Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pheaturing Chris Nelson

Rabbit. Hello, welcome to a Tuesday entry of the Peverett Phile, it's November 1st, kids. Christmas is right around the corner. What's happening? On CNN Joe Biden said he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he’ll run for president in 2016. Which raises the question: “Who was raising that question?” The iPod’s been around for 10 years, which is also the length of time it takes to untangle your iPod headphones. I can't begin to tell you how many headphones I have been through. I stepped on them, broke them, even dropped a pair in the toilet. Don't ask me how that happened though. Wal-Mart is planning to reduce its healthcare plan for new employees. Which explains why today, my greeter was like, “Hello, welcome to Wal-Mart. Would you mind checking out this mole?” I just read that a bear broke into a candy store in Tennessee and started eating all the candy. That’s right, a live bear filled with candy. Or as Sarah Palin calls that, “the best piƱata ever.” A group called the Texas Tea Party Patriots is hosting a debate next month where Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain will go head to head, while people watching that will go head to pillow. President Obama just launched his own blog on the website Tumblr. Incidentally, ”tumbler” is what you call President Obama after looking at his poll numbers. I wonder what he calls his blog. I bet it has a better name than the Peverett Phile. A new study found that bacon and freshly baked bread are Americans’ favorite smells. Yeah, this morning instead of putting on cologne, I just rubbed my neck with a B.L.T. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is going to Israel. He’s going to be pretty disappointed when he finds out the Gaza Strip isn’t a steak. The Chinese government has announced a plan to ban all reality television shows that are, “overly entertaining.” The new rules will affect all 34 TV stations. Thirty-four stations? We have more ESPNs than that. The Chinese may lead us in math and science but they will never be able to match our amount of "Real Housewives" knockoffs. In an interview last Rick Perry criticized Mitt Romney for flip-flopping on the issues. Romney said that Perry has no idea what he’s talking about. Then he added, “But he does know what he’s talking about.” A company in England is coming out with a new perfume that smells like beer. Yeah, it’s called “Lohan.” I have to ask my cousins to send some over. Sylvester Stallone is being sued for copying another writer’s screenplay to make The Expendables. Yeah, you can tell from the part where Stallone blows up a fighter jet and then goes, “Simba, one day all of this will be yours.” President Obama just announced a new student loan plan that will forgive debt after 20 years. Yeah, Obama said that forgiving debt is the most honorable thing someone can do. And then he repeated that in Chinese. A company in Illinois is selling a collectible baby doll of President Obama. It’s really cute. The doll can even say a few words, as long as it has a teleprompter. And just so Republicans don't complain, it comes with a birth certificate. Last week, a Delta passenger proposed to his girlfriend on the plane, after they met on a Delta flight back in 2010. Of course, since it’s Delta, they’ve actually just been stuck on that plane since 2010. The other day Jessica Simpson took a picture of herself on a toilet and posted it on Twitter. I searched high and low for it and I think I have found the pic. Take a look.

LOL. That is so stupid. I was supposed to show you this yesterday, in Philly there's so many Ben Franklin pieces of merchandise, but there was one poster that kinda stood out. 

That's an actual Ben Franklin quote, kids. Alright, so, have you seen the Puss in Boots movie yet? I was gonna go yesterday but didn't have time. But after seeing this screen shot, I think I wanna go today. 

Puss in boots... get it? Okay then, let's move on.

A few week's ago we went to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in Orlando and while we were there I had a great idea to rip it off and make it my own. So, here once again, is...

Yes, the proportions are correct. The tiny man is Aditya "Romeo" Dev, the world's smallest bodybuilder. He stands a towering 2 feet 9 inches tall and weighing in at a whopping 20 pounds. I'd love to see him and Vern Troyer go at it in a no holds barred cage match. Or, see two huge men get into a cage match using this guy and Vern Troyer as weapons. 

The sixth artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Jasmine Becket-Griffith, and this is one of her pieces of work. Jasmine will be a guest on the Phile next Tuesday.

She does such detailed work, I don't know why she has to ruin it by putting her name over the painting. And why do the Tweedles look like Rosie? Alright, enough of that. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is another...

Top Ten Surprises In The Steve Jobs Biography
10. You can make your own iPad with an old Etch-A-Sketch and four AA batteries. 
9. Every six months or so you'll be able to purchase a slightly better version of his biography. 
8. Slipped Bill Gates' barber a fifty every month for 30 years. 
7. Steve Wozniak's primary role in the early days of Apple was to "just hang around and be huggable."
6. Once had a keyboard named "Rosebud". 
5. It was written on a PC. 
4. Had the Geek Squad hook up all his computers. 
3. Stayed cool at the beach by switching to a white turtleneck. 
2. Had secret deal with "Sesame Street" to promote the letter "i". 
And the number one surprise in the Steve Jobs biography is...
1. He didn't want the Peverett Phile to be written on a Mac. 

Today's guest is a singer, songwriter from Pennsylvania whose latest CD "The Invisible Man" is available from iTunes and all over the web. He'll next be appearing at Nikos in Lebanon, Pa tomorrow, November 2nd. Please welcome to the Phile... Chris Nelson.

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

Chris: Fine, thanks for asking!

Me: So, Tish Meeks from 3 Kisses recommended you to me, eh? How do you know Tish? You're not part of the GoGirls group are you? LOL.

Chris: I met her through Facebook. She had 'liked' my page and I was hearing all about her new album with 3 Kisses. I listened to the music and asked her if she'd like to swap discs. We email each other off and on periodically. Usually to talk music stuff.

Me: How is Tish? I heard 3 Kisses have broken up.

Chris: Yes, they did. They kept losing drummers, kind of like Spinal Tap only no one exploded. For some reason, drummers seem hard to keep. It's too bad; their record was excellent. I actually reviewed it for her.

Me: You're from Pennsylvnia, right? My wife is from Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg to be precise. Where in Pa. are you from?

Chris: I live in Lebanon and I am totally familiar with both Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg. In fact, I've played in Mechanicsburg at the Aurora Cybercafe as a soloist and the Gingerbread Man when I was with the band. I also have a cousin who lives in Mechanicsburg somewhere.

Me: Did you know the band Poison originally comes from Mechanicsburg?

Chris: I heard their singer did, but I didn't know the whole band was from there.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your music. Originally you were in a band called Fishkill I believe. When did you decide to go solo instead of in a band?

Chris: We had been touring around Central Pennsylvania for about two years when our first drummer had to leave the band. One of our high points was playing the Bodog Battle of the Bands at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia. We were the only ones that sounded like us and I think that was part of the reason for our lack of popularity. We had a unique sound. You can hear some of the music at the band's RverbNation site; I never took it down. Go to www.reverbnation.com/fishkill. We found another drummer and started back up again, but the tone of the music seemed off. You could say that the sense of harmony wasn't there anymore.Then we lost this new drummer (sound familiar?) and we weren't exactly packing the house, so I decided to stop for a while. It started seeming pointless to do all that preparation and wind up with nothing. Halgf the time, we wouldn't even get paid what we were told we would. The lowest point was when we played this one place and the drunks told us to turn down so they could hear the TV. You can't make this stuff up!

Me: Do you have another band now that tours and records with you?

Chris: No, I do everything myself, from the writing, recording, and playing to the graphic design and marketing campaigns. I also learned how to master tracks this time around. At some future point, I would like to have a band again, but right now, it's too complicated with all the restrictions on places that you can play and having to play for free alot in order to get a venue. I'm doing much better as a soloist in that respect.

Me: You've been playing and recording for awhile now, right? When did you realize you first wanted to be a musician, Chris?

Chris: When I was 16. Only problem was I had no idea how to get there. I took a lot of wrong turns before getting to this point. I learned how to play guitar from a magazine article from a kid's magazine and I just kept building chords from there. I began writing my own music and continued playing them in secret. When I lived in New Mexico, someone asked me why I was wasting my time with cover bands (I was a drummer back then... actually, I still am) when I could write my own songs. I thought about that and began to seriously concentrate on my own music. I formed a group with a friend of mine and his wife-to-be called Spectrum and we began working on music together. We had some serious chemistry and wanted to record what we'd worked on. We made some recordings in a group with a little porta-studio in the back of a music shop in Alamogordo, New Mexico. You could say it was an EP, although we had no idea what to actually do with it. Mostly, we dubbed copies on cassette to give to our friends. We also played in the Holloman Air Force Base Talent Show and were well-recieved by everyone. Unfortunately, I had to leave the base and all of that behind. I still have the casette somewhere. I recorded a song while I was on vacation at a little studio in Elmira, New York and from there I was hooked on recording. I got my first recording deck... a Tascam Porta-One which I used until the record heads wore out.

Me: Alright, I downloaded your new album "The Invisible Man" from iTunes, and liked it. That's your third or fourth solo album, right? When and where was it recorded?

Chris: It's my second solo album, and thanks for the download, by the way... and I recorded it all in my basement. I used an 8-track hard drive recorder and imported the tracks into Audacity to mix everything down. I did the mastering using Cakewalk Audio Creator. I had recorded four albums under the name Fishkill where I played all the instruments before I started using my own name in 2009. That's when I released my debut album, "Nightfall."

Me: What made you choose "The Invisible Man" to be the title track?

Chris: That wasn't the original title of the record. This whole thing sort of grew into an album. It started life as a single release, then I had some other songs that I wanted to record whcih brought the total to five. I had an idea for an instrumental and wrote another two songs, bringing the total to nine when I decided to include "You In the Sky" which had been posted to my web site earlier. The title came about after I wrote the song. I was going to call it "My Name's Not Justin" originally, poking fun at all these newbie-pop types that all seem to have the same name.. There's something about that phrase that defined the whole tone of the record. I knew after I'd written it that this would be the title track. The song itself was about how you can not be seen even when you're right in front of people and speaking to them. I'm sure we all feel like this at some point in our lives.

Me: I have to ask you about the album cover, Chris. Where was it taken?

Chris: Fairview Heights, Washington, just outside of Fairchild Air Force Base. That's an old photo of me holding one of my guitar cases in the rain. The original photo was used for the inside cover of the Fishkill album "The Big Purple Sky." I cut myself out of the picture and placed the design to show invisibility.

Me: Let's talk about Schizo Effect. That's a movie that featured your music, am I right? I tried to look it up but all I found is one creepy trailer on Youtube. IMDB didn't have any info on it either. It's like the Invisible Movie. LOL. Anyway, tell the readers what is the movie about?

Chris: The movie was about self discovery with a surrealistic twist. The main character is shown what he is actually like through other people's eyes. (I think) I thought it was a great idea for a story. I'm also a writer, too and I was kind of looking forward to seeing what they did with it. They contacted me and told me that they were going to use the song "My Sickness" from the "Nightfall" album. Unfortunately, the scene they wanted to use my song in got cut from the final edit. I never knew what happened to the movie after that.

Me: How did you become involved with the movie?

Chris: I had answered an ad on Craigslist looking for music to use in the film.

Me: And if a Phile reader wants to see it where can they go?

Chris: There was a web site schizoeffect.com but I don't know if it's still up.

Me: Another project you worked with is with Michael Ellenbogen, author of the book "The Insider's Guide to Saving Money" about Alzheimer's disease. Wait, that doesn't sound right. The book is not about Alzheimer's disease, is it?

Chris: He's got a new book that should be out right now called "Yes, I have Alzheimers, but I'm Not Dead Yet." The song we worked on is a companion piece to the book. It's called "Where Would I Be?" You can hear it on my web site.

Me: Oh, Michael has Alzheimer's and you wrote a song about it? Man, it'll help if I can read your bio more closely. I am an idiot. So, how did you first meet Michael?

Chris: Again, through Craigslist. He was looking for someone to help him write a song about his life, but he couldn't get the feel for rythmic poetry needed in lyrical content. He gave me a very long near-narrative which I edited to get a rhythm and came up with the music for. I also moved some of the words around to use for a chorus. I had to add a line to part of it to balance it out, but the words are basically his.

Me: I do have to commend you and mention this, Chris, Sound Off For Vets. Tell the readers what that is. That must be something very clear to your heart, the vets and fundraising. How long have you been doing that, Chris? If a Phile reader wants to know more, where should they go?

Chris: Sound Off for Vets is local musicians getting together to raise money and awareness for our men and women who have and who are serving in the military. We raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization who speicalizes in helping those wounded veterans who were wounded during our conflicts in both Iraq and Afghnistan regain their lives by giving them the tools they need to re-integrate into their families, find new jobs or retrain into a new career as a result of their injuries, and learn how to cope with their injury or disability. This year, Sound Off raised close to $500 for the Wounded Warrior Project. The concert has been held for two years now. We started on a riverboat on a Thursday in June, 2010. This year, we paired with the already-established Armed Forces Day Celebration in Harrisburg, which we will also do for subsequent years. In fact, a friend of mine is 'borrowing' the Sound Off name to hold a special concert on Veterans Day, 11/11/11, to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. He's calling it "Sound Off for Veterans Day" and it will take place on November 11 at the Championship Sports Bar in Highspire, which is near Harrisburg, PA. So far, it looks like there will be three acoustic acts and three bands and things will start at 5:30 PM. We'll also be holding a clothing drive to support the Harrisburg YWCA's Homeless Veterans Program. There will be more on this, so I invite you to join my fan list so I can keep you updated on this. To find out more about Sound Off go to vets.cygnuswave.com. To find out about the Wounded Warrior Project, go to woundedwarriorproject.org.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Tell Tish I said hello next time you speak to her or see her. I wish you lots of luck as well. Wanna plug your website or anything? Go ahead.

Chris: I'll be sure to tell her you were asking about her. She's in Alaska (Wasilla, of all places!) now. She's on Facebook, which is how I communicate with her these days. First, I'd like to let everyone know that my album "The Invisible Man" is available to listen to and download here: chrisnelson.bandcamp.com/album/the-invisible-man. I have a YouTube channel with the official music video for "You In the Sky" and you can see it here: youtube.com/user/chrisnelsonband. There's also a lot of live performance footage there, too. This month I'm planning on releasing a holiday track that I co-wrote with Col. Walt Johnson, who runs Turtle Pond Music in Florida and is a Vietnam Veteran. All proceeds from downloads of this song will go to the Honor and Remember organization, who is seeking to get a national flag to represent our fallen service members in the same manner as the POW/MIA flag. I'm also working on a music video for this which we'll start filming next month. Join my email list to find out when it's out. I'm planning on having the song released through CD Baby on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. You can find out more about Honor and Remember by visiting their web site at honorandremember.org. You can connect to me through any of the social media sites by visiting my web site at chrisnelsonband.com. There's also videos, studio and live recordings, photos, a show schedule and a whole lot more out there. Come visit me!

Me: Thanks, Chris. Keep up the good work. Take care, and come back soon, okay?

Chris: It's been a pleasure! Thanks for listening!

There, that about does it for an extra Tuesday entry of the Phile. The Phile will be back next Tuesday with artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith and then there's a whole week's worth of entries as I will be on vacation from work. Wednesday it's Alumni Lee Negin, Thursday it's Alumni Tiffany Thompson, Friday it's Alumni and my good friend's The Whiskey Saints and Saturday it's Alumni Charlotte Sometimes. Then on Sunday I will be at the all day music festival Orlando Calling, so they'll be no Phile that day. I'll have Jeff on the Phile Saturday to talk football. Whew. I think that just about covers it. Thanks to Chris Nelson for a great interview. Take care, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good job as always. from ur old friends. NO BOLITAS