Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alumni Month Pheaturing Alexis Thompson


Hello there, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday for a change. Over the weekend we went down to Miami to visit my sister and her family. On the way we stopped at the Lion Country Safari and I learnt something there... lions sleep up to 20 hours a day. Man, I wish I was a lion. Sleep all day, get up for four hours to eat, shit and have sex and then go back to sleep. No wonder he's the king of the jungle. It was cool seeing the zebras, rhinos, elephants and other animals, but the oddest display they had there was a squirrel with the biggest nuts. I was very surprised to see what that was. Take a look.
We had to shield Logan's eyes. LOL. The movie The Time Traveler’s Wife opened this weekend. It’s about a guy who travels through time to find love. H.G. Wells was the first guy to write about time travel, back in 1895. He wrote “The Time Machine.” In the book people traveled through time using as magical device. I have used a magical device to travel through time as well — it’s called alcohol. I would drink this magical device, and three days in the future, I would wake up in a dumpster. I would love to go back hundreds of years to see historical moments like the Declaration of Independence, Washington crossing the Delaware, Barbara Walters getting her first job... John Edwards has finally admitted that he is the father of his mistress’s baby. It’s a pretty classic case of "whoever denied it, supplied it.” He says he ashamed; he can hardly look himself in the mirror. On the bright side, that frees up an extra four hours of the day for him. Some good news that came out of the whole affair: Edwards agreed to join Bristol Palin on the abstinence tour. A newspaper in Utah is refusing to publish a gay couple’s wedding announcement. In Utah a lot people believe marriage is between a man and a woman... and a woman... and a woman. Here in Orlando at Disney World, the third Cast Member was killed on the job in seven weeks. Just think I came this close with my Segway accident last week. Actually if I was to die at Disney it'll because Prince Charming would slice my throat open for messing with his Princess. For the last few weeks I have been showing you companies changing their logos and names to compete with the bad economy, right? Well, another car company jumped on the band wagon so to speak. Check it out.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was the last of the logos for a bad economy. Aren't you glad? Now for a new pheature I will call...

So, is this porn? It sure his something, right?

Alexis Thompson will be up in a bit, but first of...

Once in awhile I will give you a list of names and an address so you wonderful readers could write to some our soldiers that are working overseas. Just tell them how much you are thinking about them and that they are in your thoughts. Here is the list of names and info. And thanks to you all you have written to the soldiers already.
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, I think the military is cutting back with some of their equipment. Look at this small jet the air force has to deal with.

I would love to see it fly.

Summit Entertainment is smart to put a trailer for New Moon (the Twilight sequel) in front of Bandslam, knowing it will bring in fanatical teenagers who might have otherwise ignored this buzz-deficient movie. And if those young ladies stay past the trailers, they'll find that Bandslam is actually worth their time. Will Burton (Gaelan Connell), who looks like a nerdier Shia LaBeouf, has just moved to Lodi, N.J., with his mom (Lisa Kudrow), and is dismayed to find that high school here is just like it was in Cincinnati, the only difference being that the bullies here don't know about him yet. His love of old-school indie rock makes him different. His frequent fan letters to David Bowie (which serve as the film's diary-like narration) are a little odd, too. But he's soon befriended by Sam (Vanessa Hudgens), who spells her name "Sa5m" (the five is silent) and is a fellow outcast due to her cynical, emotionless speech and fondness for reading books. She's the type of sullen girl who doesn't like anything popular and dismisses all her fellow teens as idiots. Hudgens isn't bad in the role, especially as the character warms up later in the film. Sam and Will are bound for romance, it would seem, but there is a detour as Will meets Charlotte (Aly Michalka), a popular former cheerleader who wants Will to manage her band. A regional competition called Bandslam is on the horizon, and Charlotte wants to challenge the school's perennial favorite, Glory Dogs, not least because its lead singer (Scott Porter) is her ex-boyfriend. The new band she's fronting lacks not just a manager but a drummer and a name. It has her, though, purring through a Cheap Trick cover in that vowel-killing style ("I want yo to want may/I nade yo to nade may") so big with the pop singers these days. Under Will's guidance, the kid actually knows a lot about harmonies and instrumentation They add a drummer, a keyboardist, some horns, and a cello. (Does a rock band have room for all that? Well, sure. There's always room for cello.) There is a rivalry between Sam and Charlotte, though not a romantic one. The director is Todd Graff, who made a splash several years ago with Camp, another teen-oriented, music-centered film about misfits. a screenplay As before, Graff endeavors to make something smarter than the usual adolescent-targeted claptrap, notably in his emphasis on vintage rock (Bowie, Velvet Underground, etc.) rather than the modern pop tunes that would customarily appear on the soundtrack. He's not afraid to have Will make a pilgrimage to New York's boarded-up CBGB -- "The birthplace of punk!" -- even though many audience members won't know what that is or how it influenced the bands on their iPods. Jen and Logan liked it more then me and I give it a 6.

Genghis Khan dies in his sleep, after a fall from his horse. His old age and drinking probably contributed to his death, which the Mongols manage to keep secret for some time.
Pope Alexander VI dies. He was the father of seven illegitimate children, and during his reign chose as his lover the lovely sixteen year old Guilia Farnese. A portrait of Guilia dressed as the Virgin Mary appeared over Alexander's bedchamber door, but by no means was she his only liaison.
Sent to England to get supplies three years prior, John White finally returns to Roanoke Island and discovers his colony "strongly enclosed with a high palisade of great trees, with [curtain walls] and [bastions] -- very fort-like." There is no sign of the settlers or where they may have gone.
A giant black rainbow encircles the Earth, sucking all oxygen from the atmosphere. The air returns shortly thereafter, but only after millions die from asphyxiation. On the bright side, the survivors go on to build a utopian civilization. It all happens precisely as predicted in the 1950s by Criswell, the TV psychic immortalized in the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Today's Alumni guest is a singer from Tennessee who was last on the Phile back on April 3rd. Please welcome back to the Phile... Alexis Thompson.

Me: Alexisssssss! Hello, welcome back to the Phile. So, how are you?

Alexis: Hey darlin'! I am well... dealing with life. :-)

Me: Did you know there is a tennis player named Alexis Thompson? Do you even like tennis?

Alexis: I didn't know there was a tennis player--I know there's a golfer. I've only played tennis once and that was with my best friend, Jen, in junior high. She was a star on the tennis team, though. So I didn't like it much then because I felt like the worst tennis player in the world compared to her!

Me: Let's talk about the Campgrounds 'N Couches Tour. You in major plans for it, aren't you? Explain what it is and what does the titles mean?

Alexis: Well, I'm still trying to make the tour work out. Some major things have happened to me in the past few days and my finances are going to be tight now. I still want this tour to happen, though. It's low-key and low-budget, which is how I got the name. I plan to play shows only where I have a campground or a couch offered to me to lay my head. It's my way of trying to keep costs down so I can actually go on tour. We'll see if it happens. Really, it's still tentative, but I'm trying like crazy to make it work.

Me: You ARE planning on hitting Central Florida, right?

Alexis: Of course! Even if I don't get to tour, I will try to play in Central Florida. One of my bands/projects might tour and hit up Florida as well.

Me: How is your new album coming along? "Loveslide" is the title I believe.

Alexis: Well, it's coming along quite well! We've decided to start from scratch and record each song stripped-down acoustic. Add a little harmonica or steel guitar here and there, but it's going to be primarily acoustic. I'm lining up the songs and practicing them to perfection. I hope to have the album finished by the end of this year... that's my 'realistic' look at it!

Me: You have two albums out on iTunes right now. When were your two albums "Some Of Us Are Crazy" and "I Hate Money"... when were they recorded and how are they different then your new music?

Alexis: Yes, I do. PLUS a single, "Strugglin'". "Some Of Us Are Crazy" was recorded in 2005 in my tiny apartment in Murfreesboro, TN--completely done by me. I played the instruments and mixed the tracks... with some extremely lo-fi equipment. I used the same microphone for everything! But the songs have a special feel to them because of that. "I Hate Money" was recorded in 2007 with a little help from my boyfriend at the time. Again, it was recorded with some very lo-fi equipment, but it has a special feel. They're different from my new music in that I'm not doing my new music all by myself. A good friend of mine is doing all the engineering and mixing. I will be playing the tracks, however (although I plan to have a few guests). The new songs seem less uptight and have more feeling to me. I've given up on one single sound (country, folk, rock, pop, blues, whatever) and simply let myself write whatever crazy things come to my mind. I sensor myself less and I feel like these new songs are a more mature and honest 'me'.

Me: Alexis, you have other side projects as well, don't you? Good Luck Ola and Mine That Bird. One's a band, and the other ones a partnership. Let's talk about Good Luck Ola first. Who is in it with you, and do you both write music for it?

Alexis: Yes, I sure do! Good Luck Ola consists of Heather Moulder and myself. Heather is just like I was at her age (20) so we 'mesh' well. She plays a plethora of instruments as well, but her main weapon of choice is her piano. Yes, we both write good ol' fashioned music for it.

Me: Maybe next interview I can interview you and Heather, eh?

Alexis: That would be awesome! She'd love it (and so would I, of course!).

Me: Now who is in Mind That Bird? I am glad the band isn't called Flip That Bird. How is that band different then Oh, Alexis?

Alexis: He He... I won't tell the boys about "Flip That Bird" or they might be tempted to change our name to it! Mine That Bird consists of: Ian (guitar, steel guitar, Wurlitzer, vocals, songwriter), Justin (drums, vocals), Tim (bass, vocals), and myself (guitar, vocals, songwriting). The band is different from "Oh, Alexis!" in that, well, it's a BAND! ha ha. Our music is actually very straight-ahead country with just a little folk and indie rock in the mix. I think "Oh, Alexis!" is more folk/blues/alt country (and primarily acoustic) with a sparkly grit to it while Mine That Bird is a full-force western band. Plus Oh, Alexis! is completely MY sound while Mine That Bird is a mixture of 4 different musicians' ideas. I will tell you that 3 of my songs are going to be on Mine That Bird's 6-song EP and they are: "Some Of Us Are Crazy", "I'm On Your Side", and an oldie that only my aunt and sisters remember (I wrote it in high school!) "Riding Scared". They all sound amazing as full-band songs and I'm VERY excited to let the world hear them. It shouldn't be long before we release it. Keep checking our Myspace for songs to pop up: www.myspace.com/minethatbirdmusic.

Me: Alexis, how are things in Nashville? Have you been back to Pennsylvania lately? You did go on vacation to Oregon, right? Why did you pick there of all places?

Alexis: Things in Nashville are good. I'm actually moving CLOSER to Nashville than I've been, so things in Nashville should pick up for me! I'm sure Mine That Bird will be playing SEVERAL shows in the area soon. I'm actually going back to PA for my sister's wedding at the end of this month (July). I'm excited to see my folks. I miss them so much everyday. Yes, I went on vacation to Oregon and it was absolutely beautiful! I've always wanted to visit Oregon... I wanted to see the west coast and to see the mountains; and the airline was giving away tickets for half price for one day only for select cities and I chose Portland, Oregon on a whim. :-)

Me: I asked all the Phile Alumni about Michael Jackson, so I will ask you as well, Alexis. Were you a fan and did you watch the memorial on TV?

Alexis: I was a HUGE fan when I was a kid. My sisters and I had the dolls, the gloves, the moves (OK, we THOUGHT we had the moves... ). We would go to our aunt's house and dance to her "Thriller" record ALL the time. As I grew up, I always respected MJ but I never really owned an album. I felt bad for him and all the 'publicity' he got. But I always looked at MJ as part of my childhood. Losing him was a real upset. It made me feel old... and really miss my sisters since we shared so many MJ childhood memories. As for the memorial on TV. I wouldn't have any part in watching that. I'm not a fan of TV nor the media... at all.

Me: So, what are you planning for the rest of the year? Many shows? You're probably just concentrating on your new album, right?

Alexis: I'm planning on relaxing a little for the rest of the year. Like I said before, there has been a MIGHTY big change in my life right now and I need to focus on school and finances. Mine That Bird will release our EP and we plan to play about 1 show each month in Nashville--maybe a few in Murfreesboro. And yes, I'm just concentrating on my album for now. :-)

Me: What about your art work? Are you still doing all that and your photograhy as well?

Alexis: Yep! Well, art is my major in college so I HAVE to still be doing that (but I would be anyway). I have some great new plans for prints this coming semester. I'm excited! As for the photography, I'm definitely still doing that. I'm a shutterbug. I've been trying to learn to love DSLR photography, but I'm still madly in love with film. I have a humble photostream on Flickr. flickr.com/photos/ohalexisphotography.

Me: Alexis, thanks for coming back on the Phile. Go ahead and plug all your websites, and everything. I wish you a lot of luck and keep me posted and keep in touch.

Alexis: Of course! Thank you for having me. You know I love the Phile. :-) OK, here goes: Oh, Alexis! Website: ohalexis.com. Oh, Alexis! Myspace: myspace.com/alexisthompson. My songwriting Myspace (I hardly ever log in, though!): myspace.com/alexisthompsonmusic. Mine That Bird Myspace: myspace.com/minethatbirdmusic. Good Luck Ola Myspace: myspace.com/goodluckola. My art website (which is still in progress): www.alexisthelark.net.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexisthelark.

Okay, kids, don't forget to check out the Peverett Phile Book Club's book of the fall season. You can purchase it from Amazon.com.

Coming soon is the interview with Victor Langlois. Also, last week I asked if anybody knows or is an author for the book club for winter and I already have one lined up. So, if anybody has written a book or knows an author I need a book for spring. E-mail me at thepeverettphile@gmail.com. Please check out Victor's book and purchase a copy.

and the newest sponsor... nvic.org


Yeah, another blog done. Thanks to Alexis for a great interview. It was great having her back. And boy, doesn't she have a lot of accounts all over the web. Bet she doesn't have a Toontown.com character though. Thanks also to Wikipedia for the history stuff. The Phile will be back on Friday with Alex Aaron from the band Buffalo Alice and then on Monday Alumni Month continues with Amanda Marsh, a really good singer from Los Angeles. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd.

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