Monday, March 2, 2015

Pheaturing Andy Frasco

Hi there, everybody, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile. How are you? I am feeling a lot better than yesterday. That's good, right?  The mysterious street artist known only as Banksy has been leaving new pieces of art in various locations in the Gaza Strip. He offers an anecdote from his trip on his website: "A local man came up and said 'Please - what does this mean?' I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens."  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker caused some controversy when, during a speech delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he seemed to liken union protesters to militant terrorists. "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world," the presidential hopeful said in an obvious effort to prove to the conservative crowd that he can say silly things just as confidently as any Republican candidate. When Scott Walker stood up to unions, he really earned his mandatory salary voted for him by a collective fellowship of peers.  Spirit Airlines... a low-cost travel carrier that will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever get my business ever, ever, ever, ever doesn't seem particularly concerned that former customers are unhappy with their experiences. "No one goes to Chick-fil-A and complains they can't get a burger. And people shouldn't come to Spirit if they want lots of legroom," CEO Ben Baldanza explained to the Wall Street Journal. FYI: Spirit Airlines full name is Damaging The Human Spirit Airlines.  Senate Environment Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe threw a snowball on the U.S. Senate floor, thereby disproving the existence of piles upon piles of scientific evidence for global warming collected over the course of decades by countless climatologists. Check and mate, scientists!  Actor Paul Reubens and producer Judd Apatow will be teaming up to create a new Pee-wee Herman film that will premiere on the streaming Internet service Netflix. “As a fan of Pee-wee Herman since he first appeared on "The Dating Game", I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant Paul Reubens on this film. It is a dream come true," Apatow said in a statement about the project.  So, I have been mentioning this in the last few entries of the Phile, Disney is cashing in on that whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing by rereleasing some of it's classic animated movies with sex scenes. It's true. Check it out.

I wonder what Jasmine is listening to on her iPod. And is Aladdin riding her magic carpet if you k ow what I mean. Moving on...  Speaking of Disney, last Monday I went to have dinner with my sister and her family at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and you never guess what the giraffes were doing.

Hahaha. That picture cracks me up. It's so stupid. Wanna know what else is stupid?

Everybody tells me as I love comic books and I'm such a geek that I should watch "The Big Bang Theory"on TV. I don't know if I would like it but after seeing this picture of one of the characters on the show I might give it a try.

Does she dress like that on the show?  I listen to a lot of music in my spare time and one thing I noticed about indie music is...

It's true, right?  So, did you ever read Facebook's terms and conditions? I did and thought it was rather particular.


If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, a few months ago the Maelstrom ride in Epcot's Norway pavilion closed down to make way for a Frozen themed ride. Well, for years in that ride there was a polar bear who was supposed to make the Guests scared but all he wanted to do was to be a stand up comedian. So, I invited him onto the Phile a few times to tell some jokes and he did pretty good but he is still unemployed. So, once again I thought I'd have him back here to tell some more jokes. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Petter, welcome back to the Phile. It's been awhile, how are you?

Petter: Flott å være tilbake, Jason, jeg er fint.

Me: Ummm... once again, Petter, a lot of my readers probably don't understand Norwegian.

Petter: Min dårlig, beklager.

Me: Okay, tell us some jokes, Petter.

Petter: Why don't polar bears like fast food?

Me: I don't know. Why don't polar bears like fast food?

Petter: Because they can't catch it!

Me: Haha. That's funny.

Petter: What do you call a polar bear on thin ice?

Me: I don't know. What?

Petter: An ice breaker.

Me: That's pretty good. Any others?

Petter: What has four legs and a flipper?

Me: Hmmm. I have no bloody idea.

Petter: A happy polar bear!

Me: That one I don't get... oh, a flipper like a fish?

Petter: Ja.

Me: Good job, Petter. Thanks for coming and I'll see you back here soon.

Petter: Takk, Jason, ha en fin dag.

It's 9:47 AM, 63°F and Kelly's new album comes out tomorrow!

Yes, I am gonna buy it. Alright, the 35th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

My good friend Jeff will be the guest on the Phile a week from today.

Today's pheatured guest is a musician and singer whose new album "Half A Man" is available on iTunes. He will be kicking off his 2015 tour on March 5th at the Lazy Dog in Boulder, Colorado. Please welcome to the Phile the very talented... Any Frasco.

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

Andy: It's good to be here, Phile.

Me: I once interviewed a musician Megan Burtt here on the Phile and she recommended I interview you. I then checked out your album "Love, You're Just Too Expensive" from iTunes and really enjoyed it. Years later I finally have you here. Where and how did you first meet Megan and started working with her? 

Andy: I met the lovely Megan Burtt while I was on the road. We shared the same bill together for a Homevibe Presents show in Denver at the Walnut Room. It only took one or two notes from her voice to know that I have to have her sing on this duet I wrote called "Main Squeeze." It's amazing when life just throws these lovely gifts at you when your not expected them. 

Me: Are you from Colorado as well? 

Andy: Nope, born and raised in Los Angeles but we come to Denver about 4-5 times a year (so I guess we kind of like it).

Me: You are an amazing piano player, Andy. How old were you when you first started to play piano? 

Andy: Well, I appreciate you very much. I've only been playing music for about 9 years and started playing music when I was 19. I use book and manage bands at this indie label called, Drive Thru Records when I was 14. Was a huge music fan but was to stubborn to sit down and learn until my senior year of high school. 

Me: You're into the blues, and your music has been called party blues. I had a few blues players on the Phile in the past, and they all talked about the blues but not one person has mentioned party blues. What is party blues? 

Andy: Party blues is a disco-y bluesy (yep, I'm making up my own words) ass shaking dance party with a lot of horns and a lot of energy. 

Me: How can you party and have the blues at the same time? 

Andy: Because lets face it, everybody at least once in there lives have had the blues (how do we know what happiness is if we don't know what sadness is). Instead of being depressed about it, let's celebrate it. I feel the only way to get through the hurt is to dance it off and live in the moment. 

Me: So, who did you listen to growing up? Who are your main influences? 

Andy: When I was 16 or so I loved Something Corporate, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Damien Rice but my main influences as of today has really been 1970 songwriters like Jackson Browne, BB King, Leon Russell, Van Morrison, Bobby D and The Band. 

Me: You have played with some very impressive people, Andy... Leon Russell, Butch Walker and even John Mayer. How did those instances happen, Andy? Who was your favorite musician you have ever played with? 

Andy: Yeah it's pretty nuts. A lot of them were quite random. For example, we showed up to a gig in New York City... never really played in the Big Apple before and the promoter said when we got there, "Oh, by the way John Mayer is going to be opening for you." I guess he wanted to try out new material to show that wasn't promoted to well. Nuts. But the best experience I had was with Leon Russell. I was shell shocked when I first saw him at sound check. I couldn't say a word (and for me that's quite unusual) but he is the most humble man on this planet when he came up to me. My life has never been the same. 

Me: Very fucking cool. Is there anybody you haven't played with that you would love to? 

Andy: I would love to open for Dave Matthews, Van Morrison or Buddy Guy.

Me: When you were a teenager you used to manage and promote bands. How did you get into that, Andy? 

Andy: One of my biggest mentors Richard Reines, owned this label Drive Thru Records. I thought it was the coolest thing since Swiss cheese. I faked my age so I can fold t-shirts in the merch store then Richard gave me the opportunity to start booking some of his bands. 

Me: Who are some of the bands you worked with? 

Andy: A lot of pop punk bands like Hellogoodbye, Halifax, Senses Fail, Spill Canvas, RX Bandits, Edward Sharpe. 

Me: Are you still doing that kinda thing? 

Andy: Yeah, I love mentoring people. These days I'm mostly focused on teaching new up and coming bands how to book tours and manage themselves so they do not have to rely on others to do their dirty work. 

Me: Okay, let's talk about the "Have A Man" album. That's your fourth album, right? 

Andy: Oh, yeah. 

Me: This is your first proper record deal and you had a really good producer on it, right?

Andy: Yeah, Charles Goodan who produced Beck's "Odelay", and Santana's "Supernatural."  

Me: I have to ask you about your previous album "Love, You're Just Too Expensive." There's a great story where you got that album title, wanna tell it?

Andy: Well, I was in love with this girl who I met in Oklahoma a few years back while we were gigging the Midwest. It was on and off thing for 2 years but then she decided to move to Italy for a new job. Well, my Woody Allen, paranoid mind, thought that if I didn't fly to Italy and tell her how I felt then she'll probably just runaway with some Italian Stallion and I'll never be able to see her again. So I flew to Italy to try and ask her to marry me. Well, that didn't work out as I planned. I came back with a broken heart and 6 dollars left in my pocket. That's why I called the album "Love, You're Just Too Expensive."

Me: You have a band called The U.N., how long have you had that band? 

Andy: The U.N. keeps on changing. I'm for sure a commitment phobe. I guess for about 6 years now... I can't believe they lasted that long with my paranoid mind.

Me: What does U.N. stand for? Is it the obvious? United Nations. I am guessing you are to clever for that. 

Andy: The U.N. basically stands for how music as a language is quite universal. From music I found my brothers and they are from around the world. We all met on the road so I felt like it was fare to call them the U.N.

Me: Andy, congrats on winning the musician of the year at Sundance Film Festival a fews years ago. I didn't know they had such an award. what did you win and what was Sundance like? 

Andy: Yeah, it was pretty amazing, we were announced the best live act that performed at Sundance. The festival is one of my favorites because its quite small and its in Park City (which is awesome)

Me: Did you meet any cool people there? 

Andy: I got to Meet Morgan Spurlock. That was really awesome.

Me: Who were you up against? 

Andy: A lot of local Utah bands and few headliners.

Me: I have to ask you this, you always play barefooted? Why? 

Andy: Haha. It's weird I never wear shoes when I perform... I think I'm claustrophobic. That's why we got the pocketed the term barefoot boogie. Maybe it's also because of how dirty my feet get after boogieing at a couple dive bars we play at... LOL. 

Me: Alright, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What one question would you ask a psychic about the future? I wanna know the date I'm gonna die. 

Andy: What day will it be where I will have the best I've ever had. I love me some food.

Me: Haha. Me too. Andy, thanks for being on the Phile finally. Come back again soon. All the best. Plug your website,

Andy: Thanks, Jason.

Well, that does it for another entry of the blog. Thanks to Andy Frasco for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Friday with the kid's from the band Bad Wolf. 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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pheaturing Jacqueline Goehner

Rabbit. White and gold. Blue and gold, blue and black... fucking hell, we get it... it's a mind blowing phenomenon. Hello, welcome to the Phile. It's March 1st, everybody.  Let's start off with some sad news, shall we? No, we are not gonna talk about me... even though I'm sad. But that's not really news. I'm talking about Leonard Nimoy... the actor who originated the now-legendary half-human/half-Vulcan Mr. Spock on "Star Trek" and lent his voice to countless film and television projects. He succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease this morning at the age of 83. He will forever be remembered for his character's timeless piece of wisdom, "Do, or do not. There is no try." Just kidding.  Racist comic book obsessives are preparing to go into full meltdown mode soon as new rumors bubble up on the Internet claiming that the person under the mask of the soon-to-be-rebooted-once-again Spider-Man will be (prepare yourself) not white. "I'm 95% sure," film reporter Jeff Sneider portends, "Spider-Man's going to be most likely black. But there's a chance he could also be Latino. 95% sure, not white." Time to reinforce the legs on your fainting couch, because there's going to be a lot of portly dudes crashing on it soon.  Militants from the Islamic State entered a museum in Mosul, Iraq this week and took sledgehammers to an untold number of millennia-old priceless pieces of art, claiming that the 3,000-year-old artifacts were religious idols. Cool bunch of guys, huh? According to new polling data from Public Policy Polling, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, a full 49 percent of Republicans still do not believe in evolution, while 54 percent say that President Barack Obama is, "deep down," actually a Muslim. On the plus side, a little more than 10 percent of GOP voters do begrudgingly acknowledge that Obama probably loves the country he's president of. A Tea Party Republican compared Planned Parenthood to ISIS because one of them has to say something crazy each day and it was his turn.  Vasalgel, a contraceptive pill for men, is expected to be released by the Parsemus Foundation at some point in 2017. Every conservative male member of Congress is expected to begin backtracking on their opposition to insurance-covered birth control approximately five minutes later.  Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero will soon announce a highly anticipated project to transplant a human head from one body to another. It is currently unknown whether he will be able to retain sentience in the patient, or whether he will be capable of beating back the monstrous flesh golem that rises from his operating table before it strangles him to death and then heads off into the night to seek more victims.  Firefighters have managed to pinpoint the cause of a house fire in London. A glass Nutella jar sitting on a window sill apparently refracted sunlight in just the right way to cause a small blaze that quickly engulfed the entire building. What a terrible, delicious tragedy. That's one thing I've never tried and that is Nutella. I was told I'd like it but I pretty much doubt it.  Okay, when I saw that picture of The Dress I was thinking, where did I see that Dress before. And then it hit me.

Of course. Haha.  So, that Fifty Shades of Grey movie has been out for a few weeks now and Disney is still rereleasing some of it's classic animated movies with Fifty Shades like scenes. Here's the latest.

Damn. Sleeping Beauty never looked so hot. Haha.  Here's a little known fact about Leonard Nimoy, kids. He used to be in a duo with John Lennon. Don't believe me?

See? That's so stupid. Wanna see what else is stupid?

Hahahaha. I needed something to make me laugh.  Okay, as you know I live in Florida and there's some crazy things that happen in this state that wouldn't happen anywhere else. That's why I have a pheature here called...

Nineteen year old Juanye Jones from Volusia County, Florida went to the hospital Wednesday night complaining of a headache. When doctors examined him, they had a pretty good hunch as to why: he had a bullet lodged in his head. You think you'd notice that, right? Even the other people in the Florida Hospital Oceanside ER were confused. “There was a young fellow in there, about 18 years old. I thought he was in there for something minor and then the police showed up," witness Wayne Saddler told the Palm Beach Post. “I hear he has a bullet in his head. He had a headache and now he has a bullet in his head." It could happen to anyone. Well, actually no. turns out, Juanye had been present at a shooting on Monday at Bethune-Cookman University. Three students had been injured after a shooter opened fire from an SUV, but only two immediately went to the hospital. The third, Jones, thought the bullet had just "grazed his ear," and didn't want to seek a medical opinion. Even on Wednesday, when doctors found his skull had been breached and recommended further treatment, Jones left the hospital, and it is possible that he is still walking around with those fragments. Is he just planning on treating his headache with pills? Motrin may be little, yellow, and different, but bullet fragments are little, silver, and painful. Get those things out!

Leonard Nimoy
March 26th, 1931 — February 27th, 2015
At least he prospered.

I you spot the Mindphuck let me know. By the way, with that Dress, I don't know about you but I see orange and green.

What color do you guys see? Alright, guess what time it is. He's a singer, patriot, and renaissance man. Please welcome back to the Phile our good friend Laird Jim.

Good morning, phuckerz. Am I the only person who doesn't give fuck what color the Dress is? The next time someone thinks of all New Yorkers as uncaring, self centered, bastards... I hope they remember this story. This week on the frigid sidewalk of west 47th street, a red tailed hawk was found starving to death. He was weak and could barely walk, let alone fly. It was so famished that it's body began sustaining itself off of the nutrients of it's internal organs. A passerby noticed it and alerted NYPD officers who wrapped the winged predator in a blanket and gave it a speedy escort to an upper west side animal sanctuary where it is being nursed back to health. I love New York.

This is very cool... the 35th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Our good friend Jeff will be a guest on the Phile next Monday.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is an actress, model, costume designer and cosplayer. Please welcome to the Phile the beautiful... Jacqueline Goehner.

Me: Hello, Jacqueline, welcome to the Phile. So, should I call you Jacqueline or Jackie? What do you prefer?

Jacqueline: Whichever you'd like! I think Jacqueline is prettier, but most people call me Jackie.

Me: Alright, I don't know where to start, you do a lot of stuff. I have to say you are gorgeous. Were you always this gorgeous growing up? I betcha had a lot of guys wanting to date you in school, am I right?

Jacqueline: Awe thank you! It's funny, I was REALLY awkward looking growing up, in fact, I would say pretty bad. I had TERRIBLE acne since I was 8 years old and it didn't clear up until maybe two or three years ago. I was also a bean pole. I remember in theater, I often got male roles because I had absolutely no feminine figure. But it's funny, because I have a twin sister (fraternal) and we look nothing alike! Growing up, she was the pretty twin and I was the smart one. ALL the guys wanted her! I was the theater/nerd girl that was too busy for dudes anyway. 

Me: Where are you from, Jackie?

Jacqueline: I'm from San Francisco, but I grew up mostly in Lodi, CA.

Me: You are known mostly and please correct me if I am wrong, as a cosplayer that plays a character called Witchblade, am I right?

Jacqueline: Yes, Sara Pezzini of "Witchblade" is one of the characters I cosplay.

Me: I have to show a picture of you as Witchblade.

Me: I mentioned this before on the Phile, when I started to go to comic book conventions in the 80s there were hardly any women there, and those that were there looked like guys. No one dressed up. Then what seems like a blink of an eye to me everyone dresses up. When did you start to dress up?

Jacqueline: Well, I think it would have to be since late 2005. It was also my first anime convention too!

Me: Back in my day it was called dressing up, and now it's called cosplaying. I used to say that if you were over 12 and dressed up in public without getting paid there was something wrong. But some of my good friends are cosplayers and I am looking at it in a different light. Anyway, is there money to be made in cosplaying? And how?

Jacqueline: It's funny, because only recently has cosplay been considered more accepting. Even when I started out, you NEVER told anyone "normal" you were a cosplayer because they would think something is really wrong with you. You also never gave out your real name either. I guess since Jessica Nigri, one of the biggest iconic sex symbols in cosplay, started making it a business and lead it in the right direction, I think others have found it very acceptable and even inspiring to cosplay. I don't think cosplayers these days get into it thinking it's a money making hobby. But it is a very expensive hobby, so I think most come up with creative ways to support it. So yes, I think there is some money to made, but I certainly would've ever see this as a life-time career. Costume designing, prop making, special effects makeup, wardrobe, etc... these are related to cosplay and would make wonderful careers!

Me: Okay, your main character is Witchblade. I am a comic book fan but read mostly Marvel so I don't really know who Witchblade is. She's not DC, right?

Jacqueline: Nope! She is a Top Cow character. Although this might interest you! Marvel and Top Cow have had a couple crossovers. In fact, Wolverine and Sara got married in one issue!

Me: I have to thank you for picking that character if you know what I mean, Jackie. Haha. Is she your favorite character? Do you have lots of Witchblade mercy?

Jacqueline: Haha! No problem! She is definitely one of my top favorite characters of all time, definitely my favorite female hero. I still have most of my Witchblade comics back from high school. I've collected a couple Witchblade figures since, but sadly my biggest collection is from Legend of Zelda!

Me: If they made a Witchblade movie, you better be in it. Do you think they'll make a Witchblade movie?

Jacqueline: I would love to be in it, even if I wasn't Sara! The folks at Top Cow know what they're doing. They're getting ready for "The Darkness" movie and I can't see why they wouldn't make a "Witchblade" movie if it does well.

Me: Okay, so let's talk about the costume... what is it made out of?

Jacqueline: It is made of silicone, basically house sealant. Other parts consist of foam and resin, but it's 99% silicone.

Me: It looks so uncomfortable, Jackie. How long does it take you to get into it? And do you need help?

Jacqueline: Believe it or not, wearing it is not so bad! It takes roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour for the costume, hair, and makeup, and depending on which version I wear, sometimes I need help.

Me: You are a costume designer so I take it you designed and made it yourself am I right?

Jacqueline: I did, yes! It took about 3 days to make the costume itself too.

Me: When you first wore it and walked around a convention with guys staring at you did you feel uncomfortable?

Jacqueline: I wouldn't say I was uncomfortable with the stares, I was more worried if the costume will fall off! Haha!

Me: Okay, so, you cosplay any other characters? I do!

Jacqueline: I cosplay Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda series as well as many other characters from the series. I've cosplayed Tifa, Silent Hill Nurse, Starfire, San (Princess Mononoke), Deedlit... .and a lot more!

Me: I live in Central Florida and the big convention here is MegaCon. Have you ever been?

Jacqueline: Yes! I have been there once and I have been aching to return!

Me: What conventions do you go to and what one if your favorite?

Jacqueline: I go to mostly Californian conventions, but I have gone to conventions to Washington, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. My favorite so far is DragonCon.

Me: You are a costume designer mostly, Jackie. Do you create and make a lot of costumes for other cosplayers?

Jacqueline: I do, but I'm trying to do it less as it's been cutting more into my projects. I'm currently finishing up on a Link and Zelda costume and about 22 other commissions.

Me: And you're a make-up artist? Do you do stuff for TV and movies?

Jacqueline: I have done makeup for mostly internet web series, but I have done makeup for movies, mostly indies.

Me: Okay, let's talk about some other stuff you do. It says you are a film director. What kinda stuff do you film? Horror or sci-fi stuff?

Jacqueline: Oh dear! I haven't directed in so long! It was mostly horror and the only reason I did horror was because it's the cheapest! HAHA! I would love to do more sci-fi and fantasy though.

Me: Did you go to school to study film?

Jacqueline: I did not! I learned mostly from my peers in the films I worked in.

Me: You must've studied fashion I am guessing though, am I right?

Jacqueline: Nope! I didn't study fashion either. I studied costume design specifically, but it was all apart of the program I was in.

Me: Okay, you have done some acting. There's something coming out called "Star Trek: Renegades" that you are a part of. First of, is that a new series, or movie?

Jacqueline: I am on the makeup team for that and basically it's a pilot for CBS. If it doesn't get picked up, I'm sure they'll continue it online.

Me: It's not a J.J. Abrams project but is set in the original "Star Trek universe", am I right there?

Jacqueline: Actually it's set sometime after "DS9" (I think! I could be wrong!) eek!

Me: Anybody from the old "Star Trek" show in it, Jackie?

Jacqueline: Why yes! Walter Koenig (Chekov), Tim Russ ("Voyager's" Tuvok), and well, I can't tell you anyone else because I don't know if it's secret or not!

Me: So, who do you play in the movie?

Jacqueline: Oh, I'm not acting in it! I'm on the makeup team... hehe!

Me: Oh. How did you get the job?

Jacqueline: I got the makeup job through Tim Vittitoe and Lisa Hansling, the makeup supervisors/designers. I worked with them on a previous project and they asked me to be apart of this one with them.

Me: Isn't actress Sean Young in it? How was it like working with her?

Jacqueline: She is, in fact I did her hair and makeup! She's a sweet woman and is really full of personality! I'm so glad to have had the chance to work with her!

Me: Another project you acted in is "Millennium Apocalyspe." What is that, and who do you play in that show, Jackie?

Jacqueline: Oh my! That's an old thing I did several years ago! And it was a lot of fun too! I was Special Agent Watts in Season 2, daughter of the character Peter Watts from "Millennium." A lot of fun stories from that production!

Me: If you could only pick one thing to do what would it be? I am guessing dressing up as Witchblade. That I think is what most people want you to continue doing.

Jacqueline: Oh my, I know I wouldn't want to wear that costume in the cold! But if it was just one thing... I would say play with a room full of kittens! I haven't done that in a while.

Me: Okay, I have to ask, with you doing the "Star Trek" project, are you a bigger "Star Trek" fan than Star Wars?

Jacqueline: I don't want to break any hearts, I love them both!

Me: You should audition for the new Star Wars movie, Jackie. Everybody in California wants to be in that movie, am I right?

Jacqueline: Haha, oh no not everyone in California wants to be in film. Besides, I'd need a really good agent to land an audition like that!

Me: Okay, so, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? This is a good one... what would you try if you had no fear?

Jacqueline: Hm... either explore the ocean bed (just go as deep as I can) or fly a plane!

Me: Jackie, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and mention all your websites, and where people can buy your jewelry and stuff. I hope this interview was fun, Jackie.

Jacqueline: Thank you! It was a lot of fun! You can find more of me on or Jackie Goehner on YouTube or Twitter!

Me: So, will you come back again? Take care and continued success and I hope they make a Witchblade movie with you in it.

Jacqueline: Absolutely! Haha I hope so too! Take care.

Ha. She won't be back. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and Jacqueline Goehner. The Phile will be back tomorrow with musician Andy Frasco. Spread the word, no he turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Fuck. That picture made me sad. That was taken in South Carolina a few days before my shoulder accident in October 2012. Remember that? It was our last family vacation. Hmmph. Noiw I'm depressed. Where is that fucking Graham Parker quote?

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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pheaturing Connie Crothers And Jessica Jones

Hey there, welcome to the Phile on a Saturday. How are you, kids?  Hey, tomorrow night it's the Oscars. Let's gather Sunday and pretend we've viewed non-pornographic films this year.  Well, this is good news I think... Louie the Clown... a life-sized clown doll that went missing from an amusement park in Wichita, Kansas a decade ago was discovered in the home of a convicted sex offender who used to work at the park. There, now you know what your nightmares will be about tonight. I wondered what he clown looked like so I had to find a picture.

Ugh. Send this clown back to Hell where he belongs.  A tanker truck accidentally spilled around 350 gallons of raw sewage onto an I-65 exit ramp in Indiana Thursday night. The liquid slurry of feces and urine quickly froze solid in the sub-zero weather conditions, prompting some genius working at the local newspaper Lafayette Journal & Courier to describe the fallout as a "toxic poopsicle." Ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer accepting applications for this year's Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Better luck next year.  A Michigan pediatrician is so very, very sorry that she will be unable to care for the six week old infant child of a lesbian couple, on account of her crippling homophobia. As she explained in a letter to the parents: "After much prayer following your prenatal (visit), I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients." I hope this doctor gets through this difficult time in her life.   According to new data acquired by the New York Times, the average meal at Mexican chain restaurant Chipotle contains approximately 1,070 calories, which is somewhere between two-thirds and half of the recommended calories for one day of eating. It also contains "close to a full day's worth of salt (2,400 milligrams) and 75 percent of a full day's worth of saturated fat." Luckily, most of us only eat there three or four times a week. Myself I think I've eaten at a Chipotle just once last year. I like Tijuana Flats a lot better.  Grizzly bears at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming are apparently emerging from winter hibernation a month earlier than normal, according to park officials. Assuming they're anything like me when woken up early, visitors to the park should avoid them at all costs, lest they be mauled or forced into a unnecessarily vitriolic argument about why there are still so many dishes in the sink from last night. I hate when you're in the shower and a grizzly bear bursts in and gnaws off your good leg. It's true. Haha.  Okay, I mentioned tomorrow is the Oscars. Well, a street artist trolled all of Hollywood with a coke-snorting Oscar statue. Here is a picture of it...

Whose line is it, anyway? Street artist Plastic Jesus put up this amazing statue criticizing Hollywood drug culture right at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, right at the end of the section of the street that will be cordoned off for the Oscars on Sunday. In light of the sad and untimely death of talented comedian and "Parks and Rec" producer Harris Wittels at 30, who publicly struggled with heroin and fatally relapsed this week, the criticism couldn't be timelier.  Hey, do you kids have Comcast? I don't, which is good considering their ad.

How rude.  With the Fifty Shades of Grey movie out Disney thought it'll be cool to cash in and rerelease some of their animated classics with Fifty Shades scenes thrown in. Why? I have no idea. Take a look though.

I have no idea what movie that is supposed to be from. The Princess and the Frog maybe?  I was flipping over the channels the other day and I stumbled upon the original "Star Trek" series and I spotted something I never spotted before.

Hahaha. I'm so sorry, that's so stupid. Wanna see what else is stupid?

That cracks me up. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive Sneak Peeks At This Year's Oscar Acceptance Speeches
5. Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher: And finally, to Rainn Wilson, who told me it would be career suicide to leave "The Office": Fuck you! "Backstrom" sucks!
4. Julianne Moore, Still Alice: And thank you for not nominating Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar... I couldn't have made it through another rome of his confusing nonsensical speeches!
3. Reese Witherspoon, Wild: Do you know who I am? DO YOU? Because I will RUIN YOU, you pathetic... oh, sorry! Wrong speech!
2. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash: Thank you for acknowledging my art... this'll really give me leverage when I renegotiate for those Farmer's Insurance commercials I do!
And the number one sneak peek Oscar acceptance speech is...
1. Michael Keaton, Birdman: In Birdman, I played a has-been superhero actor starring in a pretentious production to win back respect... yet everyone gushes that American Sniper was based on a true story!

How come pretty much every movie sounds like a superhero movie? Birdman, Whiplash, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler... Crazy. Anyway, if you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, I have to mention something important that I forgot to last week when the Phile returned after its sort hiatus. I used to have a pheature on the Phile called The Peverett Phile Rock and Roll Hall of Phame where Joe Ramsey, who was a member of unHOF would induct a different band. Well, last year I mentioned that Joe was really sick. Sadly Joe passed at the young age of 58, on December 29th, 2014, after a long brave battle with health problems. Thanks for all that you did, Joe.

Okay, another friend of the Phile is here to talk about something that is on his mind. He is a singer, patriot and renaissance man, and he hasn't been on the Phile in awhile so it's good to have him back. You know what time it is.

How far, the mighty have fallen... As you may have noticed, I don't go in much for following sports. Two reasons... 1. As I have said in the past, I feel the same about sports as I do about porn. Unless I'M the one getting sweaty and exhausted... I don't care to be a spectator. and... 2. When I was young, we had sports heroes like Mohammed Ali, Joe Namath and Willie Mays. They may have drank or caroused a bit... but we didn't hear about massive cover ups of steroid use, animal abuse, knocking out their wives or attempted murder charges. I just can't look at this lot as role models the way I did as a child. These "role models" are payed absurd amounts of money and lavish contracts to act like common thugs. I'm sorry... it's just wrong... and I choose to watch my children and grandchildren play little league over watching pampered, entitled, criminals throwing away their God given talents in favor of being crass villains in numbered jerseys. And that's all I've got to say about that...

It's 11:48 AM, 65°F and Kelly is playing at Universal Studios Orlando tonight but I'm not going. Anyway...

Today's pheatured guests are two jazz musicians who came together to record "Live At the Freight." Please welcome to the Phile... Connie Crothers and Jessica Jones.

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

Connie: Hi, Jason. Doing very well, thanks... very busy! 

Jessica: Things are sparkling and popping. And glowing and flowing! 

Me: You are both jazz musicians who have separate careers, and now have a new album out together called "Live At the Freight." Have you known each other long? 

Connie: We've known each other for over a decade. Maybe longer, if you count other lives. 

Jessica: Ha, yes, those other lives. It's all been a pleasure. 

Me: This is the first time you two worked together, isn't it? Or at least recorded together? 

Connie: We've performed together before then, but not duo. I was on two tracks on Jessica and Tony's CD, "Nod"... "Bird's Word", my tune, and "Happiness Is", a Joseph Jarman composition. This is the first time Jessica and I performed duo. 

Jessica: I loved working duo with Connie after hearing her in so many contexts. She's got both the power of forcefulness and real sensitivity. You definitely visit places you haven't been before when you play with her. 

Me: Is the Freight The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley? 

Connie: Yes. 

Me: Connie, you recorded there before, right? 

Connie: I'd never been to The Freight and Salvage before, even for coffee (it was a coffee house in its first incarnation). I've been to Berkeley quite a lot. I went to the University there. This was long before The Freight and Salvage was even a thought in someone's mind. I think it might have been there but it was hiding down on San Pablo Ave for the first forty years, not near campus at all. 

Me: I first heard of the Freight when a friend of mine went to see Graham Parker in concert there, and Graham recorded there as well and released a CD. Do you two know who Graham Parker is? 

Connie: I don't know Graham Parker, and I intend to familiarize myself with his music. 

Jessica: I don't know him either, but it must be the new location that he recorded at. The club moved to downtown Berkeley in the two-thousandsies. That's where we played, and the sound of the room and the facilities are amazing... as are the people. 

Me: So, was your CD recorded in front of a live audience? 

Connie: Yes, it was a concert. 

Jessica: Yes, hometown crowd. 

Me: Was that the first show you did together or was it part of a tour? 

Connie: It was the only concert we did. I was visiting family and friends there, not being on tour. It's a little funny that the recording was our first show together, because we have since performed some in New York City and are arranging a spring tour on the West Coast too. 

Me: There's some standards on the CD as well as some improv pieces. Were the improv pieces really improv and done on the fly? 

Connie: One hundred percent spontaneous improvisation, not even a talk-through. 

Jessica: That's how Connie rolls. I can roll with it too. 

Me: One of the pieces is called "Clothespins In a Row." Which one of you two came up with that name? 

Connie: Jessica. She is the one with a fun, quirky sense of humor. Notice, one clothespin. 

Jessica: Okay, that's how I roll I guess. 

Me: Okay, Connie, you play piano, right? How old were you when you started playing? 

Connie: Nine years old. 

Me: Have you always played jazz? Were you into other types of music as well? 

Connie: When I was nine, I began composing. I always felt I would be a composer, create my own music. I played classical music during my childhood, and performed quite a bit. When I went to the University of California at Berkeley, I majored in music, with an emphasis on composition. I couldn't identify with the composition of that particular time, because I felt it was too caught up with procedures, such as serialism, and not enough concerned with feeling and musical beauty. One of my boyfriends had taken me to hear jazz at the Philharmonic. I remember hearing Roy Eldridge and Ella Fitzgerald and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Through a process of logical deduction, I realized that jazz was the other great art music of our time. I couldn't improvise at the time. I studied with an arranger, a radio show host at KPFA, Cous Cousineau, then Lee Konitz, who was temporarily located on the West Coast. Very soon, I left for New York City to study with Lennie Tristano. Everything opened up for me then. Jazz became my life. 

Me: Where are you from, Connie? 

Connie: I'm from the San Francisco Bay area... born in Palo Alto; raised in Redwood City; lived in Woodside, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco. 

Me: Jessica, where are you from? 

Jessica: Berkeley, from 3 years old. 

Me: Jessica, you play sax. How old were you when you started playing sax and how did you end up picking that instrument? 

Jessica: I was 13. I was really late, for my crowd. The unique and innovative jazz program in the Berkeley schools started when I was 8, and I watched kids around me become these great improvisers. I loved jazz but didn't think I could play it. I was taking classical piano lessons and wanted to play jazz, but someone told me when I was 11 that you can't learn it, you either "got it or you don't". Which, as it turned out, was not all that helpful! A better tidbit of advice might have been, "listen to these recordings, and try playing along". Anyway, I kept listening to jazz and there was always a saxophone, so I figured maybe if I picked up that instrument some jazz might come out. Eventually, it did... LOL. 

Me: Not many women play sax, it's mostly a men's instrument, am I right? Or is that a bad thing to say or think? I've never really been PC. 

Jessica: It's no doubt an accurate observation for your experience. If you wanted to be more PC you could say "mostly men play that instrument, right?" cause that makes the instrument's wishes itself neutral... I mean, mine doesn't mind if I play it. But yes, certainly the current landscape has a majority of men. There are a few caveats to that... of course, things are progressing and there are more young women out there now who are visible and playing. A woman sax player, Melissa Aldana, won the sort of American Idol of jazz... the Thelonious Monk Competition last year. However, I think there's a deeper question involved, and more action required than just waiting for things to change. There are a lot of girls playing brass instruments and saxophone in elementary and early middle school. We lose a lot by high school and beyond. There are definitely some changes that need to happen. It's pretty weird to play and have someone think you are exotic or enticing or radical, or make other kinds of judgements because of the sound you want to happen in your music. You know? There is a lot of importance put on how a woman looks (looks playing an instrument, in this case) that is not put on men. I feel like music is just a sonic thing, and it makes me really uncomfortable when people respond to the visual part. But I'm also kind of über shy at heart. We are each on our path. I like the sound of this hunk of metal. I have fun. 

Me: Jessica, you usually perform with a quartet, right? Who is in the quartet? 

Jessica: Well, my husband Tony Jones on tenor sax, like me, and drummer Kenny Wollesen and currently bassist Stomu Takeishi. We played with these rhythm guys 20 years ago and are happy to be reunited with such great players. We were all shortly out of college when we started together, and now we're... well, now we're not shortly out of college. 

Me: Isn't your husband a sax player as well? 

Jessica: He's my favorite sax player (cue the violins!). 

Me: Is that where you met? 

Jessica: We met in high school jazz band. He was a fierce player then too. 

Me: Jessica, did you know there's a Marvel superhero named Jessica Jones? I gather you didn't. 

Jessica: Haha. Yes, I think we are getting a TV show soon! I know who should be composing the theme song, hint hint... 

Me: Jessica, your band which is the Quartet had a name before which was Rhythm Crush, and it was your husband's name. And now it's The Jessica Jones Quartet. How did you convince him and the others to change the name to your name? 

Jessica: Tony and I started the band, and we both wrote for it but I was doing all the legwork stuff. We just changed the name because I had a lot of students at the time and I thought they'd be more likely to come to shows if they realized I was in it. It's kind of hard to get recognition for a band name starting from scratch. I think the name Rhythm Crush would fit into the scene more now though... everyone seems to be two word names like the Demented Toasters and Mysterious Blubber and such. 

Me: I interviewed different musicians on the Phile who work with their spouses or siblings, and I'm always amazed. How is it working with Tony? 

Jessica: It's great. Music is always there as a central part of our relationship, and we are always sharing our excitement about new songs we've heard and so forth. We practice together once in a while, and I love to perform with Tony because there is so much that doesn't need to be said. Sometimes practicing space within a small NYC living space is difficult with two musicians. By the way, it was Tony who turned me on to Connie! 

Me: I interviewed a lot of jazz musicians who also teach. Do any of you teach on the side or have done? 

Connie: I have been teaching since 1972. I only teach privately... individuals, not classes or groups. I only teach improvisation, all instruments. It is a great way to live, a continuously inspiring experience. I teach a lot of kids. Over and over. It's like groundhog day with the 11-14 year olds, for the last 30 years. I hope to graduate soon. 

Jessica: I truly love to teach though, as Connie says it's really inspiring. Kids especially are so creative. I teach at Brooklyn Friends School, and also for jazz at Lincoln Center with, again, 11-14 year olds. 

Me: Have any of you played at Carnegie Hall? 

Connie: I've done five concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall, now called Weill Hall. 

Jessica: Not yet! 

Me: Okay, Jessica, I have to ask you about your daughter Candace. Talent runs in the blood and she's gorgeous. Do you help her with her career? 

Jessica: Ha! She should help me with my career! She is also an astute business woman and sharp as a tack. What I do though, is pull her back into the jazz family periodically, which I know she appreciates. We sometimes perform as a family, and just did at Dizzy's Club in NYC. She's a great performer and, yes, a startling talent. Again, I'm about the sound.

Me: She's a singer, right? 

Jessica: Yes. 

Me: Do you think she'd like to be interviewed on the Phile sometime? 

Jessica: One never knows. A smart parent does not answer for her offspring! I'll happily connect you two. 

Me: Connie, do you have any talented children and is your husband a musician as well? 

Connie: I am not married. Carol Tristano, like a daughter to me, is a great drummer. She was in my quartet with Lenny Popkin for many years. 

Me: Okay, I have to ask you about The Lennie Tristano Foundation. What is that and who is Lennie? 

Connie: Lennie Tristano, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, an incredibly great piano player, an amazing improviser. He was also a great person, a great teacher. When he died, I formed The Lennie Tristano Jazz Foundation with friends... Lenny Popkin, Liz Gorrill, Lynn Anderson and his daughter Carol. At present, the only activity of the Foundation is Jazz Records. One of the concerts I did at Carnegie Recital Hall, "Solo," is on that label. The concert was produced by the Foundation. Jazz Records now produces mostly Lennie's music.

Me: So, with this CD out, will you two be working together again do you think? 

Connie: We have already performed since then, in New York City. We are hoping to organize a tour in California for later on this year. 

Jessica: We're on for the California tour! And throwing stuff out in the universe for future engagements, we'll see what sticks. The world is our oyster. 

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. On the Phile if I remember I ask questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? I'll ask you both the same question. If you could do something dangerous just once with no risk what would you do? 

Connie: If there is no risk, it isn't dangerous. Being a jazz improviser, I like risk. Since I don't control anything that I play, every note is a risk. I don't guide my improvisation, or know what I am going to play, even a split second before, so I am always going into and through mystery. It is an amazing feeling. Having expressed that, I will try to come up with an answer to your question. I would time-travel to the Northeastern American continent, then called Turtle Island, sometime in the 1300s, before the arrival of the Spaniards. As much as I know about it, I identify strongly with the Algonquian nation as it was then. We European diaspora people would have learned a lot from them, if we'd been intelligent enough to know it at the time we arrived. I guess I'd have to say that this isn't really a dangerous idea. However, it might be highly risky. if I went back there and didn't want to return. 

Jessica: Woah. Connie, always able to twist your head around! I was just going to say skydive, but now that sounds kinda dull. 

Me: Haha. Thanks again, ladies. Plug both of your websites and please come back on the Phile soon. 

Connie:, Thank you, Jason. It was fun! 

Jessica: Thanks, Jason!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim, Connie Crothers and Jessica Jones. The Phile will be back next Sunday with cosplayed and actress Jacqueline Goehner. So, 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