Monday, May 27, 2013

Pheaturing Alex Saddic From The GoAround

Hello, welcome to the Phile, strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. The Phile has a brand new sponsor, kids.

It's Memorial Day, by the way. Here's to celebrating the lives of men and women who fought for a cause that actually exists. It's still May, which means it's still Star Wars Month here on the Phile. This is the last entry for Star Wars Month come to think of it. Yesterday Logan and I went to Star Wars Weekends at Disney. It was great fun, even though we are both tired and I got sunburned on the back of my neck. I'm a redneck, and I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground. Everyone was at Star Wars Weekends, even an Imperial Officer was there with his family. And I took a picture to prove it.

Let's see what else is going on... Time magazine found a picture of President Obama at his high school prom back in 1979. Let me tell you how long ago that was. Back then, Obama had to ask a girl for her phone number. He couldn't illegally obtain it through the Justice Department. He's with friends and their dates. Those girls in Kenya are very good looking.  It is not looking good for President Obama. His teleprompter took the Fifth. In fact, the White House has changed its slogan from "Yes, we can" to "No, I can't remember."  The latest scandal in Washington, of course, is raising questions about the IRS. You know, I have a question. Why is it called the Internal Revenue Service? How is having your money confiscated a service? A Democratic congressman said that he worries that the IRS scandal might have a chilling effect on the IRS and that they might be afraid to audit people. So finally some good is coming out of all of this.  Pope Francis made an extremely controversial statement. He says he believes anyone can go to heaven if you do good deeds, even atheists. Some Catholics were upset by his comments because it means we wasted a lot of Sundays going to church. It would be fun to let atheists into heaven if for no other reason than to see the look on their faces when they get there. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia the head of the religious police said he believes that Saudi citizens who use Twitter will go to hell. Let me get this straight. Tweeting leads to damnation. But filling a palace with kidnapped beauty contestants... that's okay?  Amtrak trains may soon have special cars where passengers can sit with their pets. Though it'll be awkward when you try to talk to your cat and he just slips on his headphones.  Justin Bieber is apparently making guests at his parties sign a contract promising not to post pictures of it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. When they heard that, MySpace was like, "We're back, baby!"  A woman in New Jersey just found her missing dog after she grilled pork in her backyard and he came home because of the smell. Unfortunately, he was immediately shoved out of the way by Governor Chris Christie.  Okay, I have to mention this, last weekend I posted this picture on the Phile of Kelly Clarkson...

It was taken last year in Disneyland, not Disney's Hollywood Studios where I work... thank God. Anyway, I keep thinking about the Chewbacca hat she put on for the picture. If she didn't buy it then someone bought a hat that Kelly wore. Holy shit. Whoever did that... Okay, I just realized, not I'm sounding all pervey. But think about it, kids. At the Studios yesterday I found the same hat and did the same thing, so someone will buy a hat that I wore. I'll post a picture of it at the bottom of the entry in a bit.  It's Memorial Day, and last year I showed you a Star Wars themed Memorial Day picture, so I think I'll show it again.

At Star Wars Weekends at Disney I was excited to see they are selling inspirational posters.

Yeah!  Alright, one of the things I do in my spare time is to look up different things on Twitter to see what people are talking about. One of those things I look up is Star Tours, the attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios where I work.

That's disgusting. You know what is not disgusting? Slave Leia. This past Saturday was Return of the Jedi's 30th anniversary, which means 30 years we have had Slave Leia in our lives. So this month I am, paying tribute to Slave Leia here on the Phile. This is for you, fellas...


Man alive, you owe me fellas. Let's go from this to some sad news...

Ray Manzarek
Feb 12, 1939 - May 20, 2013
Broke on through to the other side.

If you find it email me at Alright, I am pleased to announce again one of the most popular characters I ever had on the Phile. He's an intergalactic comedian, and part-time bounty hunter. Please welcome back to the Phile for one last time this year, from the Outer Rim...


Tractor: Thank you. what did the Jedi say at the barbeque?

Me: I don't know.

Tractor: Who died?

Me: Oh, because they burnt Vader? That's not really funny.

Tractor: Why did the dianoga cross the road?

Me: I have no idea.

Tractor: To get to the gutter side!

Me: Tractor, I get it, but some people might not know what a dianoga is.

Tractor: Here is a picture then...

Me: It's the creature from the trash compactor, kids, if you still don't know. Do you have one more, Tract?

Tractor: How do you know Luke Skywalker was an environmentalist?

Me: I don't know.

Tractor: He decided to go green.

Me: I don't get that one.

Tractor: Nerf herder, his lightsaber was green.

Me: Oh, yeah. Still not funny. Do you have a limerick to finish off with today?

Tractor: Sure. Something to think about this Summer... While tracking the last pure-blood Mando, the Tatooine heat got to Lando, he got no relief, from boxers or briefs, and ended up going commando.

Me: That was clever, Tractor, but what the hell is a Mando? You made that up.

Tractor: A Mando sometimes referred to simply as Mandalorian, which is what I am as well as Boba Fett.

Me: Oh, that's a stretch. Tractor Beam, everybody!

Tractor: Don't eat the Bantha. See ya next year, womprats!

Well, as you know there's three different scandals going on in Washington, and Obama is in big trouble. So, I thought I would invite someone on the Phile who can give us a perspective on what's really happening. So, please welcome back to the Phile, Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee... Brad Woodhouse.

Me: Hello, Brad, welcome back to the Phile. So, do you think this whole mess is just the Republicans getting in the President's way, that they are making things worse on purpose?

Brad: Jason, getting in President Obama's way has been the top priority for Republicans in Congress since day one.

Me: So, why are things worse of now for the President?

Brad: Now they've gone too far.

Me: How so?

Brad: They've been caught red-handed making up so-called 'scandals' out of thin air to stir up false rumors of vast 'cover-ups' happening in the White House.

Me: Okay, but did they find a single shred of evidence to back up their outrageous claims?

Brad: No.

Me: So, they're making shit up? That's a little hard to believe, Brad. I mean there's proof about the whole Benghazi scandal, that's not made up.

Brad: Rather than let the truth stand in their way, Republicans actually doctored emails between administration officials about Benghazi.

Me: Hmmm... and how did the press find out?

Brad: They released them to the press, trying to pass them off as real in order to create their scandal. Fortunately, they got caught in the act when the White House released all of the actual emails.

Me: While Republican leaders were focused on stirring up controversy, Michele Bachmann was talking about impeaching President Obama. Why? What is the reason for impeaching him?

Brad: For absolutely no reason.

Me: There has to be a reason, Brad. People don't just decide to impeach the President for no reason. They are against Omabacare as well, right?

Brad: YesRepublicans in the House voted to repeal Obamacarefor the 37th time. That's how they think they should be spending their time and your money.

Me: So, what do you want to tell my readers and the nation, Brad?

Brad: That you won't let Republican games distract you from advocating for real change that will benefit all Americans. Stand with President Obama today

Me: It's time to stop playing political games and get back to work for the American people, Brad.

Brad: Yes, it's time for them to do their damn jobs.

Me: Well, good luck, and I hope Obama survives all this mess.

Brad: Thanks

Me: Brad Woodhouse, kids.

The 31st artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Phile Alum Michael Banks, and this is one of his pieces...

Michael will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Today's pheatured guest is the lead singer and one half of the band The GoAround whose album "Restating the Question" is available on iTunes right now. Please welcome to the Phile... Alex Saddic.

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

Alex: Wonderful!

Me: So, you two in The GoAround are brothers, right? You are not the first sibling band I interviewed, there seems to be a lot out there. Are you twins?

Alex: Haha, no we are not. People ask us that all of the time, though. There is actually a two year difference between us.

Me: So, which one of you is the oldest?

Alex: I am older. I am 21, Anthony is still only 19.

Me: Alright, whose idea outta you two to form a band together?

Alex: I had formed the band with a few friends a year or two before we actually let Anthony into the band, haha. But one by one everybody else got cycled out and now it’s just the two of us!

Me: I said it a hundred times before on the Phile, it amazes me how any sibling or husband and wife can work together side by side. You two must of been close growing up, right?

Alex: Oh lord, not at all! Ha! As little kids we fought all of the time. We hated each other for the longest time. I originally had no intent of letting Anthony into the band at all until my mom finally convinced me otherwise. Being in the band together brought us together in a big way though and now we are very close. We definitely still fight though, haha, but it’s not nearly as often. Anyone with siblings knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Me: So, which one of you is more talented? LOL.

Alex: Oh my, haha. I would say that I am a stronger songwriter, but Anthony is a significantly better musician. I stick to chords and fun little riffs, but that guy can shred on the keys like nobody’s business!

Me: One of you plays guitar and the other one plays keyboards, am I right?

Alex: Yeah. I play guitar and sing lead. Anthony does piano/keyboards and sings harmonies.

Me: You are both really talented musicians, but who does the songwriting in the band?

Alex: I write all of the songs initially, and then we play them together and work out more interesting arrangements together.

Me: You said The GoAround is just you two?

Alex: Yup!

Me: I have to ask you about the band name, it sounds never new wavish, but you kids weren't even born when new wave happened, and you look more grunge anyway. Where did the name come from?

Alex: It was important to me to have a band name that said something about me personally, since the songs are the story of my life. At the same time though, I wanted it to represent the whole band and the music that we make. A go-around is when a pilot coming down for a landing decides to go back up and begin the landing procedure over again. As a pilot in training and a lover of the sky, the name is derived from a passion of mine, flying. Symbolically, however, it represents the overall message of human empowerment that we hope to convey as a band. It metaphorically represents the idea that our goals and plans don’t always work out the way that we intend, but we can always try again. One message that I really hope to express through our music is that failure is never final and that nobody should ever give up on their own happiness, and that self expression is of paramount importance to personal growth, growth within relationships, and even to social/economic growth.

Me: That's deep. Let's talk about your album "Restating the Question". What question would that be?

Alex: In 2010 we recorded an album called “Lifeboat.” At the time I was about to graduate high school, Anthony was still a sophomore, and the rest of the band was getting ready to leave to go to college. Things were sort of falling apart for the band, and Anthony and I were not happy with the recording quality of “Lifeboat.” We went into a studio to re-record the album, but after 6 months and $3,000 it fell through and we never finished. Finally almost two years after “Lifeboat,” we recorded the songs in our basement and were really happy with the outcome. This albums purpose is to motivate people to discover and chase the things that make them happy. Everybody finds happiness somewhere different, but in the end, happiness is what everybody is trying to find. The “question” is stated as the last lyric of the album in the song “Amber Skies.” The question is “I just want to know, have we been looking for the same thing?” And the answer is yes, we are all looking for happiness, completeness and meaning. Since these songs have been recorded so many times before, these recordings are all restated and matured versions of the old ones, hence “Restating the Question.”

Me: I love the album, Alex. It has a rock feel with a slight bluesy sound. Who are your influences musically?

Alex: This question is always so hard to answer because we truly do listen to just about everything. We love rock, pop, hip hop/rap, classical, metal and electronic music. We draw influence from everything we hear. If we hear a song and we love it, we say, “let’s do something like that!” If we hear a something we hate, we’ll say, “Let’s never do that.” I like to think that we are open minded, and that we can learn and draw influence from any music. Both of us really admire and respect Bono and Dave Grohl, though. On some level we both aspire to follow in the footsteps of both of those men, but musically we hope to be original and to forge our own path.

Me: Are you both into the same bands?

Alex: Yeah. We both like everything. In general though I tend to lean towards hard rock and pop and Anthony towards blues/jazz/classical. But we almost never disagree on what to listen to because we both are musically so easy to please.

Me: I have to ask you about the song "Her Love is Like Glass". What does that mean? Is she breakable? Can you see through it?

Alex: This song is about the fragility of romance. In the context of the situation that inspired me to write this song, it is about loving somebody who has doubts about whether or not they want to uphold their commitment. During periods of doubt within relationships it seems that the slightest miscommunications can lead to their demise, while the smallest gestures of love and kindness can serve to restore a mutual confidence in the success of the relationship. Much like romance, glass can be beautiful and decorative, but is fragile nonetheless. When given a solid place to stand, glass structures can be admired as works of art or useful as tools and utensils. When dropped or carelessly placed, however, they are prone to shatter, leaving behind dangerous shards.

Me: And there's a song on the album called "Amber Skies" which you mentioned. Is that a woman named Amber Skies? It's a great name. You're probably talking about the color of the actual sky though, I'm guessing.

Alex: It’s a little bit of both actually, haha. I originally had written a song called "Amber Skies" about a girl named Amber that I had a crush on in elementary/middle school, but I rewrote it years later about something totally different. The version of the song on the album is about a person seeking value. It’s about someone who feels so small and insignificant when they try to comprehend the beauty and the vastness of the sky. The character in the song is questioning the value of the influence that a single person can have on the world. I do believe that if you can change the world for one person that you are still changing the world. I believe that every person on earth has the potential to better the world one way or another.

Me: I want a character on the Phile named Amber Skies... it almost sounds like a stripper or porno name. I already have one character named Eve Rest. That's a cool name, right?

Alex: Haha, yeah it’s clever!

Me: You two are from Pennsylvania, right? What part? My wife is from the Harrisburg area.

Alex: We are from West Chester, Pennsylvania. It’s about an hour and a half from Harrisburg. It’s a nice place. We like it here.

Me: Ever been to Aroogas? They have the best nacho and bean appetizer/meal ever.

Alex: No, we have not! We will have to check it out!

Me: Are you both out of school? Will you be touring at all?

Alex: We are, and yes we will!

Me: Have you started writing for the new album yet?

Alex: We have finished writing for the new album! We hope to begin recording ASAP!

Me: Alright, so, on the Phile I ask random questions from a box of cards called Tabletopics. Are you  ready? What's the most significant problem facing the world? That is kinda a deep question, I'm sorry.

Alex: I think its greed. I think greed for power is the root of most social issues, and greed for money/things is the root of most economic issues. That is something that I feel very strongly about, which is why I write songs about human empowerment. If people could learn to love themselves and to find happiness in togetherness and constructive action rather than in possessions and control, the world would be full of so much more love and freedom.

Me: Great answer. Thanks, Alex, for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and please come back again soon. I hope this go around was fun. LOL.

Alex: Thanks for having us!,,

There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile and Star Wars Month. Thanks to Brad Woodhouse and Alex Saddic from The GoAround. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Phile Alum and artist Michael Banks and on Monday with singer April Kae. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

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