Tag Archives: music

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

Graphic Design In The Age Of Unrest – Redux

As the Midterm Election Day progressed social media was very much alive and well with almost everyone it seemed rushing to let the rest of us know what they had been doing mere moments before by posting selfies with “I Voted!” stickers, front and center. If you were not already sure how our world has changed in the age of Trump, then the cacophony of “I Voted!” stickers should have convinced you. The omnipresent stickers came in never-ending varieties, from the generic to the overtly partisan and the downright ornery, “I Voted – Have You?” No matter if we accept or not, that all of these tiny, little graphic messages were designed. Someone somewhere produced artwork that had to be sent to a printer. A perfect example of graphic design being used to make a point, to get a message across. Which is exactly what graphic design is meant to do. These miniature statements in mostly red, white and blue may not be the pinnacle of brilliant graphic design but they initiated a discussion on graphic design in times of unrest.  Acclaimed New York-based creative director, Robert Newman suggests the anonymously-designed “I Voted!” stickers are not too far removed from the bold, unforgettable graphics of Emory Douglas for Black Panthers in the ’60s. He adds, “In times of unrest, graphic designers always shine.”

Robert Newman discusses graphic design in the age of unrest on our next edition. Below are links to many of the graphics we mention in the show and illustrated above.

Edsel Rodriguez

Black Lives Matter

Home Made Graphics

Act Up

Gun Control

Feminist Graphic Design

Afropunk

Pink Pussy Hat

Trump Magazine Covers

Show #338 Vs 2

A Conversation With Rudy Tambala – Redux

Rudy Tambala is a smart guy, he’s well read, he’s articulate and he enjoys a spirited conversation. He’s sincere when he states, “Rock ’n’ roll is fucking sex! It’s the rhythm of your blood. It’s the most vital force. Without it, there isn’t any existence on this planet!” The irony of his words adds to the fascination of listening to a man whose creative talent has been on display for over three decades. Rudy Tambala first came to critical acclaim as one half of the influential duo, A. R. Kane. Released thirty years ago Lollita, their mesmerizing 12” EP for the enterprising 4AD label, remains as fresh and innovative now as it did way back then. During Norman B’s exclusive interview with Rudy, the forthright musician reveals how he and his bandmate, Alex Ayuli created their extraordinary and frequently emulated sound. He talks enthusiastically of the beginnings of A. R. Kane, detailing the creation of the noted Lollita artwork. Rudy shares his thoughts on current music, design and why style is important, “It’s not what you play it’s the way you hold your guitar. It not what you wear it’s how your hair looks…it’s a youth thing.” He says wryly. The legacy of A. R. Kane continues with his new band, Jübl and Rudy gives us an insider’s take on the demands of his new project. This is an interview full of warmth and candor. The conversation flows seamlessly from previously unheard details about recording techniques to spot-on observations about the business of life. Make a Donation Button

 

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