Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pheaturing Phile Alum Dan "Fogdan" Nowicki From Strawberry Blondes Forever

Rabbit. Hello, welcome to the Phile. It's September 1st already, kids. Man, time is flying by. How are you? I woke up this morning feeling like shit, coughing up a lung. Normally I wake up just looking like shit.  Have you heard the latest Miley Cyrus news? Miley has been granted asylum in Russia. That's what I heard.  So, Donald Trump had a university. Well, the state attorney general decided that the Donald Trump University was an unlicensed sham. And I thought, you know you're at a bad university when your commencement speaker is Whitey Bulger. The state attorney general of New York is suing Donald Trump for $40 million, claiming that Donald Trump University is not a real university. The state claims it's not a real college because students get very little education and were unable to find jobs after they graduated. Sounds like a real college to me. I guess the attorney general got suspicious it wasn't a real college when Donald took the senior class on a field trip to try and find President Obama's birth certificate.  The treasury secretary has now asked Congress to raise the debt limit for borrowing more money as soon as possible. The secretary of the treasury said if Congress doesn't act soon, the government will have to work with only the money it has now. You know, like the rest of us do.  The owner of a grocery store who named a store after Alex Rodriguez now wants to change his store's public image. He's looking for a new name for the store. Why? Keep the same name. Just turn it into a drugstore.   Service on the MTA's B and Q lines were held-up for an hour the other day as subway workers chased a couple of kittens around the tracks between the Kings Highway and DeKalb Avenue stops in Brooklyn. Power was shut off to prevent the cats and workers from being electrocuted on the third rail. "It's a waste of money. They could have been doing something else," said one subway rider who is a total monster. Ask all the mayoral candidates what they'd do if kittens were on the subway tracks and they had to get to City Hall.  So, Breaking Bad is on tonight. I only saw a few episodes of that show but I hear it's really popular. Anyway, it turns out that it's not that original of a show.

So, there's a new Miley Cyrus inspirational poster out. I think it's new anyway. Here it is...

Do you know what I like what magazines do? When they show you what celebrities look like before and after their make-up. So, on the Phile I thought I'll do the same.

Well, college football started officially yesterday I think and the new NFL season starts on Thursday. I was thinking of sport teams names, and there's just some that not many people might know. For example...

Yes, there is a team out there whose official name is Fart. Fotballaget Fart is a Norwegian football club based in Vang. They play home games at Fartbana Stadion. The club has both men's and women's teams. The women play in the First Division (second tier), having been relegated from Toppserien following the 2008 season, while the men currently play in the Third Division (fourth tier). Thorstein Helstad started his career here. Note: Fart is actually Norwegian for "speed" but of course it sounds funny if you're English speaking. I want a Fotballaget Fart t-shirt. Haha. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things You Don't Want To Hear From The Next Restroom Stall
5. Hey, buddy, you want half this gyro?
4. And... got it! Who says you can't smuggle a Glock into this building?!
3. Man, if they bombed Syria like this, the war would be over!
2. Everyone just calm down and stop shoving!
And the number one thing you don't wanna hear from the next restroom stall is...
1. Pebble... pebble... telephone pole... chickpea... Lincoln Log... 

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Okay, let's get serious for a minute. A year ago there was a tragedy in Aurora, Colorado and gun laws were supposed to be changed. I have a special guest here who wnats to talk about this. He is an American politician who has been Governor of Colorado since 2011. Please welcome to the Phile... Governor John Hickenlooper.

Me: Hello, welcome to the Phile, Governor. After the Aurora shootings things had to be changed, am I right? There were too many acts like this.

John: Jason, yes, after the senseless tragedy in Aurora last year, it was our moral obligation to take measures that would reduce the chances of events like this from happening again.

Me: So, what did you do, sir?

John: We studied the facts, and talked to a wide range of people.

Me: Did you talk to the NRA?

John: Yes, we included leadership of the National Rifle Association.

Me: What did you and the NRA talk about?

John: About how to prevent gun violence in a meaningful way while respecting the Second Amendment.

Me: And you passed certain legislation as well. What was the legislation?

John: We passed legislation to improve mental health services, restrict the future sales of high capacity magazines, and require universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

Me: Was expanding universal background checks was the right thing to do?

John: Yes, it was. The laws we passed were supported by an overwhelming majority of Coloradans.

Me: Was it easy to pass this law?

John: We were only able to pass the law because our legislators had the courage to stand up to protect their communities. They put public safety ahead of political safety.

Me: Something happened though that wasn't good, am I right, sir? Can you tell us what this is?

John: Yes, sadly, two of these legislators have been targeted for recall elections in order to send a message that support for reasonable gun violence laws will be attacked and will carry a political price. 

Me: Wow. I guess you have to make sure this doesn't happen again.

John: Yes, we need to help make sure that Democrats who are taking principled stands to reduce gun violence don't pay a political price for doing the right thing.

Me: Do you think the background checks work?

John: We know that background checks work. Last year alone, our background check law kept guns out of the hands of thousands of people with arrest or conviction records for sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, and homicide.

Me: What are the recalls for, Governor?

John: These recalls are designed to stop debate and thoughtful consideration of laws like those we passed in Colorado.

Me: That's real bad...

John: That's bad for democracy and our representative form of government no matter which political party you choose to join or support.

Me: So, do you think what what you accomplished in Colorado matters to anybody else and their community?

John: Of course, and that legislators from both political parties ought to vote their conscience and their principles... particularly on an issue as important as preventing gun violence.

Me: Well, good job, and thanks for being on the Phile, Governor Hickenlooper.

John: Thanks, Jason. Keep up the good work.

The 29th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Dr. Beverly Wixon will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and is the lead singer, producer and instrumentalist for the greatest music project ever put together... Strawberry Blondes Forever who have two singles "Bicycle of Oppression" and "Kelly Clarkson" available on iTunes. He also has his own latest release "Sexy Burrito" up on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile, my good friend music collaborator... Dan "Fogdan" Nowicki.

Me: Hello, Dan, welcome back to the Phile, my friend. Thanks to me you've been really busy with music. How are you?

Dan: Very busy with work and trying to finish our EP...

Me: Last time you were here was for the Phile's 7th Anniversary entry. Was that fun to do?

Dan: I always enjoying this. You seem to ask some good things.

Me: I keep sending you song lyrics, Dan. How many songs have we worked on? I should say have YOU worked on? I'm doing nothing.

Dan: It is still a team effort, Jason. You give the the freedom to make adjustments do to my lack of talent, voice etc... I think we are up to 15 lyrics and 9 done.

Me: That's an album, not an EP. Haha. Let's talk about our 'band' Strawberry Blondes Forever. When I first came up with that name I didn't know if it would be a song name, album name or band name. What did you think it was gonna be?

Dan: If I remember right you said you wanted the band name SBF and you also have lyrics for a song SBF so I thought it would both or more. You're the boss.

Me: When you first heard the name what did you think?

Dan: Like I told you I loved It. 

Me: I wonder how many people get the reference. Do you get it? Haha.

Dan: I get it and people who know you get it.

Me: Before we talk about the two singles that are up on iTunes and Bandcamp tell the readers that might not know where your nickname Fogdan came from.

Dan: A big Foghat fan with total time’s seen the band at 31, most of them in the 70s and 80s and 5 times since Dave’s passing. Rod and I were friends and emailed back and forth when he went solo.

Me: And you are still living in Colorado, right?

Dan: Yes I do, if the fires don’t get me...

Me: Where in Colorado do you live, Dan? I need to visit sometime.

Dan: Colorado Springs.

Me: How is the whole pot smoking thing going there?

Dan: Like wow man, it’s like when you go to the thing and you have to wait in line and that can be a trip. What was the question again?

Me: Haha. Have you taken advantage of pot being legal there?

Dan: No, it’s not like you can go to the pot store and just buy and start smoking. Still laws and rules about it and still not legal from a federal level.

Me: Alright, lets talk about the two singles that we have out... "Bicycle of Oppression" and "Kelly Clarkson". Which one do you prefer?

Dan: "Bicycle of Oppression"... I like the way it came out and I had a lot of fun doing it. The Kelly Clarkson song kinda creep me out a bit. Uncle pervy our something.

Me: That's funny. Do you have a crush on Kelly like I do, Dan?

Dan: No, I do not, I really did not know too many of her songs.

Me: If you were gonna write a song about a famous person who would it be?

Dan: Good question, I do not know, I have not thought about it.

Me: I have to tell you I'm impressed at all the instruments you play. What is your favorite one to play and how many instruments do you know?

Dan: Mostly guitar, bass and keyboards. Not really good at any out them. Some things I record one note at a time. I do not spend the time that it takes to be good at it. I think I am a better producer than musician.

Me: You know what we should do is put a band together and have you play love SBF gigs. We would need a drummer, a second guitarist, bass player, and keyboardist I think. What do you say?

Dan: That would cool to a point, I still need to work to pay my bills and I do not think we could not make a living at it. I think it would be cool to play "SNL" or "The Tonight Show".

Me: After Jay leaves... Do you play live gigs often?

Dan: No, I have no time to practice. I do jam with 3 others every now and then just to goof off.

Me: Back when there were those fires in Colorado you volunteered, which I have to commend you for. I am not big into volunteering. Anyway, didn't you play one of SBF's songs on acoustic for the other volunteers?

Dan: Yes I did. We worked about 12 hours straight and was sitting around after we were done and some of the employe's had guitars and some of the people know me and said, "Dan plays" and I did "I've Should Have Known". I started out with our version and changed it with what we were doing there and then made people say and make up the song one line at a time sing a long. We just laughed. 

Me: How did the song come across, Dan? Did they like it?

Dan: That’s when I knew we were on to something or on something. It was a hit.

Me: As well as the SBF stuff, you have your own new album out called "Sexy Burrito". Where did that album come title come from?

Dan: I have a cartoon like web show on YouTube called “The Bla Bla Bla Show” with Amanda and Fogdan and on one of the episode I had Name the CD contest. I always do stuff like this, with the winner gets to be in the credits so Don Kozlowski won the contest the name "Sexy Burrito". I had a hip hop beat made about 2 years ago and I just put lyrics to the beat.

Me: I have a picture of "The Bla Bla Bla Show" here.

Me: There's a lot of tracks on that CD, Dan. Was it fun to put together?

Dan: Yes, it was and most of the songs were done years ago but never made it on anything so I wanted to make a funny CD with blurbs from “The Bla Bla Bla Show”.

Me: You do a lot of different genres, what's your favorite?

Dan: It depends on my mood. It changes on my mood.

Me: What genre would you say SBF is?

Dan: Good question. Like my other CDs all over the place with mostly 80s pop I think.

Me: There's some comedy bits on "Sexy Burrito". Do you enjoy writing comedy, or are you more serious?

Dan: Comedy for sure, I am a smart ass for sure.

Me: So, like I said, we were planning a SBF EP, but it might turn out to be an album. What do you think?

Dan: You;re the boss, but I want to finish up at least 2 other songs for us with ” I Drank Grandma’s Whiskey “ being our boogie style song. Something if we do play live it would be our "Slow Ride". I started it and it is going through some changes but I think you will love it.

Me: When it comes out will you come back again? I know you will.

Dan: Have I left???

Me: Alright, so I am asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? What are the largest obstacles preventing you from realizing your dreams?

Dan: Very good question. Mine would be not having one. I have done so many things, Music, stock car racing, work. The biggest thing is me making music with a Peverett!!!

Me: That makes me happy. Dan, thanks for being on the Phile. Take care and thanks for all you have done, Dan!

Dan: Thanks for having me and having me be a part of SBF.

That about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Governor John Hickenlooper and of course Dan Nowicki. He does an amazing job with our songs and my stupid lyrics. The Phile will be back tomorrow with author Dr. Beverly Wixon. Then next week it's three Phile Alum... Saturday the guys from Burning Jet Black, Sunday with Phile Alum Lindsay Rush and Monday... Phile Alum Kevin Hearn from Barenaked Ladies. I cannot wait, I am so excited. 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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