Category Archives: Punk

Remembering Pete Shelley

In 1975 Pete Shelley (real name Peter Campbell McNeish) and Howard Devoto (real name Howard Trafford) decide to start a band and chance upon a headline: “It’s The Buzz, Cock!” And, Buzzcocks were born. In 1977 Buzzcocks released their first EPSpiral Scratch, on their independent label, New Hormones. When Devoto left the band in February 1977, Shelley took over as the lead vocalist and chief songwriter. Working with the producer Martin Rushent, the band created the punk/new wave singles Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get?, and Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) along with three LPs: Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978), Love Bites (1978), and A Different Kind of Tension (1979). From the beginning, the band was considered a major influence on music at the time and over the years are often cited as the inspiration for bands such as Green Day and many more. Shelley in his own right was a controversial figure with implicit references to his sexuality in many of the songs he had written, which came to wide attention due to his single, Homosapien. Banned by the BBC, the song became a dance hit in America. Sadly, Pete Shelley died at his home in Estonia on the morning of December 6, 2018. Musicologist, Adam Morris, a contributor to Life Elsewhere, shares his remembrances of Pete Shelley.

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

Dr. Bass Explains His Passion

Dr. James Bass

“It’s just like rock ’n’ roll, it’s all about life and love!” Proclaims Dr. James Bass, explaining his passion, Choral Music. The esteemed Director of Choral Studies in the School of Music at the University of South Florida and the artistic director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, becomes animated, gesticulating with a conductor’s panache as he leans into the microphone. Norman B invited James Bass to talk about an often misunderstood genre of music. Choral music refers to music sung by a choir. Each musical part is sung by two or more voices. The size of a choir varies, it can be as few as a dozen singers or as large as to be able Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E Flat Major also known as Symphony of a Thousand.” Explains Dr. Bass, who illustrates his chosen topic with judiciously selected works. Be prepared to reappraise your thoughts on Choral Music, as James enthusiastically shares his knowledge. His refreshing take is unwavering, even when asked if sex is integral part of Choral Music.

Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Dr. Bass is an extraordinary guest. His music selection will amaze you, including a special Hit That Never Was, featuring the late Elliott Smith.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.04.05 PMSpecial programming note: The October 4th edition of Life Elsewhere will feature an exclusive interview with Frank Jenkinson, who documented the very first days of Killing Joke in 1979. Frank was right there, living in the same ramshackle house in Notting Hill Gate, London, along with band members and the original management team. Jenkinson witnessed the birth of what was to becomeScreen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.03.51 PM one of the most influential bands of the late 70’s London music scene. Better still, he had a camera, which he took along to gigs, including the legendary John Peel Radio Show Sessions. The photos he Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.03.16 PMtook, graphically document a moment in time, now long gone and shrouded in mystery. Frank’s extraordinary photographs lay dormant in a dusty box, under his stairs, until he recently noticed on Facebook, Killing Joke‘s ever-increasing and devoted following. HeScreen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.03.00 PM has self-published a unique photo-book, representing a small moment of time in 1979, with plans to publish a much larger volume of his historical pictures. To round out our focus on Killing Joke, we look to the future of music with highlights from Norman B’s 2013 in-depth interview with Killing Joke‘s bass player, Martin Youth Glover.

The Killing Joke photographs are from the BBC John Peel Sessions, October, 17, 1979, by permission of Frank Jenkinson

Life Elsewhere airs:
Sundays at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays at 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Past editions of Life Elsewhere are available at the WMNF Listen-On-Demand feature

Roadie + Junkie + Robber = Author

During punk rock’s heyday Patrick O’Neil worked at the legendary Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco’s premier punk venue. He then went on to become a roadie and eventually the road manager for Dead Kennedys and Flipper, as well as the Subhumans and T.S.O.L. But that was before his life got totally out of control. O’Neil was a heroin addict for eighteen years, incarcerated for two anda half years, went to two long-term residential rehabs for a total of three years, worked as a substance abuse counselor for six years, and has been clean off drugs for the last thirteen. His memoir Gun, Needle, Spoon follows his desperately out of control life from punk rock pioneer to his slide into drug abuse and life as an armed robber, all the way through to life in recovery and what it’s like to look back on those times, knowing all the while that he is still under the threat of three strikes, a twenty-five-to-life prison sentence waiting. He has no choice but to deal with it all drug free.

Gun, Needle, Spoon has just been published and receiving rave reviews, Patrick O’Neil, currently on a nationwide tour will join us for the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk about his new book and life on the road for a noted author.

Life Elsewhere airs every Sunday at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Mondays at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

From Public Enemy to Pussy Riot

In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, “Protest Music” from: Public Enemy | 3 Phase Featuring Dr Motte | Spiral Tribe | Boney M | Replikas | Pussy Riot | Kendrick Lamar

Yes, Boney M are included in the list of “Protest Music”! Find out why and how when we talk with Matthew Collin about his new book, Pop Grenade: From Public Enemy to Pussy Riot – Dispatches from Musical FrontlinesWe asked Matthew“Where have all the protest songs gone?”  He responded, “If you ask that question, then you haven’t been listening to the right stuff”. He writes that music is still a vital form of resistance in these latter days of Capitalism. He begins his book with the raw political force of Public Enemy at their height, moving next to the ultimately tragic arc of the Love Parade in Berlin. From there, he accompanies a group of techno renegades as they travel central Europe, visiting the war-torn Balkans to inject some humanity into a hell-scape. Next he stops is the slightly surreal era of Saakashvili’s Georgia who enlists the help of Boney M to regain the rebellious states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Collin journeys to tear-gas clouded Gezi Park, as the Turks push back against Erdoğan and a swelling religio-neoliberalism. Finally, he heads to Moscow, to get a feel for Putin’s Russia after more than a decade of control, and the nascent push-back by the likes of Pussy Riot and others.

His book is a fascinating read, because he writes from experience, documenting a mixture of the personal and the journalistic, interspersed with historical allusions and slices of local flavour. Matthew Collin will join Norman B in the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk about his engaging book and answer, “Where have all the protest songs gone?”

Life Elsewhere airs every Sunday at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Mondays at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Wreckless Eric, Peter James & Syd Matters

“Any fool can have ideas. It’s what you do with them that matters. Ian Dury gave me that gem of advice”.

Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World

In Part Two of Norman B’s exclusive interview with Wreckless Eric, the man who penned Whole Wide World recalls his early days of being thrust into the limelight and discovering not everyone had an appreciation of culture, like he did. Eric was surprised by the deliberate reverse snobbery permeating the music world in the late 70’s, the 80’s and even up until today. He found a kindred spirit with the gifted Ian Dury, who became a mentor, advocate and friend. Wreckless Eric speaks passionately as he tells his story, but always with a healthy dollop of humor.

Dry wit, also figures into our conversation with Peter James, the best-selling and acclaimed author. Norman B invited Peter to give us his overview on the outcome of the recent UK election. Peter James a well-qualified and keen observer of life in the UK and America offers an interesting analysis of how the polls could have been so wrong and what the results mean to American and the rest of the world. When asked who the Brits would prefer to see next in the Whitehouse, Peter James replies, “Hilary! We’re afraid of some nutter getting in with a finger on the button! We need someone moderate, who understands the world!”

Also in the program, the Hit that Never Was, selected by a listener who asks for her request to be dedicated to her partner, currently working with a UN education team in Afghanistan. Her request is a beautiful song, My Lover’s On The Pier from French act Syd Matters.

Life Elsewhere airs Sunday, May 17 at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Monday, May 18 at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

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