I always look forward to what the Olympic mascots will look like. For the 2012 Olympics I am not sure what to think. If you haven't seen them, here is a picture of what they look like.
They look like Bomberman got butt-raped by a cyclops. You know, there used to be five Olympic rings, but there's now four. One went missing last night, and here on the Phile, I have proof.
Okay, all July I have been honoring one of man's greatest inventions ever created, and I am talking about the bikini. I ran out of cool bikini's to show off, but luckily some Phile readers came through and sent me some. Like this one for example... I was told this is the coolest painted bikini, bra etc. I am not sure about that, but take a look.
And now for a brand new pheature on the Phile...
That's what I'm talking about. Alright, so last weekend I invited a friend and Phile reader onto the Phile to talk about his project what he's doing for the Colorado victims. I thought I would invite him back for an update. So, please welcome once again to the Phile... Art Lew.
Me: Art, tell the readers about your project.
Art: My newest guitar project will be donated to charity for auction. A friend of mine hopes it will bring in a lot of money for the victims. To which I responded: To quote the villain, "It's not about the money... it's about sending a message." And that message is, the bad people of the world can keep doing evil, but the greater evil is when good people do nothing about it. The build itself is more a cathartic experence for me than an object I wanted to create. I cannot change what has happened. I can only move foward from where I now am. I cannot bring justice but in a small way I hope to bring peace. One of my better talents is to customize guitars in all sorts of unsual ways. And with that talent I hope to do two things. First, I hope this brings some small relief to those effected by the shootings in Colorado. And secondly, and more importantly, I want to do this a publicly as possible. The police were worried about copy cat crime. Why not inspire copy cat acts of kindness? At this moment, I am staring at the "bat-a-twang" and trying to figure out how to do the blue memorial ribbon. Oddly enough, I have some left-over "Tardis blue" paint that I will use. Till, it's completion in a few days...
Me: Very cool, Art. Here is what the guitar looks like right now.
Me: Art, is it about done?
Art: The logo is painted on. Possibly a few touch ups and putting the hardware back on is all that is left to be done.
Me: Good job, Art. Please come back when it's done. Art Lew, kids!
Well, I don't know if you heard but Mitt Romney was just in Israel and a brand new Phile character wanted to come on and talk about it. So, please welcome to the Phile...
TOP 5 THINGS I EXPECTED ROMNEY TO SAY IN ISRAEL
5. Hey, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Jerusalem... why are all the shops closed? Obama ruined the economy here too?
4. I loved my cheezy blintzes... but where can I get a yummy ham sandwich?
3. I'm not sure about this falafel... it looks like it was made at the local Zayen-Yud/Aleph!
2. This old wall could really use a good paint job and a cleaning from all those papers! 1.
1. This conflict can't last forever... aren't all these Jews eventually going to move to Miami?
Ollie Tabooger, Dymanic Democrat, everybody!
The 21st artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is Anton Emdin, and this is one of his pieces.
Anton will be a guest on the Phile a week from today.
Today's guest is a talented singer and songwriter who I have been wanting to interview on the Phile since 2008 or so. Her new album "Send You Some" is coming out soon. She'll next be appearing in Chicago at Uncommon Ground on August 11th. Please welcome to the Phile, the lovely and talented... Shannon Haley.
Me: Hello, Shannon, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Shannon: Thank you! I'm great, happy to be on the Phile.
Me: Okay, I don't know if you remember but you were originally were supposed to be on the Phile four years ago or so, when I first started interviewing people here. Do you remember that?
Shannon: I'm so happy you reminded me how I was familiar with you. I do remember! Thanks so much for having me here now.
Me: You were a country singer back then, right, Shannon? Are you still considered a country singer?
Shannon: As far as genre goes, I like to focus on writing the best songs I can from an honest place, and producing them the way that I feel is best fit for each song. I try to let the songs lead me to a genre. Right now with my new CD, it seems that there is a strong element of pop and perhaps a little element of country. In the past I had management that was pushing me more specifically in the country direction. However, now I just like to make the best music I can make and let others label it as they feel best.
Me: What bands did you listen to growing up, and what bands do you listen to now?
Shannon: Growing up I listened to a lot of James Taylor, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sheryl Crow and my select favorite country songs by everyone from Garth Brooks to Wynona Judd. Currently, I still listen to all of these artists, but I also love The Fray, Coldplay and Ingrid Michaelson.
Me: You're originally from California, but spent time in Nashville, am I right? Where are you based now, Shannon?
Shannon: Yes, originally I'm from Northern California and I came to LA when I was 18. I started making trips to Nashville during college and fell in love with the city. I have been really lucky and have found affordable places to live in both cities. So, right now I am splitting my time 50/50 in LA and Nashville.
Me: Where is your favorite place to live?
Shannon: Honestly, I prefer the small town feel and community in Nashville, but I've found my favorite "nooks" in LA and have found a way to make it feel smaller, and I'm sometimes even successful at avoiding the traffic. So, I'm generally pretty happy with both places.
Me: What made you first want to go out to Nashville? Was that for music?
Shannon: Yes. I had a sense that I needed to be there because of the songwriting. I've always loved writing songs more than anything and I had heard that the songwriting community there was one of the strongest in the world. It's true.
Me: You studied music at UCLA, which I didn't know anybody could do. Most interviewees I interviewed studied at Berklee... did you think of going there to study?
Shannon: I actually went to UCLA as an opera singer, believe it or not. I had developed that kind of voice and training during my years in high school where I was involved in an intense choir that toured the world and practiced at least 30 hours a week. After a year in the program at ULCA, I realized that if I were to continue in the major, I would have to dedicate everything to opera. I didn't feel that it was the right fit for me as an artist, and I ultimately made the decision to leave the program and focus on my songwriting and solo artist career.
Me: What did you focus on, songwriting, playing?
Shannon: UCLA didn't offer any type of commercial music program so I worked on the songwriting, guitar, performing, recording etc. Myself.
Me: Did you want to be an opera singer at one time? I am glad you didn't go down that route.
Shannon: Haha, thank you for validating my decision. It really didn't feel like the right fit for me. I have such a respect for opera singers, especially after understanding exactly what kind of intense training is involved. However, I quickly realized that the program's exercises were changing my voice, and I felt that I would have to eventually 'train myself out of my training' if I ever wanted to pursue the kind of music I was passionate about. So, I'm glad I left when I did.
Me: You also got a degree in sociology. What is that exactly?
Shannon: I'm still trying to figure out what sociology is. :) It's technically the study of society. I really wanted to study psychology but my dad said it was a waste of a degree. Ah, the irony. We don't talk about how he feels about sociology. Haha, all of this said, I actually did take a lot of very interesting courses. Imagine psychology on a broader scale. I like to think that it gave me a broader perspective that in some way has helped me grow as an artist. I'll keep you posted on that.
Me: Shannon, how old were you when you first started to learn to play guitar?
Shannon: I started learning guitar when I realized I needed to accompany myself when playing my songs. I usually write all of my lyrics and melody in my head without instruments. But when I was about 20 years old, I finally got sick of not being able to play anything I wrote.
Me: Is that your main instrument you play?
Shannon: Yes, guitar is my main instrument and I also play a little piano.
Me: Okay, let's talk about your new album "Send You Some". Send you some what?
Shannon: "Send You Some" love. The song "Send You Some" is about sending love to people even if they hurt you, cut you down, or make you feel bad about yourself. I've learned that for me, engaging in negativity never accomplishes what I want it to and I've found it extremely helpful to find it inside of myself to send love, compassion or something positive towards the things that feel negative.
Me: How did you decide that song was gonna be the name of the album, Shannon?
Shannon: It's a message that I really believe in. I wanted the album to reflect that. A lot of my songs can easily be interpreted as being about romantic relationships, even though they are usually made of a more complex combination of different aspects of my life. However, I believe that "Send You Some" is more clearly a message song, and as an artist that's the type of song that drives me more than any other. If there's one message on the album that I'd like to put into the world, it would be that one.
Me: I listened to some songs on the album, and really like it. Did you write all thew songs on the album, Shannon?
Shannon: I did write all of the songs on my album, I'm so glad that you like them. Thank you!
Me: I have to congratulate you on being accepted into ASCAP's Lester Still Songwriting Group. How did you get in, and do you know who Lester Still is?
Shannon: Thanks! The Lester Sill Songwriting Group was a really great program and it exposed me to real things that are happening now in this rapidly changing music industry. I had a meeting with Brendan Okrent at ASCAP and after she heard some of my songs, she encouraged me to apply for the program. I'm really honored to have been a part of it. Yes, I believe most people in the program know about Lester Sill, as should most people in the music industry. He was a very influential figure and is very inspiring.
Me: Do you prefer to write by yourself or with somebody else?
Shannon: I usually write songs by myself, but over the last few years I've done a lot of co-writing. Solo writing has always been an emotional process for me that can sometimes be very difficult. When I'm in a flow, it's my favorite feeling in the world. However, I love co-writing when the chemistry is right. I'm lucky to have some truly gifted songwriters in my life. Having creative minds and unique perspectives to feed off of is such a gift. When it's the right fit, it feels like there's something magical happening.
Me: Let's talk about your other project, Haley & Michaels. That's a duet you're in based in Nashville, right?
Shannon: Haley & Michaels is my new duo project that's actually based out of both Nashville and LA. We've been writing, recording and playing shows in both places ever since we started working together.
Me: How did you and Ryan Michaels meet and decide to work together?
Shannon: Ryan and I are coincidentally from the same home town in Northern California, and there was an attempt to introduce us seven years ago by a mutual friend of our mother's but it never happened successfully. I was in LA rehearsing with a guitar player for a show at NAMM and he mentioned that I should meet up with Ryan Michaels in Nashville. It turns out that he was the guitar player in Ryan's band at the time. When Ryan and I finally met in Nashville we discovered all of these coincidences, started talking music, and quickly learned that we had many of the same musical influences, experiences and goals. Moving forward we each sang songs at each other's solo shows. Based on the response and the unusually natural feeling we had on stage, we instantly knew that we wanted to pursue it further. Everything after that has fallen into place very naturally.
Me: I love the version you did of Kings of Leon's "Sex On Fire". Who chose that song to do, you or Ryan?
Shannon: Ryan and I usually build off of each other's ideas and at the end of everything, it's so hard to know who came up with what. This particular song has always been of my favorites and we were both really intrigued by the idea of how singing it as a duet brings a new meaning to the song with a different kind of intensity. Thanks for listening to it!
Me: And well done on getting your name mentioned first, Shannon.
Shannon: Thanks. Ladies first. :)
Me: Will you and Ryan be working on an album together?
Shannon: Yes. We are excited! We started recording with Warren Huart at Swinghouse Studios in LA just days after he finished working on the new Aerosmith record. We also recorded our first single, "The Price I Pay" with Mikal Blue in LA. We are looking forward to finishing it and sharing it with you.
Me: When that comes out, you and Ryan both need to come on the Phile. Whatcha think?
Shannon: We'd love to!
Me: I have to ask you about the video for "Sex On Fire". Wow! You two look like you definitely have some chemistry, Shannon. Are you two just music partners?
Shannon: The video was so much fun. We ended up making it at Ryan's house with some friends. Everything was extremely home made. As far as your question about the nature of our relationship, a lot of people ask us that. We have always been so driven and busy with our music, but still we always enjoy hearing what people think about the rest. It's nice to hear that chemistry is coming across!
Me: Looking at a photo of you two I swear there was chemistry. LOL. Look at this. You two do look good together.
Me: By the way, whose idea was to turn on the sprinkers?
Shannon: Actually, they aren't sprinklers. :) But, all ideas about the that part of it would be credited to Dave Ford, Ryan's roommate.
Me: Shannon, thank you so much for finally being on the Phile. Please come back soon. Go ahead and mention your website and anything else you want to.
Shannon: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate your time and support. To hear more updates on my music, please visit me at shannonhaley.com and to hear more about Haley & Michaels, please visit us at haleyandmichaels.com.
Me: Take care, and tell Ryan I said hello.
Shannon: Ryan says hello and he looks forward to being on the Phile!
There you go, kids, that's about it. Now to go and watch some Olympics. Thanks to my guests Art Lew and Shannon Haley, and thanks to Robert Moszenberg. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Spence Newell lead singer in the band New Hands. Then there's an extra entry Friday as we kick off Alumni Month with musician Wishnefsky. Next Sunday it's artist Anton Emdin, and on Monday it's British solu/blues singer Paul Cox. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.