Monday, August 19, 2013

Pheaturing Robin McKelle

Hello, welcome to the Phile of Broken Dreams. LOL. I'm wearing a Green Day t-shirt, and that song was in my head... "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams". I like that song about masterbating. I cannot think of the title right now.  Anyway, it's Monday, you kids should be in school, some of them anyway, at least in Central Florida. Congrats to all those teachers going back to their jobs helping kids who already have nicer cars than them learn stuff.  The new iPhone is coming soon. The new iPhone is going to have a new feature that actually keeps track of your every movement. Then President Obama was like, "Right. NEW feature."  Speaking of the President, Obama met with the prime minister of Greece at the White House. When he heard the leader of Greece was there, Biden said, "John Travolta's here?" He met with the Greek prime minister to discuss reforming Greece's economy. President Obama talked with the prime minister of Greece about the economy. Actually, it's the blind leading the blind.  Anthony Weiner has released a 19-page booklet on how to improve life in New York City. Oh, please. If Weiner wants to improve life in New York City, he should move to New Jersey.  Well, it happened... Oscar Pistorius was charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp in Pretoria, South Africa today. And yet the invisible trickster burglar, whom the double-amputee Olympic runner claims to have been attempting to kill on the night of his girlfriend's death, remains at large, free to continue stirring up confusion and trouble throughout the land. Oscar denies he's suicidal. "I only want to kill others." That's what he said. An Illinois-based hot dog company are finally selling the lowest-hanging-fruit in the stuffed meat/political satire crossover market. 'Carlos Danger' brand beef 'weiners' ... misspelled, in honor of the sexting pseudonym used by NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner... are supposedly twice the size of regular hot dogs and come with a stick-on mustache for reasons that are not immediately apparent. In related news, Hooters just announced Anthony Weiner will not be allowed in its online store.  Did you see Lindsay Lohan's interview with Oprah? Lohan told Oprah her troubled past is behind her, which is true, since that's how time works. I think it's so cool and brave of Oprah to make it her mission to save someone who's had hundreds of second chances like Lindsay Lohan.  So, who watched "Breaking Bad" last night? I didn't, I still am four seasons behind. Anyway, the creators of "Breaking Bad" released something that I thought was interesting...

Print, cut and have fun, kids.  Like I said, it's back to school time and I was in the store yesterday and they were having a weird back to school sale...

Do you remember that "Animal House" John Belushi poster that everybody had back in the day? Well, this year there's a brand new one.

What did the old original poster say? Just "College" I think, right?  I like it in magazines when they show a before and after make-up picture of different celebrities. That is always interesting, and kinda popular. So, I thought on the Phile I'll do the same thing.

I love those Minions. And now for...

There's plenty of ass-kicking in Kick-Ass 2. It's not terrible ass-kicking. In fact it's fairly decent ass-kicking. Then there's this whole movie trying to get in the way of the ass-kicking. That is a problem.  In this sequel that behaves like a reboot that behaves like a confused puppy chasing its own tail, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has given up his amateur superhero status to focus on high school. However, his sidekick, Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), doesn't want to abandon her secret identity at all. She wants to honor her dead father, Big Daddy, and disobey her guardian (Morris Chestnut) with more crime fighting, an extracurricular far preferable to dating boys and fashion-rolling with the Mean Girls. At the same time, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) gathers up the teen vigilantes for his Justice League-style crew just as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) embarks on a mission of vengeance, assembling his own team of supervillains and renaming himself The Motherfucker. A showdown ensues. But to what end?  Stuck on that question, positioning itself as both comedy cheerleader for mindless vigilante violence and then as half-serious commentary on the same misguided ideas, the film changes its mind about what it is and what it wants to be from moment to moment. It commits to nothing more pressing than the task of recruiting fresh audience members who'll reliably confer a buzzy cultural status, a tipping point in the service of better box office and, ultimately, Kick-Ass 3.  The confusion spills over onto its characters, with Taylor-Johnson appearing disinterested in the task of carrying a film, Moretz forced out of her battle costume for much of the running time and Jim Carrey's fascinating born-again Christian warrior (and his awesome masked dog) sidelined. And just when the script muddles itself into a corner, extreme violence breaks out as a distraction.  Worse, by assuming audiences need to be brought up to speed on the story so far... not an unfounded assumption, as it's an act of charity to think of the first installment as a thing that lots of people actually saw... the entire project feels like an endless game of starting over. And over. Reminders provided, plot points rehashed, and endless chatter about identity issues presumably cleared up in the first film. You thought The Amazing Spider-Man felt like it arrived too soon? Well, this is a second chapter that comes off like a desperate do-over.  But still, there's that ass-kicking. It's nasty and hard-R violent, which counts for something, somewhere. Just not enough for here or now. From 1 to 10, it gets 1 7.

When you spot the Mindphuck email me at Alright, so, one of the top movies I am looking forward to next year is Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, working at Disney I have some pull... I know, that's bullshit. But, I was able to get one of the stars of the movie here on the Phile. He is a master military tactician and leader. He has an acute sense of smell, sight, hearing and touch. He's an accomplished starship pilot, and an excellent marksman with the two laser pistols and other various weapons he carries. Please welcome to the Phile, the one and only...

Hey there, I'd like to have a Marvel team-up with Hit-Monkey, Howard The Duck, and maybe Pizza-Dog, he makes Hawkguy one of my favorite comics period. We would kick so much ass. Reminds me of one of my favorite all-time quotes from one of my favorite films. It comes from Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live where he says, "I'm here to do one of two things, kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of bubble gum." I know Hit-Monkey and I would hit it off quite well. I know he loves automatic weapons, and he can handle them well, so there's that... I think Hit-Monkey has a great road ahead of him if they get him his own stories or even a series. Maybe Howard The Duck and I wouldn't have much to talk about and do, he's all into that existential experience thing, and I'm all about my friends and family, protecting those who cannot protect themselves, and what I've heard about Howard from Joe Quesada is how George Lucas ruined his life, and how Marvel treats all anthropomorphic animals are treated like "Marvel Pet Team-Up" and he can't even get in a Pet Avengers title. I wouldn't know because I'm obviously A-List talent, but I assume it must be frustrating not getting another chance after having George Lucas produce that Howard The Duck film that was just God awful. Oh Pama, that was the worst. Marvel made their first film doing Howard's movie, and they almost never recouped, so its a good thing they did, because next year I'll become the new action film superstar. You can bet on that. Sorry for the rambling, but which Marvel animals could I have an interesting team-up or two with? P.S. Cosmo doesn't count because he was in the Guardians Of The Galaxy...

Today's pheatured guest is a singer of jazz, blues and soul. She has a new album out with her band The Flytones called "Soul Flower" which is available on iTunes and she'll be next appearing at L'Esplanade du Lac in Divonne-Les-Bains, France on September 20th. Please welcome to the Phile... Robin McKelle.

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

Robin: Good thanks!

Me: I want to tell you a secret... I had a list of people to possibly interview on the Phile but when I heard your new album "Soul Flower" I knew right away I wanted to interview you. "Soul Flower" is your fourth album, am I right?

Robin: Thanks, yes it is my fourth album.

Me: This is the first with the band The Flytones. Who are in The Flytones? Is it a band you put together yourself?

Robin: The Flytones are a group of musicians that I’ve been putting together for a long time. Derek Nievergelt was playing upright bass with my when the band was transitioning from a jazz sound to more of a soul sound. He heard where I wanted to take the music and he started to help me put together a band of musicians who came from a similar background and were looking to play soul music. It’s a very specific thing and it’s not really easy to do if you are not familiar with the music.

Me: Don't tell me your husband is in the band. It seems there's a lot of spouses working in bands together. Do you like working with a band or yourself better, Robin?

Robin: LOL. That’s funny but not in my band! I like the collaboration aspect of working with the band.

Me: Anyway, I first heard of you when I heard your version of "I Just Want to Make Love To You". That's a great, bluesey soul version on your last CD "Mess Around". What is your favorite version of that song, Robin?

Robin: My favorite version is Etta James’ version.

Me: I like Foghat's version the best. Haha. I also loved your version of The Beatles's "Elenor Rigby". Are you a Beatles fan?

Robin: Thanks, I do like the Beatles but I’m not a super huge fan. The song writing is so great!

Me: What music did you listen to growing up?

Robin: Pretty much anything that was on the radio. Whitney, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin.

Me: Where are you from? I want to say you are French, as you have a song called "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon". Actually, I don't think that's French. It sounds like something Jabba the Hutt would say. What language is that, and what doe sit mean?

Robin: I’m from Rochester, New York and are you serious?? Bei Mir Bist Du Schon is definitely NOT French! It’s German by the way. The whole idea of the song is about telling the person you are fond of how great they are!

Me: On your new album "Soul Flower", are they songs you have written, or other covers?

Robin: Mostly originals with 3 covers.

Me: What do you like singing more, your songs or someone else's?

Robin: I like both but there is something deeper about writing a song and then singing it. It’s more personal.

Me: Your look has changed over the years, Robin. I am looking at the album cover and performances of you. I saw this poster and you really look different.

Me: Haha, I'm so stupid. Robin, I have to ask, how do you get your hair to stay like you have now?

Robin: A lot of hairspray!

Me: Like a lot of singers and musicians I interviewed on here you went to Berklee in Boston, right? 

Robin: Yes.

Me: What did you study there?

Robin: Arranging and performance, but the program I was in was called Professional Music... I’m still not sure what it really means.

Me: And you were a teacher there as well? What did you teach?

Robin: I taught voice and performance classes there for 3 years.

Me: When did you decide you wanted to be a performer, Robin? Did you start of a jazz singer before you turned more into a soul singer?

Robin: I grew up on stage and was always performing. I feel most comfortable on stage entertaining people. I sang more R&B and soul music as a teenager in a band and then became interested in jazz more in college.

Me: That kinda music is popular again. Are there anybody out now that you are really into? What about that Willy Moon guy?

Robin: I think Willy Moon is more pop music than soul. I’m a fan of Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, Mayer Hawthorne and Raphael Saadiq. There’s a new group on Truth and Soul Records called Lady that I’m digging too.

Me: You took part in something called the Thelonious Monk competition. When was that and did you win?

Robin: It was in 2004 I believe. I was one of the winners but the best part of that competition was meeting people like Kurt Elling and Dee Dee Bridgewater. They helped to motivate me to continue on my path. It was a great opportunity to meet other talented singers and musicians.

Me: I am sure you have played some great shows over the years, are there any shows that really stood out, Robin?

Robin: Last year I played in the south of France and got to open for Tom Jones. That was really fun and just a few weeks ago I played a festival in my hometown, Rochester, which was really great! To have my family and lots of friends in the audience means so much and the audience was crazy that night! It’s really cool to get a change to show them what I do on tour!

Me: Ever play in Orlando? Will you?

Robin: I have not but I’m hoping to someday!

Me: So, what's next for you? Do you know what your next album will be like yet?

Robin: I am working on my next album now. I’ve been recording in Memphis with producer, Scott Bomar (Cyndi Lauper and The Bo Keys). It’s been so great to record in a city with a serious music history surrounding you. It’s a bit more gritty and southern sounding. Soul music with a hint of country.

Me: That sounds very cool. I have a 'band' called Strawberry Blondes Forever, Robin. You can cover any of my songs if you'd like. Haha. Is there one song that you haven't covered that you would love to?

Robin: Cool! I gotta check you guys out! Covers that I want to perform usually just pop into my head at the time. I don’t really have a dream list but if I do hear something I like I try to write it down so when I am looking for a new cover to do I can go back to my list and see what’s there!

Me: Okay, so, on the Phile I am asking random questions. Are you ready? This is thanks to Tabletopics by the way... What's your dream job?

Robin: Well. I’m really lucky to be doing what I love. I think I have my dream job but I would love to be an interior designer or an amazing chef!

Me: Robin, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again. Go ahead and plug your websites. All the best, and take care.

Robin: Thanks for the interview and if you’d like to hear some music or keep in touch you can find me at,,, and  Have a great summer!

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Robin McKelle for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with producer and bassist who has a really interesting project out. Then on Monday it's the guys from the band Chocolate Robots. 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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