Hello, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. So, kids, how was your first week of school? Get expelled yet? Did you guys see the space shuttle go off? Man, wasn't that impressive. Let's talk about what's in the news. President Obama is vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a good time for the president to slip away — the deficit is supposed to be much higher than people expected; the swine flu is ready to kill us all; and Regis is having a birthday party, which means fires and looting in New York. Not everything is bad. The Cash for Clunkers program was a big success. The idea was if you have a gas guzzler you could get $4,500 for abandoning it on the White House lawn. There’s another Cask for Clunkers program scheduled for six months from now: That’s when the Minnesota Vikings will try to trade Brett Favre. In case anyone was worried that the Jackson family wouldn’t make any money off of Michael Jackson’s death, there’s a new Jackson family show, a reality show, following Jermaine, Marlin, Jackie, and Tito as they prepare for a reunion tour. I think a reality show will be the closest the Jacksons have come to reality in about 30 years. Did you guys here about that sprinter from South America? Her name is Caster Semanya. Many are saying she is a he and they’re doing gender testing to find out. This doesn’t only happen in sports, either. It’s actually the reason Star Jones got kicked off “The View.” In similar news... My wife said there's a certain blogger who updates the blog Monday and Friday's that might be a woman. WHAT?! The president of South Africa says he won’t permit her medals to be taken away no matter what the test shows. I guess he’ll mobilize the South African army or something. The healthcare debate between Republicans and Democrats isn’t slowing down. These town-hall meetings... it’s like the whole country is turning into an episode of “Jerry Springer.” Snow White in Disneyland has won about five million dollars from the lottery. She then went on a spending spree and purchased all the other princess's castles in the other parks. Speaking of Disney, I get a lot of questions from Phile Phans asking me what I do there. I have worked at Disney in Orlando for 20 plus years and people wanna know what my job is there. I thought instead of explaining I would show you a picture. Check it out.
That one must be from England. Man, I love Paddington Bear. Another thing I like showing here in the Phile is new inspirational posters you can buy at those feel good inspirational stores. I found this one and thought it was interesting, except I didn't really understand it. Take a look.
All I know is, man, she hot? Okay, kids, now it's time to play the new hottest game on the web.
I just wanted an excuse to show this picture. Okay, is this picture porn?
Oh my gosh, Josh Haden is coming up, kids. But first...
It's WW2 in Hitler-occupied France and a rogue squad of Jewish soldiers led by a hyper-articulate redneck with a taste for Nazi scalps are on a brutal rampage, decimating the soldiers of the Third Reich everywhere they go. Meanwhile, a Jewish farmer's daughter plots revenge on the Nazis with a plan to use the cinema she runs as her own personal death chamber. There will be blood. So, nothing you learned in school applies here, by the way. This is first and foremost a wildly exciting, gory, hilarious, tension-filled, testosterone-appropriating revenge fantasy that has less to do with war history than with film history and how Quentin Tarantino would have liked WW2 to end: in a ridiculous screaming explosion of machine guns and fire, with some comedic pit stops along the way for savage, justice-dispensing slaughters, foxy blonde Mata Haris with pretty bare feet and no-one-gets-out-alive "Mexican standoffs." It's not as out-of-control bonkers as Grindhouse, but it's a blast all the same. In a two and a half hour movie, how many minutes of screen-time is devoted to Brad Pitt vs. how much he represents in a two and a half minute trailer: Okay, I didn't count the exact number of minutes, but the big marquee name gets maybe 30 of the 150. And I think I'm being generous. Meanwhile, he dominates the trailer. That's because it's an ensemble of relative unknowns with one huge star among them. It's also impossible to shrink it all down for a short, easy-to-get advertisement. So as leader of the "basterds," Pitt rules the marketing campaign. Someone asked me at work who shouldn't it. Tarantino haters, for one. He's still the same guy, making movies in the same way he always has. So if you already know that he's not your cup of whatever, then stay away. And anyone who thinks this terrible moment in 20th century history shouldn't be turned into an absurd revenge comedy with a super-stoked teenage fervor for splattered brains might want to pass, too. If that's you then there's always reverent documentaries like "Ken Burns' The War". This was one of my favorite movies of the year an I will get it on DVD... it gets a 10 rating. But I did have one question... what's Mike Myers doing in this movie for all of five minutes? If I ever interviewed Tarantino I have to ask him 'cause I have no idea.
From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is tonight's..
I mentioned Brett Farve in the opening monologue, but here is the top ten list about him.
10. Forgot where he left his street clothes.
9. Meals at training camp are better than at the retirement home.
8. AARP's suggestion to stay active.
7. Eight more sacks and he gets a set of steak knives.
6. Where else do you get free Gatorade?
5. Guaranteed Metamucil sponsorship.
4. He's not quite old enough for Medicare.
3. The whole "Wal-Mart greeter" gig just wasn't working out.
2. Blew his interview to replace Paula Abdul.
And the number one reason Farve is returning to the NFL...
1. His goal to throw an interception for every NFL team remains unfulfilled.
Ted Kennedy: Another Kennedy? Shouldn't we be out of them by now?
Dominick Dunne: All dunne.
DJ AM: DJ AM - NYC OD LOL.
U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein is shot to death after guerrillas force his car off the road in Guatemala City. It is the first assassination of a U.S. Ambassador in the line of duty.
Three Italian fighter jets from the precision flight team Frecce Tricolori collide while attempting their "Pierced Heart" stunt during an air show at Ramstein Air Base in West Germany. The wreckage of one plane tumbles into the crowd and explodes, killing 40 spectators and seriously injuring hundreds more. The death toll reaches 69 two months later.
Calvin Klein withdraws an ad campaign after drawing wide criticism for mimicking the look and feel of child pornography. Although all the underwear models were legal adults, they appeared to be adolescents photographed in a sleazy motel room.
Death Row Records founder Suge Knight is shot in the leg during an early morning party in Miami Beach, Florida.
The book of the month is right below. Please buy it off Amazon.com and check it out. It's very funny and entertaining, kids. And coming soon on the Phile, and interview with the author... Mr. Victor Langlois.
Me: Welcome, Josh, to the Phile. Man, you have a pretty impressive career, don't you? So, where are you right now?
Josh: Thanks! I live in Los Angeles. I was born in New York City, but my family moved to L.A. when I was a kid.
Me: I have to ask you this from the start... did anybody ever tell you you look like Steven Page from the Barenaked Ladies?
Josh: No, never got that. But some people say I resemble America’s Favorite Funny Man, Neil Hamburger. Maybe its the glasses. I’ve also gotten Michael Stipe and Matt Damon.
Me: I saw you last year on Letterman, Josh. Was that fun to do? Was he nice to you? Was that the first talk show you did?
Josh: Playing on Letterman was a lot of fun. He was really nice. The last talk show I did was in 1995 in Paris, so it had been awhile.
Me: Did he sit there and listen, or did Dave leave the stage?
Josh: Not only did he sit and listen to the whole song, but I could tell he really appreciated what we were doing musically. He wrote a really nice letter to my dad after we got home thanking us and inviting us back. I’ve been a fan of Letterman for years, but meeting him in person and performing on his show I must tell you he is the real deal.
Me: What month were you born, Josh? I was born in November in 1968. You were born in '68 as well, right?
Josh: I was born in April 1968, right after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Me: Your family has a wide musical background. Tell the Phile readers about your siblings, and who your father was.
Josh: My father is one of the most highly respected jazz bass players in the world. He started with Paul Bley and Ornette Coleman when he was a teenager and went on to play with just about every jazz musician there is and is a solo artist in his own right. Check out his albums with the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra and his Quartet West. I also have three very talented sisters who all play music. They are Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden. Petra has played with lots of bands and artists like Foo Fighters, Decemberists, Mike Watt, and lots of others, as well as on her solo albums like "Imaginaryland" and "Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out". Rachel is on the road with Todd Rundgren as we speak. She’s working on her debut solo album. Both Petra and Rachel made up one half of the band That Dog who you might remember from the ‘90s which also featured former Warner Bros. Records President Lenny Waronker’s daughter Anna. Tanya has played with bands like Silversun Pickups and my band Spain (Petra played on Spain’s first CD as well) and she’s a great artist too.
Me: Isn't one of your sister's married to Jack Black? I bet he's a laugh at family gatherings.
Josh: Tanya is married to Jack Black. Jack is a great guy and a huge supporter of my music. We all went to high school together when we were kids. And yes, Jack has a great sense of humor! Not just in the movies!
Me: So, tell me about the band Spain. They are still together, right? When did Spain form and who came up with that name Spain?
Josh: Spain is a band I formed in 1993 and it continues to this day, even though I’m the only remaining original member. The name of the band came to me in a dream. A person came up to me in the dream and told me the name of my band should be Spain.
Me: Have you ever played Spain?
Josh: Yes, in the 90’s we played in Madrid, Barcelona, and in a town called Bilbao. In 2007 and 2008 we went back to Spain to play at a festival called Tanned Tin. One was in an area sort of close to Barcelona called Castellón, the other was in a small town called Cadiz at the Southern tip of Spain, near the border with Morocco.
Me: One of my favorite Johnny Cash songs is called "Spiritual"... I just found out you wrote that. Did I get my facts right?
Josh: Yes, that’s the same song Johnny Cash covered on his album “Unchained”, produced by Rick Rubin.
Me: You had a few albums out in the last few years, Josh. What is the latest? Do you prefer performing with a band like Spain or solo?
Josh: My most recent full-length CD was released under my own name in 2007. It was produced by Dan the Automator and features former Spain guitarist Merlo Podlewski along with keyboardist John Medeski (from Medeski, Martin, & Wood) and turntablist Kid Koala, all legendary musicians in their own rights. Performing the songs from my solo album live, as well as performing with Dan’s and Prince Paul’s Handsome Boy Modeling School, which my solo album was kind of a spin off from, was a great experience. I’m glad I’m performing under the name Spain again. I’m working with some really amazing musicians, some of whom are veterans of my solo band. We are working on a 7” for the Spanish label Acuarela (same people who put on the Tanned Tin festivals) right now with a full length album on the way which will be produced by Soulsavers’ Rich Machin.
Me: On "Family & Friends", you have some impressive friends. Did you handpick them, or did they come to you? Go ahead and name drop, Josh. I think it's cool.
Josh: “Family & Friends” is my father’s project. Its something that he’s been working towards for a long time. I’m also a big part of it, of course, as are my sisters, but its really my dad’s baby. My dad’s the boss. He invited a lot of his close friends to play on it, like Pat Metheny who he’s been playing with for years (check out their albums “Beyond The Missouri Sky”, “Rejoicing”, and “80/81”), Bruce Hornsby, Mark Fain, Jack Black, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs (we recorded the album at his Nashville studio), Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Dan Tyminski (from “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack), Stuart Duncan, Brian Sutton, Bela Fleck, the list goes on and on.
Me: Where was your favorite place you ever performed? I would think the Grand Ole Opry would be one of them.
Josh: Grand Ole Opry is probably the pinnacle. Can’t get any better than that. Letterman is up there. I’ve played at some incredible venues with my band Spain in Europe, La Botanique in Brussels, Aula Magna in Lisbon, also Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and the Fillmore when I was with HBMS. In L.A. a club called Spaceland is very close to my heart, my band Spain played our first ever L.A. show there in 1993 when it was called Pan. My favorite place to play is a club here in L.A. called the Echo.
Me: You also recorded with Sean Lennon and The Blue Man Group. Two completely different experiences I am betting. How did you get the Lennon gig, and did he talk about his dad? As far as the Blue Man Group, did they record with or without their make-up?
Josh: I sang on a great song called “Sunshine” that was written by Money Mark for the first Handsome Boy Modeling School album entitled “So, How’s Your Girl?” It was a duet with Sean Lennon, but we recorded it in two different studios on two different coasts so I never got to meet him in person. But he and my sister Petra are good friends. I also recorded a song called “Persona” for the sophmore Blue Man Group album entitled “The Complex” and that was also a great experience. I’m not sure if they record with their make-up because I was just there to do my vocal over-dubs, but after I was finished and we were getting ready to go out they did try to get me to wear the Blue Man Group outfit, make-up and all!
Me: Okay, Josh, who are the Anteaters?
Josh: Anteaters are the sports teams moniker of my alma mater, University of California, Irvine! I give them a shout-out on my Myspace and Facebook pages as a kind of inside joke with a few former classmates of mine. They haven’t said anything about it to me yet though. I used to wear UC Irvine t-shirts when I was a student there and everyone would laugh at me. But I really do love my school. I learned a lot there and had some great teachers who still influence me to this day.
Me: I hope this was fun, sir. Go ahead and plug whatever you wish. Do you have anything you wanna tell the readers of the Phile? I wish you continued success and I hope we can do this again sometime.
Josh: Thanks and I really do appreciate the opportunity to talk about my different projects and plug them a little bit too. On my blog aptly entitled “Josh’s Blog” (http://www.joshhaden.blogspot.com) there are links to my Myspace/Facebook/Twitter pages if anyone wants to learn more about me and hear some of my music, as well as links to about a hundred more websites I’m involved with, as well as links to my sisters’ and dad’s websites and links to other people’s websites I’m fans of. Thanks again!
Man, I just interviewed Jack Black's brother in law, how cool is that? Check out Josh's music on iTunes. He is a really great performer. That's about it. I am gonna wrap up this entry and go watch the shuttle take off from my backyard. The Phile will be back on Monday with the final interview for Alumni Month with Webb Wilder. Then next Friday on the Phile it's friend and singer Michael Chagnon. So, spread the word, not the turd, hello Mr. Black if you're reading this... bye, love you, bye.