Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pheaturing Megan Burtt

Hiya, welcome to the Peverett Phile: Breaking Wind. How are you? What's new? Silvio Berlusconi stepped down as prime minister of Italy. He’s being replaced by Billy Crystal. Have their been any more Republican debates? I went back to work and kinda lost touch with the world. If we have to sit through any more of these Republican debates, I'm ready for a dictatorship. I'm thinking Herman Cain doesn't get it. He brought a date to the last debate. Cain also says that he's in favor of waterboarding... as long as it is consensual. Newt Gingrich is so confident about his chances that he's already working on his concession speech. One by one the Republican candidate potentials have been shooting themselves in the foot making huge, horrible gaffes and they just look silly. It's gotten so bad that President Obama is now worried he may actually be re-elected. They had a midnight raid this past week and they cleaned out Zucotti Park where the Occupy Wall Streeters were camped out for about two months. So if you're keeping score, here's what the score is now: Eighty down in Zucotti Park; Wall Street executives arrested: Zero. New York City police went into Zuccotti Park in a midnight raid, and the mayor rode in on his pet Chihuahua. Now the protesters are demanding to be relocated at an area Olive Garden. No more sleeping or no camping in New York City parks. Hooker, crack dealers, not a problem. Protesters are also now demanding that Mayor Bloomberg be replaced by Billy Crystal. That's two Billy Crystal jokes, kids. The Occupy Wall Street people are so angry at Mayor Bloomberg and it’s starting to look really bad for his seventh term. Over the past weekend, a guy took a shot at the White House. They hunted him down and arrested him. He said, “I thought I had a better shot at it than those Republican candidates.” Well, next week is Thanksgiving... and the other day I was watching that Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special and something hit me that I never realized before. Those Peanut kids are racist. Here, take a look and see if you see what I mean. 

See? Thanksgiving is a week or so away... it always seems to fall on a Thursday, can't they just put it on the same date like they did with Halloween and Christmas? Anyway, I am so glad they have released a Thanksgiving inspirational poster.

Well, on Wednesday two things happen that are important... one, it's my birthday and two: The Muppets is released in theatres... the one movie I am excited about to see. But with Disney owning the Muppets and the marvel super heroes, I think they are getting their franchises confused. Take a look.

I am glad they released a Muppet themed inspirational poster though.

I wanted to go see The Muppets on my birthday but I have to work that day so next Sunday I will see it. What's a few more days? Agghhhhh! Thanks a lot, Disney. 

Well, it was in the news the other day that the Republicans are ramming through legislation this week to classify pizza as a "vegetable" for the purpose of school lunches. I was like WTF? So I invited someone to the Phile to help explain this. Please welcome to the Phile, Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee... Brad Woodhouse, in a pheature I like to call...

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. I have one question...Why? 

Brad: Because a massive lobbying effort of Republican lawmakers by the frozen pizza industry, among other corporate interests, is underway to get around Obama Administration guidelines to make school lunches contain healthier options.

Me: In this Republican Congress, almost anything is up for sale to the highest bidder, isn't it?

Brad: Correct, and most powerful lobbyists... including the literal definition of the word "vegetable"... and this time, it's coming at the expense of our kids' health.

Me: Do you think it could be stopped?

Brad: This is business as usual for some in Washington, but shining a spotlight on it can stop it.

Me: I will help... Pizza isn't a vegetable, people! 

Brad: Look, we could have a lot of fun with this one. But the fact is that there is a very real bottom line: Childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. And for some kids, school lunches are some of the best nutrition options they have during the day.

Me: School lunches are hard to change as it is, right?

Brad: Yes, and it doesn't take a doozy like "pizza is a vegetable" to know that the corporate interests have more money and more Washington lobbyists than kids do. That's why pizza was classified as a vegetable during the Bush years. The Obama administration made that common-sense change, but the Republican Congress wants to take us back to the money-for-influence status quo.

Me: If the Phile readers think this is as ridiculous as we do, what can they do?

Brad: Tell the GOP that it's time they started picking real people over corporations (and real vegetables over slices of pizza, for that matter). 

Me: Thank you, Director, and thanks for your help in getting Patrick Gaspard here on the Phile. You rock.

Brad: My pleasure, Jason.

Well, it's Sunday, so it's time for...

Me: Hi, Jeff, welcome again. How have you been?

Jeff: Hey Jason, I am ok. Settling in on my new job is taking a lot of time to get used to, but other then that nothing new over here.

Me: That's good. Alright, any big football news happening?

Jeff: The biggest news is that your wife's boy Tebow only threw the ball eight times in his last game, completing only 2 passes. And yet they still won. Meanwhile the Colts are just doomed. The good news is you and I have as many wins in the NFL as the Colts do. Zero! But the Dolphins have won two in a row. There is rumors that there is friction between Rex Ryan (head coach of the Jets) and star pretty boy QB Mark Sanchez. So we shall see with that.

Me: I don't know what the last score was, but I am beating you by three I think. How did we do last week?

Jeff: My scoring is way off. Refresh my memory. 2 points for a corrrect pick by us, one point for a tie and one point for a Steeler or Giant win, right?

Me: Ummm... yeah.

Jeff: Steelers won last week. Okay. I will calculate the scores then. That's what I thought but I wasn't sure.

Me: I am glad you are doing the calculations because I suck at math. 

Jeff: As of right now we are tied. 22 points each. Jeff: (7-8-1) Steelers 7-3. Jason (8-8) Giants 6-3. Steelers have a bye week this week, Giants play Eagles.

Me: A tie... I thought I was winning. Okay, Jeff, my picks this week are Cowboy's by eight. And Green Bay by 6. What do you pick?

Jeff: I am going to pick the Lions over Panthers by six and jumping on the Packers bandwagon with a win by seven over Tampa Bay.

Me: Alright, see you next Sunday. Thanks as always, Jeff, you rock.

Jeff: See you next week.

It's back. The 16th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...

Outside of New York and London, California's Bay Area claims the oldest continuous punk-rock scene in the world. "Gimme Something Better" brings this outrageous and influential punk scene to life, from the notorious final performance of the Sex Pistols, to Jello Biafra's bid for mayor, the rise of 'Maximum RocknRoll' magazine, and the East Bay pop-punk sound that sold millions around the globe. Throngs of punks, including members of the Dead Kennedys, Avengers, Flipper, MDC, Green Day, Rancid, NOFX, and AFI, tell their own stories in this definitive account, from the innovative art-damage of San Francisco's Fab Mab in North Beach, to the still vibrant all-ages DIY ethos of Berkeley's Gilman Street. Compiled by longtime Bay Area journalists Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor, "Gimme Something Better" chronicles more than two decades of punk music, progressive politics, social consciousness, and divine decadence, told by the people who made it happen. One of the author's, Jack Boulware will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. 

Alright, today's guest is a fantastic singer songwriter whose new album "It Ain't Love" is now available from iTunes and her website. She'll be next appearing at Erin and Robby's House Concert in Chicago on December 3rd, part of the Concerts In Your Home Series. Please welcome to the Phile... Megan Burtt.

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

Megan: Very well, thank you! And you?

Me: I am pretty good... need a hair cut bad, but doing okay. I have been wanting to interview you or awhile. I interviewed a singer named Gabrielle Louise twice and I think you know her, am I right?

Megan: Yes! Gabby is a dear friend. A lovely songbird.

Me: You're from Colorado like Gabrielle, right? Are you originally from there?

Megan: I am. I grew up in Denver near DU. I wear clog and shop at Whole Foods - Colorado is pretty much running through my blood.

Me: Where did you two first meet?

Megan: Gabby and I went to college together in Boston. Colorado souls share a kindship I think, so it was natural that we became and stayed friends.

Me: You two should record together or at least write together. Have you done that?

Megan: We should, shouldn't we! Actually, we have colaborted on some projects. Mostly playing live. Our musical future is but a fetus.

Me: You said you went to Berklee, and I always ask my guests who went there what was that experience like. What did you study there and was it a good experience?

Megan: Phew, that's a lofty question. Berklee in a nutshell was the best place I could have been. I always say we go into debt for our friendships, and I mean that in the most loving way possible. What I took away from that experience was an appreciation for meaningful songwriting, an addiction to playing with a band, and to fall madly in love with this job. It's getting quite serious actually :).

Me: I imagine it to be strict, was it?

Megan: Berklee is what you make of it, kind of like anything in life. You can certainly find ways to skate by, but it was where you chose to push yourself that really made the difference. I think more than strict, it was inspiring to constantly be surrounded by people who do what you do and likely do it better.

Me: Megan, I have to say something, I cannot believe you went to South America, Africa and Asia. What, were you looking to go to places that started with A? Did you go to Amsterdam as well? Australia?

Megan: There are a lot of "A's"...some "H" and "J"..."V". I withdrew from Berklee for a semester to do a study abroad program called Semester At Sea. We sailed around the world in a semester and visited ten countries, so it was easy to rack 'em up quickly. One of the best experiences of my life. I think the travel itch is part of my genetic makeup. I just like being in new places. Probably a good thing, given my chosen profession.

Me: I read that you caught, if that's the way you say it, a life threatening disease on your travels. What was it, and how long were you sick?

Megan: Without making this too nauseating, In 2007, a few months after graduation, I got something called C.difficile. It's a nasty infection that can become life-threatening, and mine happened to become that.

Me: Where were you when you go sick?

Megan: I was living in Cleveland, MS. It's a really small town just south of Clarksdale, which is known for a lot of Blues music.

Me: You should of went to Atlanta, Arkansas and Allentown instead. LOL. I am so lame. Speaking of traveling, didn't you go and tour Vietnam? You played over there, right?

Megan: I haven't made it to those cities yet, believe it or not. But that shall change. Yep, went to Vietnam too. I had an opportunity to move to Saigon and play piano and sing for a hotel over there for three months, and then spent another month traveling through North Vietnam and in Thailand. I would go back in a heartbeat, I really love being overseas.

Me: What made you decide to go over there and play? You went to so many places I would never go to.

Megan: Really the opportunity presented itself after I had submitted to play overseas. I had already been there on Semester at Sea, so I knew I loved it. Vietnam is a beautiful country. The people are stunning and interesting. The culture is rich, and the history is obviously dense. I love putting myself in the middle of foreign places to see what it feels like. I highly recommend Vietnam. Both the North and the South. They are like two different countries - not surprising given their history.

Me: Have you ever played in Orlando? We have a little Vietnam downtown.

Megan: I think I've just flown through there.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your music, Megan. Your band is called The Cure For Love. Did you name the band?

Megan: Sure did.

Me: Who is in the band, Megan?

Megan: Adam Tressler - Guitar, James Williams - Drums, Louis Cato - Bass. Jeremy McDonald has been subbing on bass a bit. We love him. All Berklee buds.

Me: I love your new album "It Ain't Love" which I downloaded from iTunes. That's your first full-length album, am I right?

Megan: Thank you so much for doing that. It is my first full-length!

Me: It's a great album, you must be very proud of it. Nice album cover by the way. How did you choose "It Ain't Love" to be the album title?

Megan: Thanks very much. I am proud of it. I love that album because it's a perfect capture of what we all do together at the time we did it. We buckled down and finished it in a couple months, so it feels very honest. There wasn't a lot of time for hashing out new parts or scrapping songs and starting over. It was the best we had, and I love my band more than anything and the way they interpret my writing, so I feel good handing it to people without making disclaimers. Eddie Jackson who engineered and produced with us if one of my favorite people ever, so the entire vibe of the project was really fun. Cover is a Lindsay McWilliams photo. Check her out and hire her. She is the best in every way.

Me: By the way, if it's NOT love, what is it?

Megan: If I knew that, I'd be out of a job. May I always be searching for a song.

Me: What is the single from the album?

Megan: "Pay It Now" has been a track that I've pushed a lot to radio and online promotion. It seems to get good feedback.

Me: Megan, you have took part in a lot of competitions, music wise. You just won one, right?

Megan: I won the Southwest Regional winner for the Mountain NewSong Competition. 

Me: Is their any competition you're in now a Phile reader can help you win?

Megan: There is nothing that I'm in right now that I need votes for, thank you for asking. There is always an on-going voting on If people want to support, I'd love "likes" on, and to sign up for the email list on - good for a free download of a track on "It Ain't Love".

Me: You're working on another album for next year, right? Is that with the same band?

Megan: Same band. I've got several different things in the fire right now. A couple side projects with friends, and some stripped-down recordings with Jamie Mefford, maybe the piano music I wrote for a show with Laurie Maves last month in official form.

Me: When your second album comes out, can you come back on the Phile?

Megan: I would love to, thank you so much for having me.

Me: Thanks again for being here, Megan. Go ahead and mention your website again, Twitter, Facebook and everything. And please come back. Maybe I can interview you and Gabrielle both. Tell her I said hello.

Megan: I will do that! Please check out:,,, and of course "It Ain't Love" is available on my website, CD Baby, and on iTunes, and THANK YOU all so much for the support. We couldn't do it without you!

Me: You're welcome, Megan. Come back soon.

That's about it for this entry. Thanks to my guest's Brad Woodhouse, Jeff Trelewicz and of course Megan Burtt. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Eddi Reader who was one of my dad's favorite female singers ever. And then on Friday it's a special Black Friday... or Black Phriday entry with Josh Caterer, lead guitarist for the band Smoking Popes. Then next Sunday it's Reid Paley, one half of the duo Paley & Francis and then next Monday it's Australian singer/songwriter Bromni. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

No comments: