Monday, May 21, 2012

Pheaturing Darius Lux

I’ve got a very bad feeling about this. Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile. How are you? So, yesterday Logan and I went to Disney's Hollywood Studios, the same theme park where I work mind you, and were there for 12 hours. It was packed and hot, we both got sunburned on our necks, but it was Star Wars Weekends there so it was a lot of fun. The remainder of the Star Wars Month Phile's I will be posting pictures from Star Wars Weekends as well. Well, it is like I said Star Wars Month here but before we continue with that let's see what else is going on in the world. Oh, but the way, today's entry is sponsored by...

During his commencement speech at Liberty University, Mitt Romney revealed that his campaign staff loves Chick-fil-A. The other thing he revealed? That he doesn’t know what to say in a commencement speech.   Investors are now able to buy shares of Facebook stock for the first time ever. It’s great... now you can lose all your money in the same place you lost all your time. Speaking of Facebook, there's a new app tells your Facebook friends if you're not following your diet. Of course your friends could always figure it out that other way: looking at your photos on Facebook.  President Obama and Joe Biden spent more than four hours playing golf together. Joe Biden’s handicap is 20, while Obama’s handicap... is Joe Biden.  A new poll found that Mitt Romney is actually ahead of President Obama among female voters. That explains Obama’s new slogan, “I’m Barack Obama, and I loved ‘50 Shades of Grey.’”  There’s a new online reality show premiering this summer called “The Mormon Bachelor.” At the start of the show, the bachelor dates 25 contestants, and by the end he’s MARRIED 25 contestants.  Swedish researchers have discovered a new species of fish. Not to be outdone, Gummi researchers have discovered a new species of bear.  During a speech in Ohio, Joe Biden criticized Republicans for not understanding the middle class. In response, Mitt Romney was like, "That's ridiculous. Some of my best friends' gardeners are middle class."  CNN's ratings hit a 15-year low this week. In fact, things are so bad at CNN, Wolf Blitzer started renting out "The Situation Room" for birthday parties.   Well, I mentioned Facebook twice in the monologue and it seems everybody is on Facebook nowadays. Check this out to see what I found.

Well, as I said we went to Star Wars Weekends yesterday and they had this giant shop set up in a tent called Darth's Mall... I am not making this up. Anyway, I was surprised when I saw they were selling a video game I have never seen before.

I don't like this, I like Jar Jar. They were also selling a Star Wars inspirational poster that I thought was cool.

I am actually surprised Disney was selling this, especially with the language on it. Well, all month I have been showing you real Star Wars products that are out on the market. Here's the latest, if you need some help getting your Tusken Raider Taters out of the oven, this space slug is happy to help, just make sure you never make the mistake of thinking he is actually a cave.

And now, from the home office on Coruscant, here is today's...

Sent to me from a reader who didn't like Episode 1, it's...
Top Ten Reasons Episode One Blew
10. Jar Jar didn't stay stuck in the podracer engine.
9. Darth Maul died.
8. The Viceroys spoke with a Chinese accent.
7. No arms or hands were cut off.
6. C3-PO was in it.
5. Qui Gon Dies.
4. Sounds like Frank Oz forgot how to do Yoda's voice.
3. Jake Lloyd was in it. (ever seen Jingle All the Way?)
2. Strange clicking noises coming from Boss Nass.
And the number one reason Episode One blew...
1. Stormtroopers were replaced by droids.

I disagree with most of those by the way. Well, here's a character you won't see at Star Wars Weekends, kids. Straight from the Outer Rim, the infamous intergalactic comedian known as...

Thank you, thank you. So, you might be a Redneck Jedi if...
You ever heard the phrase, "May the force be with ya'll."
Your Jedi robe is camouflage. *
You have ever used your lightsaber to open a bottle of Bud Light.
At least one wing of your X-Wings is primer colored.
You can easily describe the taste of an Ewok.
You have ever had a landspeeder up on blocks in your yard.
The worst part of spending time on Dagobah is the dadgum skeeters.
Wookiees are offended by your B.O.
You have ever used the Force to get yourself another beer so you didn't have to wait for a commercial. You have ever used the Force in conjunction with fishing/bowling.
Your father has ever said to you, "Shoot, son come on over to the dark side... it'll be a hoot."
You have ever had your R2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy to get the barbecue grill to light.
You have a Confederate flag painted on the hood of your land-speeder.
You have the doors of your X-wing welded shut and you have to get in through the window.
Although you had to kill him, you kinda thought that Jabba the Hutt had a pretty good handle on how to treat his women.
You have a cousin who bears a strong resemblance to Chewbacca.
You were the only one drinking Jack Daniels during the cantina scene.
Your business cards read "Billy Bob, Jedi Master".
You know Ewoks squeal like pigs.
You use your R2 unit as a beer coaster.
Your landspeeder had a lightsaber rack.
If you hear ... "Billy Bob, I am your father ... AND your uncle!"
Thanks everybody, don't eat the bantha.

Abdelbaset Al Megrahi
Apr 1, 1952 - May 20, 2012
As the cowardly loser responsible for bombing Pan Am 103, I hope he enjoys an eternity of playing horseshoes with Gaddafi in hell.
Robin Gibb
Dec 22, 1949 - May 20, 2012
Six hours. That's how long I spent trying to figure out how to work "Stayin' Alive" into an obit. Fuck it. He's dead.

The 17th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is Joey Spiotto, and this is one of his pieces...

Joey will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Today's guest is singer and musician from New York whose new EP "Time Is Now" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Darius Lux.

Me: Hey, Darius, welcome to the Phile, man, how are you?

Darius: Great thank you, lovin 2012 so far ;)

Me: You're from New York, right? Is that New York City, or New York state?

Darius: NYC, East Village. I spent my childhood in London.

Me: I'm the opposite, from London but spent my childhood in New York. You traveled across the world a few years ago, am I right? Where did you go?

Darius: Yes, it was a pretty extensive trip... backpacked for a year thru Hawaii, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Italy, Brazil and Peru.

Me: And what in the world made you do that? I don't like going to my local CVS five minutes, let alone traveling across the world. LOL. Actually, I love to travel, but there's a million places I don't want to go to.

Darius: There are so many reasons. Partly wanted to break out the city after 9/11 happened. Also, just hungry for adventure and to actually experience so much of the world that I had just read about or seen on TV. I'd been caught up in a lot of writing for other artists and labels in NYC and gotten tired of it and wanted a clean break and new career path... it was a surprise to me that I came back round again with an album ready to bust outta me, I thought I was gonna open a yoga center or move to an organic farming commune or something when I finished traveling.

Me: Was it a good experience? And was it expensive? And a good looking and talented guy like you, Darius, I am guessing you met a LOT of women. Am I right?

Darius: It was an absolutely amazing experience that I'd love to do again, except I know it was unique and could not be repeated... this life and planet is truly magical! It was only pricey once I got to Western-influenced countries, otherwise, it was cheaper to live for a week in a lot of places than it is to just get a parking ticket in NYC. I did meet a lot of women, and have to say that the ladies are gorgeous ALL over the world... haha... I was also traveling with my favorite woman.

Me: Did you take a guitar and do a lot of songwriting?

Darius: The journey was part of a life crossroads where I thought I was gonna pick a new career outside of music afterwards. So, I didn't take anything musical with me and actually tried to block it out for a while, but the music just beat harder inside of me as I went round the world, I couldn't stop it.

Me: Speaking of guitar, how long have you been playing?

Darius: On and off for 15 years. Though in the last 5 years I have focussed on it more with being a live musician now rather than just playing in the studio.

Me: What make of guitar do you play?

Darius: Primarily Fender Strat... it is the most adaptable and expressive guitar that I know of. I love the tone. There is also the Taylor T5 which is an acoustic-electric hybrid, I like that I can get a real unique sound out of it... not too soft, not too heavy.

Me: You play other instruments as well, right? What instruments do you play and which one came first?

Darius: I first started taking lessons on piano and then violin as a small child. By the time I hit my teens, I was hungry to teach myself electric guitar, bass and drums... I found them more satisfying to play and less bound by rules.

Me: And who are your favorite guitar players? My son is learning to play guitar and is a huge fan of Slash. What do you think about Slash's guitar playing?

Darius: I'd have to say Jimi Hendrix is my all-time favorite, a predictable answer maybe but he gave me a reverence that made me feel like the guitar is this mystical portal of energy in a way that I don't think anybody else has since. Prince is pretty awesome too, I saw him at Coachella a few years back and his mastery of the instrument was breath-taking... he makes it all look real easy. Of course, I love Slash, and his playing in pretty much all his bands... there are so many styles and influences mixed up in his playing, he rips and wails with a perfect blend of technical ability and soul. Matt Bellamy of Muse is totally amazing... go see them! I really enjoy Jack White too... very innovative with his sounds. You know, John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is wonderful also, I saw him playing up in Oakland with the Chilis and he just filled up every dimension of the arena, so spontaneous and lyrical. I could go on and on... ;)

Me: Darius, hey, you should do an album with Darius Rucker. What do you think of that? The Two Darius'?

Darius: Shoot, I'm up for it if he is... LOL. I do enjoy his singing and its nice to see a genuinely great vocalist out there getting their dues.

Me: Okay, lets talk about your new EP "Time Is Now", which is a follow up to your album "Arise". How come the new release is an EP?

Darius: Several reasons: (a) budget = 6 songs is cheaper than 10, (b) I only had 6 songs ready and really wanted to take the band in the studio and cut it old school with everybody playing together and nailing it in 2 or 3 takes. In some cases, like "What I Feel", we got it in just 1 take. It was the way it had to be at the time. We'd been playing live a lot and were a tight unit. I wanted to capture that.

Me: How would you describe both releases?

Darius: The debut album, "Arise", is more a slick studio pop record that spans different genres and is mostly a statement of self-empowerment and positivity. The follow-up, "Time Is Now" is more of a raw, rock record that reflects playing live in the Los Angeles bars ands clubs for a few years, lyrically drawing from negative as well as positive experiences and observations.

Me: Did you write all the songs on them both, Darius?

Darius: Mostly, yes. There were a couple on "Arise" that I had written back In NYC with some other writers, and then I co-wrote some lyrics with my woman on the new EP.

Me: So, I have to ask, "time is now" for what? How did that get to be the album title?

Darius: Many reasons. I felt it's time for a major shift globally and culturally, for smarter decisions and ways of doing things. Spiritually speaking, the "now" is the most potent place to be and operate from, rather than spending too much time with your head in the past or future. Also, I felt that it was now time for me to get some recognition and money... haha.

Me: So, who plays on the new "Time Is Now"? Is it the same band that plays on "Arise"?

Darius: "Arise" was a studio album where I mostly played everything. In taking that first album to the streets I put together a trio that became the band that played on "Time Is Now"... it was nice to play with others, more of a cog in a machine and be limited to what only 3 people can do... that trio featured Miklos "Fingers of Fire" Malek on keyboards and bass and Keith "Hurricane" Williams, Jr. playing drums, both truly outstanding people and musicians.

Me: Where are you living now, Darius?

Darius: Atop a peaceful hill in Los Angeles. ;)

Me: I bet you play a lot of shows. Are you getting a big following?

Darius: From 2007-2010 I played a lot of shows, sometimes every 3-4 weeks which increased the audience but it's too much work to keep that up, make a living and run all the other aspects of my career. My focus now is growing online presence and booking festivals and events up and down the coast. Last year we made a good start on that and this year there's more.

Me: Okay, you've been compared to Maroon 5, Seal and Jason Mraz. Who did that comparison? You sound nothing like them! You can kick all three of their asses. Who would you compare yourself to?

Darius: Wow, thanks, a great compliment! The comparison comes from iTunes sales, similar YouTube viewers plus Jango and Pandora artists that have similar listeners. There are lesser known artists who also 'trend' with my music such as Matt Nathanson, Mat Kearney, Parachute and Joshua Radin... but I also think we're all very different in style and message. Beyond that, I, personally have no idea who to compare myself with...

Me: You also have been compared to Lenny Kravitz. That I can see. You and him would make some killer music together. So, who do you listen to, and what was your favorite band growing up?

Darius: I would love to record with Lenny and yes it would be KILLER. I'd actually love to help produce him too. A few years back D'Angelo said the same of Prince which seemed a little cheeky at the time, but I get it, young blood doesn't have to cancel out the old blood... just enhance and update it. As a kid growing up in London I listened to Jamiroquai and Radiohead cos it was all around me, then moving to New York it was a lot of hip-hop like the Goats, the Beastie Boys, WuTang and Rage Against the Machine. The beauty of music is that at any age you can access any era, hence also growing up on Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin although they had been released decades earlier.

Me: Darius, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your websites and anything else you wanna, and please come back again soon. All the best.

Darius: Thank you Jason for really interesting questions, I really appreciate that you have taken the time to check the music and considered many things in what you have asked... all the best to you too, matey. ;) My website is and has links to all the different social networks. I also just released a video called "Way That It Goes" on YouTube. It's pretty groovy, baby.

Alright, that does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Darius for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with Andy Richards, lead singer from the band Uniform Motion. Next Sunday it's artist Joey Spiotto and on Monday it's Alumni Robert A. Medeiros from The Clarences. And coming up is the 500th entry with an interview with rock and roll legend Dion! Yep, Dion. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Make the phorce be with you.

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