Monday, June 6, 2011

Pheaturing Alumni The Whiskey Saints

Hello, welcome to The Peverett Phile: Phirst Ass, how are you? Thanks for stopping by. So, did you hear this? Scientists are using a robot explorer at the pyramids in Egypt to photograph secret chambers that humans haven’t seen in 4,500 years. There’s graffiti down there that hasn’t been translated yet. It probably says, “Larry King was here.” Some of the secret passages are only eight inches wide. Does this prove the existence of ancient Egyptian leprechauns? The USDA replaced the food pyramid with the “food plate.” After years of the food pyramid, many Americans ended up shaped like pyramids. Am I the only one that thinks the government might have bigger problems than to tell me what to eat? If so, we need a new election — so I can re-elect them. Oh, wait, I cannot vote. There’s something absurd about helping our nutrition by putting a food chart on boxes, when food that comes out of boxes is the problem. A new study found that cleaning your house can increase stress. Yeah, but so can hiring someone else to do it for you — just ask Maria Shriver. Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, announced that he’s running for president. And this is cool — if his campaign isn’t over in 30 minutes or less, you get your pizza for free. This past weekend at Disney World here in Florida it was another Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Holly wood Studios, the greatest theme park to work at ever and Gay Days. I couldn't believe the merchandise they were selling. Take a look at this ad for a Stormtrooper helmet.

I wanted to ask the gay people I met which is gayer, Justin Beiber or Twilight? Anyway, I love this Star Wars themed inspirational poster.

And now for some sad news...

Lawrence Eagleburger
August 1, 1930 - June 4, 2011
Tastes just like chicken.
Jack Kevorkian
May 26, 1928 - June 3, 2011
He died doing what he loved: dying.
James Arness
May 26, 1923 - June 3, 2011
Quite apart from receiving the Purple Heart, The Bronze Star and The Combat Infantryman Badge in World War II, he was Marshall Dillion on Gunsmoke. Dude was a BADASS.

Here's not one, but two movie reviews, kids.

Now that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have evaporated into the ocean mist, all that's left between bad pirates and all the treasure in the world is Jack Sparrow. His evolution from wisecracking, drunken Greek chorus to lead character is finally complete, so it's up to him to juggle three crews of seafarers, all of them after the Fountain of Youth. The Spanish want it; the British (led by Sparrow's old adversary Barbossa) want it; and now Penelope Cruz and Blackbeard want it, too. Add pointless zombies, some hot looking mermaids and a minister tempted out of faith by his very own Ariel. Shake it all up in one of those bottles with a ship inside it (this time it's Sparrow's Black Pearl, miniaturized, animated and stuck) and it's... something. I don't know. There was a moment for me in the last installment, somewhere around the 90-minute mark where I knew there were about 90 minutes still left to go, when I realized that I had no idea what was going on in the movie. And I didn't care that I didn't know. It was freeing, somehow, to be watching a possibly endless example of empty sensation. It stopped mattering who was doing what to whom or why. I felt like a dog with an invisible hand scratching my belly while my leg twitched involuntarily. You don't analyze that kind of thing, but you do walk away from it and realize, in the part of your mind that thinks, that it wasn't good, even as you feel sated and pleasured. Well, I'm over that feeling now. I liked that there was an incredibly elaborate, choreographed stunt scene involving Sparrow, who apparently requires desserts at any cost, swinging around high up in the air, jumping out a window, straddling moving carriages and a flaming coal truck all in the name of stealing a delicious cream puff. It was almost as good as the flying kung fu-vampire-mermaid attack sequence, and Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz trading PG-rated double entendres about swords-as-penises and "the missionary's position." And there was Keith Richards. After turning in an awesomely drunkish mini-performance in the last movie, one where he reportedly required literal propping up while on camera, here he seems boringly lucid. He's seated, having an actual plot-specific conversation with Depp. Nobody wants to see that. More sympathy for the devil, please, less real attempts at acting. But before then Judi Dench pops up as a horny Society Lady with a jones for Depp and Richard Griffiths as a wiggy, lispy, lip-smacky King George. His two minutes earn him the distinction of being the funniest guy in the movie. From 1 to 10, the movie gets a 9, and yeah, I will get it on Blu-ray and DVD.

Eleven years ago, audiences were treated to a movie about a whole bunch of mutated humans slugging each other. And now, that franchise is being reinvigorated by the tale of some of those very same mutants before they wanted to slug each other. Professor Xavier and Magneto are at the center of this tale, and as their bromance blossoms, so does the Cuban missile crisis. Silly us, we thought it was world politics that caused the row back then, we had no idea that ex-Nazi mutants were behind it all. The movie shows us what it was like when the world's mutants first figured out they weren't alone, and what happened when the non-mutated human beings realized it too. You can't get much worse than the last two movies of the X-Men franchise (The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine), so this movie is starting out at an advantage. And the good news is, Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn totally nailed it. Finally, a movie about mutants that doesn't make my brain melt into Senator Kelly-esque gelatinous jellyfish goo. Although this movie definitely has prequel-itis... lots of setup, not enough action, it is still compelling and fun from beginning to end. I am a big fan of revisionist history when it has to do with mutated human beings with fly wings, telepathy, supersonic screams, and tornado hands. For the next movie, I suggest they blame the Tet Offensive on the Scarlet Witch. This is a period piece, and they don't let you forget it. Since the '60s are the new "in" decade generating money for other projects, that automatically makes studio execs think that it is the only decade that exists. This meant that the costume designers got to have some fun with smart fedoras and horn-rimmed glasses. It also guaranteed January Jones another paycheck, since she's The Iconic '60s Wife. They give her some fun go-go dancer finery and she gets to beam her trademark glassy-eyed stare around at every man in the film, so that's fun. The only part of this decade choice that doesn't work is that James McAvoy spends the first 15 minutes of the film sounding dangerously close to Austin Powers, telling chicks they have "groovy mutations." No, I am not kidding. But luckily things get serious after that and his libido is no longer an issue. Whew. Saved by the bomb. This movie gets a 10, and of course I will get it. Next week hopefully I will see Green Lantern.

Last week I mentioned a brand new pheature on the Phile that I think it's pretty cool. In the past I have interviewed artists and I thought it would be a good idea to pheature artists like I pheature authors in the Peverett Phile Book Club. So, kids, let me introduce you to the...

The first artist I am gonna pheature is Dax Norman. Check out one of his paintings

Every week I will show you a different piece of Dax's work and in a few weeks Dax will be a guest on the Phile. Check his stuff out meantime at

Today's guests were last on the Phile April 24th, 2009... and if you go to that entry don't ask why I put up the logo so small. They have a brand new album called "24 Hours" that comes out tomorrow and will be appearing next at the Viper Room, West Hollywood, California on June 11th. Please welcome back to the Phile Jeff Bell, David Bloomfield, Rob Hughes and David Sparrow from one of my favorite bands... The Whiskey Saints.

Me: That picture looks like a Dax Norman painting funny enough. Anyway, hello, you guys, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Dave B: It has been a fun but often times stressful last couple of years, in between recording the new album and trying to come up with the cash to pay for it. Luckily, and thanks to our family, friends and fans, we somehow got to this point and are releasing our sophomore effort “24 Hours” tomorrow.

Jeff: We've finally all hit puberty and can tie our shoes. Thanks for having us back.

Me: Let's talk about your new album "24 Hours". When and where was it recorded?

Rob: We recorded most of the guitar overdubs at Studio Rev in Culver City, the bass and drums at Hot Pie Studios in Pasadena, and the vocals in our producer Jim Dineen's home studio in Los Feliz.

Jeff: We started laying down tracks in December of 2009 and finally finished up with mixing and mastering a couple of months ago.

Me: I still love your last album "West", and thought the new album was gonna be called "East". Where did the title of the album come from?

Dave B: The title is partially inspired by the old adage that creativity can happen at any time, but also jokingly came about from the sleeping problems both Sparrow and I were dealing with during the writing and recording of the album, in addition to all the late night partying. These songs were literally conceived and worked out at just about any time of day or night, whether it came to us during a 5am jam session or an afternoon of unemployed rehearsal. The song “Green Light” is actually inspired by times when I would wake up repeatedly in the middle of the night, stand out on this tiny, probably unsafe 3rd story metal balcony attached to my apartment to grab a smoke, and had this bright green light staring back at me from across the street. That’s definitely one of our late night songs.

Rob: We wrestled with East for a while but thought we would eventually run out of cardinals. We've had a couple of tumultuous years since West, a lot of long days and late nights. West as an album wasn't as together as we would have liked it to be. "24 Hours" shows our range as a band but in a more cohesive package.

Q: How does it compare to "West"?

Rob: "West" was a compilation of songs we had been writing and playing for years. It wasn't really an album so much as a group of songs that we and our fans liked. Most of the songs for "24 Hours" were arranged or written during the same time so we were able to create a sound that we were able to sustain from song to song. Oh, and we used way more electric guitar. We were able to play with all sorts of different amps and guitars at Studio Rev to find the right sounds for each song.

Dave B: We definitely took a much different approach production-wise by spending the extra time to get the right tone from the guitars, sometimes using a ton of mics or several amps for one instrument, and adding overdubs if the track really needed it. I remember we spent over half our first day in the studio setting up mics to get the perfect drum sound; that says a lot about our and producer Jim Dineen’s commitment since we only had two days total to record the drums. In general though, we took a no limitations approach to how we wanted this album to sound. This is really the opposite of how we approached “West”, which was all about throwing a couple mics up, doing it live without overdubbing, and just trying to nail everything in one or two takes.

Dave S: People have been saying they still hear the “roots rock” influence in there. Personally, I’m not hearing it, but I’m not mad that connection is still made. “West” was the sound of a band testing its legs. “24 Hours” is a full-fledged testament to how the band has grown and gotten to know each other a lot better musically.

Jeff: It's a more cohesive sound and we feel like we really came into our own on this album by having a better understanding of who we are. It's something we're really proud of.

Q: For new readers and people who don't remember, tell them what you guys play.

Dave S: I, David Sparrow, sing lead vocals and play guitar, David Bloomfield plays lead guitar, Jeff Bell is our drummer and Rob Hughes plays the bass. We’ll also name Shaun Hettinger an honorary member for playing the keys on both of our albums.

Q: Have you guys been on the road and been playing a lot? You haven't made it down to Florida yet, right?

Dave S: Unfortunately we haven’t been on the road. Most of the last year has been dedicated to getting this album completed, but we’re hoping the future holds some travel for us. The joy of music is to play for new folks and we definitely have a desire to do it.

Dave B: We also need to work on finding a sexy tour van, hopefully something with shag carpet and a hot tub. A functional engine would be nice, too. We haven’t made it out of California recently, let alone anywhere near Florida, but as Sparrow said, hopefully we’ll get a chance to provide tour support for “24 Hours.”

Q: Have you played with anybody cool? Wilco? Ryan Adams? Tears For Fears?

Dave B: We’ve played with some good bands recently and have a few regional bands in mind that we’d love to perform with soon. If either Jeff Tweedy or Ryan Adams come a knockin’ though, we’ll gladly open for them in a heartbeat.

Dave S: Locally we’ve shared the stage a few times with a great up and coming band called Wires in the Walls. Stylistically we’re a bit different, but we’re kindred spirits.

Jeff: It's funny you should mention Tears For Fears. Curt Smith from Tears For Fears has a show called Stripped Down Live that we played on. It's kind of weird to have someone from a band you grew up listening to know so much about not just our band, but us personally. We really got a kick out of it and it was a great experience.

Rob: It was really amazing how much he knew about us. You really don't imagine someone as influential as Curt Smith watching all of the bullshit videos you made and asking you questions about them. He was a great host and it was almost surreal having him listen to us play for him in a small studio.

Me: You guys should go on tour with The Boondock Saints and Whiskeytown. Whatcha think?

Rob: We're against the killing of innocent cats and we don't own a Delorean so I think both of those suggestions are out.

Dave S: If Ryan Adams wants to reform Whiskeytown and tour with us, I’m ALL for it.

Me: I just watched the video for the new single "Before My Time", and I have to say I love that song. The video looked like it was a lot of fun, and I didn't see that ending coming. How long did it take to shoot?

Dave B: We definitely wanted to do something with more action and emphasis on a story this time around. Dan Mercaldi (the director) was all about going for more of a throwback 90's look, and it’s always a blast working with him. As opposed to shooting in a professional studio with a movie camera, makeup artists, etc., we shot a lot of this on location throughout the city using only a compact camcorder and steadicam. Sometimes it was literally run and gun shooting, since we didn’t have the budget for city shooting permits.

Dave S: The video was shot over the course of two weekends. It was a lot of fun to make. For me, it was really awesome to see Dan’s vision come to life.

Me: This is your first video from "24 Hours", how many videos have you made altogether?

Dave S: This is actually our third full video. We also have “Tennessee” directed by Bill Totolo and “With The Lights On” directed by Omar Ponce. Both of these songs were featured on “West.”

Me: I do have to point something out about it, you have one of my biggest pet peeves in it... Jeff was driving listening to an iPod. Do you know how unsafe that is? Whose idea was to do that? Jeff?

Jeff: Well, it was kind of my idea. The director was in the car with me and I suggested I should be looking at my phone while driving, that way it makes more sense that I actually hit the guy chasing Sparrow. We do live in LA of course and it's a daily occurrence. As I'm answering this question I'm actually typing a text and driving at the same time. It's called multitasking.

Rob: Tyra Banks almost drove into a mountain listening to an iPod. Don't worry sir. We're trained professionals.

Me: Hey, you guys have been a band for 5 years, the Phile has been around also for five years. Sorry, I thought that was cool.

Dave S: Well, happy anniversary! We sort of accidentally celebrated our 5th anniversary, almost to the day, at Canter’s Kibitz Room in West Hollywood, just a few weeks ago. It’s the same stage where we played our first show as a band.

Dave B: I would say that I remember 5 years ago like it was yesterday, but whiskey can do a real number on long term memory. Great to hear we’ve both successfully made it this far.

Me: Thanks so much for coming back onto the Phile. Hope to see you guys in concert soon. Go ahead and plug your website and come back again, okay? Continued success.

Dave S: Thanks, Jason! We hope to see you soon as well! Check out

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to the guys from The Whiskey Saints for another great interview and to Dax Norman for being part of the new Peverett Phile Art Gallery. The Phile will be back next Monday with the guys from another great band Phaxanation & The Dust Kickers. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.


Phil Lewis said...

Vampire Mermaids, Fantasy,fiction by Phil Lewis.Mermaids Mermaids super six!

Phil Lewis said...

Kung Fu Fighting Vampire Mermaids.Phil Lewis.