Monday, September 9, 2013

Pheaturing Phile Alum Kevin Hearn From Barenaked Ladies

It's been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said "I'm angry". Five days since you laughed at me saying "Get that together come back and see me". Three days since the living room, I realized it's all my fault, but couldn't tell you. Yesterday you'd forgiven me but it'll still be two days till I say I'm sorry. Haha. I'm so excited Kevin Hearn is back on the Phile, I have that song stuck in my head. Anyway, welcome to the Phile.  So, did you hear this, you can now buy a coffin that has a $30,000 stereo system. That's right. You can be buried in a coffin with a stereo system that costs $30,000. Or you can just bury the $30,000. It's the same thing.  Former President Bill Clinton is traveling the country holding town hall meetings where he explains Obamacare. After that he will explain twerking.  Week 1 of the NFL season this year is almost done. Do a lot of you play fantasy football? Here’s an update: Tim Tebow is still fantasizing he’s an NFL quarterback.  Republican leaders have agreed to support President Obama's plan to attack Syria. See, that’s what I love about our country. The only time Republicans and Democrats can agree on something is when it’s time to bomb somebody. If President Obama really wants to hurt the Syrian government, don’t send cruise missiles. He should send over some of his economic advisers.  Did you see Vladimir Putin and President Obama shake hands? They said something to each other. Of course, we don’t know what they said, nobody does... except the NSA, the KGB, and Edward Snowden.  Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone at a press conference tomorrow. Experts say it's similar to the current iPhone, but different enough to make you hate your current iPhone.  While attempting to seal the deal with one of the few countries who will likely follow the U.S. into war with Syria, John Kerry was given the opportunity to speak, uninterrupted, for eight minutes in front of a captive audience of French politicians and members of the press, who were helpless to do anything about it. And he got to do it in French! This is the exact moment he was gunning for during all that time he spent lobbying to be Secretary of State. He can now die un homme heureux. Remember when John Kerry tried to be President?HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid in a vote by the International Olympic Committee yesterday for the right to invite millions of xenophobic nationalistic self-entitled tourists from around the world into their city to stomp all over everything and leave an unimaginable mess during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. This will be the first time that city residents have been forced to endure the indescribable onslaught of foreigners since it hosted the games back in 1964. I hope the Opening Ceremonies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ends with Bill Murray whispering secrets into a microphone.  Detroit's own Eminem was in ESPN's broadcast booth for ESPN's Michigan-Notre Dame halftime coverage to freak out Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit with his weird seemingly-drugged out behavior yesterday. After the grandfatherly Musburger was forced to give a half-hearted promotion for Eminem's new single "Berzerk," the hip-hop artist snapped out of his catatonic state long enough to explain that live TV freaks him out and engage in several minutes of painfully-awkward conversation with the two confused hosts. If Barney the Purple Dinosaur randomly walked into the booth the Eminem and Brent Musburger interview wouldn't be any weirder. I was watching TV the other day and they were interviewing actor Benedict Cumberbatch about Star Trek: Into Darkness and he kept staring down. I wondered what he was looking at then realized he was just staring down at his own misspelt name with such disapproval.

You would of thought I typed in the wrong graphic. I do that often with the iPhone graphic on who is gonna be on the Phile in the phuture.  It seems the in thing for rapper's to do now is to come out with their own cereal. Kayne West seems to be the latest rapper to come out with his own, and if you don't believe me, check it out.

I was in the store the other day and I was surprised to see there's a new super hero toy that I knew nothing about.

Mexi-Action El Supermano. What a great character.  That's not the only toy I saw that surprised me.

He'll stimulate your package, people. Haha.  So, I have been showing you different sport teams with unusual names in the last few entries. I have a new one for you right here.

Yuma High is the oldest standing high school in Yuma, Arizona. It was erected in 1909 and earned its mascot, the Criminal, after the school burned down and the students had to finish their classes in the Yuma Territorial Prison, where they remained for the next three years. Teachers conducted classes in the cell block area, and the school held assemblies in what had been the prison hospital. YHS is the only school in America that has a copyrighted high school mascot. In 1913 the Yuma football team travelled to Phoenix to play the "Coyotes". Yuma High won, and the angry "Coyotes" dubbed the Yuma High players the "Criminals". At first "Criminals" was a fighting word, but before long students and teachers wore the name with pride. In 1917 the school board officially adopted the nickname. Yuma High School has been proudly called the home of the "Criminals" ever since. I bet this name will definitely make a positive impact on the kids. And now for...

A furious mother is demanding answers from Facebook as to why they took down photographs she posted on the site of her son, who was born with a rare birth defect, and then later banned her from the site altogether. Grayson James Walker from Memphis, Tennessee was born on February 15, 2012 with Anencephaly, a rare neural tube birth defect which causes a baby to be born without parts of the brain and skull. After repeatedly putting the removed picture on her profile, her account was temporarily disabled. Heather said she has no idea which category the picture of her child without the hat falls under but has now launched a protest by posting the picture several times and getting her friends and family to contact Facebook.

That's gross. I'm sorry, I know it's just a baby, but come on. Alright, moving on, you know Jann Wenner has his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, well, I have my own Rock & Roll Hall of Phame, thanks to the people at unHOF. So far inducteed into my Hall of Phame was Savoy Brown, The J. Geils Band, Status Quo, Sparks, Mick Ronson, ELO, Rockpile, Dr. Feelgood, The Stranglers and The Jam. Today a new inductee will be added to the Hall of Phame. So, please welcome back to the Phile... raconteur, entreprenour, Jah Paul Jo in a past life and co-owner of Berdan Records, Joe Ramsey.

Today's Induction: DEVO 
Despite my illusions of being a full-time musician and parents that seemingly would allow that flight of fancy to seed (and grow!), around 1978, it dawned on me that I needed some kind of job. My friend Liam Vogel had gotten a cool gig with the Licorice Pizza chain in their main warehouse. He said I could work there, too. Problem was, it started at 8am... way too early for me with my music schedule. "No problem," says Liam... I think they'll make an allowance for you to start at 10." Now, we're talking!  It's a warehouse job. Lifting, sorting... driving forklifts. But the beauty is, we're lifting, sorting and forklifting records! There were maybe 40 people working in the facility... every one of them has something to do with music; players, managers, agents, etc. Because they ARE there, it's a pretty safe bet that none of them are very successful... but we were all giving it the ol' college try (which is a misnomer if there ever was one!)  Lunchtime would be fun listening to everybody's stories. One guy, who came to work in the music industry from Cleveland tells us... "Tonight at the Starwood there's going to be a band from my hometown. You've never seen anything like it. You HAVE to go!"  So go, we did... en masse. There was no opening band. Instead, there was a movie screen, like the small family ones we all used to have, and a projector. The sound was fed through the PA so it was powerful. The film was The Truth About De-Evolution, I hadn't even seen the band yet but, already, it was like nothing I had ever seen. By the end of the film, the Starwood audience were howling... laughter, screams, hoots... what a reaction. Then, the band hit the stage.  I can't really do it justice... the images of Devo are probably all burned into our collective consciousness by now... but seeing and hearing them for the very first time, with no prior warning as to what they were up to was quite a mindblowing experience. They were far more raw and punky than what they were to become after the release of their first album... they smoothed out their look and their sound quite a bit. But all the material from the first three records was already there. I distinctly remember them doing "Mr. DNA" and Bob Mothersbaugh going absolutely bonkers with the guitar solo... he jumped up on the very flimsy railing on the side of the Stage and walked across it menacingly as he played... it was a dangerous move worthy of Iggy in his prime. The yellow suits were there and later, stripped off to reveal the all-black workout gear. I remember "Praying Hands." I remember "Soo Bawls." "Satisfaction." Fantastic!  I bought their self-recorded single, "Jacko Homo" b/w "Mongoloid" the next day. Played it to death. The folks were probably glad that I had a job and spared them from listening to any more DEVO around the house (at least, in the daytime... poor parents!)  Saw DEVO several more times in the weeks that followed. They never disappointed live and every show seemed a bit different. The excitement built in Hollywood until they were actually signed to a recording contract. The last night they were at The Starwood, I saw Phil Lynott, Brian Eno and David Bowie in the upstairs VIP section.  The rest, as they say, is history. All I can tell you is that in the days before signing to Warner Brothers, DEVO were the most creative, challenging and frankly, wonderful band that I had ever seen. The steam lasted, at least for me, through two albums. After "Whip It," well, it got kinda middle of the road. But hey... They told us they were devolving, right?

The 34th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is DJ Clulow and this is one of his pieces...

DJ will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Today's pheatured guest is Phile Alum and a member of one of my favorite bands ever... Barenaked Ladies. They have a new CD out called "Grinning Streak" and will be starting a fall tour on October 9th in Minneapolis. I will be seeing them on Oct, 29th here in Orlando. I am so glad to have him back on the Phile, please welcome back... Kevin Hearn!

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

Kevin: Hi there, ho there, Jason. I am doing well thank you. I am up in northern Ontario recovering from the summer tour.

Me: Last time you were here he talked about your artwork. Are you still drawing and painting?

Kevin: I took a break from it this year to focus on a few other things, but I just started a new painting today, so hopefully it is the first of a few new ones.

Me: Phile readers and I am sure you know Barenaked Ladies are one of my favorite bands ever, and I love the new album "Grinning Streak". Where did that title come from, Kev?

Kevin: Are they? I haven't heard of them . My guess is that the drummer came up with that title.

Me: Where was the album recorded and was it fun to record?

Kevin: It was recorded in three places: Revolution studios, Noble Street studios, and a few overdubs in Jim's studio. So, all in Toronto. Each recording has it's challenges, but for the most part, it was fun.

Me: You guys used to record at least one song naked. Do you still continue that tradition, and where did it start?

Kevin: We don't! Although it has been known to happen randomly here and there. We always do a naked photo on our cruises. You have to realize we are together all the time when we work. Dressing rooms, showers, hotels, tour buses. We have seen each other enough! It isn't even funny anymore... ha ha.

Me: Not being an original member of the band, when you first heard of this crazy recording tradition, what did you think?

Kevin: If you were familiar with the other bands I have worked with, you would know that recording naked is child's play comparatively. Also, playing naked is fun… it's liberating. We were all born naked, and we all end up that way in the end. Have you ever walked down a nude beach, Jason?

Me: No I haven't.

Kevin: Anyways…

Me: Anyway, back to "Grinning Streak", did you write any songs on this new album? I'm guessing you wrote the song you sing on, right?

Kevin: Yes, I wrote the song "DayDreamin". I started it over twenty years ago, before the internet, when I was living with my cousin Harland, and trying to make ends meet as a struggling musician. Last winter I was transferring my old cassettes into digital, and I happened across the old demo, and finished it. Around the same time I was doing some recording up north with my pal Hawksley Workman, who is an amazing talent, and we did a demo of the finished song, which I played for my bandmates. I even took some of the keyboard lines from the 25 year old cassette demo, and you can hear them in the finished version. Technology sure can be amazing fun. So strange to sing a song from the point of view of my younger self, and use actual elements from back then.

Me: Crazy. I purchased my copy from Target as it had exclusive tracks on the CD... how did you guys choose what tracks they were gonna be?

Kevin: Target, eh? It's actually a tough process, because its hard to write songs and then not have them included.

Me: Do you have a favorite song on the album? Or what is your favorite song BNL recorded of all time?

Kevin: There are a few I like on the record. I think "Odds Are" is up there with some of the classics in the BNL repertoire.

Me: What music did you listen to growing up, Kev, and what bands are you listening to now?

Kevin: I was super curious. I explored every kind of music. and usually found something I liked in whatever genre. I always enjoy trying to hear the merits of every kind of music, for instance the energy of hard rock, the tightness of heavy metal, the complexity of classical, the emotion of opera, the humanity and soul of good blues or old country, the deliciousness of a good pop song, or the adventure of avant grade etc etc etc. My early favourites were the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Then the singer songwriters: Lou Reed (who I work with now), Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, etc. I just produced some new songs for an artist named Clara Venice. I have been listening to her a lot. I also really like the latest Nick Cave record, an Irish singer named Ronnie Drew and a band called Nite Jewel.

Me: There's a band from Canada called the Rest, who recently broke up, but practically all musicians from Canada I interviewed has heard of that band or at least Adam Bentley the lead singer and founder of the band. Have you heard of them or him?

Kevin: No, but I just looked them up. They are from Hamilton which is close to Toronto. They sound good.

Me: BNL was on a big summer tour and doing a fall tour... are you tired of touring?

Kevin: I enjoy touring, but it is tiring. This summer's tour was enjoyable. I really like the line up... Guster, Ben Folds Five, and having my old pal Boothby Graffoe there is always nice.

Me: Now you have new line up, Kev, are you guys planning on releasing a new live album? Do you still record all your shows like you used to?

Kevin: We still record them, but we don't release them all like we had been. We have been releasing selected tracks on our podcasts that you can hear on our website.

Me: Thanks for being here on the Phile, I know you're very busy. Before you go this year I'm asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here we go... When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kevin: A musician or a zoologist.

Me: Thanks again, Kev, and take care. Do you think any of the other BNL guys would wanna be on the Phile?

Kevin: You will have to ask them that, Jason. Maybe you will run into them on the beach…. Thanks for inviting me! I hope you are doing well. Take care. Chip chop cheerio.

Me: Thanks, Kev.

Well, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to Joe Ramsey and of course Kevin Hearn. The Phile will be back next Saturday with singer songwriter Kim Richey. Then on Sunday it's artist DJ Clulow and Monday it's singer Deirdre Broderick. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!


Anonymous said...

I was wondering which store is super mano being sold at.

Mon Ahalma said...

Oh my gosh!! Oh my gosh!! I've been looking everywhere for the el supermano action figure...I'm wondering if you can help find and purchase one?? Please??? I don't know what types of stores to go to or where I can find it online or anything. Can you please email me??