Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Phile, kids. Man, it's hot out. Do you know how hot it is here in Florida right now? Take a look...
Yes, it's that hot. Haha. I guess you all heard about this terrorist threat the president warned us about. One of the reasons al-Qaida is upset with the United States is because we are giving aid to Yemen. We didn’t have a choice. When life hands you Yemen, you give them Yemen aid. Congratulations to NASA. The Mars rover Curiosity is celebrating its first anniversary on Mars. So far, in the year it’s been up there it has sent back 70,000 photos. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s still less than Anthony Weiner sent out. Researchers at the University of Chicago say that dolphins, not elephants, have the longest memories in the animal kingdom. They confirmed this when a dolphin was upset that an elephant it had met 20 years ago didn’t even recognize him. Before they went on vacation, Congress voted to exempt themselves from Obamacare. They gave themselves a special exemption because they thought it was too expensive. So the people who voted for Obamacare for us voted to exempt themselves from it. You know how doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Congress apparently takes the "Hypocritic Oath." The third-largest lottery drawing in the U.S. took place the other night, a Powerball jackpot worth $448 million. The jackpot will be split between three winners. I'm happy for whoever they are, as long as their names are not Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, or Kris. One of the winners is a 45-year-old man from Ham Lake, Minnesota, which sounds delicious. After taxes and jet skis, I think the winnings work out to $148. The New York City Department of Education says that only 26 percent of the city's students passed the English portion on a recent standardized test. But on the bright side, they're too bad at math to realize how bad that is. LeBron James of the Miami Heat had to report for jury duty. Of course there will be 11 other jurors to help decide the case, but you know he'll wind up doing it all by himself. After The Washington Post and The Boston Globe were both sold this week, the owner of The New York Times came out and said that his paper is not for sale. Oh yeah? Then how come I just bought one at a newsstand? I didn't really, that was a lie. Well, starting today in some school's here in Central Florida kids are going back to school. I was at the store yesterday and it was ready with its sales...
This past weekend in Anaheim it was Disney's D23 convention. They revealed they are making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie, and I have an exclusive screen shot right here.
Oh, I'm sorry, that's a poo bear. Man, that joke was dumb. Moving on... At D23 they didn't talk about Star Wars: Episode 7 but they did talk about another new Star Wars related movie.
I cannot wait to see Jarjarnado. Yousa people gonna die! I love it. Alright, well, I have something cool to share with you. Phile reader Jami Hodges has a new dog and named it after me. It's not called Peverett, or Phile, but Jason. Mister Jason Prescott Hodges is his full name and she sent me a picture of herself and Jason. Check it out.
]Jami said she'll keep me updated on how Jason is doing. He's cute, but I wouldn't be wearing that hat. What am I talking about, I posted a picture on yesterday's entry wearing a hat like that. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...
Top Phive Mobster Or Male Porn Star Names
5. Don Fernando
4. Johnny Sausage
3. Tommy Pistol
2. Joe Bananas
And the number one mobster or male porn star name is...
1. John LaRock
Thanks to Laird Jim for that picture. If you spot the Mindphuck email me at email@example.com. Okay, well, a phriend wanted to come on the Phile and talk about minimum wage. So, please welcome back to the Phile, Executive Director for Organizing for Action... Jon Carson.
Me: Hello, Jon, welcome back. So, how is it going?
Jon: Just awful.
Me: You or minimum wage? Haha. How much is minimum wage now anyway?
Jon: The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Me: When I started at Disney it was $4.25. That was 25 ywars ago, so it didn't go up a whole lot since then. How much does that add up in a year, Jon?
Jon: If you work 40 hours per week making minimum wage, you're only making $14,500 per year.
Me: Is that below the poverty line?
Jon: That's well below the poverty line.
Me: Is the President doing something about this, Jon?
Jon: President Obama is calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage.
Me: And is he getting support?
Jon: OFA supporters are getting behind him and other allied organizations to take on this fight.
Me: Well, I totally think that it's time for working Americans to get a raise.
Jon: Good. President Obama said it best: "No one who works full-time in America should have to live in poverty."
Me: Okay, so what is the President's plan, Jon?
Jon: To give 15 million American workers a much-needed raise. For many, it will be their first raise since the last minimum-wage increase back in 2009.
Me: Wow. That's four years. This would definitely help.
Jon: It would go a long way towards helping full-time minimum wage earners pay rent and put food on the table. It makes sense for businesses, too.
Me: People do need more money. I see it all the time with people I work with and know. I'm not good with math, but I am no dummy either. This is simple economics...
Jon: Maybe this is simple economics, but it seems pretty obvious that when workers make more money, they buy more products and services.
Me: Well, I agree minimum wage should be higher. Thanks for coming on the Phile again, will you keep us posted on how it goes?
Jon: Of course.
Me: Cool. Jon Carson, kids. You're a good man, Jon.
Me: Is there anything else you wanna say?
Jon: The other side will spend millions to maintain the status quo. We're fighting for change. Support the OFA today, Peverett Phile readers.
A script is written. It's a funny script. It's full of strange, exaggerated facsimiles of humanity on a journey that's clearly outside the structures of reality. It flirts with darkness and taboos and it begs for daring comic actors to push themselves past the bounds of safety. It's a solidly adult comedy, the kind August release dates have come to treat well. And then that script is tampered with and altered by powers above and beyond the reach of the creative forces hired to make the film in the first place. Then it's directed and acted into a mutated, practically toothless non-comedy about the importance of family, a film where Jennifer Aniston plays a stripper who works while wearing a bra, where a drug dealer played by Jason Sudeikis has an aww-sadz-moment in the first five minutes when he thinks wistfully about how he never settled down and made babies. Swell. Thanks, movie. I stopped enjoying my summer long enough for you to teach me lessons about the dangers of weed and the ruination awaiting the childless and unmarried. Good work. The premise is appropriately high-concept. Sudeikis and Aniston team up... alongside a runaway (Emma Roberts) and a geeky, abandoned neighbor boy (Will Poulter) as a fake family on a fake vacation to Mexico. There they'll retrieve a huge shipment of dope, smuggle it back to Colorado, collect a nice payday and go their separate ways. As it must, mayhem ensues. Well, it should have been mayhem, anyway. They run afoul of an angry drug lord (Tomer Sisley) and a tarantula while accidentally befriending a DEA officer (Nick Offerman) and an idiotic young carny (Mark L. Young). But these aren't "Breaking Bad"-level obstacles turned on their heads and made hilarious. These are goofy hurdles of the sort that might befall Kevin James on any rerun of "King of Queens', a drug sitcom with some swear words and one scene featuring an arachnid attack on a pair of prosthetic testicles. Eventually, everyone comes to understand that this group must somehow form a family and blah-blah-yawn-blah-I'd-be-proud-to-be-your-real-father. We're The Millers is well-stocked with funny, talented people doing their best with what they've been given: Aniston makes for good angry-funny when she's allowed, Sudeikis trades on his All-American persona to make sly detours whenever he can, Offerman, Katherine Hahn and Ed Helms are sturdy, idiosyncratic support and, as the moronic carnival employee, Young steals every screen moment he gets. "I work the Monkey Maze... it's a terrifying death trap but for little kids". There are even enough laughs to warrant not changing the channel too quickly when it finds its final resting place on a cable network devoted to films soon forgotten. But those laughs come with padding and caution and bloat, condescension and moralizing and timidity, none of which have any place in a film where a bickering drug-smuggling "family" winds up making out with each other. Pick a side and have the courage of your perverted convictions. Otherwise, why bother making a movie at all? From one to ten We're The Millers gets an 8.
The 27th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Ester will be the guest on the Phile next Saturday.
Today's pheatured guest is a power pop shimmer and singer-songwriter whose latest album "Pop, Baby" and the prior album "Blue Pop" are both available on iTunes. He will be next appearing at Maggiano’s at The Grove in Los Angeles on August 24th. Please welcome to the Phile... Adam Daniel.
Me: Hello, Adam, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Adam: Doing great, thank you.
Me: Phile Alum Maureen Davis referred you to me, sir. You have worked with her in the past, right?
Adam: Yes, I'm Maureen's main collaborator in her alt-country band, The Flutterbies. I co-wrote her EP, play guitar and sing with her live, produced her new single "First Rain of October," manage the band's website… cook, clean, take out the trash... You know, odds and ends.
Me: Adam, The Flutterbies released a version of Foghat's version of "Slow Ride". When I interviewed Maureen about that song she mentioned she didn't know my dad was in Foghat and that it was a coincidence. I thought that was kinda weird, but that's just me. Did you have anything to do with this and do you play on the track?
Adam: Actually, I wasn't involved with that cover. Maureen did it with Kenny Lyon, another friend of the band. He played everything and she sang. It's a cool, smoky version. I dig it.
Me: She was gonna record a version of "Fool For the City". Whatcha think?
Adam: Great song... They're all great songs!
Me: Anyway, how is Maureen and The Flutterbies?
Adam: Maureen's great. The Flutterbies are on hiatus now. We had a big last couple years, capped off with a couple songs from our EP being placed in the George Clooney film The Descendants. We've been busy with other projects since. I finished and released my new album "Pop, Baby" and I'm also producing a couple other artists.
Me: I downloaded "Pop, Baby" and your older CD "Blue Pop" from iTunes. Both are great albums with pop tunes and pop in the title. How would you say they are different though?
Adam: First, thank you for downloading my records, sir! Glad you're enjoying them. A fan told me "Blue Pop" sounds like "Meet the Beatles" and "Pop, Baby" sounds like "Revolver". A crazy flattering comparison, right?
Me: Yeah, it can't be more flattering than that. What did you think of this comparison?
Adam: I took it to mean she heard "Pop, Baby" as more textured, more sonically deep. If I'm right about what she meant, I agree with her. I think it's a more mature record. But I love 'em both.
Me: They are both very Fountains of Wayne sounding, and music I love. Did you write all the songs on both albums, Adam?
Adam: I did, yes. On "Blue Pop" I wrote everything and played everything but drums. For "Pop, Baby" I took DIY all the rest of the way: I wrote, arranged, produced, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered the album myself. Then I did the artwork, wrote my bio, built my website...
Me: Wow, that's a lot of work. Is that your daughter on the album cover? It's not you, right?
Adam: Yep, that's my baby. She just turned 13 months. She made an excellent model, I think. Very pouty.
Me: I figure you're based in California, but are you originally from there?
Adam: I was born in Detroit, but grew up in SoCal. I try to claim Detroit street cred, but people just laugh at me.
Me: You have worked with someone who is gonna be on the Phile soon... Kim Richey. Did you two co-write together?
Adam: You interviewing Kim! Awesome. Yes, we've written together. Miles Copeland, Sting's old manager, used to host these amazing songwriting retreats at a castle he owned in southern France. I was blessed with an invitation, and I met Kim there. We wrote two songs together that week, one of which was recorded by John Berry and released on, I think, three different albums. Kim's the best. Crazy talented.
Me: I was gonna ask you if you could hook me up with the band Crush Drugs, then I realized that was your band. What the hell?
Adam: How did you find Crush Drugs?! I guess there's an old MySpace page languishing, isn't there… I call Crush Drugs my alterna-metal alter ego. Truth is, I wrote and recorded those tracks almost 20 years ago! Maureen from The Flutterbies discovered them in my archives and insisted I release them.
Me: I looked for Crush Drugs music on iTunes but couldn't find any.
Adam: I put four songs up for streaming at MySpace but never properly issued an EP. I keep meaning to, and, honestly, just keep forgetting. Alright, I really need to release Crush Drugs properly at iTunes!
Me: I take it growing up you listened to all different types of music. What was your favorite band growing up?
Adam: I grew up on a strange combination diet of my dad's vintage pop and folk albums and my older brother's hair metal tapes. So in my head, The Beatles and Kenny Rankin became mashed up with Faster Pussycat and Winger. Later, I discovered blues and jazz and Motown and opera and country… I love it all. I'm a slut, musically. I'll let almost anything into my ears, and I'll like it.
Me: I am the same way. Also, didn't you open for Blue Oyster Cult? I take it that was with the band Crush Drugs.
Adam: Actually, the Blue Oyster Cult gig was a session thing. I was playing guitar for a local artist named Allison Geddie. She's very cool, good singer, cool songs, hip band. And BOC were epic. Couldn't believe I was hearing "Burnin' For You" played right in front of me.
Me: Maureen taught at a school of rock, and you teach as well, right? Tell the readers what Rock the Classroom is about.
Adam: Rock the Classroom is a local nonprofit that serves inner city public schools, enhancing literacy by teaching kids how to write song lyrics. I taught and designed curriculum for them a couple years back. It was incredibly rewarding, and reliably hilarious. Turns out, 4th and 5th graders write amazing lyrics! Best song was about aliens abducting the class because the kids stole their karate expert baby, who they named Chung Lee. If I remember right, in the song the class is abducted to the aliens' home planet in the Sombrero Dimension. Not entirely PC, but funny as hell. Shout-outs here, by the way, to my partner in Rock the Classroom, the lovely and talented Crystal Keith, and to the founders of RTC, Brad Kesden and Richard Foos (of Rhino Records).
Me: And what's the Spirituality, Science and the Creative Process class you teach? That sounds very interesting. Did you come up with the whole course?
Adam: I did, yes. It's a course I taught at Otis College of Art and Design here in Los Angeles, CA. It examined parallels between spiritual philosophy, crazy science like quantum and chaos theory, and the process of making art. Turns out, all three topics have surprisingly similar things to say about the nature of creativity. The course was a great deal of fun to teach, in large part because I had amazing students: smart, talented, and inspiring. The syllabus came from a blog I wrote between 2008-2011 called Poetic Interconnections. That URL is poeticinterconnections.org.
Me: Something else I have to ask you about... Breathtaking Songs, which you started. What exactly is that, Adam?
Adam: Breathtaking Songs is my music publishing company. All my songwriting is run through the company, and custom composing requests for film/TV, etc. It's my musical storefront, basically. Living up to its name keeps me challenged.
Me: So, what's next for you, Adam?
Adam: Well, "Pop, Baby" just came out last month, so I'm in full promotion mode now, and will be for awhile. That said, I'm also producing two other artists I'm very excited about. When some of their tracks are done, I'll send 'em your way.
Me: Cool, and maybe I can have those artists on the Phile. Alright, so on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics, so here is yours... What's your dream job?
Adam: I want Rick Rubin's job: top tier producer.
Me: Good answer. Adam, thanks for being on the Phile, go ahead and plug your website and please come back soon. All the best.
Adam: Thanks for having me! Website is adamdaniel.com.
Well, that about does it for this entry, kids. Thanks to Jon Carson and of course Adam Daniel. The Phile will be back next Saturday with Ester Nicholson. Then on Sunday it's Robert Rial, lead singer for the cool band Bakelite 78 and on Monday singer Robin McKelle. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!