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Preview: The Small Picture Podcasts

The Small Picture Podcasts



A series of chats with authors, performers and artists from around the world. Share & Enjoy!



Published: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 22:05:12 +0000

 



The Poseidon Project and The Six - Arthur Jones

Sat, 12 Dec 2015 04:31:29 +0000

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Arthur Jones has been living and working in China for a fair while now, and he produces great films - not least of which are "The Poseidon Project" and "A Farewell Song", both now available on demand on Vimeo. "The Poseidon Project" looks at a six-year search for a sunken submarine, that started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day. "A Farewell Song" chronicles the lives of a group of Chinese men who have played traditional instruments for 40 years or more and are about to take a leap into the unknown. They all retired last year, which means no more state-backed concerts and no more classes at the Shanghai Music Conservatory. Arthur's New Project, "The Six", examines the story of six Chinese survivors of the Titanic, what happened to them, and where they ended up. It's a story that has, until now, never been told, nor really even thought about. LostPensivos Films has been producing high-quality documentaries and commercial films since 2002. Their award-winning documentaries include "A Farewell Song", "The Poseidon Project" and The Making of the Special Olympics. It is always great to catch up with Arthur, and see where his work has taken him - or where he has taken his work! The sound quality in this interview is a bit patchy, for reasons we couldn't quite work out, but it's a great listen anyway. You can find out more about Arthur and LostPensivos Films at: http://www.lpfilms.net/ and watch "A Farewell Song" and "The Poseidon Project" at: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-12-11T20_31_29-08_00.mp3




Giovanni Bordone - Scabal Brand Ambassador

Sun, 08 Nov 2015 11:08:01 +0000

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Founded in 1938 by Otto Hertz, Scabal was originally a cloth merchant and supplier of fabrics. His successor was JP Thissen, who was assisted by his son Gregor Thissen, the third generation of the family owned business. Through the aquisition of fabric brand Wainshiell, Scabal traces a history back to the 18th century. Today Scabal employs almost 600 staff worldwide. Over the years Scabal has evolved into a producer of top quality fabrics to the most prestigious tailors and textile businesses around the world and as a manufacturor of the finest suits, jackets and shirts for the most demanding men Giovanni Bordone is Scabal's Brand Ambassador, and I caught up with at Flair Bar at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Giovanni, and finding out more about what it is that makes a bespoke suit so appealing. It was also interesting to find out that Scabal has supplied suits to some of my favourite movies, including "The Godfather"! If you want to find out more about Scabal, head to http://www.scabal.com/


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-11-08T03_08_01-08_00.mp3




Ghost Money - Andrew Nette

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 02:00:05 +0000

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Cambodia, 1996, the long-running Khmer Rouge insurgency is fragmenting, competing factions of the unstable government scrambling to gain the upper hand. Missing in the chaos is businessmen Charles Avery. Hired to find him is Vietnamese Australian ex-cop Max Quinlan. But Avery has made dangerous enemies and Quinlan is not the only one looking. Teaming up a Cambodian journalist, Quinlan's search takes him from the freewheeling capital Phnom Penh to the battle scarred western borderlands. As the political temperature soars, he is slowly drawn into a mystery that plunges him into the heart of Cambodia's bloody past. Ghost Money is a crime novel, but it's also about Cambodia in the mid-nineties, a broken country, what happens to those trapped between two periods of history, the choices they make, what they do to survive. Andrew Nette is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He lived in Southeast Asia for six years in the nineties, based in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. During that time he worked as a journalist, and as a communications consultant for the United Nations and a number of non- government organisations. He has since travelled frequently in Asia and lived in Phnom Penh with his family for a year in 2008, where he worked as journalist. His short fiction has appeared in a number of print and on-line publications. Andrew is one of the founders of Crime Factory Publications, a Melbourne-based small press specialising in crime fiction, and helps edit Crime Factory, its on-line magazine. He helped edit Crime Factory Publication’s Crime Factory: Hard Labour, an anthology of short Australian crime fiction, and LEE, an anthology of fiction inspired by Lee Marvin. It was great to get the chance to talk to Andrew, and this interview ranges over why he writes, his life as a journalist in Cambodia, through the ideas of the pulp fiction genre, and on into why crime fiction is a great platform from which to look at social change. He's a fascinating guy, and this is a great listen! You can find out more at www.pulpcurry.com or follow him on Twitter @Pulpcurry The book's available from http://crimewavepress.com and Amazon.


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-06-03T19_00_05-07_00.mp3




The Murder Boys - John B. Bliss

Tue, 26 May 2015 11:34:28 +0000

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"It will stay with you for life boy. Either way you'll pay for it in your soul, but it's up to you if you want to pay for it with your time too." 1977, a scorching summer day in England. Teenage misfits Richard and Ali throw their cruel gang leader Blakes into a canal. Scared of the repercussions, they go on the run, pursued by the police as well as a dangerous ex-cop with unsound motives. The road less traveled throws up both obstacles and solutions. As Rich and Ali discover what it means to carry the guilt of a killing around their necks, they are helped by an alcoholic cowboy, an anarchist band of travelers and a long lost father. This classic coming of age murder mystery is about growing up and staying young. John B Bliss grew up in Oxford in the 70s and 80s. He was drawn to unusual characters and counter culture. The perverse thing about the evil of Thatcherism, he says, was that it made people rebel; there was actually loads of creativity that came out of the anger and ennui generated by the marginalisation of society. John worked in a few dead end jobs before studying media at the University of Sussex; he has worked extensively in television and scripted a number of short films and full length screenplays. Turning to prose fiction has brought some awards for his short stories and now the publication of his first novel, The Murder Boys. John lives in Brighton and is married with two children. It was great talking to John because he is so passionate about his book, and rightly proud of it too. I really enjoyed this interview because he was willing to share not only parts of the story, but parts of his story as well, and that's a good thing! You can find out more about John on his Facebook page, and at: http://crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-05-26T04_34_28-07_00.mp3




Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa of El Bulli and Catalunya, Guest Chef at Zest at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin.

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:12:14 +0000

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A vibrant new chapter in the spirit of the avant-garde Spanish cuisine movement, the constant intellectual search for new flavors that takes place not only in gardens and landscapes around the world but in the laboratory of a group of innovative Spanish chefs, has just begun. This time, spreading a platform of high impact and more energy than ever before, and marrying traditional flavors with special techniques is Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa, who is just finishing up his Asian tour of Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and showcasing the pinnacle of his culinary talent at the top of the world. No stranger to his fans in Asia with his recent role in Catalunya, and creating waves on Hong Kong and Singapore’s culinary scenes, Chef Alain has fascinated gastronomic connoisseurs around the world with his unique approach to gastronomy. The Barcelona-born chef spent a decade at the world-famous three-star Michelin elBulli, arguably the best restaurant in the world, before going a step further to elBullitaller, the restaurant’s food research laboratory. His culinary style and Asian experiences will change the way we understand today’s Spanish food. This has been an eye-opener into the world of sophisticated flavors and experimental cuisine different from anything seen before. We caught up with Alain in Tianjin, where he was spending a week as Guest Chef at Zest at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin. I'd spent the night before sampling the delights of his food, which is just truly amazing, and this interview was almost as tasty! Special thanks must go to Monica Mu for her help with the interview, and Ornato Antunes, Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin for setting it up!


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-04-24T05_12_14-07_00.mp3




Aitor Olabegoya - Culinary Director At Migas, Beijing, and Guest Chef At Zest, At The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin.

Sun, 12 Apr 2015 13:19:13 +0000

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Chef Aitor Olabegoya was the First prize winner at The International Competition for Young Chefs in Spain in 1999. He is also the most awarded Spanish Chef in Beijing. He leads the Migas kitchen team with his vast experience of having worked with many renown professionals in the industry, building a long career, despite his young age. He is constantly in search of new recipes and ways of cooking and creating fusions of different products from different cultures, and blending them with a special Mediterranean touch. April will see Aitor at Zest at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin as a guest of Executive Chef Ornato Antunes, where the two of them will create a culinary delight for everyone. It was great chatting with Aitor, as he's so passionate about food - which really comes through in this interview. We ranged over ingredients, freshness and supplies, through Basque country cooking, and on to what lies ahead for him.


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-04-12T06_19_13-07_00.mp3




A Nose for Trouble: A Scanner & Max Mystery - Jonathan (Hans) Kemp

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 02:52:40 +0000

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After responding to a richly scented plea for help Chicago PI Scanner Grant teams up with the charismatic Max Zwoelstra to travel to Hong Kong in search of Max’s adoptive father who has disappeared while selling cheese to the Chinese. Closer to home, a slew of abductions and the gruesome murder of a young Tibetan girl severely rattle Scanner’s old friend and guardian, the esoteric taxi driver Lobsang. As both seemingly unrelated cases edge closer to an explosive finale, Scanner & Max need all the help they can muster while they confront a Nazi scientist, a battle scarred Vietnamese pimp, an over the hill Aussie punter and a morbid Japanese priest. The long hidden secrets they unravel along the way are bound to change their lives forever. Jonathan Kemp is the author alter ego of award winning photographer Hans Kemp. Hans' photography books, documenting culture and life in both known and remote parts of Asia have sold well over 100,000 copies worldwide. His first crime novel, A Nose for Trouble, is the answer to a question long occupying his mind: How difficult can writing a book be? Certainly not a walk in the park, Jonathan compares the writing process to the hard work of being on the road. When you set off you may have a sense of direction but the logistics will seem daunting. Along the way you will meet an array of extraordinary characters whose very existence was unheard of only moments earlier. Even the final destination remains obscured until you actually turn that last corner. A Nose for Trouble is the first book in the Scanner & Max Mystery Series. New adventures loom, the empty screen begs, just as the road not yet traveled. It was great to finally catch up with Hans, the other half of the duo behind Crimewave Press, and find out how the publishing company came into being. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him about how this novel came into shape, his travels and life throughout Asia, and what's next not only for him, but for Crimewave Press! You can find out more about Hans and Crimewave Press at: http://crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-03-26T19_52_40-07_00.mp3




Patrick Chew, Executive Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin

Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:35:17 +0000

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Born in Malaysia, Patrick Chew has had nearly two decades of experience working with pastry. Starting as instructor's aid at culinary school, he has gone on to work in hotels around the world, first as a baker, and then later specializing in chocolate and pastry work. Patrick currently works at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin, where he is the Executive Pastry Chef. I caught up with Patrick during a break in his busy schedule to talk to him about how he first started cooking, what drew him to working with pastry, and how he managed his pastry team. We also discussed the changes in pastry across Asia, why chocolate is so important to him, and what might be next for him! It's always a pleasure to chat with Patrick - it's nearly as good as eating some of his excellent desserts!


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-03-13T04_35_17-07_00.mp3




Pennies For Charon - Benedict J. Jones

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:47:43 +0000

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Welcome to London - where the ferryman always has to be paid and the price is two shiny pennies over your cold dead eyes. When the son of the city’s leading barrister asks ex-con turned private eye Charlie “Bars” Constantinou to look for a missing call-girl, Charlie thinks he might finally have found a way to do some good. But Charlie soon finds himself embroiled with a serial killer who believes that the soul of the city demands human sacrifices if it is to reward its inhabitants with spoils and riches. There’s not been a murderer so calculating, bizarre and elusive on the loose in the British capital since Jack the Ripper. Three time loser Charlie Bars, unlikely hero of Skewered and other London Cruelties, Ben Jones’s first Crime Wave Press release, is the only man to put the city right and make sure the ferryman gets his due. Benedict J. Jones is an author of crime, horror and western fiction from South-East London. His work has been published in various anthologies and magazines. Since 2008, he has published almost thirty short stories. To me, Benedict sounds like Charlie Bars. I'm sorry, I've said it before, I'll say it again - it's that Vinnie Jones, West End, gravel in the throat rasp that they both share! It's always great to talk to Ben, and find out how his work is put together - be it by going places and looking at them, or researching Greek myths. Pennies For Charon is a great book, and I think this is easily one of my all time favourite interviews! Check out his website for more information: http://www.benedictjjones.webs.com You can find out more about Benedict and Pennies For Charon at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-01-26T23_47_43-08_00.mp3




A Farewell Song - Arthur Jones

Fri, 16 Jan 2015 06:20:54 +0000

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Luo Shoucheng, Tu Weigang and Weng Zhenfa are celebrated musicians in China. They have played traditional instruments for 40 years or more and are about to take a leap into the unknown.They all retired last year, which means no more state-backed concerts and no more classes at the Shanghai Music Conservatory. They should be fading quietly into Shanghai’s cultural backwaters. However these three men, with their ready smiles and wit, have decided to take a gamble. As they begin to prepare a series of private concerts outside the control of the state, memories of the last 50 years of hardships and joy begin to flood back. LostPensivos Films has been producing high-quality documentaries and commercial films since 2002. Their award-winning documentaries include A Farewell Song, The Poseidon Project and The Making of the Special Olympics. It's always great to chat with Arthur about his projects, and "A Farewell Song" is a special favourite of mine. This interview also looks at how much China has changed since the film was made, the rise of on-demand video services, and just how much fun film making can be! You can find out more about Arthur and LostPensivos Films at: http://www.lpfilms.net/ and watch "A Farewell Song" at: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/afarewellsong


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2015-01-15T22_20_54-08_00.mp3




The Pallampur Predicament: A Superintendent Le Fanu Mystery - Brian Stoddart

Fri, 05 Dec 2014 00:26:19 +0000

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The second Superindentent Le Fanu Mystery sees our intrepid British policeman on the trail of the murderers of an Indian Rajah. Under pressure from his superiors, pining for his lost love and allergic to the sight of blood, Le Fanu must navigate through a political mine-field of colonial intrigue in 1920s Madras. As the British tighten their grip on the sub-continent, Gandhi’s peace movement, British secret agents and armed pro-independence rebels complicate Le Fanu’s investigations further and he soon finds himself in a quagmire of violent opposing forces that are unwilling to compromise. Brian Stoddart is a writer, broadcaster, commentator and blogger of New Zealand descent, based in Australia and working around the globe. He works as an international higher education consultant and has worked on programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Syria and Jordan as well as in the UK and USA. This work follows a successful career as university researcher, teacher and senior executive which culminated in a term as Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University in Australia where he is now an Emeritus Professor. That academic career took him all over the world including long periods in India, Malaysia, Canada, the Caribbean, China and Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on sports history, politics and culture as well as on India and south Asia in which field he completed his PhD. Most recently he has begun writing on his contemporary experiences, beginning with his life in an old house in the Old City of Damascus immediately before the upheavals of 2011-12. He is also a crime novelist, with The Pallampur Predicament the second in a series of books set in 1920s Madras in India, and featuring Superintendent Chris Le Fanu. He also writes extensively for mainstream and new media as well as expert commentary for press, radio and television. Brian is also a cruise ship lecturer, specialising in international affairs and history. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, reading (especially crime fiction),travel to new places, and listening to music, especially gypsy jazz. It was, as always, a great pleasure to talk to Brian, as he is as captivating a speaker as he is author. We ranged over issues from social stratification, through The Raj Quartet, historical accuracy, little details that make things fit and right out to some of the problems surrounding modern writing and publishing. This is one of those interviews in which I truly regretted not having more time to speak to someone in! You can find out more about Brian at: http://professorbrianstoddart.com/ and The Pallampur Predicament at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-12-04T16_26_19-08_00.mp3




The Blind Rooster - Preston Lang

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 01:47:05 +0000

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When con-man Ralph does a runner on the check at a shabby diner in an unfamiliar town, he doesn't expect it to catch up to him. But the waitress Arlene tracks him down and ropes him into a bizarre heist involving ugly family secrets, a violent stepfather, a well-secured safe, and most of all Arlene's mother Gracie—a sultry karaoke queen who tickles Ralph's fancy for older women. Ralph will need all his guile to make it through a job that has him wishing that he'd just paid for his meal. The Blind Rooster offers a crude slice of American small town Noir, sunny side down, with echoes of Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard. Preston Lang lives in New York, where he writes for a living (in between teaching and shoveling snow!), and it was great to chat to him about the evolution of "The Blind Rooster" from a 90,000 word novel on Lionel Ritchie into what it is today. Preston's written a lot of plays, articles and various bits and pieces over the years, so it was fun to pose some of the fundamental questions about writing to him. You can find out more about Preston and The Blind Rooster at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-11-11T17_47_05-08_00.mp3




A Madras Miasma - Brian Stoddart

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:45:51 +0000

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Madras in the 1920s. The British are slowly losing the grip on the subcontinent. The end of the colonial enterprise is in sight and the city on India’s east coast is teeming with intrigue. A grisly murder takes place against the backdrop of political tension and Superintendent Le Fanu, a man of impeccable investigative methods, is called in to find out who killed a respectable young British girl and dumped her in a canal, her veins clogged with morphine. As Le Fanu, a man forced to keep his own personal relationship a secret for fear of scandal in the face British moral standards, begins to investigate, he quickly slips into a quagmire of Raj politics, rebellion and nefarious criminal activities that threaten not just to bury his case but the fearless detective himself. The first Detective Le Fanu Adventure, A Madras Miasma, tells a classic tale of murder, corruption and intrigue with a sharp eye on British colonial politics and race relations. It is a story that, like its main protagonist, has its heart firmly in the right place. Brian Stoddart is a writer, broadcaster, commentator and blogger of New Zealand descent, based in Australia and working around the globe. He works as an international higher education consultant and has worked on programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Syria and Jordan as well as in the UK and USA. This work follows a successful career as university researcher, teacher and senior executive which culminated in a term as Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University in Australia where he is now an Emeritus Professor. That academic career took him all over the world including long periods in India, Malaysia, Canada, the Caribbean, China and Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on sports history, politics and culture as well as on India and south Asia in which field he completed his PhD. Most recently he has begun writing on his contemporary experiences, beginning with his life in an old house in the Old City of Damascus immediately before the upheavals of 2011-12. He is also a crime novelist, with A Madras Miasma the first in a series of books set in 1920s Madras in India, and featuring Superintendent Chris Le Fanu. He also writes extensively for mainstream and new media as well as expert commentary for press, radio and television. Brian is also a cruise ship lecturer, specialising in international affairs and history. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, reading (especially crime fiction),travel to new places, and listening to music, especially gypsy jazz. Brian is a fascinating author to talk with, partly because he's naturally entertaining, but mostly because he genuinely enjoys his craft! This interview ranges over a huge territory, from how he came to work in academia, through his years in India, to researching and writing the book, and on into the future of publishing. You can find out more about Brian at: http://professorbrianstoddart.com/ and A Madras Miasma at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-10-01T20_45_51-07_00.mp3




The Takeover - Jonathan Dunne

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:28:42 +0000

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Dublin’s underworld is run by the Doherty family, a clan of brothers harder than the Rock of Cashel and darker than a pint of Guinness. The head of the clan, Malcolm Doherty, has infiltrated all levels of public office and rules the city’s criminal landscape without mercy or compassion. Gerald O’Brien is the incorruptible cop on the Dohertys’ trail, obsessive and indefatigable, yet unable to bring them down. Nathan Corbally is a neglected and abused youngster. Raised by a monstrous father, Nathan steals to survive. When he steals a piece of clothing belonging to the Dohertys, he sets of a chain of events that will pit him against the rulers of Ireland’s underworld. Three lives, steeped in violence, are about to clash in a violent grab for absolute power. Jonathan grew up in the North Inner city, Dublin, Ireland. He was raised by a fiercely strong grandmother, Margaret Lynch, who also raised nine sons and four daughters in a three bedroom flat on the North Strand. Jonathan is from a working class background and dropped out of school at age fourteen to work. He worked in menial manual labour jobs; however he developed a love of reading as a child and continued to read avidly all through his teenage years. When a former boss noticed his curious nature he told Jonathan, he was too bright to continue 'loading pallets' he returned to education and completed his exams. Although the leaving certificate curriculum in Ireland was six subjects, Jonathan sat nine and passed them all. He admits being ignorant of the world around him before returning to school, 'I knew nothing of politics, current affairs, history, or the wider world. I went from the extremities of ignorance to an awakening and recognition of the world around me.'As a keen martial artist, Jonathan became heavily influenced by BAFTA award winning writer Geoff Thompson. Through this mentor; Jonathan began to write consistently winning a number of short story competitions. He wrote his first book (Academic Octagon) whilst working in finance and secured a small publishing contract. He admits this book was the work of a 'novice' and began studying his craft in earnest. He studied punctuation, grammar and every book he could unearth on writing. "I was bursting with ideas but I needed the basic tools and studied relentlessly. It paid off, I had literally hundreds of rejections for my first book, but for Fia The Envoy, I was offered two contracts within three months and Ireland's biggest literary agent were very interested but alas, I was already under contract." Jonathan lives in Dublin with his wife and two children and writes full time. He is also a columnist for a national martial arts magazine, and is beginning a follow up to Fia The Envoy. It was great chatting with Jonathan about "The Takeover", and to get a sense of how it was created, the research that went into it, and his own path to writing. This is a great book, and I'd very strongly recommend you give it a whirl! You can find out more about Jonathan and "The Takeover" at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-10-01T01_28_42-07_00.mp3




Chef Chisaki Iba - Sushi Mizuki at The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

Sun, 28 Sep 2014 04:27:11 +0000

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Mizuki is a Japanese restaurant, featuring four kinds of cuisine – featuring Kaiseki – Japanese traditional haute cuisine, Sushi, Tempura and Teppanyaki. This is a place where guests can enjoy artistic Japanese food, where each dish is born from the creative ideas of each chef. Mizuki is a world that stimulates all five senses, situated in a special space overlooking a rock garden and waterfall. Chisaki was in Tianjin, China, recently as a Guest Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin's Zest Restaurant, where she dazzled diners with her amazing culinary marvels. She's a great believer in letting the ingredients talk for themselves, so I was really pleased that she would talk to me about them! This interview was recorded at Zest over breakfast, and ranges over how Chisaki came to be a Chef, her travels before that, and just what it takes to work with fish and rice (because there's a lot more to sushi than that...). You can find out more about Chisaki at: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Kyoto/Dining/Mizuki/Default.htm Special thanks must go to Ornato, Vincent, Edison, Patrick, Xavier and all the team at The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin's Zest for their wonderful hospitality. You can find out more about Zest at: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Tianjin/Dining/Zest/Default.htm


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-09-27T21_27_11-07_00.mp3




Death Sentences - Michael Zimecki

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:02:42 +0000

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Peter “Pop” Popovich is a 24-year-old unemployed glazier, anti-Semite and white supremacist who is pushed over the edge by his chaotic mother, his unresponsive lover, an uncaring stepfather and a right-wing hate machine that tells him liberals want to take away his guns and his liberty. While he waits to be executed for his crimes, “Pop” squibs sentences, whole paragraphs, a novel about life on Death Row in which he reprises the life that landed him there. Death Sentences is loosely based on an incident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in April 2009, when a lone gunman, convinced that the government was coming to take away his guns, had a four-hour standoff with police. This explosive novel, reminiscent of the works of Ed Bunker and Charles Bukowski, is a hellish story from the American underclass, its disenfranchised characters long abandoned by government and society and prone to constant failure and excessive violence. Gripping, personal, cruel and hilarious in turn, Death Sentences gets right under your skin. Michael Zimecki writes fiction, nonfiction and plays while continuing to work as an attorney. Born in inner-city Detroit, he did turns as a steelworker, advertising copywriter, medical editor and teacher before practicing law. Michael has written for Harper's Magazine, The National Law Journal, College English, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other publications. His novella, The History of My Final Illness, about the last five days in the life of Joseph Stalin, appeared in Eclectica Magazine. A play, Negative Velocity, about atom-bomb father J. Robert Oppenheimer, is a past winner of the New Playwright's Contest of the Fremont Center Theatre, located in South Pasadena, California. Michael lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan. He enjoys traveling outside the United States, swing jazz, fedoras, and Hardboiled fiction. This was a great chance to speak to a truly brilliant guy - Michael is as witty and entertaining as his work (though, thankfully, not as dark!), and this interview ranges over why there's such a gun culture in the US, through his passion for writing, the importance of reading, and just what a young writer should think about doing. I enjoyed this so much that I didn't want to turn the recorder off.... You can find out more about Michael and Death Sentences at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-06-30T18_02_42-07_00.mp3




Spanking Pulp Press - James Newman

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 12:45:25 +0000

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Pulp is back, in style, and James Newman is the man leading it to the public. Based in Bangkok, Spanking Pulp Press gives authors from around the world a chance to have their work read, all in exchange for a review - it's raw and alive, interaction on a visceral level... a mainline shot of junk for the jaded literary soul. It was great talking to James about his work both as a publisher and an author. This interview ranges over James early writing, his time as a musician, how pulp fiction will never go out of style (especially during a depression), the influence of William S. Burroughs on everything, and how much a writer should read... You can find out more about James, his work and Spanking Pulp Press at: http://www.spankingpulppress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-06-27T05_45_25-07_00.mp3




The Gwousz Affair - Gary Anderson

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 09:47:06 +0000

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A genre-bender (think Animal Farm blended with The Big Sleep, spiced with a dash of Gulliver’s Travels and served with a side of Blade Runner), The Gwousz Affair is a dystopian-mystery novel in which the Western world is largely ruled by highly intelligent bovines. Yet at the heart of the novel lies a story that is pure noir. Cornelius Planke is having a bad decade. First, his wife of twelve years gives him the bum’s rush for another guy. Then he is canned from the force for no good reason that he can think of. Now an underemployed P.I., he finds himself on the case and looking for the killer of a young Developed heifer. The hard-drinking Planke wades into an underworld peopled by Neo-Carnivores, the Meat Mafia, bovine Salvationists, Skullhead scientists, dezoe actors, and rebel Euro-Domestics who are fighting for the rights of undeveloped ungulates in the colonies. Along the way, he falls for the seductive Dween, a Developed ewe. Trapped in a web of deceit, lies, and untold dangers, Planke soon realizes that nothing is as it seems—and more importantly, that the present caper may cost him his heart, and probably his life. Gritty, funny, speculative, and gripping, The Gwousz affair is cutting edge Sci-Fi Noir for the 21st century. Gary Anderson was born and raised on the prairies of southern Alberta, Canada. Upon taking an advance degree in English Literature, he moved to Korea, where he worked in educational publishing. After a ten year stay in Korea, Gary returned to the West. He now lives and writes in Central New Jersey. The Gwousz Affair really tickled me no end, I enjoyed it from start to finish - just like this interview with Gary. He's a great bloke to talk to, as well as a brilliant author, and this interview ranges over Noir to literature, via Korea and culture shock, then on to New Jersey, writing, and how the book came into being. I hope you enjoy it! You can find out more about Garry and The Gwousz Affair at: www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-06-27T02_47_06-07_00.mp3




The Man With The Golden Mind - Tom Vater

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:52:36 +0000

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The Second Detective Maier Mystery! Julia Rendel asks Maier to investigate the twenty-five year old murder of her father, an East German cultural attaché who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. But before the detective can set off, his client is kidnapped right out of his arms. Maier follows Julia’s trail to the Laotian capital Vientiane, where he learns different parties, including his missing client are searching for a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets. But the real prize is the file’s author, a man codenamed Weltmeister, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century. Tom Vater is a writer and publisher working predominantly in Asia. He is the co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based English language crime fiction imprint. He has published three novels, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, currently available in English and Spanish, The Cambodian Book of the Dead, and The Man with the Golden Mind, released by Crime Wave Press in Asia and world wide by Exhibit A. Tom has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The South China Morning Post, Marie Claire, Geographical, Penthouse and other publications. He has published several non-fiction books, including the highly acclaimed Sacred Skin (with his wife, photographer Aroon Thaewchatturat) and the more recent Burmese Light with photographer Hans Kemp. Tom is the co-author of several documentary screenplays, most notably The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature on the CIA’s covert war in 1960s Laos. In his spare time, Tom travels and plays punk rock. Tom is a brilliant author, and it was great to talk to him again - he's got to be one of the most widely travelled Asian reporters going, and his range of work is incredible! This interview not only looks at Tom's new book, but also his thoughts on the latest Thai coup, his current rock tour of Europe, and his and other authors' upcoming Crime Wave Press books... it's a pretty packed quarter of an hour! You can find out more about him at: www.tomvater.com, and about Crime Wave Press at: www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-06-02T01_52_36-07_00.mp3




Salaryman Unbound - Ezra Erker

Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:04:10 +0000

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Iwasaki Shiro, a 46 year old salaryman in Tokyo is having a midlife crisis. Unexceptional in his IT job, he works in the shadow of his boss’s charisma. His children are embarrassed by his mediocrity and his wife rarely thinks of him as an individual. He has nothing to show for decades of conformity and doing the right thing. Shiro needs purpose in his life, so he begins to plot the murder of a neglected housewife on his street. He takes trips to scout places to dispose of a body, researches knives and arteries, and buys a neurotoxin while on a business trip in Thailand. His plans transform his personality – he can stand up to his boss, keep his children in line, wear the trousers in the marriage – but as he gets ever closer to doing the deed, it becomes clear there is more going on than he suspected. Salaryman Unbound is a taught, literary crime novel set in contemporary Japan. Born in Berlin, Ezra Kyrill Erker grew up along the German Black Forest, in Switzerland, the Netherlands and across the South Pacific, and was largely educated in the US. He has lived most of his adult life in Japan and Southeast Asia, with long working stints as university lecturer, newspaper correspondent and photojournalist. Salaryman Unbound is an amazing read, and it was fantastic to talk to Ezra about how he came to live and work in Japan and Thailand, what drew him to write initially, and his life in and around Asia. You can find out more about Ezra and Salaryman Unbound at: http://www.crimewavepress.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-03-24T01_04_10-07_00.mp3




Skewered and other London Cruelties – Benedict J. Jones

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 08:06:40 +0000

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Benedict Jones’ novella Skewered takes us onto the mean streets of South East London. An Asian business tycoon has been kidnapped and Charlie ‘Bars’ Constaniou, just out from a third stretch in prison and stuck working in his uncle’s kebab shop, is more than ready to hand over the ransom money for a cut of the action. But simple plans never pan out and soon Charlie is up to his neck in a crooked family feud that involves a stellar cast of misfits including a psychotic torturer and a classic femme fatale. David Goodis meets Get Carter by the Thames in this Noir feast. Five down & dirty short stories accompany Skewered into the British capital’s criminal underbelly. It was great talking to Benedict about his work, the authors and places that have influenced it, as well as the merits of paper books compared with e-readers, and the sway of social media in modern publishing. He really sounds (to me) like Charlie Bars! Skewered is out now through Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com), and you can find out more about Benedict as his site: http://www.benedictjjones.webs.com/


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-02-20T00_06_40-08_00.mp3




Ornato Antunes - Executive Chef, Ritz-Carlton Tianjin (Part 1 Of 2)

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 10:32:18 +0000

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Chef Ornato Antunes is the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin. He joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 1999 as Chef de Partie Banquet of the Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain. Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, Chef Ornato worked at other Ritz-Carlton properties, including Hotel Penha Longa in Lisbon, Portugal and Hotel Abama in Tenerife, Spain. His 20 year career has seen him serve and lead at the Four Seasons, The Ritz London, Concorde Group, Starwood and Warwick. He was part of the pre-opening team at Chef Sergi Arola’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid and held a leadership role at Chef Martin Berasategui’s Michelin-starred MB restaurant in Tenerife, Spain. Chef Ornato keeps his hand on the pulse of the Food and Beverage industry and never passes up an opportunity to experiment or challenge himself. He is very excited about his current journey to China and is eager to explore this invaluable opportunity in the world of sweet and savory cuisine. 20 successful years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience. He realized his passion for cooking at the age of 14, during which time he was involved in his first apprenticeship in Paris. Ornato took time out from his busy day to talk with my teaching assistant Maple, and myself, in a private banquet room in the Tian Tai Xuan restaurant. This interview ranges over how Ornato decided to take up cooking, his background and influences, and the types of foods he just can't live without - as well as his experiences in setting up the restaurants and kitchens at the Ritz-Carlton Tianjin! It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Ornato, and to have an insight into just what makes the Ritz-Carlton in Tianjin so special! You can find out more about Ornato, and the Ritz-Carlton Tianjin, at: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Tianjin/Default.htm


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2013-10-29T03_32_18-07_00.mp3




Ornato Antunes - Executive Chef, Ritz-Carlton Tianjin (Part 2 Of 2)

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 10:18:16 +0000

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Chef Ornato Antunes is the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin. He joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 1999 as Chef de Partie Banquet of the Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain. Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, Chef Ornato worked at other Ritz-Carlton properties, including Hotel Penha Longa in Lisbon, Portugal and Hotel Abama in Tenerife, Spain. His 20 year career has seen him serve and lead at the Four Seasons, The Ritz London, Concorde Group, Starwood and Warwick. He was part of the pre-opening team at Chef Sergi Arola’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid and held a leadership role at Chef Martin Berasategui’s Michelin-starred MB restaurant in Tenerife, Spain. Chef Ornato keeps his hand on the pulse of the Food and Beverage industry and never passes up an opportunity to experiment or challenge himself. He is very excited about his current journey to China and is eager to explore this invaluable opportunity in the world of sweet and savory cuisine. 20 successful years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience. He realized his passion for cooking at the age of 14, during which time he was involved in his first apprenticeship in Paris. In this part of the interview, Maple and I asked Ornato about his views and ideas surrounding traditional Chinese food, and find out more about why drives him as a chef. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Ornato, and to have an insight into just what makes the Ritz-Carlton in Tianjin so special! You can find out more about Ornato, and the Ritz-Carlton Tianjin, at: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Tianjin/Default.htm


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2013-10-29T03_18_16-07_00.mp3




Poseidon: China's Secret Salvage of Britain's Lost Submarine - Steven Schwankert

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 02:54:28 +0000

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In 1931, Britain’s most advanced submarine collided with a cargo ship off the coast of China and sank. Three hours later, six sailors surfaced, barely conscious. They were the first men ever to escape from a sunken submarine using a proto-scuba device. Their story hit headlines and went on to inspire a feature film. The miraculous escape changed marine safety forever. But their names, and their submarine, gradually sank into obscurity. Beijing-based scuba instructor Steven Schwankert was looking for nearby wrecks to dive when he found HMS Poseidon on a list of unexplored sites. His six-year search for the submarine started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day. Steven Schwankert is an award-winning writer and editor with 17 years of experience in Greater China, focusing on exploration, technology, media and culture. His book, "Poseidon: China's Secret Salvage of Britain's Lost Submarine" is out now from Hong Kong University Press. "Beijing & Shanghai," a guidebook he co-wrote for Hong Kong's Odyssey Publications, is now in its third edition. Steven is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Asia Chapter Chair of The Explorers Club and founder of SinoScuba, Beijing's first professional scuba diving operator. In 2007, he led the first-ever scientific expedition to dive Mongolia's Lake Khovsgol, where he and his team found two wooden shipwrecks from the early 20th century. Steven's work has been published in world-renowned and regionally-recognized publications including The Asian Wall Street Journal, The South China Morning Post, Billboard, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. It has also appeared on the Web sites of The New York Times, The Washington Post, PC World, CIO, and MacWorld. He is a former deputy Asia editor for The Hollywood Reporter, former editor of Computerworld Hong Kong and a former managing editor of asia.internet.com. He is an alumni of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Asian Languages department, and received his Masters in journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995. Steven is a native of New Jersey and now resides in Beijing, China. It was great speaking to Steven, he made everything sound so alive and vibrant - I just wanted to suit up and take a look for myself! You can find out more about the Poseidon and SinoScuba at: http://www.hmsposeidon.com/ http://www.poseidonprojectfilm.com/ http://www.sinoscuba.com/


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2013-10-22T19_54_28-07_00.mp3




Gaijin Cowgirl - Jame DiBiasio

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 01:35:06 +0000

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Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson - until a wealthy client with a dark past and sinister hobbies reluctantly gives up a map to one of the greatest treasures lost in World War II. With yakuza, motorcycle gangs, rogue CIA, treasure hunters, pimps, Thai boxers and her Congressman father snapping at her high heels, Val burns a trail of destruction across Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Burmese borderlands to get the loot before someone less deserving does. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life. Val, a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, ambiguous and unreliable, takes her dark, epic journey with her friends: a Japanese nightclub hostess with broken dreams, a British kickboxer, and a washed up Australian treasure hunter. The superficial party girl, confronted by mounting horrors, must dig deep to discover an inner courage to survive and win the prize - and maybe redemption. Gaijin Cowgirl is a breathless, violent page-turner with a surprising, dangerous heroine to match. Jame moved to Hong Kong from New York in 1997. He is an award-winning financial journalist and editor. "Gaijin Cowgirl" is his first novel, available now from Crime Wave Press - http://crimewavepress.com . His non-fiction book, "The Story of Angkor", is a history for tourists to the Cambodian monuments. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to Jame about both his books, his experiences in and around Asia, the difficulties between switch from non-fiction to fiction writing, and his upcoming work. You can find out more about him at his blog, AsiaHacks at: http://asiahacks.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2013-10-07T18_35_06-07_00.mp3




The Poseidon Project - Arthur Jones

Sun, 29 Sep 2013 02:44:31 +0000

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In 1931, Britain’s most advanced submarine collided with a cargo ship off the coast of China and sank. Three hours later, six sailors surfaced, barely conscious. They were the first men ever to escape from a sunken submarine using a proto-scuba device. Their story hit headlines and went on to inspire a feature film. The miraculous escape changed marine safety forever. But their names, and their submarine, gradually sank into obscurity. Beijing-based scuba instructor Steven Schwankert was looking for nearby wrecks to dive when he found HMS Poseidon on a list of unexplored sites. His six-year search for the submarine started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day. Arthur and Luther Jones’ previous work includes A Farewell Song, a documentary about a group of retired Chinese musicians who reunite to perform a series of concerts outside of the state-backed music system. The film won the Special Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2006 Syracuse International Film Festival. The British brothers have also made commissioned films for the Special Olympics movement and the World Expo, as well as TV commercials, including the following one for the Golden Grand Prix. They are both based in Shanghai, China. This is a brilliant film, and something I hope gets out to a really wide audience. It was just magic to talk to Arthur about his work, some of the issues facing film makers in China today, as well as up his coming projects and what brought him to both film making and China in the first place! You can find out more about The Poseidon Project at: http://www.poseidonprojectfilm.com


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2013-09-28T19_44_31-07_00.mp3




Wil Anderson - Gruen Planet Host and Australian Stand Up Comedian.

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 02:13:14 +0000

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Wil is a stand up first and foremost, touring Australia and the world at every opportunity, performing more than a hundred shows a year. His stand up is a densely written, high-speed ride though one of the most wonderful comedic imaginations in the country. Politics, pop and the banal come together in a Wil Anderson routine, always delivered with more conviction and enthusiasm than any man’s vocal chords can take. Previously host of ABC-TVs AFI Award winning program, The Glass House, Wil returns to TV once again in 2011, with the third season of the ABC runaway hit, The Gruen Transfer. The show proved to be such a success in its initial year that the series was released straight onto DVD. In amongst the TV hosting, and constant touring, Wil writes a highly popular regular column for Australia’s most highly read magazine, The Sunday Magazine, His first book, ‘Survival Of The Dumbest’ was released by Random House. Wil has also appeared regularly on Chelsea Lately, and recently toured America. In this interview, we look at how much hard work goes into making comedy appear effortless, how The Gruen Transfer came to be, and why stand up comedy is the best job in the world. It also touches on some of the problems in taking an Australian act overseas, and how jokes can be refined. Will is an amazingly funny bloke, and it's an absolute pleasure to talk with him - I hope you enjoy this interview. For more information about Wil, his tour and his podcast, "Thirty Odd Foot Of Pod", head to: http://www.wilanderson.com.au


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2011-08-07T19_13_14-07_00.mp3




Doug Stanhope.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 07:23:44 +0000

Why did I do this interview? That's a good question... I did it because I wanted to. Because I like Doug Stanhope, and I want to introduce him to other people. Doug Stanhope is a stand-up comic. Has been since 1990. His material ranges from true-life graphic perversion to volatile social criticism. Doug is vulgar, opinionated, brutally honest and shockingly uninhibited and is certainly not for everybody. He started his career in Las Vegas doing jack-off jokes for free drinks. Not much has changed, save for the mullet. Doug has built a wide-ranging television resume of dubious achievement. He hosted The Man Show on Comedy Central as well as the ubiquitous pseudo-porn for the sexually crippled, "Girls Gone Wild", both solely and shamelessly for financial gain. He has appeared on "The Howard Stern Show", "Comedy Central Presents", "Premium Blend", NBC's "Late Friday", "Spy TV" BBC's "Floor Show Live" while on ecstasy and wrote, produced and starred in Fox's "Invasion of the Hidden Cameras" and has even popped up on "Fox News with Greta Van Sustern" and "The Jerry Springer Show". But none of it compares to seeing him live. He’s appeared at major comedy festivals including the Montreal Just For Laughs, Aspen US Comedy Arts, Chicago Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where he won the Strathmore Press Award in 2002. Also in 2002, he was named as one of the Top Ten Comics To Watch by both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. He has released three CDs and three DVDs including the latest through Showtime, "No Refunds" in 2008. "Ask anyone whose opinion matters, and they'll tell you Doug Stanhope is one of the top ten stand-ups in the world today. Stanhope's confrontational stance comes from the rough, blistered underbelly of America's trailer parks; he's a feral, aggressive man full fuelled by primal urges to drink, fight and screw ­ and the corrosive material has all the venomous aggression you might expect from that background. But what underlines it, and makes it so untouchably good, is the passion and conviction with which he holds his intelligent beliefs, informed by sensibilities that might seem alien to such a no-nonsense, pig-headed persona. -Chortle UK "Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realising how transparent the confidence trick of western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don't-give-a-damn swagger and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy." -Guardian, UK "Some of the sharpest and most biting cultural commentary you'll see in a comedy club." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch The Austin Chronicle says, "Let me tell you something, friends. Doug Stanhope is one funny sumbitch. He's also one of the most twisted individuals I've ever met, but that's part of his charm. He's one of those comics that doesn't make shit up. He lives a mad, mad life and what he remembers he reports back to us. He's been known to bare his soul, and other things, right there on the stage. If you're easily offended, stay home this week. Watch Matlock or something. But if you like your comedy rough, raw, and rowdy, there's no one better than Doug Stanhope. Have I made myself clear?" "Sharp, off color, and howlingly funny" - The San Francisco Chronicle "Stanhope breaks dow[...]


Media Files:
http://rastous.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2009-10-27T00_23_44-07_00.mp3