Tag Archives: music

2020 Special Mentions – Life Elsewhere Music Vol 214

Finally, 2020 is over and here we are as if blinking at unfamiliar bright sunlight, wondering what the new year will bring us. Here at Life Elsewhere Towers the abundance of wonderful new releases throughout 2020 could for a moment belie how rubbish the past twelve months have been. Being in isolation has been the prompt for so many creative folk to get off their arses and – well, create! We avoid Best Of Lists because every cut we play at Life Elsewhere Music has to be Best, otherwise, we wouldn’t play them, so we gave you Not The Best Of 2020. To start the New Year, we are giving a big nod to those who deserve a Special Mention

Miranda McCarthy – From Loving You on first play we were singing along with this song. Yes, it does sound familiar, yet original.  Miranda says, “The song was inspired by the wildness of West Cork and a life in profound transformation.”

Eka –  Shadow Play this song arrived unsolicited from Ekaterine, aka Eka with a wonderful descriptive message, “I’m a French visual artist with multicultural background and influences (French, Vietnamese, Russian and I spent my childhood in Brazil)” Eka went on to tell us all about her creative work. Her music caught our attention, in part because of her slight, lilting accent.  

Tears On Demand – If I Was Alive this is an outstanding example why you should investigate the releases on Shoredive Records. This is entrepreneurial, Nicolas Pierre Wardell, boss of the label’s own outfit. Clearly Nico is fluent in how to make an engaging song. The man’s work is appealing and his label must not be overlooked. 

Wu-Lu – Black Classical Music this cut from the Overgrown Interludes album is a perfect example why you need to spend time carefully listening to creativity of Wu-Lu.

Gad Whip – Sundown since we first heard these lads and their uncompromising music it was obvious they would be on our radar. But, please Gad Whip put out more releases often and send us some videos of you playing live. We want to imagine we are there with you having a mad dance around the place. Simply put, damn good intelligent music to have a knees-up to.

Benin City – Get Your Own and while we are talking about being in the dance. Josh, Shanaz & Tom aka, Benin City have that well covered. It would safe to say, every release from Benin City becomes a big fave for us. This trio know how to work their magic. Exceptional, well-crafted music with a message. In Get Your Own they tackle Covid as only Benin City can. 

Phoebe Coco  Different here is a talented in singer-songwriter-musician who has put our a number of superb releases. There is something about Phoebe output that prompts me to suggest she work with a producer who has another angle on her abilities. I’m thinking Olly Shelton of Pela fame, or maybe Adrian Sherwood. Your thoughts?

Tasha But There’s Still The Moon we keep returning to this cut, trying to analyze why it it works so well. Tasha says “For me, the moon is reliable, beautiful, it’s anchoring.” Written in early 2019, this single takes an optimistic message of gentleness. And, that we agree with.

Talitha Ferri Home she is out of Copenhagen, the album is, Get Well Soon. About this song, Talitha writes, “It was written in retrospect, at a time when I was able to appreciate the fragile moment that is falling in love. That sacred little dance we love to drag on and on, clinging to and resenting the space that stands between us.” Beneath that fragility, is a determined songwriter.

This Is The Kit – This Is What You Did this is the musical project of Kate Stables and whoever joins her in locations such as Winchester, Paris and Bristol. Her album, Off Off On showcases clever songwriting and production skills. There is an energy to be savored. 

Happy Speedy – Fresh Air “I like writing sad lyrics to help me through my feelings (or two),” says Eimear Coyle. The Irish-born singer, now located in Glasgow goes on to say she started the band to help her work through some tough times. With Glasgow friends Kieran Coyle, Rosie Pearse, Siobhain Ma and Connell King, their debut LP, You’re Doing OK is one of those hidden gems you should not pass over.

Miriam Ingram – A Tiny White Dot this poignant song from the album, Spells was produced by her son, Diolmhain Ingram-Roche and a fine job he does too of taking us through a psychedelic, visceral, textured maze of vocal loops and layered synths. Miriam’s observations on life are acute. Essential listening.

Keeno – I Wonder (feat. Ellie Madison) real Drum and Bass, Dubstep or Grime have not made it onto mainstream radio in America, which is why we like to make a point of selecting first-class cuts to wake up the neighbors with. Hospital Records out of the UK have been releasing brilliant cuts since 1996. Use this cut to lead you to discover more essential releases. Keeno’s I Wonder (feat. Ellie Madison) is so infectious, you’ll want to hear more.

Winsome – Untitled here is a fine example of how minimalist digital reggae can be so emotive. Winsome Benjamin was a popular Lover’s Rock chanteuse on the UK scene in the 80s. This 12” was probably originally released a few years back but rereleased to help raise donations to the northeast London migrant action (NELMA) solidarity hardship fund.

Penelope Trappes – Eel Drip to end this Special Mentions show an intriguing release. Eel Drip is about honouring the dead, the passing of lives within you and beyond you,” says the London-based artist. She continues “It’s about physical or emotional change, acknowledging fears, and being true to yourself… reaching your full potential.” Words to ponder as we move into a new year. The accompanying, disturbing video was directed by Agnes Haus and inspired by artist Francesca Woodman’s 1970s series of nude self-portraits with Eels.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Life Elsewhere Music. Make sure you let us know what you think of the show. Send your thoughts to normanb@lifeelsewhere.co

Playlist

  1. Miranda McCarthy  From Loving You
  2. EKA – Shadow Play
  3. Tears On Demand – If I Was Alive
  4. Wu-Lu – Black Classical Music
  5. Gad Whip – Sundown
  6. Benin City – Get Your Own
  7. Phoebe Coco – Different
  8. Tasha – But There’s Still The Moon
  9. Tabitha Ferri – Home
  10. This Is The Kit – This Is What You Did
  11. Happy Speedy – Fresh Air
  12. Miriam Ingram – A Tiny White Dot
  13. Keeno – I Wonder (feat. Ellie Madison)
  14. Winsome – Untitled (SUG001-B)
  15. Penelope Trappes – Eel Drip

Happy New Year!

The artwork for this volume is by Jamie Singleton “Beautiful Brian” 1997 6’ x 8’ (detail) Giclée print on archival paper of a manipulated video image. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection. The image of the late Brian Jones has nothing to do with this selection of music. We just happen to love it!

LEM Vol 214

Women In The Alcohol Industry With Hope Ewing. Recalling An Early Conversation With A Star – Arlo Parks

Veteran bartender Hope Ewing, had grown impatient with the surprisingly outdated perceptions of women in the alcohol industry. Entrepreneurial and ambitious, often the first in their fields, the women she knew in the business were leaders, mentors, and trailblazers. In her debut book, Movers & Shakers – Women Making Waves In Sprites, Beer, and Wine, Ewing seeks them out, to share their stories as well as valuable business advice and insight into a constantly evolving industry. In her travels across the country, Hope discovers how women are paving the way and creating a more inclusive and sustainable world full of delicious drinks. Los Angeles-based Hope Ewing talks about her book and the important women involved in the alcohol industry with Norman B and shares the recipe for her favorite cocktail, Where In The World Is Tuan Lee. Here are the ingredients, make one, sip it leisurely as you listen to the conversation.

11/2 ounces Diplomatico

1/2 ounce Batavia Arrack

3/4 ounce Byrrh

1/4 ounce Bigallet China-China

Pour over 1 large ice cube with a grapefruit twist

 

A lot can happen in a couple of years, especially if you display extraordinary talent while still at high school. When we first discovered Arlo Parks, she explained to Norman B that she had school-homework to complete and hoped she wouldn’t get too distracted. At that time the 18-year-old singer-songwriter-poet had just released her debut single, Cola. We were raving on about her ability to write so confidently with such mature lyrics. Then, we got to hear Arlo talk about her music and herself. She spoke so assuredly, we quickly forget she still had school-homework. Yet, even though Arlo chose her words carefully, she never sounded precocious. Instead, she came across as poised while remaining wide-eyed and ready to learn. She managed to be charming and completely unrehearsed. We knew on listening to Arlo Parks talk, there was no doubt that she was a special talent who would not allow herself to be easily engulfed into the fragility of stardom. As you listen to Arlo chat with Norman B, expect to be captivated and remember her music is now on every discerning playlist. We congratulate Arlo Parks on her wonderful success, which is truly well-deserved.

Arlo Parks’ latest single is Caroline

Show 40

Streetlight Harmonies

Brent Wilson

“The main thing was all the girls used to come to the best group. And we were the best group … they used to come and crowd and load up our corner.” The Drifters’ Charlie Thomas on the motivation for starting a vocal group, then he pauses and looks off-screen and says, “Excuse me wife, those were my younger days.” This is just one of the many evocative scenes in the new independent documentary, Streetlight Harmonies. Director, Brent Wilson talked to Norman B about the making of a film which surprisingly, is the first to seriously explore the origins of Doo-Wop. The music is so very familiar, yet few people know the artists. Streetlight Harmonies traces the history of the genre from its street-corner origins through to 60s girl groups and beyond. The film is masterfully put together featuring interviews with Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, “Little” Anthony Gourdine, Lance Bass, and the Crystals’ La La Brooks, among others, as well as restored archival footage. The documentary also touches on the problems the vocal harmony groups faced performing in the segregated South, an issue so pertinent today. During our conversation with Brent Wilson, you’ll hear clips from Streetlight Harmonies and the director’s high regard for the artists and enthusiasm for their influential music.

Show #379

A Rare, Intimate Conversation With Colin Moulding

While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK charting single. Although less prolific than his bandmate, Andy Partridge, bass-player, Colin Moulding wrote the first three charting singles Life Begins At The HopMaking Plans For Nigel, and Generals and Majors. By 2007 it was reported that Colin “was not interested in music”. Yet over the next couple of years, he made guest appearances on a number of recordings with various artists. Then, in 2017 Moulding announced that he and former XTC drummer, Terry Chambers had recorded a four-track EP, titled Great Aspirations.  The bass player and drummer began promoting their new project under the moniker of, TC&I and planned a small tour in England. After hearing the remarkable new recordings, and recognizing a large ongoing interest in XTC and Moulding, we set about arranging an intimate conversation with the Swindon-based musician. The result, an unabridged chat between Colin Moulding and Life Elsewhere host, Norman B. You’ll hear Colin talk about the early days of a fledgeling rock band, his early influences and a preference for an intuitive approach to songwriting. He also dismisses the ragged myths of unquenchable availability sex and drugs for young musicians, but he does endorse being reasonable while learning along the way. Colin Moulding is a gracious talented man and a delightful conversationalist. Make sure you don’t miss this edition of Life Elsewhere.

Photo by Laima Bite

Show #357

Not The Best Of 2019

Here at Life Elsewhere Music we are not against “Best Of” lists. We understand why the annual barrage of “Best Of” for everything from toothbrushes to movies, cars to books, shampoo to music…the lists go on and on. But, at Life Elsewhere Music so much good music has come our way in the last 12 months, it would be unfair to classify one release better than another. After all, incredible talent and effort have gone into the releases curated at Life Elsewhere Music, in fact, some cuts improve with each play. To be completely fair, this year we present Not The Best Of 2019. We tabulated all the requests and all the repeat plays of all the releases we have aired on L E M in the past twelve months. And we counted which songs we played most often at Life Elsewhere Towers, at home, at the gym, and in the car. For 60 minutes you’ll hear a non-stop mix of Not The Best Of 2019.

PS: If we didn’t include your band or song or your favorite cut, don’t worry, remember, everything we curate and play at Life Elsewhere Music is the best.

 

LEM Vol 161

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