Archive for the ‘extracurricular activities’ Category

While we’re gone…

February 10, 2016

…don’t be a stranger. Here’s where you can find us:

Helen tweets as @helenzaltzman.
Her podcast The Allusionist is at theallusionist.org, and @allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow. Her website is helenzaltzman.com.

Olly tweets as @ollymann and you can be his Facebook fan at facebook.com/ollymann. His website is ollymann.com.
His podcast The Modern Mann is @themodernmann and at modernmann.co.uk; and he is on LBC and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast.
And of course he’s busy taking care of Harvey Mann!

Martin tweets as @martinaustwick and @sociablephysics. His podcast Song By Song is about to start a new series about Tom Waits’s third album Nighthawks at the Diner. You can also hear Martin’s own music on his Sound of the Ladies podcast.

Oh, and AMT communicates via @helenandolly and facebook.com/answermethis.

Please do check out our albums: the new AMT Love, and the eternal classics Sports Day, Jubilee, Holiday and Christmas (’tis the season! The completely wrong season).

All the albums are new material that has not appeared on the podcast; and they are for sale on iTunes, Amazon and answermethisstore.com.

You can also buy our first 200 episodes on iTunes and at the AMT store; and exclusive to our store are our previous Best Of episodes from each year.

Any purchases help to support the show!

Catch up on the 131 most recent AMT episodes right here, and on your podlisteningservice of choice.

Here’s what you can expect from the AMT Love album:

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L-O-V-E

January 25, 2016

AMT LOVE

Gird your loins, unbutton your emotions, because the Answer Me This! Love album is OUT NOW and begging for your affections.

Buy it from iTunes, Amazon or our own Answer Me This! Store for only £2.99.

The album features a whole hour of love, sex, dating and genitals, and it’s all completely new AMT material that has never appeared on the podcast. Such as:

Is it appropriate to buy sexy clothes for your mum?
How do you make putting on a condom fun?
Just what is in that liquid squirting out of your girlfriend?
When you’ve lost your engagement ring, how best to style it out?
Is your partner’s schoolgirl fetish something you should worry about? It’s not like he’s a teacher – oh, he is? Oh.
How do you set up a blind date when you’re a blind dater?
How can anyone feel horny at the prospect of a vagina bristling with sharp, spiky horns?
What’s the best point of a wedding ceremony to call it off?
How do they come up with all those lines on Take Me Out?
What is your exhibitionist housemate really trying to show you?
How many holes should there be in a penis?

Here’s a little preview:

Any further questions?

Is this album suitable for me if I’m not at all in the mood for love, sex, or interacting with humanity at all?
YES. If all these people were having such a great time, they wouldn’t be writing to us, would they?

Is this album child-friendly?
HELL NO.

Will this album teach me what it’s like to have the Olly Mann Valentine’s Experience?
YES.

Will Helen say the word ‘urethra’ so many times, I will feel a bit sick?
MAYBE.

You can get it from iTunes and Amazon, but if you want all of your money to go to us and none to Megacorp, buy it directly from the AMT Store.

AMTStorebuy it now buttonbuy it now button

Hear the other AMT albums at answermethispodcast.com/albums

 

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Do Something! (Something = podcasting)

November 11, 2014

AMT Guardian Nov14

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Rifling through your copy of the Guardian’s Do Something magazine last Saturday, you may have spotted some familiar mugs. Yes, that’s us, doing the AMT thing in the AMT home studio. Yes, Martin the Sound man does have a lot of guitars.

If you want to read about how to make a podcast the AMT-way, the article is available online HERE. As is my accompanying list of podcasts to stock up on.

PS If you’re interested in starting a podcast, or want to talk about what to do with one you already make, or you want to meet and mingle with other podcasters, come along to my free quarterly Podcast Clinic: 24th November, Brixton Ritzy, details here.

PPS Another article just appeared about the stuff I make that isn’t audio.

PPPS
Every single time I read Do Something magazine, brain radio torments me by playing the Britney Spears song of the same name. Not her finest hour – hardly surprising, since that hour occurred at peak-Federline.

Oy, it’s even worse than I remembered:

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Radiotopian ideals

October 27, 2014

Radiotopia backer

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Gather around, friends, for I have exciting news:

In January, I’ll start making a new podcast with Radiotopia, home of such audible excellence as Love+Radio, Strangers, Theory of Everything, and, of course, AMTpal Roman Mars‘s 99% Invisible.

My new show will be all about those precious moments of AMT that we know as “Why is [a thing] called [a thing]?” ie odd phrases and etymology and all sorts of linguistic fun. I’ve been wanting to make it for years, and now is my chance, if…

IF


Radiotopia manages to raise $400,000 in its current Kickstarter campaign.

For my show – along with The Heart and the brilliant Criminal – is what is known as a ‘stretch goal’. They’ve already reached their target to keep the current Radiotopians afloat for another year, but need to raise more in order to greenlight further projects: because making podcasts costs, and to read me wanging on about that particular matter, click here.

So, if you like podcasts and you want to support independent audio creators so they can keep making them, please do chip in. Even $1 (£0.62) is good! $5 (£3.10) is even more good. I could go on.

(And if you spaffed money donating to that that bloody potato salad Kickstarter, you have no excuse not to give a little to something that will result in a year’s worth of top-notch audio entertainment, rather than a forkful of a prosaic foodstuff that goes rancid after two days.)

Click here to donate to Radiotopia’s Kickstarter and support independent podcasters so they can independently podcast!

NOTE 1: This show is not instead of AMT; I’ll be making both! But I’ll be able to be a FULL-TIME PODCASTER, after eight years of trying to fit it around enough paid work to survive. Joe Richman of Radiotopia’s Radio Diaries puts it: “Most people work to get paid, we get paid to work.”

NOTE 2: If you donate, you’ll be funding me making a new show; you’re not funding Answer Me This!. If you feel particularly stirred to contribute to the AMT coffers, then buy some of our albums and classic episodes from answermethisstore.com, or pay a pal through PayPal.

As a stereotypical Brit, I find directly addressing money matters to be excruciating; therefore I will now wrap up the cashchat so I can curl up into a ball and rock back and forth in a dark room.

– HZ

PS Here’s an interview I did with Roman earlier this year, shortly after he launched Radiotopia, in which he talks about the ethos of the enterprise and why podcasting is so super:

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podcast panels and panhandling

June 19, 2014

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT291

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ATTENTION! Points of information follow:

1. Next Wednesday, 25th June, we’ll be discussing podcasting on a Radio Academy panel at the Apple store on Regent Street, along with Football Rambler Pete Donaldson and Bugle producer ‘Fuck you’ Chris Skinner. If you’re interested in podcasting, do come along! The event is free, but you need to register for a place. All information can be found here. Sure, you’ll miss Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Iran, but you’d be home in time for Honduras vs Switzerland.

2. I’m starting a new free podcasting advisory service, and the first fixture is TODAY. Details here.

3. I posted last week about Olly’s new gig on The Media Podcast. There’s a Kickstarter campaign to keep the show going for a year. It is Olly’s dream job, so make him happy by chipping in here.

Finished! NOW GET BACK TO WORK.

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Thursday Listening Party

April 17, 2014

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Sorrynotsorry to harp on about our Radio 4 documentary Podcasting: The First Ten Years, but Part 2 is now out, and in it:

Roman Mars Kickstarts an extraordinary pile of dosh to fund 99% Invisible (which is worth every penny).
Richard Herring talks about Stephen Fry using his podcast to drop the bombshell about his suicide attempt.
Theresa Thorn of One Bad Mother talks dirty (diapers).
Welcome to Night Vale fans show their devotion by expanding the weird world of the podcast.
Keith and the Girl fans show their devotion through HORRIFIC FLESH WOUNDS. Warning: seriously gross.

We also hear from many other wise and captivating correspondents, including Nate ‘Wired at Heart’ Lanxon, Pete ‘Football Rambler’ Donaldson, Jemima ‘Seer of the Future’ Kiss and Ben ‘Invented the word “podcasting” but don’t hold that against him’ Hammersley. You can here more of them, along with Marc Maron and the Buglers, in Part 1, which should still be available here.

Listen and let us know what you think, then:

Catch up on AMT287 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, so consider yourself a philanthropist.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. If you’re an insomniac, a night worker, or in a time zone where those hours are compatible with waking life, tune in.
On Saturday evenings I’m on BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition, available subsequently as the podcast Let’s Talk About Tech.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.

To keep your ears busy until AMT288 next Thursday, here are some other podcasts we like.

Requests are welcome at the Thursday Listening Party. No need to dance sexily next to the DJ booth hoping to be noticed, just recommend shows in the comments.

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Thursday Listening Party

April 3, 2014

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This week, prepare yourselves for a FRIDAY listening party, because tomorrow, 4th April 2014, the first part of our documentary Podcasting: The First Ten Years will be on Radio 4 at 11am British Summer Time. The second part goes out at 11am on 11th April, so mark your calendar accordingly; and each episode will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly thereafter. A lot of people have been asking whether a show about podcasting will be podcasted, but that would be TOO obvious (ie we don’t know whether it will, but shall let you know if it is).

If you like podcasts, we’ll wager you’ll enjoy the documentary because we interview some really top notch podcasters, including: Marc Maron; Richard Herring; Jeffrey and Joseph of Welcome to Night Vale; Keith and the Girl; Roman Mars of 99% Invisible; Betty in the Sky; Ewan Spence of the ESC Insight and the Edinburgh Fringe Show; Theresa Thorn of One Bad Mother; Pete Donaldson of The Football Ramble; Adam Curry; and John Oliver, my brother Andy Zaltzman, and producer Chris Skinner of the Bugle. We also speak to the man who invented the word ‘podcasting’, Ben Hammersley, who frankly doesn’t seem all that proud of it. Cheer up, Ben; nobody seems to have any better suggestions yet.

So to recap: 11am Radio 4 on 4th and 11th April, and then on iPlayer. Alright? Onto some other noises:

Here’s a double shot of my Sound Women Podcast. Episode 11 features DJs Annie Mac, B.Traits and Monki:

Episode 12 is all educational, featuring university lecturer Kate Murphy and the work of the freshly Radio Academy Award-nominated Podium.me, plus a shedload of good advice from seasoned radio professionals:

Martin the Sound Man has been busy: in the new episode of Brain Train, he gets schooled about Frida Kahlo. And in th’s month’s edition of his Sound of the Ladies podcast, he produces a song by AMTpal Dave Pickering.

Dave makes podcasts including Getting Better Acquainted, and you should definitely listen because hooray, it is Personal Season! In episode 154 Dave talks to his dad about open relationships and losing his virginity, which I could not discuss with my own dad without a hellmouth opening and devouring the whole of south-east England.

Want more? Here are some other shows that we like, and here are other shows that we are in:

Catch up on AMT286 to learn how Olly wowed the ladies (and gentlemen) at his school leavers’ ball.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. If you’re an insomniac, a night worker, or in a time zone where those hours are compatible with waking life, tune in.
Every Saturday I’m on BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition, available subsequently as the podcast Let’s Talk About Tech.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a trifling price at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, so thank you very much indeed.

What’s on your own Thursday Listening Party playlist? Tell us in the comments.

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Thursday Listening Party

February 20, 2014

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On alternate Thursdays when there’s no new episode of AMT, we have ourselves a listening party. Tell us: what have you been piping into your ears, dears?

If the imminent end of the Winter Olympics has you jonesing for MORE SPORT, treat yourself to the AMT Sports Day.

I tell a true tale of DEATH, FAMILY BETRAYAL and TYPOS on the Spark London podcast, available on iTunes and Mixcloud:

For more true stories, check out Radio 4’s Short Cuts, hosted by star of AMT84 Josie Long.

And if you have the thirst for even more true stories, quench with Lea Thau’s Strangers.

The Savage Love podcast is always educational. This week I’ve learnt what a ‘unicorn’ means. I’ve led such a sheltered life.

Jessica ‘Lucille Bluth/mad Misty from Play Misty for Me/Malory Archer’ Walter on Bullseye? Yes please.

Also, do tune in to our regular audio gigs: Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am, and I’m on BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition every weekend, or whenever you want in its subsequent incarnation as the podcast Let’s Talk About Tech. Martin the Sound Man has many other podcast incarnations, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.

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Thursday listening party

February 6, 2014

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listening-party

Although this is one of AMT’s resting weeks, we wouldn’t leave you with only the sound of silence* to listen to. You can always hear us doing our regular radio gigs: Olly on LBC every weekday 1am-4am, me on BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition every weekend, or whenever you want in its subsequent incarnation as the podcast Let’s Talk About Tech.

Here’re some other noisy things for you:

In this month’s Sound Women podcast, Isy Suttie and Caroline Raphael let me peek under the petticoat of radio comedy:

Here’s the latest music podcast from Martin The Sound of the Ladies Man:

On Stand Up Tragedy‘s ‘Tragic Beginnings’, I talk about one of Britain’s most underwhelming military campaigns, with backing music from AMT jingleer Jay Foreman:

Also this week, I’ve been listening to:

• The Radio 4 documentary Mad About the Boy, about rabid teen pop fans; it’s available HERE (but only till Saturday, so don’t delay).
• Episode 100 of 99% Invisible, ‘Higher and Higher’.
• Simon Amstell on WTF.
• David Sedaris’s story about his sister’s suicide on This American Life ‘Day at the Beach’.
• Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki on Desert Island Discs.

And what’s been tickling your ears this week? Let us know in the comments.

Until next Thursday,

Helen

*Although I wouldn’t complain about listening to ‘The Sound of Silence’:

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All aboard for our NEW ALBUM

June 19, 2013

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Pack your flippers, sunblock and emergency stomach medicine, because our new album The Answer Me This! Holiday is ready to depart!

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It’s 58 minutes 3 seconds of all-new material – right down to the jingles – all about holidays, vacations, minibreaks, staycations, jaunts, sojourns, escapes; whatever you like to call them. In the usual AMT style, we tackle questions about such holidayish topics as:

things to do in New York City
summer reading lists
artificial insemination for pandas
dads’ embarrassing holiday-wear
what lies behind – or, more accurately, beneath – the scenes at Disney
Legoland sculptors
why the Spanish Steps in Rome aren’t Spanish
what to expect from a Chinese breakfast
stag parties abroad
and
why the Brits are lagging behind in competitive eating contests.

Also thrown in with your all-inclusive AMT Holiday package:

A full range of holidaywear: clip-on sunglasses, short shorts, convertible trousers, Speedos, gilets, electroejaculators;
Classic tourist attractions: the Staten Island Ferry, Downton Abbey, Disney’s utilidors, Burghley House, the Winchester Mystery House, Flambards and A Day at the Wells;
Delicious holiday grub: satirical breakfasts, ‘world famous’ foods, congee, Sex on the Beach, the Heart Attack Grill, pork and its tasty friends, Economy Candy;
Delightful holiday companions: Cara Delevingne, Eugene Levy, Nancy Mitford, Adam Richman, naked mole rats, Spagna;
Fun holiday activities: the ‘bollocks’ game at festivals, drinking games, humiliating your fellow diners, being assaulted by Mexican shots girls, trying to remember your one-night-stand’s name.

The Answer Me This! Holiday is available right now for only £2.49 from iTUNES, AMAZON, or directly from us at the Answer Me This! Store

Want to try before you fly? Here’s a sample:

Big thanks to Amy Smith and Sam Pay for the jingles and Jenny Robertshaw for the cover – and speculatively to you for buying it, because your outlay helps fund Answer Me This! (and our actual holidays).

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10,000 Letters of Love

June 6, 2013

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Attention, Martin the Sound Fans!

Your favourite West Midlandese sound man has been very busy this year, and not with the invention of new compound cuss-words involving balls. No. He’s been paper-cutting, green-screening and back-projecting to make the video to his song 10,000 Letters of Love, and the finished product is finally here:

Wow, right? Surely the best papercut video about London sewerage pioneer Joseph Bazalgette you’ll see all year.

If you’re interested in how he made the video, click here; and if you liked the song and want to buy it plus ten more, click here to purchase his beautiful album The City of Gold and Lead, under Martin’s musical alter ego The Sound of the Ladies.

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Eurovisionaries

May 18, 2013

CLICK HERE FOR AMT257

… What with the ‘second screen’ being very much the in thing of this year’s Eurovision, I have just remembered the following section from the Answer Me This book. I have reproduced it here without asking the publishers, but, hey, we wrote it, and this is the bloody internet. We based it on our experience of watching previous contests, so why not refer to it tonight and let’s see how many we get right.

Acatia from Bar Hill: Helen and Olly, Answer Me This: Are there actually any rules for Eurovision?

It might look like a disoragnised, outdated cheese-fest but actually Acatia, yes, the Ten Commandments of Eurovision are:

1. Contestants must all wave and smile to the camera at one point during their performance, whether their song is a singalong spectacular or a mournful ballad about the war tearing apart their homeland.

2.
All hairstyles must be inspired by the 1984 production of Starlight Express.

3. All men must resemble either Ian McShane or H from Steps, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

4. Five points will be deducted from any song not containing the lyrics ‘la la la’, ‘yeah yeah yeah’, or ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’

5. Israel is in Europe.

6. Palestine is not in Europe.

7. The hosts of the award – one male, one female – must both be entirely without merit.

8.
The videos between each act promoting the host country must contain one of the following images:

– a couple walking hand-in-hand by in a fruit market
– some ropey old men playing chess
– a little girl spinning around in a white lace dress
– a crane shot of a bell tower
– some ladies with nice boobs smiling as if caught off-guard

9. All countries must give their highest score to their closest neighbours, except for France and Ireland, who must snub Great Britain.

10. Extra points will be added for dance routines involving clapping, twirling, or removal of clothes. If all three are achieved at once this will be considered the greatest cultural feat of all time.

(If you enjoyed this extract, please do consider buying the book. It will pass some time before you die.)

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