Hey there, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Let's start of with a crazy story. Two more women have come forward to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual misconduct. That brings the total to 13... or as Filner calls it, a groper's dozen. The University of Iowa has been named the No. 1 party school in America for 2013. So congratulations and shame on them. One thing nice about Iowa: It is flat. So when you pass out you won't fall off any cliffs or anything. An Iowa spokesman said the percentage of kids drinking five or more drinks in a day dropped from 73 percent in 2009 to only 58 percent last year. I like that they say "only 58 percent." That is when you know you have a party school on your hands. I don't know why the Iowa school would deny something like that. If I was in charge, not only would I not deny it, I would mention it in all the advertising. During a fundraiser, Mitt Romney told Republicans that they need to pick a candidate for 2016 who can actually win. And Republicans said, "Yeah, I wish you told us that last year. But hey, thanks a lot." Last week, a woman in Nevada gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the bathroom of a Subway restaurant. Afterwards, the manager said, "Uh, you still have to buy something. Restrooms are for customers only." A study found that if given a choice, most Americans would not want to live to the age of 120. People don't want to live to 120 except for one group... people who are at 119. Did you hear former President George W. Bush is recovering from a successful heart surgery? All day the media have been sending get-well wishes to President Bush. Fox News sent flowers. MSNBC sent a steak and cheese fries. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, just bought The Washington Post for $250 million. He just walked into the Post's headquarters and said, “Add to cart.” Since Bezos bought the Post before 11 a.m., he got same-day delivery. As you know Alex Rodriguez was suspended from baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs, but then he appealed, so technically he can still play. He played his first game since the suspension and hit a bloop single. And then he said, "Imagine how far that would have gone if I was still on steroids!” Did you know they have a plaque ready if A-Rod makes it in the Baseball Hall of Fame? I called Cooperstown and asked if I can show it on the Phile and they said yes. So, here is future plaque if A-Rod gets into the Hall of Fame.
So, I was watching the news and I couldn't believe what I saw.
That's a TVN exclusive. Whatever that is. So, the BBC have revealed their first promo shot of the 12th Doctor, and I have to say, I really don't know what to think.
That's what I say at my job at Star Tours to the Guests. "Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off." Of course with my British accent they love it. This weekend in Anaheim Disney's convention D23 is going on and everybody thought they were gonna reveal plans for Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Instead they revealed they are changing up the Haunted Mansion.
Freaking fantastic! I cannot wait. Okay, now let's see who got a one-way ticket to the end of the line.
Aug 16, 1928 - Aug 10, 2013
Blame it on the Bossa Nova if you like. She's still dead.
If you spot the Mindphuck email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, as you know, I live in Florida, and there's a lot of strange news that comes out of Florida. News you probably wouldn't hear anywhere else in the world. For example, here is some news from...
From Immokalee, Florida... Collier County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 45-year-old Hollywood, Florida woman Tuesday on aggravated assault and DUI charges, after she allegedly attempted to run her ex-boyfriend over, but crashed into a tree instead. Officers found Veronica Doctor and a friend inside a black GMC SUV on Friendship Dr. at 2:15 a.m. The vehicle had just crashed into a tree. Deputies said Doctor walked away from the driver's side of the vehicle, struggling to maintain balance, and smelling of alcohol. With glassy eyes and slurred speech, Doctor told the responding officers she didn't want to talk to them. Deputies spoke with the other occupant of the vehicle who said the two had been drinking at Seminole Casino. She told them Doctor drove over to her ex-boyfriend's house, where the two began arguing. CCSO met with Doctor's ex-boyfriend, the victim, who said he was at home around 2:00 a.m. when he heard honking outside and ignored it, knowing it was Doctor. He looked outside and saw her driving in circles on his front yard, at which time he went outside to confront her about driving drunk. An argument ensued and the victim attempted to walk away. That's when, he said, Doctor chased him with her vehicle and hit a tree just as he was able to move out of the way. EMS arrived on the scene and found Doctor to be intoxicated. She was transported to the hospital, where her blood alcohol level was determined to be .259. Doctor was arrested and transported to the Naples Jail Center. So this is why nobody on "Doctor Who" wanted Matt Smith to regenerate into a female Doctor.
She looks scary. Okay, it's time for a good phriend of the Phile to come on and tell us a story. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. It's time for...
I was just thinking about when I was 9 years old. My father came home from his job with the NYPD with a huge smile on his face. Very rare. Under his arm was the latest copy of LIFE magazine. In the centerfold was a 4 page story on the newly formed NYPD Street Crime Unit. The centerfold picture had the headline... Would you believe EVERY person in this picture is a cop? There it was... my dad and the other members of the team... a cabbie, a postman, a bum, a window washer, a pretzel vendor... and my father, a 300 pound, long haired, bearded hippie with a headband and wearing a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it. There was a separate shot of just him on the lead page. He was partners with Muggable Mary Grotzel. He and another large brute used to sit near the bushes smoking fake pot until someone would try to snatch Mary's purse as she sat on a bench looking like a helpless old lady. Then they'd grab him. They later made a TV movie about her starring Karen Valentine. The guy who played my father looked nothing like him... LOL. I remember how proud he was of his job... and how proud I was of him. Still am...
That's cool, Laird. Okay, the 27th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Ester... not Esther as it was spelt in yesterday's blog in the iPhone graphic, will be a guest on the Phile next Saturday.
Today's pheatured guests are the two guys who make up the band Blade of Grass. Their EP "Radio Sampler" is available right now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Michael Hurst and Joshua James from Blade of Glass.
Me: Hello, guys, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Michael: We’re doing great.
Me: Okay, you two, Michael and Joshua are two main guys from Blade of Grass, right? Shouldn't the band be named Blades of Grass?
Michael: Hmm, that’s a good point, but now we’ve invested in all of the “merch,” (let alone the tattoos) it is not economically feasible to change at this stage in the game.
Me: Good point. Where did the band name come from? Who came up with it?
Joshua: It symbolizes simplicity and power. The “grass” glorifiesnature but the “blade” reminds us that the smallest item in nature is an appendage of mother earth which can ultimately destroy anything man can create. We actually posted a poll on Facebook for our friends to help us decide on a name for the band (I don’t think FB has the“polling” feature anymore). So we kind of “crowd sourced” our band name. Blade of Grass got the most votes from our fans… I mean friends.
Me: You met at UCLA, am I right?
Joshua: We did.
Me: Where are you both originally from?
Joshua: Orange County and the Central Coast of California.
Me: Michael, you were studying something called Ethnomusicology. I have no idea what that is, man. Can you explain it?
Michael: It is basically the anthropology of cultures through the lens of their musical rituals. Also, it was the major where students were allowed to play with one of the largest collections of instruments from around the world. Also, it was the only major that I was interested in enough to not flunk out of UCLA.
Me: And what did you study, Josh? Something easier I hope.
Joshua: Lots of Ethno classes were taken in addition to studying acting and animation at the School of Film & Television.
Me: So, when you two first met did you both plan to be in the same band pretty much right away?
Michael: We were in the same band pretty much right away and have been playing together in various groups ever since.
Me: So, which one of you does the songwriting?
Michael: Both of us collaborate on the songs. We compose our music during our trips and when we meet on the grass at Barnsdall Art Park.
Me: And you both play guitar, am I right?
Joshua: Yes, we both play guitar as well as other instruments.
Me: Okay, are you two into the same type of music and the same bands? What bands do you listen to?
Joshua: We like everything, but lots of world music. Gamelan, vedicchanting, Tibetan singing bowls, and rare David Lee Roth acapella tracks.
Me: Let's talk about your new EP, "Radio Sampler." Is it really a radio sampler?
Michael: It is because it a compilation of tracks from our first album "California Dreamin’" and the one that we are currently recording.
Me: Where did the title come from?
Joshua: This is a group of songs that are ‘radio friendly’ (in length and lack of expletives).
Me: One of your songs on the release is called "Belize Girl". Is that about anyone in particular?
Michael: "Belizean Girl" is written as ode to the strange, wild beauty of a woman who provided a guest house to us when we were backpacking in Belize. She was quite imperfect yet sensual and insanely hot. We can’t get her out of our mind.
Me: So, you two actually traveled together to Belize?
Me: I have no idea really where that is, guys. Where is it?
Michael: It’s on the east coast of Central America.
Me: Where else did you travel to?
Joshua: Mexico and Guatemala on that trip, and other trips to Europe, Hawaii, etc.
Me: I interviewed a lot of musicians who traveled around the world, not on tour, but to just travel I guess and find themselves. A musician named Darius Lux who I interviewed a year ago or so actually traveled the world. What made you kids wanna travel and why and how did you choose Belize and the other places you went to?
Joshua: We search for highlights like tropical snorkeling and pre-Columbian Mayan temples. Also, killer deals on food. Darius Lux sounds like a cool guy, we’d like to meet him.
Me: Was it a lot of fun? Any cool experiences?
Michael: It was beyond fun. We swam with the sharks and met a master Mayan guide Luis who was a member of the council of the elders. His knowledge of Tikal and interpretation of history was mystical.
Me: I love to travel but only to cities and places with records stores and comic book shops. Is there any place you would love to travel to?
Joshua: Record stores and comic book shops are two of our favorite things as well. Not sure if they have many in Peru and Tibet, but we’d like to go there.
Me: Back to your music. So, is "Radio Sampler" isn't your first release?
Michael: We have an earlier EP "California Dreamin’" available on iTunes.
Me: Who drew that drawing of the bug on the cover of the EP?
Joshua: A great artist named Joe Irizarry.
Me: How long has Blade of Grass been a band?
Joshua: Since 2010.
Me: Are you guys planning on doing a tour?
Michael: It looks like we’re doing some live dates soon, but not sure about touring.
Me: You guys are big into activism, am I right?
Michael: We empathize with the plight of the underprivileged and are angry about a lot of things that are happening in the world, so yes.
Me: What kinda activisms are you into? Is activisms a real word?
Joshua: Yes, we think activisms is a great word. We are particularly offended at the moment by Monsanto’s partnership with the U.S. government to bully small farmers and proliferate GMOs. Recently we participated in rallies against racist laws in Arizona SB1070. Seeing Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio getting sued for violating civil rights makes us happy.
Me: Did you guys take part in any of the Occupy Wall Street kinda thing in California?
Michael: We visited and spent some time at the encampment in L.A. It was really cool to get to know some other disenfranchised individuals and hear about the issues that brought them to Downtown Los Angeles.
Me: What did you think of Occupy Wall Street?
Michael: We think Occupy Wall Street was a powerful movement. Not because it had (or achieved) specific objectives. Rather, it signaled to the 1% that if they want to enjoy their riches without violent rioting in the street, they should probably take action to make sure that the quality of life improves for the vast numbers of people struggling to survive below the poverty line.
Me: Thanks, guys, for being on the Phile. Is there a website you'd like to plug or mention? Like yours perhaps?
Joshua: Most of the fun is happening on our Facebook page, so here that is: facebook.com/BladeofGrassMusic.
Me: Continued success, and please come back on the Phile soon.
Joshua: Thank for having us.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Michael Hurst and Joshua James from Blade of Glass. The Phile will be back tomorrow with great musician Adam Daniel. Then next week Saturday it's Ester Nicholson, on Sunday it's Robert Rial, lead singer for the very 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!