Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pheaturing Ed Valauskas From Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents

Hello, everybody, welcome to another Sunday entry of the Peverett Phile. It's a trap! All through May it's Star Wars Month here, so there's gonna be a whole lot of Star Wars themed stuff. I hope you guys have been enjoying it so far. It's all to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first Star Wars film coming out, Star Wars Weekends at Disney' Hollywood Studios which starts May 18th and me working at Star Tours for one year. Before we get into any more Star Wars stuff, lets see what else is going on.  Strange development in the Secret Service prostitution saga. They issued new rules of conduct on Friday, and on some trips they will send chaperones to make sure the rules are enforced. Am I nuts, or is this weird? We have to give the Secret Service chaperones to make sure they don't get drunk and have sex? We should make the agents travel with their moms. They would be highly trained themselves and will be ready to throw their bodies on any agent who is about to throw his body on a prostitute.      The Octomom, who filed for bankruptcy, has agreed to star in an adult film. They're expecting that once it hits the shelves, it could sell tens of copies. How is it possible that the Octomom resorted to porn before she resorted to "Dancing With the Stars"? I'm not sure who to be sadder for, Octomom or ABC.   A lady got arrested for bringing her 5-year-old to a tanning salon. Guess what state she is from... New Jersey. Is that a crime in New Jersey? In New Jersey, I think they call that day care. In court, she pleaded not guilty by reason of "intanity." Another parent of the year nominee, Levi Johnston, will become a father again... with another girlfriend. They have already settled on a name, and that name is Breeze Beretta. I'm surprised by this. Levi usually makes sound decisions. Beretta is the name of a gun manufacturer. How bittersweet for Sarah Palin.   It’s prom season, kids, which is why all the drugstores are running so low on baby's breath and Axe body spray.   Today we are gonna go see one of the most anticipated movies of the year, maybe of the decade It's Marvel’s The Avengers. All the super heroes gathered together. And it's nice... it's kind of cool to see all the characters responsible for my virginity together in one film.   Well, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo. This is the only day they do this... if you get pulled over for drunk driving, they put salt around the rim of the breathalyzer.   Speaking of Mexicans, did you know Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars was supposed to be Mexican? I have a picture of what he was supposed to look like.

That would of pretty much changed the films quite a bit. How would Sir Alec Guinness play that role?  Well, I am wearing a Beatles t-shirt and I was wondering what would it look like if The Beatles and Star Wars mashed?

Freaking brilliant.  So, you know how much I love pie graphs, right? Well, people asked me why I watch Star Wars, and I thought I would answer with a graph.

You know, if I created Star Wars instead of George Lucas, the Stormtroopers would be a little bit different.

Okay, there are a million Star Wars products out there to by, so for the month of May I thought I would show you odd but real pieces of merch available. Ever wonder what Jedi wear when they are just lounging around the house? As it turns out, their bathrobes look almost the exact same as their street clothes, only they come in soft terrycloth.

It looks like a regular robe to me. I don't really see anything Star Wars related with it.  Oh, well.   So, you know I am a big Star Wars fan, but a friend of mine might be a little bit more of a fan. I thought I would invite him back on the Phile to talk Star Wars, so please welcome once again, our good friend... Jeff Trelewicz.

Me: Hello, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile for Star Wars Month. You were just a little kid when Star Wars first came out, right? Did you see it in the Theatres in 1977?

Jeff: Hello, Phile! I am thrilled to be here talking about one of my favorite franchises in the world, Star Wars. Yes, I was just a child when the original Trilogy came out. I didn't see A New Hope or Empire in theaters. But Return of the Jedi was one of the first movies I ever saw in the theater. It's somewhere between Muppets Take Manhattan and the Black Caulderon.

Me: Did you have a favorite Star Wars toy?

Jeff: I don't know that i had a favorite toy from Star Wars but I know I a lot of them. If I had to pick, I would say it was the Jabba The Hutt playset I had. It even came with that little monkey guy that sat on his throne.

Me: Oh, you mean Salacious B. Crumb was a Kowakian monkey-lizard? I liked him a lot as well. So,
by the way, whatcha think of the new Phile logo for this month?

Jeff: I love the new Star Wars themed logo for the Phile. Brillant!

Me: Alright, I want to focus on Episode 1 this week. I take it this is not your favorite of the six, am I right?

Jeff: No, you are right. Episode 1 was not my favorite of the series. But unlike a lot of fan boys I still have a special place in my heart for The Phantom Menace.

Me: What's your favorite part of this film, The Phantom Menace, and what's your least favorite?

Jeff: Favorite part has got to be the Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan and Qui Gon Jin light saber duel. Never before had one seen anything on that level. I wasn't a fan of Jar Jar, or any of the Gungans. But my least favorite is when Anakin accidently flies the ship into space and saves the day. He was a kid. He was hiding and hit the wrong button next thing you know he is a hero. So I think I would have a better way for him to be a hero, not by accident. I also thought the Pod race went a little too long.

Me: A lot of people don't like Jar Jar Binks, but myself, I like him. I laugh when he steps in shit on Tatooine. Was there any hype about Jar Jar before the movie came out? I don't remember.

Jeff: There wasn't any hype about Jar Jar Binks prior to the movie.

Me: Okay, Jeff, I have a few questions about the movie I didn't get, so maybe you can explain. For example, why wasn't Obi-Wan able to cross over the laser doors to fight Darth Maul, Jeff?

Jeff:  Even though Qui Gon was a great Jedi, going through the laser doors would have killed him. I am pretty sure those doors were made by the same thing that was in the sabers!

Me: Also, how did Padme's decoy know what to say the whole time?

Jeff: I would be willing to bet to be a Princess Decoy you had to go through Princess Decoy training! That's how they knew what to say.

Me: Jeff, that makes sense. Thanks so much as always. Come back next week and we'll chat about Episode 2.

Jeff: I will see you next week for Episode 2 talk!

Okay, the 16th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is AJ  Paglia and this is one of his pieces...

AJ will be a guest on the Phile next Monday, so look forward to that. And now, for some really sad news...

Junior Seau 
Jan 19, 1969 - May 2, 2012
He sure did.

Adam  Yauch 
August 5, 1964 - May 4, 2012
Ch-check-ed out!

Alright, today's guest has played bass for Graham Parker and Juliana Hatfield, and is the bass player for the band Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents who will be playing next at Black-Eyed Sally's BBQ & Blues in Hartford, CT on May 11th. Please welcome to the Phile... Ed Valauskas.

Me: Hello, Ed, how are you doing, man? Welcome to the Phile.

Ed: I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Me: So, first I have to ask how is Jenny? Are you guys making any new music?

Ed: She’s doing great. We’re adjusting to parenthood quite nicely. We had a daughter named Sydney 9 months ago. We have been doing some recording on and off since last July and have been working on a bunch new songs with the band that we hope to record soon.

Me: Congrats. You know, we talked before, you are one of my favorite bass players through default. LOL. Who played with one of my favorite singers of all time, Graham Parker, who I interviewed twice on the Phile by the way. You were in his band The Latest Clowns. How did you end up with that gig?

Ed: GP has been one of my favorite songwriters since I was a kid. I had met him once when The Gravel Pit opened for him in 1995, and then a few years later when The Figgs became his backing band. Mike Gent from The Figgs put The Latest Clowns together. Luckily, he asked me to play bass. 

Me: I have a picture of you playing with Graham.

Me: How long did you tour with GP? And you recorded with him, right?

Ed: We did about a month of dates on and off in support of his "Don’t Tell Columbus" record in 2007. I recorded an iTunes only single with him called “The End of Faith”, and then did a bunch of re-recordings of classic GP & The Rumor songs for his publishing company. Most recently, he gave Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents a song called “That Moon Was Low” to record. Total 12/8 ballad in the style of 60’s Spector Girl Groups. I’m really proud of how it came out. Luckily Graham liked it as well!

 Me: When was the last time you saw him? Do you know he's gonna be in a movie this year? A Judd Apatow movie!

Ed: I just saw him last week when he was at Q Division rehearsing. I did know about the movie! Pretty amazing. GP, the actor! Playing himself! Genius!

Me: You also work with someone I had a crush on in the 90's, and who I actually thought I wanted to marry. That was before I met my wife Jennie. Anyway, you worked with Juliana Hatfield who I would love to have on the Phile. when was the last time you saw her?

Ed: That’s hilarious. I just saw Juliana last Sunday when we recorded some covers for her upcoming covers record. The band was Juliana, me, and Pete Caldes from The Gravel Pit/The Gentlemen who has been playing with her on and off since 2004.

Me: You're from Boston, right? Is that where you first met Juliana?

Ed: I’ve been living here since 1995, but am originally from Guilford, Connecticut.

Me: So, she has a new album out called "There's Always Another Girl". Have you seen the album cover? Holy shit!

Ed: Um, yes.

Me: You recorded with her as well, right? Ed, you're a bass player like I mentioned. When did you first start to play bass and is that the only instrument you picked up?

Ed: I played bass on "There's Always Another Girl", "Made In China", and "Gold Stars". I started playing bass in my junior year of high school back in the 1800’s. It is the only instrument I play well enough to play in public. I play a little guitar and keyboards, but neither well enough to say I actually PLAY them.

Me: When I first started to interview people for the Phile it seemed I went through a phase where just about everybody I interviewed was a bass player. Who is your favorite bass player of all time, Ed? 

Ed: That’s tough. First place tie between Graham Maby, James Jamerson, Paul McCartney, Pete Donnelly and Bruce Thomas... in no particular order.

Me: Apart from working with Graham, Juliana and of course your wife Jenny Dee in her band, you also were in a few bands of your own. The Gentlemen and The Gravel Pit. Which band came first, Ed?

Ed: The Gravel Pit proceeded The Gentlemen by 11 years. The Gravel Pit started as a high school band in 1988. I joined them in 1991. The Gentlemen formed in 1999. It is three guys from The Gravel Pit + Mike Gent from The Figgs.

Me: Are either of those bands still together?

Ed: Sort of. Both bands tend to only play about once or twice a year these days. The Gents played a couple of months ago, and The Gravel Pit just played a private party the other night which was really fun. We’re hoping to do some recording before the end of 2012.

Me: In The Gentlemen, you had another Phile Alumni in that band... Mike Gent who you mentioned. Was that during the time of The Figgs, or his band before it?

Ed: The Gents started in ‘99 while both The Figgs and The Gravel Pit were very much full-on non-stop touring bands.

Me: I also interviewed Pete Donnelly here on the Phile, from the Figgs. Man, this is like six degrees. Do you know Pete as well? He is one of your favorite bass players.

Ed: I do. He’s a dear friend and one of my bass playing idols.

Me: A friend of mine is a big fan of Mike Viola, and he worked with Pete. I think you did as well, right?

Ed: A little bit. I’ve been a huge fan of Mike’s for a long time. I got to be a Candy Butcher once at a wedding where the couple-to-be were Viola Superfans. I’ve actually played several weddings with Mike in our little band called The Prenups: Mike, me, Gent, and Jed and Pete from The Gravel Pit. We play nothing after 1978. Total blast. 

Me: If you could play bass in any band, Ed, who would you pick?

Ed: The Prenups! I don’t know... also a very tough question. I would say The Attractions circa 1978-79.

Me: For a minute there I thought you were gonna say Foghat. LOL. You did play and open for Cheap Trick though, right? Those guys are cool. Did you get to know them pretty well?

Ed: Nope. But The Gravel Pit did open for Molly Hatchet once, who I believe had a member of Foghat on guitar that. We opened for Cheap Trick a few times. Once in DC in 1999: The Gravel Pit/Guided By Voices/ Cheap Trick. What an amazing night.

Me: Yeah, Bryan Bassett who is in Foghat now was with Hatchet for a bit. Okay, let's talk about your studio Q Division Studios. Where did that name come from, Ed?

Ed: James Bond. Named after the place Q made all of his gadgetry.

Me: I was gonna ask you if it was a James Bond connection. Q Division was also a name of your record label, am I right?

Ed: Correct. We also started an offshoot called Q-DEE when we put out the Eli “Paperboy” Reed record "Roll With You". We have continued with that name and put out a series of 7” singles over the last two years.

Me: So, what and who are you working with now, Ed? Anybody that you can recommend being on the Phile?

Ed: I’m in the studio today with a band called Love in Stockholm who are fantastic. Picture The Band with Robert Plant on lead vocals. I’ve recently done records with some incredible folks: Roy Sludge (old time-y country truckin’ and drinkin’ songs ala Cash, Junior Brown), Tim Gearan, The Rationales, *AM Stereo, and Christian McNeill & Sea Monsters.

 Me: Thanks so much for being here, Ed. Why don't you go ahead and plug the Jenny Dee website and anything else you can think of?


Me: Thanks again, all the best, and tell Jenny I said hello.

Ed: Will do, man! Thanks so much.

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and Ed Valauskas. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer-songwriter Justin Levinson from Justin Levinson and the Valcours. Then Wednesday it's Gayle Skidmore and next Sunday super hero Captain RibMan. For real. Then Monday it's artist AJ Paglia. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. May the Force be with you.

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