Intriguing, Alluring: Samana. Redux

Samana are huge favorites at Life Elsewhere. They have appeared on the show a number of times, talking about their music and even suggesting presents for the Holiday Season. We think you deserve to hear our original interview with them again. Samana are a nomadic duo who recently returned from a year-long trip living and writing on the road. Having taken residence in a farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons, Samana have since built an analog studio and darkroom where the duo creates all of their work.” That was the only information to accompany four beautiful tracks of music on the EP, Requiem by Samana. The music is intriguing, alluring, in parts haunting, sad even, yet there is a warmth, a soul…perhaps an expression of love? We had to know more. With a little determination, we made contact with the elusive duo and an interview was arranged via Skype. In the next edition of Life ElsewhereNorman B talks with Rebecca and Frankie of Samana. Be prepared to be captivated as they speak openly with unaffected honesty. You’ll hear the four tracks from Requiem plus a bonus cut, The Black Forest. Make sure you do not miss Samana on Life Elsewhere, all the air times and links are below.

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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

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Terrorism Then & Wealth Now

The Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. The FALN. The Black Liberation Army. The names may seem almost quaint now, when not forgotten altogether. But there was a time in America, during the 1970s, when bombings by domestic underground groups were a daily occurrence. The FBI combated these and other groups as nodes in a single revolutionary underground, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government. Forty years later, talk of terrorism in America conjures up a vastly different threat. The juxtaposition of terrorism then and now is why Bryan Burrough’s Days Of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, The FBI, And The Forgotten Age Of Revolutionary Violence is such a compelling and timely read. Bryan Burrough joins Life Elsewhere to remind us of a time of native-born radicals, most of them “nice middle-class kids,” smuggling bombs into skyscrapers and detonating them inside the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol, at a Boston courthouse and a Wall Street restaurant packed with lunchtime diners.

Our second interview is with Sam Wilkin, author of Wealth Secrets: How The Rich Got Rich. One surprising conclusion Wilkin arrives at is the relatively small number of people throughout history who have become staggeringly wealthy, despite superficial differences, their methods to amass their fortunes, they all have a great deal in common. To explain, Sam goes back in time and unravels the wealth secrets of Ancient Romans, where the disparity between the very rich and the very poor is startlingly like our world today. Discussing wealth or the lack of it is a sobering topic, thankfully, Sam Wilkin imparts artful humor into his writing and the interview.

Make sure you do not miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere and two timely interviews with Bryan Burrough and Sam Wilkin.

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

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

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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

Art & Activism

“There is an art to every practice, activism included.” Says Stephen Duncombe, co-founder of The Center For Artistic Activism. “This is a place to explore, analyze, and strengthen connections between social activism and artistic practice. Our goal is to make more creative activists and more effective artists. We aim to win.” Stephen has been an activist his entire life, with an impressive résumé, including over two decades of experience as both a teacher and an organizer. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere you’ll hear Duncombe speak passionately about The Center For Artistic Activism, “We believe in Utopia, not as a destination but as a direction.” He says, adding, “We believe that everyone has an artistic life they can bring to their activism.

David Cowles is an award-winning illustrator and animation director. His distinctive, graphic caricature portraits have appeared in countless magazines and newspapers. While not overtly political, Cowles’ caricature work could easily be pointed in that direction. But the artist’s colorful work is typically family-friendly, particularly his superb animations. David talks with Norman B about how he creates his memorable work and reveals who he finds difficult to characterize and, yes, David Cowles gives his views on Art and Activism.

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