Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pheaturing Jason Ziebart From Honeyloaf

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Wednesday. Remember to use your fastpass in the one hour window it gave you. Hang on. I thought I was at work for a sec. So, how are you?  So, the new Disney cruise ship Fantasy has arrived in Florida. My Disney fantasy is Snow White getting it on with Cinderella while Sleeping Beauty watches.  What else is going on? In a speech on Wall Street the other day, President Obama compared himself to Gandhi. Well, that makes sense. He's created a lot of jobs in India. In a recent interview, President Obama said when he plays golf, he doesn't want or expect people to give him a pass on any shots. He just hopes people will give him a mulligan in November.  While visiting a GM plant President Obama pledged to buy a Chevy Volt after his presidency ends in five years. Today Mitt Romney said, "Make it one year and I'll buy it for you." It's been a good week for Romney. He won Arizona, Michigan, and Wyoming and Super Tuesday. He said this is the best week of his life since they lowered the capital gains tax. I think Romney's a good man but he just doesn't inspire people. Even his new campaign slogan: "I guess you're stuck with me."  Gas stations are considering hiring security guards. Why are they getting security guards? We're the ones getting robbed.  Well, It seems a cat named Hank is running for the Senate in Virginia. You know the difference between a cat and politician? A cat doesn't pretend to care about you.  Japanese researchers have invented a speech-jamming gun that can silence people from 30 meters away. You fire this at them, and they can stop talking. It makes people speechless. We should try this on Rush Limbaugh.  So, have you guys seen the new trailer for the movie The Avengers? I'm not sure about you, but it looks like Thor has a lot of swag going on. Take a look at this screenc apture from the trailer.

So, have you heard about this Joseph Kony guy? He is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments throughout Uganda. I saw his poster and I thought to myself, who is it aimed at? 

Kidnapping is magic. LOL. And now for some sad news.

Robert Sherman 
Dec 19, 1925 – March 5, 2012
Hello, Muddah... Hello, Fadduh... Wait, what?

Okay, kids, a reader of the Phile asked if my friend Jim Mello can come on the Phile and review the comic book "Shadowland". So, here is Jim in a pheature we call...

Upon request for a review of 2010's Marvel Comics street level event "Shadowland", I was able to dredge up an old review I wrote from the Comics Make You Stronger archives. Here it is now in all its unfiltered glory:  
"Shadowland" by Andy Diggle with art by Billy Tan.  
I picked this up from the library on a whim, after reading the first spectacularly trite first issue months ago. Up to "Shadowland", I had rather liked Andy Diggle's run of "Daredevil", which, along with Bendis, Smith, and Brubaker, had kept the torch of Frank Miller's run from the 80's alight with the perpetual relay race of sad and brooding Matt Murdock and his sad faced life. Almost all of the good Daredevil stuff (minus Mark Waid's recent run that has garnered a lot of "Book of the Year" nominations for its light treatment of the character) has been sad and brooding, and Diggle's run kept that same tone with Matt's infiltration of the Hand with the old "If I join them, I will learn their secrets and use it to destroy them!" routine. With "Shadowland", Diggle brings D.D. to his saddest point yet, but not from a storytelling standpoint.  Marketed as a "street-level" event, this series follows the likes of Spider-Man, Luke, Cage, Iron Fist, Punisher, and their ilk as they try to investigate, and, of course, ultimately, fight Daredevil, who has been corrupted by a demon affiliated with the Hand; because Daredevil would never act like normally, just so you know. I hate the need for these cop outs even though I understand why they are implemented. It's like making excuses for your drunk uncle at a wedding after he starts groping bridesmaids. "No, no! He's just had a few drinks! He's not really an asshole."  Overall, this was okay. I was happy to see Iron Fist actually be more than something to punch to make other heroes look good. The inclusion of Ghost Rider, Elektra, and Punisher, is meh-inducing, and uneeded.  Tan's art is also 'meh' worthy. Solid, but unremarkable in a way that events need to be. You can tell editorial really wasn't taking this seriously. Check it out if you feel the need, but otherwise don't bother.

Good job, Jim, as always. I read this series and thought it kicked ass myself. You can read more reviews and comic book stuff at Jim's Facebook site Comics Make You Stronger.

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

Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile next Wednesday. 

Today's guest is the lead singer for the Canadian band Honeyloaf whose great EP "The Honeytone EP" is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and the rest. Please welcome to the Phile... Jason Ziebart.
Me: Howdy, Jason, welcome to the Phile. First let me say I love the version you did of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". Is that your favorite Cash song?

Jason: You know it's up there, but I would say "Folsom Prison" is our favorite. We end every show with it and the crowd goes crazy. It's a revved up rock-a-billy version though. We end every practice with it too.

Me: The first thing I thought of when I first heard you two was Johnny and June which is funny you did a Cash tune. Hey, that rhymes. Did you ever get to meet the Man?

Jason: Never, but he's one idol I would have loved to have spent some time with. Johnny and June are why we are Honeyloaf. We had been looking for the right idea for a musical outlet for the two of us together. We were watching Walk the Line for a second time back in April of last year, and after the movie Wendy looked at me and said, "That's what we need to do, the world needs another John and June". We were on a family trip at the time so we talked about the idea as we drove home and got really excited about it. I have always loved Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry and all the greats including Mr. Cash, so when we got home, I picked up my guitar and started to write songs that would fit our idea. This was my first time writing this type of music but the tunes just flowed out one after another. They were good, we loved them so we hit the studio and Honeyloaf was born, and we have not looked back.

Me: Have you ever heard Social Distortion's version of "Ring of Fire"?

Jason: Yes, I really like it a lot. You know.

Me: How did you and Wendy meet? Did you have the same type of musical tastes?

Jason: The same old story... eyes meet across a crowded bar, and it was love at first sight. Everything clicked including most musical tastes.

Me: Jason, what type of guitars do you play? I am guessing Gretsch.

Jason: Ahhh no, I actually play an Ibanez Artcore. I have yet to been able to treat myself to a really expensive guitar, but The Ibanez Artcores are a wicked bang for your buck hollowbody. In the studio our producer Wynn Gogol brought in an old 57' Kay leadmaster for me to try,and it made it on most of the tracks due to it's vintage sound. As far as the future I would be happy with an Ibanez in every color for playing live.

Me: Which one of you does all the writing, or do you both do it? Who calls the shots in the band?

Jason: Ha! Good question I would like to joke and say we are married, so I like to think I call the shots but... it really is a joint venture. I do all the writing to date but Wendy is a talented writer as well so she will get a song in the set list soon I am sure.

Me: I purchased your EP on iTunes and wonder if you are going to make a follow-up full album. Please say yes.

Jason: First off... thank you! That puts us $5 closer to getting back in the studio. By the time we were done recording the EP I had written a more than a full album of really great stuff. A lot of them I would say are even better than what we recorded and I can't wait to get them out. I wrote a song for Wendy to sing call "Boy" after I heard her vocal takes on "Say You're Sorry" that people are going to love.

Me: Let's talk about the name of the band. Who came up with it and how?

Jason: We had the name Big J and the Little Lady picked out, designed a logo, and we were really digging it. We showed it to a few people and they said..."really, it's... nice". We got the hint and went back to the drawing board. We got our two daughters involved, which lead us to a children’s book where we came across the word sugarloaf. We loved it but Googled the name and it was taken by a band back in the 70's. About 15 minutes went by and Wendy yelled out "Honeyloaf " from the kitchen. I Googled it and that's all she wrote. Now Wendy says we are 1/4 honey and 3/4 loaf, but I'm not sure what she means by that...

Me: Have you ever tasted honeybread? I haven't... but bet it tastes good.

Jason: We were going to make everyone a honey loaf for our CD release party but never got around to it. So I have yet to taste it, but it does sound good.

Are you guys currently on tour right now?

Jason: Well because we have young kids, we have decided to selectively play shows right now, but as the buzz builds you never know what could happen. We have put together a great band behind us so we are ready to go. If someone is willing to pay we are there. I would love to get out over the summer and take our girls on an amazing adventure.

Me: Oh, I have to ask you where you are both from. You're Canandian, right?

Jason: That's right, eh! We are both from the Province of B.C. as far West as you can go, and currently call Victoria home.

Me: I have interviewed so many bands from Canada. A lot of great talent comes from there.

Jason: It's what we are good at I guess, but there is a lot of talented folks up here. I think it's the cold winters... but the water is pretty good up here too!

Me: One of my favorite band is from Canada... Barenaked Ladies. What do you think of them?

Jason: BNL are one of the best groups around. It's not the same though without Steven Page. It's weird, and I was sad to hear that after 20 years together. I did send them a note saying that I do a mean Steven Page impersonation and was available to tour though, just in case Honeyloaf doesn't take off.

Me: You two are fans of Ron Sexsmith I believe. I interviewed him for the Phile as well. Can you think of anybody else I could interview?

Jason: Our best kept secret up here is The Tragically Hip, they have never taken off in the US like they should have but they are one of the best bands you will ever come across. They are Canada's house band.

Me: Okay, Jason, do you have a website you would like to plug? Anything you wanna tell the readers of the Phile. I wish you luck and hope to hear some new music soon as well as to see you live.

Jason: Well, Facebook and honeyloaf. ca is were you can find us most of the time. Our CD "The Honeytone EP" is on CDBaby, iTunes and everywhere else you can think of. Keep an eye out for some videos from our last gig that will give everyone a sneak peek at some of our new songs, coming to a Youtube near you really soon. And we just want to say thanks for the interview, and thanks to the readers of Phile for reading this far. We invite everyone to come be a Honeyloafer... and remember, every album you buy makes me more money… I mean helps us make more music.

Well, that about does it. Thanks to Jim Mello once again and to Jason Ziebart. Get this EP, people. The Phile will be back on Sunday with singer Angela Easterling and on Monday Alumni Maureen Davis from The Fluttebies. Next Wednesday it's author Jim Korkis and there's an extra Phile entry next Friday with Alumni Jeff Cameron. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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