Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pheaturing Laura Bridget Regan From Bridget and the Squares

Hello, welcome to the Phile, I am your host, Charlie Sheen. Ha ha. I wish. Man, that guy is living the American dream, isn't he? Seriously, welcome to the Phile, where all this year we are celebrating 5 years of this blog. Five years... that's like half a decade. If you are under seven years old, make sure you are reading this blog with a 14 years old. The movie True Grit is doing very well at the box office, but I don’t know why. It doesn’t have any aliens, explosions, or karate, and it’s not even in 3-D. Hollywood is getting lazy trying to fool us with quality. The star of True Grit is Jeff Bridges. His movies are too good, too often. He needs to make a crappy movie about a cat that plays basketball or something. We’re 12 days into the new year. Today is the day that your Christmas lights have officially been up too long. Hey, Oprah’s new television channel, OWN, is up. Oprah said her mission for her new channel is to create a network that has mindful, not mindless, TV. She’s done it with shows like “Miracle Detectives” and “Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag.” I tried to find the new Oprah network, but my universal remote tried to kill itself. Verizon announced that they will start selling their version of the iPhone. This version will actually make calls. Celebrities used to get in trouble for throwing their cell phones at people, but nowadays the phones are so light that if someone threw a phone, you’d be like, “That’s cute.” I used to think phones would be built into everyday objects, like a shoe-phone or a watch-phone, but it’s gone the opposite way. Now everything is part of the phone, and if you lose it, you lose everything. You may as well change your name to Randy Quaid. Did you know that here in Florida there's no snow on the ground. Jealous? NASA released photos of a mysterious green blob floating out in space. Either that or someone sneezed on the telescope. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger starts a speaking tour later this month. Tickets are selling for between $270 and $427. Imagine how much they would charge if he could actually speak. So, are you kids fan of Spongebob? Have you seen the new Spongebob ads? If not, check it out.

I don't understand it. And now for the first inspirational poster of 2011.

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

Did you guys watch any college football over the past few weeks? You know, there's a lot of different college bowl games that most people haven't heard of. Yeah, you know the Rose or Cotton, but did you know the lesser known bowls? No. That's good, because this week's topic is...
Top Ten Least Popular College Bowl Games
10. The Minnesota Collapsi-Bowl.
9. The Palin Bowl (both teams leave at halftime).
8. The Splenda Sugar Substitute Bowl.
7. The 70% Polyester / 30% Cotton Bowl.
6. The Manut Bowl.
5. The Siesta Bowl.
4. The Axl Rose Bowl.
3. The Dust Bowl.
2. Players With Actual College Credits Bowl.
And the number one least popular college bowl game is...
1. Boehner Orange Bowl.

Gerry Rafferty
April 16, 1947 - January 4, 2011
Gave up the booze and the one-night stands.
Anne Francis
September 16, 1930 - January 2, 2011
Born in the east, played Honey West, and has now officially gone south.

This is the 13th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C.

It's available on and the author Lynnette Porter will be a guest on the Phile in two weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the New York based band Bridget and the Squares. Their new album "Still Life" is available now on iTunes and they'll be kicking off their tour tonight at R-Bar in New York City. Please welcome to the Phile... Laura Bridget Regan.

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

Laura: Just Dandy! Thanks for asking!

Me: You recently moved to New York City from Boston, right? What made you do that and where do you like better?

Laura: I moved to Brooklyn, NY in June of 2009. It was time for a change for me and in turn it really breathed new life into Bridget and the Squares. I had hit a wall in Boston and the only thing I could really do was leave. I needed to make a drastic change in order to be able to move forward. As far as liking one or the other better, I know might lose fans over this, but NY is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love it here. I have found a true sense of self in NY and a happiness I never had in Boston. There is a lot of truth to the saying that if you make it here you can make it anywhere. Musicians are a dime a dozen here. It is validating to be a musician that stands out in a sea of other extremely talented people.

Me: Are you a sports fan? If you are you cannot like Boston teams while you live in the Big Apple.

Laura: I get a lot of shit for being a Red Sox/Pats fan here. That’s why I gave my Red Sox hat to my drummer. He’s from Vegas and doesn’t care. I’ve almost gotten into many physical fights over that hat. It’s safer on his head.

Me: Laura, I have to say I love your CD "Still Life" which I purchased off from iTunes. I wish there was a picture of you on the cover because then I would of ordered a physical copy. When did the CD come out and how long did it take to record it?

Laura: The CD was officially released in June of 2010 exactly a year after we recorded the entire record in one weekend at Soul Shop in Medford, MA with Elio Deluca.

Me: I loved the CD, Bridg. It's like listening to a female Ben Fold's. Who are your influences?

Laura: My influences are really all over the place. I listen to a lot of contemporary rock and pop these days but I love big band jazz, classic soul and R&B, and traditional blues/folk. My past influences were definitely Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and Mr. Folds of course. But as of late I’ve been listening to a lot of Ida Maria, Frightened Rabbit, and Florence and the Machine. I also just discovered an amazing songwriter Jeremy Messersmith. I have fallen in love with his lyrics and he needs to move to NY and be my boyfriend. He’s probably married or something but since when did that matter?

Me: Is that you on piano? When did you start playing?

Laura: I started messing around on my grandmother’s organ in her attic when I was probably 6 years old. I used to write little songs by myself for hours. One day Nana was up there with me and she taught me the waltz. As you can tell, that sort of rocked my little 6 year old world and I continue to write in 3/4, 6/8 time a whole lot to this day. So I pretty much taught myself from a young age, but took lessons for a little while when I was 14, then continued to push myself and learn more throughout the years. I also play guitar and I actually had lessons on that instrument first when I was 11, but piano has always been my oldest and more dependable friend.

Me: Two songs really stick out for me. "There's A Ghost In My Pants" and "iFlab". Did you write both of those songs? Explain the writing process and meaning. By the way, there's a ghost in my pants as well.

Laura: All the songs on the record were written by me over the past 5 or 6 years. My writing process like everyone's writing process is unique to me I'm sure and probably seems crazy to other writers. I usually write the whole song, lyrics, chords, and melody, all at once and if it's not well on its way to being finished in 20mins I will probably never finish it or be satisfied with it. All of my best songs have been written spur of the moment and were finished and recorded on my laptop within an hour. “There Are Ghosts In My Pants” is a very dark song. I would be interested to know what you think it’s about. So tell me and we’ll go back to that one. “iFLAB” is about my ex who I was with for 4 years post college. He was the rock that I clung too when I was too afraid to swim to shore. Once I got up the courage, leaving him became the catalyst for everything in my life to change and take motion. We had to end our relationship for me to realize that I was strong enough to move forward on my own. iFLAB is about how he would never commit to a future with me. Looking back, thank god he had the foresight that I lacked because I never would have tried to succeed if I still had him as my security blanket.

Me: I have to ask you about your band, the Squares. Did you form the band in New York or Boston?

Laura: Bridget and the Squares did begin in Boston, but has reformed and been rejuvenated in NYC. There have been many many squares over the past 4 years. Some have been good friends, some have been hired guns, but currently they are solid bandmates and great friends and I don’t know what I would do without their ideas, opinions, and support.

Me: Who are the Squares anyway?

Laura: Aram Chekijan and I met serendipitously at a music industry night in Manhattan. He overheard me mention that I needed a bass player and he played bass. He came over to my apartment one day soon after with his upright bass and made me cry. Since then he has given me sound advice, been ridiculously reliable, and he is a groovy goddamn bass player. Honestly, I only went for the open bar, Aram was an added bonus. Kyle Thompson moved to NY one month before I did in 2009 and we found each other at the NYC Talent Show at Bowery Poetry Club. We started to collaborate over the summer of 2010 on a project that he will be starting up in 2011 called Kyle and The Animal. All of a sudden I needed a drummer for tour and he said he played drums. Luckily he wasn’t lying and turns out he is amazingly talented. We have probably the strongest musical relationship I’ve ever had with anyone in over 10 years of playing music. There are other guest Squares, Amanda Dellevigne from the band Night Fruit in Boston will be playing bass on tour with us in this month. I also have other various talented friends that are honorary squares here and there.

Me: And are they really square?

Laura: These squares are pretty hip I have to say, but the original squares really were total squares. They were mechanical engineers and they didn’t even drink! LAME. They are endearing wonderful gentlemen though and we’re still friends, square or not.

Me: Any chance you'll be hitting Florida on this tour?

Laura: Awww... sorry too far south for this tour I’m afraid.

Me: Atlanta is not that far from here, you know.

Laura: Do you want to pay for the extra days on the rental car?

Me: So, what is next? Are you planning another album already?

Laura: We plan on doing a music video next for the track “Left for Dead” off of "Still Life". I also want to perform a lot more consistently and plan another tour for next fall. I think 2012 will be the next album. But I do already have enough for a new album. Maybe we’ll do an EP sometime next year... we’ll see.

Me: Laura, I wish you a lot of luck and you are welcomed on the Phile anytime. I know you have a Myspace site, do you have a Facebook site as well?

Laura: We are developing a website so keep an eye on and Like our facebook page too!

Me: Continued success and keep writing. You definitely have an amazing talent, and I will keep looking forward to new Bridget & The Squares music.

Laura: Thanks so much for finding us! I hope you keep enjoying our music! We would love to chat again anytime!

There you go, that about does it. Thanks to Laura Bridget Regan for a great interview. Try to see them in concert this month. And thanks to you, the reader. The Phile will be back next Wednesday, not Thursday, with upcoming British pop star Alex Cheatle. Then the following week the guest will be author Lynnette Porter. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye love you, bye.

Picture by Jeff Trelewicz.