Monday, May 23, 2016

Pheaturing Steve McCormick

Hey there, good morning and welcome to the Phile for a Monday, people. How are you? Let's start with a story about a couple who were arrested for having sex during Batman v. Superman... the only people who enjoyed the movie. A couple was arrested in Manchester, United Kingdom during a screening of Batman v Superman because the guy's little Man of Steel leaped into the woman's Batcave mid-movie. According to "The Mirror," movie theatre (it's the U.K.) staff confronted the pair, who were enjoying some superheroic sexy time as Lex Luthor orchestrated a showdown between Superman and Batman. Hopefully, they waited until after (yet another) sequence of Batman's parents dying. They were presumably turned on by all those longing stares between Supes and Bats. Or maybe they were bored by the movie and found a different way to entertain themselves. The couple, horny and drunk, did not take well to being interrupted mid-coitus, and the guy went and punched the employee. The woman was arrested for public indecency, and the man was arrested for both indecency and assault. This never would have happened at the much-better Captain America: Civil War.
Okay, did you people see that video of the woman in the Chewbacca mask? Here's a screen shot of the woman with her new favorite thing in the whole world.

The woman, Candace Payne, filmed herself with an item she just bought that is basically giving her an orgasm of happiness. Not a sex toy... a talking Chewbacca mask. SHE IS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS MASK, Y'ALL. She doesn't even bother trying to hide her glee. It would be impossible to, anyway. The joy would just bubble up and escape from the seatbelt and flow under the car and float her home on an ever-rising wave of delight. Has anyone ever been this happy about anything? Probably not. Will anyone ever again? Doubtful. She's cornered the market on happiness. If you need happiness, you'll have to borrow it from her. She just cannot stop laughing and clapping. She's very clear that the talking Chewie mask isn't for her sons, it's absolutely, 100% for her. "When it's said and done, at the end of the day, this is MINE that I bought, and I'm gonna keep it for my own." Hey kids, cheer up... no, you don't get a toy, but you do get to see your mom in a state of cackling euphoria. Who is she making this video for, though? The answer is: for you. She made it for you. So you can see, for once in your pitiful life, what true jubilation looks like. And what does it look like? It looks like a hysterical, slightly unhinged woman in a talking Star Wars mask. Enjoy.
George Zimmerman continues to milk his infamous shooting of an unarmed teen for all the publicity it's worth, and now he's squeezed that rock so hard money actually came out. After trolls like "Racist McShootface" and "Weedlord Bonerhitler" caused the auction for the gun that killed Trayvon Martin to close early, the United Gun Group (ugg) has finally managed to keep it open long enough for the firearm to sell. It went at the shameful sum of over $120,000, according to TMZ. Not that $120,000 is a specifically shameful number, but anything above zero seems too much for the weapon that killed a kid and brought George Zimmerman into the public consciousness. Apparently a verification system is to thank (blame) for keeping the auction unmolested by fake users, and in the end only seven people ended up bidding. Zimmerman still must approve of the sale before it's final. Hopefully, this is the last you'll ever hear of him, but he's probably 2020's big political star to watch.
The O.J. Simpson verdict was one of the most-watched television events in history. Around 150 million people, that's 57% of the country, stopped everything they were doing at 10 am to watch what many believed to be a guilty man be declared free to go. Every part of the verdict was shocking, not the least of which was when O.J. leaned in to whisper to his council Robert Shapiro. Shapiro has never revealed what Simpson said in those first moments after the acquittal, until talking with FOX's Megyn Kelly Tuesday night. As Shapiro told Kelly, O.J.'s first words after being found not guilty were, "You had told me this would be the result from the beginning. You were right." If you take a look at Shapiro's reaction to O.J., he immediately checks the camera, terrified that someone might have heard. It's like he thought he'd been caught. When Kelly asked if he really believed Simpson was innocent, he gave what seems like resounding lawyer-speak for "no." "As far as moral justice," he told Kelly, "I haven't discussed it with anyone, including my wife." Yeah, you can't unburden yourself about how you probably got a double murderer off; it could really cause a rift in your marriage. Best to never speak of it again. Or until you're back on the news; whichever comes first.
You know how women are always saying, "Man, I wish a startup would climb inside my vagina?" Well finally, one is: my.Flow, the Bluetooth-enabled tampon, is here to bring startup culture to your vaginal canal. The idea is that my.Flow helps you avoid messy situations by sending you text updates on how full your tampon is and when you should change it. Technically, the tampon itself isn't Bluetooth-enabled. The only thing that's weird... I mean innovative about the actual tampon is that it has a super-long string that hooks directly into a "flow monitor." (It's sort of like when you make a telephone out of two cans and a string as a kid, except one of the cans is in your vajay.) Then, you walk around with the tampon-connected flow monitor on your waistband or underwear, which will surely look really cool next to the belt-mounted cellphone holster you already wear (Siri, take a note: lock down patent on duo cellphone/my.Flow holster). When it's not on your pants, my.Flow lives on your keychain, because as the old saying goes, "Keep your friends close, but your period monitor closer." In the company's video, Here's the company's video, which has a super awkward start with a record scratch and then a dude asking, "Wait, what? How did she know how full her tampon is?" because nothing puts ladies in the mood to learn about new menstrual products like cheesy video effects and men talking. (That said, this company is co-run by a man and a woman, which is much better gender equality that most start ups.) The app does track your period, which is cool. It gives you month-to-month stats on duration, heaviness of your flow, etc. But is it necessary? Somehow, miraculously, women have managed their periods without Bluetooth hooked up to their bits for thousands of years. And many accidents don't come from not knowing when to change your tampon, but rather from things like getting your period earlier than expected. So, my.Flow, here's the real question: how can you get Bluetooth all the way up into the uterus?
So, I don't know if you know anything about me, but one thing I will tell you is that I never break any rules. Haha. Really. Ummm... anyway. I don't. Unlike this guy...

He's so rude as well. So, have you seen Trump's new look? I have no idea what happened to him.

He looks like Sanders now. Almost. No tan and no wig. Hahaha. Speaking of Trump, you know there's a new Trump movie, right. Here's the poster for it...

Hmmm. Budweiser just announced that, through November, their beer would be renamed “America.”  Here on the Phile, I got a chance to see the new label. Check it out, kids...

I have no idea what to think. Okay, and now form the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Phacts About The New Burger King Spa
5. Ripping quest beef-farts in the sauna isn't just tolerated... it's expected.
4. The sauna-steam is activated by pouring ice-cold Dr. Pepper onto piping-hot hash browns.
3. Relaxing ambient music mixes pleasingly with the sound of cooks screaming at each tier to hurry up with the damn sausage biscuits.
2. It's perfect for patrons who are used to sweating excessively while they eat.
and the number one phact about the new Burger King Spa...
1. For many, this won't be the first time they've ever been naked in a Burger King.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, ever hear the saying "zero fucks different"? I hear that quite a bit in my personal life, and never really knew what it meant... until now. So, here's a new pheature simply called...

Yup. And now for some sad news...

Morley Safer 
November 8th, 1931 — May 19th, 2016
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Alan Young 
November 19th, 1919 — May 19th, 2016
A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a corpse of course.

The 48th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Laura will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a British singer whose album "Lowlights and Footnotes" is available at and the British version of iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Steve McCormick.

Me: Hi there, Steve, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Steve: Rubbish! Very sore throat and my glands are up, so I've been better!

Me: I have to say I purchased "Lowlights & Footnotes" from Amazon and really, really liked it. Good job. Did you produce it yourself?

Steve: I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wrote, recorded, played every instrument and produced the album single-handedly, other than pedal steel and the mastering. It wasn't because I was trying to be a smart-arse, it was down to the fact that I didn't have a live band (I do now) and I have a home studio. I should clarify the home studio comment though... it's a room that is about 6ft x 7ft, hence the reference to Spare Room Studios in the sleeve notes.

Me: So, what's wrong about being another English cowboy? I love that opening track by the way.

Steve: There are two things to this... the first being fake Americana accents, wearing Stetsons and trying to be American. There are few things as cringeworthy as hearing somebody singing in a full-on yee-haw accent, then speaking between songs in a regional English accent. Also, if you have ever visited a traditional C&W club in the U.K., you might well have witnessed the peculiar phenomenon of grown men dressing up as cowboys and having cap gun fights. I'd advise any Americans visiting the U.K. to try and get to a C&W night in a social club and see it for themselves. It's an experience.

Me: Speaking of England, you're from Carlisle, right? That's in Cumbria if I believe. For those that don't know, in relation to London, where is Carlisle?

Steve: Carlisle is pretty much as close to Scotland as you can get, just a few miles before the border, and well-known historically for exchanging hands between England and Scotland. Despite it's history, it's a cultural backwater. It's just before Gretna Green, which I a well-known tourist spot.

Me: I was born in London but lived in Oxford for a few years. Do you get out to Oxford to play much?

Steve: I've never played Oxford but it's a beautiful city. Hopefully within the next year we'll make it there with the band.

Me: Speaking of playing, Steve. You played a number of festivals in the U.K., including the Cockermouth Rock Festival. What kind of festival is that? I would be careful to play in places with names like that. Haha.

Steve: Haha. Cockermouth is indeed an amusingly named town. Its festival sadly turned out to be populated mostly by cover bands, playing the latest Killers, etc. Not my idea of a great day out.

Me: I checked out your influences and two names stuck out... Ron Sexsmith and Squeeze. I interviewed Ron and John Bentley from Squeeze on the Phile, y'know...

Steve: A little name dropping there. Ha.

Me: Yeah. Guilty. Anyway, have you ever met any of your influences or even better opened for any of them?

Steve: I met Ron a few years back but just after a gig as a paying punter, and also Robbie Fulks. I felt like a total tit on both counts really, as I felt quite nervous. I've since sent Robbie a copy of my album and he gave me some very kind feedback. I'd love to open for him on tour.

Me: I was surprised in your list on your bio you didn't mention Graham Parker, but you did mention Randy Newman. Is there a reason for this?

Steve: Totally honestly, I've never heard him. I'll open up Spotify now!

Me: Speaking of Robbie Fulks, his tribute album to Michael Jackson is great.

Steve: Yeah. "Billie Jean" is a cracker.

Me: Steve, apart from doing your own thing, you are working with a singer named Annette Stubbs, right? How did you two meet and what does your collaboration consist of?

Steve: Annette and I met at work, through her boyfriend, Rob Millican, who is also our live drummer and all-round top bloke. Annette has a really beautiful voice and a great ear for harmony and she sings harmony and plays some keyboards. Her voice adds a whole new texture to the sound and I've now written my first duet.

Me: Steve, did you know there's a singer in Nashville with the same as you. I bet you can take him in a fight.

Steve: Haha, he's a big guy! He'd probably kick my arse from Nashville back to Carlisle! Seriously though, he's a lovely guy, we've corresponded via email on and off for a few years, simply because I was amused by the same name thing and the fact we both performed as singer/songwriters. There are at least two others I am aware of... one in L.A. who also makes his own microphones or something and one in Middlesborough in England. It's one reason to add the distinction of a band to the name, hence Steve McCormick and the Half Moons.

Me: Well, as I said I really enjoyed "Lowlights & Footnotes", Steve. Are you working on a follow up? When it comes out I would love to have you back. And Annette if she would like to.

Steve: I'm sure she'd love to. The second album is pretty much written now, so some of the songs will get a bit of a road test, or at least be fleshed out in rehearsal with the band. Whenever I write a new song, I recorded demos at home but I want at least the band demos to be done by the end of the year. Ideally, I'll find a label to work with on this one.

Me: Go ahead and plug your websites and anything else you wanna tell the readers. I hope to see you in the states someday, Steve. Thanks again and good luck with everything.

Steve: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it. The best place to go is where you can download a 4-track sampler from "Lowlights and Footnotes," read the lyrics, reviews, there are links to iTunes, etc. and you can buy a, gasp, real compact disc directly from me! Closing comment: thanks for the introduction to Graham Parker, he's bloody good! Not quite sure how he's stayed off my radar for so long!

Me: Yeah, Graham is my favorite! Take care, Steve. Come back again soon!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Steve for a great interview. Well, today would of been my mum's birthday. So, happy birthday, mum. The Phile will be back next Sunday with musician Mike Bloom. 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, May 16, 2016

Pheaturing Jillian Valentine

Hi there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday, how are you? Mondays are even harder now that I have to stay up until 3 am to finish watching Sunday TV. Okay, let's start off with story about a new report confirming your chicken meat is handled by people in diapers. Odds are, if there's breaking news concerning the meat industry, it's going to be horrific. Like, for example, this breaking Oxfam America report about poultry factory workers wearing diapers so bathroom breaks don't get in the way of making chicken as cheap as possible for American carnivores. The report, titled "No Relief," reveals degrading conditions for workers at company plants that supply chicken to over 60% of the U.S. market. Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms were four poultry producers named in the report. Oxfam's using Twitter to spread awareness about this issue via #GiveThemABreak. Oxfam America summarizes the indefensible practice, "Chicken is the most popular meat in America, and the poultry industry is booming. But workers on the processing line do not share in the bounty. Poultry workers 1) earn low wages of diminishing value, 2) suffer elevated rates of injury and illness, and 3) often experience a climate of fear in the workplace. Despite this, though, workers themselves say that the thing that offends their dignity most is simple: lack of adequate bathroom breaks, and the suffering that entails, especially for women." Quartz's Debbie Berkowitz, who also contributed an inside look at these factory conditions, highlights just a few of the grim experiences these workers endure so consumers can save a few bucks on what KFC sells as food. "In my work at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, I witnessed the dangers: poultry workers stand shoulder to shoulder on both sides of long conveyor belts, most using scissors or knives, in cold, damp, loud conditions, making the same forceful movements thousands upon thousands of times a day, as they skin, pull, cut, debone and pack the chickens. The typical plant processes 180,000 birds a day. A typical worker handles 40 birds a minute... ...Too many workers tell stories about urinating on themselves or witnessing coworkers do the same. Not only is it embarrassing and degrading, it’s also extremely uncomfortable to feel the warm urine in the frigid environment and to wear wet clothing in 40 degree temperatures. Hanson, one of the workers featured in the report, works at a Tyson plant in Arkansas and had the disheartening experience of seeing his own mother urinate on the line; she now wears diapers to work to avoid it happening again... ...a recent survey of workers in Minnesota found that 86% of respondents said they get only two bathroom breaks in a week." Halfway decent dental coverage is a privilege. Not bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, Tyson twitters on with a fun hashtag campaign to promote their "miracle" product.

In the wake of news that Posh Spice deceived audiences with her posh looks and lip-syncing, a few members of the glorious 90s band are recording new music that probably still makes no sense, just like "Wannabe." British paper "The Mirror" snapped pics of three of the ladies heading into the studio: Mel B, Emma Bunton, and Geri Halliwell. If you don't know which of these Spice Girls is which, then get outta here. Scary Spice spoke with "The Mirror," more or less confirming the great news that new music is happening. "Everything always comes from us, and to do something for our 20-year anniversary is the ultimate dream," she said. "If we do anything, we will be writing everything from scratch. We are all group texting and speak a lot.” She was also very clear about the fact that the ladies themselves author their own works, "It’s funny, because back in the day people thought we had everything written for us but we’ve always written all our own songs." There have previously been rumors regarding a reunion tour (sans Vicky B). "Talks between the girls have been on-running for the past 12 months. It’s an incredibly exciting time and they are loving being back together," a mysterious source told "The Mirror." “The only person throwing a spanner in the works is Victoria, who has been a bit of a Debbie Downer about the whole thing." At this point, a tour is all but confirmed. "To be serious," Scary said late last year, "it is our twentieth anniversary this year and it would be rude not to celebrate so hopefully something will be happening pretty soon." Whether Sporty/Mel C. will be involved isn't clear. One's things for sure though: time to start saving up for a new pair of platforms, ladies.
Over at Jezebel, writer Bobby Finger uncovered something fascinating and a bit sad: that even though Margot Robbie, actress from The Wolf of Wall Street and the upcoming Suicide Squad, now says in interviews that she is 25 years old, was once referred to in an article from 2008 as 23, which would make her now 30. If Robbie is indeed lying about her age, she would join a long line of Hollywood stars to have done the same. For "stars," please read "women and Michael Jackson," because that's mostly it. Recently, Rebel Wilson said she was 29 when she was actually 36, Jessica Chastain said she was 30 when she was actually several years older, and Beyoncé insists she's 34 when she's actually the ageless goddess Coyolxauhqui. But there's a twist! Later in the day, Finger updated the article because a Twitter user sent him articles from around the same time referring to Robbie as a 17-year-old, which means... everything checks out? Unless it's still a conspiracy? Can the U.N. launch some kind of investigation here? One thing we can all agree on... Margot Robbie is one of those women who men think look really attractive and women think look kind of mean. Right???
Researchers from Ohio State University found that acetaminophen, a common ingredient used in popular pain relief medications like Tylenol, may be making you less empathetic towards other people's pain, in addition to dulling your own. In comparison to participants who didn't take the drug, participants in the study who consumed acetaminophen believed individuals experienced significantly lesser degrees of pain when they were told about the physical and social misfortunes of others. Baldwin Way, an assistant professor of psychology and the senior author of this study, explains why sympathizing with crybabies complaining about their problems is in fact important. "We don’t know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning. Empathy is important. If you are having an argument with your spouse and you just took acetaminophen, this research suggests you might be less understanding of what you did to hurt your spouse’s feelings." The Consumer Health Products Association (CHPA) alleges that over 600 medicines use acetaminophen, and that each week around 23% of all Americans consume a medication containing the ingredient. The details of the experiments used in this study show how a lack of empathy can be pretty disturbing. In one experiment, all participants were given eight short scenarios where someone suffered physically or emotionally. The scenarios included "a person who suffered a knife cut that went down to the bone" and "a person experiencing the death of his father." Participants who ingested acetaminophen rated the suffering of these people as notably less severe than those who didn't ingest the drug. Another related study on acetaminophen​ by Baldwin Way also saw that it "blunts positive emotions like joy," meaning you can't revel in the pain of your enemies as the Tylenol relieves your own suffering. If you're the type to pop Tylenol like candy for all those inner and outer aches, it may be time for you to start seeking alternative sources of pain relief.
Recently, bigots found a new thing to be mad about after clothing store Old Navy posted the following ad featuring an interracial family on their Twitter page.

Despite it being 2016, it turns out that some people still can't handle the thought of a mixed race couple. If you are one of the few people who still have faith in humanity, it will probably be all gone after reading this story. To most, the only thing wrong with this ad is that the people in it are freakishly beautiful and that that's unfair to the rest of us. Those who spoke out against the ad cited reasons of miscegenation (the marriage of two different racial types) and "white genocide," which isn't really a thing. If there's any good to come from this, it'd be that all these people boycotting Old Navy and Target and wherever else would soon be boycotting so many places that they never leave their homes ever again. Unfortunately, that won't solve the issue that they all have internet. Luckily, for every person who spoke out against the ad... There were many more who spoke out in favor of it. Old Navy spokesperson Debbie Felix, who probably can't even believe that she has to address this, said in a statement to "Fortune" that they are proud of their message of “diversity and inclusion," and went on to say, "We are a brand with a proud history of championing diversity and inclusion. At Old Navy, everyone is welcome." Grace Mahary, the female model in the ad, even commented on the controversy surrounding the photo on her personal Instagram page. "In light of the controversy revolving around my pretend family... I am proud to be representing interracial love, multiculturalism, and most importantly, a mentality that supports opportunity for all ethnicities. Thanks @oldnavy #lovewins#hatefreezone." Seriously, if you're going to be mad at Old Navy for anything, let it be because of their clothes, not their cute advertising.
Alright, did you hear that Budweiser is changing its name to America? Well, I wondered what the label would look like and I happen to get a sneak preview. Wanna see?

For those that don't think Donald Trump is gonna be President, I think we all might be wrong...

There's a new movie out called Money Monster, which is not to be confused with this movie...

So, some stores are just so damn creative with their names, it just kills me. I love puns, and I love this...

Okay, so, there are a lot of different blogs out there... millions and millions... but not all have almost 900 entries and are not updated regularly. Anyway, now and then I like to pheature a random blog and put it not the...

Today's random blog is a blog I would never read... haha. It's and this is what it looks like.

Go visit the blog if you like and tell them the Phile sent you.

Oh, Target. If you figure it out let me know.

Today's pheatured guest is a gorgeous singer whose CD "Rebelle" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Jillian Valantine.

Me: Hello, Jillian, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Jillian: Thanks! Life has been really great lately. How are YOU?

Me: I am good. Did you know there's a character in "Resident Evil" named Jillian Valentine? That is a great stage name, is it real?

Jillian: I found that out pretty recently, actually. Friends would look for me on Facebook and would complain about having to sort through hundreds of fake "Resident Evil" Jill Valentine's. It’s actually my first and middle name. My real last name will have to remain a mystery...

Me: Jillian, where are you from originally?

Jillian: I’m a Jersey Girl, born and raised. I lived there until I left for college.

Me: You went and graduated from Berklee in Boston, right? Was that a hard school to go to?

Jillian: Yep! I transferred to Berklee after spending a year at Monmouth University, which is on the Jersey Shore. Monmouth was a really great school, but I needed to immerse myself in music... there just wasn’t enough musical opportunities or classes there for me. And yes, Berklee was very hard at times. Subjects like Counterpoint, History of Western Music, Traditional Harmony... they can be very demanding, difficult classes. On the other hand, there are courses like Lyric Writing and Songwriting, as well as many performance classes, that allow students the freedom to be very creative... and when you’re writing from a very organic and honest place, it’s the easiest thing you can do.

Me: What was your major and how well did you do?

Jillian: I majored in Songwriting! I did really well, and it definitely taught me so much. People might wonder how you can “teach” songwriting... but they don’t teach you magical formulas to come up with a hit song. Instead, they teach you the right tools to get you through the writing process (and especially writer’s block!). Before I came to Berklee, I had a lot of random lyrics, melodies, and chords, but none that really made a complete song. Berklee taught me how to piece them all together and eventually how to write them collectively.

Me: You live in New York now right? What part? I grew up in Port Jefferson, Long island. Have you ever been there?

Jillian: Right now, I’m kind of a Tri-State gypsy... I live half of the week in Jersey, the other in New York City. I’ve never been to Port Jefferson, is it on the coast? What I’ve seen of Long Island is beautiful.

Me: It is on the coast. How old were you when you wrote your first song?

Jillian: I’ve written the majority of my songs by myself, and the rest have been co-written with some really talented writers and musicians. I was about 12 or 13 when I wrote my first song. It was just lyrics and melody, and it was about soul-searching in a canoe with candles in the water. I’m pretty sure it stemmed from some dream I was having at the time. It was a really odd song, but I just remember waking up in the middle of the night with it in my head and feeling the need to write it down. And that’s when it all started.

Me: Do you play any instruments as well? The publicity pic you are holding a guitar.

Jillian: I play guitar and piano. I’m definitely not exceptional at either, but they’re amazing songwriting tools and I can get by on both of them to play my songs. I'll definitely be working hard at improving my instrumental skills.

Me: I love your album, Jillian. What can you tell the readers about it?

Jillian: I love every single song on it... but they’re all very different. I know it’s almost standard these days for artists to release albums with songs that sound virtually identical to each other to define their "style," but that’s just not me. I write from my heart as a release of emotions and experiences, and I never feel the same exact way every day. My songs range from falling in love to getting my heart shattered, a happy pop tune to a bluesy, minor ballad... THAT’s me. Listeners will get to experience 10 different parts of me instead of just one... and I think in the end, that will be more gratifying to them AND to myself. I also grew up listening to artists like Ryan Adams and Sheryl Crow, who pumped out numerous records, all with songs that never sounded the same. They’d go from a country song to a rock anthem to a pop tune, all in one record, and I never got bored with them. No matter where I went, I could take just one of their albums along (back when we only had tape and CD players...) and no matter what mood I was in, there was a song on it that would sing to me the right way. I’ve always believed that’s how it should be.

Me: Do you have a band you are working with, and a producer?

Jillian: I have some really great, talented guys that will be playing with me once we get the record complete. I’m lucky to have amazing musicians, who double as friends, to play music with. I do have a producer as well... I’ve worked on this album with Anthony Krizan. He’s unbelievably talented and we work really well together... he always seems to be on the same page when we’re working on a song. I think that you can’t ask for much more in a producer than someone who can understand who you are as an artist, bring out the best in you and then push you beyond your normal comfort zone to really go above and beyond.

Me: You have a wide range of influences, don't you? Have you met any of them?

Jillian: I do. I think it makes you a much better musician when you listen to a variety of artists... you really soak up different aspects of every genre of music. I’ve met a few of my favorites... Jonny Lang, Tristan Prettyman, Gavin DeGraw. They’ve all inspired me greatly in their own way, and meeting them only made me admire them more. They were all really great people.

Me: I am just starting to listen to Ray LaMontange. I know you like him.

Jillian: He’s so talented... his voice is just unreal. If I was stranded on a desert island, he would definitely be a top contender for people I’d like to be stranded there with me... I’d be content listening to him play on our little beach for our entire isolation period. Seriously.

Me: Jillian, I was looking at your photos on your web page and noticed you have a tattoo on your wrist. I have to show the pic here...

Me: What is it and is that the only one you have?

Jillian: I do! I actually have two tattoos... one on each wrist. My left wrist says “fearless," my right says “faith." I never realized that they went together perfectly side by side, as well as individually, until months after I got “faith." When people ask what they mean, I simply say, “A reminder to be, and to have."

Me: Jillian, go ahead and plug your website and tell the Phile readers what you want.


Me: I wish you a lot of luck, and thanks for taking part.

Jillian: Thanks so much for the interview! Your site is a really great read, I'll definitely be visiting often to learn about the great artists you discover on here.

Me: Cool, and come back anytime.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Jillian for a great interview. The Phile will be off next Sunday but will be back on Monday with British singer Steve Mccormick. 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, May 15, 2016

Pheaturing Robbie Rist

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? What's new? Here's a sweet story to start us off, and a great endorsement for Taco Bell. In February, 35-year-old Army vet Jake Booth came down with double pneumonia and then, while in the hospital, had a heart attack that put him in a coma (which is terrible, but if you're going to have a heart attack, a hospital is a good a place as any to do it). Doctors weren't sure he'd ever come out of it, and if he did, how much brain damage he might have suffered due to oxygen deprivation. After 48 days in a coma, Booth awoke, knew where he was, and recognized his daughter Eva, 6, and his son Aiden, 1. His speech was still impaired from the intubation and tracheotomy, but, in the kind of endorsement of which companies can only dream, he managed one very important sentence: "I want Taco Bell." Booth's older brother, Jason Schwartz, told "USA Today," "He actually said, out loud, 'I want Taco Bell.' That was the very first thing he said... When he starts getting into a full sentence, he can’t do it. But when he does one or two words at a time, you can definitely understand him. So when he asked for Taco Bell almost immediately, his friend Tyler definitely heard him say 'Taco Bell.' Tyler said, 'Do you want Taco Bell?' And Jake said, 'Yes.'" Booth couldn't eat solid meals at first, but the day after doctors gave him the okay, he enjoyed eight and a half Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos. Dreams do come true. Especially when they are not that difficult to procure. Schwartz said, "We’d all been waiting an entire month for him to eat those tacos. It was symbolic of the entire thing... more of a metaphor of him having woken up and being given a second chance at life." Someone at Taco Bell saw the picture his friend Tyler posted on Reddit, and the fast food company responded by sending Booth some Taco Bell swag and a hand-written note. Too bad it wasn't a hand-written check. According to Schwartz, Booth is still in the early stages of recovery, and Schwartz has started a GoFundMe page to help Booth's wife, Jasmine, and their kids, since Jason is not yet able to work. Schwartz told "USA Today," "I think a lot of people saw that video, and said, 'The guy’s eating tacos, what does he need donations for?' But the truth is, he has got years of therapy ahead of him. We really didn’t get a whole lot off almost two million hits, which is crazy. We want to make sure that people know he is not in the clear." Hang in there, Jake. There are many, many more tacos in your future.
Now that states like North Carolina have created laws that validate the feelings of weirdos who are afraid to go to the bathroom, who can the trans community turn to? They can turn to big business, of course. This country needs some big ole businesses to include the trans community as people, because that makes them customers, and there's nothing more American than capitalism. At least, that's the message Target CEO Brian Cornell made on CNBC's "Squawk Box," as he related the trans-phobes now to the racists of the 1960s. Well, kind of... As Cornell explained, "We've had a long history of embracing diversity and inclusion... if we went back to the mid '60s, our company was one of the very first to use African American models in advertising. And back then, well it wasn't well received." But they did it anyway, because not only is being an inclusive company simply the right thing to do, it is also profitable af. Cornell didn't SAY this was about money. But... he's a CEO. You don't get to be a CEO of a major corporation unless your mind is constantly kept on the bottom line, not the bathroom line. Target's principal seems simple and clear: we want all the customers, so stop letting your hatred get in the way of us making money.
It takes smarts to be a smartass. Even when they aren't correct, kids' test answers are often entertaining, and the latest viral math test is no exception. The sneaky seven-year-old nephew of Imgur user dpotter05 outsmarted his math test with a crafty cheat, making sure he got the answer right even when he didn't know what it was. His uncle posted the pic online with the title, "My nephew has some things figured out." He certainly does.

Keeping it one hundred(s place). Putting the requested number in all three places, the kid assured he'd get the question right and showed the teacher who's the boss. Finding a clever way out is just as impressive as knowing math. By the way, I suck at math and barely understand what those questions mean. Just sayin'.
The NYC Commission On Human Rights has released guidelines that assures New York's pregnant women that bartenders legally must serve them if they order alcohol. In the commission's own words: "[Restaurants and bars] cannot deny entrance to pregnant individuals to certain public accommodations, or refuse to serve certain food or drinks to pregnant individuals or individuals perceived to be pregnant." On that last part, refusing to give alcohol to someone who you just "perceive to be pregnant" is an insanely bold move for a server to make. Though mothers-to-be are strongly urged not to do any keg-stands or Patron challenges, the jury's not fully in on whether the occasional glass of chardonnay is truly harmful to a fetus' health. "Glamour" asked women's health expert Jennifer Wider M.D. about whether pregnant women should be imbibing at all. "No amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe. There are some doctors who will tell patients that an occasional glass of wine in the third trimester is safe, but because the effects can vary between individuals, it's better to be safe than sorry." It's up to you, pregnant mommies, and if you do choose to have a drink, your pregnant stomach is already the perfect surface to balance a wine glass on.
It seems a jokester with the name "Racist McShootface" decided to mess with George Zimmerman's gun auction. On Thursday, George Zimmerman announced that he is selling the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. Soon after, a bidder with the screen name Racist McShootface hijacked the auction on the website United Gun Group and drove the price north of $65 million. Then a few others joined in on the fun. The gun had originally been listed on, but it was removed after it received an incredible amount of negative attention. The new listing remains, though it seems United Gun Group does not have a system in place to prevent anyone from registering and entering fake bids of up to $65 million. Here are the bids from Racist McShootface before the account was suspended. After Racist McShootface was suspended, some brothers in (sarcastic) arms joined in on the fun...

There may even be some subtle, less obvious troll names. Uproxx points out that "Henry Johnson" may refer to an African American World War I hero who posthumously received the Medal of Honor from President Obama. As of the publishing of this article, it appears there are legitimate bids nearing half a million dollars, plus one more new troll that made a bid for $65 million. The auction ends next week. Only then will it become clear if the gun actually sold for several hundred thousand dollars (or more). And some more awesome troll names should pop up by then, too.
So, you know Ted Cruz dropped out of the race... well, for some reason he's still coming out with new slogans.

Poor Ted. So, everyone is raving how good Spider-Man is in the new Civil War movie, but I am not so sure...

I love mac and cheese, and now that Kraft has changed it a little, they came out with an odd new slogan...

Haha. So, do you have a Fitbit? I was thinking of getting one, especially now they have badges for lazy people.

I love watching the news, and unlike the Phile, they occasionally will make a mistake...

You know, one thing about me is I play by the rules n life. I never break the rules, unlike the person that did this...

How can they? Ugh! Okay, so, you know I live in Florida, well, there's some things that happen in Florida that happen nowhere else in the Universe. That's why I have this pheature called...

Police Chief Melvin Tennyson of Groveland, Florida... where I used to live... was brought low by the power of Internet justice this week, forced to write himself and pay a $45 parking ticket after a local citizen posted photos of the chief's parking talents to Facebook. Recently, the Groveland PD had been issuing tickets to homeowners for leaving their cars at the end of the driveway in such a way that it would block the sidewalk. Needless to say, this was quite irritating to homeowners, who felt like they had the right to park all the way down their driveway, even if pedestrians have to walk around. In this atmosphere of community irritation, the time was ripe for a photo to go viral of the police chief disobeying his own department's initiative.

I know exactly where that is. After resident David Bires made that post on May 10th, neighbors quickly took notice, criticizing the chief for disregarding everyone's least-favorite new rule. Fortunately, for Groveland and for community-police relations everywhere, Chief Tennyson acted quickly, uploading this response the next day...

There you have it, folks. The police can respond quickly to concerns... if you catch them red-handed and post it in public and people actually notice. Good job, Chief Tennyson, and stay off the sidewalk.

If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. You should, it's an easy one. And now for some sad news...

William Schallert 
July 6th, 1922 — May 8th, 2016
IMDB has him at 374 acting credits up until 2014, then NOTHING. Slacker.

Okay, this is cool... today's pheaured guest is is an actor and musician. He is known for playing Cousin Oliver in "The Brady Bunch." Please welcome to the Phile... Robbie Rist.

Me: Hi there, Robbie, welcome to the Peverett Phile. So, how are you?

Robbie: Good. Just got my new recording studio (ValleyHollah) up and running so I am dividing my time between recording bands, doing voice work and chasing down electrical problems.

Me: Okay, I have to ask you about Cousin Oliver. Here's a pic of you back then...

Me: Was that the first big role you had?

Robbie: Well... hmmmmm....big... I guess. I had done a whole lot of work before the Brady gig (I worked with John Denver, Jonathan Winters, some episodic TV stuff... maybe 100 or so commercials) but I think the Brady's was the one that over the years brought me the most recognition so... let's say yes. Yes it was.

Me: You were about five or six, right, when you were on "The Brady Bunch." Do you have a lot of good memories from doing that show?

Robbie: I was actually nine (I looked a lot younger) and yeah, it was a complete blast. Nice people, good atmosphere... didn't have to go to school... I actually have mostly great memories from my time in entertainment.

Me: Did the cast or you know that was the last season? You were just a kid, so you probably didn't know.

Robbie: I had no idea. They told us it wasn't coming back around the end of summer as I remember.

Me: After "The Brady Bunch" ended you went to another huge show, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." You played Ted Baxter's son, right? Was that a good experience?

Robbie: Amazing experience. I have noticed over the years that the greatest people tend to be the ones who are really established and don't have anything to prove anymore. Everyone on "MTM" was a monster performer and because they were so good at their job, there was no ego, no slamming doors. None of that douchey Christian Bale crap.

Me: Most Phile phans would know that you were on "Galactica 80" though. Who did you play on that show, and what did you think of the new Galactica show?

Robbie: I played the young blonde (arian?) genius, Dr. Zee. They repleaced me after three episodes... so goes the biz...

Me: A few years ago they came out with a new "Battlestar Galactica" show which was great. Did you watch it?

Robbie: I haven't seen a single episode of the new Galactica because I am so busy with music and acting and stuff. Not too much time for TV (okay, I love me some Colbert but that's about it).

Me: Here's a pic of you as Dr. Zee by the way...

Me: Are you still acting, or just concentrating on music?

Robbie: Someone told me a long time ago that the key to surviving entertainment is to not specialize. So, I don't. I am either engineering, producing or playing music (I play with former Translator singer Steve Barton. Nice Guy Eddie. The Mockers. I am currently producing Finland Station, Suzy and Los Quattro and Slapdash, working on a crime noir web series called "Mr. Happy," a cartoon called "Oliver Twisted" about my life as a 'd' list celebrity, I produced a low budget horror film I keep busy.

Me: You do a bunch of voice over roles, Robbie. Are they fun to do? A good friend of mine named Nick Jameson says it's pretty easy, easier then acting anyway.

Robbie: Nick is a very talented guy and a kick ass musician as well (I think we both know of certain band he used to associate with). But I both agree and disagree about voice over work. I think it is the hardest acting to do up until you get the hang of it. THEN it starts get easier.

Me: You're now a musician, which is cool. When did you start playing in bands, and decided you wanted to be a musician?

Robbie: I was playing music before anything else. I was playing violin at three, piano at five. Then I later learned guitar, bass, drums, mandolin and banjo. I don't think I chose to be a musician, I think it chose me.

Me: What instruments do you play, and do you sing?

Robbie: Yeah, I sing and write songs as well. I was a lead singer for 8 years in Wonderboy  as well as The Andersons (

Me: Tell the readers about the movie Stump The Band. Did you direct, produce, write it? When will it be out?

Robbie: Well, it's out now,, it came out ten ears ago. You can pick up a copy through our website,, or Netflix has it too. I produced, was on set sound, music supervisor, I wrote and recorded the score... I wore a lot of hats. It's the heart warming story of a female rock band out on the road who get attacked by three guys who collect women's feet.

Me: Hahahaha. Great premise. Do you still talk to the other Brady cast, Robbie?

Robbie: I have actually been seeing quite a bit of those people lately. Susan, Mike, Chris and I have been doing some autograph shows of late so we have been having quite the ball.

Me: What did you think of Christopher Knight's reality show he had a few years ago?

Robbie: The guy's is working his ass off. Good on him.

Me: I work at Disney and have met Maureen McCormick, who was as sweet as could be, and Barry Williams, who was a dick. Haha. I used to have the biggest crush on Maureen by the way. You seem the coolest though, Robbie. Would you ever do a "Brady Bunch" reunion? You weren't in the "Brady Bunch" movies, were you?

Robbie: First off, thank you, that's very flattering although Susan absolutely BURIES me in the cool department. She is truly one of the most unique individuals I have ever met. I wasn't in the movies or any of the comeback specials as I believe the Oliver character was a network decision and the producers just don't see him as a real part of the cast. That said, reunion show? Hell yeah! I just want to work...

Me: Okay, my friend, I hope this was fun, and I hope to interview you again. Go ahead and plug whatever you want, and mention your website. Also, if someone wanted to buy any of your music, where would they go?

Robbie: Thank you! Lemme know when you get it online and I will post about it. You can purchase the Steve Barton, Slapdash, Kingsizemaybe (a country band I produced and played guitar for), Suzy and Los Quattro records through iTunes.

Me: Thanks again, and take care.

Robbie: You too. Thanks again!

There you go, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to Robbie for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Jillian Valentine. She's hot and talented. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Tooting is the best!

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