Friday, June 19, 2009

Pheaturing Mike Gent


Hi there, thanks for being here, and welcome to the Phile, proud sponsor of and So, this Sunday is Father's Day. We are going to do what we do every year... my son is gonna take me and get a blood test done. "Really, Logan, for crying out loud, I am your father!" Speaking of father's, we found out this week that "The Best of Foghat" went gold. We were so thrilled, we celebrated all week, and dad would be proud. In related news, I've just been elected  President of Iran. I think I'd rather be the queen of Clermont. Did you here this story from Florida: America's Wang? A two year old baby fell out of a car and the mother didn't realize until she drove at least two miles. The father of the baby was pissed, of course. I was thinking, man, my wife gets mad at me if I don't answer my iPhone in the car. It was not a great week for Chicago. They're having the coldest June on record. It's so cold, Dr. Phil is kissing Oprah's ass just to stay warm. People are wondering how long it will last. Experts are saying the weather will change when Oprah tells it to. Did you see on TV president Obama killed a fly during an interview? It was kind of impressive. Of course, PETA is very upset. Sen. John Ensign of Nevada had to resign as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee because he admitted to having an affair. It was an unusual affair for a senator — it was with a woman.
It's nice to see senators branching out — now that's change I can believe in. Hillary Clinton fell down the other and broke her elbow. This is the worst break for a secretary of state since Madeleine Albright broke my heart. Call me, Mad Dog. You know Fox News is going to be all over this: "This proves the Democrats are weak — Reagan fell over 10 times and didn't even break his hair." The official report says that Hillary fell while walking to her car. But she's telling people that she broke it dodging sniper fire. You know who I'm blaming for her fall, the under secretary of state, William Burns. That's right, Mr. Burns, I'm calling you out — you should have been under secretary of state as she fell. One more thing, did you see the new billboard signs that Subway has out? Very odd. Take a look. Odd, eh? It got my attention, alright. Mike Gent is coming up... but first...

A month ago or so I announced the Phile For Soldiers program and said I would mention it about once a month, so here we are. The Phile adopted six soldiers who are based somewhere overseas for Phile phans to send letters to. The letters don't have to be long, just tell them that you are thinking about them. Some of these soldiers don't even have families back home, so here at the Phile we are their families. And bands... send a CD or something, they would love to listen to some good music. Anyway, here are the names and the address. Phans, don't let me down. 
Eugene Shiner
Carlos Rivera
Tony Torres
Casper Wadlington
Phillip Wallinger
Manuel Garces
And the address to send them letters is:
143d ESC
APO AE 09355

Speaking of soldiers, some are getting very desperate to come home. Take a look at this. 

The poor bastard is so desperate he wants to come back to Florida. Anyway, god bless our troops.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's top ten list...
Top Ten Complaints Of Jon & Kate's Kids. 
10. Mom spent our allowance on liposuction.
9. Fat camera guy keeps stealing the last slices of pizza.
8. When mom calls you number 5 and you're really number 3.
7. "Quality time" with mom reduced to "photo-op" for People magazine.
6. Cameras make potty training a bit awkward.
5. Hard to spell "exploitation".
4. Camera adds ten pounds of baby fat.
3. Angelina Jolie doesn't want to adopt us.
2. We didn't trademark the term "Octomom". 
And the Gosslin kids number one complaint...
1. Dad hogs computer most of the time searching singles ads.

Piers Gaveston, the disturbingly open homosexual lover of King Edward II of England, is beheaded after he attempted to return to Edward's side. For a time Gaveston was ward of the underage boy before the death of his father Edward I, to the great dismay of many important lords. After succession to king, Edward appointed Gaveston as Earl of Cornwall for no other reason than being the king's personal cornhole.
Emperor Maximilian of Mexico is executed by firing squad. Although he bribed the seven riflemen to not shoot him in the head, one did anyway.
The Federal Communications Commission, perhaps the most wicked body of do-gooders ever to exist in the United States, is created with the passage of the Communications Act of 1934. The FCC's ostensible purpose is to censor interesting broadcasts, silence dissenting political opinion and shelter Americans from dirty words and boobies.
Atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are electrocuted at Sing-Sing Prison, becoming the first civilians ever executed for espionage in American history. Five jolts of electricity were required to kill Ethel. Her husband Julius was on the Soviet payroll, according to recently released archives. It is not clear whether Ethel had any involvement or how much Julius actually assisted the Soviet atomic bomb effort.
San Francisco's Condor Club becomes the first topless bar in the United States when dancer Carol Doda steps onstage in a bottom-only swimsuit designed by Rudi Gernreich. Other San Francisco clubs follow suit just days later.
Roberto Calvi, chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, is found hanging from Blackfriar's Bridge in London. His death is initially ruled a suicide, though it is quite obviously murder; that assessment is later overturned. Calvi may have been killed because of his involvement in the laundering of drug money through the Vatican Bank.
While taking a walk, horror author Stephen King is struck by a van piloted by a distracted Bryan Smith. King's extensive injuries (broken leg, broken hip, lacerated scalp and collapsed lung) remanded him to a hospital bed for three weeks. Smith would later die in his sleep on Stephen King's birthday.

Phact 1: Bubbles in champagne were seen by early wine makers as a highly undesirable defect, one that should be prevented.
Phact 2: "Typhlobasia" is the practice of closing one's eyes when kissing.
Phact 3: Just less than one quarter of the people in the world are vegetarians.
Phact 4: William Howard Taft was the first golfer to become President.
Phact 5: It is tradition in countries such as Venezuela and Peru to wear yellow underwear on New Year's Day for good luck throughout the coming year.

Today's guest is a huge deal for me to be here. He is a songwriter, and singer for the band The Figgs, one of my favorite bands, and has just released a solo album which is excellent. There's a reason I chose the picture of the gentleman... please welcome to the Phile... Mike Gent.

Me: Hello, Mike, how are you? Welcome to the Phile.

Mike: I'm great. A little tired from the tour.

Me: So, where are you right now and how has '09 been so far?

Mike: I just returned home from the mid-west. I have been in a mini van for a straight 24 hours. 2009 has been alright so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Me: You have a solo album coming out called "Mike Gent". What made you do your own thing? Do you have any guest players on it?

Mike: I met this guy Ducky who has a fantastic studio right down the road from my house. He recorded the last Mike Viola record "Lurch". I liked how that record sounded, and Ducky is a great hang so I thought it was a good time to make a record by myself. I played everything on it. You can buy one at Wink... Wink... Plug... Plug...

Me: I first heard about you and The Figgs from Graham Parker, sir. How did you get to meet Graham? Did you approach him as a band or did he approach you guys?

Mike: I met Graham in Atlanta around 1995. He was playing a solo show early at the same club we were playing. I introduced myself in the dressing room, told him I was a fan and we talked about his records and songs. Maybe six months later he called and asked us to be his band for the tour in support of "Acid Bubblegum".

Me: How long did you rehearse with him for?

Mike: We have done five tours with him since 1996. Usually Graham and I come up with a setlist, Figgs rehearse it for a couple of days then GP comes in and we do a couple of rehearsals with him.

Me: The Figgs also played on his album "Songs Of No Consequence" in '05. Was that a big surprise you were asked to record with him?

Mike: No surprise. We had talked about it and fans had asked if we were going to so it was just about finding the time and songs.

Me: Any future collaborations with GP?

Mike: I made his last record with him called "Don't Tell Columbus" that came out in 2007. I'm not sure what his next plans are.

Me: The Figgs also backed up Tommy Stinson from The Replacements. Where did Stinson first hear you? Did you record with him as well?

Mike: We did. He played on a record of ours called "Palais". That was in the middle of the tour that we did with him. On the same session we cut a Clash song "Hatefull" for this magazine Uncut.

Me: How many albums have the Figgs made? A shit load, right? You guys are very busy with all the projects. Do you ever have downtime?

Mike: We have made 9 studio LP's, 2 live records and a bunch of singles, comps, and EP's.

Me: When and how did the Figgs form? Are you all original members?

Mike: We started the band in 1987 in High School. Pete Donnelly, myself, and Guy Lyons. Pete Hayes joined in 1989 so yeah all original members.

Me: Where is the band based? Upstate New York?

Mike: Originally, yes, Saratoga Springs. None of us have lived there since the mid 90's. We are all spread out in NYC, Philly, and Boston.

Me: You also produced a band called The Gentlemen. Where are they from? Do you enjoy producing?

Mike: I play in that band also! It's me and three friends from a band called The Gravel Pit.
In general I don't like being in the studio. I don't enjoy hearing the same song over and over for hours at a time or hearing a part of the song on a loop while an engineer twiddles knobs and stares at a computer monitor. That is not my idea of a good time. I like playing live.

Me: One more question about the Figgs... where did the band name come from? If it was my band it would of been called The Phiggs.

Mike: I don't know. I have always disliked the name but we have had it for so long it doesn't really matter. I saw recently that there was a band called The Figs, and I thought that if I was starting a new band today, I would check online to see if that name had been used. Duh..
The Phiggs is even worse.

Me: After the solo album, are you doing a solo tour? Then after that, what's next?

Mike: No tour. Maybe a few shows. Not sure yet. The rest of the year will be spent working on a Figgs record.

Me: I am going to interview GP soon! What should I ask him?

Mike: When is he going to make an acoustic record with The Figgs?

Me: Mike, go ahead and plug any website you want and is there anything else you wanna tell the Phile readers?

Mike: Please buy my record! or Cheers!

Me: Mike, I will always be a fan. Good luck with everything, hope this was fun, and I hope to interview you again soon.

Mike: Thank you.


Thanks to Mike Gent for taking time to do this interview. You can also download The Figgs' albums and Mike's solo album from iTunes like I did, as well as the albums he did with Graham Parker. Alright, that takes care of another entry. Thanks again to Mike, and Wikipedia of course. The Phile will be back on Monday with English soul singer Orji. Yes, that's really his name. So, tell your friends we are having an orji at the Phile. LOL. Remember, spread the word, not the turd, and Happy Father's Day, dads out there.

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