Tag Archives: IRN

A Self-Isolating Conversation With Dr. Binoy Kampmark

The fourteen-hour time difference hardly seems to matter when you are self-isolating. Days seem to run into each other. Cable news doesn’t help, everyone is jibber-jabbering from their homes via Skype or Zoom, etc. The only slight relief from the monotonous drone of doom and gloom from the endless rotation of hostage-like videos is peering into a pundit home. Is my home interior as predictable as Chris Cuomo’s basement? Is historian, Michael Beschloss’s perfectly manicured office in what appears to be a pristine home in Westchester.? Self-isolating has created a whole new way of living, including producing a radio show without going into the studio. Our first Life Elsewhere show produced without all the usual technical bells and whistles was recorded and mixed on a laptop. Our guest, Dr. Binoy Kampmark is used to speaking to us from the future, Melbourne is fourteen hours away, so one of us may be getting ready for bed. 

We reached out to Dr. Kampmark for his learned take on current world events. How is Covid-19 being addressed in Australia? The US response to the pandemic? Can we foresee the aftermath? The world’s reaction to the claim of a hoax by Trump? The coming US election – will it happen? The extradition of Julian Assange and an update on his critical condition? Dr. Binoy Kampmark is very well versed in the Assange case. His insight into the physical well-being of the Wikileaks founder is alarming. No matter what your opinion of Assange is, you will be shocked by the gruesome details and legal maneuvering involved in his plight shared by Dr. Kampmark

To round out the show, music for a few minutes of contemplation, for taking a much deserved deep breath, for reflecting on the wonderful and special people in our lives. From the exceptional album, I Will Not Be Sad In This World, Djivan Gasparyan with A Cool Wind Is Blowing, followed by Klive and Nigel Humberstone, also known as In The Nursery with Pacify from their gorgeous album, 1961.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

LE #367

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 

 

Two Cultural Phenomena

                                     

Each August staff and volunteers begin to construct Black Rock City, a temporary city located in the hostile and haunting Black Rock Desert of northwestern Nevada. Every September nearly seventy thousand people occupy the city for Burning Man, an event that creates the sixth-largest population center in Nevada. By mid-September, the infrastructure that supported the community is fully dismantled, and by October the land on which the city lay is scrubbed of evidence of its existence. For nearly a decade Carolyn L. White has employed archaeological methods to analyze the various aspects of life and community in and around Burning Man and Black Rock City. With a syncretic approach, this work in active-site archaeology provides both a theoretical basis and a practical demonstration of the potential of this new field to reexamine the most fundamental conceptions in the social sciences. Ms. White talks with Norman B about her scholarly and fascinating book, The Archaeology of Burning Man – The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City.

Carolyn L. White is a professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“How could a quintessential British TV sitcom, reimagined for an American audience become a massive success and a cultural phenomenon?” Rolling Stone senior writer, Andy Greene was expecting the question. In his explorative book, The Office – The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene takes readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. He gives the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America. Andy explains how NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left. He also agrees the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance.

Show #366

How To Enjoy Social Distancing

No matter who you are, where you live or how much money you thought you had at the beginning of this past week, the fact is, we are all now living in uncertain times. Is this the same feeling of uncertainty my parents suffered at the beginning and throughout World War Two? Can we equate this pandemic with anything we may have endured before? The rows of empty shelves at the supermarkets, the stockpiling of food and, yes, toilet-paper is bizarre and disturbing. Restaurants, bars, and almost all businesses are closed, streets are empty of people and rush-hour traffic has dwindled to mostly UberEats deliveries. “Weird!” “Unbelievable!” “Crazy!” Are just some of the descriptive words you hear repeatedly in any given conversation. And, a new vocabulary has stormed our everyday dialogue. “Coronavirus” may be slightly amusing if you choose to believe Mexican beer is associated with a plague from China.  “COVID-19” is just plain scary. Forget the initials, what does the “19” mean? Then, there are two words that you never thought you’d hear together, “Social Distancing”. Talk about a wacky contradiction. “Social distancing? It’s a bit millennial-biased!” Exclaimed my friend MS who also believes, “Good music stopped being made around 1977!” I will admit to feeling a little awkward when I first uttered, “social distancing”. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and yes, it does come across as a bit affected. Yet, here we are letting each other know we are doing it, we are “social distancing”. Now what? To help answer that bewildering question, we called upon some of our favorite guests who also happen to have exceptionally creative minds to share their thoughts on how to enjoy social distancing.

Film and media critic, Bob Ross, jaded as he sometimes pretends to be, always enthuses over his favorite movies. With a new book on the way, Demagogue For President – The Rhetorical Genius Of Donald Trump, Dr. Jennifer Mercieca turns away from politics to talk about baking while social distancing. The dry-humor of comedian, writer, musician, Dave Hill is unavoidable as he gives his sage advice on social distancing. While, best-selling author, Mark Haskell Smith offers pertinent tips for social distancing, plus enthusiastically raves about must-read books. Crosswords are Adrienne Raphel’s passion, her fascinating book, Thinking Inside The Box – Adventures With Crosswords And The Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them was published just a couple of days ago, unavoidably in time for social distancing.

 

Show #365

A Conversation With Harry Stafford

There is something assuringly honest about Harry Stafford’s demeanor. He says without a hint of self-consciousness that he likes to get up on stage and put on a show and if that means dressing the part, then so be it, he’ll gladly do his best. Which goes a long way to explain why the one-time spiky-haired goth rocker now prefers to wear a conservative business suit with a white shirt and tie to perform in. Harry reckons if people pay good money to come to see you, then they deserve a show, not some bloke shambling on in boring jeans and a t-shirt. It all works because Stafford’s new album, Gothic Urban Blues presents melancholy look backward without being old-fashioned. It’s a collection that could have easily been released ten, twenty or maybe thirty years ago, yet the suggestion that this is a carefully crafted homage to nostalgia is shattered by the crisp production and Stafford’s almost languid but up-to-the-moment lyrics. Gothic Urban Blues can be played all the way through without stopping or one track at a time, it’s one of those albums that works perfectly either way. Which is a lot like chatting with Harry. He gives thoughtful, well-considered answers with a treasure trove of insights and details that could persuade you that your sixty-minute conversation was really just ten minutes. He’s an affable chap is Harry Stafford, the ups and downs of the music biz may have given him cause to be cynical but he manages to keep that persona well hidden. Instead, he recounts the early days as founder, guitarist, and vocalist of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies as fondly as he chats about his latest venture. Stafford decided to release untamed solo material that echoes his love of blues piano and barroom ballads. The idea he says was to leave his noisy electric guitar behind – abandoning everything he held and cherished – to make some new music with a piano and a head full of ideas. His band is now called Guitar Shaped Hammers to reflect this cohesion of musical unity – with more guitars from Vincent O’Brien, and an additional layered sonic blast from Nick Brown (The Membranes). With intense percussion from Rob Haynes and a truly masterful trumpet contribution from jazz supremo Kevin Davy, the result is very much the soundtrack of a basement radio station stumbling across a new genre they’ve tagged Gothic Urban Blues

LEM Vol 172

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