Monday, December 2, 2013

Pheaturing Phile Alum Ben Talmi From Art Decade

Hello, welcome to the Phile on Cyber Monday. Everything on the Phile today is half off.  Let's start of with a story about Archeologists discovering a toilet that hasn't been cleaned in 240 million years. Maybe you guys will lay off your friend Mike a little now that archeologists have found a bathroom in Argentina that's in worse shape and contains even more fossilized feces than his. The 3,000-foot, 240-million-year-old restroom is filled with the rock-hard foot-long remains of a Dinodontosaurus herd's various dinners. According to one researcher, "each poo is a snapshot of an ancient ecosystem," which actually could probably also be said of Mike's leavings.  Jesus, did you see the end of the Auburn-Alabama Iron Bowl two days ago. Talk about lazy screenwriting. They actually had they nerve to have Alabama's last minute missed field goal attempt drop into the arms of Auburn's Chris Davis, who then... get this! Ran it all the way back across the the field for a game-winning touchdown. Look, let's send this game back for another draft, and hopefully come up with a more plausible ending.  If you're concerned that wearing weird sci-fi-ish glasses wherever you go will be a bit too obtrusive... and perhaps even turn you into an obnoxious tech-geek douchebag, then Sony has you covered. Actually, it has your whole head covered. With a wig! But it's not just any wig. It's a big electronic wig filled with gadgets. Because that's what you want! Put the wig on! Put it on, goddamnit! I didn't think this was true til I saw a picture of the wigs.

That can't be them surely. Anyway, the next version of Google Glass will be a full helmet with attached mouthguard.  Yesterday in the Someone Phamous Has Died pheature I mentioned Paul Walker's death by saying, "Yep. He was indeed fast". Some of you were offended by what I said, and wanted me to mention his death properly. I didn't realize Paul Walker was such a big star. Anyway, here we go... Paul Walker died two days ago in a car racing accident when the Porshe in which he was a passenger collided with an obstruction. Both The Fast and Furious star and the driver, who was also killed, were participating in a charity event for Walker's organization Reach Out Worldwide. There, just the facts, no joke. So sad that his career ended just as he was really catching fire. I'm sorry. I couldn't stop myself. Something else I will mention that happened yesterday, and I will not joke about... A Metro-North Railroad train was derailed earlier yesterday morning in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring many others. Authorities say that there were approximately 100 people on the train and that, had the train been filled to capacity as it often is during the week, many more people could have been killed. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the causes behind the incident.  So, hey, when you were Black Friday shopping did you see K-Mart's new ad?

It's true. There is one in Clermont here. But it smells funny.  Did you see the new Disney movie Frozen this weekend? I haven't seen it yet, I'm behind with the movies. Anyway, Disney and Pixar announced one of their next movies and I have a poster for it.

That's gonna be a sad movie.  Doing interviews on the Phile for the past 5 years I get a few requests from different people who would love to be interviewed. Most of them I do pheature on the Phile, and a very few I turn down. I had one request over the weekend that I'm not sure what to do about. Let me show you the picture he sent, and you tell me if I should invite him on the Phile.

This is real. Should I invite Rob the Balloon Guy on the Phile? Email me at I like it he has a pun on his poster, but would he make an interesting interview?  Okay, it's December and all through December I am gonna show you some creative Christmas ads.

I'm also showing you some Geek Christmas trees as well, if you need ideas,

I guess that's a Mario Brothers tree, am I right? Alright, as you know I live in Florida and there's a lot of weird stuff that happens in this state, more than any other state. So, once again, here is a pheature I call...

A Florida woman stabbed her boyfriend in the eye with a knife after he refused to have sex with her and another woman she had brought home from a local club, authorities said. The late September incident occurred after La Crystal King-Woolfork, 28, came home from a spot called Shake Your Booty Club with another woman at about 4 a.m. The two women had sex, and then King-Woolfork asked her boyfriend to participate, according to an Indian River Sheriff's Office arrest report. When he refused, the intoxicated King-Woolfork “became very angry and grabbed a knife,” the boyfriend told authorities. The two struggled until the man was able to take the knife from King-Woolfork and hide it between the mattresses of the bed, according to deputies. He left the house and called for a ride to the hospital, the report said. She was arrested on an attempted murder charge on Sept. 26 after police spoke to her boyfriend. When police spoke to King-Woolfork, she said confirmed that she brought the woman home to have sex and wanted her boyfriend to join. When the other woman left, and her boyfriend was in bed, King-Woolfork said she “picked up a knife off the dresser because she knew (her boyfriend) was going to get mad,” the arrest report said. She said her then boyfriend took her hand to take the knife and the two struggled, which cut her knee, the report said. The fight escalated and she hit her boyfriend in the head with her cell phone, King-Woolfork said. She denied stabbing him but said she had hit him in the face several times with a metal candle holder, according to deputies. Then he punched her in the nose, the report said. It wasn’t immediately known if she had an attorney. You gotta wonder how hideous this other woman must have been for the guy to reject a three-way... "ARE YOU CRAZY?! This is like discovering plutonium, by accident!"

If you spot the Mindphuck you might fall in love. Haha. Seriously, if you spot it email me at Before I continue I have to mention something, thirteen years ago today my mum passed away. I think about her a lot, the good times and the bad. She was a wonderful mother to myself and my sisters and I miss her.

Alright, moving on... a phriend of the Phile wants to come on and talk about something. She shoots from the hip, heart, camera, gun, sling-shot, tank...

Can people PLEASE stop talking about Scotland's independence... the vote is 11 months away!!! Feel this week like I'm in another country, all the talk of "FREEDumb!", and people getting all fucking hyped up about it... this is NOT America people. Anyway, hasn't anyone seen Doomsday before? That's what I think whenever someone mentions an Independent Scotland...

I didn't know Scotland was gonna be independent... or is thinking about it. Sorry, Deb, for mentioning it.

The 28th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum Stephanie Nakasian will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum who is the lead singer and founder of the band Art Decade. They have a brand new single and video out called "No One's Waiting". Please welcome back to the Phile... Ben Talmi.

Me: Hello, Ben, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Ben: Mostly drinking coffee and searching for that perfect brie, ya know? Oh that and writing a lot.

Me: Okay, you have a new album coming out which is cool, but I have to talk to you about your last album that came out called "Western Sunrise" that you were promoting last time you were here. That's a great album, Ben, but I never asked you about the album cover. Who did the painting?

Ben: An incredible painter named Marek Langowski painted the cover, he also did a unique painting for each song on the album. He is outrageously talented.

Me: I have to show it here...

Me: Has anybody ever told you what they think it looks like? Do you know what I think it looks like? 

Ben: People have said city scapes, sunrises, perhaps you are thinking something more, hmmm lets say phallic?

Me: Ummm... yep. So, what's the new album cover like?

Ben: With the help of photographer Hadley Brooks we made around 36 pinhole cameras and put them up all over Boston, Cape Cod and Brooklyn. When you leave a pinhole camera up over a long period of time it creates a "Solargraph" which is a long exposure photograph that captures the movement of the sun over long periods of time. This interested me because the process is completely natural yet the result is completely surreal, I thought that mirrored the sound of the album.

Me: Woe, that's deep. You have a fantastic new single out called "No One's Waiting". How did you pick this song to be the new single?

Ben: Thanks, this song was originally supposed to be this glitched out dance jam that I was going to put on my next solo record. I brought it to the band and we turned it into our own version of an Electric Light Orchestra song.

Me: I love the song and and video which looks like it costs a shit load to make. Here's a screenshot...

Me: It's like a moving painting. Who came up with the look, concept and who directed it?

Ben: The video was animated by the incredible Kipp Jarden. I was watching the Radiohead DVD "The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Time" and was really inspired by this one looping clip of the man going through the same motions of life everyday until he eventually dies a lonely death. I wanted to create a similar video based on the idea of animated loops evolving over time.

Me: The song has an orchestra on it, Ben, which we talked about before how you like strings and arranging them. How many people in the orchestra and are they all friends of yours?

Ben: It was a 15 piece chamber ensemble, not quite a full orchestra though a boy can dream. They are all fellow classmates and amazing people who helped tremendously and played brilliantly on the record. I love classical musicians, they show up, read the part, have a coffee and go home.

Me: I saw a photo of some cute girls you recorded with. Are they friends of yours, Ben? You have lots of talented people around you.

Ben: We recorded with many talented, intelligent, driven and passionate people, they are also very cute! I try to surround myself with people who are just as passionate about music as I am. Really nothing makes me more happy than when people take art seriously. That and a fine brie and baguette on a Sunday afternoon.

Me: The band is mostly you and Binod Singh, right?

Ben: The band is Me, Jamie Walters, Binod Singh and Joe Harrison. We are always bringing out different string quartets to play shows with us.

Me: Where is Binod from? That's an Indian name, right?

Ben: Binod is half Indian half Mexican, but he's from somewhere called Canada.

Me: You're from the Boston area, right?

Ben: I am originally from the Berkshire county in western Mass. Just spent some time studying in Boston.

Me: You mentioned you went to Berklee. I don't remember if you said what you studied there. What did you study?

Ben: I got my degree in contemporary writing and production. Which is another way of saying I learned how to write for the orchestra and a bit about audio engineering too.

Me: A good 90% of musicians I interviewed on the Phile went to Berklee. I bet if I mentioned a name you'd know that person. Let me see, Jill Krachmer? Neara Russell?

Ben: It's a small world, must have run into them at some point.

Me: Okay, so, with the new album, how long did it take you to record it?

Ben: About 6 months.

Me: It's self-titled, right? What made you decide to have your second album be self-titled?

Ben: This record is a true representation of the sound we are going for, it has moments that ended up sounding exactly how I imagined them, thats never happened for me before.

Me: The band's name Art Decade was named after the Bowie song. I know you're a fan of Bowie, Ben. Have you ever seen him in concert?

Ben: I never have. A boy can dream.

Me: If the band wasn't called Art Decade what other Bowie song would you name the band after? 

Ben: Scary Monster and Super Creeps.

Me: I was thinking of Life On Mars or  Rock and Roll Suicide would be a good one. I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship? That's kinda obscure. What is your favorite Bowie song?

Ben: Impossible to choose, I love the Mick Ronson era of Bowie recordings though. He was the definitive glam rock guitarist and he penned all of Bowie's best string arrangements, my hero.

Me: Do you like his new album?

Ben: Some hot tracks on there. I dig the remix James Murphy did of "Love is Lost".

Me: So, with your new album will you be going on tour?

Ben: Going out on the road this January.

Me: Hey, didn't you record a Kanye West cover? How come not a Bowie cover?

Ben: We have covered Bowie live a few times, we've played "Five Years" and "Lets Dance". I wouldn't dare recording a Bowie cover, it would be disrespectful.

Me: Okay, so, on the Phile this year I am asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What song evokes the strongest memories for you?

Ben: "The Strings That Tie To You" by Jon Brion.

Me: Ben, thanks so much for coming back on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Mention your website and take care.

Ben: Thanks a bunch,

That's about it for this entry of the Phile. Hopefully Ben will come back when the new album comes out. Thanks to Debbie Boldacious and Ben Talmi. The Phile will be back next Sunday with the kids from the band Horse Party and on Monday singer Alice BrightHouse. 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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