Friday, September 19, 2014

Pheaturing Jason Torchinsky

Hello, and welcome to the Phile, kids. How are you? Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day to all you pirates who have never sailed  a boat, shot a gun, or robbed people at sea. Not only is it Talk Like A Pirate Day today but it's also No Texting Day. I am unclear about whether we can text as a pirate.
According to Apple, the newly released io8 operating system will make it impossible for the company to share customer information with government agencies, a practice that Apple says never ever happens. It also apparently shores up the non-existent holes that did not lead to a bunch of celebrities having their naked pictures not stolen by hackers.  Darrell Hammond, who spent 14 years as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" before leaving the show in 2009 has agreed to replace the recently deceased Don Pardo as the show's announcer so that he may live out his remaining years in Studio 8H of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where things make sense and you never have to sleep under a park bench.  In order to protest an Orange County, Florida court's decision that religious materials can be given to children in public schools, a Satanic organization has decided to pass out their own Devil-themed coloring and activity book. I suppose sacrificing virgins in the pale moonlight gets old after a while. This is true and here is a page from that activity book...

"Parks & Recreation's"Aubrey Plaza will provide the voice for the Internet's favorite disaffected feline in the Lifetime Channel's upcoming holiday movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. It's nice to see that her management people are really looking out for her.  On yesterday's entry I told you about Urban Outfitters tries to make dead college kids cool by selling "vintage" blood-spattered Kent State sweatshirt. Here is the shirt in case you didn't see it...

Well, the company sent out an apology... "Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset."  I hate when "sun-fade" causes my entire shirt to fade in color except for what looks like fresh drips of blood just around the heart. Double-bummer when it's a shirt for a school that, over 40 years later, remains synonymous with our military opening fire on its own civilians. How unlucky! It's nice of UO to every once in a while pop up with one of these brain-dead stunts. It lets us olds feel glad to have long ago aged out of being able to shop there.  So, in my spare time I like to go on Twitter and look up certain words to see what people are saying. One of those words I look up is Foghat and this is a Tweet I recently saw...

Ever been to Popeyes the restaurant? I haven't been to one in years. I don't know if there's even one around where I live. Anyway, I wouldn't go there now if there was. Look what they serve...

I don't think the restaurant has anything to do with the cartoon character Popeye anymore... it used to.  Yesterday I told you I thought Pokemon came from Japan but actually it originated in England. Readers of the Phile sent me email's saying I was wrong, Pokemon is Japanese. Well, if it was, would it have a character named...

No, I don't think so. Pokemon is definitely British.  By the way, if you need help getting that U2 album off your iTunes I think I know somebody that can help...

Okay, so, Facebook has been known to ban a picture or two...but here on the Phile I would not ban anything... well, I would ban a fee things, I was hesitant in showing that page from the Satanic coloring book... but I am not afraid to show the pictures Facebook banned, So, here is a feature I call...

This is something that has been happening for ages. When a 4 year old boy and his friend decide to drop their pants and pee on the backyard fence, one can only hope that they have a camera handy to capture the priceless shot. So, that is exactly what a mother did. This was hands down the best picture she had captured during the entire summer so naturally she uploaded it to Facebook... well Instagram, but that went to Facebook. You may be wondering why there is a Censored sign over their tushes? Well, Facebook contacted the woman and requested that she remove the photo because it was a violation of their terms of service.

I think this one of my favorite Mindphuck's ever. If you spot it email me at As I have been mentioning on October 14th to the 16th the Phile will be coming to you from Long Island. I thought it would be cool to have some of my Long Island readers take a picture of something on Long Island and email it to me. I would pick out the three best ones and show them here on the Phile. I have received some cool pictures and some other pictures of the Long Island Sound that could be any water anywhere, a tree, a boat dock, flowers, the sky... stuff that could be anywhere. I want photos that are obviously from L.I. Okay, so, as you probably know one of my favorite movies recently is Guardians of the Galaxy. A friend of the Phile saw it and I'm interested to see what he thinks. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

I wanted to hate this.. but I didn't. I didn't love it either. I found it fairly entertaining... Howwwwwwever, I had certain "issues" with it... 1. Chris Pratt gets pumped up in the gym, looking all buff and shit, JUST so he can do a cut rate rip off of Han Solo. 2. Zoe Saldana plays the same role she's played in every movie. The badass hot chick that fights for deeply personal reasons... only she's painted green... like that bitch Captain Kirk screwed on "Star Trek". 3. Vin Diesel was paid a small fortune to repeat the words "I Am Groot." over... and over... and over. Must have been MURDER to memorize your lines, Vin. 4. The Raccoon should've been voiced by Joe Pesci. 5. That big bald guy reminded me of Hellboy... only with cooler tattoos and minus the shaved horns. 6. The soundtrack was awesome. Lots of great '70s songs. 7. The main villain should have been played by a well known actor. For some reason I kept thinking of Sting in this role. Anyway... to sum up. I "liked it" but won't be buying the DVD when it comes out.

Good job, Laird. I will be buying in on Blu-ray the day it comes out.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is an artist, writer, and author of "Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture", the 34th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile the very creative... Jason Torchinsky.

Me: Hello, Jason, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Jason: Hi, other Jason! Thanks for having me. I'm great.

Me: Okay, before we talk about your book "Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture", which is in the Phile's Book Club I have to talk to you about a certain Atari/8-track racing game called "Slow Ride". Your ad not only fooled Cracked the magazine in thinking it was a real ad, but it fooled me. Here is the ad in question... exhibit A. Haha.

Me: When did you first create this ad, Jason?

Jason: I made that quite a while ago, back in 2003, when I was in LA with my comedy group, the Van Gogh-Goghs. We were doing a whole Atari-oriented feature on our site... and I made that fake ad for that. The original ad I based it on was for some cartridge-switching thing, but I really loved the insanely ecstatic expression on that guy's face. I'd sort of love to know a guy who could get that delighted over a cartridge-switcher. So, the original ad got my attention, and the similarity in size and form of Atari cartridges and 8-tracks was something I'd noticed as a kid. I'm not exactly sure why we picked Foghat for the ad, but it seemed period-correct and there's just something funny about the name.

Me: Okay, so, over the years people have posted this ad on my Facebook page, and someone even sent me a printed out copy of it. Somehow in my fucked up brain I thought I remembered seeing this in the 70s, but obviously I didn't. I told friends I did, so apparently you made a liar out of me. Haha. And Cracked thought it was real. Anybody else you know of thought it was real?

Jason: The fact that anyone thought it may have been real delights me, to be honest. I have seen it on the Internet in various places presented as though it was real, though I can't think of where off the top of my head. I like artwork that sort of rides that line of hoax, and I've explored this again with some later work, including a fake Kyrgyz arcade machine that plays a dead-goat polo game.

Me: So, Cracked mentioned it in an article on their website talking about the people in the ad mostly. How did you first discover they thought it was real, Jas, and what did you think?

Jason: I'm not sure if someone sent it to me or if I chanced upon it on my own. I know right before I saw it on Cracked an acquaintance posted it on Facebook as real. Like I said, any time anyone gets fooled by this, I get a little more delighted.

Me: So, how did you come up with this idea?

Jason: I think it came from the combination of the similarity of form factors of the Atari carts and 8 tracks, and the thinking that, really, someone should have done something like this, right? I mean, why not?

Me: Who are those people in the ad?

Jason: Man, I wish I knew. There was a trend in 70s and 80s ads to have people in them making these absurdly, improbably ecstatic faces and expressions. Whoever that guy was in the background, he's a master. Here's the original ad...

Me: I love the description about the fake game how you described Foghat being "most gifted and savvy group." My dad, who was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, would of loved this whole thing. So, I have to ask, are you a Foghat fan?

Jason: I do believe Foghat was gifted and savvy! I'm not sure I would actually say I was a real fan, but I respected them. I was more of a new wave/early punk kid back in the day.

Me: I just had a thought, I never had Atari, I was more of an Intellivision fan. My sister in fact still owns our old Intellivision and is still works. Anyway, I would of known they came out with a game and 8-track. You were more of an Atari fan I take it, right?

Jason: I have an Intellivision, too! And an Atari. But, back in the day, I was an Atari kid. Still, I really like Intellivisions, too, especially technically, since they were so weird. Where most computers are based on memory units of 8 bits called bytes, Intellivisions used a 10-bit unit called a 'decle,' for example. They're really interesting machines, and the Inty version of "Burgertime" kicks ass.

Me: Didn't you design and build a giant Atari joystick?

Jason: I did! 15x scale, and it actually works! Here's some pictures of it...

Me: What was this for, and how long did it take youth build?

Jason: This was for the i am 8 bit art show in LA, run by my friend Jon Gibson. We wanted something big and interactive for the show, and the giant joystick seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I am 8 bit ( is still doing great stuff.

Me: I was gonna ask if it worked but that would be stupid. Did it move at least? Where is it now?

Jason: It's not stupid! It does work! It plugs right into any normal Atari. The electronics are really pretty simple. When I exhibit it, I usually try to have a nice big projection of an Atari game to play so everything is scaled up. People climb all over it and do their best to try and play the game. It's pretty cumbersome. Currently, it's dismantled in a moving truck! It'll be with me very soon.

Me: Jason, where are you from, and where do you live now?

Jason: I grew up in Greensboro, NC, but have lived in LA for the past 17 or so years... until now. I just moved back to Chapel Hill, NC this past week, mostly for family reasons. That's why the joystick is still in transit.

Me: You are a car enthusiast, right, writing articles about cars?

Jason: Oh yes. My day job is as an auto journalist for the website It's a fantastic job. 

Me: What kinda car do you drive? What do you think of the PT Cruiser?

Jason: I have a number of cars: my daily driver is a 1973 VW Beetle, I have a project car... a British 1973 Reliant Scimitar, and I just bought a 1977 Dodge RV for my cross-country trip. I also have a 2006 Scion xB for my wife and kid. I'm not a huge PT Cruiser fan, but I do like the general category of retro-inspired cars, and I'm quite glad the PT Cruiser exists. It's a pretty successful design for what it does.

Me: You are also a big Star Wars fan as well I think, am I right? You have a life-sized Artoo? Did you build that?

Jason: I am a big fan, mostly of the droids. I actually don't have that R2, but I hunted down a guy around LA that builds movie-accurate R2 droids and took my son, Otto to see it... actually, two, as there was an R5 as well.

Me: We talked about video games, and you have worked on a few. Didn't you work on a Monty Python video game, or this that fake as well? Haha.

Jason: That was real! It was one of the first jobs I had in LA, doing animation and art for the Monty Python Meaning of Life game.

Me: Who approached you for this, Jason?

Jason: Honestly, that I don't remember!

Me: So, you are a writer, artist and designer. What came first and what do you like to do better?

Jason: Artist probably came first, since I've been drawing since I was a little kid. Designer was a direct offshoot of that, a way of making a living from my love of art. Writing came later, but I love that, too. I think I still like the art stuff the best, but I love doing all the things I do.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your book, "Ad Nauseam..." which you wrote with some other people. Who are those people, Jason?

Jason: The book was edited by Carrie McLaren and myself, along with a number of great contributors. Carrie had started a zine called Stay Free! that I worked on with her for years. The book was like a final culmination of that work.

Me: Who came up with the idea for the book?

Jason: We both decided we wanted to do something big to wrap up Stay Free! and this was the way to do it. Media and advertising has always been interesting to me as well, since it's so powerful in our society.

Me: How long did it take you to write?

Jason: I think we worked on the book for about 8-10 months or so. But a lot of it was collecting articles we'd run in the zine before.

Me: Tell the readers what the book is about?

Jason: It's a collection of articles and essays about consumer culture, advertising, and how it interacts with society. We tried to make it funny and engaging, too.

Me: Who came out with the books title?

Jason: That I can't remember. We were originally going to call the book "Consume!", but I like "Ad Nauseam" better.

Me: What do you think of commercials and ads on TV? Do you have a favorite one?

Jason: I have a real love/hate relationship with them. As far as TV ads go, I'm not sure if I have a favorite as such, though early VW ads were pretty fantastic. 

Me: The book is just not about ads, is it?

Jason: Not just ads... it's more about how the entire American consumer culture affects us all. I'm actually starting a new book now, about cars prior to 1880.

Me: Hey, didn't you create some videos for the Onion? The one about Obama's home teleprompter is my favorite. Did you write this whole fake news story?

Jason: I was an idea writer for the Onion News Network (the video part of the Onion) for years. That home teleprompter one was one of my ideas, as well as a number of other segments, including one about the first openly gay racehorse and Joe Biden having to give up doing ads for Hennessey. I didn't write entire segments, I just came up with lists of 20 or so ideas every week, with descriptions.

Me: You're very creative, Jason. Have you always been creative?

Jason: Thanks! And, yes, I think I have been. I can't imagine not working on some creative project at any given time. I go nuts when I'm not making something.

Me: I used to be creative, but not anymore. I don't know what happened. Is Otto your son creative?

Jason: I bet you're still creative. I think he is quite imaginative and creative, though right now that creativity is used mostly to turn things he finds on the ground into pretend spaceships.

Me: Jason, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun, and I hope you an come back soon. Is there anything else you are working on right now?

Jason: Thanks for having me! I'm always writing about interesting stuff on, and I've got that pre-1880s car book. I also have a couple new video game-related art projects I'm starting on. I hope to have them ready for the anniversary i am 8 bit show next year.

Me: Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you continued success, and thanks for making a great ad featuring Foghat... real or fake. And please come back.

Jason: The website is and thank you!

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Jason Torchinsky. The Phile will be back next Thursday with actress, writer and hostess Stephanie Pressman and then on Friday it's Phile Alum Neil Sheasby from the band Stone Foundation. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pheaturing Phile Alum Crissi Cochrane

Hey there, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Did you ever have one of them days? At least I'm not Kanye West. What an douche. At a concert in Sydney last Saturday night, Kanye refused to perform unless everyone in the arena stood up. He ended up calling out a couple of people in the audience who were resisting... because they happened to be in wheelchairs. Now Kanye is the subject of a lot of idiotic speculation about whether he hates people in wheelchairs, when we should actually be taking him to task for forced audience interaction. Seriously, is there anything more annoying than performers who demand that their audiences stand/dance/clap? The real victims here are people who just like sitting quietly.  Tim Tebow, who, in his short career, has had limited success as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, the quarterback for the New York Jets, quarterback for the New England Patriots, and an analyst for ESPN... joined the cast of ABC's "Good Morning, America" as a correspondent morning. Several days have now passed, and he has not yet been asked to leave the show. So, that's a good sign. Though give it a month before they try to convert him to a weatherman. Tim Cook has heard your complaints and has decided that he will allow you all to remove U2's gratis album "Songs of Innocence" from your listening device. Apple has launched a special website that allows users to cleanse their iTunes libraries of the offending collection of music with one click. With every click of the Erase U2 app the band find themselves growing more transparent... like Marty in Back to the Future. I'm kinda annoyed, in my iTunes library it said I purchased the album but it's not there. I kinda want to listen to it.  Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter known as Cat Stevens prior to his decision to convert to Islam and leave the entertainment industry more than a quarter-century ago... will be playing shows in six U.S. cities on his upcoming tour. This should be a huge event for fans of '70s-era folk rock and supporters of the 25-year-old fatwa against author Salmon Rushdie. Cat Stevens has announced his first US tour since 1976. He'd better traveling by bus because Yusuf Islam is still on the no-fly list.  In an effort to remain transparent, Google has published an enormous list of urls of supermodel Kate Upton's leaked private photographs provided to the tech company by her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, in an effort to get them removed from Google search engine results. This provides vigilant Internet users with an excellent lexicon of web addresses to not accidentally type into their browsers. Believe it or not, Upton and Verlander are yet to thank the company for its help. Let's get real for a second, even my dog has Googled the nude pics of Kate Upton.  According to a new 53K-word report published with trembling hands on the Korean Central News Agency website, North Korea leads all other nations on Earth as "the world's most advantageous human rights system." Shockingly, the United States came in dead last as the "world's worst human rights abuser."  The American gut just keeps getting bigger and bigger, according to a recently published report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The numbers show that 54 percent of U.S. adults are sporting abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent just 15 years ago. This is the most dangerous kind of fat, as it leads often to heart disease, diabetes and the necessity for pretentious suspenders.Yes, you are annoying your cat. No, your cat does not like to be constantly petted and pulled up onto your lap and treated like a dog.  According to animal behavior expert Dr. John Bradshaw, your cat doesn't quite understand what you're doing with all the grabbing and the poking and the picking up. It's stressing your cat out. "If cat owners understood their pets better, they'd recognize the demands we're putting on them and how that manifests itself in their physical and mental health," Bradshaw said.  Forget what you saw at Fashion Week. If Urban Outfitters has anything to say about this season's latest fashion trends, everybody who's anybody is going to be wearing macabre reminders of college students being murdered by the National Guard. That and skinny jeans. Skinny jeans, always and forever. This one of a kind "vintage" item, complete with fake blood spatter (and probably even faker distressed cotton), was being sold on UO's website for $130. Here's a picture of it...

Kent State is the Ohio university where, on May 4, 1970, four students were shot dead by a National Guard unit sent in to quell a protest against the Vietnam war. Someone at Urban Outfitters apparently had the completely random and truly creepy idea to sell a winking reminder of the event, and of course someone in their customer base of teens who prefer their cool to be mass-produced and sold in malls already bought it. Congratulations to whomever managed to enter her mom's credit card number the fastest. What's next? A UT Texas "Bell Tower" t-shirt with several pre-cut "bullet holes"? Do you kids like Pokemon? I don't know nothing about Pokemon but I thought it was some kinda Japanese thing? Apparently it's British. Who knew? It's kinda obvious when you see what they are named. Here is one...

Hahahahaha. That's so funny.  Everybody is into Frozen right now, that Disney movie. I saw it months ago and didn't like it. When I saw it I noticed that one of the sisters... I think it was Anna kept looking at her other sister Elsa in a weird way...

That showed you what she was staring at.  One of the things I like to do in my spare time as you know is to look up certain words on Twitter. One of those words is Foghat, and this is a Tweet I recently saw...

And because I have an ego I also look up the word Peverett on Twitter and this was posted...

Haha. Thanks, Sonali. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between Kanye's Wheelchair Rant And Urban Outfitters' Kent State Sweatshirt
5. Party responsible is intent on miking this for all the publicity it's worth.
4. Was enjoyed by soulless arseholes.
3. Public outrage will prevent similar stupidity in the future.
2. Just the most recent example in a long history of shitty behavior.
And the number one similarity and difference between Kanye's rant and the sweatshirt is...
1. NFL scandals have kept it from blowing up in the media more than it has.

If you spot this Mindphuck email me at Okay, before we continue I have to mention something I mentioned last week. On October 14th through the 16th the Phile will be posted from Long Island, New York. I thought it would be cool if you readers would send me in a photo you took of anything on Long Island. well, I have received a bunch of pics but I have to say, most of them are of the Long Island Sound, or the sky or nature picks. I live in Florida and the Sound looks like any water I am surrounded by, and the sky has nothing to do with L.I. I don't wanna be an ass, but I am gonna choose the best three to show here on the Phile and those pics will not make it. The photos have to be something to do with Long Island, where somebody only ha sot look at it and know where it was taken. So, keep emailing those photos to me at Okay, it's week three in the NFL season, and it's time to talk about football. So, here once again is my good friend Jeff Trelewicz in a feature we call...

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile.

Jeff: It's always great to be back on the Phile!

Me: So, we just had one controversy with Ray Rice hitting his girlfriend and now we have Aaron Peterson beating his kid. What's the deal with these football players?

Jeff: Unfortunately I don't have an answers why we are hearing about all these football players. I wish I knew what to say. Ray Rice isn't the only player who is in trouble for domestic violence, but because there is the shocking video of it he is the poster child for it. There are at least two other players currently being investigated. And somehow the one team that states they have a "zero policy for domestic abuse" is the one team that has allowed their player to play. Makes you wonder what that team actually thinks about it's female fans.

Me: Did you hear what Charles Barkley had to say about this? He said it was normal for a black family in the south to hit their kids. Those weren't joe exact words but close enough.

Jeff: I don't doubt what Charles Barkley said. I also don't doubt that Peterson was hit by a switch when he was a child, and I am sure his father was when he was a boy. It is a vicious circle that some people can not seem to get out of. The problem for Peterson is that it was more acceptable in the past. Years ago you never heard the term child abuse. It was an acceptable way to discipline your child.

Me: I had a few readers who loved what Lori had to say about Ray Rice last week. She made a really good point.

Jeff: I agree with your readers, Lori did make very excellent points last week.

Me: Okay, anything fun to talk about in football news?

Jeff: This season so far has been very topsy turvy. There are teams that 0-2 that we would have never guessed would be struggling this season (Colts and Saints), and there are teams that are 2-0 that we expected to struggle (Bills and Cardinals). I think it will be very interesting season, making it much harder for us to pick!

Me: Okay, Jeff, how did we do last week? I was in second place, you were in first and Lori was in last sorry to say.

Jeff: As far as week 2, Lori and I went 1-1 and you went 0-2. The Giants and the Steelers both lost, but the Eagles won. So as it stands right now, I maintain first place with 7 points. Thanks to the Eagles last second field goal, Lori moves up to 2nd place with 4 points. And Jason, you have moved to last place. But the season is still young.

Me: Ugghhhh. Alright, this weeks picks. Here we go.. I say the Falcons will beat the Buccaneers by 10 and the Colts will beat the Jags by 7. What are your picks?

Jeff: New England by 6 Bengals by 7 and Lori picks Houston by 3 and Buffalo by 1.

Me: Very good, I will see you here next Thursday.

Frank Torre 
December 30th, 1931 — September 13th, 2014
He taught his brother Joe everything he knew about baseball. Big WHOOP.

Ian Paisley
April 6th, 1926 — September 12th, 2014
Man... this is a huge loss. It takes someone with real talent to entertain MILLIONS of people using your musical gifts. As if that weren't enough, he was a huge philanthropist and did benefit concerts almost every time he was asked. Married to Kimberly Williams (from "Nashville" as well as other TV shows and films), she was as active as he was. The two of them together formed.. What? IAN Paisley? I thought you said BRAD. Who the FUCK is Ian Paisley? What? Are you serious? How am I supposed to write about THAT? Fuck it. I'll do it later.

This is the 34th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club...

Jason Torchinsky will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow...

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and a very talented singer whose new EP "Little Sway" is no available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile the wonderful... Crissi Cochrane.

Me: Hello, Crissi, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Crissi: I’ve been doing well... keeping busy, and keeping my head up! Thanks for having me back on the Phile.

Me: You were just a kid when you first were on the Phile so many years ago. Now you're an adult! Well, you were an adult February last year when you were on here before, but you seem to be growing up. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Your music seems more mature, do you agree?

Crissi: I agree... over the past few years, I’ve been discovering more music, and exploring richer themes in my songwriting. Earlier this year I released my first recordings in a new style, taking influence from jazz, soul, and R&B. These days I’m living just a few kilometres from downtown Detroit, so there’s lots of good music to hear, and lots of things to mature you…

Me: Did you recently get married? Somehow I think you did, but I could be wrong.

Crissi: In the eyes of the law, I’m a single lady, but I’m marrying all kinds of music in my songs.

Me: Last time you were here you were dating the guy who is in one of your videos. Are you still together?

Crissi: Yes! Mike is a brilliant musician and the songwriter behind The Walkervilles. They’re an up-and-coming Canadian band. All outrageously talented and all handsome on camera… these guys are in lots of videos.

Me: I should interview them. Anyway, I had quite a few emails asking about your music, Crissi, and I said it was on iTunes, but only your last album "Little Sway" is on iTunes. Will the other past albums be put up on iTunes again?

Crissi: My earlier albums have retired from iTunes, but they’re still available by mail order on my website... I personally handle each order, and I always include a special thank-you.

Me: I downloaded "Little Sway" and really like it. You said I would in your last interview. What does the title refer to, Crissi? Is Little Sway you?

Crissi: I’m happy to hear you liked it! The title "Little Sway" hints at the style of the album, being a little jazzier than my earlier recordings. It can also be taken as a tongue-in-cheek remark about my stake in the music industry, as an independent artist without representation.

Me: You're originally from Halifax in Canada but now live in Windsor, right? You must really like it there?

Crissi: I adore Windsor... it’s a beautiful, tough-love city with a rich heritage. As of this August, I’ve lived here for four years, much longer than I ever lived in Halifax. I’m originally from the Annapolis Valley, a string of small towns in rural Nova Scotia. I travel around Ontario as much as I can, but I’m never sad about coming back home to Windsor.

Me: That's really close to Michigan, and I know you're a big Motown fan, so do you still go to Detroit a lot?

Crissi: Yes! I have yet to perform in Detroit, but I’ve experienced great music there, and explored some of the most inspiring and devastating places. It’s amazing to visit and to be so close to Detroit. Its handsome skyline is a part of our everyday life.

Me: Who is your favorite singer or band from Motown, Crissi?

Crissi: I love Diana Ross, the Supremes, and the Temptations… there are so many great acts, I can’t choose just one. There’s a great local AM radio station that plays all Motown hits and oldies, it makes me so happy. I love to think about Diana Ross growing up in this part of the world, listening to the same songs on the radio.

Me: This new album definitely has a Motown feel. Is that what you wanted it to sound like?

Crissi: The songs on "Little Sway" were written as I was building my record collection. In this way, the album was inspired by Motown along with jazz, soul, bossa nova, and R&B. Our instrumentation was flexible enough to speak to all of these influences on the recording, with a groovy rhythm section and sassy horn arrangements. We were surely thinking of Motown when we were recording the song “A Damn Shame”.

Me: You wrote all but one song on the album which is a Gershwin song. How did you choose that song to be on the album?

Crissi: I knew I wanted to record a song once sung by my heroine Billie Holiday, and considered several (including “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and “Pennies from Heaven”) before settling on “The Man I Love”. Sarah Vaughan made an undeniably righteous version of the song, and I felt compelled to interpret it in my own way. Like many songs from that era, I liked that it could express both despair and hope. In some ways, as a live solo performance especially, it reminds me of another one of my heroes, Elliott Smith.

Me: I loved the version of "A Change Is Gonna Come" you did a video for. Is that one of your favorite songs?

Crissi: I was invited to contribute a live performance video of a protest song for ONE, a campaign co-founded by Bono to end extreme poverty. They sent a short list of songs to choose from, and I was relieved to see one by Sam Cooke on the list. I treasure my recordings of Sam, and it gives me joy to sing his words.

Me: You should release that as a single. It's one of my favorite versions of it after Graham Parker's version. Have you heard Graham's version?

Crissi: I hadn’t heard that one before, but now I have, thanks to YouTube!

Me: Do you know who Graham Parker is?

Crissi: I didn’t, but now I do, thanks to Wikipedia!

Me: So, where was this album recorded, Crissi?

Crissi: "Little Sway" was recorded in Walkerville & Windsor, Ontario, in the spring & summer of 2013, with the support of arts grants from FACTOR, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Windsor Endowment for the Arts.

Me: Your first album was recorded in a bathroom and your last album was recorded in an apartment... was this album recorded in a studio?

Crissi: "Little Sway" is considered a studio album, although it wasn’t recorded in the traditional, one-stop-shop way. Bass & drums were recorded live-off-the-floor at an art studio in Walkerville, and the rest was tracked at AMRA, a project studio in my downtown Windsor neighborhood, owned by the album’s producer Adam Rideout-Arkell. It’s an unassuming little operation, as are most studios in this part of the world... Motown included.

Me: Did you use the same band as your prior CD "Pretty Alright" or new musicians?

Crissi: Although "Pretty Alright" was a folk CD and "Little Sway" is not, the two recordings were in fact made by the same players... the Rose City soul brothers, bassist Mike Hargreaves and drummer Stefan Cvetkovic. We are a pretty close-knit family of like-minded musicians, and we’re all passionate about sharing great music, so our playing styles have complemented one another through the years. The new album also features saxophone and horn arrangements by Drew Jurecka, who led the string quartet on my first studio album, “Darling, Darling”.

Me: I have to ask you about that electric guitar you play in the video for the song "Be Around." What make and year is that guitar? I have a picture of you playing it here...

Crissi: I am privileged to play a 1964 Fender Jaguar, sent to me last summer from my father. All through my life, it lived in the basement closet, untouched. As a child, I would sneak the case out of the closet and show it to the neighborhood kids, all of us marveling at the fine instrument. All it needed was a little repair, and now it’s back in action. It is still as awe-inspiring today as it was for me as a little girl.

Me: Do you like playing acoustic or electric best?

Crissi: I’m very comfortable on the acoustic, but I feel more challenged and inspired by the electric. 

Me: Crissi, I have to talk about your video for the song "Sleep in the Wild". First off, what does that title mean and what is the song about?

Crissi: “Sleep in the Wild” is a romantic little jam, inspired by my love of late-night adventures.

Me: Have you ever slept in the wild, or went camping? My idea of camping is going to a Holiday Inn.

Crissi: Growing up amidst the forests and lakes of Atlantic Canada, I went camping throughout my childhood, and spent a good deal of time exploring remote areas of maritime wilderness. However, the wilderness described in the song is not the scenic, natural wild, but the wild nature of urban nightlife.

Me: I have a screenshot of the video here...

Me: That's a very hot and sexy video, Crissi. Who came up with the idea for it?

Crissi: I wrote the initial treatment, and then we refined it to suit our modest budget. We produced the video with a small arts grant from FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings).

Me: Whose idea was it for you to sit in a bath tub naked? I kept expecting you to sink underwater like Britney Spears did in her "Everyday"... or whatever it was video.

Crissi: The idea was mine! The tub wasn't connected to any plumbing however, so we filled it with a hose. It was so cold, I was worried that the camera might see my goosebumps.

Me: Where was it filmed and who directed it?

Crissi: “Sleep in the Wild” was produced locally in Walkerville, Ontario, in a performance theatre with set design by director Sean McLeod. We shot the final scene in a county field, with a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado.

Me: It's lit very well, and it shows you are very photogenic. Do you like being on screen?

Crissi: Thank you... I truly enjoy the work of making videos, and seeing our ideas come to life on the screen. I have been very lucky to work with passionate people who know how to capture the best of me.

Me: You must be very proud of the finished product, am I right?

Crissi: I am so pleased with the video, and eager to create more. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel, there are more videos to come.

Me: Great. Oh, shit, I almost forgot to congratulate you for being a top 10 finalist in the CBC Searchlight Contest. When was this, and what song?

Crissi: Thank you! I made it to the national stage in the 2014 CBC Searchlight Contest, “The Hunt For Canada’s Best New Artist”, with the single “And Still We Move” from Little Sway. I was inspired by the story of Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan falling in love as they sent music into the universe on the Voyager space probes, back in the 1970s. The song is based on an interview with Ann Druyan on the show Radiolab, season 2, Episode 5.

Me: And what does CBC stand for? Something Canada I'm guessing.

Crissi: CBC stands for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our national public broadcaster since 1936, with radio and television stations all across Canada. The employees of the CBC are some of the greatest people you can meet.

Me: Hey, did I read somewhere that you collect vinyl records? My dad was a big record collector and I have some of his and collect some of my own. I love my record player. When did you start to get into record collecting?

Crissi: Mike and I have been building our record collection together since he found his old player in 2012. Most of our albums came second-hand from our families or from shops in Windsor & Detroit. Collecting used records is a perfect hobby for aspiring musicians... it’s both entertainment and research for us, and you can make a whole day out of it, all for the price of pocket change.

Me: Anything cool and usual you have? Anything you are looking for?

Crissi: I have a Hawaiian record from the late 60s... "The Heart Of Hawaii", all recorded live at a beach resort, with the sound of the surf before and after each song. That record does not leave our apartment; it is irreplaceable, and sometimes I will go weeks on end, listening to it every day. In a different vein, I’d really like to find "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" on vinyl.

Me: If you ever come to Orlando I have to take you to my friends record store Rock and Roll Heaven. Ever think of releasing any of your music on vinyl?

Crissi: I’m planning to try a run of 7” vinyl towards the end of 2014. I’ve been working on some new singles and it’s the perfect format... with a digital download code, of course.

Me: If you do I want an autographed copy. Deal?

Crissi: Deal!

Me: Okay, so, I'm still asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

Crissi: I’d like to release a live performance video with my bandmates. I’ve been a solo artist forever, but playing with the band is much more rewarding. I hope to share our sound on YouTube before the end of the year.

Me: Crissi, you are truly one of my favorite singers I interviewed and discovered because of this blog. Please come back when your next release comes out. Go ahead and mention your website and everything.

Crissi: Thanks Jason, it’s always a pleasure to talk music with you! I’m a regular on Instagram (, Facebook (, and Twitter (, and I also keep an official site at

Me: Take care, and continued success.

That about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff and Lori, and of course Crissi. The Phile will be back tomorrow with author Jason Torchinsky. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pheaturing Phile Alum Chas Hodges From Chas & Dave

Hello, welcome back to the Phile, I am your host Peverett, Jason Peverett.  Let's start with a surprising story... Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty by a South African judge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year. However, he still may be found guilty of "culpable homicide," meaning that his actions that night were criminally dumb. He was suspended for zero games.  After heavy August rains ruined a large portion of Idaho and Montana's unharvested barley crops, it appears that consumers who just need a drink at the end of a long and frustrating day will be forced to endure a marked price increase in their precious, precious beer. "We've been told to expect major price increases for malt,” Tim Mohr of Angry Hank's Brewery told the Billings Gazette. "Our prices are stable until January, but beer prices are going up."  The statistics-obsessed Poindexters over at Nate Silver's website have spent the past several months painstakingly eating burritos from around the country and narrowing them down with a brackets-style rankings system. Finally, after hundreds of thousands of calories and countless dollops of guacamole, they have determined that the best burrito in the United States is the Carnitas Burrito from La Taqueria in San Francisco. Finally, we have some closure on this matter of mucha importancia.  After a photo of the Batmobile, as it will appear in the upcoming film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was leaked on Instagram, giving fans a grainy but full view of the iconic vehicle, the film's director Zach Snyder released an official photo with much higher resolution, but too tight to really make out the proportions. But it's definitely black and has guns. If you haven't seen it check it out.

Man, that new Batmobile is going to look so cool in tie-in commercials where Batman is driving fast for reasons pertaining to Sprite.  Researchers from the University of Arizona have discovered that a building's doorknob, used by a person with a communicable virus, is capable of infecting 60 percent of that building's occupants within just a few hours. Extrapolating from that, we can assume that within a few days, it could infect up to 200 percent of occupants, which is so terrifying, it doesn't even make sense. Is it just me, or are germs looking like the team to beat?  Are you guys like me a "Doctor Who" fan? I am thinking most of my readers are. Anyway, a Phile reader sent me a picture of a "Doctor Who"themed porno DVD. They could of sent me the actual DVD, but didn't. Anyway, check it out.

She looks hot, but he looks nothing like the 9th Doctor.  Yesterday on the Phile I interviewed comedian Bruno Motta who is from Brazil. I should of asked him about the phenomenon of Brazilian women having large arises. It's a thing that everybody knows about. If you don't know what I'm talking about check out this pic of a typical police officer in Brazil...

See what I mean?  And now from some breaking news...

With the Death Star gone, Vader finds gainful employment in the tough economy. That's so stupid.  Hey, have you seen the latest add for Resolve? No? Check it out...

I don't really get it... I think.  Okay, so,  over time Facebook has banned a picture or two from their website. But here on the Phile I am not afraid to show anything, so here's a feature I call...

An image of two men kissing was removed by Facebook for breaching a decency code barring images of a "political, sexual or otherwise sensitive" nature. The well-known Spanish photographer Juan Hidalgo took the photo for the Madrid-based Visible Culture group as part of its 'Gay Art Looks For A Home' initiative and documentary. In its place, the project has put a "censored" version of this image...

Later on, a Facebook spokesman contacted Towleroad and said that the photo has been restored. "Upon investigation, we concluded the advertisement does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. The ad is now running and we apologize for the inconvenience."

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at This one is pretty easy. Okay, so I mentioned yesterday that on October 14th, 15th and 16th I will be posting the Phile from Long Island, New York. I'm very excited, and have a lot of cool stuff planned. Anyway, I thought it'll be cool if I posted a photo my readers took of anything on Long Island. I will pick the best three and post them in each entry, and give you a mention. I don't care what you take a photo of, as long as it's something to do with Long Island. Send it to me at and you might see your picture here on the Phile.

As you know I live in Florida, and there's a lot of weird news that could only come out of Florida, so that's why I started a feature just to talk about a Florida story. So, here is...

On the third day of classes at her new high school in Orange Park, Florida, Miranda Larkin wore this skirt...

Which school officials considered too short because it didn't cover her knees. She was told she had three options: an in-school suspension, calling a relative to bring acceptable clothing, or wear the school's "dress-code-violation outfit," an ensemble consisting of yellow tee-shirt with "Dress Code Violation" on the front, and a pair of red sweatpants with the same words down the leg, just in case anyone missed the big, bold lettering on the shirt.  Miranda claims she wasn't told about the other options and that she had to wear the outfit. She told ABC News, “It was way too big. It didn’t fit. I got really upset and asked if I could call my mom. She was really upset, as well.” Miranda had just relocated to Florida from Seattle just eight days before school started, and claims the violation was unintentional. Her mom told ABC News she feels her daughter was forced to wear what she calls a "shame suit," which she feels is less about teaching or punishment than it is about humiliation. She says it upset her daughter so much, she broke out in hives. Her mom said that before she contacted the media, she tried to deal with the school privately, but got nowhere. The school is standing by its policy. A spokesman said that if Miranda didn't want to wear the "shame suit," she shouldn't have violated the rules. Now mom is considering filing a complaint with FERPA, The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which states that a student's disciplinary recored is supposed to be kept private. Mrs. Larkin thinks the school did some violating of its own by forcing her daughter to parade around school in a getup straight out of an episode of MSNBC's "Lockup: Raw". She may have a case. Even if her daughter violated the dress code, the outfit seems pretty extreme. Besides, do they even make dresses that go past the knee anymore? Even if they did, what girl is going to wear one in Florida in September, when it's still 90 degrees and humid? Either way, considering that half of a kid's high school experience is about impressing other students and annoying teachers, I wouldn't be surprised to see the dress-code-violation outfit become the hot fashion trend of 2014.

At least the hives matched the pants.

The 34th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

I said yesterday that the author Jason Torchinsky will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks, but actually, he will be a guest on the Phile a week from today. Here's proof...

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and an English musician and singer, probably best known for being one half, and lead vocalist, of the English musical duo, Chas & Dave, whose latest album "That's What Happens" is not available over here in the States, but I got my copy from Please welcome back to the Phile, the legendary... Chas Hodges from Chas & Dave!

Me: Hello, Chas, welcome back to the Phile. I am so honored to have you back. Interviewing you once was a dream and amazing, but a second time! How have you been?

Chas: I am fine.

Me: I was watching "Later With Jools" on TV here in America and was thrilled you guys were on it. I thought you were gonna do "Ain't No Pleasing You" or "Rabbit", but I was surprised you played two new songs from a new album. Right now that album is only released in the U.K., right? Will it be released in America?

Chas: Hopefully it will be released in America.

Me: You do a great new version of "Ain't No Pleasing You" on the new album by the way. I have to ask, who was that pretty blonde violinist you played with on the show? I have a picture of her here.

Chas: Lucy Wilkins.

Me: I was surprised you both were playing guitar, and you weren't playing piano. Do you like to play one or the other better?

Chas: Piano slightly more.

Me: You mostly play piano, right?

Chas: Mostly play piano.

Me: Anyway, you had a big year last year. What was the biggest highlight of the year?

Chas: Getting the album to 25 in the chart.

Me: I am so glad and I am sure millions of Chas & Dave fans are glad you guys have a new album out. How did the title "That's What Happens" come about?

Chas: My son Nik who plays drums came up with it.

Me: Last time you were here you had a solo album out and you and Dave had stopped working together. So, what changed? Did you two sit down and decide together to record a new album, or did he call you or vice versa?

Chas: Dave stopped working when his wife died in 2009. As thing began to ease he felt like coming back to work.

Me: I'm glad he did. This is your first new album in over 20 years I think I read. How long has it been that you guys went into the studio together?

Chas: Some 18 years.

Me: How long did it take to record this new album, Chas?

Chas: Six days.

Me: There's a mix of new songs and originals on the new album. How did you two decide what songs to record?

Chas: Between me, Dave & Joe Henry.

Me: "When Two World's Collide" was the single, right? Did you both write that song?

Chas: No. Roger Miller wrote that song.

Me: The album was recorded at Abbey Road... in the Beatles room. What is that like?

Chas: A lot of history comes out of the walls.

Me: You two released an album called "Live At Abbey Road" once... so you must really like Abbey Road. You're a big Beatles fan, right, Chas?

Chas: I recorded in Abbey Road pre Beatles. Paul McCartney produced a single for Cliff Bennett there when I was in his band. And yes, I'm a big fan.

Me: Last time you were here we talked about how you jammed with them. I think we did anyway. Remind us of that story.

Chas: Yes. I jammed on piano with George, Paul & Ringo at Eric Clapton's wedding in the 80s. 

Me: Okay, back to the new album... it was produced by Joe Henry, who is American, and has worked with a number of people like Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Rodney Crowell, and also released his own music. Great choice for producer, Chas. How did you choose him or did he approach you?

Chas: It was Warners idea.

Me: What was it like working with him?

Chas: Perfect.

Me: On the album you have Jools Holland, Albert Lee, and Hugh Laurie... Hugh Laurie! How did that happen? Is he a fan of yours and vice versa?

Chas: Hugh requested to be on the album. We had heard his album & were delighted.

Me: A few years ago you guys toured America for the first time. What states did you play and how was that experience, Chas?

Chas: We played Milwaukee & Cleveland. Went great.

Me: Do you'll think you ever tour America again?

Chas: Would be good.

Me: Do you find a lot of newer bands and musicians are coming out saying they're fans of yours? 

Chas: Yes.

Me: What are you audiences like in general, Chas?

Chas: Always been great. 2013 best ever.

Me: Why is that?

Chas: In 2013 topped the bill & closed the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium. Prince Charles personally told me we should have been on longer.

Me: Cool. I have to tell you this as I don't know if I did last time, my dad who was in Foghat and Savoy Brown and my mom were huge fans of yours. My dad always wanted to work with you somehow.

Chas: Foghat & Savoy Brown figure highly in my music family comrades. Did Jackie Lynton once front Savoy Brown?

Me: Yeah, I believe on their album "Jack the Toad". Did you know my dad?

Chas: Believe I met Dave Peverett, Foghat, when I was in Heads, Hands & Feet in around 1971... University somewhere in England. Jackie Lynton is a big pal to this day.

Me: I should try and get Jackie on the Phile then. I never knew you two met. Both of my parents passed away from cancer. They would of loved this interview.

Chas: Sorry to hear that, Jason. Glad I met him.

Me: Glad you met him as well. Okay, so, on the Phile I am asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Would you like to be proudest of your accomplishments or your character? Man, that's a good question.

Chas: Becoming a piano player like Jerry Lee Lewis & on from there.

Me: Chas, you are as good as Jerry. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon, and tell Dave I said hello. Wanna mention your website? 


Me: Thanks again, Chas, and take care.

Chas: Thank you, Peverett Phile.

There, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Chas for a great interview. He is a man of few words, but I'm such a big fan so it's an honor to interview him on the Phile and I would have him back any time. Okay, the Phile will be back next Thursday with Phile Alum Crissi Cochrane and then on Friday it's author Jason Torchinsky. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker.