Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pheaturing Jean Caffeine

Rabbit. Hello, everybody, welcome to another entry of the Phile on a Sunday and it's April 1st. April Fool's Day.  Let's start of with some good news, kids. Tiger Woods did something unusual last weekend. He won a golf tournament. Tiger's now a 4-1 favorite to win at The Masters. They say all he has to do is stay away from Ambien, Escalades, and hostesses at the Waffle House.  Pope Benedict XVI spent the past weekend in Mexico. He likes to spend spring break at Señor Frog's. He's been doing it since he was in college. The Pope wears the best hats. He gives Lady Gaga a run for her money.  Well, for the first time in history, Americans will watch more movies online than they will on physical media like DVDs. Four billion will be watched the old-fashioned way. In 10 years people will be looking back on us renting movies at Blockbuster like we look back at people washing their clothes on a river rock.  Newt Gingrich is hoping to cut into his campaign debt by charging people $50 to take a photo with him. Just imagine... a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a personal picture with a man who will never be the president of the United States. I would pay the 50 bucks if he agreed to wear a prom dress in the photo.  Hey, Massachusetts people, I just heard there's an exercise program started in Massachusetts called broga. It's a form of yoga for men. It combines bro and yoga. When I heard the word broga, I threw up and lost four pounds.  A group headed up by Magic Johnson bought the Dodgers for $2 billion. How much are beer and hot dogs going to cost at Dodger Stadium now?  Gas prices are expected to continue to rise throughout the summer, and oil companies say it's because of high demand due to warmer summer weather... as opposed to what they told us a couple of months ago, that oil prices went up because of higher demand for winter heating oil. So basically, if there's weather, gas prices go up.  Titanic is being re-released in 3D, and they tried to update it a little bit to play to the younger crowd. In the new version, the captain hits the iceberg because he's texting.  The International Olympic Committee decided that at the Summer Games in London this year, female beach volleyball players will no longer be required to wear bikinis. This is the saddest day in volleyball since Tom Hanks let Wilson float away. What do they think we watch beach volleyball for? The volleying?  Lindsay Lohan's judge switched her from formal probation to informal probation for her shoplifting arrest. Informal probation is similar to formal probation but you can wear flip-flops. The probation hearing was carried live on E! Online. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I don't think there should be red carpets at a probation hearing.  There's a new reality show on VH1 called "Couple's Therapy". The idea is troubled celebrity couples go through relationship counsels on TV. It might be time for VH1 to change their name to the Celebrity Sadness Channel.  Well, as I said, it's April Fool's Day and I am not going to pull a April Fool's prank on you. I am not that prepared. But I was excited when I saw an April Fool's inspirational poster. Check it out. 

Not exactly what I had in mind for the poster, but there you go.  Now, by now you should know if you read enough of the Phile I am a big Beatles fan. One of my favorite album from The Beatles is "Abbey Road", so I was very excited when I saw this photo. So, I thought I would share it with you guys.

Okay, and now for some sad news...

Earl Scruggs
Jan 6, 1924 - Mar 28, 2012
He was proof that banjo players get all the chicks.

Alright, so over the last few years I had on the Phile lots of different guests. They come on here, plug something, I ask them stupid questions and that is usually it.But thanks to Facebook, we can still follow these fine people. But then I thought, what about if you don't have Facebook. So, to help my friends and Alumni out here's a pheature I call...

Man, that was a long intro to this stupid little pheature. Anyway, here goes...
Tish Meeks
My boss came to my show, the bartender bought a shirt...and shots...and beer...and the fans rock! 3rd great night in a row!!!
Eddi Reader
Thank you Fly By Night in Freemantle...
My voice was dry and took half the set to warm up but I LOVED being in the company of everyone.. Even the arguing couple (over excited )... Thanks everyone in Australia who came to see me and Ian Carr, boo Hewerdine and alan kelly play... A few tears were shed last night sitting with a beer at the riverside 1:00AM
Thank you Caroline Moore my agent out here who looks after me in-between working with the disabled to encourage quality of life through arts.
Gods my manager she's my Australian angel
Ava Aston
Coming home to an empty house with no fur babies is awful... :( I know they are going to have fun being babysat by their Glama while we go to florida, but this being dog-less is just muckery.
Robert A. Medeiros
My collage at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California. Today, it was shown on a big screen, in front of an audience.
Natalie Gelman
The long road home is at least sometimes beautiful.
Gabrielle Louise
you dream like you're a passenger, the train is on time - but it isn't yours.

It's been a rewarding decade for fans of the fractured fairy tale sub-genre. Your thirst for snarky, self-aware interpretations of classic children's morality tales has been noted by Hollywood. They gave you all those Shreks, the Hoodwinked films, Happily N'Ever After and whatever that miserablist, Twilight-y Red Riding Hood movie was supposed to be. But if you think that enough might finally be enough, that this trend would be on the wane by now, you'd be wrong. It's invaded TV, too, with reasonably popular shows like "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time" traveling into more grown-up territory. So why not go ahead and make a couple of Snow White movies, one an action-adventure film (Snow White and the Huntsman comes later this Summer) and another a sub-Tim Burton fantasy-comedy that's all about the Evil Queen? What could go wrong? Well, I have a short list of what went wrong:
* Julia Roberts. I'm a fan of hers. I like it when she laughs and shows off that wide, wide mouth of teeth. I like that she knows she's a movie star. But on one very real level, because she has that self-knowledge, no matter who she's playing on screen is really just an extension of Julia Roberts. And that's why the Evil Queen is the wrong role for her. RuPaul, on the other hand...
* Armie Hammer. More wrongheaded casting. Funny, obnoxious, entitled twin jocks in The Social Network? Yes. A bumbling prince who has to behave like a puppy for a very long stretch of the film, including a scene where he repeatedly licks Roberts's face, all but humping her leg in the process? No. When you hire an actor for his chest (he's frequently shirtless here) sometimes that's all you get.
* Lily Collins. Not one thing wrong with her. She's sweet and seems game. Could very well be a good actress. And she is given nothing at all to do. Even when the film tries to shift gears into a story about her transformation into a ninja warrior who finds within herself the strength to escape the Evil Queen's clutches, the camera can't cut away from her enough.
* Tarsem Singh. Those last three problems are actually all his fault. As a director, he's proven that he has no concern for story. He's a visual stylist who refuses to focus on anything except how to make his screen universe look extra cool. So he puts Roberts and Collins into beautiful gowns (except when he's smearing bird feces on Roberts' face or delivering the ultimate punishment of elderly female wrinkles), shoots close-ups of elaborate doorknobs, throws life-size marionettes into the action for no good reason, puts the seven dwarves on stilts to show off a set of matching black accordion-pleat battle costumes, and just generally moves humans around like little puppets inside elaborate dioramas. Tack on a Bollywood-ish musical number over the closing credits? Why not? He's a rebel, man. A visionary. His pass at comedy is airless and joyless, with almost no feel for comic beats when Nathan Lane or the seven dwarves aren't bumbling around. In 108 minutes I laughed once. From 1 to 10, it gets a four. 

Okay, the 15th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is comic book artist Jeremy Dale. And this is a piece of his work.

Jermey will be a guest on the Phile next Monday.

Okay, today's guest plays a punky blend of pop, folkn' roots. As both a singer songwriter and band front person, she has kicked out the jams in more than one continent. Her new CD "Geckos in the Elevator" is now available on CDBaby and Bandcamp. Please welcome to the Phile... Jean Caffeine.

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

Jean: Hey Jay, Thanks for asking. Just getting over a flu and bronchitis. Glad to be back amongst the living. And you?

Me: I'm doing really good today for a change. Okay, that's a great stage name... Jane Caffeine. Is it a stage name or is it your real name? It has a cool ring to it not matter what.

Jean: Actually It's Jean Caffeine. The Jane is from my single, "Jane Rearranged". Jean and Jane have the same letters. Hence "Jane Rearranged". Get it?

Me: Boy, I am an idiot already. Sorry, Jean. How long have you been a musician? You've been playing for quire a few years, right?

Jean: A long, time. Longer than I'd care to admit.

Me: Didn't you start out as a drummer in a band?

Jean: Yep. I was a drummer in a few all girl bands.

Me: I have to ask you about the band you were in called Pulsallama... what does that band name mean?

Jean: It was a nonssense name that came from Ann Magnuson. She use got the pulsa from her blender. The llama, from a llama... I don't know what possessed her to cross a blender with a llama:)

Me: That was an all girl group, am I right?

Jean: Yep.

Me: Do you still keep in contact with those other girls?

Jean: A little with Facebook and email and I saw some of the gals at a reunion for Club 57 in NYC last year, a crazy place we all hung out.

Me: With Pulsallama you girls opened for The Clash, which is really cool. I loved The Clash. Did you get to hang out with them? Where was that show?

Jean: We played 3 shows with them in Asbury Park, NJ and a couple in Cape Cod. We got to go to their after party which was amazing. It was in an old Funhouse in Asbury Park. They rented it out after the show.

Me: I think we have a picture of you at that party.

Jean: That's a pic that was taken of me and Don Letts at the Clash afterparty taken by Tom Langton.

Me: You also kicked off a bill with PIL. What happened? Did you ever play with PIL after all at another show?

Jean: That is more of a headline than a story. Girl meets boy in PIL. Girl marries boy in PIL. Boy makes Girl choose between him and her band. Girl quits band. Band subsequently gets kicked off the bill. No we never did play with them but they were fans of Pulsallama.

Me: Jane, what kinda music did you listen to and who do you listen to now?

Jean: I'm not sure about the first part of this question but I listen to a lot of stuff: 70's rock and roll, some 90's rock bands, old country, old R&B. A few singer songwriters, I am not too schooled on indie bands. I like El Camino by the Black Keys a lot. Every song is a hit.

Me: You're based in Austin, Texas, right? Is that where you're originally from? 

Jean: Nope. I am a tumbleweed. Born in NYC. Raised in San Francisco, and I've put in a lot of years in Austin, TX.

Me: I am guessing you play at SXSW. I think every musician I pretty much had on the Phile played there.

Jean: I have done quite a few times. Didn't play this year though. It's gotten crazy big.

Me: I know you spent some time in Canada. What made you decide to move there, Jean? Was that a fun time?

Jean: After the initial culture shock (you wouldn't think there would be culture shock in an English speaking Western country) it was a lot of fun. I played a lot of music and did a lot of visual art. I moved there because my husband had a job there for a while.

Me: I have to ask you about this, you jammed with blues legend RL Burnside at you house? How in hell did you manage that? How soon after that did RL pass?

Jean: For a short time a fellow at Fat Possum Records was interested in my band, Jean Caffeine's All Nite Truckstop. He said that RL wanted to party with girls. I couldn't help him with the girls part, but I was able to help with the party part. We also hung out with him another time in Memphis and got him to come with us to a radio station where we were doing an on air. We got him to play a solo acoustic blues set too. It was awesome. He was a storyteller. Had all kind of slightly naughty folk tales that he was telling. This was probably 10 years before he passed away. What a monster blues man. I love those Hill Country Blues.

Me: I interviewed Luther Dickinson who is in the band North Mississippi All-Stars with RL's son by the way. If you ever meet Duwayen Burnside you should tell him about the jam session on your porch.

Jean: I would like to meet him. I did jam on drums with one Burnside at Junior Kimbrough's Juke Joint many years back. Dunno if it was Duwayen.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new album "Geckos in the Elevator". Where did that title come from?

Jean: I lived in a suburb on Thailand. There really were geckos in the elevator. A bunch. The album is a collection of songs that documents the many places I have lived, and the many lives I have lived.

Me: This is your first release in awhile, right?

Jean: Yep, 10 years. 

Me: How did that happen? 

Jean: Like the song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" says, "Weeks turn into years. How quick they pass."

Me: Where was the album recorded, Jane? Decibelle Studios in San Francisco, Chatham Garden studios in Hamilton, Ontario, Treeworld and Sounds Outrageous in Austin.

Jean: Who plays on the album with you? Some of my usual guys, Mike Trebilcock plays stringed instruments on the Canadian tracks. Ned Dogherty from San Francisco, plays bass on a bunch of tracks. A friend of mine named John Kovach played on the Austin tracks. Chuck Prophet plays on a couple of tracks. He plays the kickass riff on "Hey Austin" . A friend of Chuck's, Rusty Miller plays drums and some guitars on several tracks He is an amazing songwriter who fronted a band called Jackpot.

Me: I have to ask you about the song "Jane Rearranged" that you mentioned at the start of the interview when I got your name wrong. So, what excatly is that song about? Why were you rearranged?

Jean: The song is kind of about a guy from the past who briefly re entered my life. He had a Jane in his life. 

Me: It's cool you wrote a song about Austin as well. You must really like it there. I always wanted to visit Austin.

Jean: Come on down. I was pretty broken hearted when I first traded in Austin for Hamilton, Ontario but once I got to know some folks and I got my feelings out in the song, it was all good. Hamilton has a lot of heart and soul. I did miss our big outdoor swimming hole, Barton Springs. I'm back in Austin again and I still miss it. So much has changed. It's grown a crazy amount.

Me: Apart from being a musician you are an artist. What came first and what do you prefer?

Jean: Some years I feel like more of a visual artist, other years more of a musician. If I have a day job, I can't do both and can barely do one or the other. I like both the social aspect of being a musician, and more tranquil aspects of visual art making. I like it when I can do art in a setting with others too, like in a printmaking studio.

Me: I should you back on the Phile and pheature your art in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. What do you think? 

Jean: That'd be great. It would be my pleasure.

Me: You worked with Richard Linklater as an animator on something called Walking Life. What is that exactly, Jane?

Jean: That was a rotoscoped live action animated feature film. Rotoscoping is a way of animating on top of live action footage.

How did you meet Richard?

Jean: Years ago when I worked at a crazy restaurant. He did a bunch of screen tests for the movie Slacker there. I had a ridiculously small part in that movie too.

Me: I want to interview him as he put Foghat back on the map with "Slow Ride" being in his film Dazed and Confused.

Jean: I bet he'd do it. Rick that is. How cool is that, that your dad played in Foghat. I love "Slow Ride" and all of the tracks on that Dazed soundtrack. In fact, since I read this, "Slow Ride" has been stuck in my head. Now I will have to go back and see the film again to see where "Slow Ride" comes in. I vaguely remember. Does your dad still play music? Tell him I'm a fan.

Me: Unfortuantely my dad passed away in 2000, Jean. "Slow Ride" plays over the credits in Dazed and Confused. Jane, thanks for being on the Phile. I would love to have you back, Jean. Go ahead and plug your websites. All the best, and take care.

Jean: Thanks for having me! Free Download of the song Jane Rearranged is here: Little video for "Jane Rearranged" that I made here: and 

Me: Thanks, Jean, I will have you back on the Phile soon.

Well, that abut does it for another entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to Jean for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Alumni and good friend Fogdan. Then on wednesday it's the lead singer for the British band The Elvis Suicide, Chris Devotion and next Monday artist Jeremy Dale. Next Sunday is Easter so there's not gonna be an entry on that day. Thanks fopr reading. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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