Tag Archives: music

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

 

Summer Rayne Oakes. J Ryan Stradal. Gafacci.

“Is taking care of plants the best way to take care of yourself?” This question posed by Summer Rayne Oakes is creatively answered in her new book, How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart. She explores ways to elevate the common potted plant from a decorative object that makes one’s space “look good” to a gateway to something deeper. “Taking care of other living things is a basic human need.” Says, Summer, “Without exercising care for others, we become stuck in own heads, anxious, lonely, and unreceptive to beauty. Becoming a good plant parent can radically open your mind. Watering plants, listening to their needs, and breathing in their scents can mold you into a more mindful and caring person.” The urban houseplant expert and environmental scientist wants to bring nature indoors, Summer has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they are thriving). Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people.

J Ryan Stradal, the author of the best-selling, Kitchens Of The Great Midwest returns to Life Elsewhere to talk about his latest novel, The Lager Queen Of Minnesota. Edith Magnusson’s rhubarb pies are famous in the Twin Cities–they were named the third-best in the state of Minnesota and St. Anthony-Waterside Nursing Home has quickly become the hottest dinner ticket in town. Still, she lays awake wondering how her life might have been different if her father hadn’t left their family farm to her sister Helen, a decision that split their family in two. With the proceeds from the farm, her sister, Helen Blotz, built her husband Orval’s family soda business into the top-selling brewery in Minnesota. She singlehandedly created the light beer revolution and made their corporate motto ubiquitous: “Drink lots, it’s Blotz.” But Helen dismisses IPAs as a fad, and the Blotz fortune begins its inevitable decline. Soon, though, she finds a potential savior that’s surprisingly close to home. . .Diana Winter earns a shot at learning the beer business from the ground up just as the IPA revolution begins. The stakes couldn’t be higher: just as she’s launching her own brewpub, she’s due to deliver a baby girl. When the unthinkable happens, it’s up to Grandma Edith–and a delightfully surprising cadre of grandmother friends–to secure the next generation’s chances for a better future. Can Grandma Edith’s Rhubarb Pie In A Bottle Ale save Diana’s fledgling brewery, and change their hearts and fortunes forever?

Also in the show, we go to Accra, Ghana to hear new music from Gafacci. The beat-maker is known for his unique sounds and infusing afro rhythms into his electronic-based instrumentals.  This Ghanaian style is called aokpor directly influenced by his father, Sega Gafatche, a former band member of juju music legend, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. On Gafacci’s new four-track EP, Tash BNM, (meaning Tash bought new music) he collaborates with vocalists Tinuke, Lazee, and Amaarae. Listen, enjoy and dance!

Show #335

Reggae + Passion = Brighton

Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England, located 47 miles south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Rome and Anglo-Saxon periods. The area underwent various stages of development throughout the centuries, eventually becoming a fashionable seaside resort in the Georgian era, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. With the arrival of railways in 1847, Brighton became a popular destination for day-trippers from London. The town continued to grow in the 20th century and become renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, arts and music scenes. Perfect then, for the home-base of Roots Garden which began storming Brighton’s club night scene in 1995 by presenting authentic Reggae sound system culture. Roots Garden’s passion and dedication to representing the very best of Reggae music and its many branches have secured its name as an integral part of Brighton’s musical landscape. Established in 2005, Roots Garden Records represents many of the talented artists, musicians and producers had been club favorites over the years. Working closely alongside pioneering UK Dub/Reggae Producer, Nick Manasseh, the label has released music with the cream of the crop of Jamaican and British artists and musicians including, Johnny Osbourne, Earl 16, Cate Ferris, Luciano, Danny Red, Johnny Clarke, Richie Phoe, Dark Angel, Jah Mali, Brother Culture, Vin Gordon, Freddie McGregor, Josey Wales, Bob Skeng, and Tiawa and more.

Nick Manasseh & Tiawa in the studio

In the next edition of Life Elsewhere we welcome Roots Garden label honcho, Jon Jones, Reggae Producer, Nick Manasseh, and upcoming singer-songwriter, Tiawa. The trio select exemplary cuts from their label – Earl 16, Vin Gordon, Danny Red, Cate Ferris, and Tiawa. Make sure you listen carefully to Tiawa talk about her new release, Pain Killa. “People think it’s about love…a love song. It’s not a love song!” She insists. “It’s about dealing with the world we live in.” We were already bowled over with Tiawa’s superb recording, and Nick’s creative production, now after hearing her impassioned explanation we are raving. Our conversation with Jon, Nick, and Tiawa explores their passion for Reggae, how Roots Garden came about, making Reggae music, and why they love Brighton.

The Podcast is available at NPR One, Apple Podcasts & Mixcloud

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3
Sundays 10.00am ET at WNRM The Root
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:
Sundays 11.00am ET at 
WNRM The Root
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

Show #333

A Conversation With John Robb

He sports an impeccably-coiffed mohawk. In photos, he often appears shirtless or exposing his impressive ripped torso and well-defined biceps. Cameras always catch a striking scowl on an arresting-yet-handsome face. And, his unfiltered Lancashire brogue suggests you better not ask, “Sorry, what did you say?” As it happens, John Robb has a lot to say. He has experienced so much and he wants to share his thoughts, so…you better listen. Not because his stern visage is intimidating, but because John is a charming, polite and knowledgable man. Pick a topic, any topic and Mr. Robb will offer up a well-considered commentary.

Inspired by the DIY ethic of the punk scene, 16-year-old John Robb co-founded  The Membranes in his hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1977.  The energy he displayed then, is still in full effect today.  On June 6,  The Membranes released What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away, a double album deservedly receiving generous praise from critics and fans alike. Taking time out from his busy schedule, John chatted to Norman B about the new album, reflected on making music, the story of The Membranes, rock and roll, and selected cuts to play on Life Elsewhere. Make sure you don’t miss this entertaining conversation with one of rock music’s most eloquent voices.

portrait of John Robb by John Middleham

Show #332

« Older Entries