Monday, October 26, 2009

The Paul And Spike Show Monday Morning Catch-up!

The Paul And Spike Show: Friday October 23rd, 2009.


Click here to download the show mp3.

And click here to subscribe to the Paul And Spike Show, using iTunes or any feedreader.


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What a show this week. If it's not balloons, it's people whose heads are like them.

00:00 What a way to start the show! Clean gutters and a clean Linux install! What could possibly go wrong?

07:29 Come on, now. I know you're sick of the Balloon Boy™ coverage, but wait. Paul's words of wisdom regarding media coverage is based on - wait for it - baseball coverage. Really. Oh, and also - a fleeting appearance by Paul's daughter. Aww!!

20:20 The week's news didn't all revolve around Balloon Boy™ (although it sure as hell felt like it), so The Boys discuss the current affairs of this past seven days via the magic of the banjo, in Pickin' And Grinnin'.

22:00 Drink check! What are you drinking as you enjoy the show? Or tolerate the show? Let 'em know at The Usual Address.

24:24 This Week In Stuff; the segment of the show where The Boys talk about their media week, so that you know what to avoid or embrace. Paul's been watching an under-rated John Carpenter movie, and the picturesque, if scant, Days Of Heaven. Cue Katherine Hepburn impressions. Don't ask. On the Blue-Ray, "Patton"! HD, you magnificent bastard. Spike's watched a more traditional JFK doco, is still loving "the" ABC's podcasts and has become attached to Talk Radio 702 out of South Africa. If you ask me, he needs to listen more so his South African accent sounds less like a Pakistani/Welsh/Icelandic hybrid, boyo. Listen to Talk Radio 702 live here. Paul's had a great idea for a future show; is the art of the album lost? We listen to music on "shuffle mode" now, you listen to the gui-tar on the mp3 (look at them yo-yos, that's the way ya do it) and on CDs instead of experiencing the album as a whole, track by track...? Email your thoughts to The Usual Address, and we'll talk about it in depth in a future show.

41:16 In the past week, the Whitehouse has made it clear that - by policy - the Fox News Channel is not to be recognised as a bona fide news organisation but, instead, an "ideology" channel. In the UK, Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir's article about a former boyband member who was found dead aged 33 spurned controversy over her thinly veiled homophobia regarding his death. The Boys talk about whether the media has a right to be controversial and say incendiary things.

Thoughts? Disagreements? Agreements? Jot 'em down in an email to the usual address.

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Want to contribute to the show? You're always welcome to; email 'em at The Usual Address, or follow twitter.com/spikester and/or at facebook.com/thespikester to find out about future topics.

Don't forget the Two Men And A Ghost competition running through October - deadline is Halloween. Visit twomenandaghost.blogspot.com and answer a ludicrously easy question; A mask based on a famous sci-fi actor was turned inside out in order to become the villain of the movie, Halloween - who was that famous sci-fi actor? Come on now, it's easy! Send your answers to twomenandaghost@hotmail.com and you could win an original pen and ink cartoon of those fearless seekers of the para-abnormal, 'Two Men and a Ghost', drawded by artist Mychailo 'Mike' Kazybrid, who has worked in the cartoon and comic book industry since 1975. His portfolio includes artwork for countless licensed characters ranging from Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, The Tick, Count Duckula and DangerMouse to name but a small few. He has been a featured guest at a number of Transformers conventions, and UK comics luminary Dez Skinn (former editorial director of Marvel UK and editor of Comics International) says of him in the book Comic Art Now: '...his detailed pensmanship on his backgrounds is little short of 19th century engravings, and in stark contrast with the foreground hero...''

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If you fancy being a guest on the worldwide radio phenomenon known as The Paul And Spike Show, get in touch via the usual address.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies, or on any of the other FM and AM stations across the world that carry Radio Six's quality programming.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Paul And Spike Show - Monday Morning Catchup

Just in case you missed the show on Friday night because, I dunno, you have a red-hot social life and you were too busy "clubbering", or whatever you kids call it these days, here is the latest episode of The Paul And Spike Show, featuring blogger All Click - winner of the prestigious "Here, Have Some Award Or Other That We Just Made Up" award.

The Paul And Spike And AllClick Show: Friday September 18th, 2009.


Click here to download the show mp3.

And click here to subscribe to the Paul And Spike Show, using iTunes or any feedreader.


This week, The Boys are joined by blogger All Click, who says, "Hey, I really enjoyed being on the show. At one point I laughed so hard, beer almost came out my nose. No joke!" Beer nose. Can you get a better recommendation than that?

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00:00 But first, a word from our sponsor, wink wink.

02:00 Alright, that's more like it. Off we go, and Paul has taken your advice and watched a show that a lot of you recommended. But to make room for something new, something old must be sacrificed, which means Paul has taken the "which counterproductive fads have you ditched?" quiz.

09:42 The Boys talk about how the podcast being once a week (as opposed to their old three-hour daily AM talk show) means they miss talking about the big stories when they break. Congress' most objectionable member, Joe Wilson (not Frank Zappa, as Spike seems to think) has made his opinion heard. But does it, as former prez Jimmy Carter inkles, suggest an undercurrent of racism? And what causes The South to act as it does...?

23:20 Oh sure, discussing individual news stories in depth is all well and good, but sometimes what you need is a quick overview of the week's global news stories. That's what Pickin' And Grinnin' is for, and it does it admirably. With banjos.

25:48 Guest time! Soon-to-be award winning blogger (when we make one up for him) All Click joins The Boys to discuss their weeks in stuff. Fellow emigrant "Clickers" has giving zombies some much-needed what-for in "Resident Evil 5", and he's been digging some late-night Hitchcock action (not a euphemism). Clickers' NetFlix pal Paul (get a room!) knows what he did last summer, and that he's been watching "Be Kind Rewind". Spike's been perving over Kim Basinger's toolbox (both a euphemism and not a euphemism) with the utterly ghastly/hilarious "While She Was Out". Paul, meanwhile, has been reading "A Tale Of Two Cities" and watching a doco about the Manson family. Should we be worried...?

57:20 The big question this week was about video games; the bestest and the worstest. The replies from the Paul and Spiketeers was, as always, overwhelmingly awesome and ran the gamut between old systems and new, popular games and hidden gems. At least one game appeared on one person's worst list and another person's best, one game acted as a laxative, and one almost caused a divorce. Thoughts? Additions? Subtractions? Get in touch at the usual address and let 'em know. To get prior warning of ensuing weeks' subjects, check Spike's Twitter or Facebook out on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

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Thanks again to Clickers for being such an awesome guest. If you fancy being a guest on the worldwide radio phenomenon known as The Paul And Spike Show, get in touch via the usual address, and let us know. Even if you've just got something to plug.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies, or on any of the other FM and AM stations across the world that carry Radio Six's quality programming.

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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here.

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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Just Another Mu-sic Mon-day (oohhh, a whoa)

How amusing it would be to start with the Happy Mondays. But no - inspired by some recent listenage and that wonderful leapfrogging technique that comes from spending a few spare moments going from one thing to t'other on You Tube, I present to you some top Monday morning entertainment:


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


I've been in love with Kirsty Hawkshaw for a long time, more or less since I discovered her wriggling around in the beautifully hypnotic early 90s fan-dance-tasticness of Opus III. Her now tragically scratched-all-to-buggery 1995-ish album "O U T" became a staple companion piece to later works by Portishead, The Sundays and Dubstar, providing the soundtrack of far too many cold, dark, rainy November evening trips home on the bus.

I've kept in touch over the years (by which I mean, every now and again I see if she's got anything new out and grab it, not that we actually converse), and she's been pretty busy. A solo album or two, some top-notch ambient music, and lots of guest vocal work with some of the more interesting dance/trance acts, including an awesome cover of Duran Duran's "The Chauffeur" with Sleepthief and, via manipulated sample, on Orbital's "Halcyon + On + On", even appearing as a hallucinatory seventies housewife in the utterly bizarre video....



(there's a much higher quality, although sadly unembeddable, copy of the video here)

Quite the change from the catsuit, lipstick and no hair look in "It's A Fine Day". Sadly, the original Opus III video has fallen afoul of You Tube's legal wrangling with record companies, but it's still viewable in a recognisable form, thanks to one of the many remixes available.



Now, I had always been under the impression that the vocals on "It's A Fine Day" were original... but no! It's a re-imagining of an odd acapella 1983 song by "Jane", assembled in the same sort of way that Suzanne Vega's atmospheric "Tom's Diner" was given new life by DNA. (Interestingly, did you know that Tom's Diner in the song is actually Tom's Restaurant in New York, featured prominently in tv's Seinfeld? Oh, you didn't? See! You keep me here for a reason.) The "Jane" version is... well, bare. But in an odd way, it makes me want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

Incidentally... "we will have salad"? No, I don't know either.

Ready for another remix? KH recently reprised her wrigglage in the video for yet another remix of "It's A Fine Day":



Bald, brunette or blonde, she's still teh hawt. Sadly, "O U T" has fallen o-u-t of print (although most of it is available for download through her website) and none of it shows up on the usually comprehensive Playlist.com, which is a great shame, because songs like "Sci-Clone" and "Leafy Lane" have really stood up well, and retain their atmosphere well.





Good stuff. Enjoy your monday.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

....here's Spike with sports.

Wow. Sports? ME? Talking about SPORTS?

Let's talk, you and I, about the two most important sports in the world. First, tennis.

OK, so I understand that there are some people out there who might like to support Melody Oudin. That's fine. You picks your horse in any competition, but eff eff ess, people. She got to the quarter finals. THE QUARTER FINALS. She didn't win it. The media were all a-glow, treating her as if she descended from heaven above, golden racquet in hand, surrounded by a halo of light, handing out twenty dollar bills and Wellbutrin XL to everyone. "ooh ohhh! Melody - and we'll call her Melody, because we're ALL her best friends, is the first American female tennis player to reach the quarter finals since 1999! ohh!! ohh! I think I just came a bit in my blue pants!"

Woo. The first American woman to reach the quarters in ten years.

This is unremarkable because A: it's been done before, so who gives a toss, B: it doesn't matter where she's from, she's here to play tennis, not play political diplomat, and C: you're just inventing benchmarks in order to create a story. This isn't 'non-white man gets elected to the Presidency' or 'human being walks on moon'. This is 'slope-mouthed teen does something that's been done before'.

It reminded me of the shootings at Virginia Tech a while ago. So desperate were the media to turn it into a news "event" and get the chance to make some fancy graphics and give it a snappy Lifetime Movie-ready name, that they scratched and scratched until they could find something, anything, remarkable about it. Not content with "unbalanced nutjob goes crazy-ape psycho and shoots a bunch of people", because that's just dull, it had to be: "the first mass-murder in HISTORY at a university... in the east... um... by a guy of Asian descent... with a B in his name.... before Thanksgiving.... on a Tuesday.... uh... with the temperature below 60. ...IN HISTORY! HIS-TOR-Y!"

The in-game hype that followed Oudin in the day and a half between winning (not in straight sets) and losing the quarter final game (in straight sets) was inescapable. From the game that followed her's to the next day's games, it seemed almost every sentence had to have the words "Oudin" in it. It didn't matter if she wasn't there physically, the commentators made damn sure that she was the subject du jour. Pay no mind to... I don't know... the games that you're supposed to be calling play by play on. Just you go ahead and talk about something else entirely. Tossers.

Of course, the game itself - versus the foghorn-voiced, not-all-that-great-herself Wozniacki, who is going to get humped by Williams, if she even gets that far - was even worse. If they weren't crafting every sentence to deny that there was actually two people playing the game, they were masturbating over how Oudin's missed shots were "so close" or "brilliantly played" or "a minor setback for the plucky champion who can walk on water and heal the sick" and showing cutaway shots of some slackjawed halfwitts in Oudin's hometown, roaring their approval as they watched the game in a dingy bar.

Was there a live remote from Denmark, featuring Wozniacki's hometown support group? Was there mention of Wozniacki's skill? Was Wozniacki's performance even referenced? Not on your life. When the commentators were required to even make reference to her in any way, they got it over and done with as quickly and as tersely as possible, so they could get back to talking about how the sunshine was streaming from Her Royal Highness Oudin's arsehole.

Oh, and who was the first person they raced onto the court to interview after the game...? Was it the winner? uuhhh..... nope.

It's time to lose the homer culture, folks. This is tennis; the gentleman's game. It doesn't matter where a player comes from, only how well they play. And please... can we have some perspective in the future?

(and before anyone says anything, I'll be CCing the BBC on this, for their utterly shameless flag-waving coverage of any Brit in the game. They're not going to win, let's concentrate on THE GAME instead of the effing soap opera surrounding the players' nationality. Please?)

Second! Football! "Soccer" to those who hijacked the name for that other sport that, bafflingly, features minimal ball-to-foot contact.

It happens every four years: England qualify for the world cup, and Scotland don't. Any other nation in the world would be PO'd about this, but one of the wonderful things about the Tartan Army is that - qualify or not - we're going to have fun. Because that's what it's about. Premiere league football, well.... that's a different kettle of fish. Wear the wrong colour in the wrong area, sing the wrong song, make a joke about the pope and you're probably going to end up in hospital. But when it comes to the international side... wa-hey! Party! Everyone's our best friend! Even the fans of the opposing team!

Scotland is under no impression that it's a world-class player. If, in the unlikely event, we actually do qualify for an international tournament, that just amplifies the party. But we know that even if we qualify, there's no way in hell we're going to win, so we have as much fun as possible and see how far we can get before we're kicked out of the competition. A telling piece of evidence for this is Scotland's official 1998 World Cup song, by the woefully underrated band Del Amitri. It wasn't called "Hooray We're Going To Win". It wasn't called "Watch Out World, We Gon' Beat Yo Asses". It was called "Don't Come Home Too Soon".
So long, go on and do your best,
Let all France have whiskey on it's breath,
The world may not be shaking yet, but you might prove them wrong.
Even long shots make it...
England, on the other hand, seem to be under the impression that just because they qualified by beating The Independent Republic Of Caspiar on aggregate, the trophy is as good as theirs. This, of course, all stems from the fact that they have actually won the world cup. Once. Almost half a century ago. Thanks, mostly, to a misunderstanding over whether the game was finished or not. And even then, there's controversy over whether the ball even crossed the line or not. Here's what the guy who supposedly scored it has to say:
Geoff Hurst: "I have to admit that I had a bit of sympathy for the Germans. They genuinely believed the ball had not crossed the line and they may be right. I can no more claim with certainty that the ball did cross the line than they can claim that it didn't."
So, the four year cycle begins again. England will beat their chests and swagger into the game, sure in the thinking that all they have to do is book into their hotel in Johannesburg and the world cup will be waiting for them in reception, Scotland will enjoy the fun of the tournament, and root hard for whoever is playing England.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

+?


OK, really. I mean... really.

This is what counts as plus-sized now? PLUS sized? You have got to be shitting me.

Society; you have some serious issues.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Paul And Spike Show Eve - supplemental.



Download the mp3 here.

This won't be appearing on the Paul And Spike Show RSS feed, so if you're a podcast subscriber through iTunes or whatever, you'll have to download the show here if you want to listen.

Part one of the "International Guest Exchange" where TPASS#123 guest Rueben Perdue had Spike on his show Wednesday morning to talk health care and Lockerbie. Also appearing in the second half of the show is author Ron Cruise, whose book "Lies, Bribes and Peril" discusses cultural issues and international business, has a fascinating insight into the recent behaviour of the Libyans.

Don't forget, you can listen to Rueben's show live every weekday morning at WAJR.com from 9am-10am. Click "Listen Live Clarksburg".

Want to share, link to or embed this show? Firstly, thanks! Secondly, click here for some moderate html magic!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just A Wii Minute: EA Grand Slam Tennis



Alright, kids. Go ahead and laugh, but "International 3D Tennis" on the Commodore 64 was the closest thing to playing the real deal for a very long time. I wore this game out as a shortie, and even though it looks like the players are made out of coathangers, what the game lacked in realistic graphics and sound, it more than made up for in playability.

Lesser tennis games were usually far too interested in making the game look nice, and the chunky graphics often detracted from what was the really important question to ask of a sports simulation game... how much is it like playing the actual sport? Whilst I'll concede that in my real life tennis-playing days, I never entered into a thrilling rally with a pipecleaner-thin, triangular-headed bloke, and the applause of any members of the public who turned up to watch didn't sound much like a sea breeze, but the ball physics and realistic speed of the players in I3DT were unmatched.... until now.



Behold! EA Sports' ('s in the gaaaame) Grand Slam Tennis on the Nintendo Wii. It's only taken nineteen years for a tennis game to more realistically simulate the sport, and it's thanks in no small part to the Wii's "Motion Plus" dongle. Hee hee... I said 'dongle'. M+ provides the player with an almost inch-for-inch recreation of movement inside the game. And in an armflapping-heavy sport like tennis, you have no idea how important that is. Swipe your arm low and up, the ball lobs over the net. Hammer it left, and you're sending Venus Williams belting across the court to try and return your shot. It's uncanny, and an astonishing achievement for a video game.

What does it lack? Well, there's no guidance when it comes to training (I'm kicking ass, but I could still really use some help with service), they've missed out some of the lesser-known greats like Ivan Lendl and Henri Leconte in the available players in favour of the usual suspects, and Pat Cash's woefully small repertoire of commentary gets worn out by the third match, but my guess would be that the average video game snobs' biggest issue would be that GST suffers, somewhat, from similar initial superficialities that made I3DT such a figure of fun back in the day; The players aren't realistic enough and the sound's a bit ropey at times. But, like I3DT (which is now old enough to drive, join the military, vote, and, in countries with more enlightened laws, get drunk), it's the gameplay that makes it so unmissable. What happens on your arm, happens in the game. (If only that were the case with "Sam Fox Strip Poker" - eh, lads?) Sure, games like "Virtua Tennis" on the PS3 look more realistic, but playing with a paddle means it's still a game. Mashing buttons to return and aim a serve makes it a game. Physically aiming your shot and making sure you've swiped with enough power to hit a target, and you're very nearly playing a sport.

Of course, what makes the game totally unrealistic is the fact that I've already bagged the Australian and French opens, and am past the first round of Wimbledon. I might even be the first Scotsman since Angus Podgorny to reach the final.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Paul&Spike Show 121, Monday Morning Catchup!

Psssst! Can I tell you a secret? The Paul And Spike Show is RECORDED! YES! We don't shrink ourselves down and sit inside your computer or iPod and regurgitate the show every time you press 'play'. We record the show on a Thursday night for a Friday transmission/podcast. BUT! This week, we're doing it earlier - we're doing it on Tuesday night (18th), so if you want to leave your comments for the show at the usual address, you had better do it before 6pm on Tuesday night for inclusion in the show. Kthnxbai.

The Paul And Spike Show, episode 121 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday August 14th, 2009


Click here to download the show.
Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.

Hello Cleveland!

00:00 Bloody nora! What a crappy week! Spike's had no sleep, and Paul can't drink because of ladies problems. Misty water colored memories of the way they were, with echos of John McCain and Ted Kennedy flowing round their heads, The Boys talk about their days in "old fashioned radio" and the morning schedule nazi on urban station "The Bee". Oh... sorry... "The Bizzee".

08:26 Listener Chimp has the in-box stacked, with thoughts that range from Superman to The Tube to not helping his mum with shopping.

19:16 Some spam leads to a discussion about - of all things - gun control and whether Charlton Heston was a good or bad representative for the NRA, you damn dirty apes. Also, they are winner of one million dollars. So, there's that.

27:35 You'll take my banjo when you pry it from my COLD DEAD HANNNNNDSAH!! Pickin' And Grinnin'; takin' a moonshine-flavored look at the week's news.

30:00 This Week In Stuff, in which The Boys talk about what's been on their tv/radio/library radars to help you make better informed entertainment decisions. Spike's been listening to a doco about people who can't (and won't) connect to the internet and how their lives are being made more difficult, and he's had a flip round his in-laws' new HD lineup... and he's not impressed. Paul is threatening to go postal because of "Catcher In The Rye" and is turning all Walt Disney with his DSi, thanks to a freebie app called 'Flipnote Studio'.

53:12 It's been a rough week, filled with misinformational fwd fwd fwd fwd emails, town hall meetings filled with loud, interrupting douchebags who would much rather yell than debate and threats of looming socialism - all thanks to Obama's new plan to diddle about with America's healthcare system and turn us into socialists, or kill us. Is the UK's nationalised healthcare system really all that bad? Are heart stents thin on the ground and are the people of Jolly Old England subject to an ominous 'death panel'? The Boys, offering a (very) unique perspective and with a wealth of experience inside both systems, talk about the good, the bad and the downright ridiculous - and they want your views. Tell them where you are in this argument and why, through the usual address.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies.

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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.

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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Paul And Spike Show, Monday Morning Catch-up!

A guest this week made it The Paul And Spike And Old Spike Show! Yes, Old Spike and I had a drink or two (a bottle of merlot and a Yeungling Lite each) so there's giggling a-plenty. Hopefully, you'll giggle, too, and not just go "wow... what a pair of annoying mongs." Nevertheless - if you happened to miss the show over the weekend, here's your chance to catch it now. Share and enjoy!

The Paul And Spike And Old Spike Show, episode 118 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday July 10th, 2009

Click here to download the show.
Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.

Spike's dad, Old Spike, is in town, bearing gifts for Paul. The three drunskateers discuss many-a-subject, including a word they can't say, inter-city relations and Arah-say, Alin-pay.

02:16 BUSTED! Paul hears pouring, so the jig's up for a Booze Update. Old Spike shares his medicine, but Paul's keeping The Good Stuff™ to himself. What's the hardest booze that Old Spike's ever imbibed? He tells the story, which involved extinguishing all cigarettes...

06:10 Old Spike's got some stuff to give to Paul, one part of which is 50% Welsh, one part is a movie that contains an unbroadcastable word and one is a recording which reached ye top fpotte in Cafey Cafem'f Top LX Countedown.

22:43 News and current affairs have never sounded so much like The South. Them boys is Pickin' And Grinnin', yuh-huh.

24:10 A few tasteless jokes and a taste of the Yuengling Light leads into the bulging postbag from last week's show, including some lovely comments from the eRepublik people, and another great full-episode commentary from Robin.

28:30 Somehow, probably because of the booze, the subject gets onto how people perceive the citizens of another country. Yeah... I'm not sure how that happened either. The Boys talk about the differences between the folks of big cities and smaller cities, and the time Mrs. Old Spike brought home a French girl. Ye-e-e-essss.

49:44 The rebuttal to Robin's letter gets the kibosh because Old Spike wants to read from the US Constitution in a WC Fields voice and from "The Book Of Lists", which - remarkably - was one of the first ever books of lists.

56:27 Sir! Trigger's been killed! As promised at the start of the show, Spike has a two-word trigger that will set both Paul and Old Spike off. These two words - a name, by the way - are summed up by Paul via a Fark.com comment regarding people who don't like "people like us" who make fun of her; "if she would just shut up and go away, it would take care of them both." Is it feasible that Old Spike, a life-long lefty, has kind words to say about Bush The Elder and John McCain?


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The Paul And Spike Show Forums are open... you should come by, people have been asking where you are.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Paul&Spike Show, Monday Morning Catch-Up!

I'm stunned. Utterly, utterly stunned. This has become, in an astonishingly short amount of time, the most downloaded single episode of The Paul And Spike Show. I mean, it EXPLODED. So, if you've already downloaded the show, we want to offer you a huge thank you. If you missed it over the weekend - GOOD NEWS! Here's your chance to catch it. Don't forget to keep in touch with the show via the usual address, and to join the new 'TPASS' forums at http://paulandspike.yuku.com. Also, feel free to share and enjoy the show with friends - or enemies!

The Paul And Spike Show, episode 117 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday July 3rd, 2009

Click here to download the show.
Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.

This week, The Boys are joined by the President Of The (e)United States of America, to discuss his legacy. Also on the agenda, why it was a bad week to be a celebrity, Iran's recount and a morbid Over/Under.

00:00 Oh sure, you'd think that after replacing computers to improve the recording quality (last week's show sounded ghastly), all would be well, right? Particularly since now there's a Linux in the mix. But, alas, no. Spike's not alone when it comes to computer woes, Paul's ISP is having one of its yearly cop-outs. Will Paul the IT professional be able to convince the script-reliant customer service rep that he knows the problem is at their end...?

08:58 It's not been a safe week to be a celebrity. The Boys talk about all the dudes what snuffed it, dish out the Jackson puns and give a touching tribute to that actress who was in that thing once. On NBC. No... wait... CBS.

14:30 Between Michael Jackson dominating the newscasts and not too many protesters left out of jail to complain, there's not been much Iran news over the past week. There's been a recount - but was it fair and accurate? And what links Iran to overnight radio chappies who run out of toilet paper?

18:50 The week's news is condensed and delivered with breath that smells like moonshine and ramps, as The Boys go Pickin' And Grinnin'.

21:30 Hail to the chief, baby! Just a few days before he leaves office, President Scrabman; leader of the largest country in the New World of eRepublik, joins The Boys for his first and final interview as elected head of state. Paul's got a few questions about the game, and President Scrabman discusses his legacy.

1:05:57 It's been the most fatal week for celebrities in living memory, so The Boys talk about celebrity deaths that were given an Overabundance of media coverage or had an Underwhelming two-line obit in the Sutton And Thames-Ditton Racing Post. It features two musicianins, one comedian and someone who didn't really do anything other than ponce up and down red carpets and sponge off the taxpayers. ** Over/Under is brought to you by AbraCadaver!: don't let your murder investigation go autopsy-turvey - leave your celebrity post mortem to the experts, because your body shouldn't look bad 'cause of death. **

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The Paul And Spike Show Forums are open... and HAWT!

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paul And Spike Show #116 - Monday Catch-up!

Did you miss the show this weekend? Feh, it happens. Don't sweat it. ....that said, grab it NOW. The last five minutes of the show are worth the download. I laughed so hard, a bit of pee came out.

The Paul And Spike Show, episode 116 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday June 26th, 2009


Click here to download the show.
Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.

Breaking news, which is already well broken. Ropey quality thanks to a computer that's about to go the way of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Mark Sanford's political career, this week's show, which deals extensively with the media coverage of news 'events', was recorded just as news of Michael Jackson's death was breaking.

00:00 Harking back to their days of 'old fashioned radio', The Boys look back to other breaking news that has happened whilst they've been on air, including September 11th and Hitler's invasion of Poland.

03:25 In front of our very eyes, news is breaking at the speed of Tweets, whether it's a celebrity death or a revolution. But whom can one trust? Is the media running away with half-baked tips? Will the established media even survive when every hobbledehoy with a mobile phone and a Twitter account is a "citizen journalist"?

14:31 Joined by Scottish radio production god Stewart Priest, "Stoop" talks about the difference in the way breaking news is covered in the UK from the US media outlets, and the future of news gathering.

33:30 Better late and in a different segment than never, right? Beware those flying sharp shards of show protocol, the news gets countrified in Pickin' And Grinnin'.

36:19 Another great running commentary from Robin - glass o'booze in hand and the lure of an empty Outlook email combined with incendiary comments from Paul on Sarah Palin means that Robin is in rare form... Also, the President of the eUnited States issues a statement on the boys' eRepublik gameplay.

48:02 Paul is well impressed with the comedic skills of friends-of-friend-of-the-show Rebecca Burch, regarding the Mark Sanford scandal. The Boys discuss the case in detail and whether, as a republican, Sanford is getting a raw-er deal from the media than a democrat.

56:48 This Week In Stuff. Having discovered that it is, indeed, himself that sucks, Paul scoops the US Open trophy. Work that one out. Spike's been watching a 1980s-era documentary on the moon, and Paul does the single greatest Wanda Sykes impression in history. So good it ends the show.

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The Paul And Spike Show Forums are open... and we've been waiting for you. Hot topics this week have include Steve Jobs' new liver, the US military accepting neo-nazis but not gays, and a new haiku thread.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Paul And Spike Show #115, Monday Morning Catch-Up

A little birdie told me that you missed this weekend's Paul And Spike Show Podcast. Oh, alright. It wasn't a little birdie. It was that guy who's been stalking you. And he knew because he broke into your house in the middle of the night and looked at your browser history. Whilst wearing your dirty undies. Anyway, here's your opporchancity to catch up:

The Paul And Spike Show, episode 115 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday June 19th, 2009


Click here to download the show.

Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.

Uh-oh... not much fun for those non-geeks as the Dynamic Duo talk about games. Also on the agenda, a healthy dollop of sexchanges, politics, religion and... haircuts?

00:00 Traps open, and away we go. A booze update; one is drinking, one is wussing out. Shocking! Furthermore, the hair situation gets worse. Paul's growing his back, but Spike - following a dare - now looks like a white supremacist.

07:17 An offer from a listener, who has crowned the show his favourite non-gay-specific podcast, to be the show's GLBT correspondent! The Boys discuss the psychological differences between homosexuality and transgenderism, following Chastity "Chaz" Bono's decision to live as a man. Is a fake victorian-era moustache all that's needed for gender re-assignment?

03:15 Following on from a discussion on the new Paul And Spike Show Forums, Spike circumvents the Iran news to talk about the Sarah Palin Vs David Letterman rent-a-rage incident.

26:57 Pickin' And Grinnin' - hooo-whee! Them cousinbrothers view the week's news through the bottom of a moonshine glass, boy howdy. Or something.

29:50 This Week In Stuff (stuff stuff stuff)! Paul goes into more detail about his recently finished Star Trek model, and looks forward to building his 'antique' one. Can he keep the hot babes at bay in the Sci-Fi Model Builders' Forum?

44:01 It's a trip to Sore Armsville for Paul following his recent purchase of both "EA Grand Slam Tennis" and "Tiger Woods' Golf" for the Wii, complete with the Motion Plus dongle. Tee-hee... "dongle". Spike's had his backside consistently handed to him internationally through Mario Kart Wii, and discusses the differences between racing other Americans, and racing around the world.

53:15 Spike's new obsession, the "MMO" game eRepublik, in which he will RULE THE WORLD! MWAAHAAHAAHAAA!! ...or not, as the case may be. The Boys discuss how n00b-unfriendly it is and what could make it more appealing to the head-scratchers.

1:08:47 Time once more for the shopbookexchange.com Haiku Book Review, in which you could win ten dollars to spend at the very cool online store. Alls you gots to do is email a book review or plot summary in haiku form to the usual address by noon on Wednesday June 24th. Feeling all strategistical after playing eRepublik? Check out these babies at shopbookexchange.com - they could help you win your next war and secure your country. Or, if you fancy becoming president, why not learn from those who have been there, with these'ns?

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The Paul And Spike Show Forums are open... and we've been waiting for you. Hot topics this week have included the influence of Twitter in the Iranian revolution, Susan Boyle, a phenominally amusing caption competition, and the very real possibility that one of the board members might have swine flu! Come on over.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Attention, Chatty WV Bloggers!

Remember the good old days of the WV Bloggers Board, where we'd all get together and have fun, and a nice little community grew where we traded ideas and thoughts? Well, I'd like to invite you to what - hopefully - will turn into another nice little community, and I'm inviting you specifically because I know from the past board that you can bring the goods. The smarts were there, the funnies were there, the polite debates about news and politics were there on the old board. Quite honestly, I miss it. And I miss the direct conversations, too. It's all fine and dandy commenting on each other's blogs - and I hope that continues too - but I enjoyed the actual interactive conversations even more.

So! I've set up another forum. Initially, it was set up to cater to the podcast, but when I was categorising, the thought struck me that it shouldn't just be limited to the show. There should be other sections that aren't me-centric (tchoh! the idea!), that are similar to the fun times we had together in days of yore. What eventually happened was that the podcast became just one category of nine.

It's here: http://paulandspike.yuku.com/ And if your particular tastes aren't catered to or the reason you'd come back to an online conversational community isn't there, let me know and I can add another section and we can grow the place organically.

In the coming days, I'll be inviting other people from other facets of my online life that I think will be able to contribute something great. I hope you'll come along and do the same.

Oh - a quick word of warning, though. It's yellow. Good news is that that's already up for debate...

Paul And Spike And Rebecca Burch Show, Monday Morning Catch-up!

Dude, WTF? You missed the show over the weekend? Tchoh! Oh well, never mind. Here's your chance to catch up.


The Paul And Spike And Rebecca Burch Show, episode 114 - Original Radio Six International broadcast: Friday June 12th, 2009

Click here to download the show.

Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.


This week, the Dynamic Duo are joined by artist, art teacher and art critic Rebecca Burch from the bloggin' shop "Carpe You Some Diem" to talk art, lunatics and "The Safety Dance" video.

00:00 The Boys sift through the week's correspondence, which includes Robin's weekly stream-of-consciousness rundown of the last show, plus some more support for "M*A*S*H" and "The Empire Strikes Back" to be inducted into the Paul And Spike Show Hall Of Fame. Oooohhh, and does Paul have a not-so-secret admirer? They love getting your letters, and your Robin-style commentaries of previous shows, so keep sending them to the usual address.

14:40 When the week's news and pa-paw's moonshine collide: Pickin' And Grinnin'.

16:36 After stealing a neighbour's microphone (really!) Rebecca joins The Boys to discuss their Week In Stuff, whether one should nix a nose-picking family photograph, Paul gives a progress report on his recent model-building ...and will Mr Charley Manson Himself make an appearance? Wooooo!

36:55 With a genuine bona-fide artist in residence, it would be silly not to have an art theme for this week's Over/Under, right? You'll learn the international sound of groping, Thomas 'Kink'-aide gets slandered (not really), and who drew the chalk outline of Bob Ross on the floor...? Plus, how you can authenticate a Pollock, a deer in front of a barn in the snow, and the magical effects of the three-wolf t-shirt.

55:20 Who wins $10 to spend at shopbookexchange.com following last week's Haiku Book Review? Some alarmingly literate entries, as always, and Rebecca brings her's to the table. Keep sending them in, and maybe next week, it could be YOU who is a-winnin' ten bucks to shop at the internet's premiere used book store, shopbookexchange.com - you know where to send them; the usual address.

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Thanks to Rebecca for coming on and being awesome! We think you should all go buy something from the Carpe You Some Diem (damnit) store, and subscribe to her blog, ASAFP.

D'yer think you'd be a good guest on the show? We think you would. The Boys are aiming for a summer of guests, so if you'd like to get in on the action, email the show and let 'em know. Whether you have a specialty, something to plug, or you just want to hang out, you're always welcome. Skype's your best option, but we'd also be happy to call you on the phone to join in, too.

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The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. It's possible you might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz shortwave frequencies.
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here. Also, feel free to follow their personal blogs: Paul's is here, Spike's is here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Paul And Spike Show Monday Morning Catch-up!

Missed the show over the weekend? Did it get lost in the cloud of weekendery? Did you just forget? Don't worry. We forgive you. THIS time.

The Paul And Spike Show episode 113: Original Radio Six International broadcast, Friday June 5th, 2009


Click here to download the show.

Click here to subscribe to the show in iTunes, or any podcatcher.


00:00 The show's too damn popular for its own damn good (or, they forgot to pay a bill) because some folks had trouble listening to the podcast last week and our bandwidth ran out. The Boys consider ways to pay the hefty bandwidth bill, including PBS-style pledge drives. Correspondence a-plenty from last week's show, including Robin's unmissably hilarious stream-of-consciousness commentary, and why The Boys are a bad influence on a Twitterer.

Suggestions for the Paul And Spike Show Hall Of Fame came from listener Pat, who thinks that "The Empire Strikes Back", "M*A*S*H" and chipotle sauce be inducted. What's your vote? Yay or nay on one or all? Email the show, or discuss it further in the Paul And Spike Show FaceGroup Book. Get in touch if you want to suggest some of your own, too!

20:10 The week's news gets banjo'd in "Pickin' and Grinnin'!"

22:24 This Week In Stuff! Paul discovers how his Zune becomes "a gay fun party", and Spike talks about watching a 1972 tv play about cannibalism. Also, is it really that hard to make a model kit of the Starship Enterprise? Apparently so. The Boys declare their love for Pixar, and discuss whether it's feasible to compare the hand-drawn Disney movies of yore with the CGI movies of today. Agree? Disagree? Email the show and tell 'em!

45:01 Over/Under. This week, cover versions! Those cheeky chappies who take someone else's song and do things to it. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad. What's your Over/Under on cover versions? Lettem know, yo. Get in touch if you have any rebuttals to their choices, too.

1:07:03 The Shop Book Exhange Haiku Book Review is BACK! You could win ten bucks to spend at the phenominal online used bookstore shopbookexchange.com! You could bag yourself "The Panic Broadcast", Howard Koch's excellent 1971 book about Orson Welles' infamous 'War Of The Worlds' broadcast, for example. It'll cost you a mere $2.50! So, even if you don't win, you can still feel like a winner by scoring top literature at awesome prices. Submit your book review or summary to the usual address by Wednesday June 10th.


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Think you'd be a good guest on the show? The Boys are aiming for a summer of guests, so if you'd like to get in on the action, email the show and let 'em know. Whether you have a specialty, something to plug, or you just want to hang out, you're always welcome. Skype's your best option, but we'd also be happy to call you on the phone to join in, too.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RADIO SIX INTERNATIONAL! Oh sure, "doing birthdays" is a little too much like straying into dreary FM morning show territory, but this one's a biggun. Radio Six celebrates its 46th birthday this week! From humble beginnings with a wind-up gramophone to the custom-built studio it operates from today, Radio Six goes from strength to strength and helped to launch the careers of Sony Award winning broadcaster Steve Wright, Scottish radio icon "Tiger" Tim Stevens and broadcasting deity Tony Currie, whose passion and unparalelled dedication is what keeps the dream alive to this very day. We raise one of our many glasses to you, sir! Keep your eye on Radio Six's schedule to catch the hour-long birthday special.

The Paul And Spike Show airs weekly, every Friday night on the mighty Radio Six International, from 11pm UK time and 6pm US eastern time. It also airs on 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand at 7pm Saturday night local time. You can listen online every Saturday morning at 2am US eastern, or 6am UK time. Check out the other great programming on both stations; Radio Six brings you specialist music shows and unsigned artists, plus drama and comedies. World FM's varied schedule includes the best in international news, and music from around the world. You might also hear us on shortwave anywhere in the world, via WBCQ's 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz frequencies. Even in Auchtermuchty!
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We love feedback at the show, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch. You can email us at the usual address, or you can book our faces in the Paul And Spike Show Facegroup Book. Or leave a comment below. If you Twitter, you can befriend Spike here, and Paul here.
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It would be very awesome indeed for you to spread the good word about the show on your blog or your myspace, or your whatever. Click this link, and it will take you to a .txt file, in which resides the raw html code for you to use. Sounds complicated, but it's really not; it's just a cut and paste job, and the html elves do the rest. It will post the fancy-schmancy flash player you see at the top of the screen plus the direct download and the RSS feed. We'd really appreciate your passing the word on!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Swept Away By Tideland

Not since the days of Hitchcock has the director been the star of a movie, and if it wasn't for the fact that Terry Gilliam chooses such good actors and coaxes spellbinding performances out of them, he would be. He's a divisive director, but one who is able to create entire worlds within his films, from the grey, bureaucratic "somewhere in the 20th century" maze of 'Brazil', to the wide open spaces and eternal orange sunset of 'Tideland', what makes his films so rich and deep and genuinely beautiful is his ability to completely erase any trace of a world we know and to plonk us slap bang on what seems like another planet.

I've been sitting on "Tideland" for a while now. Gilliam's work is one that needs a person's full attention, particularly on first viewing, and some days you just don't feel like being challenged. I remember watching "Brazil" for the first time in my teens and not getting past the twenty-minute mark, thanks to my shortened attention span. My own frighteningly intelligent mother, having been intrigued by my theory that the most recent Willy Wonka movie would have been forty billion times better had Gilliam directed it, was completely silent when I sat her down in front of 'Brazil', eventually calling it "the most bizarre thing I've ever seen" as the credits rolled - and she didn't mean it as a compliment. One needs to totally immerse oneself in Planet Gilliam in order to enjoy the ride, and be actively willing to do so. Having finally watched "Tideland", I think I can safely say that it's not a movie that one can "enjoy", only 'experience'. I won't be recommending it to my Mum, that's for sure.

In a nutshell; pre-pubescent Jeliza-Rose is daughter to two heroin addicts and, in the only life she knows, helps them shoot up. The high is "a vacation". It's clear that both parents love her and that she's the only responsible one in the relationship, but it's also clear that it's a lifestyle that's headed for disaster. So, when that disaster strikes, it strikes hard. Jeliza-Rose and her father escape to a deserted family farmhouse in Texas when her mother accidentally overdoses on methadone, and it's here that her father overdoses. Obviously well used to her father's unresponsive "vacations", Jeliza-Rose doesn't initially notice that he's dead. She spends several days talking to him and smearing peanut butter into his mouth whilst enjoying her childish flights of fancy, involving several talking doll-heads as playmates. As the film progresses, it gradually shifts from third person perspective to that of Jeliza-Rose's, enveloping the viewer into her fantasy world.

Eventually, she comes across the neighbours, an odd witch-like woman called Dell and her mentally challenged brother Dickens. Dell, already Dickens' primary care-giver, becomes a maternal figure to Jeliza-Rose, owing mostly to what appears to have been a relationship with her father at some point in time, and the realisation of his death. It's not fair to tell you what happens to her father's body, suffice it to say that it is shocking, to the extent of literal jaw-dropping. (mine, not his)

The blossoming relationship between Jeliza-Rose and Dickens, although I believe it to be entirely innocent within the circumstances and the context, is particularly uncomfortable to watch, and reminded me very much of Dennis Potter's pitch-black play "Blue Remembered Hills". It's easy to immediately snap into thought process that their relationship is one of sexual attraction, but I don't see it that way. And I'm married to a former Child Protective Services social worker, so my sense of inappropriateness is often above and beyond the average person's. By this point, we are completely inside Jeliza-Rose's world, in her head. A child of that age is unlikely, hormonally or intellectually, to seek out a sexual relationship. Instead, within her world of eternal playtime, she would be acting out the superficial aspects of the things she's seen adults do. She's pretending to be a grown-up and whilst her talk of marriage and love and babies is unsettling, it's merely a child's representation of adult relationships. Combined with Dickens' disability, which gives him the mental capacity of a child, it's all play. Not that that makes it any less cringe-worthy, of course, but that context does soften the blow somewhat.

As an actor, there's a boat load of pressure put on Jodelle Ferland to run through some bizarre and intense emotions, but she handles it extremely well. Normally, I detest child actors, but her performance is captivating, even with a few minor faults. Gilliam, I think, understands that a child who is given adult lines and actions is often what makes them unconvincing, and thus, Jeliza-Rose is often irritating. But most children are, so it's irritating in the context of the character. Brendan Fletcher is worth the price of admission alone, putting in an intense and unwavering portrayal of the mentally challenged Dickens, a role that could very easily have been played for cheap laughs. Jeff Bridges was decent, but I often felt like he was recycling "The Big Lebowski".

If it's on your radar, do your best to watch it with an open mind. Fellow Python Michael Palin said that he couldn't decide whether it was Gilliam's best work or his worst. Critics hated it, but film festival audiences gave it a standing ovation, so there are no guarantees - even to the Gilliam faithful. If your Netflix queue consists of "Pew! Pew! Pew!" parts three through seven, avoid it. If, however, you appreciated, say, "Man Bites Dog" or "Eraserhead", chances are you'll be blown away by "Tideland". I did, and I was.

It made me laugh, it made me cringe, it made me gasp... but most of all, it made me want to run home and hug my six year old daughter.