Category Archives: WMNF The Source

Funny Guys, Seriously. Redux*

With an insult Tweeting President, our world appears so preposterous it’s almost possible to believe we are all living out the fantasy of a comedian’s mind. That maybe going to far, even comedians are not amused by the antics from the White House. For instance, comedian, writer, musician, actor, and radio host, Dave Hill along with his good friend and fellow comedian, Greg Barris, who is a staple of New York’s downtown stand-up scene, were in the neighborhood performing recently. They graciously took time out from their hectic schedule to chat with Norman B. Understandably, the ensuing conversation explored what is funny in the age of TrumpDave and Greg also shared their opinions on a wide range of topics, including the fraternity of comics; the evolution of comedy; Robin Williams and Johnny Carson; comedy specials; hecklers and the use of profanity. Comedians seldom reveal what’s behind their on-stage persona, in this hour of conversation, Norman B guides Dave Hill and Greg Barris to comfortably offer insights into the minds of two very funny guys, seriously.

*This is a redux edition of Life Elsewhere. Perhaps now, more than ever, we think you need to hear what Dave and Greg have to say. 

Life Elsewhere is available at 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

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

Remembering Brian Taylor

It was late on a dreary afternoon in London, I was jet-lagged after a flight from Seattle. I made my way cautiously from Notting Hill Gate tube station to an address near Ladbroke Grove. Although the area was as familiar as the back of my hand, a lot had changed in the years I had been in America. The birth of Punk had coincided with my departure to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Portobello Road, was just around the corner, where I fondly recalled my days selling hand-painted ties in the market on Saturdays. The area was now awash with spikey-haired youths sporting studded leather jackets, assorted piercings, tattoos and awkwardly-contrived wasted-poses. Many of the once glorious townhomes were now boarded up or in a state of suspended demolition. The impact of Thatcher’s Britain was not looking so good around these parts. Eventually, I found the address, obviously run-down, with some windows missing. The front door, barely on its hinges. Clambering up the filthy, rickety stairs, I remember noting that the aromas of piss, greasy food, vomit and ganja really don’t mix well. I discovered a door with a hastily scribbled note, that read, “Malicious Damage is here and th…” The rest was ripped off, leaving visitors guessing.  After knocking on the door many times, it creaked open and a wobbly head with disastrous white-boy dreads appeared and inquired as to my reason for “Fuckin’ banging on the fuckin’ door, you cunt!”. Dread-head* then brushed passed me, leaving a trail of patchouli essence and harsh cigarette smoke gagging my throat on top of all the other ripe smells. Dready lurched down the hallway, then almost falling down the stairs, managed to call me and possibly every person he ever knew, “Cunts! fuckin’ cunts!” I entered the room, introduced myself to the assorted Muppets gathered in various languorous states. A tousled-haired fellow sitting cross-legged on the floor was wrestling with plastic bags and what looked like record sleeves, only they were about 10 inches square and were apparently one-sided. “Hi, there.” Said the industrious fellow, “I’m Brian, c’mon in.” Beers appeared out of nowhere and copious amounts of hashish were consumed and hours went by. My memory may fail me, but I’m sure that was the time Brian suggested we go eat and we toddled off to South Kensington at my suggestion, to scoff down wonderful Thai food at an old standby of mine, The Bangkok on Bute Street. The enigmatic Ian Lowery. joined us. He and Brian screamed at each other in the cab on the way to the restaurant. It was a serious disagreement over what Plato meant to the 20th century. Later, I was to discover this was standard when hanging out with Brian Taylor. The man not only had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, he was also able to quote Rimbaud or Nietzsche or Freud or whoever you suggested, at will. He was as fluent in Bukowski as he was Shakespeare. He knew the names of cameramen on obscure foreign films. His love of kilims was matched only by his expertise. Brian amazed me. I loved being around him. His brain worked fast and hard and his humor was priceless. That first meeting with Brian Taylor was triggered by a visit to Rough Trade, where Geoff Travis had urged me to check out Brian and a new band he was managing, Killing Joke. Turn To Red was just about to be released and the Peel sessions were still to happen. I scampered back to Seattle with a cardboard box full of wonderful platters. The Killing Joke 10 inch was my treasure. Back in the states, I treated listeners to my show on KRAB the wonders of that record, playing it again and again, week after week. To my knowledge, I was the first person to play Turn To Red on the radio in America. That cemented my friendship with Brian. Each new release on Malicious Damage was rushed over to me, which in those days meant, if Brian could afford the postage, I received a brand new platter in about two weeks after it came off the press. Brian and I communicated by phone occasionally, but mostly by mail. I still have those long, often rambling letters from Brian, documenting the goings on with Killing Joke, and the other acts now on his label. At some point, Brian announced he was coming out to Seattle for a visit. He was having a hard time with some of the members of KJ, he wrote. He was pissed off and needed to get away. Come on over I said, and he did. I remember little of his visit other than we spent many hours drinking and solving the world’s problems while neglecting our own. Time went by, things happened for both of us. We grew older and moved around. In the past few years, we spoke regularly, with Brian in Turkey and me in Florida. Often we agreed after long, long conversations to meet up again. Just a few days ago I mentioned to Brian that I would be in the UK soon. “I’ll be in Brighton.” He offered.  “So will I!” I shouted. It was agreed, we’d meet up, probably drink our fair share and put the world in order and of course, overlook our own problems, again. Rest In Peace Brian. Norman B June 4, 2017

The image of Brian Taylor is courtesy of Frank Jenkinson who managed to capture a time and place with deft skill and determination as illustrated in his self-published book, KILLING JOKE Picture Book 1979   

*Dread-head went on to fame and glory.

Life Elsewhere is available at 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

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

Two Interviews & One Song You Need To Hear!

Next on Life Elsewhere, Norman B interviews two accomplished authors and selects music you need to hear.

Before Edward Snowden’s infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell, the title of Yudhijit Bhattacharjee’s latest engaging book.

Sonia Taitz’s new novel, Great With Child, is a well-crafted summer read about an aspiring lawyer, who happens to be single and pregnant, involved in a love triangle while engaged in an intriguing sub-plot. But, is Sonia Taitz cleverly presenting a shrewd observation on the hurdles of being a working mother dealing with rampant misogyny and difficult career choices?

“So much new, interesting music comes my way,” says Norman B, “And, every so often I hear something that I feel you need to hear too. F/V Hope the new album from Philadelphia-based Friendship is such an album. It’s a curio that surprises me on each play. The cut I selected, Seen But No Reply is based on a modern theme – email. Yet the arrangement, instrumentation, plaintive vocal and even the tempo suggests it’s from another era, maybe the past, or possibly an unknown future.”

Life Elsewhere is available at 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

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Tuesdays 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

American Catch. Whisk(e)y Distilled. Cork Dork.

                          

The U.S. has access to 94,000 miles of coastline, and nearly half the population lives less than ten miles from the sea. Yet 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. In contrast, a third of all the fish and shellfish we catch are sold to foreign countries. What is keeping us from eating from our local waters? Norman B interviews New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg who’s new book  American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood examines the logic-defying problem with American seafood consumption. Greenberg deftly explores three quintessential American seafoods: The New York oyster, the Gulf shrimp, and the Alaskan sockeye salmon. We may believe that we are what we eat, but Greenberg argues that we do not eat what we truly are. We are an ocean nation, the author says, yet we eat a minimal amount of seafood in comparison to meat and poultry. Study after study has touted the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s from fish, and we have access to a wealth of nutritious, local food options, but we opt out.

Whisk(e)y is in the midst of a huge renaissance. Ten years ago, the United States housed sixty-nine craft distillers; today, there are more than four hundred. Exports of Scotch whisky grew 12 percent just last year. Sales are skyrocketing, and specialty bars are popping up around the country, from New York City to Chicago to Houston. Whisk(e)y expert Heather Greeneauthor of Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life will explain to Norman B, (who admits to being a novice) the mysteries of Whisk(e)y, the crucial importance of “nosing” Whisk(e)y and the spelling.

Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.She visits underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: What’s the big deal about wine? Bianca Bosker joins Norman B to talk about her new book Cork Dork – A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste.

Life Elsewhere airs:
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

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on I R N

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

In These Turbulent Times

josh

Josh Idehen of Hugh wrote to us a few days ago, he wanted to let us know about his band’s new single, This Is How It Starts. The title, he says of their first single for 2017, is deliberate. Hugh wants to alert their past and new fans they’re starting the new year as they intend to continue. Josh Idehen and his bandmates are excited about what the future may hold for Hugh, but he punctuated his enthusiastic announcement with these words: “Happy new year, hope you’ve been keeping good in these turbulent times!” In a previous interview, we learned that Josh likes to talk, he has opinions and he gladly shares them. So, we invited Josh Idehen back to Life Elsewhere to talk about Hugh’s new single, their forthcoming album and these turbulent times. The result is an interview with a man who speaks passionately about racism, growing up in a world of corporal punishment in Nigeria, performing as Biggie, Tupac, and ironically, Freddie Mercury, rising above the cruel racism in gaming, and a belief that a better future can be the outcome of these turbulent times.

Life Elsewhere airs:
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

kim-knucklesLife Elsewhere Music airs:
Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on Internet Radio Network
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You can hear all the volumes of Life Elsewhere Music over at Mixcloud

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