Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pheaturing Cable Car

Hey, it's Saturday, kids, welcome to the Phile. How are you? It's also the last day of August and the last day of summer here on the Phile. Summer flew by quick this year.  People are still mad about that whole Ben Affleck being Batman thing. When Batman fans heard Ben Affleck is going to be the new Batman, they went crazy and petitioned the White House to get rid of Ben Affleck, do something! Nothing, however, about getting rid of the goon running the show in Syria. But Ben Affleck has got to go!  Donald Trump and Trump University have been sued by the New York attorney general for running an unlicensed university. They said "It's illegal. Your university is just like that thing on your head. They're both unlicensed." Do you think Donald Trump's own kids when to Trump University? No! His kids went to that fly-by-night diploma mill, the Wharton School of Business.  New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got in a car wreck last weekend... not to be confused with his campaign. That's a train wreck. And he tweeted the insurance company the wrong photo.  Speaking of mayor like types, it's not bad news for the former San Diego mayor. Today Bob Filner was offered a new job as a TSA agent at the airport. So, you fly often, do you?  So New York City comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer says if he wins, he will work for only $1 a year. Which is pretty smart, because at that rate, he won't be able to afford another $5,000 an hour hooker until the year 7013.  The NFL is now cracking down on what they call excessive celebration, like when a player is found not guilty and does that little dance in the courtroom. Okay, that's 15 yards now.  Pepsi has introduced a new snack food called Pepsi-flavored Cheetos. I mean, who is this for? On-the-go stoners who don't have time to eat both? Pepsi and Cheetos? Really? Are we that lazy now we have to combine the snack and the drink together? Is the Pepsi can too heavy? Oh, it's too heavy, getting carpal tunnel bringing it up here. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's 11-year-old son, or somebody claiming to be him, took to Facebook the other day to tell America that it doesn't have the guts to launch a military attack against his old man's country. After goading the U.S. for failing to strike yet, Hafez Assad, who really seems to have a knack for cutting right to the bone of his target, wrote "America doesn’t have soldiers, what it has is some cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators." Obama has yet to give word on whether or not we'll be attacking Syria after recess. What if we just attack Syria with t-shirt cannons? Everybody loves t-shirt cannons.  British Parliament, which in fact is not the French Parliament, voted in a French-like manner against taking military action in Syria, almost as if they were acting on behalf of the people of France. This comes as a major disappointment to David Cameron, who as Prime Minister was hoping to maintain a long-held tradition of U.K. heads of state doing whatever the U.S. asks of them. Well done, U.K. Parliament. Now make Cameron get an “I ❤ the NHS” tattoo for fun.  I mentioned Batman earlier and I noticed in the new Batman comic they are changing a few things. Check it out.

I wonder how many of you got that joke.  How are the gas prices in your neighborhood? Here in Central Florida they don't seem to be too high. A phiole reader sent me a picture of his local gas station and things are a little different.

I'll take the supreme fuck u, thanks.  My son is addicted to that XBox, and I went to the store the other day to look at what new games he might be interested in and I found this one...

Let me mention Miley Cyrus for a moment. I cannot believe she stuck out her tongue pretty much the whole time during her VMA's performance. But I guess she has been doing that for awhile.

Maybe she's a Luther Foghat fan.  Well, summer is just about over and all through summer I have been showing you some phascinating swimming pools and I have one more to show you.

Poseidon's Rage is the tallest wave pool in the world. Not deepest, tallest. It flings a wall of water at the swimmers, sometimes knocking them back all the way to the shallow end! At times this pool is even used for surfing! No. Thank. You.  And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Percentage Of Americans Who Are In Favor Of Bombing Syria
5. Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama and his few remaining strong supporters.
4. Americans excited to have anything in the news that isn't about Miley Cyrus.
3. Assholes who disagree with the theory "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
2. Cinematographers who anticipate getting work on Michael Moore's next documentary Why We Never Should Have Bombed Syria.
And the number one percentage of Americans who are in favor of bombing Syria...
1. Syrian rebels (until they find out our "smart bombs" aren't all that "smart".)

It's tempting to like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters for what it is not. For example, it is not a movie where anyone shouts, "LET'S DO THIS!" (which, along with its dim-witted cousin, "LET'S FINISH THIS!" is the most ubiquitous bit of gung-ho verbal nothingness to appear in blockbuster-minded scripts all summer long.  It's also tempting to like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters simply because it tries so hard. It knows its debt to everything Harry Potter already accomplished and it's content to live in that shadow, aiming for a somewhat younger audience demo and holding way back on terrifying darkness, bloodshed and death. In its own way it acts as training wheels for future Potter consumption while spoon-feeding its young fans rudimentary knowledge of Greek mythology.  But the best reason to (mostly) like this second chapter in the saga of a teen demigod (Logan Lerman), the half-blood son of Poseidon, is that it's clear and uncomplicated, it hits its marks like it should and provides enough derivative spectacle to please its tween fans, most of whom haven't seen enough of this sort of thing to know it's all been done before.  Percy has to retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Sea of Monsters in order to repair the broken barrier set up around the demigod training camp he's attending with the children of other gods. The path to this is fraught with obstacle, almost-danger, fire-snouted mecha-bulls, eyeless witches driving mystical taxicabs, Nathan Fillion as Hermes posing as a quippy UPS guy, ocean vortexes smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle that swallow Percy and his pals into a giant underwater digestive tract and an abandoned island with a crumbling amusement park presided over by a hungry cyclops. If none of those stations of the cross (sorry, mixing up gods, I know) sound like they possess any sort of organic flow, well, they don't. Episodic, random and lacking any one set piece that stands out as more memorable or exciting than the others, it displays all the narrative qualities of a story made up by a child babbling in the backseat on his way home from the dentist.  That this isn't such a horrible experience to sit through comes down to the way that the whole of it is dead set on believing its own line of goofy reasoning. And Lerman, though 21 and appearing all of 14, the kind of young man who'll be carded in bars until he's 40, is a wide-eyed avatar for 9-year-olds who know they wouldn't have the gravitas to deal with a Voldemort-level threat, but who'd be perfectly willing to try outracing a digital cyclops on a runaway roller coaster. Sometimes that's enough. From 1 to 10 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters gets a 6.

Alright, over time on the Phile you might of heard me mention how much I like Sarah Palin. I don't like her politics, or her as a person, but I think she's hot. And now, she's not gonna be here on the Phile. But a phriend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about her. So please welcome back to the Phile, Executive Director for Organizing for Action... Jon Carson.

Me: Hello, Jon, welcome back to the Phile. It's Labor Day weekend, what did you wanna talk about?

Jon: This is the last thing I wanted to talk about before Labor Day weekend, but you gotta hear this...  Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin just joined the "Defund Obamacare" movement.

Me: Defund Obamacare? Who are those people?

Jon: A group of people, including 80 members of Congress, who are willing to sabotage the economy because they don't like Obamacare.

Me: What do you think of this?

Jon: This is the kind of reckless nonsense President Obama is up against in trying to pass a smart budget that actually grows the economy for the middle class.

Me: Well, I am guessing OFA is going to fight back...

Jon: Yes.

Me: Why, Jon?

Jon: Because when it comes down to it, I doubt the American people are going to like hearing that people are threatening to shut down the government instead of passing a budget.

Me: What a reckless plan. Is there a deadline or anything?

Jon: Congress has a budget deadline of September 30th.

Me: September starts tomorrow, what are you guys gonna do about it?

Jon: All next month, OFA is going to push Congress to consider President Obama's plan for the country...

Me: What plan?

Jon: One that focuses on creating jobs and growing the economy, instead of scoring political points. 

Me: Anything else?

Jon: We'll be calling out the radical members of Congress for their recklessness.

Me: What about John Boehner?

Jon: We're going to ask him to be a leader and stand up to his colleagues.

Me: Do you think he will?

Jon: I don't know, but if our representatives don't know that there's a price to pay for this kind of nonsense, it's not ever going to stop.

Me: So, I have to say this, as it just hit me what you said... the latest plan being pushed by some members of the House: Cut all funding for Obamacare, or shut down the government. Am I right?

Jon: Yes, you are. These representatives think this is the best time to wage a fight against a law that is already helping millions of Americans.

Me: For people that don't know, can you explain what the federal budget is, Jon?

Jon: The federal budget is how we determine our priorities as a country. Congress is deciding whether we give more tax breaks to corporations, or fund programs for our country's schools, or... yes, help people get access to affordable health care.

Me: And President Obama has a budget plan to grow the economy?

Jon: From the middle out... not the top down.

Me: and for those that don't know why is this important?

Jon: Because unless we make investments to help the middle class to grow, we'll never do more than move from one fiscal crisis to the next. We don't need more obstructionism from some members of Congress. And we certainly don't need a government shutdown.

Me: Jon, thanks for being on the Phile and explaining this. Have a good Labor Day weekend and please come back.

Jon: Thanks, Jason.

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Alright, you know what time it is. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. Please welcome back to the Phile, our phriend Laird Jim in a pheature we call...

Denny's for a late breakfast, full house. Parents with hyped up kids, waitresses trying to make ends meet... and one manager with a Napoleon complex. He seems to be more interested in berating those working there than making certain the customers are being served. I finished my meal... smiled at the very nice waitress and asked that the "Midget In Charge" bring me my check. She complied and when he asked, "Is there some kinda of problem, sir ?" I replied, "Yes, could you kindly check the expiration date on the container this tomato juice came from?" Then pointing to a barely sipped from glass in front of him. He picked it up with a non believing smirk and went to sniff it. I advised him that it smelled like kerosene and bad breath. He went to the fridge and checked... June 6th 2013.  "It's YOUR job as the manager to check that at the beginning of your shift, isn't it ? I suggest a new vocation for you... you're not very good at this." I gave the waitress a nice tip aaaaaaaand I'm pretty sure my work here is done...

Good job, Laird. Okay, the 29th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author Dr. Beverly Wixon will be a guest on the Phile on Monday.

Today's pheatured guests are the members of the band Cable Car who have their debut EP "Ride" on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Nate Mott, Ryan Murphy and Jack Turner.

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

Ryan: Just fantastic. You?

Me: Not bad.

Nate: Couldn't be better thanks.

Me: So, there are three of you in the band... which one of you is in charge?

Nate: The way we see it, we all take turns. There is no one person who runs it all. One of the reasons this group works as well as it does is that we know that we all have separate strengths so when someone needs to step up they do.

Jack: I am dammit!

Ryan: If you’ve heard the record, then you know that WOMEN are always in charge.

Me: Good point. I have to say; you guys look more like models than musicians. Have any of you guys done any modeling?

Nate: We never say no to work so yes when that kind of opportunity comes our way we all take it. In fact, Jack recently did some great print work for Gillette that ended up in Time magazine amongst other publications.

Jack: Meh... I asked for a body double in that shoot.

Me: By the looks of you guys, I am guessing a lot of your fans are girls. Which one of you gets the most attention from women?

Ryan: By the time we finish bickering about which one she is trying to talk to, they are usually fed up and gone.

Nate: I hate to admit it, but Jack’s English accent gives him the one up on that one. However, I feel confident that when we tour the U.K. the tables will turn.

Jack: My accent’s fading, so I’m hoping by the time I tour the U.K. women will be convinced I’m a yank.

Me: Now if I were in your band... none of you would get any women. Just kidding. Okay, where are you kids from? I would guess San Francisco just because of the band name.

Nate: Of that we have no doubt. We apologize for misleading you but the name does not represent where we hail from. We are actually an L.A. based band. Ryan and I are both from Rhode Island where we used to play both together and in separate bands. Jack's from the U.K. We all somehow ended up in Los Angeles and created Cable Car.

Jack: I lived in S.F. for a time, great place, good people, however only one Cable Car in my life…

Me: Where did the name Cable Car come from?

Nate: The origin of our name is a funny story actually. Ryan, Jack and I were celebrating the completion of one of our earliest songs with a good ol' fashioned pub-crawl. We had walked a good couple of miles stopping into any and every placed that would pour us a pint. We were figuring our how to get home when one of those cable car tour buses that ride around the city pointing out all the famous sights pulled right up beside us. The guy got on his megaphone and starting yelling look there’s three members of Maroon 5. We looked at each other shrugged and for the next 5 minutes we took pictures, shook hands, high fived until they drove away. After that Cable Car was the name. We were almost “star fuckers” but that name was taken.

Me: Were you all musicians when you met?

Nate: Yes, amongst a myriad of other things. Some not so savory.

Ryan: Nate was working at a college when I first met him. He was doing some maintenance work on the side, and one day got caught solving all of the brain-buster problems the professors leave for the incredibly gifted math students. Well, once the professor caught him, he made him sit down with Robin Wi... shit, I’m thinking of Good Will Hunting again.

Jack: I barely feel like a musician even now, but I’m working on it... I’ve been a musician for a long time but I haven’t created any stuff with anyone for a while. I’m profoundly grateful to have found these guys and to be making the music we are.

Me: So, two of you play guitar, right and one plays drums. Have you all been musicians all your life?

Ryan: Music is my best friend. Drums are my worst enemy. Been that way my whole life.

Nate: I have been singing forever, used to piss my sister off something fierce. Guitar found me around 13 so yah most of my life.

Jack: I’ve played keys most of my life. Guitar came later. I’ve still got a ways to go!

Me: I saw a picture of you guys in concert and there was a hot woman playing with you. I think I have that picture here.

Me: Who was that, and why isn't she being interviewed right now?

Jack: The reason they aren’t being interviewed right now is because you get all the women when you’re around. We didn’t want that to happen.

Nate: There are a couple of extremely talented woman that we call to the stage with us. The first is the beautiful and talented songwriter/actress Allie Gonino. The second is the equally beautiful and talented songwriter/actress Emily Oman. They both helped us out with some singing and Allie with some violin playing for our EP. When they aren't doing their own thing we get to have them play with us. It's always great fun to share the stage with people you respect as much as we respect Allie and Emily.

Me: Do you often collaborate with different musicians?

Nate: Funny you should ask we are currently working on a new track called "Smoke and Mirrors" that features a great hip hop artist named Theo Martins. So yes, we do love to work with other people when the mood strikes.

Ryan: Luckily, music is in such a place where the ability to share your creative musings allows for so many collaborations previously thought near impossible. It makes our minds as artists sort of reel with possibilities.

Me: So, which one of you does most of the songwriting, or do you all write?

Ryan: After listening to the record, do you remember your favorite parts?

Me: Yeah.

Ryan: Cool. I wrote those.

Nate: Thanks, Ryan...The songwriting is shared in equal part. We all write on our own but when it comes to Cable Car music everyone dips their hand in. We trust each other to make the song the best it can be.

Jack: I really feel that we write as a trio, and that we’re bigger than the sum of our parts, which is just wonderful to experience.

Me: I downloaded your EP "Ride" from iTunes and enjoyed it. Was the EP titled "Ride" to tie in with band name?

Nate: Ride has a few meanings the first obviously being the most literally tied into our band name. But also the creation of our group as well as the stories in our songs and even the unknown elements in our future are just one big ride. It's funny we call our fans Passengers but until this moment I didn't realize that we are passengers as well. RIDE, RIDE, RIDE!

Me: You describe your music in your bio as "new vintage" and "tragically sexy". What do you mean by that?

Ryan: I think the concept of familiarity sometimes gets lost in music. Pushing boundaries is a crucial element of what we do, but making sure that people really relate, whether actively or innately, is really the key. And, the less perfect moments of love and sex and trust and youth are a true connector.

Nate: We wanted to make sure that we were making music that felt timeless but also new. When discussing how to do that the concept of New Vintage really seemed to fit the intention. We want all elements of what we do to hold true to this concept. From our instrument choices to the story lines in our music.

Me: How can anything be tragically sexy?

Jack: Regarding the ‘tragic sexy’, how I interpret that is as the bittersweet loss we have when a relationship finishes, or (maybe more interestingly) never really gets off the ground. We can only live it in our imaginations, and we’ll project all sorts of crazy alternate futures and possibilities on ‘the one that got away’. It’s tragic, but it’s emotive, and sexy.

Nate: There is a singular female character in the songs, she's a mess and she's beautiful. She'll break your heart and make love to you just after. She'll keep coming back but always leave. There are elements of love and relationships that are so often filled with passion but tragic because of they are inevitably doomed. The moment can be sexy, passionate, exposed. The result tragic and heart-wrenching. That's tragic sexy. We wanted to write the songs so that people could romance the moment with us but also hear the undertone of real life’s imperfection. We wanted to write about what is real, not what could be. No fairy tales.

Me: One of you went to the U.K. recently, right? Was that for fun or business?

Nate: Don't think it was me I played in a fantastic little pub in London years ago but not recently. Must be Jack.

Ryan: Every night, while laying in bed, I close my eyes and I’m at Old Trafford scoring a scorcher from about 30 yards out.

Jack: Ryan, you’re a glory hunting scumbag... I’m due to go back to the U.K. at the end of this month, but I am shooting a trailer for a movie, so I can’t go!

Me: That's cool. I was gonna ask you where did you go and did you have a good time?

Jack: This I’ll answer in the hypothetical because I’m not going and I’m gutted! If I were to go back at the end of August I would spend a couple days in London, seeing friends there, checking out some great boozers... there’s this one in Piccadilly Circus I love that just serves Sam Smiths beer... so good. Then I’d head southwest to see my family and friends in Weymouth, and to reintroduce myself to the beautiful coastline down there... something I miss very much.

Me: Do all of you have the same influences music wise?

Nate: In many ways we couldn't be more different. I always loved Jeff Buckley and Ben Harper growing up. Anyone that could emote lyrically the way these two could always got me.

Jack: For me it was blues growing up, and it’s what I still go back to. Also, smooth R and B has been a dominant force in my life. Thank goodness.

Ryan: Right now the first five artists on my most recent playlist are Kanye, Cult of Luna, French Kicks, The Gap Band, and Miley Cyrus.

Me: LOL. You just recorded a video and did a cover of the Justin Timberlake song "That Girl". Are you all JT fans?

Ryan: Dude is brilliant, and surrounds himself with brilliant people. Keeps me interested and inspired.

Nate: JT is one of the most prolific artist of the decade or longer really. You can't help but respect his accomplishments as well as his vocal technique. When Jack came to me with the idea of covering "That Girl" I was a bit intimidated. In the end, we just got it going and made it our own.

Jack: Yeah, I always have been, even when it wasn’t cool to be a fan of his in the U.K.! I think his work is great, and he has a terrific reputation, which I really respect.

Me: Have you heard what he thinks of your cover?

Nate: Unfortunately not. We'll let you know if we do.

Jack: We heard his manager saw it though... she said she loved it and thought we were cute. I hope that was cute as in hot, not as in the diminutive...

Ryan: He texted me that he really thought I was the best part. Cat’s outta the bag now, fellas.

Jack: Oh...

Nate: Shit!

Me: Haha. Have you guys heard of the English singer Robbie Williams? You guys could easily do a cover of any of his songs.

Jack: I heard sooo much Robbie Williams when I grew up, and so many birds were all in love with him... that if one of the guys suggested it I’d resign from the band as a matter of preserving my sanity and not reliving my jealous past.

Nate: I'll have to catch myself up on him. Although I’m worried about Jack...

Ryan: Maybe we’ll cover “Feel.” Maybe we’ll dedicate it to Liam Gallagher. Maybe we’ll send it to him in an envelope, and it’ll just say, “Take This.”

Jack: Hahahaha!

Me: So, if JT invited you to tour with him, what would you guys say? You know, I'll bet he'll get ALL the women. Haha.

Nate: It would be a true honor to tour with JT. I'm sure there is so much we could learn from an experience like that.

Jack: We’d have to bring you on tour! Then you’d get them! We’d love to tour with both you and JT. 

Me: JP and JT. Alright, fellas, so on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to a game called Tabletopics. You ready? What is the most fun you ever had at a party?

Nate: There was a hot tub, she was a foot taller than me.

Jack: Haha, I don’t know why this comes to mind. When I was a teenager everyone thought I was gay (btw I was just frightened of girls). People weren't mean to me, they were very respectful, and it didn’t bother me because who cares? But when I kissed this girl at a house party the whole house erupted in cheers! It was crazy! Like a football game! I had no idea everyone was watching... I probably wouldn’t have kissed her if I’d known!

Ryan: This one time, I dared this dude to wear a wig and make out with a British guy at a random house party.

Jack: Hahahaha, oh my God...

Me: Guys, thanks for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun. Go ahead and plug your website and please come back soon. Take care.

Ryan:,,,  It’s been real fun. Thanks so much!

Nate: It was our pleasure thanks for having us.

Jack: Thank you.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim, Jon Carson and of course the guys from Cable Car. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Dan Nowicki, lead singer for the best musical project ever... Strawberry Blondes Forever. Spread the woird, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

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