Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile on a Monday. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master. Master of the Phile. Happy Memorial Day, everybody. All through the month of May here on the Phile is Star Wars Month as you probably know by now. Before we get more into Star Wars stuff, let's see what else is going on. Shares of Facebook stock dropped again. They say if it drops any lower, Mitt Romney will swoop in and divide it up into Face and Book. Mitt Romney reminds me of the guy in the commercial that buys his wife a Lexus for Christmas with the big bow on it. It's been a rough week for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg has lost so much money in the market that President Obama is going to have him replace Ben Bernanke. In New York, here's a parking spot in the Greenwich Village area that will be priced at $1 million. I would love it if whoever buys this spot parks a 1986 Ford Taurus in it. Marvel Comics announced that their first openly gay superhero, a character called Northstar, is getting married. Mitt Romney came out against this because he believes marriage is a sacred bond between one super man and one super woman. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that President Obama has become the first politician in history to raise $1 billion in his political career. Imagine how much more he could have raised if people hadn't lost it all in his economic plan? A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden has been convicted of high treason in Pakistan. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping us. Think how much worse the sentence would have been if Pakistan wasn't our ally. New research shows that eating organic foods can make people more arrogant and judgmental. In fact, eating just one handful of organic bean sprouts has the same effect as driving 1,000 miles in a Prius. Did you guys watch that new show with Kelly Clarkson called "Duets" the other day? It's a singing competition show. It's about time somebody did one of those. Each of the new show's stars say they are in search of undiscovered talent, which I don't think we have anymore, to be honest with you. In fact, I think we should start forcing some of our existing celebrities back into obscurity. Here's how a TV pitch meeting goes. "Ok, so, it's a singing competition, and..." "Stop right there, we love it. We're putting it on." On the show each celebrity picked two people for the competition and Kelly picked a guy named Jason. What is it with her and Jason's? First she does her own duet with Jason Aldean and now she is singing with another Jason. It won't be long before Kelly and I duet... if you know what I mean. My hall pass is ready. Alright, well, it seems everybody is on Facebook. Even a guy named Wedge.
Princess Leia sucking on Darth's finger. Very odd. So, I have been showing you some real Star Wars products over the month. I will show you another one in a minute, but there's also knock-off's that are sold in China and other places overseas. Look at this, it's real, and fake at the same time if you know what I mean.
I think this one is from Russia or somewhere. Starswar? Star Swar? And isn't he standing at calculator? That's funny, and sad. Alright, well, wanna see a real Star Wars product? Sleeping inside of a tauntaun is really only a necessity in the freezing extremes of Hoth. When you're ready for a more sophisticated night of romance by the fire, only the skin of a vicious Wampa will do.
Man, that's the best thing about Star Wars, Leia's slave outfit. God bless George Lucas. And now from the home office on Coruscant, here is another...
Top Ten Ways I Would Have Destroyed the Death Star
10. Mind-Tricked it into blowing itself up.
9. Install Windows ME on their main computer and wait thirty seconds for the crash.
8. Make it fight the other 500 ultimate superweapons from the Expanded Universe.
7. Sneak Jar Jar onboard.
6. The ol' potato-in-the-exhaust-pipe!
5. Throw that stupid mouse droid into the reactor core.
3. Put a really big mirror in front of the superlaser.
2. By over producing it, and causing its fan base to become alienated and dissolved.
And the number one way I would have destroyed the Death Star...
1. One screw at a time.
Alright, a few months ago I introduced a new character to the Phile who loves puns, and he has a bunch more Star Wars puns he wanted to share with you. So, please welcome back to the Phile...
Hey, Rebel scum, can you beat a Gungan at a staring contest? Yes, because Jar Jar blinks! Which Imperial commander was afraid of swimming? Darth Wader. What did people say when the Jedi Master was victorious at the video game jujitsu tournamment? 'Obi Won Shinobi!' On Hoth did the Chinese restaurants serve tonton soup? The IRS cracked down on the Jedi master because he Yoda lotta money. Why could the rebel space fleet not fly? They were all ex-wings. What do Jewish Star Wars fans play with? Droidles. The foul black excretia of the Imperial presence was embodied in the Death's Tar. Was C3-PO an early example of a personal robot whore? Yes he was a proto call-droid! Yoda never let Luke speak during his training... he had to master the Jedi mime tricks. Why didn't they storm the Empire's base from the shadows? Because Yoda warned them about the dark side of the forts! Which of Jabba's henchmen made millions selling licorice? Nib Fortuna. The windshield of the Millenium Falcon was so small they could barely achieve wiper-space! Why did Mark Hamill's career fizzle? Because he was taken out by the star-destroyer. Liam Neeson was not known for his big rear end; in fact on set they called him the Phantom Man-Ass. How did the grey-haired Jedi-nemesis threaten his victims? "I'll Count Dooku, then I'll shoot." The queen's handmaiden was self-conscious about her bosom, they jokingly referred to her as Padme. The Gungan leader was into chasing tail and listening to Springsteen, they called him Boss 'n' Ass. Which rebel pilot loved Tex-Mex potato skins? Wedge-and-chilies! Which father of a bounty hunter was partial to tropical fruit parties? Mango Fete! Which Jedi leader cleaned his corn with ammonia spray? Maize Windex! Which Imperial general made out in the back seat? Gran Moff Parkin. Hayden Christensen can't act. They should have renamed his character Mannequin Skywalker! Despite having drunk wine, the rebel pilots were cleared to fly. After all, they had just one Red Litre. Which Naboo captain defecated in a pan? Captain Pankaka! That's it, scum, I am gone.
"Somethin' that ain't got nothin' to do with nothin," says Will Smith at one point during the new adventure of those guys in the suits who manage the universe's alien traffic flow. And to what "nothin'" is he referring? Nothin' really, and it doesn't matter anyway, because what he's unexpectedly describing is this entire film. It is, in fact, about nothing. Don't misread that. Nothing can be the multiplex's highest achievement when properly constructed. And summer is the best time of year for the movie about Nothing. It doesn't even matter what the motivation is, which is good because that motivation is usually a studio desire for cash in the hundreds of millions ballpark. Of course, you have to aim for Nothing in just the right way. Battleship was about nothing, and a pretty entertaining Nothing, for the record. But it sank, at least in American waters. It was, maybe, too much Nothing. Too proud of its own stupidity? Too convinced of its Taylor Kitsch-appeal? We'll never know. Nothing is tricky. Will Smith, he's pretty good at Nothing by this point. He knows when to turn it on and off, and he's got it turned on about halfway here, not fully committed to much more than the get-paid angle of Nothing. And Tommy Lee Jones? He's barely in the movie at all. Josh Brolin, on the other hand, is going full-tilt Nothing, so fully and satisfyingly immersed in his role as young Tommy Lee Jones (time travel, see) that he threatens to make it Something. There's a story, sort of: J (Smith) wonders why K (Jones) is so boring and expressionless, why they never talk about anything but work. He wonders what K's relationship with O (Emma Thompson) held in the past . Also there's a bad alien ("Flight of the Conchords'" Jemaine Clement) trying to destroy the world, so heading back to 1969 is the only way to get answers and set the balance right. That means we get cool furniture, the Moon launch, Andy Warhol (Bill Hader, just right) and a future-seeing weirdo (A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg) as well as a reset button for the relationship between J and K. It moves along quickly, never wears out its welcome and is full of still-amusing moments recycled from earlier installments. It's bright and cheerful and, in a hokey third act twist, generically sweet. Best of all, the effects are effective. And the cool monsters/aliens/Cronenbergian body cavities pop into your face in not-annoying 3D. Like that brain-wipey thing the black-cladders use... a neuralyzer? yeah, that's it... you won't remember much of it by Summer's end, or maybe even next week's end, and it won't leave you clamoring for more sequels. This one feels like gentle penance for the lackluster MIB2 already. But as Nothings go it's exactly the right amount. From 1 to 10, I give it an 8 and I will probably end up buying it when it comes out.
Okay, today's guest is a Phile Alumni who was last on the Phile September 4th, 2011 and was one of the oddest guests I ever had here. His band The Clarences will be playing every Saturday at Norge Laundry in Oakland, California. Please welcome back to the Phile from The Clarences... Robert A. Medeiros.
Me: Hello, Robert, welcome back to the Phile. It's been less then a year since you were here. Have have you been?
Robert: I have have been great! Have have you been, Jason?
Me: Pretty good and busy. Okay, last time you were here I asked you about the band name The Clarences but you were a little vague. There's no one in the band name Clarence, right? Where did the name come from?
Robert: Nope, nobody named Clarence. The clue is: Eddie Murphy.
Me: You should've named the band The Medeiroses. Whatcha think?
Robert: My dad already owns the rights to that name. They are senior citizen Death Metal band. My dad is the singer, manager and tour bus driver.
Me: By the way, who is in the band? You have some girls in the band, right?
Robert: The girls come and go, I stay and freeze.
Me: How long has the band been together? About the same length as the Phile, right? Six years?
Robert: I have no idea what your length is, Jason! T.M.I! You are making me blush. The Clarences have been around since 2006 BC.
Me: Sorry, didn't mean to make you blush. LOL. Robert, you are based in California, right? What part?
Robert: Yep, in Oakland, California. You can feel sorry for us.
Me: Why? Oakland is a nice place I heard. Let's talk about your music. Do you do all the songwriting?
Robert: Yep, and also the writing of songs.
Me: I love the songs you have recorded so far, are you planning on recording any more?
Me: And you still don't have music up on iTunes or Bandcamp. Are you planning on doing so?
Robert: iTunes makes the listener pay for the music. The Clarences music and merchandise is and will forever be FREE!
Me: You play keyboards and guitar, right? What came first, Robert?
Me: Do you remember what the first song you learned to play was?
Robert: "Paul's Got No Balls". The 1st song I ever wrote which was for the band I had in high school, The Turtlenecks.
Me: Last time you were here you described your music as Glock-octave-pop-rock, which I have no idea what that means. Can you explain?
Robert: I was forced to say that under the influence of DSL.
Me: On your Facebook page The Clarences music is explained as John-Rah, am I right? What in hell does that mean?
Robert: You know, the John-Rah of music that we play.
Me: Also, last time you were here we talked about one of your songs called "Jason Kinderhook & The Leper Cons". Who is Jason Kinderhook?
Robert: Jason Kinderhook is... hmmm.
Me: You mentioned you might record a song called "Jason Peverett & The Peverett Philes". Are you still planning that?
Robert: Yep. Everytime it's played I introduce it as, "Jason Peverett & The Peverett Philes" and I say it's dedicated to the best interviewer on the planet: Jason Kinderhook & The Leper Cons!
Me: Thanks, I guess... Okay, let's talk about your shows at the Norge Laundry and Cleaning Village. Where and what is that?
Robert: It's our monthly Saturday afternoon FREE & ALL AGES concerts at Norge Laundry (3908 Grand Ave, Oakland, California) with a different musical guest every month.
Me: How long have you been playing there and how long will you be playing there, Robert?
Robert: Since last Fall and until my community service time runs out.
Me: Is it a laundromat? I don't know.
Robert: It has washing machines, dryers and dry cleaning. I think it's a car factory.
Me: So, what is a typical Clarences show like?
Robert: Oh, you know, the typical things: Satanic rituals, colon cleanses, Easy-Bake Oven cookoffs and lots o' love! Aww.
Me: And if you could open for any band who would it be?
Robert: That one band, you know, the one that sings the one song about love.
Me: Robert, I wish you lots of luck and please come back on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your websites and I wish you luck.
Robert: theclarences.com, facebook.com/theclarences, youtube.com/theclarences & twitter.com/theclarences are electricity-free so, no plug is necessary. Thank you , Jason! You rule! Your site rules! It means alot to me and is much appreciated! Jason, Jason, Jason!
Well, there you go. Another entry of the Phile done. Thanks to Robert for a good, but odd, interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with musician Jimbo Mathus and then on Saturday, not Sunday as I will be at Star Wars Weekends again with teenage singer Bree Rose and then next Monday it's Alumni Marc Savoie from Infinite-Lane Highway. and coming up soon, the 500th entry with rock and roll legend... Dion. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. May the phorce be with you.