Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pheaturing Phile Alum Kevin Hearn From Barenaked Ladies

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. let's throwback to a happier time before Throwback Thursdays existed. So, we've all been there... you wake up to a yard full of snow, glance up from over the edge of your morning cup of coffee you think, "Fuck. How many inches in that?" After all, a few inches of snow can mean the difference between school being open and a snow day. Or working from the office or working from home! Or, you know, just being a generally productive member of society versus a lazy slob who hangs out in their pajamas all day. Well, one genius woman from North Carolina figured out the best way to measure the depth of the snow without ever having to find a ruler.

Dana Willis determined how much snowfall there was balls-to-tip by pushing pink dildo into the snow. At time of publication, Willis' post has been shared over 3,000 times. Hey, you have to admit...  that is pretty innovative. Plus, it is probably more accurate than whatever the meteorologist is telling you.
Cardiologists not affiliated with the White House are chiming in on the results of President Donald Trump's physical and they are concerned. At the White House press briefing on Tuesday, resident doctor Ronny Jackson announced that despite literally being an inch away from obesity, Trump and his heart are in excellent health because of "incredible genes." The "New York Times" reached out to heart specialists to react to the State of the President's Organs. "Cardiologists not associated with the White House said Wednesday that President Trump’s physical exam revealed serious heart concerns," the "Times" reports, "Including very high levels of so-called bad cholesterol, which raises the risk that Mr. Trump could have a heart attack while in office." Dr. David Maron, the director of preventive cardiology at Stanford Medical School, said that it is "alarming that the president’s LDL levels remain above 140 even though he is taking 10 milligrams of Crestor, a powerful drug that is used to lower cholesterol levels to well below 100." As Dr. Jackson announced, Trump has a cholesterol level of 143. The Stanford doc got real... Dr. Maron said he would “definitely” be worried about Mr. Trump’s risk for having a heart attack if the president were one of his patients. Asked if Mr. Trump is in perfect health, Dr. Maron offered a blunt reply, “God, no.” Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, is worried about Trump's belly. "Here the issue is, does he have abdominal obesity?" Dr. Topol told the "Times." "I don’t care what his height is. All you have to do is look at his abdomen. Abdominal obesity, that’s the machinery for inflammation for the heart."
Meghan Markle, the princess the world needs but does not yet deserve, officially joins the Royal Family on May 19th (order the tea and crumpets now for the ultimate watch party), but is getting some nice engagement gifts from the United Kingdom's allies. And by nice, I mean lame. Markle's brother-in-law-to-be, His Royal Highness Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, went on a royal visit to Finland last November, and a recently published PDF cataloged the gifts he received from the Finns. Prince William scored a lot of cool stuff, including a wristwatch from the president, a bottle of gin, and TWO FABRIC GNOMES!!! Members of the Finnish public also gave Prince William some tchotchkes to pass on to Kate and the kids, including two hobby horses and a necklace. Way down at the bottom of the list, is the gift a Finn gave to Wills to give to Meghan, and it's a goddamn apron. Her first gift as a member of the Royal family and it's something she'll probably never use? "You're getting married... now get in the kitchen and make your man a sandwich!" Come on, Finland. Meghan deserves better. Where are her FABRIC GNOMES? The Welsh, on the other hand, are better gift-givers. Prince Harry and Meghan are visiting Cardiff Castle today, and they scored a traditional Celtic love spoon from cute kids with their names. Wales: 1. Finland: 0.
A sorority girl in Alabama has been outed as a total racist, as per a video from her Finsta (that's a "fake Instagram" account). The video was tweeted by Twitter user @TabisBack, along with the text...

In the video, which was taken in a communal bathroom by the Alpha Phi sister in question, Harley Barber, she can be seen shutting off the water while talking about how much she hates "niggers." It's beyond appalling. The girl in question posted a follow up video after her racist soliloquy was leaked, which was tweeted by the same person. Instead of apologizing, she just doubled down harder, saying how angry she is that someone ratted her out to her sorority. She says that she's in the south now, but she's from New Jersey, so she can say the n-word as often as she likes. She then challenges anyone who wants to "snake" her to buy her fur vest at Neiman Marcus, which is I guess a way of saying she's rich and everyone else can fuck off? The university issued the following statement via Twitter, "These remarks are ignorant and disturbing and in no way reflect the values of The University of Alabama. This unfortunate behavior has been reported to the Office of Student Conduct as it does not align with the community expectations of students at the Capstone. And the sorority says the girl (identified here as Ms. Barber) has been kicked out of their organization." So after all that, this Ms. Barber was probably feeling pretty contrite, right? Wrong. This is what her Finsta looks like now...

Tweeted by the same user, @TabisBack, her Instagram account is now private. WOW. Good-bye to bad rubbish.
Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who Donald Trump allegedly paid $130,000 to in 2016 for her silence concerning an affair they'd reportedly had a decade earlier, had spoken to "In Touch" in 2011, way before signing the NDA. In the interview, she talked about having sex with Trump (her words: "Ugh, here we go"), as well as how impressed he supposedly was with her business savvy. An excerpt of the interview has been published by "In Touch" online, but the full interview can only be read in the actual magazine. According to "Spin," one of the things that made it into the magazine but not the online excerpt is the part where Donald Trump compares Stormy Daniels to his own daughter. Ewwwww, nooooooo. But yes. "Spin" reports that Daniels told "In Touch," “We had really good banter. He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful, smart, just like his daughter." Cue the sound of retching. Trump must mean his daughter Ivanka Trump, who would have been 24 at the time. She, not Tiffany (who was then 11), is the one he's famously sexualized so many times before. Like when he called Ivanka "hot" when she was 16 years old, or like when he told Howard Stern in 2003 that "she's got the best body" (she was by then 21). Or when he said in 2006 on "The View" that he might be dating Ivanka if she weren't his daughter. Again, ewwww, noooo. So it sounds like Donald Trump really liked Stormy Daniels, since he compared her to his ultimate, ideal woman: Ivanka.
If I had a TARDIS I would like to go and see the California Redwoods but knowing my luck I'll get there when they are being chopped down.

So, I was supposed to Google "Tom Hanks" the other day and instead I Googled "Tom Tanks" and this is what I got...

Hahaha. If you're thinking of cheating on your loved one this might make you think twice...

Oh, shit. Do you kids like the Porgs from The Last Jedi? You know that wasn't the first Star Wars movie they made an appearance in, right?

So, if you want to stay at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. you might wanna check Yelp first...

Yup. I don't think I'll stay there. Did you see the new Oreo cookie that just came out?

Limited edition so go get them now at the supermarket near you. So, it's the Phile's 12th anniversary and I am showing you what some celebrities looked like in 2006 and what they look like now. In 2006 Beyoncé looked like a glowing, ethereal angel...

And in 2018 she's still a glowing, ethereal angel, but older.

I know the Grammys haven't this year yet. Play along. Hey, it's Thursday, guess what that means?

Tom Buchanan, an Australian kid, claimed the world record for having the most spiders on his body for 30 seconds. He had 125 Golden Orb spiders on his body for a total of 55 seconds. Golden Orb spiders are not poisonous, according to Buchanan, but they do bite and can make your body swell up. Ummm... no.

Hmmm... that has to be the dumbest Mindphuck ever. If you spot it let me know. It's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How are you doing?

Jeff: Always good to be back on the Phile! I'm doing well, how about you?

Me: You don't wanna know. Man, oh man, oh man, did you see what’s being dubbed the Minnesota Miracle? For those that don't know WR Stefon Diggs hauled in a Case Keenum pass in the final seconds of the NFC divisional round of the playoffs to beat the Saints. This is what happened it looked like from the side lines...

Me: Do you think the name Minnesota Miracle was an exaggeration?

Jeff: No, I don't think it was an exaggeration. Minnesota scored with absolutely no time left on the clock. It's as exciting of a football game as you can get.

Me: Jeff, your Steelers lost to the Jags in another crazy game. What do you think of Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey guaranteeing a win over Patriots and a Super Bowl victory? That would be amazing, right? 

Jeff: First, let me comment on the Steeler game. They deserved to lose. They, and by that I mean the Steelers, made some pretty bad playcalling decisions, namely the two fourth and ones as well as the decision to go for the onside kick. As far as Ramsey's comments, of course every player on the Jags team thinks they are going to beat New England. I don't blame him for getting carried away. That doesn't mean it's going to happen. But it would be nice!

Me: Ben Roethlisberger told reporters after the Playoff loss that he “plans” on coming back next year. Do you think he will? I bet you hope he does, right?

Jeff: I like Ben. I really do. But he can be a bit of a diva. He does this every single year. He speculates about his future minutes after a playoff loss. Yeah, I think he will be back next season.

Me: So, what other NFL news do you have?

Jeff: Most of the news involves the coaching carousel. A lot of teams filling their coaching vacancies with coordinators from other teams. Looks like New England is losing both their offensive and defensive coordinators in the offseason. The Titans on Sunday were talking about extending head coach Mike Mularkey. By Monday, they mutually agreed to his release. Why? Titans wanted to make changes to the staff, Mularkey said no. So he said well then I'll just leave.

Me: Okay, so, how did we do with the Playoffs pics, Jeff? Not good, right?

Jeff: One of us went 2-0, the other went 0-2. So one of us did really well. And that was me! Victory is mine!

Me: Ugh! Okay, let's do this weeks picks... I say Eagles by 3 and I am betting against the Patriots by saying the Jags will win by 10. What do you think?

Jeff: I'll pick opposite of you! So I will go Vikings by 3 and New England by 10 to set up the Super Bowl.

Me: Okay, I'll see you back here next Thursday for when we pick the Super Bowl. Have a good week, Jeff, sorry the Steelers lost.

Jeff: Sounds like a plan! I will see you then. Have a good week.

So, I have ben watching one of my favorite shows from the 90s, "The X-Files" and it got me thinking, why don't I have my own conspiracy theory section on the Phile. So, it's time for...

On August 2nd, 1964, the U.S.S. Maddox opened fire on what it later claimed were several North Vietnamese targets. The skirmish deepened America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, leading to the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers and many more Vietnamese, including hundreds of thousands of civilians. Except, it turned out the “targets” the Maddox fired upon didn’t actually exist. It’s still debated today whether the incident was an intentional misdirection by the military. But one thing is certain: President Johnson’s original claim that the North Vietnamese fired first has been debunked. Even former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara admitted as much in an interview before his death. After all, it’s kind of hard to start a fight when you’re not even there.

Yesterday, President Trump finally announced the winners of his highly-anticipated Fake News Awards... mock accolades given to news outlets that, in the president's opinion, represent the most inaccurate news sources. The results were published to the GOP website, which crashed after seeing record-breaking amounts of traffic. Oops! The winners of the Fake News Awards were, unsurprisingly, the very same news outlets Trump often complains about on Twitter. Congrats to all the big winners (losers?). They are as follows: 11. The Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia. Although President Trump insists there is no collusion, he is still under investigation from Special counsel Robert S. Mueller. 10. The "New York Times" for claiming on their front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report. 9. CNN for reporting that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation. 8. "Newsweek" (good for you, Newsweek!), for reporting that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand. Okay, that one is just petty. 7. CNN for their retracted story on Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian. The three reporters who ran this story were eventually fired from CNN. 6. CNN wins again (they are sweeping!) for the "FALSELY edited a video" that "made it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister." Yes, really. Trump claims that he was simply following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's lead by dumping his box out into the water. 5. The "Washington Post," for "reporting" that Trump's rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. This was a tweet, and not an actual news story. The author of the tweet quickly corrected themselves and later apologized for the mistake. 4. "Time Magazine" for reporting that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. This news was not reported on by "Time," but another viral tweet. 3. CNN for reporting that then-candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks. It turns out that the documents in question were publicly available. CNN later published a correction. 2. ABC News' Brian Ross for his inaccurate timeline while reporting on Trump and Russia. Ross was suspended for the "serious mistake." 1. The "New York Times"’ columnist Paul Krugman, an opinion writer who predicted that President Trump would be bad for the economy. He actually retracted the prediction just three days after it ran, but it was too late. He had already made Trump's list. Yes, the President of the United States published his own personal "burn book" on the Internet. Missing from the list are the outlets that tend look at Trump favorably, like Fox News and Breitbart News. The Fake News Awards were also a hit on Twitter, with folks either agreeing with the President, commenting on the list, or just straight-out mocking the whole thing. With the success of the actual Fake News Awards, don't be surprised if President Trump orders an full-fledged, televised award show next year. Stranger things have certainly happened.

The 73rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Linda will be the guest on the Phile on Monday.

Space heater
A space heater is a device used the raise the electric bill of a small studio apartment.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and a Canadian musician who is currently the keyboardist of Barenaked Ladies and his own group, The Cousins. The Cousins news CD "Rattlesnake Love" and BNL's latest CD "Fake Nudes" are both available on iTunes and Amazon. Please welcome back to the Phile, the very talented... Kevin Hearn.

Me: Hey, Kev, welcome back to the Phlie, sir. It's been awhile. How have you been?

Kevin: Well, it has been a while. I’ve been good, bad, happy, sad, medium, light, mild, spicy, here, there, and other places.

Me: Cool. Haha. Okay, last year you had a very, very busy year, which is good. Do you like to remain busy?

Kevin: I do. I enjoy having projects on the go, and I always enjoy having my creative process going in one form or another. But then, on top of my own endeavours, other things may come up that I must do and then I'm really REALLY busy and that’s what 2017 was like for me.

Me: Let's talk about your album with did with your cousin Harland Williams as The Cousins. I have to show the album cover here...

Me: This is the second time you recorded with your cousin, right?

Kevin: Well, we’ve worked together a lot over the years on different things, but yes, this is the second time we’ve actually released “music."

Me: I have to say Harland is one of my favorite comedians ever. You known him all your life, so I have to ask, has he always been funny and off the wall?

Kevin: Harland has always been Harland. We shared an apartment in the eighties. He was starting standup comedy at that time and I would film his sets. We’d watch back and he’d make notes about how he could improve different aspects of his act. So... yes, he always had that raw talent, but he worked really hard at honing his craft over the years, and now when I see him perform, I am watching a master.

Me: So, whose idea was it to originally start a band out of you two?

Kevin: Well, I was already a musician and in a band. When we lived together we would often make stuff together, go out and film a silly movie, or jam and make up songs. That’s something we continued to do. As the years went by we had a growing pile of songs, or song ideas that we enjoyed listening to. Harland was always saying, “Kev... we’ve gotta make a record!” So I told him, "Okay... for 2017 I am going to make it happen.” So I finished up some of the existing ideas and we recorded a few brand new ones as well.

Me: I love the album "Rattlesnake Love," Kev. Harland has a really good singing voice. He is the songwriter and you write the music, am I right?

Kevin: Well, we both write the songs (that make the whole world sing). All of the ideas are born through us improvising in a room together. He generally writes all the lyrics.

Me: I didn't know what to expect from the album at all, being Harland is a very funny guy. Would you say the album is more serious in nature or more humorous?

Kevin: It is a mix of both. Even when Har tries to be serious I think he puts things in a way that can come off as humorous. He didn’t want to make a “comedy record." And I, working with the funniest human I know, naturally wanted to make weird funny songs. So I think we ended up in a weird halfway kind of place that reminds me a little of Ween or something along those lines. It is all executed seriously. I really enjoyed playing it for people and watching them squirming, waiting to laugh, and then they realize that it’s not just straight up comedy and so they laugh harder, realizing that it’s weird, catchy and interesting on a few different levels.

Me: You have a guest singer on the title track... Carole Pope. Did you know her prior, Kevin?

Kevin: I did a celebration of Lou Reed concert with the CBC in 2014. Carole sang an incredible version of "Waiting For My Man." Thats where we first met. If you don’t know her work check it out. Her band Rough Trade made a classic record called "Avoid Freud" which is one of Harland’s all time favourite records.

Me: Who else plays on the album with you?

Kevin: Oh man. Because the songs were recorded over the years there are a number of cool different configurations. A couple of the songs have the Barenaked Ladies as the backing band and backup vocals. Some are done with my band Thinbuckle. Blaise Garza from the Violent Femmes plays flute on the title track. My friend Maia Davies does some backup singing.

Me: I love the song "The Clown." What's the story about the song?

Kevin: That’s a song from a musical Harland and I talked about doing called "The Clown." It is basically about the inner struggles and the tragic end of a comedian’s life. The song was written many years ago, but took on some extra weight for Harland after Robin William’s death. So we decided to finish it off, so to speak.

Me: I also love the title song, how did that sing get to be the album title?

Kevin: Harland really liked the term "Rattlesnake Love," which he came up with for the song. It seemed like a good fit. I suggested it be the title and Har said, "Yes!" And that was it. Very easy.

Me: "Tropical Horizon" is one of my favorite songs on the album, it's just a sweet song, and what great vocals. I want to say that was you singing, am I right?

Kevin: I am singing in the choruses yes, along with Maia.

Me: Are you guys gonna be recording again together in the future?

Kevin: We hope to make something new this year yes. A punk rock record.

Me: Fantastic! Alright, before we talk about the new BNL album I have to mention the album that came out last year with Persuasions. I love that album. How did that project come to be, Kev?

Kevin: The Persuasions and I had a mutual friend in Lou. I met them at his memorial concert at The Apollo. I was working on a (as yet unreleased) medley of super hero themed songs. They sang one of the sections of it. We had fun doing it and decided to try and do more together, When BNL played in central Park in 2016 The Persuasions joined us on stage for two songs. We then planned to go into a studio together and record something. I’d been expressing interest in doing a stripped down record with BNL for a while, and this seemed like a very cool way to make it fun, exciting and a little different.

Me: For readers that don't know tell the readers who The Persuasions are.

Kevin: They are considered THE acapella group. They were formed in Brooklyn in 1962. Lou Reed took them on tour with him in the 70s. They worked with many people including Lou, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell,  etc, etc. Over time they have had some personnel changes, but at the heart of the group were original members Jay Otis Washington and Jimmy Hayes, who named the group.

Me: I love that the album had a mix of newer and older songs. Was it hard to figure out which songs you guys were gonna rerecord?

Kevin: It was fun. I listened through the entire catalogue, listening for songs which could work in that context. I sent this “wish list" to lead singer and arranger Dave Revels. We all narrowed it down from there. Dave would send me phone voice memos of the Persuasions rehearsals. They made my day every time.

Me: "Gonna Walk" and "Don't Shuffle Me Back" both gave me chills when I first heard those tracks. Was there any song that you guys thought was too hard to do with the added singers?

Kevin: Thank you. "Gonna Walk" was a natural fit. "Don’t Shuffle Me Back" is a song from my solo record "Cloud Maintenance" that I just knew had to be included. One of my favourite memories was in the studio, while rehearsing that song, Jimmy Hayes said, “ Kevin, I’d really like to sing that third verse." I was elated! It’s the verse that goes “When I’m feeling blue, I pick up a shoe, pretend it’s a telephone, and that I’m talking to you." It’s one of those things that makes me smile every time I hear it.

Me: Awe. Okay, let's talk about "Fake Nudes." I LOVE puns, so I love that name. Which one of you guys came up with it?

Kevin: That’s a classic Ed Robertson idea right there.

Me: I love that you get to sing quite a few songs on the album, Kev. How do you chose who is gonna have the most songs, or who sings what?

Kevin: In the past Ed or Steve would usually sing my songs (like "The Sound of Your Voice" or "Adrift" for instance), but now we all usually sing our own songs. I haven't had this many songs on a record since our "Snacktime" record. I had a few good songs on the go when it was time to start working on "Fake Nudes," so that's the way the cookie crumbled this time.

Me: So, do you guys all bring your own songs to the band or do you all write together now? 

Kevin: Typically we bring our own songs in. I collaborated with Ed on three "Fake Nude" songs ("Navigate," "Sunshine," and "Nobody Better") which was cool. We all work well together when it comes down to fine tuning the structures of each song.

Me: I think I can figure out who writes what songs... you have more whimsical lyrics, and Ed has more poppy and life is great lyrics. Is that a fair assessment?

Kevin: Well, he has a great life. Ha. I don’t know. Perhaps on this record  you may have a point there if you compare his "Lookin' Up" to my "Flying Dreams." But then you take a look at his song "Sunshine"   and your theory goes to shit. Ha ha.

Me: Ha! Okay. "Invisible Fence" is such a great song... that song is a sly reference to Trump's "wall," am I right?

Kevin: There is a nod to it, yes. But the song is not really about him, or politics. It’s more about denouncing racism in general and sending out a positive message.

Me: Did you guys plan to have a more serious political overtone nudge nudge wink wink feel to this album?

Kevin: No, we didn’t. But I think that current events usually find their way into our writing. I think you’ll find that on all of our records.

Me: "Lookin' Up" I think should be the next big summer jam... I love that song. It's very positive, and very complex musically. When you write and record a song like that do you guys think how the hell are you gonna do that live or does that not even faze you guys?

Kevin: If it’s a decent song, it should be able to work around a campfire with an acoustic guitar. And so we adjust accordingly.

Me: Is there any song you recorded over the years that you thought you guys could never pull off live?

Kevin: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Sarah Maclaclan. Ed keeps introducing her and then she is never there. It’s sad really.

Me: Haha. "Bag of Bones" is another great song, Kev, that you sing. What is the story behind that song?

Kevin: I don’t know! I came up with the main little riff, “Big dogs barking dogs biting dogs,"... and went from there.

Me: So, you guys are gonna go out on a new summer tour, I plan to see you guys in St. Augustine. Is touring something you look forward to still?

Kevin: I do enjoy the shows and seeing the country. In St Augustine I always like going to the alligator farm. They have an albino alligator there who is really cool. I met a very racist man in a leather goods shop there. He also inspired the "Invisble Fence" song.

Me: You are such a great writer and artist, and very imaginative... have you ever thought of writing a novel or an autobiography, Kev?

Kevin: Thank you. I’m planning on doing a book with my drawings in it.

Me: Cool. I love your drawings. By the way, the last album was funded through Pledgemusic, as well as the album before that... I got the CD, socks, and t-shirt so I did my part. Is that something you guys will continue doing from project to project? I think it's a great idea for the fans to be a part of it.

Kevin: Well, if you need new socks let us know, and that will be the way we do it.

Me: So, I was thinking, you guys play so many instruments on the albums, you especially, but I don't think there's been any kazoo on a BNL song. I happen to play the kazoo, so if you ever need a fifth member that plays kazoo... hahahaha. Anyway, Kev, thanks so much for being back on the Phile. I wish you guys continued success. You know, and my readers know, BNL is my favorite band. Mention your website and I'll see you guys on the road. Take care.

Kevin: Well, you’d better go practice your kazoo and bring it to St Augustine. We’ll take you to the alligator farm and see if they enjoy a little Jason kazoo. Check out my instagram page kevinhearnmusic. I’m also on Soundcloud. Check out how The Cousins work and more at and don’t forget to Google Barenaked Ladies "Fake Nudes" to check out our new record. Have a great 2018, Jason ! Thanks for your thoughtful questions, minus the kazoo one.

Me: You are so welcome. Haha. Come back again soon.

That about does it foe this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Kevin Hearn. The Phile will be back Sunday with singer Taylor Mac. 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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pheaturing Oleta Adams

Hi, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday and Happy MLK Day. We must not judge people by the color of their skin but by heir annoying personalities. MLK would wonder why kids who really need an education are given a day off to honor him. Think about that.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, an important day to reflect on and honor the legacy of the civil rights hero by... *record scratch*... jerking off? Everyone recognizes Google Doodles, the search engine marking important birthdays and holidays on its homepage with artistic tributes. And today, Pornhub decided to get in on the action with a special tribute to the birthday boy, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King.

Being side-eyed by MLK can certainly impact someone trying to get in the mood. And naturally, the "I Have A Dream" jokes write themselves. I have a wet dream. When I go on Pornhub tomorrow I shall... overcum. Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, porn is free at last.
The artist and political activist Robin Bell projected the word "shithole" onto Trump's D.C. hotel on Saturday night, and it made waves. The display included a stream of flying poop emojis and also projected the phrase "the president distracts us from politics that are harming us," as well as "this is not normal" and messages to "stay vigilante." The artist behind the graphics is the founder of the video projection Bell Visuals, which is committed to using video as a tool for social change. Bell previously made headlines for projecting the motto "Pay Trump Bribes Here" onto Trump's same D.C. hotel back in May. In that same month, Bell also projected "#SessionsMustGo" and "I thought the KKK was OK until I learned that they smoked pot" onto the Department of Justice building in protest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The "shithole" projection was directly inspired by Trump's comments during a meeting with senators on Thursday, where he called Haiti and African countries shithole nations and disparaged immigrants coming from those places. While the White House didn't deny the president's shithole comments initially, Trump later denied them on Twitter, saying...

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Henry Bolton is currently suspended due to a series of racist texts sent by his 25-year-old girlfriend Jo Marney. The texts published by "Daily Mail" reveal Marney slamming actress and soon-to-be royalty Meghan Markle under claims that she will "taint" the royal family and pave the way for "a black king." UKIP immediately suspended Marney from the party after the racist texts leaked. According to BBC, some members of the party have called for her permanent removal. Due to his girlfriend's behavior, Bolton is currently facing a big decision about his future. In reference to the ultimatum between his girlfriend and political party, UKIP chairman Paul Oakden told BBC that Bolton has "some some difficult decisions to make." He added, "He intends on making those decisions today, and I'm sure whatever he does will be in the best interests of the party." In a statement to "Daily Mail," Marney expressed regret for the language in her text messages and attempted to clarify her intentions. "I apologise unreservedly for the shocking language I used. The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused." Understandably, people are not too convinced by her apology. It is speculated that Bolton's position in the party is dependent on whether he keeps ties with Marney, a decision that's expected to be made in coming days. He already received fire for leaving his 54-year-old wife for the 25-year-old model. At the time of writing, neither Markle nor Prince Harry have responded to this mess.
School spirit looks different depending on the college, and for Texas Tech students solidarity is expressed through the slogan "Wreck em and guns" and a finger gun motion. In most scenarios, yelling this at a classmate would be nothing more than awkward for bystanders. However, in the context of airport TSA screenings, the reference to weapons is markedly less casual. So, when 19-year-old Diana Durkin of Houston saw a guy wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt in the TSA line, she threw up the school's gun sign out of habit. The guy, who was likely acutely aware of the airport context, gave her a strange look and did not reciprocate. Soon, she felt the tap of a TSA agent who pulled her out of line for the reference to guns. Durkin told Buzzfeed News that once she got pulled aside she was thinking, "Oh my gosh, they think I'm a terrorist. Oh my gosh I'm going to jail. I'm just sitting there, almost in tears, like, 'No, I'm just really dumb, I'm not a terrorist!" Despite the scare, Durkin was released with a warning after a thorough screening and pat down. When she tweeted about the occurrence, her anecdote immediately went viral. In fact, the rapid Twitter fame caused Durkin to call her mother to fill her in. She didn't want mom to find out through an article, and apparently, her mom didn't take too well to the call at first.

She also used the opportunity to boost support for survivors of Hurricane Harvey and Maria. This hits especially close to home since her family was affected by Harvey. After the initial shock wore off, Durkin's mom felt ready for the Internet attention. Next time Durkin hits up the airport, she will check her school spirit with her bags.
Hey, it's MLK Day and some places over the years sure knew how to "cash in" on that.

If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to try and meet MLK himself. But knowing my luck Harry Belafonte would be there too. I'm not  big fan. Hahaha,

They would be laughing and having such good time they might even notice I was there. So, I was meant to Google "John Lennon" the other day and instead I Googled "John Lemon" and this is what I got...

It made me laugh. If you're thinking about cheating on your loved one you might want to think twice after seeing this...

Damn. So, it's so cold up north that CNN is reporting some of the oddest stuff...

Hahahaha. I was thinking about The Last Jedi the other day and I thought of the new look Kylo Ten had in the movie...

I didn't think it fit in with the Star Wars universe. Okay, so, this is the Phile's 12th year and I am showing you how different celebrities have changed in those years. In 2006 Jonah Hill was large...

In 2018 he was no so large...

Crazy, right? Okay, one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn for free, lie on the already mentioned Pornhub. But the problem for bloggers like me is you might get bored reading this blog and decide to go look at porn. So I thought I can show a porn pic here but of you are at work, or school you might get in trouble. Then I came up with a solution...

You are so welcome, my friends. Hahaha.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's a lot of crazy inventors out there in the world, but there's only one world's greatest, and he just happens to want to come onto the Phile and tell us what are some of the inventions he is working on. This is a real treat, kids. Please welcome to the Phile for the first time...

Me: Hello, Mr. Asterborus, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Mak: Call me Mak, please, and I am good, Jason.

Me: Okay, so, you are working on a few new inventions but what is something you have already invented that we might not know about?

Mak: Ummm.... Justin Bieber was one.

Me: Sir, I don't think you created Justin Bieber.

Mak: Sure I did.

Me: Okay, if yo say so. What's another one?

Mak: Religion.

Me: Again, sir, I don't think you created religion. If you did same on you, but religion has been around for a long time. What's another one?

Mak: My wife.

Me: Okay, I don't know who that is but I take it that might be true. So, what is your latest invention, Mak?

Mak: A book on how to read.

Me: Ugh. Get outta here.

Mak: Have a good day, kids.

Me: Mak Asterborus, the world's greatest inventor, everyone.

There was a joke about fishing I was going to tell you. Oh no, I forgot the line!

The 73rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Linda will be the guest on the Phile next Monday.

Today's guest is a is an American soul, jazz, gospel singer and pianist. Her latest CD "Third Set" is available on iTunes and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Oleta Adams.

Me: Hey, Oleta, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Oleta: Hi, Jason. I am wonderful.

Me: Cool. Okay, you have been a musician for a long time, but Tears For Fears kinda discovered you, am I right?

Oleta: Well, let's see... If you want to talk about the lowest of lows it became before Tears For Fears. Understand that 2018 is my 47th year in show business. Everyone thinks I'm an overnight thing and I only had twenty years... that's not quite true. I've been working since '71 professionally and I worked all across the United States. I worked all over the state of Washington. In fact, I thought things would happen to me in the early 70s when I was the only singer for the Peggy Fleming show, A Concert On Ice is what it was called. It was a traveling skating show obviously and they had quite a few trucks because they would go and set up the next stage for the next performance. We traveled for a year basically and I had golf shoes to be able to walk on the ice so I didn't fall down. I thought things would happen for me in '73 when we played Reno, and I finally played there, but what happened was I got to Reno and the show there had to be a certain amount of time in the show places as they wanted to get everybody back into the casinos. So, they cut my parts in the show except for the opening and the closing, It was a night where Ed McMahon was there and some other people. Phylis Diller was the head of the show... she took the first half and Peggy Fleming took the other. It was really heartbreaking and I was very upset and very embarrassed. I didn't want to tell my family what had happened.

Me: Ahhh. How did you end up in Kansas City, Oleta?

Oleta: In 1975 I landed in Kansas City, and got a permanent gig at the Western Crown Center, and there were long lines. I did three shows a night, six days week. I would change clothes between each set and it was hard work, but I learnt my craft very well. I was very successful in Kansas City, and there were billboards up with me on it. Well, a few years after that, when the Crown Western wouldn't have me anymore, as they wanted REAL jazz. So, I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma and all over the country to try and find work.

Me: Did you have to audition when you got new jobs?

Oleta: No, no, no. I lived in Washington State and the agent placed me. I was performing at another hotel and the food and beverage manager heard me back in 1974 at another one of their properties and they liked me so much they asked me if I'd go back to Kansas City. People said to me, "I heard you're going to Kansas City. They've got cows in the streets back there." No cows! Instead we went down Main Street from the airport and we got downtown and there were all these tall buildings and there was one incredible building that was built on this natural water fall that was a hotel. It was relative new and in the waterfall you could see the inside of the lobby.

Me: So, tell me how Tears For Fears "discovered" you. How did you meet them?

Oleta: After I got fired from the Crown Center hotel I went over to a Hyatt and that's where Tears For Fears saw me in '85. Tears For Fears was playing in town and they stayed at the Hyatt. They did their gig, went up to their room, and I played from 9 til 1. They changed their clothes, paid the cover charge and they sat there listening to me. But I did not meet them, but knew they were there as John, my future then husband told me they were there.

Me: Did you know who they were, and how did you get to work with them?

Oleta: Yeah, I knew who they were! Everybody knew "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Roland to me looked like a guy who looked like Donny Osmond with all teeth. John asked me if I wanted to say hi to them and I said no. I knew the Hyatt was going to get rid of me because the food and beverage manager who hired me was promoted to a hotel in Korea or somewhere in Asia. That meant it was the end of my stay even though I had a contract that was still on the books. When the new guy came in all contracts were null and void. So, anyway, I did not meet them there on that night, I was just playing my heart out. There were fewer and fewer places to play in Kansas City at that time because disco came in and audiences changed from listening audiences to participating audiences. Two years later after I had gone from losing that job and then having to leave Kansas City to get work, I went to play at a piano bar in St. Louis in Union Station. There was this lady there who said to me, "You'e good. You're almost as good as Oleta Adams." She didn't recognize me as it was just me at the piano and I didn't have the bass and drums with me. Then a guy said to me, "I see they have you here, what did they do with your bass and drums?" Then I did a duo with the drummer in St. Louis at another place. It was in '86 and I think it was the Cardinals were in the World Series and people were watching the TV in the bar, and before my set the manager would say, "Turn off the television." I wasn't going to turn off the television on the middle of the Series. That was always fun, performing while everybody was looking over your head watching a baseball game. So, two years later I got a phone call when I was back in Kansas City from Roland Orzabal and he said everything I sang that one night moved him to tears and he said what I had with a trio we had more emotion than he had with eight people on stage and he had a song called "Woman In Chains" and wondered if I'd put the same emotion into that song. They kept on coming to see me weeks after, and I kept asking them if they are on the way to another gig and they said no.

Me: Alright, so, what did you think of those guys, Oleta? They must of been nice to you.

Oleta: Yes, they were, in fact Curt told the customs and immigration people when they were coming over from England what is the reason they were going to the states, and he said, "We are going to see Oleta." They hung around for about three days and they came to my house and we sat and talked, played music and I sang at the piano in my house, and they'd sing something. We went to the record store and they bought one of my records and I bought a couple of their records. That was the beginning. That was in '87 and in '88 they sent me a ticket and I went and recorded with them. I worked at a piano bar in Scandinavia for 7 months and went all over Scandinavia and Holland. I recorded for a full month in January, I did my tour alone, and they found out where I was and called me, asking me to stop by England before I went home to do some more work on the record.

Me: So, did you go on tour with Tears For Fears? They must've felt weird after playing the venues where you played before.

Oleta: I lived a lot and with as many disappointments I thought this probably won't last but thank you, Lord, I have this moment. It was still performing, I loved all the big bands, all the sounds and it was loud. We worked very hard and it was very exciting starting the show. I started the show on a grand piano three feet in the air and then the guys would join me.

Me: That's cool. Okay, so, I think around this time they broke up. Was there any tension between them on the tour?

Oleta: Okay, this question is funny to me. Yeah, there was tension. On the tour bus they made me chose... the back was Curt's area, the front of the bus was Rol's. I kind of sat in the middle but it was towards the front. I loved them both, and tried to tell them I loved them both. It was a sticky situation because I got a lot of attention, they placed a lot of attention on me and Roland because he was a creative person. However, I have to say Curt was involved also but when it came to actually putting stuff down it was Roland. I stayed with Curt and his first wife at his home in Bath. It was absolutely unbelievable and they were so generous to me and they treated me like I was one of their family. He was so sweet and he's a smart cookie. Curt was the business guy, Roland wasn't the business guy. Curt could work for a record company if he wanted. Roland was the musical side but they are both just smart individuals. It was a good pairing but the only thing was it came to a point that when you grow up together from childhood you kind of get sick of one another. That's very natural, but they were great, their voices were balanced.

Me: Okay, enough about Tears For Fears. After that whole thing you had your own success with your own album and the single "Get Here." You must of been thrilled.

Oleta: Nah, it felt pretty much the same. When people were flipping out about me I was home and didn't hear it. I often sit and read this stuff and read the comments and think, "God, it's too bad I missed this stuff." I never felt like a story even when I sold out. That was the way it goes, the place is full, we sold out, and then I hung on.

Me: Okay, that's fair. So, you are from Kansas City, do you still live there, Oleta?

Oleta: Yeah, I live in a small town... actually, it's a big town but doesn't know it's a big town. It has a small town feeling. I love living here In Kansas City, which is why I don't live in L.A. I always wanted to live somewhere where my feet are on the ground, and if something happened I wouldn't have far to fall.

Me: That makes sense. Okay, so, what's the story about the song "Get Here." Where's here?

Oleta: "Get Here" had its success because of Desert Storm as it came out at that time. It put me in a total different category and put me on a tight rope. It wasn't a song for people to dance to. For me I wanted to sing another ballad. I wanted to express myself, I lived so long and wanted to sing what I wanted to say. Get where? Get to me!

Me: You were on the "Two Rooms" Elton John album and did a fantastic version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." How did you get chosen for that album and was it fun to do that song? It's weird, because it's an album of duets but you're not doing a duet with Elton.

Oleta: Interestingly enough I had to fight for that song because I tried to do "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," but my bass player, Pino Palladino, HATED that song, so I thought what song was I going to do then. Somebody said, "Well, Joe Cocker has 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me.'" I fought for that song, I wanted that song, I've sung it before. They went to battle for me and I got that song. It was supposed to be the first release off that album, and a couple of weeks later one of my players said, "Ms. Oleta, Elton John and George Michael put out their version of the song." I said, "What?!" That happened at the same time and because it was George Michael and Elton of course they got more play on more stations, because a voice like mine is going to be limited. Number one I'm a black woman, and number 2: I got a really thick big voice and despite I am known for "Get Here," guess who is going to get more air play. Elton and I did an Andre Agassi event in Las Vegas for his foundation and Elton's dressing room was right next to mine and there was a knock on my door and my husband answered the door and Elton said, "May I speak to Oleta? Do you think she'll speak to me?" John said, "Elton's out here, he wants to know if you'll speak to him." He came in and said, "Oleta, I want to apologize to you. I know that was a really mean thing to do. I just want to tell you I know it wasn't fair, I'm sorry." I said, "You're forgiven." Here's the thing, that year both of us got nominated for Grammys in different categories for that same song. Neither of us won. LOL.

Me: Okay, we have to talk about "Third Set," your new album. Why is it called "Third Set"?

Oleta: I used to do three shows, six days a week. That's a lot of singing and it's really hard to keep the excitement. After a while I decided when I'm playing a hotel I know who the audience is so I had to do all the popular stuff. In those days it was "Wind Beneath My Wings," and "New York, New York," and "Feelings"... all that stuff like that. I did all those popular songs for the first two sets. The third, if there was anybody there at that time, the third set became our set... the musicians set where we did the stuff we felt like doing. It was the most creative set because we weren't pressured in doing what we didn't want to do. We had the freedom to play music and explore it as long as we wanted. I pretty much did that throughout my career, made the third set just fun for the musicians. It was in that set the arrangement of "New York State of Mind" developed. In fact, "Get Here" ended up in the third set, it used to be in the first set but we had to do a shorter version of it. In the third set I could sing to for twenty minutes. LOL.

Me: What took you eight years to release a new album?

Oleta: I don't know where the time went. Time flies. John and I don't have children so for us when you are just playing it just goes by so quickly. In those eight years the whole business changed. If you closed down as many record companies as I have your feeling is "I ain't going to throw more money at that thing." LOL. That was my attitude, then do you know what happened... places that I play ever year the manager or the guy who would book that place would say, "Oleta, you need a new record." What that means is the only way they were going to get the kind of publicity they want to get is if I do a new record. Their whole thing is the excitement of the record creates the spark so it would put me in the limelight and it brings out a whole new group of people. I just kind of felt I am growing older and I wasn't sure how long I wanted to do this. After a certain time I started to think of that "R" word... retirement. Although musicians rarely retire but it's the travel part I want to retire from, which mans I wouldn't stop singing, but all that traveling around really gets to me. My husband and I think do we really want to do this until I'm 85 and we quit and suddenly we die or do we want to have a few good years left?

Me: How long did it take to record the album?

Oleta: Two and a half days. Seriously. The studio where we recorded it is no longer there. We were the last ones to record in that place.

Me: There are covers on the album, were they songs you did in your third set normally?

Oleta: They're from shows we were doing in the last year.

Me: Okay, I like asking these questions once in awhile... do you have regrets and your best memory? 

Oleta: I have gobs of those moments, just remembering them is the problem. As far as regrets there are always decisions that you did that could be done differently. I turned down "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King and it become the movie of the year. Actually I'm not sure if I turned it down or they turned me down. Remember my first record was called "Circle of One," and I thought it would be too confusing for one thing. If you listen to "Circle of Life," with Elton singing it, he singing it and me singing it would of been two different things and I'm not sure that I would've gotten it anyway because it would sound too soulful for the show. I would have to put a Broadway voice on it, and I'm not sure that would of worked anyway. I did audition for it and I did not get a call back. I'm not sure I had a choice on that but that would be the one regret. Honestly, I would of done it for that extra push, but the stuff that I've done I like. I was told a long time ago to make sure I sing the stuff I like because if not I'd have to sing it over, and over and over again. Ask Bobby McFerrin. LOL. Apart of me wishes I hit the big one sooner and a part of me is glad it did not. I'm glad I was a real adult to be able to handle that success. I see it happens to a lot of these singers. I talked to a lot of them... they're so successful and so sad and I don't want to be sad... I'm happy. I love singing, I love looking forward to the music. If I can have a little bit more I had in 2002 that would be great, but then I'm asking not to age. I had a lot of occasions where we could afford nice vacations for John and me. Obviously being on Oprah's show was just great. I had lunch with her first in probably '93, in her studio in Chicago. There was just the two of us, sitting alone with Oprah was a big deal. I have sung in her own in Santa Barbara for her very first party there. That was a high moment and meant a whole lot that she requested that I sing. By the same token doing a gig somewhere and Eric Clapton was there. As I'm walking down the hallway, he says, "Oleta." He called me by my name and talked to me. "Oleta, that was a horrible thing that Elton did." LOL. That was another way I found out about that, and he knew who I was. It's like wow, these people know who I am, then I go back to Kansas City like nothing ever happened. I got to the chance to play a lot of places like Carnegie Hall. Oh, and Phil Collins. I got the chance to play with him with on his big band tour in '98 in Europe and America. He was really wonderful to work and singing with that bad was great. I will say one more thing before I go... I am forger indebted to my friends in the Netherlands. They always gave me a play even though I didn't have a record.

Me: Those are great stories, Oleta. I hope this was fun. Go ahead and mention your website. All the best. Please come back again soon.

Oleta: It was my pleasure to be here, and good luck with your career. Take care, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Oleta for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum Kevin Hearn from Barenaked Ladies. 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