Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pheaturing Phile Alum Crissi Cochrane

Hey there, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Did you ever have one of them days? At least I'm not Kanye West. What an douche. At a concert in Sydney last Saturday night, Kanye refused to perform unless everyone in the arena stood up. He ended up calling out a couple of people in the audience who were resisting... because they happened to be in wheelchairs. Now Kanye is the subject of a lot of idiotic speculation about whether he hates people in wheelchairs, when we should actually be taking him to task for forced audience interaction. Seriously, is there anything more annoying than performers who demand that their audiences stand/dance/clap? The real victims here are people who just like sitting quietly.  Tim Tebow, who, in his short career, has had limited success as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, the quarterback for the New York Jets, quarterback for the New England Patriots, and an analyst for ESPN... joined the cast of ABC's "Good Morning, America" as a correspondent morning. Several days have now passed, and he has not yet been asked to leave the show. So, that's a good sign. Though give it a month before they try to convert him to a weatherman. Tim Cook has heard your complaints and has decided that he will allow you all to remove U2's gratis album "Songs of Innocence" from your listening device. Apple has launched a special website that allows users to cleanse their iTunes libraries of the offending collection of music with one click. With every click of the Erase U2 app the band find themselves growing more transparent... like Marty in Back to the Future. I'm kinda annoyed, in my iTunes library it said I purchased the album but it's not there. I kinda want to listen to it.  Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter known as Cat Stevens prior to his decision to convert to Islam and leave the entertainment industry more than a quarter-century ago... will be playing shows in six U.S. cities on his upcoming tour. This should be a huge event for fans of '70s-era folk rock and supporters of the 25-year-old fatwa against author Salmon Rushdie. Cat Stevens has announced his first US tour since 1976. He'd better traveling by bus because Yusuf Islam is still on the no-fly list.  In an effort to remain transparent, Google has published an enormous list of urls of supermodel Kate Upton's leaked private photographs provided to the tech company by her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, in an effort to get them removed from Google search engine results. This provides vigilant Internet users with an excellent lexicon of web addresses to not accidentally type into their browsers. Believe it or not, Upton and Verlander are yet to thank the company for its help. Let's get real for a second, even my dog has Googled the nude pics of Kate Upton.  According to a new 53K-word report published with trembling hands on the Korean Central News Agency website, North Korea leads all other nations on Earth as "the world's most advantageous human rights system." Shockingly, the United States came in dead last as the "world's worst human rights abuser."  The American gut just keeps getting bigger and bigger, according to a recently published report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The numbers show that 54 percent of U.S. adults are sporting abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent just 15 years ago. This is the most dangerous kind of fat, as it leads often to heart disease, diabetes and the necessity for pretentious suspenders.Yes, you are annoying your cat. No, your cat does not like to be constantly petted and pulled up onto your lap and treated like a dog.  According to animal behavior expert Dr. John Bradshaw, your cat doesn't quite understand what you're doing with all the grabbing and the poking and the picking up. It's stressing your cat out. "If cat owners understood their pets better, they'd recognize the demands we're putting on them and how that manifests itself in their physical and mental health," Bradshaw said.  Forget what you saw at Fashion Week. If Urban Outfitters has anything to say about this season's latest fashion trends, everybody who's anybody is going to be wearing macabre reminders of college students being murdered by the National Guard. That and skinny jeans. Skinny jeans, always and forever. This one of a kind "vintage" item, complete with fake blood spatter (and probably even faker distressed cotton), was being sold on UO's website for $130. Here's a picture of it...

Kent State is the Ohio university where, on May 4, 1970, four students were shot dead by a National Guard unit sent in to quell a protest against the Vietnam war. Someone at Urban Outfitters apparently had the completely random and truly creepy idea to sell a winking reminder of the event, and of course someone in their customer base of teens who prefer their cool to be mass-produced and sold in malls already bought it. Congratulations to whomever managed to enter her mom's credit card number the fastest. What's next? A UT Texas "Bell Tower" t-shirt with several pre-cut "bullet holes"? Do you kids like Pokemon? I don't know nothing about Pokemon but I thought it was some kinda Japanese thing? Apparently it's British. Who knew? It's kinda obvious when you see what they are named. Here is one...

Hahahahaha. That's so funny.  Everybody is into Frozen right now, that Disney movie. I saw it months ago and didn't like it. When I saw it I noticed that one of the sisters... I think it was Anna kept looking at her other sister Elsa in a weird way...

That showed you what she was staring at.  One of the things I like to do in my spare time as you know is to look up certain words on Twitter. One of those words is Foghat, and this is a Tweet I recently saw...

And because I have an ego I also look up the word Peverett on Twitter and this was posted...

Haha. Thanks, Sonali. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between Kanye's Wheelchair Rant And Urban Outfitters' Kent State Sweatshirt
5. Party responsible is intent on miking this for all the publicity it's worth.
4. Was enjoyed by soulless arseholes.
3. Public outrage will prevent similar stupidity in the future.
2. Just the most recent example in a long history of shitty behavior.
And the number one similarity and difference between Kanye's rant and the sweatshirt is...
1. NFL scandals have kept it from blowing up in the media more than it has.

If you spot this Mindphuck email me at Okay, before we continue I have to mention something I mentioned last week. On October 14th through the 16th the Phile will be posted from Long Island, New York. I thought it would be cool if you readers would send me in a photo you took of anything on Long Island. well, I have received a bunch of pics but I have to say, most of them are of the Long Island Sound, or the sky or nature picks. I live in Florida and the Sound looks like any water I am surrounded by, and the sky has nothing to do with L.I. I don't wanna be an ass, but I am gonna choose the best three to show here on the Phile and those pics will not make it. The photos have to be something to do with Long Island, where somebody only ha sot look at it and know where it was taken. So, keep emailing those photos to me at Okay, it's week three in the NFL season, and it's time to talk about football. So, here once again is my good friend Jeff Trelewicz in a feature we call...

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile.

Jeff: It's always great to be back on the Phile!

Me: So, we just had one controversy with Ray Rice hitting his girlfriend and now we have Aaron Peterson beating his kid. What's the deal with these football players?

Jeff: Unfortunately I don't have an answers why we are hearing about all these football players. I wish I knew what to say. Ray Rice isn't the only player who is in trouble for domestic violence, but because there is the shocking video of it he is the poster child for it. There are at least two other players currently being investigated. And somehow the one team that states they have a "zero policy for domestic abuse" is the one team that has allowed their player to play. Makes you wonder what that team actually thinks about it's female fans.

Me: Did you hear what Charles Barkley had to say about this? He said it was normal for a black family in the south to hit their kids. Those weren't joe exact words but close enough.

Jeff: I don't doubt what Charles Barkley said. I also don't doubt that Peterson was hit by a switch when he was a child, and I am sure his father was when he was a boy. It is a vicious circle that some people can not seem to get out of. The problem for Peterson is that it was more acceptable in the past. Years ago you never heard the term child abuse. It was an acceptable way to discipline your child.

Me: I had a few readers who loved what Lori had to say about Ray Rice last week. She made a really good point.

Jeff: I agree with your readers, Lori did make very excellent points last week.

Me: Okay, anything fun to talk about in football news?

Jeff: This season so far has been very topsy turvy. There are teams that 0-2 that we would have never guessed would be struggling this season (Colts and Saints), and there are teams that are 2-0 that we expected to struggle (Bills and Cardinals). I think it will be very interesting season, making it much harder for us to pick!

Me: Okay, Jeff, how did we do last week? I was in second place, you were in first and Lori was in last sorry to say.

Jeff: As far as week 2, Lori and I went 1-1 and you went 0-2. The Giants and the Steelers both lost, but the Eagles won. So as it stands right now, I maintain first place with 7 points. Thanks to the Eagles last second field goal, Lori moves up to 2nd place with 4 points. And Jason, you have moved to last place. But the season is still young.

Me: Ugghhhh. Alright, this weeks picks. Here we go.. I say the Falcons will beat the Buccaneers by 10 and the Colts will beat the Jags by 7. What are your picks?

Jeff: New England by 6 Bengals by 7 and Lori picks Houston by 3 and Buffalo by 1.

Me: Very good, I will see you here next Thursday.

Frank Torre 
December 30th, 1931 — September 13th, 2014
He taught his brother Joe everything he knew about baseball. Big WHOOP.

Ian Paisley
April 6th, 1926 — September 12th, 2014
Man... this is a huge loss. It takes someone with real talent to entertain MILLIONS of people using your musical gifts. As if that weren't enough, he was a huge philanthropist and did benefit concerts almost every time he was asked. Married to Kimberly Williams (from "Nashville" as well as other TV shows and films), she was as active as he was. The two of them together formed.. What? IAN Paisley? I thought you said BRAD. Who the FUCK is Ian Paisley? What? Are you serious? How am I supposed to write about THAT? Fuck it. I'll do it later.

This is the 34th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club...

Jason Torchinsky will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow...

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and a very talented singer whose new EP "Little Sway" is no available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile the wonderful... Crissi Cochrane.

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

Crissi: I’ve been doing well... keeping busy, and keeping my head up! Thanks for having me back on the Phile.

Me: You were just a kid when you first were on the Phile so many years ago. Now you're an adult! Well, you were an adult February last year when you were on here before, but you seem to be growing up. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Your music seems more mature, do you agree?

Crissi: I agree... over the past few years, I’ve been discovering more music, and exploring richer themes in my songwriting. Earlier this year I released my first recordings in a new style, taking influence from jazz, soul, and R&B. These days I’m living just a few kilometres from downtown Detroit, so there’s lots of good music to hear, and lots of things to mature you…

Me: Did you recently get married? Somehow I think you did, but I could be wrong.

Crissi: In the eyes of the law, I’m a single lady, but I’m marrying all kinds of music in my songs.

Me: Last time you were here you were dating the guy who is in one of your videos. Are you still together?

Crissi: Yes! Mike is a brilliant musician and the songwriter behind The Walkervilles. They’re an up-and-coming Canadian band. All outrageously talented and all handsome on camera… these guys are in lots of videos.

Me: I should interview them. Anyway, I had quite a few emails asking about your music, Crissi, and I said it was on iTunes, but only your last album "Little Sway" is on iTunes. Will the other past albums be put up on iTunes again?

Crissi: My earlier albums have retired from iTunes, but they’re still available by mail order on my website... I personally handle each order, and I always include a special thank-you.

Me: I downloaded "Little Sway" and really like it. You said I would in your last interview. What does the title refer to, Crissi? Is Little Sway you?

Crissi: I’m happy to hear you liked it! The title "Little Sway" hints at the style of the album, being a little jazzier than my earlier recordings. It can also be taken as a tongue-in-cheek remark about my stake in the music industry, as an independent artist without representation.

Me: You're originally from Halifax in Canada but now live in Windsor, right? You must really like it there?

Crissi: I adore Windsor... it’s a beautiful, tough-love city with a rich heritage. As of this August, I’ve lived here for four years, much longer than I ever lived in Halifax. I’m originally from the Annapolis Valley, a string of small towns in rural Nova Scotia. I travel around Ontario as much as I can, but I’m never sad about coming back home to Windsor.

Me: That's really close to Michigan, and I know you're a big Motown fan, so do you still go to Detroit a lot?

Crissi: Yes! I have yet to perform in Detroit, but I’ve experienced great music there, and explored some of the most inspiring and devastating places. It’s amazing to visit and to be so close to Detroit. Its handsome skyline is a part of our everyday life.

Me: Who is your favorite singer or band from Motown, Crissi?

Crissi: I love Diana Ross, the Supremes, and the Temptations… there are so many great acts, I can’t choose just one. There’s a great local AM radio station that plays all Motown hits and oldies, it makes me so happy. I love to think about Diana Ross growing up in this part of the world, listening to the same songs on the radio.

Me: This new album definitely has a Motown feel. Is that what you wanted it to sound like?

Crissi: The songs on "Little Sway" were written as I was building my record collection. In this way, the album was inspired by Motown along with jazz, soul, bossa nova, and R&B. Our instrumentation was flexible enough to speak to all of these influences on the recording, with a groovy rhythm section and sassy horn arrangements. We were surely thinking of Motown when we were recording the song “A Damn Shame”.

Me: You wrote all but one song on the album which is a Gershwin song. How did you choose that song to be on the album?

Crissi: I knew I wanted to record a song once sung by my heroine Billie Holiday, and considered several (including “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and “Pennies from Heaven”) before settling on “The Man I Love”. Sarah Vaughan made an undeniably righteous version of the song, and I felt compelled to interpret it in my own way. Like many songs from that era, I liked that it could express both despair and hope. In some ways, as a live solo performance especially, it reminds me of another one of my heroes, Elliott Smith.

Me: I loved the version of "A Change Is Gonna Come" you did a video for. Is that one of your favorite songs?

Crissi: I was invited to contribute a live performance video of a protest song for ONE, a campaign co-founded by Bono to end extreme poverty. They sent a short list of songs to choose from, and I was relieved to see one by Sam Cooke on the list. I treasure my recordings of Sam, and it gives me joy to sing his words.

Me: You should release that as a single. It's one of my favorite versions of it after Graham Parker's version. Have you heard Graham's version?

Crissi: I hadn’t heard that one before, but now I have, thanks to YouTube!

Me: Do you know who Graham Parker is?

Crissi: I didn’t, but now I do, thanks to Wikipedia!

Me: So, where was this album recorded, Crissi?

Crissi: "Little Sway" was recorded in Walkerville & Windsor, Ontario, in the spring & summer of 2013, with the support of arts grants from FACTOR, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Windsor Endowment for the Arts.

Me: Your first album was recorded in a bathroom and your last album was recorded in an apartment... was this album recorded in a studio?

Crissi: "Little Sway" is considered a studio album, although it wasn’t recorded in the traditional, one-stop-shop way. Bass & drums were recorded live-off-the-floor at an art studio in Walkerville, and the rest was tracked at AMRA, a project studio in my downtown Windsor neighborhood, owned by the album’s producer Adam Rideout-Arkell. It’s an unassuming little operation, as are most studios in this part of the world... Motown included.

Me: Did you use the same band as your prior CD "Pretty Alright" or new musicians?

Crissi: Although "Pretty Alright" was a folk CD and "Little Sway" is not, the two recordings were in fact made by the same players... the Rose City soul brothers, bassist Mike Hargreaves and drummer Stefan Cvetkovic. We are a pretty close-knit family of like-minded musicians, and we’re all passionate about sharing great music, so our playing styles have complemented one another through the years. The new album also features saxophone and horn arrangements by Drew Jurecka, who led the string quartet on my first studio album, “Darling, Darling”.

Me: I have to ask you about that electric guitar you play in the video for the song "Be Around." What make and year is that guitar? I have a picture of you playing it here...

Crissi: I am privileged to play a 1964 Fender Jaguar, sent to me last summer from my father. All through my life, it lived in the basement closet, untouched. As a child, I would sneak the case out of the closet and show it to the neighborhood kids, all of us marveling at the fine instrument. All it needed was a little repair, and now it’s back in action. It is still as awe-inspiring today as it was for me as a little girl.

Me: Do you like playing acoustic or electric best?

Crissi: I’m very comfortable on the acoustic, but I feel more challenged and inspired by the electric. 

Me: Crissi, I have to talk about your video for the song "Sleep in the Wild". First off, what does that title mean and what is the song about?

Crissi: “Sleep in the Wild” is a romantic little jam, inspired by my love of late-night adventures.

Me: Have you ever slept in the wild, or went camping? My idea of camping is going to a Holiday Inn.

Crissi: Growing up amidst the forests and lakes of Atlantic Canada, I went camping throughout my childhood, and spent a good deal of time exploring remote areas of maritime wilderness. However, the wilderness described in the song is not the scenic, natural wild, but the wild nature of urban nightlife.

Me: I have a screenshot of the video here...

Me: That's a very hot and sexy video, Crissi. Who came up with the idea for it?

Crissi: I wrote the initial treatment, and then we refined it to suit our modest budget. We produced the video with a small arts grant from FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings).

Me: Whose idea was it for you to sit in a bath tub naked? I kept expecting you to sink underwater like Britney Spears did in her "Everyday"... or whatever it was video.

Crissi: The idea was mine! The tub wasn't connected to any plumbing however, so we filled it with a hose. It was so cold, I was worried that the camera might see my goosebumps.

Me: Where was it filmed and who directed it?

Crissi: “Sleep in the Wild” was produced locally in Walkerville, Ontario, in a performance theatre with set design by director Sean McLeod. We shot the final scene in a county field, with a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado.

Me: It's lit very well, and it shows you are very photogenic. Do you like being on screen?

Crissi: Thank you... I truly enjoy the work of making videos, and seeing our ideas come to life on the screen. I have been very lucky to work with passionate people who know how to capture the best of me.

Me: You must be very proud of the finished product, am I right?

Crissi: I am so pleased with the video, and eager to create more. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel, there are more videos to come.

Me: Great. Oh, shit, I almost forgot to congratulate you for being a top 10 finalist in the CBC Searchlight Contest. When was this, and what song?

Crissi: Thank you! I made it to the national stage in the 2014 CBC Searchlight Contest, “The Hunt For Canada’s Best New Artist”, with the single “And Still We Move” from Little Sway. I was inspired by the story of Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan falling in love as they sent music into the universe on the Voyager space probes, back in the 1970s. The song is based on an interview with Ann Druyan on the show Radiolab, season 2, Episode 5.

Me: And what does CBC stand for? Something Canada I'm guessing.

Crissi: CBC stands for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our national public broadcaster since 1936, with radio and television stations all across Canada. The employees of the CBC are some of the greatest people you can meet.

Me: Hey, did I read somewhere that you collect vinyl records? My dad was a big record collector and I have some of his and collect some of my own. I love my record player. When did you start to get into record collecting?

Crissi: Mike and I have been building our record collection together since he found his old player in 2012. Most of our albums came second-hand from our families or from shops in Windsor & Detroit. Collecting used records is a perfect hobby for aspiring musicians... it’s both entertainment and research for us, and you can make a whole day out of it, all for the price of pocket change.

Me: Anything cool and usual you have? Anything you are looking for?

Crissi: I have a Hawaiian record from the late 60s... "The Heart Of Hawaii", all recorded live at a beach resort, with the sound of the surf before and after each song. That record does not leave our apartment; it is irreplaceable, and sometimes I will go weeks on end, listening to it every day. In a different vein, I’d really like to find "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" on vinyl.

Me: If you ever come to Orlando I have to take you to my friends record store Rock and Roll Heaven. Ever think of releasing any of your music on vinyl?

Crissi: I’m planning to try a run of 7” vinyl towards the end of 2014. I’ve been working on some new singles and it’s the perfect format... with a digital download code, of course.

Me: If you do I want an autographed copy. Deal?

Crissi: Deal!

Me: Okay, so, I'm still asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

Crissi: I’d like to release a live performance video with my bandmates. I’ve been a solo artist forever, but playing with the band is much more rewarding. I hope to share our sound on YouTube before the end of the year.

Me: Crissi, you are truly one of my favorite singers I interviewed and discovered because of this blog. Please come back when your next release comes out. Go ahead and mention your website and everything.

Crissi: Thanks Jason, it’s always a pleasure to talk music with you! I’m a regular on Instagram (, Facebook (, and Twitter (, and I also keep an official site at

Me: Take care, and continued success.

That about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff and Lori, and of course Crissi. The Phile will be back tomorrow with author Jason Torchinsky. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker.

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