Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pheaturing Phile Alum Pete Donnelly

What? I think the Phile was hacked! What is this? Where is the real logo?!

Damn North Koreans. Haha.  Welcome to a Phile for a Thursday, kids. How are you? Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish readers. I think Hanukkah is a pretty cool holiday. Show me a Christian holiday that celebrates fried food and gambling.  Let's get back to North Korea... not literally, but you know what I mean. Officials from the U.S. government have confirmed that North Korea is in fact "centrally involved" in the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment's servers. The craziest aspect of this ordeal is the hackers somehow managed to pull this off with their country's one room-sized, diesel-fueled computer. Shame North Korea couldn't block the release of Frozen.  Now that the U.S. embargo against Cuba is coming to an end, and American travelers are allowed to carry $100 worth of the tropical nation's famous cigars home with them, smoking aficionados are about to make a somewhat shocking discovery: Cuban cigars kind of taste like ass. It remains to be seen whether they taste sufficiently more like ass than other high-end cigars for anyone to care.  Millionaire blowhard and reality TV star Donald Trump has once again declared that he is "seriously considering" a run for the presidency in 2016. "A lot of people think I have fun with [talking about running for president] and I enjoy the process, but the country is in very serious trouble so I am considering it seriously," Trump said on Monday. Is he even allowed to talk about a presidential run and use the word "serious" at the same time? Doesn't that break some kind of campaign regulation? Just found Donald Trump's birth certificate. It says he was born in Douchebagistan.  The American Kennel Club has announced that the Bergamasco Shepherd... a somewhat dog-shaped pile of gross-looking hair with a protruding tongue is included in a list of four new dog breeds that it will henceforth officially recognize.  Hey, kids, gay divorce finally comes to Florida.  A Florida circuit judge yesterday invalidated Florida's ban on gay marriage in order to grant a divorce to a lesbian couple. "For the first time in a divorce case, a judge has ruled that the state laws banning same-sex marriage and the recognition of those marriages is void and unenforceable because they violate Floridians' rights to equal protection under the law and the right to due process," an attorney for one of the women stated after the decision. It also confirms my belief that divorces are actually joyous occasions.  So, it's Hanukkah, and if you are wondering what to buy for your loved one I would go here...

I bet you can get a good gift there.  Oh, just for the record, this ain't me...

I'm definitely not a prince and there's nothing little about me. Haha.  Oh, the other day I showed you
some new Star Wars character names that were revealed on vintage-style trading cards. Here's another one in case you didn't see them...

This is clearly a reference to Dadaist artist Man Ray. Or possibly Ray Romano. Man, that Daisy Ridley is cute. I need to show another picture of her...

Yeah, she's hot.  Christmas is a week away and I have been showing you some pre-written gift tags. Wanna see one?

So, you kids heard of Elf on a Shelf, right? I don't think he's very suitable for kids.

Shit. He's having more fun than I am.  So, I live in Florida as you probably know and in Florida some crazy stuff happens. That's why I have a pheature called...

Shop with a Cop is an event where disadvantaged children are given a small amount of money to go on an outing with police and shop for Christmas presents for their family and friends. The idea of it is to build positive relationships between the community and police officers. Florida man Grant Scott Timm, 35, took advantage of this program at a Walmart in Citrus County, but tweaked it just a little. He decided to Shoplift with a Cop. The Citrus County Chronicle reports that "a deputy found Timm acting suspiciously and removing items in various sections of the Walmart before leaving the store." Going on a shoplifting spree during a Shop with a Cop event is actually a good idea... if you're shoplifting at any other store, because then you know the cops are busy elsewhere. But to shoplift in the store where the event is happening? This guy has chutzpah! Or drugs! Turns out it was drugs. According to the police report, a deputy approached Timm in the parking lot and asked him if he had purchased anything. Timm said no, but said he took some steaks, the report said. Then he removed a package of steaks from his waistband. A bold move, just fessing up to stealing waist steaks like that. He did not, however, fess up to the methadone tablets prescribed to someone else that he had been concealing in a cigarette carton. Timm was arrested for "retail petit theft" for his under $100 theft of pants steaks, and his bond was set at $2,500. The moral of the story here is, you can go shoplifting with a cop, but it'll cost you.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. But I will say this... If you see dolphins, elephants or a monkey, I have bad news for you. Haha. Alright, it's Thursday and there's one main reason I post on Thursday's... it's to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hi there, Jeff, it's another week of football talk. How are you?

Jeff: Always great to be back on the Phile. I am doing all right and I hope that you are as well.

Me: Well, about that. Haha. Never mind. So, last week you mentioned Cam Newton was in a car accident. I haven't heard how he is, have you?

Jeff: Cam Newton admits he is lucky to be alive. His car flipped several times yet he was able to emerge with only a back injury. There are reports he is going to attempt to play this week, but his back up played well so I personally would not start him, even if they are in the hunt for the playoffs. 

Me: And how did Johnny Football do? Where did he get that nickname by the way?

Jeff: I think it was summed up by an ESPN analyst best when he described Johnny Manziel as "first round hype, sixth round talent." He looked terrible, throwing less than a 100 yards of offensive, zero touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It would have been more interceptions but one called back due to a penalty. I know he got the nickname Johnny Football in college, probably because he was the best player the team had ever had. But he is learning the difference between college and the pros. There have been many players who were great in college, but not so much in the pros. Like Tebow!

Me: Haha. Yeah, Tebow is now hosting a Disney Frozen parade on TV. Any other football news? 

Jeff: No big news coming out of week 15 other then the playoff picture becoming a little more clear. Three teams in the AFC clinched their division. The only division in the AFC not set is the Central where the Steelers and the Ravens trail the Bengals by half a game, but Pittsburgh plays Cincinnati in the last week of the season so it will go down to the wire. The NFC is in good shape too. However it looks like who ever doesn't win the NFC East (either Dallas or Philadelphia) will be out of the playoffs. So it will be an interesting last two weeks there.

Me: Jeff, real quick before I forget... there's not gonna be an entry next Thursday as it's Christmas so I'll have you back here in two weeks. Alright, so, how did we do last week? Are you still beating me?
There's no way for me to catch up, right?

Jeff: I am sorry to say that I went 2-0 last week and you went 0-2. Both our teams won though. So I expanded my lead to nine points. It would be very tough for you to beat me, especially without a week 17 for us, but I have an idea on how we can make up for it.

Me: Alright, this week's picks... I say Packers will beat the Bucs by 17 and the Patriots will beat the Jets by 13. What are your picks?

Jeff: My picks are Baltimore to win by 10 and New Orleans to win by seven.

Me: Alright, how can we make up that for not being able to pick in week 17?

Jeff: I was thinking either we pick 4 games in the first playoff week or we designate one special pick that is worth five points if we get it right. Either one would work. What do you think?

Me: That's a great idea.

Jeff: You can only choose one. Either all four picks in the Wild Card or a bonus pick worth five points. What's it going to be?

Me: Oh, I'm an idiot. Let's pick four picks in the Wild Card. Have a safe and fun Christmas, okay? I'll see you back here in two weeks.

Jeff: Merry Christmas to you and your son and to all the readers of the Phile!

Me: Merry Christmas to you as well, Jeff.

See also: Hanukkah, Chanukkah, and Hannukka maybe? I don't even really know the spellings at this point.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and one of my favorite musicians who is an American bass player, singer, songwriter and founding member of The Figgs. He has a new EP out called "American Town" which is fantastic and available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Pete Donnelly.

Me: Pete! Welcome back to the Phile, man. How are you doing?

Pete: Very good. Thanks, Jason.

Me: A few months ago I had Mike Gent back on the Phile. Did you hear his album "The Rapid Shave"? Did you like it?

Pete: Yeah, I think it’s great. Mike has developed a very clean and groovy thing with Ducky Carlisle. 

Me: Do you and he trade your solo CD's or do you make each other buy them?

Pete: Haha! No man. I have his records, he has mine.

Me: So, let's talk about The Figgs real quick. Are you guys working or planning a new album?

Pete: We have just finished the mastering and art for our next album called “Other Planes of Here." It’ll be out in the late winter/spring 2015. Also we’ve recorded much of the follow up already and will be completing that over the winter. Look for that in fall of 2015. Also! We just put out the "Badger " LP which was a reissue of the 2002 EP with 6 unreleased tracks. Becoming then an LP.

Me: Cool. The last studio album was "The Day Gravity Stopped", am I right? Man, that's a great album.

Pete: Yeah, it was the last one. Thanks.

Me: Do you have a favorite Figgs song or album?

Pete: No, I like ‘em all... hahaha! Inside joke. Doug Feiger once said that when asked what his favorite Knack record was. I actually do like them all. It would probably be easier for me to say what are my least favorite songs. Usually, with stuff that’s annoying, like a way I’m singing, I will have the distance from it to be like… so what, it’s cool. But certain things will freak me out every once in a while. We’re in the process of revisiting the album "Lo-Fi at Society High" right now. It’s the records 20th anniversary, we’re going to be playing it in it’s entirety this December. And there’s certainly stuff on there, lyrically especially, that’s hard for me to be comfortable with. Cringeworthy. Haha!

Me: I mentioned to Mike that is has been years since you played in Orlando. Do you remember that show?

Pete: Maybe, I think I remember. Brick sidewalks and a club that was on a first floor tucked in the middle of a block. Could be anywhere! But yes, we need to come back to F. L. A.

Me: Alright, let's talk about your new solo EP "American Town", which I downloaded from iTunes and really like. How did the song "American Town" get to be the title track?

Pete: I’ve been playing the song since I wrote it, a year ago, summer of 2013. I played it first at a residency I was doing in Philly, at Ortlieb’s. So I remember that. Some people had been asking if they could get it. I figured I’d better record it and put it out. Once I had recorded the song I was inspired to cut a few other things. And also I looked at what recordings I had that may not have been finished. There were outtakes from my last record "Face the Bird", that were useable, as well as a song from a while back, like "Palais" era-"Making Changes Overnight". Without too much effort I was able to have an EP. So “American Town” was the impetus and the focus for the whole thing.

Me: Is there a town you were thinking off when you wrote that song?

Pete: No, it sort of speaks to the whole experience of knowing a community is suffering. It could be anywhere. Like Springfield!

Me: So, what is your favorite town, Pete?

Pete: Haven’t found it yet. I love lots of towns. Having grown up in Saratoga I do really like small towns. Back roads, through little towns, I love that.

Me: You live in Jersey, am I right? Do you like living there?

Pete: Yeah, I like it a lot, I’m happy in the kind of town I live in. One where you don’t need a car, and it’s visually pleasing. My kids know the lay of the land, they know their way around, and we know the people at the post office, coffee shop etc... It’s pretty idyllic.

Me: You have two little chldren I think... they sang and appeared in the "Free the Bird' video. I don't think I mentioned that last time you were here. Did they like being part of that song and being on the video?

Pete: I have four kids actually. My teenager didn’t want to be in the video though. She felt it would look odd with her in there. I agreed because it was supposed to be funny. Me with these little kids playing little instruments, flying though space or whatever. We used the green screen. It was fun, took all of 2 hours to make, if that, and yeah, I think they liked it. My daughter most impressed me with how together she was. She came prepared, knew the words, was a total pro! It was a hilarious.

Me: What do they think of your music?

Pete: My music, the Figgs music, the kids know it so well and they respond to it. It’s cool to see because they seem to ‘get it’ on a whole other level. My first son before he could talk or walk went nuts once when the Figgs came over the TV. It was a video I was scanning through or something but he went bananas and shook to the beat. There was other music before and after but nothing affected him like the Figgs music did. And at that point I think he’d really only heard the Figgs in utero. Well, live at least.

Me: So, who plays on the new release with you, Pete?

Pete: Some of the same guys as "Face the Bird". Fred Berman, who plays with Amos Lee, he plays on "American Town" as well as another song on the EP. Also Jim Balga is on drums and Tony Reyes plays some bass. Shelby Lynne is singing on the opening song “So Long”. This tune was started during some of the writing sessions she and I have done. I like it so I finished it back home.

Me: And who did that cover? I kinda like it.

Pete: Brian Meitz did the cover. An artist and musician. His bands are It’s A King Thing and The Not Fur Longs. Both great. I love his art and thought he would do the concept perfectly. And he did.

Me: Since you were here last Lou Reed passed away. I know you must be a big fan of his. Did you ever meet him?

Pete: I didn’t meet him. He did come see NRBQ once when I was playing with them.

Me: You took part in a Lou Reed tribute show, right? What songs did you do?

Pete: "Foggy Notion" and "Love Makes You Feel". Both songs the Figgs have done. That night I had my boys with me, and they were young, I think youngest was just 4. It was nuts, I mean it was packed and the bands playing were noisy and out and stuff. Cool and all but def a new thing for my kids who were jammed on the wings of the stage with me. I just played solo.

Me: So, next year I want to put together a Foghat tribute album, even though I never put together a tribute album before, and have no idea how to start. But if you or the Figgs were gonna take part, what song what you do? You can't choose "Slow Ride".

Pete: I don’t know any Foghat. You’d have to educate me. Now if you’re talking Sabbath.

Me: Okay, I'll send you a CD of songs I'd want you to choose from. So, have you seen or heard from Graham Parker lately?

Pete: I haven’t. I know Mike has been writing songs with him and talks with him pretty regularly.

Me: That's cool! Okay, as you know on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Which other cultures would you choose to be born into?

Pete: A warm climate one. With good earth. Mediterranean, Caribbean.

Me: Pete, thanks so much for being on the Phile again. Go ahead and mention your website and continued success. Please come back again soon.

Pete: Thanks, Jason. Always nice to talk with you.,,,

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and Pete Donnelly. The Phile will be back SUNDAy... not Saturday like I said the other day with Phile Alum Aradia and then on Monday it's The Peverett Phile Christmas 6. 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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pheaturing Lindsay Mac

Hey there, kids, it's Monday and another entry of the Phile. How are you? Let's start with a story about Dick... Dick Cheney on something that Laird mentioned in yesterday's entry.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday in order to justify the Bush administration's use of torture on suspected terrorists, in the wake of a recently released report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I'd do it again in a minute," Cheney declared, while valiantly holding back an urge to lunge across the table and tear the throat of host Chuck Todd out with his teeth. Ask your Dr. Mengele if rectal feeding is right for you.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the highest-profiled legislator on a short list of congress members who seem to place the public good over corporate interests insists that she will not be influencing national debate by joining the Democratic primary next year, telling NPR, "I'm not running for president." When asked to clarify her position on not running for president, she stated, "I told [supporters], 'I'm not running for president.'" Asked to expand upon that position, the Senator explained, "I'm not running for president," and then later, "I'm not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?" This obviously leaves open the question of Sen. Warren's intentions for the 2016 primaries. It seems as though it could go either way.  After having its poorly secured servers hacked and its embarrassing emails stolen, Sony Pictures Entertainment is demanding that the media cease to report on the sensitive materials... such as executives' personal opinions of high-level stars like Angelina Jolie, that have been delivered to them. "If you do not comply with this request, and the Stolen Information is used or disseminated by you in any manner, SPE will [have] no choice but to hold you responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use," a Sony lawyer wrote in a three-page letter to multiple news organizations. It should be pointed out here that this is a PR tactic that rarely, if ever, works.  If you're tired of having every person in your life feeling as though they can comment on your diet and influence the foods you eat, you may be getting a break from all that soon. Researchers are working on a new vending machine with facial recognition functionality that will be able take over those people's jobs and decide what snack products it's willing to serve you, based upon how fat and gross you are. The scariest movie ever is your own reflection in the vending machine when you see your candy bar is stuck.  "The Newsroom", Aaron Sorkin's ode to how much smarter he is than everyone in the media and most people in the world... ended its third and final season on HBO last night to the great disappointment of its viewership, which is to say the several dozen or so TV critics who were still watching it in order to write about how much they disliked watching it. That's another show I never watched that I was told I would like. I watch a lot of TV but nothing worth while it seems. That reminds me, I need to catch up on "Nashville"... that's a great bloody show.  Hey, I have to mention tomorrow is Hanukah. Hanukkah is eight days because it takes that long for people to realize it's Hanukkah. Haha.  It's winter, and most places in the county there's snow. But not in Florida. Haha. Anyway, they released a really clever inspirational poster I thought you kids would like.

I thought it was clever.  Chrostmas is coming in ten days and there's a lot of pre-written gift tags that are available and I have been showing some of them off here. Here's the latest...

Counting Crows? Are they still together? I bet I can get them on the Phile now.  Do you kids like that Elf thing? What is it? Elf on the Shelf, right? Well, I don't think it's aimed for kids anymore...

What is he doing? I have no idea. That crazy Elf.  Yesterday I told you about some new Star Wars character names were just revealed on vintage-style trading cards. I showed one yesterday and I'll show another one today.

I hope it's on its way to get a better name. I'm sorry, but BB-8 is a terrible name for an astromech droid. I would have called it CC-12.  So, are you having problems figuring out what to get your loved ones for Christmas? For the past few weeks I have been showing you some weird and crazy products you can get from Amazon and I have the last one to show you here...

The 55 gallon tub of lube. Because you never know when you're about to have the best damn weekend of your life. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Phive Menu Items McDonald's Will Be Getting Rid Of
5. Thumbs-N-a-Bun.
4. Quater-Poinder with Angina.
3. Crispy JalapeƱo Bacon Thing.
2. 33-Oz. Ketchup Chug.
And the number one menu item McDonald's is getting rid of is...
1. Apple Slices (Finally!).

Hannukah is a festival that celebrates how one joke lasted for eight Adam Sandler songs.

This is an easy Mindphuck. If you spot it, let me know. By the way, yesterday's Mindphuck had even me stooped. This is what it was...

I was fooled but a lot of you weren't. I was told to Google "Liu Bolin Panda" and I did. Here's a better picture to show you what is going on...

Well played, Ninja man, well played. Moving on...  As you know I have a music project called Strawberry Blondes Forever and we have a Christmas single out called "Christmas On My Mind", here is the artwork for it.

You can download it off iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, or pretty much anywhere. Please download it, kids. It's a fun song. Go ahead and go to

Today's pheatured guest is a singer/songwriter/cellist whose new album "Animal Again" will be available soon, and the new single "Remember" is available now on iTunes. I;ve been wanting her on the Phile since 2008 and I'm glad she's here. Please welcome to the Phile... Lindsay Mac.

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

Lindsay: I’m great, Jason, thanks. I hope you are doing well also!

Me: As could as can be expected. Haha. I am so glad you are here finally as I tried to reach out to you in 2008 to interview you. I love your album "Still Thinking." That was your second album, am I right?

Lindsay: Awesome and thank you! Yes, it was my second album. The title is actually "Stop Thinking" but that’s probably cause I’m still thinking. =)

Me: I'm an idiot, of course it was "Stop Thinking." I still love that title track. What is that song about, Lindsay?

Lindsay: The song is about trying to quiet all the noise inside of your own head. I guess sometimes it can be useful but generally I have found it to be pretty counterproductive.

Me: Lindsay, you're based in Massachusetts, am I right? Are you originally from there?

Lindsay: I’m based in Cambridge, Ma but I grew up in Iowa. That sounds pretty different but I grew up in a university town so there are a lot of similarities actually.

Me: Did you end up moving there to go to school?

Lindsay: Yeah. I went to school in New Hampshire first but then relocated to Boston to go to Berklee College of Music.

Me: You went to Berklee? I think 90% of the musicians I interviewed here went to Berklee. What did you study and did you have a good time there?

Lindsay: It was incredible. That’s where I really worked on my creative voice. A very special time for me.

Me: You are mostly known as a cellist, and I think with the new album "Animal Again" there's not a whole lot of cello on it, am I right? At least on the single "Remember."

Lindsay: You’re right, virtually no cello. I bow it in some of the string sections on the album but nothing like I used to play it.

Me: How old were you when you first started to play cello and how did you end up picking that instrument?

Lindsay: I was in 4th grade and in a public school where everyone got to pick an instrument. I realized that maybe I would get more rides to school from my parents if I picked a big instrument, so the cello was it! My plan pretty much worked!

Me: When you sing on stage playing the cello, you do something out of the ordinary. You don't use a bow, am I right?

Lindsay: I used to perform with the cello and with no bow like you say, but not anymore.

Me: I bet some jazz snobs or music snobs thought you weren't doing it right. Did you get any grief?

Lindsay: At first, or maybe always but they never had enough guts to tell me to my face. Mostly people started to think it was cool and I have taught many master classes to cellists who wanted to learn how!

Me: How did you come up with the idea to play that way and did it take a lot of practice?

Lindsay: Yup, a ton of practice. But I was a Berklee so practice time was easy to find.

Me: I have a picture her elf how you played the cello all that time...

Me: There was a large gap between your new album and "Stop Thinking." You were in an accident and hurt your back, am I right?

Lindsay: I wasn’t in an accident but my back just had had enough. The way I held the cello and the countless days on the road made it so that I could barely move. The doctor showed me the MRI and that was the end of that for awhile. I wrote the new album while my back was healing.

Me: Okay, so, your new album has a more pop sound, Lindsay. Have you been listening to a lot of pop music?

Lindsay: I’ve always listened to pop music. But I would say I listen to more of it now.

Me: What bands did you listen to growing up?

Lindsay: REM, The Police, Tori Amos, Radiohead, Sarah Maclaughlan, Moby, Death Cab, everybody.

Me: So, how long did it take you to write "Animal Again"? Where did the album title come from?

Lindsay: I don’t know how long it took... but too long! It’s about coming back into one’s (or my) primal nature. To feel a beat and have it move you... literally, as in against your chest... to have the music circle around and envelop you. Basically to make music as much of a physical experience as a cerebral one.

Me: Singer Lila Rose who I interviewed on the Phile a few times has a new album coming out called "WE.ANIMALS." Have you heard of her? I think you and Lila should meet. I bet you two would make great music together.

Lindsay: I don’t know her but sounds like we think alike!

Me: Anyway, on the album you use EDM. What is that exactly?

Lindsay: I guess I don’t know what it is technically, but to me it’s a type of music that has a strong beat and was created, in large part, with synthetic instruments on a computer.

Me: Are you glad you didn't have to play the cello as much on this album?

Lindsay: Yeah. I love the cello with all of my heart but I needed a break. I feel really free not having any predetermined instrumental ideas.

Me: Lindsay, are you the only one who uses cello as a rock instrument? I think Nirvana had a cellist on stage when I saw them in concert once. But you don't see it too often.

Lindsay: Nah, there’s a lot of cool cellists out there. Maybe not ones who strap it to their chest and pluck it like a guitar like I did, but plenty of creative and talented people rocking it on the cello.

Me: Do you have a favorite cellist?

Lindsay: The easy go to is Yo-Yo Ma, but I’ve had the opportunity to meet and play with him and he just makes you feel good about life and music. That’s a really special gift.

Me: Alright, I have to ask you about the album cover. Beautiful. Whose idea was it for you to be topless?

Lindsay: It was mine. I wanted there to be a simplicity to the shot that we could only get by not having fabric.

Me: Were you comfortable in the photo shoot?

Lindsay: Definitely. It’s art!

Me: Okay, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? If you could have another name what would you choose?

Lindsay: Matilda.

Me: Lindsay, thanks so much for being on the Phile at last. Go ahead and mention your website. Please come back soon. All the best. Take care of yourself.

Lindsay: It’s Thanks, Jason, it’s been my pleasure!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, kids. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Pete Donnelly and then on Saturday with Phile Alum Aradia. There won't be a Phile on Sunday but next Monday is the Peverett Phile Christmas 6. 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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pheaturing Mike Louttit From Fractal Control

Hey there, and welcome to a Sunday entry of the Phile. How are you?  Outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry... who is expected to make another run for the White House in the next election cycle, pointed out in a recent interview that "running for the presidency's not an IQ test," as should be plainly obvious to anyone who observed the 2012 Republican primaries. Oddly, this is the smartest thing that Perry has ever been quoted as saying. Rick Perry claims running for the presidency's not an IQ test? They’re kind of similar though since he’s failed at both.  The U.S. government has announced that it will not interfere with Native American tribes who opt to grow and sell marijuana products on their land, which means that people all over the country are right now hitting Google to find out how close they are to the nearest reservation. So, if marijuana gets high, is that cannibalism?  Pope Francis was recently heard comforting a small child whose dog by saying that "one day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures." Due to the Catholic Church's policy of Papal Infallibility, this means that the Kingdom of Heaven is now obligated to admit entry to all pets. Recently deceased people should expect long lines at St. Peter's Gate, as an enormous backlog of dogs, cats, hamsters and iguanas queue up to get inside. Poor Snoop must be kicking himself for becoming a lion.  According to new study in the British Medical Journal, men are far more likely to die due to easily preventable and embarrassing circumstances than women. This is being seen as proof of the "male idiot theory," which theorizes that males are idiots. Judging from Super Bowl commercials, you'd never guess fat, stupid men built and ran America for 122 years before we let women vote.  Someone alert Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson that his title of MVP of Christmas (for buying over $16,000 worth of toys for children in the care of Family Services) is in danger. An anonymous woman walked into the Toys "R" Us location in Bellingham, Massachusetts and donated an amazing $20,000 to wipe away the layaway balances for 150 families who were saving up for Christmas gifts from the store. It was all the layaway debt that store had.  One mother told the Milford Daily News that she almost didn't pick up the phone call she received from Toys "R" Us that day because she was afraid the store was going to tell her they were canceling her layaway plan because she missed a payment. Instead, the employee told her she could come pick up her present early. "I thought, 'You have to be kidding me,'" said the single mother, Linda, "I almost wanted to cry. It was only $50, but to me that's a lot of money, and that someone would go and do that gave me chills." Indeed, many parents reportedly did break into tears at the news that they would, indeed, have Christmas for their kids this year.  In a statement, Toys "R" Us said, "This incredible act of kindness is a true illustration of holiday giving at its best." I concur! And it's even sweeter that she did it anonymously. The Milford Daily News did confirm that the woman is a local resident and "a bubbly older woman" who told the store manager (after hugging him), "If you have it, give it." But, can you take some anonymous pictures next time? Won't someone please think of the bloggers?  I have to mention this before we move on as it's big Star Wars news... Lucasfilm and Disney just released some fake, old-school-looking trading cards for the much-much-much-much-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which should hit theaters a year from now. Aside from them their design being kind of nostalgia-inducing for old nerds like me, the fake cards are just rehashing images from the trailer that blew up the Internet over Thanksgiving weekend. However, they do contain a little bit of new information: character names! For example, we now know that John Boyega is playing someone named something Finn or Finn something.

As this is a universe of George Lucas's crafting, it's probably something like Finn Planethopper or N. Tegrity Finn. Here is his card.  Okay, you know about that Elf on the Shelf, right? Well, it looks like J.J.Abrams took over that story as well...

Haha. I like how the Wampa is just staring with the others.  So, Christmas is around the corner and I have been showing you some real and crazy products you can buy for your loved ones on Amazon. Here's the latest...

Who cares if people think you're putting feminine hygiene products in your mouth. The important thing is, you're drunk!  Also I have been showing you some pre-written gift tags that are available. I think that was the set up. Anyway, here's another...

Okay, as you know I lie in Florida and some crazy stories come out of this state that would not come out of any other state, so that's why I have this pheature called...

Heidi Creamer (not a porn name) from Florida (I swear she's not in porn) got into a physical altercation with her twin sister Holly over her boyfriend and a sex toy... okay, she might be in porn, but I don't have any evidence of it. This is no Haley Mills Parent Trap twin action, this is more of a twin scenario of the Linsday Lohan variety. The 48 year old sisters live together with Heidi's boyfriend in an apartment, and while the boyfriend was out, the womb-mates got into a verbal altercation that turned physical. According to the police report, Holly and Heidi were yelling in the doorway, when Heidi punched her genetic identical with a closed fist. Holly landed on her back, and began kicking Heidi away. Heidi then "punched, scratched, and pulled Holly's hair in the struggle." Sorry, there weren't any cameras running. Heidi then began to grab her belongings and announced she was going to leave, and Holly slammed and locked the door behind her. Heidi went up to the third floor balcony and started screaming at neighbors to call the police.  Someone must have put down the popcorn long enough to make that call, because police arrived shortly after, where they found Heidi "screaming obscenities" at her sister and pounding on the door. The cop cuffed Heidi and locked her in his squad car for his own safety. When he tried to read her her Miranda rights, she "began screaming that she was fighting with her sister Holly over a vibrator and her boyfriend." The report does not say exactly why Heidi and Holly were fighting over the man or the man-replacement, so we can only hope Holly pulled the ole switch-a-roo on Heidi's boyfriend and duped him into having sex with her, which has got to be the only advantage to having to share your DNA. Heidi was charged with battery and assault and booked into county jail.

Both of these photos are of Heidi, but really, what's the difference?

By the way, no, I don't think she's that hot. Haha.

This is another Mindphuck I do not get. A Phile reader sent this too me and said it's a famous one but I don't get it. If you spot it please let me know, kids. Ugh, it sucks when I don't even know what the Mindphuck is. By the way, did you see those shooting stars last night? I had no idea what was going on, I thought I was imagining it, or it was a spaceship, but apparently last night was the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower. About one meteor trail per minute was expected, appearing to radiate from a direction in the sky near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini. I saw it twice... fucking cool. You know what else is fucking cool? Laird Jim. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. Happy Sunday, phuckerz! Pardon me for not getting all weepy over our government's recent disclosure that we employed torture techniques on terror suspects in Guantanamo. These people seek to destroy our country and kill civilians wholesale. Over THERE, they behead us... Over HERE, we "waterboard" them and force them to listen to Twisted Sister to keep them awake. Boo-Fucking-Hoo... You know what waterboarding is? You're held down with a towel over your mouth and nose while water is poured over your face. Everyone who's had it done to them THINKS they're going to die. THAT'S why it works. The cold, hard fact is... in all the time that America has used this technique, not ONE single person actually died from it. There are good men around who must engage in questionable practices in order to keep our children safe in their beds at night... let them do their jobs and stop fucking whining about it. We live in a scary world where evil must be kept at bay. You can NOT reason or negotiate with insanity. Wanna play nice and sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya, hoping for the best out of humans? Fine... let me know how all THAT works out for you.

It's 11:19 PM, 57°F and forget the baby River, is Kelly holding a cup from Wawa?

No, I don't think it is. Must be Starbucks. Oh, well...

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the founder and creator of the rock/metal instrumental project Fractal Control whose new album "Disconnected Equals Freedom" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike Louttit.

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

Mike: Good, thanks. 

Me: So, man, you are very secretive. You only have one publicity picture and I almost used this fist squeezing a DNA strand logo. 

Mike: Yeah, I just finished taking some photos so they should be out there now. But yes, I came up with the logo and had an artist draw it for me.

Me: I did find one other picture of you I think with a cute girl. Is this you?

Mike: I'm not sure which photo your talking about but I'm a guy.

Me: I know you're a guy... never mind. Okay, so, should I call you Fractal or Mike?

Mike: Mike is fine.

Me: Where did the name Fractal Control come from and what does it mean?

Mike: I came up with the name in context to the theme of the band, which a fractal, roughly speaking means a pattern that repeats itself, which for this means the repetition of controlling the majority of people by repeating similar practices over and over again throughout decades. For example many years ago labor was controlled by enslaving people. Now labor is controlled not by enslaving people directly but by controlling wages. If money is controlled which it is through the federal reserve, they determine the value of money even if its somewhat indirectly, then you control the labor indirectly without them really knowing. So going with the theme of the band in the future I imagine there will be something similar to what happened in the past and what is happening now, that will control money/labor.

Me: You started to play guitar when you were very young, but didn't really want to take lessons, am I right?

Mike: Yeah, I started when I was about 8 but the only way my parents would buy me a guitar is if I took lessons, which is fair I think.

Me: Your parents didn't force you to play guitar?

Mike: They didn't force me to play guitar I wanted to learn.

Me: Did you play any other instruments as well?

Mike: Yeah, I play guitar, drums, bass and piano.

Me: Are you glad you took those guitar lessons, Mike?

Mike: Mostly, I learned some important fundamentals at a young age and I think that helped later on. I stopped taking lessons after a few years and then when I was about 16 I started buying some instructional books and I think having the lesson earlier made it easier for me going through those books.

Me: What was the first song you learnt growing up?

Mike: The first song I learned, that I wanted to learn was "Chop Suey" by System of a Down.

Me: Ah, I don't know that song. So, I take it listening to your music you are a heavy metal fan. What bands did you listen to growing up?

Mike: Yeah, but metal isn't the only type of music I like. System of a Down was one of the first bands I really go into. Then later on I discovered Death which is still one of my favorite bands. I also like some lighter stuff like older Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria, and Alice In Chains. Some other influential bands for me would be Buckethead, Animals As Leaders, Nile, The Human Abstract.

Me: Were you ever in a band?

Mike: I've been in a few local bands.

Me: Let's talk about your CD "Disconnection Equals Freedom." I guess that is partly true. How did you come up with that title, Mike?

Mike: The title can mean that disconnecting yourself from anything that might be holding you back from truly being yourself can bring you freedom. Not worrying about what someone will think of what you say or do even if it could be controversial. Disconnecting yourself from thinking that you don't want to step out of line because of what someone else may think, it can bring real freedom.

Me: So, who plays on the album with you?

Mike: I wrote and recorded all the parts myself.

Me: There's only limited talking on the album, and no singing. Is that you doing the talking on the song "Hidden Truth"?

Mike: No, I wrote the lyrics but it is computer generated.

Me: When I first heard the intro I thought it was a Dick Dale sounding song, but then the heavy metal guitars kicked in. How many guitars are on the track?

Mike: There are 3 guitar parts on that song, the clean guitar, distorted rhythm guitar, and lead.

Me: The album was influenced by the movie Zeitgeist: The Movie, am I right?

Mike: Somewhat, no so much the movie itself but some of the ideas in the movie.

Me: I don't know anything about that movie. What is it about?

Mike: It is a documentary about a few different things but I think most importantly it sheds light on how the federal reserve works. More importantly how the federal reserve is privately run by the biggest banks in the country and they control interest rates and the creation of money without really any over site. This in turn seriously effects the purchasing power of our money by devaluing it and therefore essentially robbing everyone of wealth.

Me: Is that your favorite movie of all time?

Mike: Not really but I think it is an eye opening movie for most of the people that see it.

Me: So, I am sure the album has a theme but being instrumental it's hard to figure out. What's the theme of it, Mike?

Mike: The whole theme behind the album and the band really is this. It's set in a future where if the world continues as it is humans and technology will be intertwined and it will be hard to distinguish between the two. In this future technology has taken over and enslaved humans without them even knowing. I think it can be relatable to today in the fact that most people don't understand how our financial system works and how we are somewhat slaves to the debt based monetary system and a lot of people don't know or understand it.

Me: I see. Okay, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Oh, this is a good one for you... and it really is random. Would you go to war if you were drafted?

Mike: No.

Me: Me neither, but I'll doubt I'd get drafted. Haha. Alright, thanks for being on the Phile. Go ahead and mention your website if you have one. Continued success, Mike.

Mike: Thank you. My CD is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Spotify and more.,

That was a very confusing interview, and unexciting, but I don't blame Mike... I blame myself. Alright, thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Mike Louttit. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Lindsay Mac and then on Thursday with Phile Alum and one of my favorite musicians Pete Donnelly. 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