Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pheaturing Alumni Alexis Babini

Hey kids, welcome to the Phile, where this weekend it's tax free. So, I have to tell you a story. A few days ago a woman on an ECV, which is an electronic convience vehicle, or a motorized wheelchair ran over my big toe, pushing my nail into the skin. Figures that was one time I didn't have my foot in my mouth. Anyway, now until it hears I have to wear something that looks like an old man's sandle. Take a look at this shit. 

Okay, that's enough about me. The United States’ credit rating was downgraded to AA+. Am I the only one who thinks that doesn’t sound so bad? We owe China more than a trillion dollars. Why don’t we just give them Florida? Wait a minute, I live in Florida, bad idea. President Obama said that even though we’ve been downgraded, we’re still a AAA nation. Unfortunately, he meant in the minor league baseball sense. A new poll shows that disapproval of Congress is at an all-time high. Eighty-two percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing and the other 18 percent weren’t home when the question was asked. Our national credit rating was downgraded and it caused a nosedive on Wall Street. If I had any understanding of any of this, I’d be very nervous right now, but fortunately I don’t. Meanwhile, Al Gore got so angry during a speech about global warming that he almost woke up some of the people in the audience. Donald Trump told CNN he may consider getting back into the presidential race. He said he has to mull it over, comb it over, and he’ll go from there. There have been major riots in London. Apparently they realized that this is the last Harry Potter movie. Here’s what I don’t understand about rioting. If you’re going to destroy a city for no reason, why destroy your own city? Move one city over. After all the rioting in London this week, officials are worried that it could mean security problems for the Olympics next year. On the bright side, the guy running with the torch will just blend right in. Speaking of the Olympics, did you see the new poster for the 2012 London Olympics?

I was searching for info on the dow market dropping so I could think of a joke for it, but when I went to a web page the joke was already there. Take a look, kids.

Well, apaprently something big went down between Unions and somebody else in Wisconsin this past week. With so much going on, I can't keep up, so I thought I would invite a 'friend' of the Phile, and I mean that loosely to come on and explain. So, please welcome back to the Phile, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus, in a pheature I call...

Me: So, Mister Chairman, what happened in Wisconsin?

Reince: The Republican Party won a great victory over the Big Union bosses and Obama Democrats. 

Me: What kinda victory?

Reince: Last November, Wisconsin voters elected new leaders to get their state back on track. When they did, union bosses lost their allies in the state house and vowed to stop at nothing to return Wisconsin to the failed politics-as-usual. They orchestrated a recall election for selfish political retribution, all the while Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in Wisconsin worked to put people back to work and turned deficits into surpluses.

Me: Okay, and this victory?

Reince: Wisconsin voters reaffirmed their support of Republican leadership in their state and rejected the reckless spending of Wisconsin Democrats and the downgrade-inducing policies of their Washington counterparts. The people have given their seal of approval to Republicans' successful efforts to balance the budget and ensure a healthy economy.

Me: So, there's Republican's in the senate, is that what you're saying?

Reince: Yes, we were able to help the Wisconsin Party's grassroots efforts and provide strategic resources to keep our majority in the state senate.

Me: What kinda resources? I still don't get what the big deal is.

Reince: We provided staff on the ground, funded a voter ID program, worked with the Wisconsin Party on contact lists and a Get-Out-The-Vote plan, provided Get-Out-The-Vote technology and equipment to the state party; and, funded the absentee ballot program.

Me: Okay, so what's next for the RNC?

Reince: We are currently laying the groundwork to take the fight to the Obama Democrats nationwide in the 2011 state and 2012 presidential elections. We intend to challenge Barack Obama in every state, fund a robust Get-Out-The-Vote program and get the truth about the disastrous consequences of his economic policies around the liberal media filter and directly to the voters so we can defeat him in 2012. 

Me: Mister Chairman, is there anything else you wanted to say to nail your poiunt home?

Reince: Friend, in 2008 Obama carried each of the six Wisconsin senate districts that they targeted for recall. After these districts went Republican last fall, the Obama Democrats went all in these races, outspent our side 2 to 1 and still failed. Wisconsin, once a solid blue state, is now red. 

I don't even know what that is. Why is that a fail? Anyway, now for some sad news...

Jani Lane 
February 1, 1964 – August 11, 2011
I guess Heaven isn't that far away....

The fourth artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Gunnar Gaylord, and this is one of his pieces of art. Gunnar will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow.

Today's Alumni guest was last on the Phile September 14th, 2009. He has a new EP available on iTunes called "Paint and Paper" and he'll be next appearing tonight at Rockwood Music Hall
in New York and on August 28th at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pa. with Ryan Cabrera. Please welcome back to the Phile... Alexis Babini.

Me: Hello, Alexis, welcome back to the Phile. It's been awhile since you were here. How are you?

Alexis: Fantastic. So I hear. :) Thanks for having me back. 

Me: Seen any random ex-Beatles concerts from your new home in New York lately? For the readers that don't know what I am talking about, tell them who you saw from old your apartment in Boston.

Alexis: You have a great memory! My old place in Boston was near Fenway Park and my old roommate and I could overhear the concerts when the artists came to perform. That's one of the few things I miss about living in that neighborhood. NYC has been such a blessing to me. I could fill your blog with pages and pages of words talking about the NYC arts, the songwriter scene, and the hustle of living in a bigger city... Sadly, I don't live near any stadiums now so I haven't heard Paul McCartney crooning. My current home is the Lower East Side where there are plenty of great clubs to see music. I travel alot and don't spend as much time in New York as I should but my next show in the city is tonight at the Rockwood Music Hall.

Me: Originally you are from Connecticut, right? Ever go on the ferry from Bridgeport across to Port Jefferson?

Alexis: Well... No. But now I will.

Me: Last time we were here we talked about Operation Swan Dive which you are a part of. Are you still a part of that, and again tell the readers what it is.

Alexis: Operation Swan Dive is really the tip of the iceberg here. For our readers, Operation Swan Dive is a skydiving for charity event. I played my music at the last OSD, which was a little over a year ago. It's put together by an organization called Lyrics for Life, which is a non-profit organization against pediatric cancer founded by Sister Hazel front-man, Ken Block. Lyrics for Life holds an array of different events, including (but not limited to) Operation Swan Dive. I haven't heard anything about another Swan Dive but from what I do hear big things are ahead. I would like to point everyone to

Me: Congrats on being the featured artist on "The Real World" and "I Used To Be Fat". You had two songs on the show, right? Do you like getting your songs placed on television?

Alexis: Thank you! I've gotten really lucky with a few placements here and there. That came about as a direct result of my first trip ever to LA for music. When the episode aired I was sharing an apartment with 2 other songwriters at the time. They had all each seen their music get national exposure on TV so I was the last one to break through. We all watched it together and shared a laugh as the two main characters made out to my song.

Me: Recently you played at SXSW in Austin, Texas. How was that? Did you meet anybody cool there?

Alexis: Southby was a very fun, but also chaotic and exhausting. I did a total of six performances in five days. I went down there with my booking agent and literally played every chance I could get. I definitely made some fans this time around who I've since seen at other shows. One of my favorite bands that I saw was Atomic Tom. Another New York band that migrated from Boston.

Me: Do you prefer doing outdoor shows or indoor shows?

Alexis: This is a tricky question because so many things make up a perfect show. It's like asking 'Do you like hot or cold food?' I like ice cream which is cold but I also like pizza, which is hot. Actually I like cold pizza too so this is a very bad example. Playing outdoors is great when the weather is nice and the crowd is giving you back some feel-good energy. Of course perfecting live sound can be tricky. I've played hundreds of shows at indoor clubs so that's a comfortable setting for me to be in. Outdoors probably wins here as a departure because most of my shows are indoors.

Me: Speaking of, been down to Florida yet? You have to let me know when you do, man. We're friends on Facebook, y'know.

Alexis: It's been a little while since I played Florida. You can count on me letting you know if you've signed up for my mailing list on my site

Me: You are did a tour with Kyle Patrick from The Click 5, which is cool. Do you guys get to hang out between shows? Have you met him before? You can give him my e-mail address and ask him to be here if you want.

Alexis: True. The Click 5 are all friends of mine from Berklee and I hope to get the chance to do a full tour with them in the near future. On the run I did last October with Kyle we traveled together for all the dates. After looking at some of the weird videos from the tour... some might say we got a little too much hang time. What am I referencing? Oh, I dont know. Try a searching both of our names and the word Halloween!

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new EP "Paint and Paper". I downloaded it from iTunes and really like it. Was it produced by the same guy who produced your first EP?

Alexis: Yes! I'm SO glad you like it. I wrote those songs at a time in my life where music was the only thing keeping me sane. I was going through a rocky relationship while learning what it's really like to be a struggling musician in the real world. I've gotten really good feedback about those songs. Especially the last two. I produced the songs with a different producer this time around named Thomas Keery.

Me: My favorite song on the EP is "For The Lonesome", as the title could be changed to "For Lonesome Dave." You made a video for one of your songs, right?

Alexis: I'm glad you like that tune! Funny you ask that. I had a film crew shoot a video for Valentine's Day last February. We have a new song that's being recorded where the concept for the video has already been worked out. Until recently I haven't talked about making a music video for one of my songs no. It will be exciting to have that come together though... Also, I'm going to make some calls and get that song title changed on all the CDs!

Me: Do you like to make videos, Alexis?

Alexis: I'm going to answer this question using the age old 'show not tell technique'. Instead I'll direct you to my youtube page which is A quick look around there should yield the answer :)

Me: Now you have two EP's out are you gonna be making a full length album anytime?

Alexis: My current management, Team Soundwave, functions as an independent record label. They are planning to rerelease "Paint and Paper" so I can something under their roster and more songs to sell. It will be remastered as a 'deluxe version' with some new songs on it before I go on tour again. Aside from that, I've been letting things build up to me releasing a full length debut record. When that happens it will be a huge event. I'm a pop songwriter and the type of album I want to make is going to need a big push behind it. I'm starting to really learn all the components that go into that such as hiring the right type of radio campaign, publicist, ect. When the time comes I'm gonna do it right!

Me: I saw you have your own blog, Alexis, but it's not on blogspot, right? What is it called and what do you write about? How often is it updated?

Alexis: My blog is I've tried converting, but finally I've come to terms with the fact that I'm actually not a big blog person. I don't update that frequently. The Babiniblog mostly is where I'll put my favorite inspirational quotes, funny videos, and random announcements here and there about my music. I love the idea that singer songwriters need to have blogs now for their "online presence". It's funny to me because any songwriter will tell you that they have alot to say. Ah. The internet. On a more serious note: I'm going to make a post this week about the Special Olympics event I recently performed at, which affected me deeply. I hope you get the chance to read.

Me: You also Twitter a lot, I noticed. How many followers do you have? I cannot get into Twitter. It's way to complicated.

Alexis: Alot of people have sneaky ways to stealthily scout out followers on Twitter. I honestly don't keep track of who's following me and try not to play the numbers game. I will announce plenty on Twitter sure, but for the most part I say things my friends will laugh at. Such as 'I turn my fans on!' and then it's a picture of switches on a wall that turn on electrical fans. When a fan retweets it's always such an honor and a surprise because I forget that so many are listening to what I have to say.

Me: Anyway, thanks so much for coming back to the Phile, Alexis. You are welcomed back anytime, man. Why don't you plug your websites and everything?

Alexis: I'll just give you the gateway drug that leads to the others: Careful not to get addicted. :)

There you go, another entry done of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Reince Priebus and of course Alexis Babini. The Phile will be back tomorrow with artist Gunnar Gaylord and then next Sunday it's Alumni musician Kevin Rowe and next Monday it's Alumni musician Baub Eis who was the first guy I interviewed here on the Phile. Then the week after it's the singer forone of Logan's and my favorite bands Ja... no, I want to keep it a secret right now. Man, I almost gave it away. Until tomorrow, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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