Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pheaturing Reveling Matt Manzo

Hello, there, welcome to another entry of the Phile, kicking off the 4th year. Yep, the Phile started officially on January 8th, four years ago. I can't believe I've been wasting my time for this long. So, how do you like the new look? I think it's pretty cool. Anyway, I'm sure you heard by now but here in Florida it's been freezing. It's been so cold, Florida went from looking like a wang to just a stump. It's like America just took a cold shower. It's so cold, I feel like pissing my wife off, just so I can be in some hot water. This sucks, if you are into football... The New York Jets are in the playoffs and the New York Giants are out of the playoffs. What was God doing, taking a nap? According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the year of the Tiger. Because it definitely wasn't 2009 for him. Or maybe it was... Congratulation's to President Obama on becoming an uncle. His brother-in-law Craig Robinson and his wife just had a son in Oregon, or so they claim. Lou Dobbs is demanding to see the birth certificate. The child's name is Austin Robinson. Next week he’ll go before the Senate and if they confirm him, he’ll become the official nephew of Obama. Health officials in Mexico have issued a warning after thousands of dead fish have washed up on the coast. They don’t know what killed the fish, though a single bullet wound to the back of the head may indicate drug cartel involvement. Marylin Manson announced today that he is engaged to actress Evan Rachel Wood. If you’re looking to get them a present, they’re registered at Bed, Bath, & Bizarre. It won’t be long before we hear the pitter-patter of little devil worshipping weirdoes. Elvis Presley would have been 75 on his birthday a few days ago. He was a deputy in Nixon’s war on drugs. That’s like having Tiger Woods give out promise rings. So, for months I have been showing you different motivational posters, which is cheap comedy, and last week I showed you an Avatar themed motivational poster. That one was so successful, I guess they decided to make another. Check it out.

And now, let's play...
My son was watching the Transformers cartoon and I was a little disturbed.

Okay, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Answers To The Question, "How Cold Is It?"
10. "It's so cold, my Snuggie needed a Snuggie."
9. "It's so cold, the pigeons in New York City have been replaced with penguins."
8. "It's so cold, it's minus six degrees of Kevin Bacon."
7. "It's so cold, Green Bay Packer's fans are wearing two coats of green paint."
6. "It's so cold, even CEO salaries are frozen."
5. "It's so cold, even PETA members are wearing fur."
4. "It's so cold, Matthew McConaughey put on a shirt."
3. "It's so cold, the Hudson River is now a designated runway."
2. "It's so cold, I can see Russia's breath from my house."
And the number one answer to the question, "How cold is it?" is...
1. "It's so cold, people are ordering explosives for their underwear."

Miep Gies
February 15, 1909 - January 11, 2010
Most people remember her for that Anne Frank diary thing. Everyone seems to forget that she was the inspiration for the Road Runner's signature sound.

General William T. Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15, entitling the household of each freed slave "a plot of no more than forty acres of tillable ground" along the Carolina coastline between Charleston and Jacksonville. After the Confederate surrender, the Johnson administration makes a halfhearted attempt to follow through on the acreage, but all efforts to parcel out the land in question are abandoned just a few months later.
Industrialist Henry Ford offers the incredible sum of a $5 per day wage for unskilled labor (previously $2.34), but only to married white Christian men willing to subject themselves to surveillance and random home inspections by the company's Sociology Department.
Murderer Ruth Snyder executed in the Electric Chair at Ossining. Photographer Thomas Howard catches the moment of death with a camera secretly strapped to his ankle, and the photo runs on the front page of the New York Daily News.
At 10:58 a.m. PST, scientists conduct what they called a "controlled excursion", burning up a nuclear rocket in Nevada and putting a radioactive cloud over Los Angeles.
Premiere on television of the homoerotic comedy "Batman" starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
The first episode of "All in the Family" made television history by broadcasting the sound of a toilet flushing.
One of the Hillside Stranglers, security guard Kenneth Bianchi, is arrested in Bellingham, Washington for a pair of rape/strangulations. After he moved north from Los Angeles he made the mistake of continuing his high profile hobby.
A transcript of the infamous 1989 intercepted phone call between Camilla and Prince Charles is published by the Sun. "I'll just live inside your trousers or something". Good god. Advice Re: Camilla -- that tuna can't possibly taste good.

Who's In It: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong.
The Basics: Sherlock Holmes and his very close, intimate friend Dr. Watson like to spend lots and lots and lots of time together. Watson fusses over Holmes and keeps him together when he's sad or depressed. All Watson has to do is walk into a room and it makes Holmes's heart do cartwheels and backflips into the air! They like to go have adventures together solving mysteries about ritual Satanic murders. It's just them, two special friends, living, loving, laughing and battling the devil's emissary in 19th century London. But then along comes this lady who wants to take Watson away from Holmes. She's dumb. Hate her.
What's The Deal: Okay that's not the actual plot, just what you'll be thinking every time these two affectionately gaze into each other's eyes. It's actually about the bad Satan-worshipping guy who runs around bellowing, "I'M THE DEVIL'S MAIN BRO!" and scaring everyone witless while Holmes and Watson cleverly gather clues to bring down his evildoing. They also get into major brawls with this or that obstacle-ish bad guy, men twice Downey's size whom he takes down with mechanical precision. Because on director Guy Ritchie's checklist of obsessions, right after revering and then punching holes in the traditionally masculine cement wall of crime-adoring films, he also loves reveling in and distantly observing violence as a way men solve problems. You might just want to skip it if your thing is old-fashioned Holmes, the civilized gentleman tossing off lines like, "It's elementary, Dear Watson." But if you can get with a funny, jumpy, modern re-invention of these characters then you're going to have a great time.
Missing Pieces Of The Puzzle: Well, Rachel McAdams doesn't get a lot of action here, since Ritchie's never been overly concerned with what the women in his movies are doing. And because Holmes's logic is private and labyrinthine, the film can't build on the clues he finds because they're all, by virtue of being discovered by him, obscure markers on a convoluted path. So momentum and suspense are an issue. You're just waiting for the inevitable crime-solving moment. Thankfully, it delivers that moment with humor and and a dizzying pile-up of explanations that you'd have never come up with yourself. Because you're probably not a well-paid screenwriter. And you're definitely not Sherlock Holmes.
You're More Likely To Find That Famous Hat On Sesame Street's Sherlock Hemlock: Right at the beginning there's a fast-paced sequence that includes a blink-and-miss moment involving a hat. And it happens so quickly that you'll be arguing with yourself about whether or not it's even the right kind of hat. And then you forget about it because after that the top of Downey's head mostly resembles Jennifer Aniston's from 1995. As anachronisms go, it's nervy. And fluffy. And features discreet blondish highlights.
Will I Get It On Blu-Ray? Of course!

Below is a picture of the 4th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club. The author, Alan Dean Foster, will be interviewed on the Phile next Tuesday.

Today's interview is with a folk/pop singer/songwriter based in Pittsburgh. His latest release "Zuzu's Petals" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Reveling Matt Manzo.

Me: Hello, Matt, welcome to the Phile. Should I call you Matt or Reveling? Anyway, how are you?

Matt: Thanks I feel welcome! And good, thanks for asking.

Me: Your stage name is Reveling Matt... how did that come about?

Matt: Reveling was the word that came to mind when I listened to or played music. In my mind it meant joy. I later found out it’s a phrase used for when people are drunk or taking part in orgies – if you reference the Bible. So, not what I thought it meant. Anyhow, I am trying now to phase out of that and go by Matt Manzo nowadays.

Me: What happened to all your band members? Especially your hot looking singer Molly. You had a lot of them, didn't you?

Matt: Well, Reveling had two line ups. One in Eau Claire, WI and the other in Montana. The band members on the album I met in a Christian organization called Youth With A Mission and they liked the music and “gave” a year of their time to play my music with me. We had 7 members, including me. Molly was a fantastic singer. She challenged me to really be precise in my melodic writing because she’d always be singing these perfect counter melodies to the songs. Anyhow most of them are out west still and the lead guitarist is in Nashville, but no longer playing music sadly. And the Bassist and Rhythm guitarist are married and live in Australia.

Me: I downloaded your album and EP both off from iTunes, Matt. "Zuzu's Petals" is your latest release, which is the EP. Why was your second release so short? You are very talented and I am sure your fans want to hear more music.

Matt: Well I got married and had my first kid that year. So times were strained to do much of what I wanted to do. Which was fine because I am glad to be a husband and a father.
"Zuzu’s" was recorded in Nashville while I lived there for a year. Aaron Sternke produced the album and we recorded it in his home studio. I did have a lot more songs that I would have like to get down but there just wasn’t time.

Me: Speaking of "Zuzu's Petals", where did that title come from? That sounds like a great stripper name. LOL.

Matt: Interestingly enough it actually comes from an old movie. It’s A Wonderful Life was a movie I grew up watching as a kid and it kind of became this deep truth of what life is about for me. Zuzu is the daughter of Jimmy Steward’s character and at one point in the movie he shoves these petals from a flower of Zuzu’s in his pocket. Later in the movie the petals represent the meaningful things that he has in his life. And that’s why I named it "Zuzu’s Petals" because these four songs were about events, good or bad, that were important/meaningful occurrences in my life.

Me: Your first release "On Our Way" is a really good album, Matt. When and where was that recorded? You have some very good songs on it. You must really like songwriting?

Matt: I do love writing songs. I feel like I could sit in a dark room and do that forever and I would be most myself there too. "On Our Way" was recorded in July-August of, what year did that come out… 2004 I think. Again with Aaron Sternke, who really had a talented hand in creating a place for the songs to come alive. The name of the studio was… ummm Studio 501, run by Steve Praetzel on the Youth With A Mission campus. The campus was in a 500 population town called Lakeside, Montana.

Me: I know you have a family, Matt, do you let your wife hear your songs as you work on them to get feedback? I bet having children changes the way you work and write.

Matt: LOL! My wife is a musician too and I sometimes ask for her opinion, but as I’ve learned it’s not always what I want or need to hear when I’m in the middle of it. So I usually wait 'til it’s complete and bring it to her. She’s always honest which is why I love her, but sometimes it’s better for me to share it with a close friend/fan as to keep our relationship critically free. And yes kids have definitely changed my system. My system now is - there is no system. *Smirk*

Me: I have a ten-year-old son and I know how it is to balance work, doing this lame little blog and building Lego sets with him. You said you just had a baby?

Matt: Yes, in September we had our second. Two boys. They are the coolest, I’m sure every parent thinks that but, they are. We play with Hot Wheels cars a lot. And I’ve seen enough kids movies/TV shows in the last year than I think I ever wanted to.

Me: Matt, you're from Pittsburgh I believe. Have you lived there all your life?

Matt: No, I married into the Sixburgh “glory”. I was an army brat, born in Nuremberg, Germany and bounced around a couple southern states. My deepest roots though were in Eau Claire, WI where I lived with my mother and sister for about 12 years.

Me: Have you been playing and writing songs most of your life?

Matt: Songs on purpose since I was 18, but making stuff up since I was 15. That’s when I got my first guitar.

Me: I looked at your influences and have to say you have a good taste. Have you ever opened for or met any of the bands or musicians that you like?

Matt: Thanks; I’d like to think so too. Yeah, I’ve open and had Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, play with me at a handful of shows. Justin was a High School classmate of mine in Eau Claire. In fact, Justin recorded my first ever release in 1999 or 2000. He’s probably the most influential artist that has impacted my music on that list. If you haven’t heard any DeYarmond Edison then you should check that stuff out. Oh and I also met all the guys from Counting Crows, sans Adam Duritz, at a concert in Minneapolis. But that was just some breeze shooting, nothing to really speak of.

Me: If there's one person who you wish you can play or record with, who would that be?

Matt: Man oh man. Um, I would love to record with members of Counting Crows because the way they arrange their recordings is phenomenal. I’ve also always dreamed of having a record produced by Brendan O’Brien who produced Pearl Jam’s “Vs.” and “Vitalogy”, Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising”, Lifehouse’s “Stanley Climbfall”, and Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”. Just a lot of records in my collection that I love the way they sound. I would also love to record with Vern again to now that I have a decade of experience under my belt. That's three not one, guess that's why I'm not a mathematician.

Me: Do you know Ms. Joy Ike? She's been on the Phile and was a real treat.

Matt: Yeah man! Joy is amazing in all she does. She is the poster person for networking and being an unsigned musician and making a living out of it. She really helped me get my feet wet in the Pittsburgh scene. We’ve played a couple of times together is songwriter circles she puts together. Great, great girl.

Me: Matt, anything new we can look forward from you? I think a live album would be so cool. Continued success to you, Matt, and I hope this was fun. You are welcomed back to the Phile anytime you want. Go ahead and plug your website if you want. Hope to see you in Florida sometime.

Matt: Yes I am currently recording another small 3 song EP with a home studio in my spare time. I hope to get it out by the end of this year, early next year. I am also posting videos on youtube weekly of all sorts of stuff – Older originals, unreleased songs, and covers too. It’s the usual youtube stuff. I don’t have an official website but I have officially posted my stuff on free sites. Some places to find me and my music http://www.youtube.com/mattmanzo, http://www.myspace.com/reveling, Facebook and http://virb.com/mattmanzo. Thanks so much for finding me, and taking your time to invite me here to let me share my music, and a bit of my life with ya. I like your blog and the interviews a lot. It’s been a true pleasure and I hope our paths cross again.

Well, that's this this week's entry. I hope you like the few new changes I made. I am just keeping it fresh, you know. I would like to tank Matt Manzo for taking time out to do the interview. He seems real cool, and I would love to him him back on the Phile again. Also, thanks to Wikipedia. The Phile will be back next week with Peverett Phile Book Club author Alan Dean Foster, which is a big deal for me. So, until then, have a safe week, spread the word, not the turd, bye love you bye.

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