Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tin Pan Alley, Crosswords & A Tribute

On the next edition of Life Elsewhere, author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda, will talk about his new book, The B-Side, The Death Of Tin Pan Alley And The Rebirth Of The Great American Song. The acclaimed cultural historian has written an entertaining, well-researched exploration of America’s songwriting history. The story has many twists and turns, but the reality of why and how the great American songbook almost vanished is not as straightforward as you may think. Make sure you listen in to catch samples of music you almost forgot about.

Alan Connor, London-based author and TV producer joins the program to talk about his new book, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. You’ll hear about the colorful characters who make up the interesting and often bizarre subculture of crossword constructors and competitive solvers. The A-list names of some of the more well-known among the puzzle solvers, may surprise you. Connor even explains how your character is revealed by the implement you use.

This week in the portion of the program where a listener takes over and selects The Hit That Never Was, we’ll play the first single released on the innovative Mute records in 1979, Fad Gadget with Back To Nature. The late Francis John “Frank” Tovey, was a British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist. He was a proponent of both new wave and early industrial music, fusing together a unique blend of pop structured songs mixed with mechanised experimentation. As Fad Gadget, his music was characterised by the use of synthesizers in conjunction with sounds of found objects, including drills and electric razors. His bleak, sarcastic and darkly humorous lyrics were filled with biting social commentary toward subjects such as machinery, industrialisation, consumerism, human sexuality, mass media, religion, domestic violence and dehumanization while often being sung in a deadpan voice.

Sadly, as we were putting this edition of Life Elsewhere together, news came in that George Romansic, a man who played a significant part in how Life Elsewhere began, had succumbed to brain cancer. George was a pioneer of the alternative music scene in Seattle, playing drums with effortless verve in now cult favorites, The Beakers, 3 Swimmers and Danger Bunny, Noman B will pay tribute to his long-time friend.

Coincidences, coincidences…Norman saw George Romansic for the last time in April, 2014, in Seattle. George had just returned from a cancer treatment, when they met up; instead of bemoaning his disconcerting condition, he prefered to quizz Norman on which Killing Joke record was the best. Undoubtedly, George would be eager to read Norman B’s interview with Martin “Youth” Glover, legendary Killing Joke  bassist and producer… just published one day ago at the excellent Trebuchet Magazine.

Make sure you take notice of our new live broadcast time and place: 12 noon ET, every Sunday at WMNF The Source HD3. It’s easy to listen, click here in your browser. And, you can listen on your iPhone or iPad, get the new WMNF player here.

Reader’s Choice.

Life Elsewhere has fast become the go-to place for authors, publishers and book-lovers. We know this, thanks to the clever-clogs at WordPress, who are masterful at extrapolating data. The stats show that Life Elsewhere is linked, visited, and searched by an unusually high percentage of people who author, publish and read books. Going deeper into the traffic results, we discovered that the favorite book mentioned at Life Elsewhere, for 2014,  was Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton. This came partly as a surprise, because this book was only mentioned once on the program, when regular contributor and acclaimed creative director, Robert Newman selected Humans of New York for his Christmas Gift selection for 2013. We deduced a few certainties from this information, 1) Readers and listeners of Life Elsewhere pay careful attention. 2) You like big books with lots of pictures. 3) Robert Newman did a convincing job explaining why you need to get a copy.

It’ll be interesting to review the stats and data for 2015. We already know that one book we have featured is on the must-have shopping list for a number of Life Elsewhere devotees. Here’s an example from one of a few emails we received about Unbecoming: A Novel by Rebecca SchermI just ordered her book after I read your recommendation and comments” wrote Jean, from Seattle. Thank you Jean and everyone else who showed interest in Rebecca Scherm and her debut novel. We have an incredible list of authors with new books scheduled for interviews in upcoming editions of Life Elsewhere, including, Ben Yagoda who will talk about his new book, The B-Side, The Death Of Tim Pan Alley And The Rebirth Of The Great American Song. We’ll explore an hilarious take on modern family life, parenthood, and marriage with Tim Dowling author of How To Be A Husband. Best-selling author David J. Linden will join the program to talk about examining how our sense of touch and emotion are interconnected in his new book Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind. And, Norman Doidge, M.D. unravels Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticityin The Brain’s Way of Healing

Please make sure you take notice of our new live broadcast time and place: 12 noon ET, every Sunday at WMNF The Source HD3. It’s easy to listen, click here in your browser. And, you can listen on your iPhone or iPad, get the new WMNF player here. Got Android? You can listen to our live stream on Android phones via the TuneIn Player app.

100 Shows & Counting!

The photo gallery above illustrates just some of the notable guests who have appeared on the first 100 editions of Life Elsewhere. As 2015 approaches and we prepare for many more editions of Life Elsewhere, we are going to take our first break from regular broadcast on Monday, December 29. The show will continue in the new year with more acclaimed guests, divergent topics and ground-breaking interviews.

Thank you to all of our guests who helped set Life Elsewhere apart from other radio shows. And, a very big round of appreciation to our listeners who have enthusiastically shown their support for a program that dares to be different.

Creative Direction, British Style, Surfing, Illustration, Minimal Design and A Wish List!

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 8.10.42 AM

Go to BACK. to discover the latest links to creative direction, British style, surfing, illustration, minimal design and what’s on Norman B’s Holiday wish list.

Next up on Life Elsewhere, best-selling author Peter James talks about his latest book Want You Dead, the tenth in the Roy Grace detective-thriller series. James is a fascinating guest who will share his opinions on the intricacies of police work and criminal minds.

Plus, a listener selects Lizzy Mercier Descloux  for the latest Hit That Never Was. And, we’ll present a surprise Holiday release from Lola DutronicThe Christmas Disco.

Life Elsewhere airs Monday at 9.00am ET 

WMNF 88.5fm


Holiday Gifts!

In the latest edition of Life Elsewhere, our distinguished panel of experts offered their suggestions for our Annual Christmas Gift Special. Each guest was asked to select three books and one non-book gift. Their choices were as different as they were intriguing.

Peter James, best-selling author of the Roy Grace detective-thriller series:


The Burning Room – Michael Connelly

A Year In The Life Of Downton Abbey – Jessica Fellowes

Practical Homicide Investigation – Vernon J Geberth

Nespresso D290 Concept Espresso and Coffeemaker

Robert Newman, esteemed creative director and influential design consultant:


Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art – edited by John Duke Kirsch

Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression – Richard Havers

Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague – Joyce Brabner, illustrated by Mark Zingarelli

Donation to Ferguson Memorial Public Library

Mark Haskell-Smith, author of five novels and the forthcoming Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World

The Moor’s Account – Laila Lalami

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them – Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More than 500 Recipes – David Kaplan

Hiut Denim

David UlinLos Angeles Times book critic and author of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time

Citizen: An American Lyric – Claudia Rankine

Gabriel: A Poem – Edward Hirsch

Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas – Patrick Modiano

Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Happy Holidays! Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 9.12.26 AMListen to Life Elsewhere Podcasts here

« Older Entries