Monday, July 18, 2011

Pheaturing Ben Bullington and Jason Rueger From Country Mice

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile. Thanks for stopping by. So, yesterday Logan and I spent a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. There's this one place by the animation tour where you answer a few questions about yourself on a computer and it tells you which Disney character you are. Logan did it and it said he was like Buzz Lightyear, being brace and adventerous and all that kinda stuff. Me? It said I liked animals! Anybody that knows me well enough could tell you I don't like animals. Do you know which character it picked for me, saying I was more like? Tarzan. Really? Really? Tarzan, who hangs out with animals and lives in a jungle? Tarzan who is in great shape, opposed to me who isn't. Stupid computer. Anyway, enough about me. What else is going on in the world? The U.S. is now in serious danger of defaulting on our foreign loans. Which explains why today, China showed up and broke the Statue of Liberty’s kneecaps. A man was busted at JFK airport for smuggling six pounds of cocaine in his sneakers. That’s right, his plan was hiding cocaine in his shoes... you know, those things that you never, ever have to take off at the airport. Schools in Illinois are dropping writing portions from standardized tests. When asked why, a spokesman said, “We simple does not needs them.” On Friday, a woman in Texas gave birth to a baby boy weighing in at 16 pounds, 1 ounce. When they did the sonogram, the doctor was like, “I’m not sure if it’s a boy or a girl, but it’s definitely an American.” A lawmaker in California is pushing for 13 counties to break away and form a new state called South California. Meanwhile, residents are pushing for a more fitting name: “North Mexico.” While criticizing President Obama over debt talks, John Boehner said quote, “It takes two to tango.” Then Biden was like, “Sure, but it only takes one to break dance.” A new study found that 50 percent of all college students get blackout drunk at least once a year. Yeah, the other 50 percent couldn’t answer, mainly because they were blackout drunk. There’s talk that Lindsay Lohan’s mother, Dina, will be on the next season of “Dancing With the Stars.” Which explains the show’s new title, “Dancing With the Non-star Parents of Former Stars.” Saks Fifth Avenue is planning to open a new store next year in Kazakhstan. Or as it will be called there, “Saks Dirt Road.” I just read that George W. Bush is getting his own limited edition baseball card. You can tell it’s Bush’s card because eight years after you buy it, its value decreases $14 trillion. Okay, I spent three years avoiding talking about Casey Anthony, kids, as I don't think child murders are funny. People have asked me though why I didn't mention anything about it, being that the whole thing took place in Orlando. Anyway, now she is out of jail, she's free to do what she wants. I was surprised to see what she's up to. Check this out.

Has she no shame? This Friday one of my most anticipated movies of my life is finally coming out. I am talking of course about The Smurfs. I was so excited when I found out there was gonna be a Smurfs inspirational poster it is now at all what I expected. Here it is.

And here on the Phile, I have an exclusive pic on what was one of the original concepts of the Smurfs.

That is so stupid, I know. Anyway, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...
Top Ten Dumb Guy Ways To Reduce the Federal Budget Deficit
10. Just don't answer the phone when debt collectors call.
9. Give away free houses and then... oh wait, we tried that.
8. Pay them through Coinstar... America keeps 9%.
7. Post date the checks.
6. Only buy from Halliburton on double coupon days.
5. Switch to margarine... oh wait, that's the federal butter deficit.
4. Uhhh... compound interest?
3. For starters, Minnesota does NOT need 10,000 lakes.
2. Two words: cash for gold.
And the number one dumb guy way to reduce the federal budget deficit?
1. Sell New Jersey for scrap.

The third artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is a singer, author and artist named Max Carmichael. And this is one of his works...

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

Today's guests are two members from the new band Country Mice, whose new album "Twister" is available now on iTunes. They'll be next appearing tonight at Sunergos in Louisville, Kentucky. Please welcome to the Phile... Ben Bullington and Jason Rueger from Country Mice.

Me: Hello, guys, welcome to the Phile. What's up? I have to say, I really wanted to see you guys in concert as I love your album "Twister", but you kids are not playing in Florida on this
tour. Have you ever played Florida? Or Orlando to be exact? If so, shit, I missed you guys.

Ben: Yeah, we’ve made a couple of trips through Florida. We have a few great stories from there. Earlier this spring, in March, we played Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Melbourne, and Gainesville.

Me: Who is in the band with you guys?

Ben: The band is Mike Feldman (bass), Kurt Kuehn (drums), Ben Bullington (guitar/vocals) and Jason Rueger (guitar/vocals).

Me: Are you from the country? I know you're from this country as in America, but are you based in the country?

Ben: Jason’s the only one who's really from the country - a small farming town named Beattie, Kansas. I'm from Lawrence, Kansas. Kurt is from Appleton, Wisconsin. Mike is from upstate New York. We all live in New York now though.

Me: New York? What part of New York? Long Island?

Ben: Brooklyn.

Me: Is that where you guys all met?

Ben: Met, live, rehearse, and play most of our shows.

Me: Jason, is it true you lived on a farm that goes back generations in your family and was part of the Pony Express?

Jason: Yeah, I grew up on a farm that's been passed through three generations of my family. A beautiful flat piece of farm land 10 miles north of Beattie, KS. The Pony Express went through just a couple of miles from there, which was Guittard Station. My grandparents live on that land to this day. Every year as kids we'd wait for the Pony Express re-rides to come through and they would end up riding in somewhere around 3am. We'd be waiting with coffee and donuts for them.

Me: You guys have been compared to Neil Young and Wilco, which I am a fan of. Are those performers you listen to?

Ben: Yeah, we're definitely fans of Neil and Wilco, but overall, we have pretty eclectic music collections. We're always sharing new stuff, making new CD's for the van, trying to find the next great album.

Me: I mentioned your new album "Twister", which I downloaded from iTunes and which I love. Did you guys write all the songs on it?

Ben: Thanks, glad you like it. Yes, we wrote all the songs.

Me: Where was the album recorded and how long did it take to make?’

Ben: We set up a makeshift recording studio using borrowed equipment and took over Mike’s mom’s basement for a couple of months.

Me: By the way, whose idea was to stand on a raft on the album cover? Glad I am not in the band as I would not want to do that. I would've chickened out. Wait... I am a fucking idiot. I just realized it wasn't the band in the photo. Where was that photo taken and who is in it?

Ben: It’s an old photo of Jason’s dad’s.

Jason: It’s of my dad and some of his friends somewhere in California. We thought it told a good story.

Me: Where did the title of the album come from?

Ben: The idea for the title came from another of Jason’s dad’s photos where some people were playing the game. It seemed to work well. It’s a word that allows for different meanings and uses and we though fit what the album was about - something about overcoming obstacles,
weirdness, mischief, chaos, and explosions of uncontrollable wildness countered by calm.

Me: And where did the band name come from?

Ben: The band name came from a conversation Kurt had about being from out of town and about Brooklyn being the country vs. the City. It kind of fit all of us and seemed to stick.

Me: Thanks, guys, for being on the Phile. Please come back when your next album comes out. Do you have a website you'd like to plug?

Ben: Just our, pages. We’re on a tour and have a bunch of new dates on there. Thanks for having us.

Me: Thanks again, and take care, and come back again. Next time you're in Orlando I will be there.

There you go, another entry done of the Phile. Thanks to Ben and Jason or a great interview. Country Mice will be on tour all the way to August 9th. The Phile will be back next Sunday with jazz musician Rick Stone and then again on Monday with musician Temple. Then again on Sunday after that with artist Max Carmichael, and then in August it's Alumni Month again. I am now going to a computer store to take my old Mac in that broke a year ago. For a year I have been doing the Phile on Logan's computer. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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