Monday, September 30, 2013

Pheaturing Sarah Williams White

Hi there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? I bet you you are better than O.J. O.J. Simpson was busted again, this time for stealing cookies from the prison cafeteria. This time he left a trail of crumbs. Have you have seen O.J. lately? He's gotten fat. And if the pants don't fit, you must acquit, ladies and gentlemen. Just when you think you know a guy, huh? When I heard that story, I think I had the same reaction most of you did. Really? They have cookies in prison?  The post office wants a three-cent increase to 49 cents. They say fewer and fewer people are using the post office and they're losing money. See, that's government thinking. Only the government would think, "Hey, I know how to attract more customers. Let's raise the price."  President Obama is now making his case for raising the debt limit. He said raising the debt limit does not increase debt. You know, like raising the speed limit does not increase speed.  Lindsay Lohan's sister paid a lot of money to a plastic surgeon to make her look more like Lindsay. If you're Lindsay Lohan's sister, you don't want to change your face. You want to change your name, don't you?  Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, who was on the Phile a few weeks ago has been tweeting with a stripper in Oregon. He's a bachelor so when this news broke, he had to hire somebody to stand next to him and look humiliated.  A cardinal made a comment at the Vatican that Jesus was the first person to tweet. The cardinal said that like Twitter messages, Jesus' messages were brief and full of meaning. Brief I get, but when has there been a Twitter message full of meaning? No wonder Jesus walked on water. He didn't want to get his phone wet. The cardinal believes Jesus used tweets before everyone else, with simple phrases made up of fewer than 45 characters like "Love one another." Yet he had only 12 followers.  The NBA is considering letting teams wear special jerseys for a game. Instead of the players' names on their backs, they'll wear their nicknames. Instead of the nicknames on jerseys they should put the salaries on the jerseys. That way they can hold them accountable.  There's a new reality TV show in the works that will apparently send celebrities into space. Or as Gary Busey put it, "They're sending me home?" That's right, a reality show will send celebrities into space... marking the first time people will actually want the Kardashians to star in another reality show.  The post office just can't get its act together. They announced today they want to raise the price of stamps so they can make an extra $2 billion. That is still better than their original plan... uninvent the Internet.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew just sent a letter to Congress, telling them that the government will run out of money on October 17. Congress said, "Then why didn't you just send an email instead of buying those expensive new stamps?"  Drivers on New York state highways now have the option of pulling over into state-sanctioned "Text Stop" areas where they may send and receive texts to their heart's delight without fear of causing multi-car pile-ups resulting in numerous fatalities. Signs for these text areas can already be seen on the side of the road, provided drivers tilt their eyes upward from their phones long enough to spot them.  A Mac-11 subcompact machine gun was found hidden above a ceiling panel inside a closet at one of JFK Airport's international terminals in New York City. Authorities have no idea where it came from or how long it's been hidden there. As of press time, the public has not yet been advised to shit bricks.  Friends of Miley Cyrus who prefer taking their concerns about her well-being to the press instead of to her directly are afraid that the pop singer might have been high on molly (MDMA, or ecstasy in powder form) during that VMA performance that we're all still talking about for some reason. Cyrus mentioned her fondness for the euphoria-inducing drug during an interview with Rolling Stone, calling it a "happy drug." That's what I need... a happy drug. So, I had a lot of emails asking me to tell my Bill Nye story. Hmmmm. Okay, here we go, this is gonna cut into the comedy though. Let me finish up with some pictures and then I'll tell you. Speaking of Bill Nye, he wasn't a nice guy when he met the President.

Look at that sour look on the arsehole's face.  A crazy thing happened to the President... I didn't know Vlad was here in America.

Hey, do you know what I just found out recently? That Africa has a space program. Check it out, kids.

That's a Mindphuck right there. Haha. I'm so stupid.  There's a picture of Prince Charles that is going around right now. I have no idea what that man is up to.

Why are they in E-space that's what I want to know. That's a "Doctor Who" reference most of you won't get.  Okay, let's go the Mindphuck, and then I'll tell you my Bill Nye story.

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Okay, so, here's the Bill Nye story, on why I dislike that man. I was working the Walt Disney World 25th anniversary press event in 1996 at Epcot when this lady and her six or seven year old son came up to me and asked me if they can get Bill Nye's autograph. Nye was about 30 feet away, by the radio station booths. I said sure, as there wasn't that many people around. No one was blinking an eye at him, or noticing he was there even though he had a lab coat on and his stupid bow tie. So, I walked the woman and her son up to Nye and the woman explained to me that her son wants to be a scientist when he grows up because of Bill Nye. We walked up to Nye and his Guest Relations guide and I said, "Excuse me, Mr. Nye, can you sign this young man's autograph book. He is a big and wants to be a scientist because of you." Bill didn't look at the people, but looked at me and said, "No." I said, "No seriously, he's a big fan. Can you just sign his book?" Bill glared at me and said, "I said no." The Guest Relations person said, "Bill is not signing autographs." I didn't stop... "Look, you don't have to sign Bill Nye the Science Guy, just Bill Nye. Just seven letters." The woman and her son stood there not saying a word, but the little boy was holding his autograph book up like he was Oliver Twist asking for more soup. Bill said, "I said no." I looked down at the little boy and said, "You don't want his autograph, he's not a real scientist. What kinda scientist calls himself the Science Guy. Einstein never called himself the Science Guy." The Guest Relations person got on his radio and radioed my manager for events to tell them what was going on. The woman was in tears and said as we walked away from Bill and his Guest Relations guide, "How can he be that way?" I replied, "Because he's an asshole. I'm sorry." My manager asked me what happened, I told him and he walked away, shaking his head. That's my Bill Nye story. I have seen him a few other times at Disney, and each time he was a dick. I mean, look at this poster for his old show...

I wish I can say the end was nye for him. Alright, enough about that pseudo scientist. Yesterday a friend of the Phile was back on after a long hiatus, with a major complaint. She's back on today. Please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Eve, welcome back. So, what's bothering you today? 

Eve: I only have 2 gallons of milk.

Me: Okay, so?

Eve: I'm out of chocolate milk mix.

Me: Then go to the store and get some, Eve.

Eve: It's too hot with the air conditioner off.

Me: Then turn it on.

Eve: It's too cold with air conditioner on.

Me: I don't know what to say. Eve Rest, everybody. See you soon, Eve.

Eve: Bye.

Okay, the 36th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Rebekie Bennington, and this is one of her pieces...

How cute is that? Rebekie will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Today's guest is a musician and producer whose EP "Your Silence Is Killing Me" is available on iTunes and her new single "Close to the Equator" is available on Bandcamp. Please welcome to the Phile from England... Sarah Williams White.

Me: Sarah, hello, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Sarah: Hello ello Phile! I'm good, cheers.

Me: I know you have had a lot of music out, but I have to tell you when I first heard your album "Fool" which I purchased from iTunes I thought you sounded like you were from England but didn't know. What part of England are you from? I was born in London myself. Balham to be exact.

Sarah: Oh, you're a Londoner too are ya, yeah me too, South London born and raised.

Me: What part of London do you live?

Sarah: Just recently gave up the architectural beauty of Lewisham Centre, to move closer to Crystal Palace and its dinosaurs... Wonders never cease in the South East!

Me: I've been to Crystal Palace and seen the dinosaurs. My cousins used to live near there. Have you ever been to the States? You would do great over here.

Sarah: I've visited the east coast a couple of times on holiday... Had a great time playing an open mic night in Greenwich Village once! Really lovely supportive atmosphere there. And yeah, I would love to do some proper music over there most definitely!! Most of my biggest musical influences are American. There's a lot of producers over there I would love to collaborate with.

Me: Your music is very KT Tunstall, and Lily Allen sounding, Sarah, which I love. Are you fans of theirs?

Sarah: I'm a fan of KT, her stuff's got a lot of soul. Great band too, check out "Acoustic Extravaganza". Lily Allen has written some great catchy songs, "LDN" was refreshingly good at the time. But in all honesty, her records lacked a little depth for me to really get into them. I guess we both use a lot of humour in our songs though and there's the London accent of course. I stopped singing with any kind of fake American twang back when I first heard artists like Floetry, The Streets and Amy Winehouse four years earlier though. They started to give me the confidence to use my real voice too. 

Me: You have lots of influences, right?

Sarah: Definitely. Any piece of music I hear is influential to me. I'm inspired by fearless artists, musicians, producers, people who put across their soul and honesty in music. But I guess that's what we all want really.

Me: When you are not making fantastic music, what do you do for fun?

Sarah: Well cheers, Phile! I like all sorts... I particularly love crafty stuff like drawing, making jewellery, attempting to make clothes but truthfully just ending up with piles of fabrics, zips and buttons waiting for me to use them! It's really therapeutic though when I do have the time.

Me: Let's get back to your album "Fool" and then we'll talk about your newer stuff. What made you call the album that?

Sarah: Well me really, I am the fool! My self-deprecating jokes became a bit of theme on that release so I went with it! The title track "Fool" is all about feeling insecure and inadequate when you first start to fall for someone, then there's "Mental" when you're in a relationship that's gone a little skew-whiff and you start doubting your sanity, their loyalty, that kind of crazy in love feeling as Beyonce once put it. Did I just quote Beyonce?!

Me: Yes, you did. Haha.

Sarah: But I also just think it's good to take the piss out of ourselves once in a while and not take ourselves too seriously.

Me: And you did that drawing of you for the cover? I'll show it here...

Me: It's very good.

Sarah: I did indeed, many thanks. Yeah, I just sit around drawing myself all day.

Me: Was "Fool" your first album, Sarah?

Sarah: It was my first fully DIY release.

Me: You seem to have a very good band that with you. Is that your own band?

Sarah: Heavily featured is my long time collaborator and groove master Timmy Rickard, who played drums throughout and helped produce the record with me. We still play and work together a lot. The other musicians are all friends I've played with in some form or another in the past. But probably the majority of sounds you'll hear on the record are played by me, on keys mainly, but I also dabbled with some bass, guitar and percussion. Chris Borud used to play with me in our college band Ms. Williams' Soul Collective! Michael Rendall, also better known for his bubbling creative duo Jackanory & The Ball, helped mix the record and laid down bass on a couple of tracks. Then there's Will Rutter, a wonderful songwriter and guitarist. And all the other layers of instruments you hear are me having a dabble!

Me: Speaking of playing live, is that something you feel natural doing?

Sarah: Yeah, I do love performing, in fact I'm really missing it at the moment as I've been in the studio a lot! I do struggle with it sometimes though because I get really nervous. But I guess it's all part of the buzz for me.

Me: When did you start to record and write music? You seem so young so I imagine it can't be long.

Sarah: Music was with me from a young age, but I remember first writing song lyrics and poems at about 9 years old. I started recording, in a very loose sense, when I was about 13 with a group of friends. One of their dad's owned a community music centre with a bunch of computers running Cubase, Fruity loops and stuff, so we were lucky enough to get to use some of that for free. That's where my love of music production began. At the same time I was also learning about singer songwriters like Fiona Apple who also inspired my songwriting at the piano.

Me: Like I said, you have released a lot of music over the last few years, are you planning on recording a new album soon, Sarah?

Sarah: Well yeah, I'm working on my new singles as we speak... My EP is pretty different from "Fool"!

Me: How would you compare your newer music?

Sarah: There's even more vocals and weird layers of sounds. I've been having loads of fun producing tracks with Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club. It's taken a little while to get here as I've tried out recording lots of different songs, in different places with different people, but for me it's kept coming back to my little home recorded pieces! So I'm now finishing them off with help from Andy and Timmy.

Me: You worked with a hip hop artist named Paul White, right? How did the two of you meet?

Sarah: He's my big brother! Haha. My bro is a humongous inspiration for me, his work is beautiful. He remixed Tom Robinson's favourite song of mine, "Watch A World", which is available for free download at the moment at But we most definitely plan to do more together.

Me: And I was happy to see you have been getting airplay on Radio 1. It's been a long time I listened to Radio 1... I remember it back when Steve Wright and Bruno Brookes. Do you get excited when you hear your music on radio?

Sarah: Oh yeah, I love it! The BBC has been great to me so far... Huw Stephens has been lovely, Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music has also been a wonderful supporter, BBC London, 1Xtra, they've even played tracks on one of their TV shows. I'm really grateful. Such a surreal but wonderful feeling hearing your songs and production for the first time on the radio!

Me: Sarah, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you would like to.

Sarah: Thanks for having me! Come on over to anytime! The new EP "Your Silence Is Killing Me" is out with a lot of new singles, and they'll be gigs and festivals to follow! Sign up to my newsletter for more details.

Me: Thanks again, and please come back, okay?

Sarah: Sure thing, take it easy!

That about does it for this entry. Man, there is so many questions I wanted to ask her. I hope to have Sarah on the Phile again soon. Well, that does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Sarah Williams White. The Phile will be back next Friday for the start of four entries in a row. Friday it's singer Vanessa Rose, Saturday it's Christopher Noyes, lead singer for Florida band Solia Noyes, Sunday it's artist Rebekie Bennington and Monday Phile Alum Charlotte Sometimes. 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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