Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pheaturing Jonus Preston

Hi there, and welcome back to the Phile for a Sunday. What a beautiful morning here in Central Florida. How are you doing?  Halloween is just around the corner, kids. Do you have a costume picked out? No? Easy fix. Wear normal clothes and when people ask what you are, say, "I'm a serial killer." Then just glare.  King of the street artists Banksy got into the Halloween spirit last week during his stay in New York City. He set up a guerilla-installation at the corner of Houston and Elizabeth Streets featuring a grim reaper bouncing around in a bumper car to the chilling strains of Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." Banksy explained, "This sculpture perfectly represents death in that it's a bit random." Well said.  Legendary Green Bay Packers Quarterback, and okay-ish other team Quarterback Brett Favre, who is denying rumors that he's coming out of retirement for the St. Louis Rams, reported that recent lapses of memory, apparently as a result of years of physical abuse on the field, have been giving him reason to worry. "I don't remember my daughter playing soccer, playing youth soccer, one summer. I don't remember that... This was pretty shocking to me... For the first time in 44 years, that put a little fear in me." You’ve got to wonder if this is in any way related to the collective amnesia we all have of his last couple seasons. Favre hasn't forgotten how much he enjoys publicity.  Don Yelton resigned from his position as the precinct GOP chair for Buncombe County, N.C. after accidentally just being himself and saying the kinds of things he really thinks while being interviewed for the "Daily Show" about his state’s new voter ID law... which he admits was designed to make it harder for "lazy black people" who want "the government to give them everything" to vote for Democrats. "In no way are his comments representative of the local or state Republican Party,” said a precinct spokesperson of the man who was literally elected to represent the local and state Republican Party. Dear Don Yelton: Sorry you lost your job. I hope your black friend is there to comfort you. Facing record low popularity ratings, congressional Republicans wisely opted to shift the spotlight of public scrutiny away from themselves, where they'd placed it for the past couple months, and onto the train wreck that is the Obamacare roll-out. Contractors for the website, called to speak before a clearly-politically-motivated but probably-worthwhile congressional hearing, blame dysfunction within the government for the terribly-implemented site, which does not sound at all unreasonable all things considered. I’d like to dress up as the Obamacare website this Halloween but I just can’t seem to make it work. Haha.  That heavy anarchy-dripping garage rock band that you used to worship in back in high school called Metallica is being sent to Antarctica by a Fortune 500 corporation that produces an array of flavorful soft drinks to perform a concert in promotion of sugar-free low-cal Coca-Cola Zero. This doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense until you realize how vehemently-opposed to bittorrenting penguins are. At this point, is there anything less metal than Metallica?  I have to mention this, and Debbie Boldacious might disagree, Russell Brand, whom you probably remember from a bunch of things that aren’t his "Brand X" new-ish show on FX, was on BBC's "Newsnight" the other newsnight to discuss his recent gig as guest editor for the New Statesman's revolution-themed issue and goddamn it if his arguments weren’t annoyingly compelling and convincing. More so in comparison to the talking starched suit from whom he was sitting across. I like Russell, I wish I was as smart as him. If I was a TV executive I would create a show where Russell Brand and Ricky Gervais compete to see who can be more condescendingly dismissive of the other's beliefs. I think it'll be a hit. A few moments ago I mentioned street artist Banksy's putting a grim reaper in a bumper car. If you haven't seen a picture of this I have to show you.

That's kinda funny. If you wake up from a bender and someone has drawn a dick on your forehead, don't wash it off... it might've been Banksy.  Okay, so, I wanna do a do-over. Yesterday I told a joke about Disney's new movie Frozen and I showed you a rather stupid picture of Walt frozen in some glass cabinet kinda thing which made no sense whatsoever. Well, I was annoyed by that so I thought today I would redo the whole thing. So, here we go... Disney, which is the greatest company to work for, is coming out with a new movie called Frozen. I have no idea what that movie was about until I saw this screen shot from the movie.

Yeah! That's better. LOL. But why are Walt's eyes red?  Alright, I was thinking I wanna a new car but don't know what I want until I saw this...

It's the safest vehicle on the road, incapable of hitting anything. I wonder how many of you got that reference.  Speaking of Star Wars, have you seen the new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor?

I love it!!  Okay, well, as you know it's breast cancer awareness month and all through this month I am showing you some creative yet controversial breast awareness ad's. I say they are controversial, but I didn't get one complaint about any of them. Anyway, this is the latest...

This ad was rejected because of the sexual connotation of ‘mouthful'. I think it's clever.  As I mentioned as you know, Halloween is just around the corner. Do you need a costume idea? Well, how about this?

You can only get away with this costume one day out of the year, and that day only occurs on leap year... in another dimension. For those who don't know, the shocker, also known colloquially as "two in the pink, one in the stink," is a hand gesture with a very sexual connotation. Shit, I can't make that gesture. Crap!! Oh, well. Moving on... from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive Good Things About The Obamacare Website
5. Those endless hours you're allegedly looking for insurance online are the perfect cover for your crippling porn addiction.
4. Most plans cover the antidepressants you'll need after waiting a month to finally sign up.
3. Any policy that Senator Ted Cruz chooses? $2 million deductible.
2. Users who successfully register can download a coupon for "2-for-1 Potato Twisters at participating Applebee's".
And the number one good thing about the Obamacare website is...
1. It'll get Kathleen Sebelius fired.

I'm going to hell. If you spot the Mindphuck email at Okay, so do you like advice, men? Well, I don't have any, but a good phriend of the Phile does. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. LJ's Helpful Tips For Men... #243... If you're in a public restroom and all the urinals are taken... you're forced to either wait or take a stall. If you do so, and your phone rings... DON'T answer it with your free hand. I just witnessed this and heard a stream of obscenities that would make a porn star blush come from the stall as the man dropped his iPhone into a piss filled bowl. Look... unless there is a zombie plague, you are the lone viralogist with a cure... and it's the fucking President of the United States calling... the call can wait until you're done washing your hands.

Today's pheatured guest I thought was a singer songwriter but really he is a jazz musician, whose latest single "Tears In Vain" is a singer songwriter type song. Or something like that. We;ll get to the bottom of this. Please welcome to the Phile... Jonus Preston.

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

Jonus: Does anyone else find it hot in here or is it just me?

Me: It is just you, man. Okay, let's get to the bottom of this right away... You started out as a jazz musician, but your new single "Tears In Vain" is not jazz. Is this the first acoustic song you wrote like this?

Jonus: When I was in high school, my favorite class was a song writing course. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome showing up to class with the teacher handing out a Bob Dylan record as our daily assignment. There was one song in particular that stood out for me called the "Hurricane". Its a political song that captured the outrage and horror for a man, Reuben "Hurricane" Carter that was wrongfully charged for a triple homicide in 1966 at a New Jersey bar. I remember how fired up I got after hearing it. In an effort to express my own frustration, I started writing and adding my own lyrics to Dylan's. But it wasn't until many years later, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings, that I started writing "Tears In Vain," in an effort to express my own pent-up emotions about gun violence. When I first heard the terrible news, I didn't plan to write anything political but when I picked up my guitar it was all I could think about. I wrote the first verse, put the guitar down and flipped on the news, only to find myself even more frustrated. So I picked up my guitar and finished the song.

Me: Okay, the song has a meaning, and there's a reason you wrote it... gun-reform, which is a subject that has been brought up a few times on the Phile thanks to the politicians I have had here. Why is gun-reform so important to you, Jonus?

Jonus: Twenty children and 6 teachers were shot and killed in front of dozens of other students and teachers by an unstable individual who was decked out with enough guns and ammo to go fight in a war, and the only proposed prevention for the future from gun supporters is more guns. Thats bullshit. When I hear bullshit like that, I have to do something about it. So I wrote a song. I encourage anyone who feels strongly to let their voice be heard. Sadly, there are more people speaking in support of guns than against them. At least, thats the feeling I get when I talk to people or I flip on the news. I believe if there are enough people vehemently speaking out against gun violence we will finally see a change for a safer country.

Me: You wrote the song in answer to Sandy Hook last December. Why and how did that touch you so much you wanted to write a song?

Jonus: It's for the kids. I wrote “Tears In Vain” because we were all once kids, before we were teenagers and before we became adults. I have extremely fond memories of my childhood. I can't imagine that taken away or haunted by such a horrific event that the children of Sandy Hook had to experience. A few friends of mine have kids that were all around that age and I asked them what they felt going back to school after seeing the news of shootings on TV and they told me they were scared. They told me their friends were scared. That's a weight they are going to have to carry for a very long time. And if there is any way possible to prevent such a tragedy in future, to spare the lives of even one child, those measures should be taken. If we carry on blindly without the will to make a difference, without the support to change certain laws, there is sadly nothing to prevent this from happening again. Sitting on our hands is cowardice.

Me: I think it's very cool when artists like yourself do something that you wouldn't ordinarily do because you're passion about. How long did it take you to write the lyrics and music, Jonus, and what came first?

Jonus: I had been fooling around with some chords on my guitar. Nothing too serious. My dad flipped on the news and we were hit in the face from what we saw. Two days later the song was done.

Me: Did you go into the studio right away to lay down the song?

Jonus: I was on vacation at the time. But I wanted to lay something down quick. I found this cool guy who had a studio in his basement. We tracked an acoustic version, just voice and guitar. It helped me nail down the ideas in my head. As soon as I return to New York, I got together with my producer, Misha Piatigorsky. We put a very solid team together and I got it done as fast as we could. There was a real sense of urgency from everyone that worked on it. We all wanted to get it out there and share with everyone we knew.

Me: There's a child singing on the song with you, who is that?

Jonus: Her name is Anatalya Piatigorsky. Misha is her father. She's only a 11 and she really is a phenomenal singer and performer. When I was 11, I was playing Donkey Kong and shes out there singing on records and winning talent competitions. When you listen to her on the record you can hear her put everything into the song. It was very important to have her singing on “Tears In Vain”. She's the voice of the kids.

Me: When you asked her if she wanted to take part, did she say yes right away?

Jonus: It was Misha's last minute decision to have her sing. I don't know why we hadn't thought of it sooner but better late than never.

Me: How old is your daughter, Jonus?

Jonus: Thats a good one. I'm not a father yet.

Me: Oh, my bad. Anyway, like I said, you are a jazz singer, or musician. Do you play jazz guitar?

Jonus: Yea, I studied jazz in college. These days I don't play as much jazz guitar as I used. Django Reinhardt was always my favorite but he fell into more of the gypsy jazz vein.

Me: How difficult is it to play a more poppy like song?

Jonus: Not difficult at all. In fact its a hell of a lot easier. Have you seen the chart for "Giant Steps"?! That will give you a headache.

Me: No, I haven't. Will you be recording any other songs like this, Jonus?

Jonus: I'm just putting the final touches on a new song called “Heaven To Hell”. This one rocks hard and I'm amped to showcase some guitar prowess. It was such a privilege to work with the guys on this record. Some serious cats are playing on it. We had a blast tracking down at Avatar Studios which has to be the best place to lay down a song.

Me: With "Tears In Vain", proceeds go to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. How did you approach them and tell them they'll get some proceeds?

Jonus: In fact, all proceeds from “Tears In Vain” are going to the Brady Campaign. Like I said, I really want there to be a change and I believe now is a crucial time for that push to end this rampant form of gun violence in America. If there is any way that “Tears In Vain” can contribute I will take those steps. There is this nifty company called Dympol that has helped link me to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Me: For those that don't know, tell them who Brady is. Have you ever met him?

Jonus: I have not met Jim Brady. He was assistant to President Reagan before he was shot and nearly killed during an assignation attempt on Reagan. Of course he is an ardent supporter of gun reform. In 2001 the Handgun Control Inc. was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in his honor.

Me: I sat a table next to his in Washington D.C. once at a restaurant, but I didn't talk to him. Where is the single being sold, Jonus, and will it be on iTunes?

Jonus: Unfortunately iTunes does not offer any solution to associate with different charities. You can purchase the song on my website or my Facebook fan-page.

Me: Apart from this single, do you have any other music coming out?

Jonus: I'm hoping to release "Heaven To Hell" next month. Following it up with the full length album in the spring of 2014.

Me: Cool. On the Phile I often ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here is yours, Jonus... What event in the past, present or future would you like to witness in person?

Jonus: If one day aliens land on Earth, I would like to be there to see. Space travel is an endless fascination for me. I love that Richard Branson has started Virgin Galactic. What a way to drop 250,000 big ones!

Me: Jonus, thanks for being on the Phile. Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you continued success.

Jonus: Thank you it's been a pleasure. You can find out more by going to

Well, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim as always and of course Jonus Preston. Go by his single, all the proceeds go to a good cause. Okay, the Phile will be back tomorrow with William Brunksjill, lead singer for the band Autopsy Boys. Then there's gonna be another entry on Tuesday with Mikey Shiraz for the band Mr Shiraz. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

See, I told you I couldn't do the Shocker. Haha.

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