Monday, June 13, 2011

Pheaturing Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers

Hello, how are you? Welcome to another entry of the Peverett Phile, everybody. So, of course I have to open up with Weiner jokes. Let's just get them out of the way, okay. If you haven't heard, it’s been a bad day for Congressman Anthony Weiner. Weiner admitted to sending underpants photos of himself. It’s a huge political scandal. Arnold Schwarzenegger even called Weiner to say, “Thank you.” Weiner admitted to sending inappropriate messages to several women via Twitter, text, email, and Facebook. I think the lesson here is that if you’re going to send explicit pictures of yourself, send them through MySpace, where no one will notice. Despite the scandal, Weiner will not resign, saying he hasn’t done anything illegal and this is not the most embarrassing photo of him that has ever surfaced. That would be his senior portrait from high school. Weiner’s high school portrait was taken at one of the rare moments when he wasn’t being stuffed into the garbage can. Let's talk about something else. A woman here in Florida called 911 after she found a bear swimming in her backyard jacuzzi. That’s right, there was a bear in the water. Or as Sarah Palin calls that, “soup.” Snooki from “Jersey Shore” has broken up with her boyfriend of eight months. If that drunken tangerine little angel can’t find love, what hope is there for the rest of us? The Oxford English Dictionary announced which new words will be included in the next edition. It’s like when they announce the line-up for “Dancing With the Stars,” but for people who can read. This just in: Weiner has sent other pictures as well, and for some reason I have a copy. He must be a fan of the Phile. Here is a brand new Weiner photo, kids.

Man, that is wrong. I am so sorry about that photo, but, man, his weiner is strong. So, this past weekend it was the last weekend of Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios... the greatest theme park to work at ever! I have to show you a new Star Wars themed inspirational poster that came out.

And did you know they even have Star Wars themed yoga. Man, Lucas thinks of everything. Check this out.

Okay, let's talk seriously for a minute. With all this talk this past week about Congressman Weiner, the Democrats are not looking good. I think they should be put into a positive light, as the Democrats recently are saving lots of jobs. So, I thought I would invite the Phile's "friend", and I use that term lightly, Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman to answer some questions. even he can't say anything bad about the Democrats right now, can he? So, once again, it's time to...

Me: Hello, Chairman Priebus, welcome back to the Phile. The Democrats are saving lots of jobs right now, and even you can't deny that, right?

Reince: You say jobs are being saved, but millions of Americans are worried about 9.1% unemployment and a sputtering economy.

Me: You don't think the Democrats are concerned and trying to save the jobs?

Reince: The Democrat leadership in Washington are more concerned about saving the jobs of disgraced Democrat members of Congress.

Me: I disagree, Chairman, give me an example.

Reince: Well, friend, the latest example of the Democrats' "jobs we saved" charade is Representative Anthony Weiner. Just like with Congressmen William Jefferson ($80k in the freezer) and Charlie Rangel (failure to pay taxes), Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leaders' only Jobs Plan is to save their own jobs.

Me: Chairman, Weiner's actions weren't that bad.

Reince: Congressman Weiner's actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign.

Me: There has to be an investigation first, right?

Reince: We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation. Either Leader Pelosi and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards or they believe these actions demand his resignation.

Me: So, do you think the Republican National Committee could help with the job situation?

Reince: The RNC is leading the charge to bring new conservative leaders to our nation's capital who are focused on job creation and economic growth, but we need the help of every conservative grassroots leader to succeed. Friend, Nancy Pelosi and Democrat leaders willfully neglect to hold their members accountable for their actions, or to the American people, in order to save their own jobs.

Me: Once again, Chairman, what do you and the RNC hope to do?

Reince: "Drain the swamp" in Washington of deceitful Democrats.

Me: There you go, thanks to Chairman Priebus, for being so negative. I think the Democrats are not doing such a bad job. What do you think? Now, let's talk about something fun, like a movie review on a kids movie.

When you're the Dragon Warrior, someone's always coming along to challenge you with their unstoppable fighting technique. And so it is with Po, this time around facing a particularly evil, slow-burning peacock who won't be content until he's conquered China and eradicated all kung fu from the land. With the help of his lighting-fast animal buddies The Furious Five, Po has to embark on another hero's journey (apparently the first one didn't fully take, so call it a do-over) and make the bad bird taste his panda wrath. It's a Hollywood rule that the sequel involves some re-telling of the first story. We'd all be a lot better off if that weren't the case, but it is so there you go. Po has to find the warrior within all over again even if you didn't especially need to see him do that. But the mark of a cool sequel worth watching and recommending comes in the surprises that pop up along the old, familiar way. Without sacrificing the original's humor, Po's bumbling fatness is still a gentle joke and the dialogue accounts for a lot of the comedy rather than childlike bonks to the skull... it cranks up the martial arts action and delivers a big visual punch. It also takes you deeper into Po's past and his need to know where he comes from without getting too overwrought and syrupy about it. And the fact that I could write that last sentence without cringing is evidence that the movie pulls that off really well. Let the inevitable third chapter start production. In fact, just cancel that next Ice Age movie and put all those people to work on it instead. Jack Black also should make only animated features or strangely serious black comedies from now on. Po is his coolest character and his most emotionally connected, which I think has something to do with his inability to ditch the crazy-eyes when he's involved in live-action comedy. And mostly I just never want to watch something like Gulliver's Travels ever again. And I have to mention Gary Oldman. The cartoon villain with the snooty, fey British accent is way past its sell-by date. In fact, it's now officially offensive to all snooty-and-fey-voiced British guys in the world. But Oldman takes this potential for irritation and turns down the volume in a way that paradoxically amps up how evil and complex his character actually is. And his character is, I need to remind you, a peacock. That's acting. I don't know if I will buy it when it comes out on Blu-ray as we don't have the first, unless they release all the films together in a pack. And yes, there is gonna be a third movie.

Dax Norman is the current artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. and this is one of his pieces.

Dax will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Todays guests are the members of a three piece indie rock band from California. Their 12 inch EP on Robot Maintenance Records, "The Future's Coming" is now out, but on vinyl. They will be next appearing tomorrow at The Prospector in Long Beach, CA. Please welcome to the Phile... Adrien Parker, Daniel Huizar and Enrique Poveda from Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers.

Me: Hello, guys, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Adrien: We’re good. We literally just got through playing this in-store performance at Burger Records in Fullerton, CA. It was a lot of fun!

Me: I was searching the web and discovered you guys but I don't know how I found you. Anyway, I was drawn to your band's name: Phaxanation and the Dust Kickers. Brilliant. Anybody who uses Ph is cool with me. Where did the band name come from?

Adrien: Well, Phaxanation was a screen-name I had when I was younger. It was just some made up name I thought was cool because it used a “ph” as opposed to an “f.” It only seemed natural to use it when we started the band due to how unique it was.

Enrique: Our friend Rick came up with the Dust Kickers portion of the name for Daniel and myself.

Me: Which one of you is Phaxanation?

Adrien: I guess that’s me… I taught myself how to play drums and guitar at a really young age. Then my first real band was called Bluefields. It was a two piece inspired by the Black Keys. I played guitar and I had to teach the drummer how to play drums. Then that drummer left the band and I figured I would continue making music on my own as “Phaxanation.” I played all of the instruments. Daniel and Enriquecame along, and we became Phaxanation & the Dust Kickers!

Me: A three piece band is always pretty cool. Is that how the band was formed and decided?

Daniel: Well, Adrien originally started writing songs on his own and Enrique and I started off as live performers for him. But after a few shows we added on as actual band members and then we started writing new material with each of us creating our own parts instead of working off what Adrien had originally wrote.

Adrien: Enrique, Daniel, and I have been really good friends since we were all in high school. That’s how I met them actually. Back then, I occasionally played drums for a band that Daniel played guitar in. And Enrique was always in and out of bands playing drums, and so when I finally decided I wanted to put together a permanent band, I knew which two guys were perfect for the spot.

Me: Where in California are you guys located?

Enrique: Poormona.

Me: Do you get to tour the rest of America?

Enrique: Only Europe, Asia, and South America…. Nah just kidding. Hopfully one day. We plan to set up a mini US tour next yearish.

Me: I looked for you guys on iTunes but then found out your music is only available on vinyl. Y'know, this is 2011. Whose idea was to only release your music on vinyl?

Adrien: Probably my best and worst idea. I love the vinyl format for music and I think it makes listening to the music a lot more personable than clicking something on your iPod or listening to an mp3. Plus, I’ve always collected vinyl records as a hobby, and so when it came time to put my own music out, I picked vinyl as a format because I loved it so much, and I figured it would get people more involved with the music. But it turns out, hardly anyone owns a record player anymore and we had to include burned CD’s of all of the songs with the record to convince anyone to purchase them.

Me: Are you gonna release your music to download in the future? Or at least sell CD's?

Enrique: We released a compilation CD with our label titled “Pomona and Friends 2011”. It’s a free digital download available at With our upcoming LP we will be putting it out in both vinyl and CD formats, as well as a digital copy available for purchase online.

Me: Who are your influences musically, and have you opened for anybody the band looks up to?

Adrien: I’m a huge fan of psychedelic indie-rockbands like Darker My Love, Crystal Antlers, and Innaway. And then I think the Black Keys and Led Zeppelin are two bands the three of us are really into.

Enrique: Totally Michael.

Me: You fans of the band Cake I see. They are one of my all time favorites.

Enrique: Yeah, that’s not a question but we do love CAKE!

Adrien: Cake was the first band I had ever seen live in concert. Arguably, they’re the band that got me into music in the first place. I love John McCrea’s sense of cynicism. He’s not afraid to say what he feels and he’s got this really dry sense of humor and I feel like that shows up a lot in my lyrics as well.

Me: Okay, as I said, your music is only available on vinyl and so far you released an EP called "The Future's Coming". When did that record come out?

Adrien: That came out in late 2009.

Me: And this year you are releasing your second EP called "Now & Then". How is the first release gonnabe different from the second release?

Daniel: Well like I said earlier, originally Adrien started making the music so for the first EP Adrien wrote and recorded everything, but on this new EP we all wrote and recorded our own parts. I also feel the songs on this EP have matured from the previous songs on the last EP. We really tried hard and experimented with new sounds on this new EP.

Adrien: To expand on that, I had released the first record after Daniel and Enrique had been playing live with me for some time, but on the record I did everything myself. It often creates some confusion. But when it really comes down to it, that first record was something I just needed to do. It helped me get past some low times in my life and I feel like it helped me grow as a person and get past a lot of things, but I can’t emphasize how glad I am that Daniel and Enrique are part of my band now. I would have never wanted to continue doing this on my own. I do everything that I can to make sure Daniel and Enrique get their part because a lot of people tend to focus on Phaxanation as just being me when this is a group effort now.

Me: I have to ask you about your record label, Robot Maintenance Records. Who are your label mates? Anybody else that might be interested in being interviewed for the Phile?

Enrique: RMR was started by Adrien, however our collective of Pomona bands kinda run the whole thing together. I am beginning to start promoting and booking shows for our bands. I decided it would be good for us and our friends from other surrounding areas to create the compilation of all of our bands to promote ourselves, so people who like one band get a chance to hear us all. All the bands are working on finishing their albums and we will be having many release shows this summer. Any of the Pomona RMR bands would most likely be happy to be interviewed.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and tell the readers where they can purchase your records... and a record player. Please come back when "Now and Then" is released. Keep rocking.

Adrien,, Thanks so much for having us! Anyone native to Southern California could purchase our records in independent record shops, like Amoeba Music, Rhino Records, Burger Records, Glasshouse Record Store, Origami Vinyl, Mad Platter Records.

Enrique: And anyone who doesn’t live in Californiacan just contact us and we’d be more than happy to hook people up with our music via mail or downloads or whatever works best for them.

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Chairman Priebus I think, for once again not being supportive fully answering my questions. He is a politician after all. And thanks to Adrien, Enrique and Daniel from Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers or a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday, on Father's Day with singer Rachel Brooke. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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