Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pheaturing Kate Taylor From Dead Fingers

Hello, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile from a Town Called Clermont. How are you? Nothing like a good ole "Doctor Who" reference.  Well, Prince Harry is back in the news. Three weeks after those nude photos appeared of him playing strip billiards at a hotel, he was deployed for a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. One crazy night and Queen grandma ships you right to Kandahar. Lindsay Lohan tweeted President Obama on the topic of tax cuts. Someone needs to tell her she's Lindsay Lohan and should be focusing on what the president plans to do to cut car insurance deductibles.  In Chicago this past week, 26,000 public school teachers went on strike, the first teachers' strike they had in 25 years. Teachers are calling it a last resort. City officials are saying it's unnecessary and wrong, and students are calling it awesome. Almost every kid in Chicago gets to skip school. It's like there are 400,000 Ferris Buellers loose on the street.  Last weekend, Vice President Joe Biden hung out with a biker gang in Ohio. I don't know if that's wise. It's not always a good idea to be associating with shady characters. So next time, think twice, bikers.  Snoop Dogg has endorsed Barack Obama's re-election campaign. He also endorsed Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Snoop made a compelling argument for a person who will probably not remember to vote. I'm a little surprised. I've always known Snoop to have his mind on his money and his money on his mind, and that's more of a Mitt Romney thing.  Earlier this week there was a battle of music competition shows. NBC had "The Voice" and Fox had the season premiere of Simon Cowell's "The X Factor." Two very similar shows at the same time. There hasn't been a match-up like this since last month when the political conventions were on against "Honey Boo Boo." Simon is angrier than Clint Eastwood with an empty chair. I hate that every competition show has to have an English dude. I don't like watching judgmental English people being mean to struggling performers. It's worse then having a judgmental Englishmen writing  a blog. Some people call "The X Factor" a rip-off of "American Idol." These people are called "correct."       McDonald's announced that starting next week they'll post calorie counts for all their menu items. I feel that when people see those numbers they'll think it's a contest... whoever eats the most calories wins nine-piece McNuggets or something like that. McDonald's says they're doing it so customers can make health-conscious decisions. They are eating at McDonald's. How health conscious could they be? The mayor of their town has a cheeseburger for a face. At that point you throw health conscious out the window.  For the first time in 28 years, scientists have discovered a new species of monkey. A new iPhone and a new monkey all in the same week. What are the odds?  Fashion Week wrapped up in New York. Leonardo DiCaprio was there checking out the new spring line of girlfriends.  A new poll claims that 58 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama would beat Mitt Romney in a fistfight. I didn't realize that was an option. Maybe we can wrap this election up tonight. Make it a pay-per-view event. We could wipe out the national debt in one night. I like the idea of a fistfight to pick the commander in chief. Finally, my dream of a President Mike Tyson could become a reality.  So, who is reading the entry on the new iPhone 5? I don't know about the new iPhone, I like my iPhone 3. The iPhone 5 just doesn't look practical.

Alright, everybody is talking about Obama and Biden and Romney and Ryan but there's another two that's running that nobody is really talking about. And I think they should.

They got my vote... If only I was allowed to vote.  Pixar's "Finding Nemo" was just rereleased in theaters in 3D with a new ending. Don't bother going to see it, I have a screen cap of the ending right here, exclusive to the Phile.

If "Finding Nemo" was a Peverett film instead of a Pixar film, it would look like this.

Hey, Nemo is in the film. LOL. I know, that's so stupid.  So, the season premier of "Glee"was on this past week. I have never seen the show, but I did see the new logo they have for it though.

Okay, and now for some sad news...

Lance LeGault 
May 2, 1937 - Sept 10, 2012
He was a character actor who played Colonels Glass, Decker and Greene in "Stripes", "The A-Team," and "Magnum P.I.", respectively. Anyway, he also got old and died at the age of 77.

Okay, so over the past year or more I had quote a few important Democratic politician's on the Phile. Hell, I even had Michelle and Barack Obama both here. Today I have a Democrat, but she's not a politician. I don't know if you watched the DNC but she gave a kick-ass speech about her daughter health issues. Here's a picture of her giving the speech with her family by her side.

Please welcome to the Phile... Stacey Lihn.

Me: Hello, Stacey, welcome to the Phile. So, for the reader's that don't know, and I am expecting a lot of them don't know, explain what your daughter's health problems are.

Stacey: Hello, Jason. Zoe was born with a congenital heart defect that required her to have multiple open heart surgeries in the first few months of her life.

Me: You were at the DNC to talk about Obamacare and how important it is to your family, am I right?

Stacey: Yes. By the time she was six months old, she had already reached over half of her lifetime insurance cap, which would have left us unable to pay for the continuing care and future surgeries required for Zoe to survive.

Me: So, I am guessing you were relieved when Obamacare was passed.

Stacey: I can't tell you how relieved I was when Obamacare passed.

Me: Okay, so when it was passed was her lifetime insurance removed? If so, Stacey, how did you find out?

Stacey: I got a letter from our insurance company telling us that Zoe's lifetime cap had been removed.

Me: Man, this is great news for you and your family.

Stacey: It meant my family wouldn't have to lose everything to keep my daughter alive.

Me: And the Republicans wanting to take this away... this election is really important to you. I guess I don't haver to ask you who you are gonna vote for in November.

Stacey: There is just so much on the line in this election.

Me: Stacey, Mitt Romney and the Republicans say that if they win on November 6th, they'll repeal Obamacare on Day One. What does that mean, not just to you but to other Americans?

Stacey: It means that millions of Americans... including children like Zoe, who have already overcome insurmountable odds... stand to lose the coverage they need to stay healthy.

Me: The stakes are incredibly high, Stacey...

Stacey: And incredibly personal. And I, for one, can't sit by while the Republicans threaten my daughter's health and my family's well-being... and I hope you and your reader's can't, either.

Me: Stacey, thanks for stopping by, and good luck. Give your family a big hug.

Stacey: Thanks for having me here, Jason.

Alright, so, Jann Wenner as you know has his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland where most of the bands we want to be inducted in it will never be. So, I thought with the help of unHOF, the People's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I will have my own hall of fame kinda deal on the Phile. So, please welcome once again Vinyl Barista at Berdan Records and head of unHOF, Joseph J. Ramsey in a pheature I call...

Today's Induction: J. Geils Band.

When I was playing in my 60's garage cover band, The Judgement Day Refreshment Committee, a few years ago, the wife liked to make her own cut and paste t-shirts for our events. She would usually take an obscure rock'n'roller (well, obscure to most, but not to us, eh, Phile readers!) and stencil his name on the shirt with a clever phrase. People would approach her all night with questions... what does the shirt mean? Who is that?  The first one was Savoy Brown/Foghat's Lonesome Dave Peverett. Her shirt said "Lonesome Dave Rocks" or something like that. Went over well. The second one was no less obscure and was even a bit suggestive: "Magic Dick Blows!"  Magic Dick did, indeed, blow... blew up a storm on the first four J. Geils Band albums. His solo take on their own composition "Whammer Jammer" became the "Goin' Home" for blues harmonica... if you could play that one, you're pretty darn good. Along with R&B shouter, Peter Wolf, they made a formidable team. Actually the whole band was great. Wolf sang, J. Geils played guitar, Seth Justman was the main songwriter and keyboard player and on bass and drums were Danny Klein and Stephen Jo Bladd, respectively.  In many ways, the J. Geils Band were the US counterparts to Foghat. Starting out as an authentic-sounding blues/R&B band, their first three albums are stuff even purists could love and their live album, "Full House" was one of the better live recordings of the era. But like Foghat who took a "Slow Ride" down the dreaded El Commercial Real, The J.Geils Band hit the big time with "Centerfold" in 1981 and never looked back. Sadly, at least in my opinion, ruining any street cred that they may have had. The early stuff speaks for itself, though, and is damn good. There weren't a lot of bands, blues or otherwise, doing what J. Geils were doing back in 1970.  I have read that Magic Dick's real name is Richard Salwitz... but I don't believe it!

Okay, thanks Joseph. The 24th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Stephen "Zomboy" Harris, and this is one of his pieces...

Stephen will be a guest on the Phile on Wednesday.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is one part of the duo Dead Fingers whose self-titled debut album is now available on iTunes. And it's fantastic! Please welcome to the Phile... the very attractive Kate Taylor.

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

Kate: Just fine, thanks for having us!

Me: Dead Fingers, that's a very happy name for a band. When you think of Dead Fingers, somehow zombies and punk bands come to mind. Where did the name come from, and which one of you two came up with it?

Kate: The name comes from a children’s hand trick that I learned growing up. I showed it to Taylor years ago and he thought it’d be a cool band name and we just never forgot it, even though the band came much later.

Me: Did you think of calling your band Taylor & Taylor?

Kate: Ha, kinda sounds like a father and son plumbing company… not for us!

Me: Tell the readers who you kids are. How did you two meet?

Kate: We grew up in the same town and have known each other for about a decade. We played in bands together, toured a lot together, but initially met working together in a Mexican restaurant, Rojo, in Birmingham.

Me: Have you been performing together for long?

Kate: We’ve both toured several times with Maria Taylor and collaborated with some other bands, like Wild Sweet Orange, as well. We finally started doing duo shows around 4 or 5 years ago.

Me: You both had two seperate music caeers before Dead Fingers... who approached who about starting a duo?

Kate: Again, we’ve known each other for years and played with various bands for a long time… it seemed natural to collaborate and, what started with a few guitar parts or harmonies hear and there, became a new project.

Me: Nowadays the guy & gal duos are becoming the new thing. There's She & Him, Jenny & Johnny and the Civil Wars. Did you jump on the bandwagon or have you planned this way ahead of the 'craze'?

Kate: Ha, is anyone really that calculated? We’ve played together for a long time, things just happened to all fall into place early last year. But, yeah, I suppose it is a good year for duos.

Me: I downloaded your album from iTunes and really like it, and think you guys sing well together and doing an amazing job. The self-titled CD was produced by Bruce Watson who produced the late RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Ben is a really good producer. Did he approach you guys or did you approach him? And more importantly did he have any good stories? 

Kate: Bruce is amazing, in the studio and personally… a very good friend of ours now. Taylor did some work with another band in his studio and they began talking about working together. I came to sing on a few tracks and, what began as a solo 7 inch for Taylor, became a full length Dead Fingers record.

Me: What kinda music did you two listen to growing up?

Kate: All kinds, really. Both our parents listend to a lot of Paul Simon, The Beatles, obviously, Tom Petty… you know, the greats.

Me: So, where are you two from?

Kate: We are both from Birmingham, AL.

Me: Kate, who does the songwriting for the band?

Kate: We both write, usually separately, although Taylor did the majority of the writing for this first record.

Me: I love the song "Another Planet". That's about being seperated on the road, right? That's something you kids don't have to worry about.

Kate: Well, we both still end up touring with other bands, if only occasionally. In fact, I’m writing you this now from the van in Germany, on tour with Maria Taylor, while Taylor is at home.

Me: Did I read that you two are married?

Kate: Yes, we married last year.

Me: Kate, you play drums, bass and keys as well as sing, right? Which one do you prefer and which one came first?

Kate: I guess I started playing piano first, then maybe guitar, then drums, bass to follow. I enjoy them all, honestly. Playing drums with a band may be more fun because I do it the least.

Me: Okay, so now you have this new act, will you go back to your other musical bands and careers or stay with Dead Fingers?

Kate: Dead Fingers is definitely our main focus.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, and you are welcome to come back anytime. Is there a website, Facebook or anything you'd like to plug?

Kate: Thanks for having us! Please check out our website,, and find us, like us, whatever, on Facebook and Myspace!

Me: Thanks again, Kate, and take care. And come back anytime.

There, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Stacey Lihn, Joseph J. Ramsey and of course Kate Taylor. The Phile will be back tomorrow with jazz singer Kat Parra and then on Wednesday it's artist Stephen "Zomboy" Harris. There's not gonna be an entry next Sunday as I will be at the Orlando Comic Expo but I plan on posting another entry on Saturday with the kids from another duo The Breedings. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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