Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pheaturing Alumni Id Guinness

Hello, phriends, welcome to another entry of the Phile, it seems only yesterday I posted an entry. Oh, yeah, it was yesterday. Charlie Sheen is getting such bad reviews for his live show, that scalpers are offering to pay $40 to get rid of tickets. Researchers in Canada have created an injection that works as a long-term solution for cat allergies. I think that’s known as “putting your cat to sleep.” Scientists say the ozone layer over the Arctic has shrunk a record 40 percent. It’s the biggest hole in the sky that’s not on a Southwest plane. The elderly are the fastest-growing segment of Internet users. I know several old people that send email, chat, and Skype with their friends. Some of them even do it when the computer is turned on. There’s a $376 million semi-secret construction project happening at the White House, and it’s rumored that a tunnel is being built underneath. That’s a lot of work for President Obama to get away from his mother-in-law. Let the man have a cigarette. I think Obama is building an underground Kenya so he can Africanize us from below. I heard that on Fox News. They found the missing cobra from the Bronx Zoo. It was right between a filing cabinet and a dead zookeeper. Now there’s a contest to name the cobra. They should have named it before, so that when it got lost, they could have just called it. So, once in awhile I like to make a graph to explain things to you, kids. I haven't done this in awhile, so here's a new one.
A few weeks ago there was a Super Moon, do you kids remember that? I did not realize 'til today there was a moon landing at the same time. Don't believe me? Take a look.

Crazy, eh? In yesterday's entry I mentioned that baseball season just started, and being British I don't know too much about baseball, and never really followed it, even through for years I have said I was a Yankees fan. Anyway, I thought it's about time I learnt all about America's favorite past time... I have lived in America for going on 25 years. So, I thought I would ask a good friend and sports expert. So, once again, it's time to...

Me: Hello, Jeff, welcome to the Phile. Thanks for stopping by to help me again. I am from England and don't know anything about baseball, except that A-Rod is the man. Now it's baseball season, what should I look for and who will do well? What can we expect from the season?

Jeff: The season is starting off in weird fashion. It's always hard to say in the first week, since they play 162 games, plus playoffs. I expect the Red Sox (even though they are struggling bad right now) to win the American League East. The Yankees will be the Wild Card. The White Sox will win AL Central and the Angels to win the AL West. In the National League East it will be the Braves, the Central will be the Cardinals, the Dodgers will win the West and the Giants will win the Wild Card. In the end I expect the Phillies to win the World Series. They could have four of the most dominate starting pitchers if Cole Hamels is healthy.

Me: Also, you're a Red Sox fan, right? Will they play better then the Yankees?

Jeff: I think the Yankees will go out and make moves which will make them a better team then they look on a paper, and on paper (it kills me to admit it) they look good. They will be underestimated due to the age of some of their players. So if they make a big trade, the Yankees might take the East Division.

Me: Thank you, Jeff, I appreciate you explaining it to me.

Today's Alumni guest was last on the Phile January 31st, 2009. Man, that's a long time ago. He has a new album out which is available on iTunes called "Soul Envy". Please welcome back to the Phile... Id Guinness.

Me: Hello, Id, welcome back to the Phile. It's been 2 years since you were here. Time flies, right?

Id: Yes, indeed it does. Way too damn fast.

Me: Last time we talked you were working on your new album "Soul Envy", and now it's out. Are you happy with it?

Id: I’m happy with it. It’s not selling as well as the first one or getting as many reviews, so I guess that means others aren’t necessarily as happy with it as I am, but that’s ok. It’s more complex and pessimistic - not always an easy listen.

Me: How different is it from your last album, "Cure For the Common Crush"?

Id: Well, where "Cure For the Common Crush" had a lot of big, hopeful anthems, this one turned into almost a concept album about loss. The lyrics are darker, although musically it’s probably a lot poppier. I used a lot of Beach Boys harmonies and oohs and aahs to help lighten the weight of the subject matter. Musically, "Soul Envy" starts off where the "Cure" ends. "Wailing Wall" morphs into "Guardians of the New Frontier" for a couple of minutes before the darkness descends.

Me: What's the meaning of the title, "Soul Envy"? I know there's a good story behind it, Id.

Id: Originally, the songs I had in mind for it had more of an early ‘70s R&B vibe. I had been listening to a lot of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Staple Singers, that sort of thing. Somewhere during the process my direction shifted, but the title still seemed to fit.

Me: The album cover for the new album is a lot more basic then the last one. Where was that picture taken?

Id: I found a brilliant photographer from Bangkok who was kind enough to let me use his images. In return, I promote him any way I can. His name is Sureeyapon Sri_ampai (what a great name, hey?) And his website is although I like his profile on better. I don`t know exactly where in Thailand that picture was taken, but I was immediately drawn to it. The strange bird-like trees seem like they are aching to embrace.

Me: I read that your music has been in some films. Is that cool for you? Do you sit and watch those movies, and wait for your song to come on? I would. I do that with Foghat song's that appear in films. And then I have to go buy them.

Id: It is interesting to see how filmmakers use songs, how they’re edited and how they pair the lyrics with scenes and storylines. Mine have been used in everything from Swedish indie horror films to documentaries about taggers to commercials for airshows.

Me: There's a really good video for one of your songs, I noticed. Did you have a large part in creating it? It was put into a film festival, is that right?

Id: I didn’t have a part in the making of it at all - I have no talent in that area whatsoever. The director, Kailey Carruthers, was a film student at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and the resulting video was a student project of hers that turned out really well. It was screened here in Vancouver with several other short student films - all of which were fantastic. Earlier in 2010 it was shown at the Chicago International Music and Movie Festival. I’m not sure if it has hit any other festivals or not.

Me: You live outside Vancouver, right? Do you live in the same place?

Id: For now, yes, in the strange and magical town of Mission - where Benedictine Monks and Hell's Angels live together in perfect harmony. We have a very eclectic demographic to say the least, a melting pot to end all melting pots, but somehow it works.

Me: By the way, did anybody ever tell you look like Timothy Hutton?

Id: Damn, I do too, don't I? But my hair is way cool compared to his... although in fairness, his teeth are nicer.

Me: On the last album, you covered a David Bowie song. Any new covers on this album? You know, you could always cover a Foghat tune.

Id: You know, when I first discovered that Lonesome Dave was your Dad, I started listening to Foghat songs again to see if I could do any of them justice. I have fond memories of jamming to "Slow Ride" with my buddies as a teenager. I’m stuck, though, so why don’t you pick one and I’ll record it. As for "Soul Envy", the only cover is "Face the Sun" - a great song written by my buddy Ledenhed from San Francisco.

Me: Id, how are the Wyrd Sisters? Just thought I'd ask.

Id: Well, that’s a good question. Kim, the main writer and I are working on some new material which could turn into another project entirely. It’s too soon to say. Hopefully the Sisters will hit the road again soon, and hopefully with me. Best motor home experience ever!

Me: So, what's next, my friend? Any new releases planned? You are welcomed back when the new album comes out, you know that, right?

Id: Thanks, Jason. At the end of 2008 I put out a digital album called "Crush’d". It was a collection of older unreleased songs and alternate versions and mixes of songs from "Cure for the Common Crush". It was done in kind of a rush so I’m re-recording and re-mixing some of it and having it properly mastered. At the same time, I’m working on its companion piece "Soul’d" which is another album’s worth of previously unreleased songs, covers and alternate versions of songs from "Soul Envy". Those will hopefully be released together in late 2011. I’m also constantly recording more new material for a follow-up to "Soul Envy". I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I’ve got a lot of work yet to do on all of it, though.

Me: I wish you a lot of luck. Go ahead and plug your website and I hope all is well. Thanks again.

Id: Thank you! I really appreciate your support, Jason. People can find me at or All the best to you and your family.

There you go, another entry done. Thanks to my good friend Jeff Trelewicz for answering my questions about baseball and to Id Guinness for doing another great interview. He does look like Timothy Hutton, right? The Phile will be back next Friday, as my day's off change, with Staci Butler who is the lead singer for the Texas based rock band Staci's Edge. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snake and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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