Hey there, and welcome to the Phile. How are you? Let's talk about some crazy news... Pope Francis went to Rio in South America and announced that he would not judge anyone who is gay. That's what Pope Francis said. That must have been some trip to Rio. He said if someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? It's the same reason he turned down the vacant judge job on "Project Runway." Pope Francis still does not support the idea of female priests. He said women cannot be priests because Jesus chose male apostles. And also because letting women in there would ruin all the fun. I mean, let's be honest. Have you seen the new blockbuster movie The Wolverine? I reviewed it last weekend on the Phile. It stars Hugh Jackman, and he's pumped up. To get all buffed out, he had to consume 6,000 calories a day. Hearing this, the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, said "Oh, yeah? Then what did you have for dinner?" The French Riviera, last weekend, had a $53 million jewel heist, and the police went into action. They've rounded up Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Lindsay Lohan, and the mastermind of the jewel heist... Carlos Danger, gaucho of love. Speaking of Carlos Danger, Republicans have accused Carlos Danger of being in the United States illegally. Did you hear this? In Oregon a guy tried to rob a gun store with a baseball bat. They're calling it the most ineffective use of a bat since the Miami Marlins. Things are not looking good for former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez. It looks like he may spend the rest of his life in jail. On the plus side, Hernandez says he's looking forward to playing on the prison football team under coach Whitey Bulger. Speaking of prison, OJ Simpson is supposedly up to around 300 pounds. In fact, OJ is now the leading cause of prison overcrowding. OJ is so fat, he’s asking for the death penalty just so he can get the last meal. It’s been a rough week for Anthony Weiner. His campaign manager in the race for mayor just quit because of Weiner’s newest scandal. And it's tough finding a replacement because every time he emails someone, they're like, “I'm not opening that.” This new sexting scandal was too much, so his campaign manager called it quits. Weiner was like, “What kind of person quits because of something like that?” Then voters said, “Ideally? You.” I read that 25 percent of toddlers in America know how to use an iPad... while 100 percent of toddlers in China know how to make one. There's talk that HBO is actually running out of story ideas for “Game of Thrones” because the author hasn't finished the final two books in the series. That's when you know books are hurting... when even the guy writing them is like, “Ahh, I'll just watch the TV show.” So, tomorrow they're supposed to announce the 12th Doctor for "Doctor Who". You don't have to wait, kids, I have the exclusive right here.
That's so stupid. The Doctor is not gonna be Darth Vader. I just had to use that picture somewhere. Seriously though, they are gonna announce the actor who is gonna be the 12th Doctor tomorrow. I will tell you, even though I'll be on TV as the Doctor, I will still do this blog thing. Haha. I want Kelly Clarkson to be my companion. Have you seen the new Subway ad? It's very clever.
I have to show you this... this guy is known as the UCF Jedi.
He regularly will find people on campus preaching messages of hate and intolerance, and will jump up next to them and begin to preach the wise words of the Jedi Order. Recently he stood up to members of the Westborough Baptist Church who decide to protest at UCF. I just wanted everyone out there to know how much of a badass this guy is. Well done, Jedi guy, well done. He looks a little like John Popper, right? I wonder if he has a harmonica under his robes. Something else I have to show you which I think is cool. My good friend Jeff who has been on the Phile a lot with the Phootball Talk With Jeff pheature, sent me this.
I don't know where that is, but I wanna go there. Okay, so it's summer and all through summer I have been showing you some phascinating swimming pools. I ran out of pools to show you, so some of you readers have been sending me pictures. Take this one for instance.
Lake Hévíz is the largest thermal swimming lake in Europe (47,500 square metres in area). The flow of water is very strong and the lake is believed to be completely replenished each day. Okay, technically that's not a pool, but it's cool. Alright, let's see who is worm food this week...
Harry F. Byrd, Jr.
Dec 20, 1914 - July 30, 2013
Oh, hooray. Another politician without a "Scandals" section.
July 19, 1917 - July 28, 2013
He was a fantastically wealthy scandal-less politician from New England. They can't all be Weiners.
Sept 3, 1932 - July 28, 2013
I could have sworn she was dead already...
Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) is a 1993 high school valedictorian with a Trapper Keeper full of Type-A lists. She's going to college soon and wants to be prepared. But when her friends (Alia Shawkat, Sarah Steele) take her to a graduation night blowout, Brandy drunkenly makes out with the hot guy at the party (Scott Porter) and her summer plans change. Not wanting to be left behind socially in college she makes another list, one of sexual activities that would make an NC-17 movie blush. She she sets about to accomplish the hot-and-bothered tasks over the course of a summer spent working as a lifeguard at the local pool, even if it means using the sweet boy who loves her (Johnny Simmons) as little more than a prop toward her sense of adult accomplishment... which, if you think about it, is a very cold April Ludgate thing to do. But the list is where the "action" mostly begins and ends (if, in fact, you think the mere writing down of extreme sex acts in loopy, teenage girl handwriting is funny). There's a bit of pre-Internet amusement to be had concerning the idea of sex research, as Brandy considers asking her local librarian for help with defining some of the things she's about to do. And her awkwardness over talking about it all, even to her close friends ("Once I learn how to pearl necklace him...") is funny only because Plaza is a gifted comic actor and knows how to make awkwardness funny. After that the comedy fizzles and extinguishes itself. The rest is all dirty talk. And for a movie that comes out swinging with a loud blast of 2 Live Crew's still-shocking hit, "Me So Horny," that's a sharp fall down a steep cliff of fake naughtiness. What's left is schmoopy moralism, tiresome third-act hurt feelings, timidity, bras-on sex scenes, slut-shaming and, most exasperatingly, overt explanations about the lightbulb moment when a teenager learns the difference between sex and love. That it's been done before and better and fiercer and dirtier becomes almost beside the point. You just want someone onscreen, anyone, to do anything dirty and funny at the same time. But it never happens. Audiences old enough to watch this film already knows everything it's selling, making it that weirdest of products with no reason to exist: the R-rated sex comedy designed for children who shouldn't see it in the first place. And all of this without a single character doing anything a tenth as interesting as having sex with a pie. From one to ten, The To-Do List gets a 5.
Hey, before we move on I have a funny story to tell. Last Monday I went to Firestone getting my car looked at and the car salesmen says, "Peverett... Peverett. You have the last name as the singer from Foghat." I said, "Yep", wondering if he'll see my cap that says Foghat. He says, "Are you a fool for the city?" I said, "Yeah, and I took a slow ride to get here." He then says, "You look too young to know about Foghat." I pay and go to leave when he sees my cap. "Wow, Jason, you must be a big fan." I smiled and walked out. I was astonished he didn't put two and two together... Peverett, Foghat cap, Peverett, Foghat ca... wait a second. Maybe he did, but I was gone. LOL. I thought it was funny. Anyway, with a funnier story, here is good phriend of the Phile... patriot, singer, renaissance man. You know what time it is. It's...
Trooper: "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Me: "No... why?" Trooper: "I pulled you over for speeding... Do you know how fast you were going?" Me: "Well... I was driving next to you, pacing you at the same speed.. and I know it's against the law for YOU to be speeding unless you're in pursuit of a criminal... so, it's safe to assume that I was doing the speed limit... isn't that right officer?" Trooper: "Who do you think you are?" Me: "I'm right for one thing... and the type of guy who'll make a lot of trouble for you if you write that ticket. Your move, Dudley Doright." Trooper: "Get off my parkway, wiseguy." Lesson learned here... never fuck with an Irish/Native American who knows the law.
Note to self... never fuck with Irish... got it. Good job, Laird. You're braver than I am. Okay, here's the Mind Phuck, kids.
If you spot the Mind Phuck email me at email@example.com.
Today's pheatured guest is a gorgeous and talented Canadian whose new album "From Darkness to Light" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Jenn Fiorentino.
Me: Hello, Jenn, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Jenn: Hello. I’m dandy! Just recovering from a day of making panzerottis and drinking wine.
Me: Cool. First of, I have to ask you, why do you live in Canada? I wish you lived in Florida. Have you ever been to Florida?
Jenn: Yes, I have been to Florida, I love it there, it’s beautiful. I don’t know why I live in Canada… I guess it’s probably because I was born here. My dad came from Italy when he was six, and my mom is from Scarborough. And then they eventually met and got married and stuff, and here I am. I would love to move elsewhere, just for a try, I’m not sure where though. Maybe Florida!
Me: Where in Canada are you from, Jenn?
Jenn: I was born in east Toronto, then my family and I pretty much immediately moved to a town (well, city now) call Markham, in the suburbs of Toronto. I’ve been living here ever since, except for one year in university when I lived in the city. That got expensive though…
Me: You said your dad was Italian... I thought your last name Fiorentino sounded Italian. So you are of Italian decent?
Jenn: Yes! My dad is from Bari in Southern Italy. So, I am half Italian, unfortunately I haven’t gotten a chance to go there yet… hopefully next year! My mom is from Canada, and I get some Irish and German from her side, and apparently a whole bunch of other crap according to my grandma.
Me: I ask every Canadian musician I interview if they are fans of one of my favorite ever bands... Barenaked Ladies. Are you a fan of them?
Jenn: Actually, not really. I mean, I don’t dislike them or anything, they are pretty funny, I just don’t really listen to them much. Although they do have this one song that always gets stuck in my head, even though I haven’t heard it for years, I think it’s called “Pinch Me” or something?
Me: Yeah, they do have a song called "Pinch Me".
Jenn: That line about underwear gets me every time.
Me: Jenn, it seems that every Canadian I interview knows Phile Alum Adam Bentley from the band the Rest. Do you know Adam?
Jenn: Yep, I met Adam once, he’s a super smart guy. I met him through my friend Kevin Ker in Future History. He’s one of those people who I could probably talk to for hours about music, both the artistic side and the business side. Although I haven’t heard any songs by the Rest, not sure if they are still together or not…?
Me: No, they just recently broke up. What music did you listen to growing up, and what music are you into now?
Jenn: Before my early teens, I listened to a lot of music that I would probably laugh at now. Stuff like Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, S Club 7; basically the equivalent of what kids prior to the age of 13 listen to now, it all makes me sick. Except those teeny bopper bands from the 90s were a hell of a lot better than the ones that exist today… at least that’s what my memory tells me, and anyone else who grew up in the 90s would probably agree with me. Probably because we grew up in the 90s. Music has a tendency to imprint itself upon our memory and take us back to our childhood… I believe it’s called “nostalgia”. Anyways, when I entered my early teens, the tables turned… well, kind of. It was actually more of a smooth transition from extremely lame, to almost as lame, to not-at-all-lame music. I basically went from listening to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys, to Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte, to Rise Against and Propagandhi. I was lucky enough to hear Joel Madden (I think?) of Good Charlotte sing a pop song about punk bands, haha. In some song about a “Riot Girl” or something, he mentioned Social Distortion and Minor Threat… the verse still rings true in my head. Shortly after, I stopped listening to mainstream pop punk and got into the real stuff. So, in effect, through their own lyrics and melodies, Good Charlotte managed to drive away one of their true fans (and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one)…but I have to thank them for it!
Me: Social Distortion is also one of my favorite bands, Jenn. Have you ever seen them in concert or met Mike Ness?
Jenn: Hell yeh! They are the tightest band I’ve ever seen perform live, and I tell that to everyone. Their songs aren’t too complicated, but the way they play them would probably be very hard to match. It probably helps that they have been performing together for over 30 years. Although even with a relatively new drummer they still sound amazing. And they have one of the best band names I’ve ever heard. But no, I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting Mike Ness… I imagine it would be like meeting Johnny Cash, just with more tattoos.
Me: Speaking of tattoos... Before we talk about your music, I have to ask you about your tattoo on your chest... is it a bird? Does it mean anything? I think you can see it in this picture...
Jenn: Nope, it’s an hourglass with bat wings. I got the idea from The Lawrence Arms, one of my favourite bands. So, basically, it represents some of my favourite music; but of course it also represents the nature of time. It is fleeting, and it is precious, and we will never be able to relive the past, so we should make the most of our present.
Me: Do you have any other tattoos? I have four myself.
Jenn: Nice. Yes I have a treble clef behind my ear, and a rather large tattoo on my side/hip. It’s an idea I got from the cover of "Revolutions Per Minute", my favourite Rise Against album. It’s a grenade with headphones plugged in, but my tattoo artist (Ben Ackerman) likes adding his own touch, so he made the grenade explode. It’s friggen sweet.
Me: Alright, let's talk about your album which I downloaded from iTunes... "From Darkness to Light". When I first heard this album I was expecting something different, say no acoustic guitars, but I was very happy what I heard, Jenn. Did you write all the songs on the album?
Jenn: That’s awesome to hear! A lot of people suggest that I start using electric guitars for everything… but then some people say they prefer hearing just my vocals and acoustic guitar. So I guess it depends on the person. There are so many reasons why I prefer using an acoustic though. And yes, all the songs on the album were written by me, and there are many more to come!
Me: Are they songs reflecting your real life? Did you have a dark life?
Jenn: Yes, all the songs reflect my life, in the sense that I can deeply relate to them. Basically, every song I write is an extension of a thought or feeling I’ve had, or something I heard in a song, or read in a book, or saw on the street, that really moved me, or pissed me off or made me happy… but more often something that pissed me off. I write a lot of songs about society, more specifically capitalist society, and the corporate institutions that go along with it, since that’s what I experience every day. A lot of people hear punk music and say that it’s false angst; that punk bands sing about shit that they don’t really believe in. Actually, it’s the people commenting in that manner that don’t really believe in those things, because they choose not to believe in them, because it’s just easier to pull a curtain over reality and live in some dream where their choices have no effect on anyone. That’s why when people hear a band singing about global warming, or human rights, they say “that’s fucking stupid” because those things are just too complex for their little minds. I think we all have very dark lives, but few of us choose to bring that darkness to the surface and try to resolve it. I can’t say I’m an angel or anything, I do a lot of shit that has a negative effect on our planet and our society, but at least I’m able to say that, and write about it. I can’t stand all those happy-go-lucky, cliché songs that some artists come up with; they are devoid of all substance and they completely supress the dark thoughts and feelings that music is supposed to release. I’m not saying that all music should be dark, but if you are going to write a song at least put some feeling into it.
Me: This is your second release, right? How do the two compare?
Jenn: Yep, this is the follow up to my EP “Upon Our Wonders.” In terms of songwriting, I wouldn’t say it’s all that different, especially considering some of the songs on my new album were written before some of the ones on my EP. The main difference is that with my new album we used a full drum kit, and the production quality is much better; overall the album is a lot bigger sounding, and I hope to say that will all my albums to come.
Me: How long have you been songwriting and playing guitar, Jenn?
Jenn: I started writing songs before I even picked up a guitar. I can’t even remember when… I used to write poems and even sing them to myself sometimes, probably around the age of ten or eleven, when I began to realize how shitty the world could be. Luckily there was a vacant guitar lying around my house that my brother got for a birthday gift and never used, so I picked it up and started putting music to my lyrics. I’ve been writing songs ever since, and eventually figured that I would have to start playing these songs for people if I want to get anywhere with music. So here I am!
Me: Did you start off doing covers before you started writing your own stuff?
Jenn: Actually, no, not as far as I can remember. I think I might have learned a few riffs by some bands before composing a song; but as soon as I learned some chords I was writing immediately. I’ve always been much more of a songwriter than a cover artist. Unfortunately a lot of people watch the covers on my Youtube channel without actually checking out my originals. But on the bright side, I fucking love playing those covers, and they do lead a decent amount of people to my own music… I probably wouldn’t sell nearly as many albums as I do if it weren’t for Youtube.
Me: If you were going to record a Social Distortion song, what would it be?
Jenn: Well, I already did “Reach For The Sky”. Maybe “Don’t Drag Me Down”?
Me: Were you ever in a band or did you just play solo? I think I read you were in a band called Propagandhi, or they discovered you, or something? Am I right? Whatever they did I am glad they did it.
Jenn: Since I can’t see your face right now I can’t tell if you’re joking… but no, I was never in Propagandhi. Maybe in a dream or something... haha. I’ve been listening to those guys since my early teens. There was a dark phase where I wasn’t listening to them much, then I rediscovered them with Supporting Caste and holy crap! I went back and listened to "Potemkin City Limits", started learning their songs, and have been posting my covers of their songs to Youtube for the past couple of years. I never would have imagined them getting in touch with me and asking me to open for them in Toronto… that was pretty cool. Of course I was nervous as hell even though I only had to play a few songs, what a great night though.
Me: Your album is mostly acoustic, but you do have a band that plays with you? Who plays on the album with you, Jenn?
Jenn: Nope, the only time I have performed with someone else is when I held my release show for "Upon Our Wonders" in September of 2011, where I performed with Adam Campbell, the guy who played drums/percussion on the EP. I plan on performing with a band more often from now on though, I just need to find some people who are willing to dedicate themselves to it.
Me: If you need a kazoo player on your next album, I'm your man. LOL. Have you started or thought about your next album yet?
Jenn: Sweet! I could probably find a way to incorporate that... haha. And yes, I was thinking about my next album before I even started recording "From Darkness To Light". I certainly have enough material for another one, it’s just a matter of writing lead guitar and mandolin parts and harmonies, which can take a while. I’m hoping to be back in the studio by the fall of 2014.
Me: I have to ask you about the album cover, Jenn, who did the artwork, and why on Earth is there not a picture of you on the front cover?
Jenn: The amazing Sebas Theriault did the artwork for "From Darkness To Light", you can check out more of his work at steriodesign.com. I think I have way too many ideas in my head to just throw a picture of myself on the front cover, it would be a waste. There are some photos of me on the inside, and most people purchasing my album already know what I look like so I don’t think it’s really necessary to be on the cover. Plus, I can only really think of a couple albums that I own which feature the band on the front cover, so I’m just not really accustomed to it.
Me: Okay, so, on the Phile I ask at least one random question per interview thanks to a stack of cards called Tabletopics. Here we go... When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jenn: Haha, it’s funny, I have a yearbook from my grade 3 class, and I vividly remember my teacher calling each student up individually to ask that very same question. My response was “A ROCK STAR!” It was the most ridiculous answer among all of them. And I wasn’t even a singer or guitarist at that point. My main thing was soccer, but I guess I always had that urge in me to be a musician.
Me: My son said once in school he wanted to be a rock star as well. Jenn, thanks so much for being on the Phile, I hope it was fun, and I hope you will come back again soon. Go ahead and plug your website.
Jenn: Thanks for having me, I will definitely be back! Here are my main sites: jennfiorentino.com, youtube.com/jennymac1214.
Me: All the best, and take care.
Jenn: You too!
That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Jenn Fiorentino. She is not only very attractive, and into cool music, but she's cool as well and very talented. Alright, the Phile will be back tomorrow with Bert Hoover, singer and guitarist for the band Cab 20, and then on Monday it's singer Jenn Bostic. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!