Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SNRM December 18th: "Jobbie Circus"


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A two-man Rage Machine for the last feature-length show of the year, with Spike joined via the magic of Skype by Chimp Jones (of the internet’s “Chimpcasting” fame) to talk rubbidge.

There’s belches by request and the shredder makes it’s debut, to deal with the news stories that don’t pass muster. The two talk about the “War on Christmas” and whether it’s anyone else’s business how one spends one’s festive season, and whether the lumpen prolitariat have sacrificed quality for quantity in media.

There’s a thrilling second-hand story about the primary school event of the 1980s that attracted all and sundry to see “hands on the floor”, the future of sex, the future of TV and what the aliens will unearth in the ruins of the Earth.

In the news, New Jersey gets sent to the shredder, why “values” are on the backburner for republicans and the bank whose half-million pay-it-forward PR campaign gets some rare praise from Spike.

All that plus grand theft bike, christmas beer and “CSI: Furry Boot”.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 02, 2007

SNRM October 30th: By Paul-pular Request



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Following the tidal wave of a request to get this week’s show podcasted (this one’s for you, Paul!) here is the pre-Halloween “really terrible week” catered-by-the-neighbours Rage Machine in which Spike remembers his dead friend, muses over why “trick or treat night” is on the 30th down his way – despite Halloween being on the 31st – and runs down the categories of ToTers, he talks about the “don’t tase me bro” guy, why Australian TV’s ‘worm’ is a good idea, and why a 100 year old mouldy orange is a rubbish museum exhibit. All with his mouth full of candy.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SNRM: Breaking Kayfabe, Eating Earwax, Signatures and Circles.


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There’s a brief recap of the last show (which, if you were clever enough and technical enough to decode it, would give you a good ten minutes’ worth of material from last week) before Spike breaks kayfabe and reveals some intimately personal details and has one of his regular and well-worn crisis of confidence. But he’s happy that local blogger The Film Geek asked him to guest review the movie “Michael Clayton”.

On the show this week, why Sean “insanity” Hannity is a better broadcaster than Spike; the cost of the Iraq war, what the cost to translate to per person and how much more Bush wants; a ‘gnarly’ action by an Australian politician which may cost him the PM-ship; it’s tinfoil hats at the ready as Spike expounds on a report that NASA are burying that is more interested in protecting “Wee Johnny CEO’s bonus” than it is the general population; anther reason for the extremists to hate ‘Harry Potter’; “signatures and circles” and, after a “crunchy gear shift”, why the geek will inherit the votes….

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Oh, and...



That little piece of video could, potentially, lose Kevin Rudd the Australian election.

So, what gnarly action or habit could a politician have or exhibit that would make you question whether you'd vote for them?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fame At Last! I'm a guest reviewer!

Well, following on from my miniature review of "Michael Clayton" this weekend and my out-loud wondering of what The Film Geek would make of it, the great man himself asked me to write a guest review. What he got was a rambling twenty-seven page stream of pish, but that's how I write. Hey, it's Blogger's bandwidth, right? Go check it out. Hopefully, TFG will write his own review soon, so you can see how a pro does it.

Top marks for compliments, by the way. He called me a "kid"! =D

Friday, October 19, 2007

Before You See "Michael Clayton"...

Bear in mind that as much as I thoroughly enjoyed it, that final scene that may earn Clooney another Oscar nomination is ripped off, shamelessly, from Bob Hoskins' finest moment in "The Long Good Friday".



Acting. Fucking. Masterclass. (and did you happen to catch a young Peirce Brosnan? That was before he got speaking parts....). Easily one of the finest gangster movies ever made, standing shoulder to shoulder with "White Heat", and an astonishing performance that is absolutely flawless from start to finish. Stunning. What he does with his face in the above clip accomplishes what lesser actors can't do in TEN films, Hoskins accomplishes in less than 90 seconds. (teh madd propz to Helen Mirren too. She blew me away in "TLGF")

I'm eager to see what The Film Geek made of "Michael Clayton" (especially since I'm shamelessly ripping off his 'Film Scenes That Matter'). I was thoroughly impressed that someone out there is actually making films for adults! With attention spans! And minds! THINKING MINDS! It will be a shame if Clooney is passed over at the Oscars, but it will be a travesty if Tilda Swinton is too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

SNRM: The Final Old Spike Of The Year.



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Last visit from Old Spike until easter!

Old Spike talks about British politics, regales us with stories of his travels from there to here, a little football, a little racism and shouting at the royal family when “the worse for wear”.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SNRM: Old Spike Returns!

He's back for one more week this year (next visit will be easter 08!), and for just one show, so get your questions-for-Dad in ASAFP. You know how much he loves to answer your questions in his inimitable fashion, so ask him whatever you like, here or at theragemachine@gmail.com - or you can do a Brendan and send an MP3 question. 'Sup to you.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rage Machine Poll!

Here's a poll for this week's show. Hurrybequick and vote, this only happened last night.



Just in case it mangles the question, Mrs Spike thinks I have issues for wishing doom on the wee buggers, I think I'm justified since it counts as home invasion. Nobody knocks on your door at 1am unless someone has died or someone is going to die...

VOTE, DAMN YOU!

Friday, October 05, 2007

SNRM: "Late Call, With The Reverend Spike Nesmith"


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The Reverend Spike, finally a respectable man, addresses his flock and introduces the new show Facebook group – search groups for “The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine Podcast”, join, and share it with your friends. Amen.

This week, will Guiliani’s left-leaning social stances scupper his whitehouse chances? Or will they scupper the GOP’s chances as a whole? A pious coalition seems to think so. Spike is conflicted over how one of the DC snipers is coming to terms with his crimes and considers a life of crime himself.

Plus: Laughing at the misfortune of rich people – right or wrong? Spike’s home town makes him angry, Dawn Of The Dead comes true and an angry film maker can’t come to terms with the fact that his rubbish film won’t be winning any awards.

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And don't forget the wit and wisdom of AllClick, either. ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Beast Of The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine.


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“The owls are not what they seem…”

No live show this week – a ‘beast-of’ instead, albeit with ten dazzling minutes of new material, including a nightmarish (and profane) trip around the radio dial, and all too rare appearance from veteran news anchor Smack Torquelson and the “Newsmakers Investigates” team as they bust an internet child predator ring wide open.

Rehashed instead of Spike working, a clip from the very first Rage Machine, Old Spike talks about being an “anti-war secular progressive liberal” and his love of the Fox News Channel.

Spike prays, he’s rudely awoken by his Geordie conscience and covers a wide range of topics from shows of yore including being called the antithesis of a wine snob, agreeing with Bush on something (in principle), making dog food and glue out of a sporting legend, cutting tongues, fat kids and death by gaming. Phew.

Business as usual with the live show and podcast next week, and hugebig props go to WKLC’s Dawn Cox for being such a great bipolar morning TV host.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rage Machine: "Bond -burp- ACLU - burp- Healthcare -burp- Phobias -burp-"



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Well, someone’s a little gassy tonight, aren’t they?

On the agenda: “a tidal wave of correspondence”, a veritable backlash over Spike’s comments on the Bond franchise last week, which leads into the great man himself saying something he’s never said before… “It appears that I may have been wrong about this.”

Another episode of the podcast-within-a-podcast from Brendan the Iremonger, a look at a traditionally liberal civil rights organisation standing firmly behind (but not standing widely beside) a troubled republican senator.

Rudy Giuliani marches into “jolly old England” to tell those wacky English types how rubbish their ‘socialized’ heathcare system is. Because he knows all about it, having been in the country for fifteen minutes. Spike expounds on his own extensive experiences with both nationalised and private healthcare systems, which is better and why Giuliani is talking out of his cancerous prostate.

Additionally; them foreigners is living longer, how a brown lawn can get you thrown down a flight of L.A. stairs, weird Spike and his multiple phobias and the state of Chernobyl.

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Visit the blogs mentioned on the show:
http://iremongerlives.blogspot.com

http://redzeppelin.wordpress.com

http://pumpkinspider.blogspot.com

http://feeds.feedburner.com/libertylit

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rage Machine: "Abortion Protests; Jesus; Herpes; James Bond; Missing Kids and LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!"

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LOTS to talk about this week!

Spike is still enraged by the actions of a group of anti-choice protesters and what they tried to show his daughter, he talks exclusively to the man who has the final word; Jesus. He’s disappointed that, being on weekly, he’s late to the party to talk about Britney Spears’ infamously lackluster VMA performance and Chris Crocker’s tearful meme that followed. But that won’t stop him playing it over some really sad music.

Why did Bin Laden dye his beard? Is it some sort of message? Some signal? Is something big about to happen? Spike has a good idea why and does the unthinkable… humanises the terrorist leader. The disappearance of the British four year old girl is still ongoing (and going and going and going), Spike gives an update, drops a “Casablanca” quote and stays quiet for an uncomfortable amount of time to prove a point.

The peanut gallery is quick to cry “HERPES” when Spike talks about his fever blister and why he’s being forced to drink like he’s had a stroke, there’s another welcome rebuttal-o-sense from Brendan The Iremonger (iremongerlives.blogspot.com) and when is a hate crime not a hate crime…? That one’s up for discussion.

Spike hands in his Man Card, declares his intense, burning hate for the James Bond franchise and summarises all 22 of the movies in less than a minute. But he LOVES Harry Potter.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spike Nesmith Rage Machine: "Fifteen Masturbatory Euphemisms From Mister Merrick"



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There’s something different from last week… can you figure out what it is? Spike tells us about a decade-old agreement he has with the National Organisation For Women and why people call him “Mister Merrick” for a few days every year and “gay” in the summer.

In the news, a little look at some in-fighting in the Democratic primary hopefuls, an emailed rebuttal after Spike’s comments about John Edwards last week, why John McCain is “the tracing-paper candidate”, he discusses a new snowjob book about W’s presidency and why he’s now worried about his historical legacy, and what links JFK to Benny Hill…? Spike, as usual, has the answer.

Finally, what Spike REALLY thinks about Jerry Lewis and drops fifteen… count ‘em… FIFTEEN masturbatory euphemisms. Give this man an award.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mixtape Mania!

Pity poor Jackie Lantern of the internet's "Saved By The Torso", for it is he who will be suffering through "What A Bloody Trainwreck", my mix tape. Over at the WV Bloggers Forum, we decided to do a mixtape trade between the members (technically a mix CD trade, but that doesn't have the same ring) and I got Jackie's name. You might want to drop him a sympathy note. I don't know whose tape I'll be getting yet. I spent considerable time picking songs and trying to arrange them in a listenable order, none of what I had come up with was pleasing to me. I'm an audio perfectionist; both my job and my curse. I had joked on the forum that I was trying to find songs that would make me appear cool, but what I ultimately decided to do was to plug in the ol' MP3 player and pick the first 15 or 16 tracks that came out. For good or for bad, I was going to justify owning them and provide a little history. The first songs to emerge in a shuffle are, I think, far more indicative of someone's personal tastes than a carefully crafted playlist could ever be. Plus, it was easy and I was running out of time. Now that I know Jackie has it, I'll make it public. So that you, my gaggle of adoring fans, can play along at home, the titles are linked to either a YouTube of the song, or a brief audio clip from Amazon. One of them I couldn't even find, so the lyrics had to do. Oh, and thanks to Scarlet for suggesting the idea in the first place.

Deep breath, here we go.

Stan Ridgway, "Big Dumb Town"
I had always had a passing appreciation for Stan Ridgway; former frontman for Wall Of Voodoo. I had used another of his songs, "Drive, She Said" as bumper music on 58Live for my own enjoyment, figuring nobody would really know it or care. Then, a week or so after Paul and I left the air, someone called a comment into the newspaper ventline - "I miss Paul and Spike. They were just a little too smart for a big, dumb town." It's always a possibility that the wording was just a coincidence, but I think it was the other Ridgway fan making his presence felt. The song does have another meaning though; related, again, to the trials and tribulations we suffered at WCHS, the song's protagonist sounds an awful lot like our old General Manager.

Glen Philips, "Men Just Leave"
Another former front man, this time of Toad The Wet Sprocket. Glen Philips went off to do his own thing after Toad split and ended up making "Abulum", a lo-fi collection of songs, sung in a voice ever so slightly different than the one he had used in Toad, writing songs that were a little more introspective. The follow-up album, "Winter Pays For Summer" was a little more disappointing, but still worth a listen.

Coldplay, "Talk"
Yeah, yeah... I know. It's unfashionable to like Coldplay these days. I'll say this for them though, they write a good hook, and that's what has made them so successful. Musicians used to gauge hit-making success by what was termed "the old, grey whistle test" whereby if the ancient cleaner at the end of the night was whistling one of your songs, chances were you had a hit. Coldplay pass the 21st-century equivalent; "the recognisable polyphonic ringtone test".

Mondo Rock, "Cool World"
Australian band Mondo Rock and their front man Ross Wilson have been jobbing around with huge domestic but little international success since the 80s. Wilson hit it big in the early 70s with a song called "Eagle Rock" which has since been made popular by, of all people, The Wiggles, who incorporated it into their shows. Wilson has appeared on their show several times, under the name "King Mondo", a nod to Mondo Rock. This is from the 1981 album "Chemistry" which, held up against the likes of Duran Duran et al, probably should have been held in higher regard by the rest of the world at the time. The synthesizers and the 'every bugger had to have one' nuclear song "The Summer Of 81" date the album somewhat, but it stands up extremely well in historical context.

Happy Mondays, "24 Hour Party People"
I blogged extensively about the passing of Factory Records boss Tony Wilson recently, and the Mondays were one of his discoveries. So the legend goes, they came in last (or second to last) in a battle of the bands competition held by Factory, but were signed by Wilson anyway. The intellectual record boss had often compared caterwauling frontman Shawn Ryder's lyrics to the poetry of William Butler Yeats and, perhaps, if Ryder had been a half-moon glasses-wearing intellectual instead of a swearing, drug-addled Mancunian with long hair, he might have been held in the same esteem by intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike. There's no denying Ryder's grasp of language and emotion, it's just that it's sometimes a little difficult to appreciate if you can't stand the music. For me, the Mondays perfection has always been in their imperfection. It's clear that Ryder doesn't care whether he can sing or not and that he's just there for a good time, but when you really sit down and read what he's written without being distracted by the music or his yelling, it's astonishing to think that a guy in his early 20s wrote it. This song gave the title to the movie about the 'Madchester' scene and encompasses all that was right and all that was wrong about the era and the people who made it.

Adamsky, "Killer"
The song that introduced Seal to the world - the original cut of the song before Seal and Trevor Horn remixed it, leaving legendary acid house producer Adamski in the dust. This version spent several weeks at number one in the UK, Seal's solo version peaked at eight.

Jonatha Brooke, "I'll Try (Return To Neverland)"
Jonatha Brooke has been compared, perhaps unfairly, to artists like Sarah McLachlan over the years and always seems to be teetering on the brink of recognition. This, not her strongest work, comes from Disney's Peter Pan sequel (which used far more elements from the original play than the first movie did). It does, however, show off her astoundingly beautiful voice and her penchant for unusual chord progressions.

Barenaked Ladies, "Thanks, That Was Fun"
I've been a BNL fan for fifteen years or more and keep waiting for the big, sucky sell-out album. Despite their selling "One Week" out to all and sundry for advertising (a move they criticised in their first album), they've never produced it. They've managed to be consistently great throughout their career, defying classification - as singer/guitarist Ed Robertson put it, "we're a funny band that performs serious songs, we're a serious band that performs funny songs".

Dubstar, "It's Clear"
It was, of all things, the cover of their first album, "Disgraceful", that propelled the band into infamy, featuring what could only be described as a brightly-coloured muppet vagina, despite claims of it being 'a pencil case'. It was, post-controversy, changed to a fuzzy slipper in later releases, but by that point, the damage had been done and the band were at the forefront. They never really found their rightful place, the bubblegumesque music matched with lyrics that ranged from dark to emotionally honest to painfully introspective, a mix which alienated most people who either like one or the other. Their first big toe-tapper, "Not So Manic Now", dealt with an elderly, confused and infirm woman being attacked in her home by a faux door to door salesman.... This one... well, I have no idea what it's about. It's good, though.

Half Man, Half Biscuit, "Paintball's Coming Home"
A blistering attack on all that Britain's upper middle classes hold dear, the title has nothing to do with the song - a trademark move from the band whose other titles include "Twenty Four Hour Garage People", "Styx Gig (Seen By My Mates Coming Out Of A)", "Dead Men Don't Need Season Tickets" and, in a nod to Starship, "We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune". Half Man Half Biscuit have been knocking around since the mid 1980s consistently flying under the radar and never embarking on tours, preferring one-night gigs that happen to coincide with the away fixtures of their favourite soccer team. They once refused an offer to feature on Britain's most influential music show, The Tube, because it would have clashed with a game.

Lapdog, "Walkaway"
Another Toad The Wet Sprocket spin-off! Half of Toad formed Lapdog at around the same time as Glen Phillips' solo work emerged - it's good, harmless, toe-tapping stuff.

Lemon Jelly, "The Staunton Lick"
I first encountered this song on Sirius' excellent Chill Channel - seemingly taken from one of those "Teach Yourself Guitar" LPs from the 1970s (or, if not, a bloody good impression of one), it's a nice little track that builds nicely.

Linda Ronstadt, "Easy For You To Say"
Umm... well, let's just skip past this one, shall we? I'm going to take the fifth.

Radiohead/Sparkehorse, "Wish You Were Here"
I'm not a fan of cover versions as a rule, but this one knocked me over. Where most cover versions either completely wash over the original arrangement in order to put their own stamp on it, or just copy it note for note, Radiohead created a worthy companion piece that stands shoulder to shoulder with the original.

Robbie Williams, "No Regrets"
Another unfashionable choice. Williams is loved and despised equally in his home country and has made several attempts to make it big over here, none of them amounting to much. My sister says it will never happen because middle America doesn't understand and can't embrace camp. Williams is hardly RuPaul, but certainly does little to quell any rumours of bisexuality. Me... I can't stand him either, but I realised that once I got away from the incessant publicity and TV appearances and I just listened to the music, there were some truly great songs in there. He has a real knack for lyrics and isn't afraid to mix fun with emotion. It seems odd that in order to appreciate the subtleties of what someone can do, one has to completely separate themselves from them. Background vocals on this song come from the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy.

The Monkees, "Nine Times Blue (Demo Version)"
Whenever someone says to me, "the Monkees couldn't even play their own instruments", I break out this tune. It's an extra track from the re-issued "Head" album, the first where they wrote and played their own music instead of having to sing over session musicians. Nesmith and Peter Tork were both pretty established musicians before the Monkees ever came about and it was Nesmith who fought hard for the recognition they deserved as artists. Although it eventually came, it was his headstrongedness that eventually dismantled the band. He left first, followed by Tork, leaving Jones and Dolenz to record one more album under the name which was, if I'm being polite, disappointing. This particular track was a studio out-take, just Papa Nes dicking about on a guitar, playing a half-written song to kill time in the studio. It's a comfortable, note-perfect performance which kills any remaining doubt that he was, first and foremost, a musician. (incidentally, Tork's competence was more than proved to me when I saw The Monkees - all four of them - live in Glasgow in the late 1990s and he played "Cripple Creek", solo, on the banjo. Wow. A-fucking-stounding.)

The Sundays, "I Can't Wait"
It's hard not to fall head-over-heels in love with Harriet Wheeler's voice - strong yet vulnerable, defiant yet frightened, world weary yet naive.

Whale, "Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe"
Um... how can I defend this one? They're Swedish! I don't even know what a Slobo is.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rage Machine, August 29th.


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We start with a little light housekeeping, including comment from Spike’s eldest sister and Brendan the Iremonger, both with some wise words about last week’s show.

Scandal of the month features a not-gay whacky shoe-tapper with a wide stance in the smallest room and a crazy voting record looking, allegedly, for a good, lewd time to the sound of someone stepping on ducks…

After the results of “Cancer Idol”, will smoking Britons become non-smoking Britons after gazing at pictures of diseased lungs on their fag packets?

Why was hose-faced Princess Diana, the right royal queen of England’s girl’s hearts, so popular abroad and so loathed at home? Spike’ll tell you why.

And Diamond John Edwards, multi-millionaire 3rd-place candidate for the Democrats prez pick, he of the $400 haircuts, wants us poverty-stricken hobbledehoys to give up our SUVs and buy expensive hybrids instead. You know, to save the environment.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Rage Machine: August 23


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The critics agree; The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine kicks significant backside! 1nkling says, “Wow.. spike was everything I’d been promised for weeks”. Even Spike’s older sister gets in on the act, “i’m enjoying it. it’s like shooting the shit with you, but without having to concentrate on paying enough attention to contribute to the conversation“.

We begin with a brief word from Spike’s daughter Spikette, a “where the hell were we?” update, why the show is worse (or, at least, more frightening) sans Old Spike, some news about poor Mrs Spike’s ailments, his mid-life crisis and “two chicks at once”.

Should we laugh at death? Yeah – why the hell not? The department of ironic deaths claims another victim that Spike tries hard not to laugh at. Hey… it’s a slow news day. DID! YOU! KNOW! That one in four Americans read no books last year? None. No books. Good? Bad? Flawed survey…?

Bom bom bom! This is politics! Republican Mitt Romney takes some chunks out of Rudy Guiliani over the immigration “sanctuary policies” of some cities. Spike wants to know why you left your birth country (if you’re an emigrant) or what would make you leave if you’re still there. Email your thoughts to TheRageMachine@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Am Utterly And Abjectly Bummed Out.

Tony Wilson, owner and genius behind Factory Records, has died... and I think I killed him!

I quoted him twice last week; once to add a quote of his to my email signature, and again in a chat to a friend, and then the bugger goes and dies! I didn't even know he was sick!

His death is tragic and significant because his contribution to music and, in turn, late 20th century British culture was immense, acting as mentor and manager to groups that may not have had similar success elsewhere, and his devotion to music over money was evident in the decisions he made. Who else would be willing to lose $1 per copy of the twelve-inch single of New Order's Blue Monday - which ended up being one of the biggest selling twelve-inch singles of all time - purely to get the complex design of the gatefold sleeve right...?

If you ever get the chance, rent "24 Hour Party People". Watch it once, and then once again with the Tony Wilson commentary for the real story. It's not a perfect movie by far, but it's worth looking past that to get to what is an amazing story about an amazing bunch of people at an amazing period of musical history. Even moreso once you understand the "when the legend becomes truth, print the legend" moments which are pointed out through winces and, at least once, gritted teeth. The portrayal of Wilson is unkind but carried out with unconditional love and respect, the guys who play Ian Curtis and Shawn Rider are eerily dead-on and the soundtrack is totally unbeatable. They don't spend enough time on the individual elements (Curtis' heartbreaking story is an entire movie in and of itself) and there are many parts of the movie that are just plain inaccurate, but it's well worth a watch. I hated it the first time I saw it, and ended up loving it and all its flaws after watching it with Wilson's sarcastic input. Call him pretentious, call him - as the movie poster did - a twat, but there's no denying the man's vision, or his passion and belief that he was right about most decisions. Undoubtedly the smartest man in most rooms he graced and at least a decade ahead of everyone else.

I'm not an overtly emotional fellow, but when radio legend John Peel died, Sirius' First Wave channel put together a slapdash rip-and-read Wiki-fact tribute and played "Love Will Tear Us Apart", one of the many singles Peel championed. I found myself rather unexpectedly overcome and had to pull over to the side of the road so I could bawl like a baby. I really, really hope I don't hear it again in the next few days...

Incidentally, the Tony Wilson quote I added to my email signature: "I used to say some people make money and some make history - which is very funny until you find you can't afford to keep yourself alive." Little did I know at the time he meant that literally and not figuratively; The Happy Mondays and other Wilson-backed bands were springing for the $7,000 per month experimental cancer treatment that wasn't covered by the National Health Service. An unusual turnaround that the Mondays be paying for Wilson's drugs...

Here's to you, Anthony "don't call me Tony" H. Wilson. May he go to the great Ha├žienda in the sky bearing the final FAC code.

Unsecured Wireless Networks Are The New Newspapers.

This is one of the reasons I love the twenty-first century. Oh sure, there are some who whine and pine for simpler times, but give me the choice of two unsecured wireless networks whilst I'm stuck in a doctors' waiting room (one that doesn't use leeches) and I'll show you a happy man with his finger on the pulse of the world. That there to your right is a picture of me reading the Scottish headlines via the BBC News site on my PSP. Admittedly, not a great picture, because whilst we have up-to-the-minute medical practices, wireless broadband internet access and hand-sized machines capable of accessing it, putting a digital camera with more than .03 megapixels and a half-decent lens inside an affordable cellphone is apparently still the stuff of Robert A Heinlan's wet dreams.

Time was a blokey like me would take a newspaper or a book into situations where I'd be sitting somewhere for a long time, like a waiting room or heaving out a particularly stubborn Greyfriar's on the cludgie. Now, a quick scan to see if there's a lingering Linksys or two and I'm in like Flint for some time burning off-goofery whilst I wait for some Lexus-driving quack to bend me over the table and shake the last dimes from my trousers. The twenty-first century kicks ass, there's no doubt about it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

O tempora! O mores! O ego clementia!

So, I'm thinking of opening up another blog to completely ignore.

Insomuch as this one has become little more than a not-read propaganda/distribution tool for my little listened-to podcast rather than a 'me and the incredibly interesting fings what i fink' sort of outlet, which was my original intention, I wonder if I could force myself to write more (and, with any luck, improve my utterly atrocious writing skills) if I had an actual subject I was interested in. See, the 'fings' theory falls down on two counts. Firstly, I'm really not that interesting. I don't do interesting things, I don't think interesting thoughts. Secondly, what I do do that's interesting either in my professional or private life, I'm not going to put in here. I am me. I don't hide behind a fake name (you really thought 'Spike' wasn't my real name?) to write hyperbolic tabloidesque tell-all stories about what REALLY goes on in my workplace, I don't expound thrilling stories about my salacious personal exploits in a TMZ-stylee. I won't even write one of those "here's what my perfect kids did yesterday" memoirs, mostly because... well, it's none of your bloody business and I find it mildly creepy that anyone other than my immediate family would be in any way, shape or form interested in the comings and goings of my kids. So without all that, what's left? A daily dose of depression? A look into how I truly believe that life isn't worth living? Hell, if people really wanted to sit down and have some loser with weird hair bum them out, they could circumvent ol' bloggy and buy a page-a-day calendar with Smiths lyrics.

So this, as you can imagine, leaves me in a bind. The want, the need, the desire to sit down and write again... But about what? (Eagle-eyed readers may notice that this entry is fast becoming a carbon-copy of the very first blog entry) WELL! I think I've found the solution.

Everyone knows that the reigning king of the internet zeitgeist is YouTube, the dubiously legal video sharing site that Google bought for the price of a hundred hospitals because their attempt to copy it went Hindenburg. I bloody love YouTube - not so much the eight second clips of cats getting chased by turtles or zit-faced hobbledehoys singing along to their favourite songs at fifteen frames per second, but the genuinely interesting stuff. I can waste hours on it watching all manner of nugatory nuggets, and frequently do. So, inspired by an awesome post at Chris James' "A Sour Apple Tree", I'm thinking I might do something along those lines. Spend some time examining interesting or important clips and what makes them interesting or important. Gawd knows if I can write paragraph after paragraph on ANYTHING, it's interesting or weird telly. So I'll play around a bit. See what strikes my fancy. See what comes out.

No cats being chased by turtles. Promise.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rage Machine, August 1st


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A little housecleaning for Spike and Old Spike as they consider two late “Desert Island” movie lists that were submitted to TheRageMachine@gmail.com for the first hour and then get into some meatier topics. Hey… What’s that buzzing sound? Oh well, never mind.

“Socialised healthcare”? Balk if you may, but Spike and Old Spike are more than happy to pay a little more per month to make sure you and your kids don’t have to make medical decisions based on whether you can afford it or not. You’re welcome.

And they discuss Thatcher’s legacy as the US Republicans scramble for her altzheimers-riddled approval. I guess it’s the closest they can get to a thumbs-up from Reagan. Old Spike, an old-school leftie stalwart, discusses what was wrong with her.

And guns.


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Spike And Dad No-Rage Movie Machine


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Alfred Hitchcock once famously quipped, “the length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder”. How ironic then that this feature-length show about movies be cut short by the diminished bladder capacity of its hosts.

Last week, movie buff Old Spike set some homework – email in your top 10 ‘desert island’ movies. The response was entirely underwhelming, good job that his alone took up half an hour or we’d’ve flipped to elevator music to fill the remaining half hour.

The two discuss their own lists and some that were submitted, including one from Old Spike’s eldest daughter and a few other rum coves who happened to be listening.

Agree? Disagree? Want to submit your list for a future show? TheRageMachine@gmail.com

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Rage Machine Just Got 400% More Intelligent...


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“Old Spike”, as he was quickly termed by the chatroom last time he was here, is finally back in the sprawling studio complex to deliver his trademark brand of atheistic charm, doubting wit and loud coughs. Give that man a microphone windshield, quick!!

Spike The Younger and Spike The Elder talk about the recent terrorist events at Glasgow airport, where Old Spike and Mrs. Old Spike depart from, and the local fallout from the Al Qaeda Laurel And Hardy unit’s attempt to bring “another nice jihad” to Scotland’s biggest city. They discuss the local Muslim community’s reaction and ridicule Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beliefs, even in the face of the world’s most famous magician telling it like it is, in magic. Old Spike reveals his favourite Abbot and Costello movie (and drops the F-Bomb in the process) and answers a few more pressing questions from the chatroom.

Also on the agenda, the retired teacher talks about language and the reesnt moov by a weerd orgnizayshn to mayk speling more simpl, and sets next week’s homework: if you were going to be marooned on a desert island, what ten movies would you take with you, and why? Email your list to TheRageMachine@gmail.com and we’ll talk about them next week. Old Spike’s a big movie buff and he’ll have his list ready, so he’s very intrigued to see what you choose.

On Old Spike’s nightstand, and given a glowing review, is Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”. Poor Spike Jr’s “A Fair Sheik” joke falls flat, but oh well… tomorrow is another day.

Here’s the Amazon link to the book: http://tinyurl.com/3yg2qa

Download the show directly here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Guess Who's Coming To Podcast

It's summertime and that can only mean one thing chez Nez - it's a parental invasion! Yep, my mum and dad are back in town for a few weeks to provide endless cups of tea, Law And Order on the telly, free childcare and... drumroll... podcasting!

My dad will be joining me for several episodes of my incredibly well-received webcast/podcast this summer, just as he did over easter. So, if you have any questions or comments for Old Spike, post them here or email them to TheRageMachine@gmail.com We'll be live at 8pm on Wednesday nights with the podcast following a day or so afterwards.

Let's hope he doesn't get sick again this time so he can spread his warm atheistic charm, rambling stories and unspoken disappointment in what an utter failure his son is. And, maybe, the promise of some ice cold "The Beast" or a chilly glass of Tobermory will tempt Paul Wheeler back down to the sprawling studio complex for a three-man moan...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Misty Water-Coloured Meeeeemoriiiessss...

In celebration (?) of the passing of the third anniversary (THIRD, FFS!) of the death of "58Live With Paul And Spike", I submit to thee the never-before-seen webcam file dump of the last ever show.

There's not much to look at other than people eating cake and the quality is pretty ropey due to the low-bitrate nature of streaming video, but it's an intriguing glance into the end of an era. Not necessarily a happy one, but a one just the same. The show is as broadcast, so there's plenty of downtime during breaks. The story of what was going on 'behind the microphone' is a blog post, novel or sitcom in and of itself (perhaps a missed opportunity for a lawsuit, even), but here is how it all ended.

Enjoy them!

Hour 1:


Hour 2: (partial)


Hour 3:


And with that, the hot co-eds were all deleted, forever.

Tears and Snotters.

I don't laugh very much any more, but my sister Jen just sent me the single funniest thing I've seen in a looong, loooong time. So funny, in fact, that every time I've watched this, it has completely incapacitated me with the giggles. I may well be the only person in the world that's quite so amused by this, and I warn you now... there's language. Assuming, of course, you can pick that up through the accent. Submitted for your approval (actually, I don't really care what your reaction is either way); NEDS Cru featuring The Wee Man, performing the charming ditty, "Here You (That'll Be Right)".







First things first, before we start the breakdown. Lyrics, and translation. Just to make sure you understand what's going on.

Here mate (whit?) (excuse me, sir? [yes?] )

You lookin at ma burd? (naw) (would you, perchance, be staring at my girlfriend in an inappropriate manner? [no.] )

How no? Trying tae say she's ugly or summin? (why? Are you under the impression that she is not attractive?)

Ah wis like that pure mad hingin out the back of your granny like that yass! x3 (i'm crazy, I was having anal sex with your grandmother, you dolt!)

Am gony pump your maw (I'll have sex with your mother)

Here you, that will be right (ha! Is that so?)

I heard you tried to knock my stash last night (Rumour has it that you tried to steal my cache of illicit substances)

Here you, what's the fuckin script (what's going on?)

You're a wee baw bag, your jaws getting ripped (I will slash your face, you dolt.)

Here you ya stupit we dafty (you are a fool)

Don't want to gee ye malky but I think am gona huvty (I don't want to headbutt you, but the circumstances may well force me to.)

Gonna jump aw oor yer heid (I will jump on your head)

That'll teach you fur stealin ma weed (the lesson being that you shouldn't steal my illicit substances)

Here you, bolt ya nugget x3 (Get out of here!)

Am gony rip your jaw (again, I will slash your face.)

Am goin doon the toon tae see if I get lucky (I will venture downtown and look for a potential mate)

If I canny get a burd ah'll drink sum mair Buckie (if I have no lucking finding said mate, I will drown my sorrows with a bottle of inexpensive tonic wine)

Wash it doon wae a couple of pills (and take drugs)

I know they eckies will cure ma ills (ecstacy tablets will make me fell better)

Get a Courtney Pine of Lou Reed (obtain some marijuana)

When ah wake in the morning ah'll probly be deid (and, come morning, I may wake up dead)

Don't worry he's got Johnny Cash (fear not! I know someone who has illicit substances)

Rolla Jimmy Cliff of Moroccan Hash (I will smoke marijuana)

If that dusny work we'll get some crack (and if that has no effect, I will use an inexpensive cocaine-based substance)

Freebase some coke and then some smack (I will inhale the cocaine-based substance and then inject heroin)

PCP, psilocybin's the potion for me! (I certainly enjoy the effects of the drugs phencyclidine and psilocybin.)

Here you, bolt ya nugget x3 (Get out of here!)

Am gony rip your jaw (aye right) (I am threatening you once more with slashing your face. [I don't believe you] )

Don't geez any yer, Don't geez any yer, Don't geez any yer shite! (please don't lie to me)

Ah pumped yer maw last night (Yesterday evening, your mother and I had sexual contact)

Don't geez any yer, Don't geez any yer, Don't geez any yer shite! (please don't lie to me)

Ah smoked yer draw last night. (I stole and smoked your personal supply of marijuana yesterday evening)

Here mate, mate, yer a dick mate, yer a dick! (I think very little of you)

Here you, that'll be right, Here you, bolt ya nugget (Turn up the bouncy tunes) (get out of here. [please increase the volume of some beat-driven music] )

Here you, that'll be right, Here you, bolt ya nugget (yasss) (get out of here, you fool!)

Whit ye dain ya mad fanny? (what in the world are you doing, you strange person?)

Better?



It's necessary for those not in the know to understand the culture of Neds, or, as they're known in England, Chavs. Roll Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav

Chav or Charv/Charver even Chavster (male) and Chavette (female) ('ch' pronounced as in chair) is a mainly derogatory slang term in the United Kingdom for a subcultural stereotype fixated on fashions derived from American Hip-Hop (African-American) and Guido (Italian-American) fashions and stereotypes such as gold jewellery and designer clothing combined with elements of working class British street fashion. Chavs are generally considered to have no respect for society, and to be ignorant or unintelligent. The term appeared in mainstream dictionaries in 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_%28Scottish%29

Ned is a derogatory term applied to certain young people in Scotland (similar to the terms chav used in Wales and England, skanger in Ireland, and spide in Northern Ireland). The stereotypical view of a ned is an adolescent male youth, of working class background, who wears fake Burberry, who engages in hooliganism, petty criminality, loutish behaviour, underage drinking and smoking or just irritating others. They are often assumed to be unemployed.

I suppose the closest thing to compare them to would be the stereotypical southen white trailer trash redneck; jobless and on welfare, five hundred kids, living in poverty yet still magically able to afford more gold jewellry than Mr T. The difference in the ned or chav is that they have ferocious appetites for cheap drink and drugs and are exceptionally violent. That is what makes this clip so incredibly funny. A ned with a recording career, singing about and in the form of life on the streets of Glasgow, threatening violence through rap. A custom not unfamiliar to the more hardcore rappers, but hilarious in another accent.

Is it real? Is this really a ned, indulging in ned culture and neddish behaviour, making a name for himself in music? Or is is a frighteningly accurate pastiche of the culture? At first, I went with the former, but the more I watch it I realise through my tears that it absolutely positively has to be a fake. An achingly funny fake. All the signs are there for it to be accurate... perhaps too many. The burberry cap, the bottle of buckfast, the tracksuit, the "wide-o" attitude... all present and correct, but therein lies the evidence. One or two or even three of those would denote nedocity; all of them together spells observational comedy. The Wee Man plays the role incredibly well. I have to say that or he'll rip ma jaw.

Congratulations to The Wee Man! Ye hud me at "awrite troops".

For more information on the Glasgow Ned and to see for yourself just how dead-on The Wee Man is, check out the frightening gallery at the excellent GlasgowSurvival.co.uk

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine - June 28th


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Spike realises that he is not a beer snob, after a bargain buy inspires him to start drinking “fizzy piss”. He compares his sleepy former home town to the bustling metropolis of his current home town of Charleston West Virginia that has half the population… but it has tall buildings, and that “impresses the crap” out of him.

In the news, Britain has a new Prime Minister – the old one can’t keep out of the limelight and takes a job as aggravator-in-chief of the Middle East. Great. But at least Blair wasn’t dull to watch, right?

The Bush administration are going on a secret “accidental shredding” phase as the subpoenas arrive over warrantless wiretapping, Spike makes his patsy prediction.

Is it right to shoot and kill a kid who continually throws rocks at your house? Spike shares a story from his childhood and gives a somewhat controversial answer.

Spike the angry immigrant gets angry about immigration and why some nations (ie, not his) are given preferential treatment when it comes to procedures when he had to jump through multiple hoops.

Finally, in a war between MySpace and Facebook, one comes out on top when it comes to rich kids, and the death row inmate who choked on a joke.

Download the MP3 of the show by right-clicking here.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine, June 6th


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This, from the chatroom:

[Staris] I’ve never been so willing to listen someone moaning for an hour before. =D Thanks, mate! That's a keeper!

This week, Spike wonders if Steven Speilberg is listening. It could happen! He’s “coasting along alcohol-fee”, so if the show is rubbish we can blame caffeine-free diet Coke.

Also on the agenda, he decides not to talk about “some vaguely hot photogenic late-teen” who went missing. In fact, he doesn’t talk about it for a couple of minutes. He insults what little people are listening, talks about the republican mass-debate and who he fancies for their presidential pick.


He gets skeeved out by Hillary Clinton’s insincerity, gives Guiliani a free pass on one of his most controversial mayoral decisions, derides the idea of citizenship and a proposed law in the UK that would award it ‘points’ and voluntary work.

He talks about keeping kids inside and being scared to let them out, talks about his ‘friendly neighbourhood murderer’ that his parents tried hard to keep him away from and touches on “teensurance”.

Oh – and hot teachers having it away with pupils and… porn in the classroom. There's apparently never been a better time to be a kid!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Ready.




OK, so-called "big oil". I'm ready. I've reached my breaking point and I'm ready to be selfish. Take Alaska. Do whatever you bloody well want with it. I'm ready to sacrifice a few moose and mice up north for some financial relief.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Spike Nesmith Rage Machine, May 16 2007


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Spike drops a bombshell about the future of the “Rage Machine”. Wow.

Of a talkingness this week, our hero kills something until it’s “deeeeaaaaaad” but still fails to impress his coworkers, there’s updates on the little girl lost in Portugal and why it’s getting out of hand, the British Ministry of Defence have come out and said that your kids are less valuable than a do-nothing, red-faced, anachronistic figurehead, so they won’t be sending Prince Harry to Iraq. Surprise? Noooo. Also on the agenda, XM Satellite Radio’s decision to can shock jocks Opie and Anthony for a month and whether this has an effect on free speech, there’s a ten month old kid in Illionis with a gun permit (really!), Spike gives us a lesson in impersonating Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and he gets “so blazingly angry that my face will go red, my fists will shake and the red mist will descend” about something.

Podsafe music this week by Megaphone, singing the very excellent “Not Your Enemy”.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 9th: The Full-Steam Rage Machine podcast


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He’s back, and badder than ever! (that’s not bad meaning good, bad meaning ‘no talent hack’... just to clarify)

Armed with a sheaf of shite, Spike lends his terse vocal cords to several news stories. The missing English girl in Portugal and why her moron parents are to blame for her disappearance – drugs: a new drug for kids (and Spike) called “cheese” and why the new statistics that claim 10% of the US population have experimented with drugs is way too low – a Chicago law firm’s billboard proudly proclaims “Life Is Short: Get A Divorce”. Good or bad? – can we convert our gas-gussling cars into coconut-guzzling cars? Yes, according to New Guinea! How long before Big Oil® smashes it like a bug…? – New Jersey about to abolish the death penalty? Believe it! Spike supports keeping it, but not for murderers, only for “wee bastards” – ...and Paris Hilton. Ugh.

And there’s music by The Switch, performing their tip-top, toe-tapping tong, “Trini”.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Spike Nesmith (and his sick Dad) Rage Machine, April 11th 2007


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Poor Spike’s dad is ‘nae weel’. He’s ‘peely-wally’. He’s somewhat under the weather this week, so the ribald, raucacity of last week is muted. Unsurprisingly, the Messers Nez discuss the recent Imus controversy and whether censorship is the way to go. There’s more “playing silly buggers” from Spike’s elderly computer and an extremely active chatroom. See what you miss when you don’t listen to the live show…? There’s a foray into movie nudity in Hollywood’s early years, a little American Idol, some singing, some limericks and – gulp – more religion.

Oh, and look out for an all-too-brief appearance from Spike’s Mum, too!

Spike’s folks are away home now, so it’s business as usual next week along with, no doubt, drastically lower listening figures. To interact with the show, complain, suggest a topic or ask a question email TheRageMachine@gmail.com – got a microphone attached to your PC? Leave a terse voicemessage for The Rage Machine here:

http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/TheRageMachine

Listen live at 8pm eastern every wednesday night at http://nez.listen2myradio.com

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Spike Nesmith (and his Dad) Rage Machine - April 4th


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“Hello, entire world!”

This week, our hero is joined by his Dad! If you thought Spike was a Bill O’Reilley-bating ‘far-left, secular, progressive, anti-war liberal’, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

There’s probing, personal questions for Dad from the chatroom (“does Spike’s dad like beans?”) and they cover a myriad of politics, the religious ripples caused by September 11, why the news media are obsessed with fluff, reality-show stories over hard news, the fact that the boys can’t mention Spike’s 6th grade teacher’s name without getting the giggles and two “faintly rude” limericks. Warning… there’s language.

All that, and DAVID BECKHAM’S NEEWW HAAIIIRCUT!!!!!!

Spike’s Dad will be back next week. To interact with the show, complain, suggest a topic or limerick or ask Spike’s Dad a question email:
TheRageMachine@gmail.com

Got a microphone attached to your PC? Leave a terse voicemessage for The Rage Machine here:
http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/TheRageMachine

Listen live at 8pm eastern every wednesday night at:
http://nez.listen2myradio.com

Friday, March 16, 2007

Th ike Nesm age Machi - Now with 60% more stuttering!


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OK, so… long story short; technical difficulties. Long story slightly less short, my awesome USB soundcard isn’t quite so awesome. It’s so not-quite-so-awesome that it stutters all over the place. God bless the audience of the live show for sticking around, and if you can stand to listen to it, here’s what to expect:

The army dude who mistook his own ridiculous opinion with the military’s recruitment snobbery by calling gay people “immoral” and why he’s wrong to be such a moron, why moving the clock forward one hour has thrown our hero’s busy life into turmoil, the legal system is in turmoil and Spike refuses to trust it… does the killer of an 8 year old child deserve the death penalty if he, too, has the mind of a child? Lighterly, a store in Spain has banned skinny mannequins, the hot teachers who do the mattress mambo with their students and the British kids’ TV show that just couldn’t tell the truth…

That – and a shedload of stuttering, thanks to outdated technology.

Don't forget, you are always welcome to comment on the show or the content.

theragemachine@gmail.com or, if you have a microphone, leave a voice message here: http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/TheRageMachine