Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pheaturing Erica Monzon From Ledaswan

Hello, and welcome to the last entry of the Phile for 2011, the year we lost money. When I say we I mean the country. So, did you hear President Obama bought about $200 worth of Christmas presents at Best Buy. Then it got awkward when he asked the Geek Squad if they fix economies. The New York Daily News reported that Obama bought the Wii game “Just Dance” for his daughters, Sasha and Malia. Or in other words, the New York Daily News  ruined the fun of opening presents for Sasha and Malia. In a new interview, President Obama was asked to describe Michelle, and he used the words “beautiful, smart, and funny.” When asked how he picked those, he used the words, “she’s, sitting, and right-next-to-me.” This is crazy, Jules Manson, the failed Tea Party Candidate, called for assassination of  the President and his daughters. If he'd said that kind of shit about GW Bush, he would have had his own show on MSNBC by now. The Disney parks have been so busy this week, with mostly Asians and Indian people. They must've cleaned those countries out. Don't expect to get anybody on the phone if you are having problem with your computer, they are all here in Orlando. Cheetah the chimpanzee, who acted in classic Tarzan movies in the early 1930s, died of kidney failure Saturday. Tarzan said, "Me Tarzan... you dead". Seriously, out of the four of them (Tarzan, Jane, Boy and Cheetah) who would've thought the Chimp would survive the longest? He Cheetahed death for a long, long time. He wasn't into watching animal shows on television, but he enjoyed watching all the color and movement when football appeared on screen. It's not known whether Cheetah had any favorite teams. He was a big Tebow fan. Speaking of Tebow, the Broncos are cashing in big time on him. Did you see the ad for what they're selling? Check it out. 

I have no idea what that is. LOL. well, it's been a crazy year, and my brain is overloaded. I could only sum up my year as...

Okay, 2011 has been a crazy year for news, so with the help from LEGO I have been looking back at some news stories this year. And today, I will finish up with 3 stories. In August, rioters clashed with police in London, Birmingham and Manchester, as local businesses and buildings were looted and damaged.

New Zealand beat France in the final of the Rugby World Cup.

That's hardly big news, but oh well. And finally, tributes were paid across the web to Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, who died aged 56.

Well, it's defintely been a strange year for politics and over the year I have had both Democratic and Republican guests talk about certain issues. So, here, one more time, is a politician to talk about this past year. Please welcome back to the Phile, Chair of the Democratic National Committee... Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Me: Hello, Chairwoman, welcome back to the Phile, and Happy Hannukah. So, how can we sum up 2011 political wise?

Debbie: Hello, Jason, if you follow political news like I do, you may remember this year for its GOP horse race: who was up, who was down, who had an "oops" moment. But that's not how I'll remember it.

Me: How will you remember it?

Debbie: I'll remember it as a pretty incredible year for Democrats. 

Me: Really? Was it that? 

Debbie: Just in the last week, we've seen solid evidence that health care reform is working: 2.5 million Americans are now insured thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance, more than double the number previously estimated.

Me: And the troops leavinmg the war in Iraq is one, right?

Debbie: Yes, the war in Iraq has come to a responsible end. Because of the veterans provisions of the American Jobs Act and the Hiring Heroes Act, which provide tax incentives to businesses who hire veterans in need of work, our troops coming home and all our veterans know that they can get the help they need in finding work and supporting their families.

Me: That's great. These are the kinds of fights Democrats are waging...

Debbie: And winning. They're crucial victories, but they don't happen without you.

Me: So, what about next year, ma'am?

Debbie: Next year, the stakes will be even higher. 

Me: How so? Oh... there's the election. Duh.

Debbie: Yes, next year's election will be huge, that's for sure but the work we did in 2011 shows just what a grassroots campaign can do. Across the country this year, Democrats worked together and fought critical statewide battles on the ground.

Me: Like what, ma'am?

Debbie: Well, in Mississippi, folks worked tirelessly to protect a woman's right to choose and soundly defeated the Personhood amendment, which would've made abortion illegal, including in cases of rape or incest, and even banned some forms of birth control.

Me: And in Maine?

Debbie: Up in Maine, statewide Democratic groups worked together to overturn the state legislature's recent ban on allowing people to register and vote on the same day -- a nearly 40-year tradition that's helped the state have some of the highest voter turnout rates in the country.

Me: Anywhere else?

Debbie: In the bellwether state of Ohio, the state Democratic party and progressive allies collected more than 300,000 signatures to stop a law that would greatly reduce how and when Ohioans can early vote -- and put it up for a statewide vote next year. Thanks in part to thousands who were able to cast their ballots early, Ohio voters in November successfully repealed a collective bargaining law that would've stripped away the rights of teachers and firefighters to negotiate for important benefits and working conditions.

Me: So, there's ways to get the economy working again. 

Debbie: Ways to go to get the economy working for everyone, and there's much more work to be done.

Me: With all that, there's a lot to smile about. 

Debbie: Correct. We've worked together at the national level to make change that's going to affect millions of lives every day, like repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and we've banded together in our states and communities to stand for our party's principles. It's what Democrats do.

Me: And the GOP is ready to screw it all up, right?

Debbie: Yes, Jason, or every victory we've had this year, the GOP is ready and waiting to reverse it. Repealing health care reform, reinstating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," restricting voting rights, and putting Personhood amendments on the ballot in other states are all things the other side has promised to do if given the chance.

Me: Debbie, keep up the good work, have a safe New Year and please come back on the Phile throughout 2012.

Debbie: Thanks, you and your readers as well. 

Robert Downey Jr. insists on maintaining the Jennifer Aniston hair for his interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. It's a greasier, messier mop this time around, but it's still there, floating on top of the detective's complicated genius skull. And director Guy Ritchie isn't about to mess with the fluffy anachronism. It worked before; it'll work again. Sort of. About that "before" moment: it was a speeding-motorcycle take on the venerable detective and it played with its source material in a way that updated Holmes for contemporary audiences while simultaneously giving Guy Ritchie a chance to push his subversive take on the "guy movie." In most of his earlier films, Ritchie has overseen a world of handsome thuggery where women are mysteries and mostly beside the point, while men are brothers and/or adversaries but never not the most fascinating creatures in the room. It was also okay if they gazed into each others' eyes and touched. So here, you expect the moment where Holmes beckons, "Lie down with me, Watson," after pushing the new Mrs. Watson (Kelly Reilly) from a moving train. He's demanding Watson do this in order to save his friend's life... there's gunfire coming... as well as for never-stated-yet-easily-read bonding purposes. And that is signature Guy Ritchie. The man was married to Madonna for a reason. This time around, though, everything is a little less fluffy, a little more mechanical. The always maze-like plotting involves an evil proto-military-industrialist (Jared Harris) who seeks to create war in order to make a fortune. And getting to the bottom of his dastardly plan means that Holmes and Watson must team up with a Romany woman (O.G. Dragon Tattoo lady Noomi Rapace, looking crazily out of place in hair jewels and gowns) as well as an occasionally naked Stephen Fry. He plays Holmes's brother Mycroft and is never not serving up a side helping of Effete Smartypants Guy in a movie that occasionally forgets to provide it. That downsizing of idiosyncratic detail might be the price of success. It was a pleasure, in the first movie, to get inside Holmes's steampunk-computer-brain and watch his deduction skills displayed in (almost) three dimensions. Learning that he was also a martial arts/kickboxing ass-kicker didn't hurt either. But it never dominated his weird sense of style or his funny, needy attachment to Watson. Here everything feels just a little less oddball and a little more ready to give in to typical action movie demands. In the end, Holmes purists will most likely remain as annoyed as they were by the first movie and new fans will still have a convoluted good time. But what's really important... Ritchie maintaining his own sense of style and his main character not turning into a slightly less grubby and somewhat more literate version of Captain Jack Sparrow, is a future mystery only the inevitable sequels will solve. From 1 to 10, it gets a 10, and yes, I will be buying it.

The 8th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Phile Alumni Alexis White and this is one of her pieces of art.

It looks like a bunch of penis'... I have to ask her about that. Alexis will be a guest on the Phile this Sunday, in the first entry of 2012.

Okey dokey, the last guest of the year is the lead singer for the San Antonio band Ledaswan whose third EP "NUM83R5" is now available on CD and on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Erica Monzon.

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

Erica: I'm doing well. Trying to stay cool in this Texas heat!

Me: So, I think I interviewed half the female singers from Houston... Tish Meeks, Staci Butler, Sheila Swift, and now you. Actually, there's a lot more of you girls, right? 

Erica: No, there use to be two girls in Ledaswan, but we just recently got a new bassist and his name is Lalo Rodriguez.

Me: Are you a part of the GoGirls thing as well? And for new readers of the Phile, explain what that is, Erica. 

Erica: I have been a long time supporter for sure! I use to be a member and plan on becoming one again this year. GoGirls is a resource for female musicians trying to make music a full-time career or even those that are already doing it. They have cool incentives if you are a member I would highly recommend to other female musicians.

Me: It seems like all you girls have or had your husbands in the bands with you. If my wife or I were in a band, we would not have each other involved. We would kill each other. Is your husband in the band? 

Erica: My husband is in Ledaswan.

Me: I knew there was some kinda relationship. Who else is in Ledaswan with you? 

Erica: David Monzon which is my brother-n-law... Jaime's brother, Eduardo (Lalo) Rodriguez, and Nick Ochoa.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name, Erica, where did it come from? 

Erica: I like to leave it up to people to find their own meaning of the band name themselves, I think it's better that way.

Me: Good job you didn't name the band Ledahoes. Anyway... how long have you guys been performing and been in a band? A few years, right? 

Erica: I have been playing guitar, singing and writing for about 12 years. With the band since 2004.

Me: I was going to ask you what the deal is with the songs with numbers in the title, Erica, in your new release... "25 Years", "Six Is Better", "A Missing Fifth", "The New Sixties"... and then I was like duh, the album is named "Numbers". Did you set out to make a whole album about numbers originally? 

Erica: We didn't originally set out to do this. But all our titles had numbers in them when they were working titles... and then we decided to keep the working titles and call the EP "NUM83R5". We also are demoing for "NUM83R5 Vol. 2" EP for release next year.

Me: I know, the real spelling is N.U.M.8.3.R.S. Very clever. Who thought of that? And does the number 83 mean anything? 

Erica: Thank you, it's actually N.U.M.8.3.R.5  at the end. Even more clever. eh? I think it was just an idea the band bounced off one another.

Me: Oh, sorry, yeah, five at the end. You must of been a fan of "Lost" with the numbers thing. I was going to say it's weird, with all the number references but I could talk with all my 'PH' crap. I wish I can go back and change that. It's annoying. Anyway, the EP is split up in two parts, right? Two parts. There goes the number thing again. Why did you choose to do that, and not just one whole album? 

Erica: We wanted to keep things fresh for 2011 and just try something different. I can't really say different because bands do that more and more nowadays. But after "NUM83R5 vol. 2" we will release a full length. We also wanted to keep people anticipating new music so that's another reason.

Me: This past April you kids played at SXSW, which seems like pretty much everybody I interviewed has played. Did you have fun and meet any cool people, or see any cool bands? 

Erica: SXSW is always fun. We saw the Sounds and Phantogram some of my favorite bands.

Me: Was that the first time you played there? 

Erica: No, we've played there the past couple years.

Me: I noticed on your website you have a blog, Erica. Do you do the writing for it? If not, who does? 

Erica: Sometimes I do, sometimes Jaime does and even Lalo our bassist.

Me: I watched the video you did... what song was it for again? A number song I am guessing. Was it fun to do, and will you be making more? 

Erica: We did the video for "Faulkner". It was a lot of fun. We had a house party and invited fans of the band and friends to shoot the party scene. And I did the story board for the video. We also released a new video this past Summer for "What a Way Two Drown."

Me: Erica, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Tell the girls I said hello, and if you can recommend anybody else, please do. Go ahead and mention your website. 

Erica: There are a few female fronted bands in S.A. that I would like to recommend. Heather Go Psycho, Girl in a Coma, Nancy Silva Project, When Words Attack, the Great 85, and Say Revenge... I'm sure there's more but those are the ones off the top of my head. Sure

Me: By the way, you are the 257th interview on the Phile, Erica. How's that for a number? Anyway, I wish you a lot of luck and come back anytime, okay? Maybe soon I can have all your girls on here at once. Whatcha think? 

Erica: That would be rad!

Me: Take care, and keep rocking. 

Erica: Thank you!

There. Another year's worth of Phile's done. Thanks to everybody I have interviewed this past year, everyone who helped me get an interview and to you, the phaithful reader. Thanks today to Erica and Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Alright, the Phile will be back on January 1st with a new logo and the guest as I said will be Alumni musician and artist Alexis White. Then on Monday it's Michael Arcos from the band Jane Jane Polluck, and next Wednesday it's Mark Dean from the cool band Dark Mean. Did I get that right? Yep. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Here's to 2012, have a safe New Years. Bye, love you, bye.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pheaturing Declan Harrington From Shibuya Crossings

Hello, everybody, welcome to another Monday entey of the Phile. It's Boxing Day, so put up your dukes. Actually, Boxing Day is traditionally a day following Christmas when wealthy people and homeowners in the United Kingdom would give a box containing a gift to their servants. That's what Wikipedia says anyway. It is actually a day when a husband asks his wife hfight over how much money was spent over the holidays. Well, did you have a good Christmas? Was Santa good to you? We had the best Christmas ever. Logan got Nerf guns and LEGO's, I got Blu-rays and CD's and Jen got a Tebow t-shirt and his book. And we all got Miranda Lambert, BB King and the Globetrotter's tickets. No, they're not playing the same show. It was a great Christmas, kids. The Pope came out again this week against materialism. He says for Christmastime, instead of giving material presents, you should give of yourself. You can really tell the Pope's not married, can't you? Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Obama a clown and an embarrassment. You don't talk about our president that way. Our vice president, sure, that would be fine. According to the census bureau, the number of women getting pregnant is at its lowest rate in 70 years. So, apparently that NBA strike had a bigger effect on America than we thought. Congrats to Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma. They have given birth to a baby boy. He posted a photo of the new baby on Twitter, but people are afraid to open it. They embalmed Kim Jong Il and they put him under glass. And I'm telling you, this would be a much better joke if Regis was still working. Right before Christmas, President Barack Obama went out and did some shopping. He took the entire White House Press Corps with him, but still he's out there boosting the economy... the Chinese economy but still, he's doing what he can, ladies and gentlemen. Well, as I just mentioned at the beginning of this entry, it is Boxing Day in England, the UK and Australia. I was very excited when I saw this boxing inspired inspirational poster that I have to share with you. 

That has nothing to do with Boxing Day, but it's hot, right? Well, Christmas might be over, but it's still Hannukah. Did you know that the Jews have their own super hero? This is so cool, check it out.

I wish I knew what his name was, kids. Does anybody know? Well, I don't think there's gonna be a Christmas next year if the Mayans got it right. Which is okay, as Santa has a terrible accidemt yesterday. Did you see the picture of it? No? Good, then this is a Peverett Phile exclusive. 

So, 2011 is almost over and on the Phile I've been going over some major news stories of this year with the help of LEGO and today I have two stories. Fighting continued in Libya between anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists as the rebels mount a massive attack on Gaddafi's forces in Sirte.

The second story is the one where a Sydney teenager was trapped in her home for 10 hours after a suspicious device was attached around her neck. The suspected bomb was only discovered to be a fake after the lengthy ordeal.

I don't even remember that story. Oh, well. Anyway, now for...

Johannes Heesters
Dec 5, 1903 - Dec 24, 2011
Some of his big hits were "Liebling, was wird nun aus uns beiden", "Ich werde jede Nacht von ihnen träumen", and "Tausendmal möchte' ich dich küssen" - all of which translate into "I'm a fucking Nazi".

Chipwrecked is a mind-numbing piece of uninspired baloney, meant only to pacify hyperactive children. I never laughed once at the Chipettes in towels talking about "whipping [their] tail[s] back and forth" like furry Willow Smiths, or the dated Castaway references, or the cockeyed pelican skulking around a Carnival cruise ship spilling gravy in Jason Lee's lap. The only time my mouth even vaguely turned up in a smile was when Theodore, my favorite of the Chipmunks, went bungee jumping and because he was so heavy, ended up falling headfirst into the sand. That poor little cutie, he just likes eating so much. Anyway, this movie is so lackluster that it made the previous two films look like Academy Award winners. The first movie made me laugh. The second one, less so, but they both had plots that were relatively interesting and they had moments that generated real emotions. I was aghast at how selfish Alvin was, reveled in Brittany's beauty, and felt compassion for the other chipmunks because they were chubby or had glasses. Jason Lee appeared to be pleased with himself, participating in family friendly flicks and using his strong vocal cords in the timeless role of the Chipmunks' human caregiver Dave. Those were the glory days. Back when animated movies about singing vermin had a soul. Or at least comparatively. Chipwrecked is just a series of dizzying bits... a dance competition, skating on the deck of a cruise ship, fighting over a mango, etc. This means your kids are going to be moderately engaged, as per usual with anything brightly colored and adorably high-pitched. But you, as their human caregiver, are going to be checking your watch. The Chipmunks and Chipettes are supposed to perform at the International Music Awards, so they take a cruise there, but of course Alvin ruins it by getting them all stranded on a desert island instead, while Dave and a surprising companion desperately try to find them. It's so empty that it pales in comparison to the sophisticated-yet-adorable writing we've become spoiled with lately in our animated movies. That gleam in Jason Lee's eye has glazed over, suggesting that now daddy needs a seventh Maserati so he is compartmentalizing the pain away. I don't think every animated movie has to be made by Pixar or Dreamworks to be worth watching. I just want it to stir something inside of me. There are about 800,000 better ways to spend your time. Even if you need a break from making popsicle stick crafts with the kids, go see something that has a soul... and there are plenty this holiday season. I'm sorry Theodore, your dazzling green eyes are usually enough to make me go "aww" as you eat too many donuts. This time though, I wish you and all your friends had stayed adrift at sea so you could never bore anyone again. From 1 to ten, it gets a 3, and nope, I will not be buying it.

Tintin lives in the Uncanny Valley. For the uninitiated, that's the mysterious land where computers give birth to movie characters that are supposed to look like real people. That they never quite achieve that goal often results in distraction, annoyance, repulsion, creepy feelings and rage on the part of more easily unnerved audience members. The ugly children and Aerosmith elves of The Polar Express live in the Uncanny Valley, too. So do most of the characters from the blisteringly unpleasant version of A Christmas Carol in which Jim Carrey was Ebenezer Scrooge (Carrey didn't look so bad, though). Jar Jar Binks doesn't live in the Uncanny Valley. Jar Jar Binks lives in movie prison. Everybody who starred in the Chipmunks movie lives there, too, and they're actual people. The latter crew will eventually get time off for good behavior but Jar Jar is a lifer. Tintin didn't have to live in the Uncanny Valley. Steven Spielberg forced him to live there against his will. Tintin's a comic character, after all, and it's not like anyone ever tried to turn him into a real boy before. Even the vintage animated TV shows he starred in were faithful to his cartoon-face. Expressive human details were never part of the bargain. So if you're going to blame somebody for the moments where everybody on screen looks like they're made of Silly Putty, go to the Pinocchio-obsessed man in charge. Having said all that, the technology is slowly, inch by digital inch, catching up with the creative desires of performance capture's true believers. Because more than any other movie that has tried, Tintin fails the least, mostly because the action never calms down long enough to give its adventuring Boy Reporter a chance to have more than 1.5 seconds of thoughtful facial expression in the first place. He's got a mystery to solve and a treasure waiting at the end of it. So off he goes with his exceptionally alcoholic pal Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), racing the globe together in search of clues and signposts that will guide them to the loot. They employ every time of transportation available and, when that fails then, they fly by the seats of their pants. Now, let's say you grew up on the Indiana Jones movies. And let's say you worship those movies. You're the audience who'll be least impressed here. It's aiming for that level of excitement and thrill, and Tintin can physically maneuver himself into spaces that flesh-and-blood Indy can't, but that also means there's less at stake. When a giant boulder threatens to squash Harrison Ford, you get nervous. When a cartoon facsimile aims for a cartoon victim, the stakes just aren't as high. That means you get the pleasure of a movie where the camera can go places a real one can't, and that's solidly entertaining to witness. It's never boring, not too long, un-obnoxious and doesn't get too preachy about its drunken sailor. Not to damn it with meaninglessness, but it's a decent example of the "pretty good" family film, the kind of efficiently generated entertainment that results in a reasonably satisfying consumer experience while you're engaged with its 107 minutes of nonstop action. But in the end it's made of air and code, a machine at heart, so don't expect to carry it home in yours. But I give it a ten, and will be buying it, and I hope there's a sequel.

The 8th artist to be pheatured on the P.P.A.G. is Phile Alumni and musician Alexis White. This is one of her works of art.

Alexis will be a guest on the Phile on Sunday.

Todays guest is the lead singer and guitarist for the England based band Shibuya Crossings whose new album "DOYA" is now available on iTunes, and on Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile, from the great band Shibuya Crossings... Declan Harrington.

Me: Hello, Declan, and welcome to the Phile. I have to tell you, I am a BIG fan of your band Shibuya Crossings. How are you?

Declan: I'm good and thanks.

Me: Where did the band name come from?

Declan: It came as I walked across the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo at 5am after a night out. During the day literally hundreds of thousands of people walk across there, but at 5am it was empty and I was the only one there. It was really bright, the sun was shining like a scene from Vanilla Sky. I pretty much decided there and then my next band would use the name

Me: Have you been to America yet?

Declan: Yes,I've been to America. New York, San Fran and Vegas. My wife is from Toronto so have been there a zillion times too. Go Leafs! Ahem.

Me: Shibuya Crossings is one of my new favorite bands. I love the song "At Eight in a Spanish Bar". It reminds me of the Fountains of Wayne. Have you heard of them?

Declan: Yes I have, great band. I haven't heard them in a while, you've now put "Radiation Vibe" on the turntable in my mind. Thanks :)

Me: What music are you guys into? Who are your influences?

Declan: It's mostly guitar based music but the sound of the band is mainly influenced by 90's indie and alternative stuff like Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, Weezer, Lemonheads but there's a bit of rock, punk, pop and 60's in there too. My top 5 artists are probably The Beatles, The Smiths, Teenage Fanclub, Neil Young and Motley Crue is definitely a guilty pleasure, especially the first 2 albums. Currently I'm listening to Laura Marling, Ryan Adams, Wilco and Ariel Pink. We like some electro stuff like Kraftwerk, Postal Service, etc too.

Me: Let's talk about the band, who is in it? You started out with four members and now have three, right?

Declan: Yep, Gareth moved back to New Zealand before the album was released. We decided to stay as a 3 piece leaving myself, Rob Toshman on bass and Ian Escario on drums

Me: You guys are from all different places. How did you all meet? And where are you guys from?

Declan: I initially met Gareth through a friend and fellow New Zealander Richard Knowler who helped a lot with the first album. We then put up ads online and they were answered by Rob from Barnet, North London and Ian from the Philippines among others. I'm originally from Northern Ireland.

Me: You're based in London, right? What part? I was born in Balham.

Declan: Ah, that's interesting. I live in Islington, Rob in Barnet and Ian in Whitechapel. We usually tell people we're based in Islington as our rehearsal space and a lot of venues we play in are around there. London is a great place to live if you're into music.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your great album "DOYA". What does the album title mean?

Declan: It's an acronym for "Depend on Your Alter-Ego". A lot of the songs are narrative and observational from the outside looking in. I think the title flips that around maybe by hinting that the 'in' could be the subconscious in some cases. There's basically a different lyrical journey compared to the first album and we wanted to reflect that in the title. 

Me: It's a great album, guys. I mentioned the song "At Eight in a Spanish Bar' and I love the video for it. But... it is not based in a Spanish bar at all, it's based around speed dating. Who came up with that concept?

Declan: It was originally going to be based in a Spanish/Cuban bar but circumstances dictated that to be impossible. It's just too expensive to hire a bar for something like this. They want you out before they open, they have to put a memeber of staff on to keep an eye on you, it was too much hassle in the end and would've compromised the video I think. The speed dating idea was from a director called Gavin Randall at Melting Point Media, we took a little persuading at the beginning but the idea worked really well in the end. We're very happy with it and think he did a great job

Me: It's well done, with all the different characters. Which girl character is your favorite?

Declan: Sophie's kinda cute isn't she? I also like the girl in the Smiths t-shirt for obvious reasons, I'm not sure of her name though. The tarot card woman and the emotional girl are really funny as well.

Me: Are you guys gonna be making any more videos?

Declan: Definitely, it's pretty essential these days. Forget getting played on MTV, the online exposure with them is great. From an artistic point of view there's something quite satisfying about marrying your music with film. They both can enhance one another in a lot interesting ways. We think our next single is going to be "Gamla Stan" and I have an idea about heading over to Stockholm with a bunch of flip cams and re-enacting at least some of the story. The plan is to have beer involved, could get messy. Check out our YouTube Channel: we have 3 other songs with videos there too.

Me: "DOYA" is your second album, right? What was the name of your first album?

Declan: "Songs For Lovesick Teenagers".

Me: Are they similar styles of music?

Declan: Yes and No. "SFLT" has some great moments on it but "DOYA" is more consitent and refined. You can hear some of the albu at and judge for yourself.

Me: You guys got some airplay on Radio 1, which is cool. I loved Radio 1 back in the 80's when I lived in England. Steve Wright was the greatest. Do you guys listen top a lot of Radio 1?

Declan: Not anymore, it's not the same as it used to be and very chart oriented during the day. A bit of the station died along with John Peel I think. Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe and Rory McConnell all still have great specialist shows in the evenings though. BBC 6 Music is gaining popularity in the indie circles right now, you've got XFM as well I suppose. I generally don't listen to radio that much anymore, podcasts, blogs and word of mouth suit me better these days

Me: One of your songs was featured in a UK TV commercial already. What is the product and do you get a kick out of the song being used that way?

Declan: We definitely got a kick out of it, being our the first time we'd had anything like that. The product was actually a trailer for an Australian soap called "Home & Away". I doubt many of you in the US will have heard of it, but you might have being from the UK. They ran it for about 10 days on the terrestrial Channel 5. It's tough being in a band right now, so this definitely gave us a shot in the arm. Unfortunately it's one of the few ways left that artists can make a little bit of money so you have to grab it with both hands, and of course it raises your profile as well.

Me: You guys also did a cover of Protex's song "Don't Ring Me Up" but that's not on your album. Was it for a Protex tribute band?

Declan: It was for a compilation that is yet to be released called "Time to be Proud" which will celebrate the history of Belfast label Good Vibrations. I believe Snow Patrol, Ash and Therapy? recorded tracks for it as well.

Me: For readers that don't know, tell them who Protex was. How did you pick that song?

Declan: Protex were a band from the Northern Irish punk scene in the late seventies. Some of their more well known peers would have been the Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. Bands like the Clash used to come over to Belfast to experience the scene there as there was such a buzz. There is a great book by Good Vibrations founder Terri Hooley called "Hooleygan" which is well worth a read and describes life in Belfast at the time and focuses on the punk scene then. "Don't Ring Me Up" was I think Protex's only hit in the UK and was one of 3 songs we had to choose from for the compilation. It sounded like it would be the most fun to do and indeed it was.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Declan, I am a huge fan an hope you come back again real soon. Are you planning on touring America as well?

Declan: Thanks, it has been a lot of fun. Unfortunately as yet, we have no plans to tour the US. Maybe we will when the next album is done. There is a chance we will play one or two American dates next year though. We'd love to come over and play for you guys definitely - will keep you posted.

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and I wish you great luck in 2012 and onwards.

Declan: The site is and is the place to find out all about us. If you join our mailing list you'll get a couple of free downloads as a thank you, so well worth a visit. Best of luck with the Phile, I've enjoyed reading it a lot.

There you go, that's this entry done. Thanks to Declan for a great interview. Shibuya Crossings a great band. The Phile will be back on Wednesday which will be the last entry of 2011. The guest will be Erica Monzon, the lead singer for the band Ledaswan. Then next Sunday it's arist and Alumni Alexis White and on Monday it's Michael Arcos from the band Jane Jane Polluck. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Peverett Phile Christmas 3 Pheaturing Karling Abbeygate

Hello, and welcome to A Peverett Phile Christmas 3, and Happy Hannukah. Before we start, lemme just say this isn't me...

I am not that happpy. Let's see what's going on, kids. Donald Trump said he was going to run for president and then he didn't run. But now he may be serious because I understand he has demanded to see his own birth certificate. Newt Gingrich is demanding that judges be arrested. I thought, “Whoa, that's what two divorces will do for you.” Everybody is talking about Kim Jong Il, and more news is coming out about him. Kim Jong Il made his staff call him "dear" and spent the day drinking cognac. It's like I have a twin, ladies and gentlemen. The family is saying now that in lieu of flowers for Kim Jong Il, they encourage you to send enriched uranium. It is of course the first day of Hanukkah. So happy Hanukkah to my Jewish reader, my brother-in-law Seth. I love all the holidays. Especially the one you celebrate in your region, with your ethnic group. In honor of Christmas, a town in the U.K. held a reindeer race on Friday night. And of course, it happened to be right when my Grandma was crossing the street. I heard that the Kardashian family just released a special 3-D Christmas card. And this is nice, the card even plays Kim’s favorite Christmas song: “The 12 Days of Marriage.” So, I was wondering... what will Santa give to the bad kids that wants coal for Christmas? Speaking of coal, what do naughty colaminers get for Christmas? Well, today they announced Kim Jong's successor today. 

As I said before, this is my favorite time of year, and one thing I love about this time of year is Christmas lights and decorations, so here on the Phile for the last time until next Christmas season, here are some holiday lights. And I saved the best for last, people.

The only thing that would be cooler is if it was the Millenium Falcon. So, who loves inspirational posters? I love inspirational posters. Here's a Christmas themed one that I found.

There's been a lot of news stories this year and in every entry until the end of the year we will be looking back at them with the help of LEGO. Like President Obama and his national security team were pictured in a now famous photo watching the mission to kill Osama bin Laden unfold in real time.

Well, it's that time of year when Christmas, or Hanukkah lists are being made, and I have my hand on another one. So, kids, here's...
Today's list is from Crash Bandicoot, and it's not much of a list at all. Here it is...
1. Friends.

The poor guy just wants friends. That is dumb. Anyway, moving on with a real list. From he home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Things You Don't Want to Hear at Your Holiday Office Party
10. "Christmas bonuses are being paid in Greek Drachmas."
9. "Pass the McNuggets."
8. "It's like a Christmas Carol. There's the CEO's wives of past, present and future."
7. "Break's over, everyone back to work."
6. "All food or drinks consumed are considered taxable income and must be reported as such."
5. "That's a punch bowl? Whoops..."
4. "In lieu of health coverage next year, here's a $20 bonus."
3. "Let's make this the best party ever, since it will be the last one for most of you."
2. "Earnings are down and so are the CEO's pants!"
And the number one thing you don't want to hear at your Christmas office party...
1. "Is that Herman Cain under the mistletoe again?"

Okay, speaking of Christmas, I invited a good friend to the Phile to talk about his family and the Christmas tradition's they have. So, please welcome once again, Pat Riot.

Well, Hullo, Jason and happy hot tsunami Christmas yaya yo to you toody! Well, first off we do it like everybody else, first we charge our plastic for all it's worth exchanging expensive gifts with relatives, people we'd like to get in the sack, people who offer us some advantage later, after maxing out our credit line, (the rich part of the family goes to Neiman Marcus, the poor go to Walmeetart) then we go to the butcher and get some dead animals to roast over an open flame, with charcoal, lighter fluid and seasonings. Then we invite a bunch of people over, after stuffing themselves nearly into a coma, we watch them get blind drunk, start unwanted pregnancies, divorce actions, after some police involvement, we clear the dead and wounded and wait for the ambulance to depart. Then like most American families, the remaining relatives watch violent football, carpet bombing of Vietnam on the military channel, and Hitlers escaped henchman of South America. After a few more drunken arguments we hold hands and sing "Silent Night Holy Night" and "Joy To The World". Last year Uncle Simon exposed himself in the yard and cut the head of Melissas baby bunny with a hacksaw, so this year we have installed cameras, and cattle tasers for the kids and in case anything gets out of hand. Finally at the end of the night we open the presents to see what Santa brought us, I am hoping for that home brew kit from Kentucky and Wilma is hoping for a cruise to Panama. I'll tell you there is nothing like roasting a dead mammal over a flame with family, watching them get drunk and start a family of their own, if it's half as good as last year, we are truly blessed. Now if you'll excuse me, I saw a big fat Salvation Army bucket in front of Sammyshoes, I bet its got at least two hundred semolies, so me and cousin Sticky Fingers gonna go get it to pay for granny's operation. God bless charity! Hi ho the merry ho and a winky new year!

Thanks, Pat, that was inspiring to say the least. Okay, as there won't be a Phile on Sunday as that's Christmas, I invited my friend Jeff to the Phile today to talk football. So, please welcome to the Phile once again my good friend Jeff in a pheature I call...

Me: Hello, Jeff, welcome to A Peverett Phile Christmas 3. How are you? What are your plans Christmas Day?

Jeff: My plans for Christmas is to go to movies and dinner with my girlfriend. What are the plans of the Phile?

Me: Nothing as Phile as far as the Phile goes. What is the one thing you're hoping to get?

Jeff: Don't know what I hope to get. It depends if Santa said I was a good boy or a naughty boy this year. Hehe. Anything on your wish list?

Me: A shit load of Blu-rays. Alright, what is the big news this week? And I think I should get at least an extra ten points for predicting Tebow will lose by 20. LOL.

Jeff: There is a lot of news going on from last week's games. Most shocking is that both the undefeated Packers lost while the winless Colts won. A lot of teams that should have had a cake walk onto the playoffs had stunning losses. Plus yes, you were right that the Denver Tebows lost by 20 points, but I am not sure that is really worth 10 points in our standings. Nice try though! I can't say I blame you though. The other big news is depite the serious struggles of the Philadelphia Eagles, despite all the hype... they are still mathmatically in the playoff hunt. So it should be an exciting last 2 weeks

Me: Okay, I won't take that 10 points. Anyway, seriously, how did we really do?

Jeff: We both went 1-1 last week with both our teams losing so it's still a five point lead for me. I say that in the last week we pick three games? Maybe five? What do you say? Make it interesting!

Me: That sounds good. We'll pick five games. Okay, this week I say Texans by 5 and the Rams by 4. What do you say?

Jeff: I'm gonna go with Philadelphia by 3 over Dallas and my last pick of the week will be Broncos over Bills by a field goal as well.

Me: Okay, Jeff. I will see you on, January 1st. Have a great Christmas, my friend. See ya next year!!

Okay, the 8th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Phile Alumni and musician Alexis White, who will be on the Phile also on January 1st. This is one of her pieces...

Okay, today's guest is a fantastic singer whose new CD's "Bound For Nowhere" and "Christmas With Karling" are available on her website and iTunes. She'll be next apeparing at B Ryder's in Bakersfield, California on December 23rd. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented... Karling Abbeygate.

Me: Hello, Karling, welcome to the Phile. I am so excited you are here. How are you?

Karling: I am doing fine. Thank you for asking.

Me: I am a big fan so it's great to have you on the Phile. You are one of my new favorite singers. So, I have to tell you I had a dilemma... I couldn't decide what pic to use for the interview, Karling. They are all hot, so I went for the obvious. Who came up with this idea for the shoot?

Karling: I'm glad you like it. It was my idea, I really like the color red for photo shoots. Those were my actual sheets. Haha, I insist on sleeping in red satin! Unless I'm touring then any old smelly couch will do!

Me: You weren't really naked, were you?

Karling: Yes.

Me: I have to ask you about your name Karling. It's very unusual and in my 43 years I have never heard of anyone called that name. What does it mean, and there must be a story behind it, am I right?

Karling: The story is that my mother spent some time in the USA, and she had a best friend over here called Karling. When she gave birth to me she named me after her American friend. Of course I assumed it was a common American name but when I eventually moved over here I found out that she was the only one... at least I've never met another. Where I grew up one of the most popular beers is called Carling Black Label. I got teased about it.

Me: Karling, where are you from?

Karling: I'm from Norwich, England.

Me: My dad's dad was from Norwich. When did you move to America?

Karling: Really? That's a coincidence. I moved here about 15 years ago.

Me: You live in Los Angeles am I right? Do you go back to England often? I am originally from England, London to be exact, but I have only been there twice since I moved to Florida in '87.

Karling: Ah, see, and my dad lives in Florida. Small world. Yes, I live in Los Angeles. I try and go back to England once a year.

Me: Alright, let's talk about your music. I love your latest album "Bound For Nowhere" even though I disagree, I think you are bound for a lot of places. Where did the album title come from?

Karling: The title is from a line in one of the songs. "Train Bound For Nowhere." And then our PR expert at Luck Media came up with and organized the photo shoot of me out in the desert bound up with ropes!

Me: I am guessing you are a big fan of rockabilly. Did you grow up listening to that genre of music?

Karling: Yes, I am and I did grow up listening to rockabilly. I was so amazed when I heard my first Sun Sessions Record. My best friend's mum had a collection of old records and we would play them. I liked the 50's music, but when I heard Elvis' "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" it took my breath away. So raw and full of energy. I was immediately sold on that style of music.

Me: When I was about my son's age which is 12 rockabilly was my favorite genre. I listened to a lot of Stray Cats, The Polecats and Dave Edmunds. Who is your favorite band from that genre?

Karling: I loved the Stray Cats, even though it wasn't particularly cool to do so. The Polecats were great also, and I actually have hung out with Boz Boorer the guitarist who now plays with Morrissey.

Me: What other types of music are you into?

Karling: I like a lot of different styles of music. I really like American 70's rock and 80's English music. I love Blondie and David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Kate Bush, The Stones, The Kinks, I really dig this band called Midnight Syndicate. They play spooky orchestral music that makes every day Halloween.

Me: When did you decide you wanted to be a performer, Karling? What was your first gig you ever did?

Karling: I always loved music. I knew that I liked to write, both stories and songs. I played several instruments in school and I won a competition at a holiday camp called Butlins playing "Amazing Grace" on my recorder. So I was always headed in that direction. But my first actual gig singing in a band was in Las Vegas. I was so scared. We were playing songs from my very first album called "Tin Town", and it was at some bar I don't even remember the name but I know they didn't pay us and I was too scared to ask for the drink tickets. That's all changed now. Scoring drink tickets is my first priority. Haha.

Me: My dad was really into rockabilly and recorded a rockabillish album called "Zig-Zag Walk". I am guessing your parents were into the same kinda music as you. Am I right?

Karling: You're kidding? Wow, that's amazing! Yes, my parents loved old style country and rockabilly. Mostly old country like Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline and rockabilly like Elvis and Gene Vincent. I don't think they liked the Stay Cats or saw any connection between their music and the new incarnation.

Me: You have been compared to Wanda Jackson, who is still making records to this day. In fact, recently she was in Orlando and I missed her. Have you met her, and do you mind being compared to her?

Karling: Yes, I have met her, and I've played a couple of shows with her. Of course I don't mind being compared to Wanda Jackson, it's an honor. Her voice and style is the epitome of rockabilly. She's incredible. Plus she dated Elvis!

Me: I have to congratulate you, Karling. A few years ago you were up for an award for the song "Another Lovely Day". Did you win? If so, what did you win?

Karling: Yes, we won at the Los Angeles Music Awards and were nominated at the Hollywood Music and Media Awards. It's not the kind of deal where you win money or anything, but it's very prestigious. We were presented with awesome plaques and the awards ceremony was an adventure with photographers and TV and the red carpet. It was a whole lot of fun!

Me: Okay, I have to get back to your album. Where was it recorded and did you write all the songs on it?

Karling: It was recorded at a studio on Melrose. The old Electrovox Studio. Yes, I wrote all the songs.

Me: Let's talk about your band. I interviewed your drummer Jon Schwartz who recommended I interview you. He also plays with Weird Al. I am guessing you are a fan of Weird Al... How did you meet Jon?

Karling: Yes, I love Weird Al. I was introduced to Jon by Joel Morin, who at the time was our guitar player. Jon is a real pro and he's very funny too. This last Halloween we played at Mr. T's Bowl in L.A., and the whole band dressed up as zombies, except Jon who wore this ridiculously creepy mask that looked something like a rabid chipmunk.

Me: Who else is in your band?

Karling: It changes quite a bit. Some of the players are Johnny Palmer who also plays drums. He plays quite often with Wanda Jackson. Bob Gothar who usually plays guitar but sometimes we have Chris "Sugarballs" Sprauge. Donnie Whitbeck is a key player, he sometimes plays guitar, but mostly he does our sound and our recordings. Keyboards is Jason Eoff, bass is A.J Lopez, or Tony Macias. It's really a mix of great musicians but it evolves constantly.

Me: Is this the band that's called Monks of Love?

Karling: No, that's another band. The Monks Of Love was more of an art rock band. That was a lot of fun but we haven't done that in quite a while.

Me: One of your songs on the album is called "The Valley", and correct me if I am wrong, but that song is dedicated or about Frankie Lane, right?

Karling: It's inspired by his style of music. I was definitely thinking along the lines of "Frankie Lane" when I wrote it.

Me: He was a fan of yours I understand. Did you ever meet him before he passed away?

Karling: Yes, he was a fan, and was helping to promote our music. I met him many times, he showed me all his gold records and his old photos and told me stories of how he became successful. His widow Marsha is still very close, and when we play in San Diego we stay at their house. It's awesome.

Me: Apart from making kick ass music, you also like to write horror stories. Is this a hobby of yours or are you planning on getting them published?

Karling: Yes, I do love writing horror stories. I like all things horror. I wrote a novel called "Fly King" and it's being published next year. It almost got a movie deal right off the bat. Disney was planning on getting involved with a horror production company and "Fly King" was going to be their first movie. Unfortunately Disney decided against blood curdling horror, which isn't really a huge surprise. But "Fly King" is going to print next year.

Me: Don't deal with Disney (who is the greatest company to work for... HA!). I worked for Disney for the last 23 years, and they wouldn't know how to promote a horror film. If you there is a movie on "Fly King", would you star in it?

Karling: I thought it was a little odd too that they would step into the horror arena. I would like to be in the movie, but probably not the star. I was thinking Natalie Portman or someone like that! I could do a cameo like Stephen King does.

Me: Growing up I used to write sci-fi stories, Karling, but I will never have them published. They kinda sucked. If you weren't a singer would you wanna be an author?

Karling: Yes, I would probably be a writer. It's a very lonely job though. I prefer performing and writing songs which is much easier and a lot more fun. I suppose as I get older and crotchety I will turn more towards writing horror fiction.

Me: Let's talk about your Christmas release real quick. Is that a new album or an EP?

Karling: "Christmas With Karling" is a full blown album. All the proceeds are going to Save a Life, a non-profit no-kill animal rescue and animal shelter. They helped me with a stray mama cat and her kittens that were living in my shed. I couldn't find anyone who would take them and not put them on death-row except these people. So all the proceeds of this album are going to them. We also have a series of benefit shows lined up throughout December. Please go check them out at and donate. You can do it through paypal. Or buy the CD "Christmas with Karling" at

Me: You must really love animals, Karling, which is cool. Me, on the other hand, I don't. Unless they are on a plate. LOL. Are you a vegetarian?

Karling: Haha! Yes I am a vegetarian. I don't eat anything with a eyes... unless its a potato. I love animals. I really try and help as much as I can. I'm the one who always get suckered into feeding stray cats, or trying to rescue dogs from the middle of the road.

Me: Well, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Is it yours?

Karling: I love Christmas. To be honest I really love Halloween a little more, but Christmas is next on my list. I have so many great memories of Christmas and it's a family time so that's what makes it really special.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. I am a huge fan, and it was truly an honor to interview you. Will you come back when your next release comes out?

Karling: Yes, I sure will. Thank you for having me.

Me: Okay, go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wish, and please come back soon.

Karling: Mostly please go donate to Christmas is the worst time for animal abandonment. Well-meaning people buy pets as gifts and often times the folks they buy them for don't want them or don't have the resources to look after them so they end up at the shelter. The money you donate will assist Save-a-Life in rescuing these animals from death-row. They take them to their no-kill shelter and get them adopted at places like Petco and Farmers markets. It's a hard job, but with our help it can be a little easier and we can save more lives. Thank you. Also... and

Well, there you are, A Peverett Phile Christmas 3. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz, Jeff Cameron and of course Karling. The Phile will be back next Monday with Shibuya Crossings lead singer and guitarist Declan Harrington. Then next Wednesday, the last entry of the year it's Erica Monzon, lead singer for the band Ledaswan. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Have a Merry Christmas, kids, bye love you bye.