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.