sociopathic) personality disorder, or both. HCPs don’t avoid conflict, they thrive on it, widening social divisions and exacerbating international tensions. Drawing on historical examples from Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Nixon to Trump, Maduro, and Putin, Eddy shows how HCPs invent enemies and manufacture phony crises so they can portray themselves as the sole heroic figure who can deal with them, despite their inability to actually solve problems.

Nima is a young Sherpa woman living in the foothills of the Himalayas, a range so immense and place so isolated it is impossible to imagine anything existing beyond it. Nima and her sister are both betrothed to Norbu, a local Sherpa, but when Norbu stuns both families by only wanting to marry Nima, she flees her father’s wrath and the destiny that had been arranged for all of them. Disguised as a man, Nima seeks work and is hired by an American journalist to guide their small group up to Everest Base Camp. The journey is treacherous, and Nima challenges every restriction her culture places on her gender while balancing the duties of her new role as a guide. Popescu brings to life the many contradictions of the region through the eyes of Nima: trails strewn with litter overlook majestic views, Buddhist clarity is marred by sexual oppression and a tourism industry that fuels the local economy also threatens to destroy it. Adam Popescu’s harrowing yet poignant debut novel is all the more intriguing because he convinces the reader these are not his words and thoughts but those of17-year-old Nima.

Order NIMA directly from Unnamed Press and they will donate 20% to the Apa Sherpa Foundation, which provides free hot lunches to schoolchildren in rural Nepal and pays their teachers’ salaries.

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 #326

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