Hello, kids, and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? It's cold here in Florida, like 40 degrees or something. I like it! So, people are still talking about the Pope is retiring. The Pope is resigning! I guess he took that Notre Dame loss to Alabama a lot harder than people thought. The Pope said he was stepping down at age 85 because he could no longer handle the job physically. To which Lance Armstrong said, "I've got some stuff that can help you with that." The Pope said that at age 85 he cannot physically go on. Meanwhile, Hugh Hefner is going to be 87 and he just married a 26-year-old. So much for that celibate lifestyle! He said he just wants to spend more time with his wife and kids. The Pope said he just doesn't have the energy to be Pope anymore. He tried the deer antler spray and it didn't work. The Pope will be replaced, of course. When one Pope goes, another one popes up in his place. CBS announced today the Pope will be replaced by Ashton Kutcher. Actually, when the voting's done, the cardinals burn their ballots. People wait outside the Sistine Chapel to see what color the smoke is. If it's white smoke, they've agreed on a Pope. If it's black smoke, no decision's been made. If it's green smoke, Willie Nelson has somehow gotten into the Sistine Chapel. So, Lent is still going on. Do you know what the Magic are giving up for Lent? The playoffs. For those of you who are not Catholic, like myself, the idea of Lent is you're supposed to give up something so you can experience suffering. Or you could just go on a Carnival Cruise. My heart went out to those poor passengers who were stuck on that floating bedpan in the Gulf of Mexico. For four days, 4,000 people were stuck on a ship with foul odors, toilets not working, and long lines for food. And here's the worst part. The karaoke machine was still working. Donald Trump called the Beyoncé Super Bowl halftime show "inappropriate" and "a national scandal." Apparently, it lacked the quiet dignity of Gary Busey and Meat Loaf screaming at each other on "The Apprentice." We went to the pet store the other day, as we now have a dog as you probably know. There was this poster there on where to pet a dog to make him happy or something which I thought was kinda odd. Check it out.
Did you see the new ad that Coke put out? It's kinda surprising, and I don't know what demographic they are going for. High school kids, maybe? Here it is.
Speaking of ads, and this is real, there is a German whiskey company that put out the best ad ever. I can only show you a part of it here, but you'll get the idea. This s 100% real, people. I don't like whiskey, but I'll support this.
Michael Jordan is turned 50 today! What do you get the aging man who has everything? Some fine arch support and sumptuously-cushioned insoles, that’s what!
Okay, so, you know for the last two months I have been running a campaign to get Kelly Clarkson on the Phile, right? Well, the campaign is closing at the end of the month... but print the campaign poster out and spread the word.
Alright, it's Oscar season and all this month I am giving you some Oscar facts to help you, in case you end up at an Oscar party. So, here once again, is...
Hattie McDaniel won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone With the Wind, making her the first African American to win an Oscar. She was also the first African American ever to be nominated and the first black person (who wasn't a servant) even to be admitted to the ceremony. On that night, Hattie McDaniel took a long walk from a segregated table in the back of the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles to accept the award.
You know, I've never seen Gone With the Wind, but it was one of my mum's favorite movies. So, a few of you readers have asked me how Debbie Boldacious is doing. Well, I thought I'd have her back to tell us herself what's new in her life. So, please welcome once again, the girl who shoots from the hip, heart, camera, gun, sling-shot, tank... Debbie Boldacious.
I went to the dentist, first time in 10 years because I was too ill to go before now, so it was a BIG step forward and something i've been aiming for... needless to say I was stoked to be there. Apparently this kind of excitement being at the dentist doesn't happen ever... hahaha. Going over my story with dental nurse and dentist was very awesome experience for me, as their reactions, of two strangers hearing it, was that of genuine compassion. Was very touched by it. The joke was made I should definitely get given a sticker... hahaha, but by end of appointment we'd all forgotten :( Couple days later I get an envelope in the post with these 3 pieces of dental AWESOMENESS in it. I nearly peed myself laughing. Proof you should not fear all dentists! I've joined Captain Clean and his Toothbrush Team!! Woo!!
Currently stoked to hear the news that Die Hard 5 release here in the UK has been cut, so it can have a 12A cert. This makes me feel so much better that I'm not watching it today, and will not pay to watch it here as that's a load of fuckin' BULLSHIT. I've loved John McClane since I was 8, and other than making my life more awesome, Christmas time more special, and making me think about white vests in a new way, it hasn't affected me in any negative way, thus proving certificates on movies are GAY. Well done FOX, you've put "adult" Die Hard fans (hahaha...) off, but at least teenagers can safely go see it. Yippee-ki-yay! If anyone gets an AWESOME un-cut download of it, YELL my way and I'll think of you forever wearing a white bloody dirty vest .
Debbie Boldacious, everybody. Debbie, you rock!
The 28th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is musician Rick Vito. This is one of his pieces, kids.
Rick's gonna be a guest on the Phile tomorrow.
Alright, today's pheatured guest is making her third appearance on the Phile. She is a Canadian pop singer-songwriter whose latest release which came out two years "Pretty Alright" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Crissi Cochrane.
Me: Hello, Crissi, welcome back to the Phile. So, how are you?
Crissi: I'm feeling good! Always a pleasure to be on the blog.
Me: You're from Canada, right? Halifax area? Do you still live there?
Crissi: I spent three years in Halifax, Nova Scotia, right out of highschool. I grew up just an hour outside the city. Then, two years ago, I moved to Windsor, Ontario and I'm very happy I did. It's done loads for my work ethic and my musicianship to be in this place, in this time.
Me: Have you been to the States yet to play or visit since you were last here?
Crissi: I haven't played yet in America, but I would very much like to. America is a make-or-break type of place. I hope I can give it a try soon. I'm just a stone's throw from Detroit, so I'm over there to see shows and visit record shops anytime I have the chance.
Me: Before we talk about your music, I have to ask you about that tattoo on your wrist... I love tattoo's. That's new, right?
Crissi: It is the most recent of my tattoos, I got it in Halifax a bit before I moved away.
Me: Is it a bird? I am guessing it has a meaning.
Crissi: It was a very spontaneous idea. I like to think of it as the swallow from Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince". But mostly it just keeps me company.
Me: Alright, let's talk about your music. I downloaded your latest EP "Pretty Alright" from iTunes and it's very sweet. Did you write all the songs on it, Crissi?
Crissi: I did. I often write very personally so I don't co-write much.
Me: What is the title referring to?
Crissi: An expression that comes from my mouth a lot, or at least, it did at the time. What an offhand way to qualify something. The modesty suits it.
Me: I watched the video for the song "Drive All Night". Is that your green VW van? I think I have a screen shot of the video here.
Crissi: I wish! A nice man a few hours away drove it down for the shoot. I would probably crash something like that in no time.
Me: And who is that guy in the video?
Crissi: That's my fella, Mike. He's a musician too.
Me: You just filmed a video for the single "I Won't Try To Break Your Heart"... Do you like being on film?
Crissi: I think I do. Video shoots are such nice experiences that I would almost recommend them to people but that's probably exactly how Friday happened and I'm not sure I want to condone a whole lot of that.
Me: Have you ever thought about acting?
Crissi: No, I don't think it would suit me, not at this point anyway. I'm most comfortable being myself; I'm not sure I could be anybody else convincingly. Not to mention... all I want to do is play and study music. Everything else sort of feels like a waste of time for me, although of course, you need to have experiences in between. But playing music gives me the most satisfaction. It's a fix.
Me: So, is the new single about anyone in particular?
Crissi: Yes, it is, but he doesn't mind. It's what happens when you date songwriters (and in this case that sword is double-sided).
Me: When I first interviewed you three years ago it was about your EP "The Bathroom EP" which you actually recorded in a bathroom. Where was "Pretty Alright" recorded?
Crissi: Wow, you're right, we really do go back! Just this morning I thought about the "Bathroom EP", and how I was really in need of direction when I decided to start selling my music in highschool, but I was very isolated. To me, all of my records sound either very young or very indie and I wish I had something more mature to point at right now. I might seem harsh on myself but it doesn't feel unfair, and my journey into new work gives me a very sweet feeling of consolation. "Pretty Alright" was recorded in my apartment for the most part. You can hear a bus pulling away in the song "Fine". "I Won't Try To Break Your Heart" was recorded by a friend of mine, Adam Rideout-Arkell.
Me: Did you produce the new EP, Crissi? I co-produced with Adam on the one tune, and the rest I co-produced with Mike Hargreaves.
Me: You pretty much to everything yourself, am I right? Artwork, manage, book the tour... is it hard work? Do you prefer the DIY approach?
Crissi: It can be both hard work and also sort of sad work now. I wish I had other minds with whom I could collaborate on marketing plans, and grant writing, and publicity, and tour booking, and every other little thing that must be considered. Although I feel weird having to write about myself in the third person, I'm not bad at all of it, and I do get some satisfaction from the business end of music. I was very successful with my grant writing last year, and that gave me some heart.
Me: Speaking of artwork, who did the drawing of you on the cover?
Crissi: I made it myself. Are you surprised?
Me: No, I'm not. You're very hands on. What made you decide to put a drawing opposed to a photo of yourself?
Crissi: I wanted something a little more hands-on, crafty. The artwork is pretty much an exact scan, all those little birds and the little painting of me, taped to the inside of a file folder.
Me: "Pretty Alright" came out awhile ago, but you are currently working on a new release. Will it be an EP or full length?
Crissi: A full length. Oh am I ever excited. I can't say much about it yet... but I think I'm writing music now that I myself would listen to, and I wasn't necessarily doing that before. I won't be sure if I've improved or just become a very conflicted sort of narcissist until I actually have tracks to share. But I will say: I think people might use some new words describing the genre of this set of songs.
Me: You must be always writing songs, Crissi. How many songs have you written, do you know?
Crissi: Not that many, really. For a while I just wasn't writing enough, but now I spend a long time finishing songs. I weigh my words very carefully and I like to work with fuller voicings on guitar, so I spend more time considering my musical language than I used to. Maybe it's just that I enjoy the process so I drag it out.
Me: Apart from being a solo artist you are in a band Gamma Gamma Rays. Are you the lead singer in that band?
Crissi: We broke up! Back when I moved away from Halifax. I was a part of the band when I lived there. It was a nice indie rock outfit. I played electric mandolin and sang back-ups for the most part.
Me: Who was in the band with you? Mark and Scott Grundy (vocals/bass and guitar respectively), both very collaborative and creative minds whose works really epitomize the most wonderful North End, Halifax sound. Jorin Caldwell (drums), who now lives in Toronto and plays in an outfit named Tupper Ware Remix Party. Magen Hudak (keys), who is a very charming lady, who I miss very much.
Me: Was the music style similar to your solo stuff?
Crissi: It was very different music. My solo work was very folky and stringy, very feminine and young, and GGR was a scrappy drunken good time. Most of the music came from the minds of the Grundy brothers, so I didn't bring much of my own sound. I didn't want to. I liked what they had going on. I joined the band a few years after they formed.
Me: Alright, so, this year I am doing something new. I am asking my guests very random questions. So, here is yours, Crissi... Who has inspired you as a mentor and why?
Crissi: Today, the only names I can imagine are those of people who I have never met, who are no longer living. I'm still waiting for my Mark Ronson to walk in. I've had some good teachers but the revelations brought on by studying music have been the most enlightening and inspiring. In particular, I most enjoy the works of Billie Holiday, Getz/Gilberto, Lester Young, and Amy Winehouse. A record of very traditional-sounding Hawaiian music is often on my record player, too. And Saturday morning is a time for Bob Marley, Babylon By Bus.
Me: Crissi, I love your singing voice. It's so soft and sweet. Did you ever try to sing a blues song? You'd be a fantastic blues singer.
Crissi: I love the melodies and tones of Billie and Amy, Lester Young and Stan Getz... I've been working on some versions of old popular standards, in blues and jazz. The language is so much more musical and expressive and genuine. I think there's a need for these values in contemporary music.
Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile again, and please come back when your next release comes out.. Go ahead and mention all your websites, Twitter, Facebook and everything. Take care.
Crissi: Okay, it's a date. The new record comes out in August. Until then I'll be doing my best to keep up in the following places: crissicochrane.com, twitter.com/crissicochrane, facebook.com/crissicochranemusic and youtube.com/user/crissicochrane.
That's it for this entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to my guests Debbie Boldacious and of course Crissi Cochrane. The Phile will be back tomorrow with artist and musician Rick Vito. And don't forget next month it is The Great Space Coaster Month on the Phile. Spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!