Monday, March 12, 2012

Pheaturing Alumni Maureen Davis From The Flutterbies

Hello, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile for a Monday. How are you?  So, apparently Snooki's due date is December 21st, 2012. Well played, Mayans... well played.  Mitt Romney's wife said she doesn't even consider herself wealthy. She then said, "If you don't believe me, just ask my chauffeur."  Are you kids excited about the new iPad? I'm excited about the new iPad. But then I'm excited about anything that is not the Republican primaries. I'm so excited about the new iPad, I just iPeed my iPants. This is the third iPad to come out, and I still don't have one. One day I will do the Phile from an iPad. One day.  It was reported that in the weeks leading up to his death, Osama bin Laden had trouble controlling the squabbling among his three wives. In fact, when the team knocked down the door, bin Laden said, "Thank god you're here. Two in the chest. One in the head. Let's do this."  The latest polls show President Obama's approval rating among women has risen by 10 percent. Many people believe this increase is due to Obama's new campaign slogan: "Tell me about your day." In a few months Obama's going to unveil this one: "Would you like white wine and a foot massage?"  A Chicken McNugget that resembles President George Washington was auctioned on eBay for over $8,000. Meanwhile, a Chicken McNugget that looks like Mitt Romney was eaten by Newt Gingrich. I wouldn't pay anything for something like that. Now, if a Chicken McNugget looked like Kelly Clarkson, that would be different.  Stoners just got a powerful new ally in the fight to legalize marijuana... conservative broadcaster Pat Robertson. He said it's time to "you know, legalize it, tax it, and keep it away from Mel Gibson." I don't see why anyone is surprised, though. Pat Robertson is 81 years old. After a certain point, old people don't care what anybody thinks. They just don't. They wear socks with sandals. Robertson said he never smoked pot and never will, and that just because something is "legal" doesn't mean we should do it. That's the argument I always use against pineapple on your pizza.  A phone survey found 70 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. I can't believe that many marijuana supporters managed to answer the phone.  So, I mentioned the new iPad that Apple is coming out with. Well, the other day Apple revealed a new product that not many people are talking about. I have it right here on the Phile to show you. It needs some attention as well. 

I like the green on it. I think it looks cool.  So, I was trying to figure out why people hate Joseph Kony, and explain it to you readers of the Phile who don't understand what is going on, so I thought I would make a pie graph to help. I love pie graphs. Check it out.

Understandable, right?  I haven't shown an inspirational poster lately as I haven't seen any that stood out. I am surprised there's not a Kony one yet. But I did find this one the other day.

Man, my computer is dying, people. Take a look just what happened. 

It was all frozen, and stuck between windows. Not a good sign. Anyway, there's a new comic book show on AMC called "Comic Book Guys", and the phriend of the Phile Jim Mello is such a big comic book fan I wondered what he thought of it. So, please welcome back to the Phile to explain what he thinks of this new show Jim Mello in a pheature we call...

Why AMC’s "Comic Book Men" Makes Me Hate Myself for Being a Comic Book Man
 Watching AMC’s "Comic Book Men" is my new form of masochistic self-torture. Like the "Jersey Shore" or "Tabitha Takes Over" or "CSI: Wherever the Fuck We Can Pretend This Show Is Different"... "Comic Book Men" has become the show where I can state the classic cliché, “It’s like a train wreck, and I can’t stop watching.” I keep watching out of sheer dislike. It makes no sense, but there it is... just sitting in front of me in all its generalized forty year old man-child, obese, “I use sarcasm as a defense mechanism” glory. It’s almost like this show is actually fiction and wants to parody itself, and the comic book subculture, with how cliché it is.
 The show is set in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, a comic shop located in Red Bank, New Jersey that was started by famed director, Kevin Smith. Smith, who himself has written quite a few comic titles, takes the role of ringmaster as he is joined by four other guys who work at “The Stash”, and they discuss stuff that you would think guys who like comic books talk about. Along the way, the viewer is treated to an "Antique’s Roadshow" sort of section where customers bring in their prized, geeky collectibles, and the manager of the store tries to inadequately price them while the other guys chime in with zingers that fail to zing and other stupid observations that fail so well in being clever, it leaves the viewer wondering how they haven’t scared or insulted every customer that’s walked through the door.  In an industry that is already not doing so well because of such a niche’ audience, good comic book shops keep their customer service high, and their elitism to a minimum. My favorite shop in my hometown of Orlando was populated by guys who were smart, understood their audience, and understood their need for our business. It wasn’t populated by assholes waiting to showcase their insecurities and lack of wit on unsuspecting customers in order to capitalize on their self-esteem and play toward a camera. In short, the guys that are the shows focus are a bunch of dicks. They embody every shitty personality trait that’s lumped in with this medium, and every generalization a person who has never read comics has about the people who read them.  Do to the nature of their audience; the show is left to flail about on the surface of comic conversation, without delving into anything that isn’t superficial. The most interesting part of the show is when they price the comics’ folks bring in, but even that is finite considering that comics are rarely worth more than the original price you paid for them these days. Once you get passed your major superhero appearances, you’re rarely gonna find anything worth enough for people to keep interest. Otherwise, who wants to watch a bunch of unlikable guys talk about stuff the average viewer doesn’t don’t care about? I love that someone attempted to do a show about comics, and tried to bring that culture to a mainstream medium. What sucks is the execution, and although I admit that making a show about comics would be very very difficult for a mainstream audience, this wasn’t the way to do it.  Are there guys like the ones on this show in the medium? Yes. I’m not saying that comic readers are all normal folks caught in a web of misinformation and misunderstanding. I know plenty of guys like this from comic conventions, comic shops, and podcasts. They’re also the ones who stop a person from reading a comic on the subway, or putting a trade paperback on their bookshelf because of that social stigma attached to them. Comics can be just as stupid as anything on television, film, or books, and they can be just as intelligent.  If watching this show has made you aware, or interested in comics, then I’ll gladly shut my mouth. Otherwise, I’ll be happy when it’s over. In the meantime, a comic show I would suggest is iFanboy’s “Pick of the Week” podcast. These guys are professional, smart, and a whole lot more entertaining then the "Comic Book Men" guys. The show comes out on Sundays, and always runs an hour long, so if you want to listen to something a little different on your morning commute, download this. It’s a ton of fun and extremely informative. You can find it on iTunes, or at their website:  Or you can check out my facebook page Comics Make You Stronger for the latest news, reviews, and suggestions or just to catch up with some folks who love comics and would be happy to chat about them with you. Until next time…

Good job, Jim. Well done. 

The 17th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. is...

Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile on Wednesday. Meanwhile, you can buy the book on Amazon or order it from Barnes and Noble.

Today's guest was last on the Phile April 16th 2011 on my dad's birthday. Since then her band has released a new single of a song you might've heard of... "Slow Ride". Please welcome back to the Phile from The Flutterbies... Maureen Davis.

Me: Hello, Maureen, welcome back to the Phile. How've you been?

Maureen: Crazy busy but a good busy. Great to hear from you!

Me: I had a friend of yours on the Phile awhile back, Maureen, thanks to your recommendation. It was RJ Chesney. How is he doing?

Maureen: I think he's working on a new CD. I love that guy! He's such a good writer and singer and makes the best egg salad in the world.

Me: Okay, let's talk about this right off the bat... you Flutterbies kids did a cover version of "Slow Ride". How did you come to choose that song? Was it because you were on the Phile? LOL.

Maureen: Wow. I had no idea you were related to Dave Peverett. That had to be fun. Actually Flutterby Adam and I decided long ago, that we wanted to cover hard rock songs in our style. Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" was the first in 2008, followed by Kix's "For Shame" and Ronnie James Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark", because he died while we were on tour, the night we played a Harley event. We chose "Slow Ride" because I was teaching it at School of Rock and just couldn't get it out of my head. I started singing it slowly just for fun and it became this swampy, morning-sex thing. Now I CAN'T play it for my students... it blows my sweet schoolteacher disguise.

Me: When was it recorded? ; My dad would of loved your version by the way, Maureen.

Maureen: Awww, thanks Jay. We recorded end of 2010.

Me: It's a very bluesy and smooth version, Maureen. Or silky and smooth. Who came up with the arrangement for it?

Maureen: Kenny Lyon (Jim Bianco, Jann Arden, Brazzaville, Mark Curry, The Divinyls. He also worked on The Lemonheads CD "Car Button Cloth" and the support tour). We both live in this haunted 1920's apartment hotel called The Gaylord... he's on the 6th floor, I'm on the 4th. He's an amazing player and producer. And when we record with him, Adam can just sing and play instead of producing and pushing buttons.

Me: I don't know how to write music, sing or play an instrument but in my mind I have a bluesy, smooth version of "Fool For the City". It has a lot of piano in the version in my head. Maybe you guys can do a version of that as well. Whatcha think?

Maureen: Could be very cool, Jay, thanks!

Me: You've also been asked to cover songs for TV shows, am I right?

Maureen: To date, we've been asked to cover several songs for TV placement... "Sons of Anarchy" and "How I Met Your Mother" music supervisors seem to be fans of ours, though they haven't used any music yet. Those songs include Bob Seger's "Come to Papa", The Pixies "Hey", Linda Ronstadt's hit "Cry Like a Rainstorm" (acapella version) and the others I mentioned above. I'm also working on a surprising version of a Moody Blues tune. Sometimes TV people want a cover tune instead of an original, but the budget cannot afford the original song. That's when new bands like The Flutterbies record the songs and can charge a lower licensing fee while the original writers still get the publishing money.

Me: Alight, let's talk about your original music. Last time you were here you you had a new single coming out, "First Rain of October" and since then you re-recorded it as "First Kiss of December". Why did you rewrite and redo that song?

Maureen: It got placed and beautifully featured, actually in a new holiday film. Not sure when it will come out, but we're happy to be involved. We released it because we've never released a holiday song before and, well, it was done, so why not share it?

Me: Were you hesitant at first on re-recording it? Did you just redo the vocals? I love both versions of that song by the way.

Maureen: A little bit hesitant... we wanted to write a new song but the screenwriters loved the original. We re-did the vocals and remixed the instrumentals. Happy you like both versions!

Me: Talking about movies, you had two songs in the George Clooney film The Descendants. That movie won the Golden Globe award, and was up for best picture at the Oscars. How did you get the song's in that movie?

Maureen: I've been sending music to supervisors and editors for several years and for some reason, Dondi Bastone and I crossed paths... met at lunch with a gal pal. He said he loved my CD and that "Hummingbird Heart" might be great in the next film he was working on. There was even a time he asked me to re-write lyrics because they needed to more closely match the scene. But he ended up using the original version of the song as well as another one.

Me: What was the other song, Maureen? 

Maureen: "Faith in Rain". They used the songs in their entireties! Six minutes of music! Yay!

Me: Did you see the movie? I didn't, but now I am gonna have to.

Maureen: I saw it two times... once with Flutterby Adam, once with my boyfriend.

Me: There's only two songs up for best song this year, Maureen. There was room for a Flutterbies song to be nominated. I feel you were ripped off. Who did you want to win best song?

Maureen: I didn't see Rio or The Muppets movies... been working too much on my own music. And I'm amazed that the iconic Hawaiian music of Gabby Pahinui which sooooo colored the film was not nominated. People don't realize that what makes a song great in a film is how it is married to the dialogue or the scene, not how it stands on it's own... that's for the Grammy's, I think. It's not a popularity contest, it's a determination about two art forms working together to evoke emotion.

Me: Apart from The Flutterbies, you have a new band out called Maureen and the Mercury 5. Who are the Mercury 5?

Maureen: Oh wow... my secret sideshow! Flutterbies Adam and Steve (bass) join me with drummer Kats Konnecky and killer guitarist R.J. Ronquillo (Ricky Martin, Santana, 2Pac). It's a Rockabilly Jump Swing band. I Lindy Hop and Swing dance and one of my musician friends, Dave Bertize from retro bands Crown City Bombers and L'il Mo & the Dynaflos suggested I sing some retro stuff. R.J. is now on tour so our sub-guitarist is the amazing Eitaro Sako. He's our private Brian Setzer.

Me: You should go on tour with Maroon 5. That would be a great bill... Maureen and the Mercury 5 and Maroon 5. What do you think?

Maureen: We're game. I got moves like Margret (Ann Margret)... he's got moves like Jagger. Ya think it could work?

Me: Maybe. Will you be recording with the Mercury 5?

Maureen: Done!! Just finished an EP with "Mercury Blues", "Love Is Strange", "Not Fade Away", "I Want Candy", "Sway". 

Me: I have to mention this, you had a song placement in Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital". That's really cool. How did that happen?

Maureen: That is so funny. Our song "Come Alive" was chosen because of the title, then they fell in love with the song. They needed it for a death montage where the guy comes back to life. You have to see it to believe what they did with it. Who knew our most romantic song would be used in a show about sex, drugs, clowns, card tricks and porn?

Me: Is there any show you wish you can have a song in?

Maureen: "True Blood", "Justified", "Doctor Who", "Sons of Anarchy", "How I Met Your Mother" to start.

Me: So, what's next for you, apart from a version of "Fool For the City"? LOL. Whatever you do next, please come back to the Phile to talk about it. Go ahead and plug your website and take care.

Maureen: We'll do support performances to promote our music and the film The Descendents for Golden Globe, Oscar and Spirit Award wins... Currently coming up is a March 28th show with Rolling Stone Magazine's Artist To Watch Nick Shattell of Not An Airplane (he's like Uncle Tupelo meets Wilco and a cool new friend) as well as Vicki Peterson and new solo effort songs from Flutterby Adam Daniel... as well as new Flutterbies tunes. We'll be Songwriters In the Round at L.A. club The Mint. We're finishing our cover tune CD and recording some new originals, enjoying airplay on all worldwide flights this spring on Lufthansa Airlines (thanks to DJ Arndt Peltner) and shopping songs to TV & film. Rumor has it we will make another music video too. Our website is Fans of the Peverette Phile can get a free song of their choice by sending me an email from the website! Such a deal. :) Thanks for the chat, Jay, and I'll start working on "Fool For the City" this weekend....

Me: Thanks, Maureen, looking forward to it.

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Jim Mello and of course Maureen Davis. Now go and download "Slow Ride". Okay, the Phile will be back on Wednesday with author Jim Korkis. On Sunday it's musician Lee Abramson who is literally running for President and on Monday it's Ben Talmi, lead singer in the band Art Decade. Also, I have to mention my son Logan is participating in a charity walk this Thursday for the Make A Wish Foundation of Central Florida. If any of you Phile phans could donate, even if only a dollar or two, it would be greatly appreciated. He is so incredibly excited to raise money for these kids. Here is the link to his page... In the meantime, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

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