Tag Archives: NWCZ Radio

Chris Connelly. An Ongoing Conversation Part 1

The problem with chatting with Chris Connelly is he’s just so damn easy to talk to. You don’t want the conversation to end. Better still, Chris shares memories and insights in such an intimate and jocular manner it’s hard to remember we have not yet met in person. Despite probably being in the same venue at one time or another, Chris Connelly and I have only conversed via Zoom. My first encounter with Connelly was to talk about his latest recording adventure, The Birthday Poems an absorbing album created to celebrate the centenary of Orkney-born poet, George Mackay Brown. For this enterprise, Chris collaborated with the incomparable, Scottish chanteuse, Monica Queen. It became immediately apparent that a dialogue with Mr. Connelly could easily go off in as many directions as we could handle. We agreed right then and there we had to schedule more conversations. And, so it came to be, here then, is Part 1 of my ongoing series of conversations with Chris Connelly. His bio reads like a who’s who of alternative music collaborations. In Part 1 Chris talks about his earliest days in music, his fascination with Bowie, discovering tape-loops, forming  Finitribe in his native Edinburgh, being rejected from major labels, meeting Al Jourgensen, and his many musical projects including MinistryThe Revolting Cocks, and Pigface. This is essential listening for anyone interested in alternative music and/or great conversations.

LEM 243

Tales Retold From A Remarkable Culture

 

They are rich, extraordinary tales from ancient Inuit culture that tell of remarkable northern vistas, unfamiliar narratives, strange gods, and unforgettable characters where women can marry dogs, birds beat their wings so hard they create a storm, an old woman turns into a man, and a woman kills her daughter to take her place for a man’s affections and wears her daughter’s skin as a disguise. Poet, Richard Price has respectfully, (lovingly perhaps) taken three Inuit stories and retold them with a sensitive, yet earnest approach in his new book, The Owner Of The Sea. The London-based Price, also the lyricist and vocalist for The Loss Adjusters has embarked on what he considers a formidable endeavor by interpreting venerated tales from a remarkable culture. Richard is proud of his work, the time, and the effort he has spent in creating this book, but he admits to being apprehensive of the Inuit people’s response. “I hope I get their approval and know I’m in awe of their stories”, he says. During our conversation with Richard Price, he reads from his book, this is a treat. His original Scottish rouge comes to the fore in full effect. He brings the characters to life, they become believable, even though they engage in mystical and un-human-like behavior. These are strange stories, originally told as lessons or guidance, not unlike the more obvious religious books. Richard explains his love of poetry was inspired by music, “Sam Cooke and Bob Dylan” he announces spiritedly. The Owner Of The Sea is a perfect example of the man’s love of words, of language, of the enchanting stories of the Inuit people. 

Show 433

Life Elsewhere Music. Vol 242 – A Conversation With Keeley Part 2 – The Music

 

If I recounted to you my last 48 hours you wouldn’t believe me. But, here are a few highlights: chatted with a young upcoming baseball star, was searched and vetted by the secret service, introduced to royalty, interviewed a legendary alternative musician, reviewed a stack of new releases, and produced Life Elsewhere Music. Vol 242. 

Motrick are based in Portland, Oregon, yet they have a passion for what they refer to as “Krautrock”. With influences from Can to Kraftwerk this four-piece demonstrates their skills on their LP, Moon: The Cosmic Electrics of Motrik. They lead off the show with Silver Twin in fine style. Constructing your album around the death of your father could in theory, be too intimate for many listeners. With Wild River, Phillidelphia-based, Anika Pyle bares her emotions and in turn, has made a haunting, yet reassuring record. She writes, “Wild River is a quiet collection of song and poetry making sense of the sudden death of my father in October of 2019 and of loss in general”. Adding, “This is about learning to let go and move forward from grief steadfastly with love, despite the essentially cruel and random nature of the universe”. I have chosen two cuts to illustrate Anika’s concept, Haiku For Everything You Loved And Missed, and Mexican Restaurant Where I Last Saw My Father. The music of Ellis has been on my repeat playlist for a few weeks now, so I wanted you to hear more from this talented singer-songwriter out of Hamilton, Ontario. Her album is, Nothing Is Sacred Anymore. What If Love Isn’t Enough proves you need to take notice of Ellis. Gaze is Ghost was originally the pseudonym of classically trained Irish composer and singer-songwriter Laura McGarrigle, two years ago she was joined by drummer Casey Miller a veteran of the Scottish Music and Art scene, and Keith Mannion (from the electronic band, Slow Place Like Home). The UK-based band’s LP titled, Lapis Cobalt Indigo Blue, is full of exquisitely produced music with In Parenthesis as a guide to learning more about Gaze is Ghost. From Melbourne comes Deep Fried Dub a dub-wise duo who combines live instrumentation with electronic beats. From the album, Refried 111 you’ll hear the infectious, Back To My Roots (Deep Fried Dub’s Refried Remix) by Isaac Chambers ft. Dub Princess. An essential addition to your new playlist. 

In Part 2 of A Conversation With Keeley the Dublin-based artist talks in-depth about her musical influences, her favorite guitar, making music, performing live, and her sincere ambition to be the world’s greatest guitar player. Keeley’s unabashed honesty is compelling listening. Make sure you check out Part 1 where she explains the inspiration for her Brave Warrior EP

Playlist

  1. Motrik – Silver Twin
  2. Anika Pyle – Haiku For Everything You Loved And Missed
  3. Anika Pyle – Mexican Restaurant Where I Last Saw My Father
  4. Ellis – What If Love Isn’t Enough
  5. Gaze Is Ghost – In Parenthesis
  6. Isaac Chambers ft. Dub Princess – Back To My Roots (Deep Fried Dub’s Refried Remix)
  7.  Keeley – You Never made It That Far

Artwork by Eugene Parker “Tears are made with love” 2015 24″ x 27″ digitally manipulated jpeg. Laserjet print on laminated board. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

LEM Vol 242

Human Relationships To Animals & Information

   

“We are the smartest species on earth; why do we insist on being the dumbest, too?” Asks Henry Mance the chief features writer for the Financial Times, in his new book, How To Love Animals In A Human-Shaped World. That pertinent question comes after Mance has informed the reader:

“An abattoir is a disassembly line” 

“Zoos are imprisoned wildlife”

“Americans spend $100bn a year on their animal companions, which is double the USA overseas aid budget”

“We are quite happy to accept that some 1.5 billion pigs – mentally and socially complex creatures – will be killed this year around the world, but regard it as an outrage to slaughter a dog”

Stirring and thought-provoking statements, yet Henry Mance is a convivial guest and his book is anything but crusading in tone. We love animals, but does that make the animals’ lives any happier? With factory farms, climate change, and deforestation, this might be the worst time in history to be an animal. If we took animals’ experiences seriously, how could we eat, think and live differently? A one-time meant-eater, then vegetarian, now vegan, Henry takes on the darker aspects of how we treat animals with a smart wit. He covers an extraordinary amount of research and in-person observations in his book. As a talkshow guest, Henry Mance is a delightfully engaging raconteur.

One of the most peculiar and possibly unique features of humans is the vast amount of information we carry outside our biological selves. But in our rush to build the infrastructure for the 20 quintillion bits we create every day, we’ve failed to ask exactly why we’re expending ever-increasing amounts of energy, resources, and human effort to maintain all this data. Drawing on deep ideas and frontier thinking in evolutionary biology, computer science, information theory, and astrobiology, In The Ascent of Information Caleb Scharf argues that information is, in a very real sense, alive. All the data we create—all of our emails, tweets, selfies, A.I.-generated text, and funny cat videos—amounts to an aggregate life-form. It has goals and needs. It can control our behavior and influence our well-being. And it’s an organism that has evolved right alongside us. The Ascent of Information offers a humbling vision of a universe built of and for information. Scharf explores how our relationship with data will affect our ongoing evolution as a species. Understanding this relationship will be crucial to preventing our data from becoming more of a burden than an asset, and to preserving the possibility of a human future.

Show 432

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 241 – A Conversation With Keeley – Part 1. The Inspiration

Keeley is a singer-songwriter based in Dublin. She has a new EP, Brave Warrior. Keeley likes to talk about her passion(s). She has two. “I’m obsessed with music!” She exclaims, then, more subdued, she says, “I’m consumed by the tragic, unsolved assault and murder of Inga Maria Hauser, the inspiration for my new EP”. Keeley wasted no time explaining why the death of a German student in Ireland in 1988 was so important to her. Keeley goes into explicit detail revealing all she knows about Inga’s horrific death. She recounts her last movements, even counting down the final seconds until Inga vanished. It’s a harrowing story that has clearly moved Keeley, not only has she dedicated her Brave Warrior EP to the young student tourist, she also produces a blog about the mystery, The Keeley Chronicles. One hour passes very quickly when you have an engaging guest, we will continue our conversation in Part 2. Where Keeley goes into detail about her music and why she wants to be the best guitar player in the world. 

Also in the show, new music from Ellis out of Hamilton, Ontario. “Sad but nice” is how Ellis introduces her EP, Nothing Is Sacred Anymore. You’ll hear the cut, Hell (feat. Chastity) which we think will prompt you to check out more from Ellis.

LEM 241

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