Monday, September 23, 2013

Pheaturing Jill Krachmer

Hey there, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday.  So, who watched the Emmys last night? I didn't, I am still broken up over the Giants losing 30 something to 0. I'll never get points in my football picks. Anyway, Netflix should get all of its Emmys immediately at the start of the show. AMC should get half its Emmys this year, the other half in 2014. If you happened to miss the 2013 Emmy Awards, don't worry. Here is literally everything you need to know about them... "Breaking Bad", "Modern Family" and "Behind the Candelabra" unsurprisingly took the top honors, while their producers... also unsurprisingly, tried to pretend like this was a surprise. However, Anna Gunn wound up being the only "Breaking Bad" cast member to win an award for acting, probably just to annoy all the Skyler haters out there. After winning an award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever gave an acceptance speech that you will not be sad that you watched. Eight-time Emmy nominee Jon Hamm continued his perfect streak of not winning Emmys, when he watched Jeff Daniels walk away with the award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series for his portrayal of a self-righteous know-it-all windbag on HBO's "The Newsroom". Kevin Spacey, who also lost to Daniels, took out his frustration on a poor defenseless cameraman who was innocently jamming a camera up his nostril. There, and I didn't even watch it.  It looks like the federal government could be shutting down. The legal definition of a government shutdown is when Congress continues not to work, but they do it from home. Pundits say President Obama is starting to lose support from his own party. To give you an idea how bad it’s gotten, today Jimmy Carter compared him to Jimmy Carter.  Syrian President Assad told Fox News that if he were ever to talk to President Obama he would tell Obama to “listen to your people." Is he the one to give advice about listening to his people? His people are shooting at him!  A Costco in Arizona is now selling a 60-year-old bottle of scotch for $17,000. You know what you can buy for $17,000 at Costco? Everything else at Costco.  A high-ranking health official in Amsterdam is taking a strong stance against sugar. He says sugar is an addictive, dangerous drug that should be regulated by the government. He wants to put warning labels on sugar. This is coming from a place where you can get pot in your Happy Meal.  The creator of Beanie Babies has been fined $53 million for tax evasion. But, on the plus side, if he sells all of his Beanie Babies, he'll owe... probably about $53 million.  Two guys in New Hampshire were arrested after they tried to rob a group of people playing Bingo. Cops became suspicious when they saw a car driving away from the Bingo hall going more than 10 miles an hour.  Meanwhile in Nairobi, Kenya, Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab's siege of the Westgate Shopping Mall, which began on Saturday morning, continued into its third day, with approximately ten people being held prisoner within and many other dead. Though there are a number of disturbing tweets going around the Internet, we've yet to find any funny pics to accompany this story at the moment. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. The Emmys should have run a crawl with updates from the Kenya Mall massacre just to make sure no one was happy at any point.  A 66-year-old Colombian man had to have his penis amputated following a several-day-long erection brought on by an overdose of Viagra, which he took in an attempt to "please his new girlfriend." After seeking medical help, doctors were "alarmed" to find his penis inflamed, fractured and showing signs of gangrene, which could have spread to the rest of his body had it not been cut away. No word on whether or not his new girlfriend was pleased with the results. No thanks, Viagra. I’m really enjoying how much less complicated my life is now that my dick don’t work.  Less than a week after they went on sale, Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c already accounts for 1.36% of all iPhones in use in the United States. This is an incredibly fast-moving virus we're dealing with here, people. No telling what percent of the iPhone market it will control by next week. Or next month. If we don't do something about this now, we stand to be completely immersed beneath a see of multi-chromatic iPhones by this time next year. By the way, I love my iPhone.  A new user program, or whatever they call it came out last week and I was kinda confused by the ad Apple released.

I said yesterday I didn't like Bill Nye, well, did you know before he was Bill Bye the Science Guy he was Bill Bye the Party Guy?

Well, with those moves he should do well on "Dancing With the Stars"... not.  Do you guys like Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing? I kinda did, but when I saw this ad I know I do.

My salad is not being aroused... I said my salad. Haha. Man, good job, Hidden Ranch. More like Hidden Meaning.  So, I was thinking, I want to start a new band with a gimmick called French Kiss. They would look just like this...

I think they could be pretty popular. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...

Top Phive Places Where Your Fast Food Dollar Goes
5. Executives' salaries.
4. Workers' salaries.
3. Maintaining the tinny, distorted drive-thru window speakers.
2. Apple slices, baby carrots and other shit that nobody orders.
And the number one place where your fast food dollar goes is...
1. Breeding the koala-possum hybrids that provide all the burger meat.

The 35th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is Branko Vranic and this is one of his pieces...

That piece is huge! Branko will be a guest on the Phile next Saturday.

Okay, as a published songwriter I thought it'll be cool to invite an accomplished songwriter who has written so many songs. Please welcome to the Phile... Jill Krachmer.

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

Jill: Hi, Jason! I'm great, thank you so much for the interview!

Me: You're welcome and congrats on your engagement this weekend. So, I read in your bio your  story is like Coyote Ugly, eh? How many times have people asked or said that to you?

Jill: Well, my story isn't necessarily like it... my life isn't quite that exciting! It's just that I write for other artists, like the main character in the movie does. Almost every time I explain what I do to someone near my age who isn't in the music business (mainly girls... haha), they immediately say it's just like Coyote Ugly. That movie was big in our middle school days! It's probably the only example of a songwriter for other artists that a lot of people have seen. So yeah, the comparison happens all the time!

Me: Shit, I wanted to be the first. Just kidding. Anyway, your main job is a songwriter, right?

Jill: Yep! I stay pretty busy with co-writing and other songwriting related things. I also have various part time day jobs... I was a personal assistant for a singer/songwriter for a long time, and now I nanny and do some background singing and demo singing.

Me: I know you perform as well, Jill, what do you prefer?

Jill: Definitely songwriting. I love singing, but I just don't have that passion for performing that artists have. I love background singing though.

Me: Do you like co-writing with other people or just writing by yourself?

Jill: I love both! I only wrote by myself for most of my life, but when I got to L.A. I realized that co-writing is much more common. Co-writing is a totally different skill. It took awhile for me to adjust. You can't just wait for inspiration to strike when you have an appointment to write with someone! I absolutely love it though. I've been very lucky to write with some wonderful people.

Me: I write lyrics, but I am not that good. It guess it takes practice. Hell, I am still learning how to ask good interview questions. How old were you when you wrote your first song? Do you remember what it was called?

Jill: I bet you are an awesome writer! You're definitely a great interviewer! I wrote my first song when I was 11, in 6th grade. I know it was during either science or social studies class... I can remember which seat I was in. Clearly I was paying no attention to the class... oh well! The song was called "You Didn't Call". I wrote some really dramatic relationship songs at that age. They definitely didn't come from personal experience!

Me: When you write, do you write the music or lyrics first? I am guessing you play quite a few instruments.

Jill: It really varies. Most of the time I write the music and lyrics at the same time. Sometimes I start from a topic, or a title, or a little melody idea, or a couple lines of lyrics... Once in awhile I'll write most or all of the lyrics or melody before tackling the other, but I usually do them together. If I'm writing with someone who prefers to write in a certain way, I'm always happy to try it. I mainly sing and play the piano. I also play a tiny bit of guitar, but I write on the piano.

Me: Where are you from, Jill?

Jill: I'm from a suburb of Minneapolis. It's an amazing place... I couldn't imagine a better place to grow up.

Me: You went to Berklee, right? What did you major in?

Jill: I did! I loved it. I majored in songwriting. I still can't believe I was able to get a degree in that! It was so much fun. It was the first time I had been around so many people who had the same passion as me.

Me: You're based in Los Angeles... do you like living out there? Are you used to the whole California vibe?

Jill: Overall, I love L.A. It has its ups and downs, but it's such an exciting place to live. There's never a dull moment. I've literally been obsessed with not only music, but the whole entertainment industry for my whole life. I can't believe I'm able to live where it all happens! There is so much opportunity for pop music here, so it's definitely the best place for me to be right now. The L.A. lifestyle is very different from anywhere else though!

Me: You got an honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. I interviewed somebody else who took part in that. How long ago was that, and for those that don't know what the contest is, can you explain?

Jill: It was about a few year's ago. It's a wonderful and very competitive songwriting contest, judged by some really accomplished people. I was so glad to be recognized.

Me: I was listening to some of your music and was impressed you write pop, country and even rock songs. What is your favorite genre to write for?

Jill: Thanks so much! All of my music is essentially pop, but some leans towards R&B, folk, country, or rock. Since I write for other artists, I have the opportunity to do a variety of different styles. It's really hard to pick a favorite... I absolutely love them all. I've been writing with a lot of folky pop singer/songwriters lately, and I'm loving that. I fell in love with music through R&B though, so if I had to pick a favorite, that would probably be it. I hope I'll never have to really pick though!!

Me: Who are your influences, Jill? Who is your favorite songwriter of all time if you have one?

Jill: My two favorite artists are Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. I pretty much owe my whole musical life to them. Their music inspired me to start singing seriously when I was 8, then write when I was 11, and so on. They're still my biggest influences. Sarah McLachlan is my next biggest influence. My first concert was Lilith Fair their first year, when I was 11. I guess the year I was 11 was pretty life-changing, come to think of it! Anyway, that combination of influences kind of explains why I'm so passionate about writing both R&B pop and various types of folk/rock/country pop. My other all-time favorites are Brandy, Babyface, and Vonda Shepard.

Me: You have worked with some very cool people, Jill, and I am sure met some cool people. Is there anyone you met that you were in awe of?

Jill: I've been really lucky to meet some awesome people, including some songwriters that I really admire. I had the opportunity to meet Dan Wilson in Minnesota through a family friend. We had lunch right before I moved to L.A. He was the lead singer of Semisonic, and he has written for/with the Dixie Chicks, Jason Mraz, Josh Groban, Keith Urban, and tons of others. He gave me some really helpful advice.

Me: Recently you sang back-up for For The King's new record. Do you like singing back-up? Can you get For The King's an interview for the Phile?

Jill: I love it! I've always really enjoyed harmonizing and picking out background vocal parts, so it's fun to actually be able to put it into action. I've performed with some great artists around L.A. I actually don't know For The Kings, I only know their producer. I could give it a try though! I do have lots of songwriter and artist friends who I'm sure would love to be interviewed!

Me: Jill, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Do you wanna plug your website, Twitter or anything else?

Jill: Thank you for asking me to be a part of it!! I really appreciate it! That would be great... my website is, and I'm @jillkrachmer on Twitter.

Me: Thanks again, and keep writing. Come back again, okay?

Jill: I'd love to! Take care!

Well, that does it for this entry of the Phile. Before I continue though I wanna say thank you to a friend of mine... Dan Nowicki who you know has been on the Phile a few times. He is working really hard on our Strawberry Blondes Forever album. As I said before I am just writing lyrics, he is putting them to music, playing all the instruments and producing the album. What started as a four song EP is turning out to be a full-length album. Dan is making a dream come true and I couldn't do it without him. So, Dan, if you're reading this... thanks, man. Alright, well, thanks to Jill for a great interview. I hope to have her back on the Phile soon. The Phile will be back next Saturday with artist Branko Vranic. Then on Sunday it's Jeff Smith, lead singer for the very cool band The Hickoids and on Monday British singer Sarah Williams White. One more thing, since February I have been showing you pictures from my 25 years working at Disney and now I have come to the last one. 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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