Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pheaturing Sonali

Hey there, welcome to another entry of the Phile. I have to apologize for those that saw my nudes that were hacked from iCloud. This story is the biggest story of the week. After getting their fill of leaked nude pictures of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and that one chick from "Glee", whatever her name is, many Internet denizens attempted to deal with their guilt by donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to honor all of the good their photos have done for men's prostates lately. Yuck.  CNN showed its true worth in this modern era of technology, when 15 year old kids in their parents' basement can upend the lives of celebrity millionaires by hacking into their personal cloud storage accounts and releasing intimate materials for the world to see. Not a channel to look away from a potentially dangerous line of questioning, CNN had its technology analyst Brett Larson wonder on air who this 4chan person might be. Obviously, he's Asian, but is he half-mathematical equation?  After tens of minutes of carefully inspecting the facts... and averting its eyes from demonstrable evidence to the contrary, Apple has declared that there are no security flaws in its iCloud service that could possibly have led to a bunch of celebrities having personal photos stolen from their accounts. This must come as such a relief to the company. iCloud, just to clarify... are you a storage space for me, or for people who want to know all about me?  Let's talk about something else... say comic books. A nearly pristine copy of "Action Comics No. 1"... the DC comic book featuring the very first appearance the now-iconic Superman character, sold on eBay for a very reasonable $3.2 million. When asked by the Hollywood Reporter how much money the bidders were willing to spend to get the item, one responded, "All I can say is we were determined to buy it." "None of these look like jobs for Superman" said Superman, having a rough day at a temp agency. Haha.  Centerplate CEO Des Hague "resigned"... which is a fancy way of saying "got fired" for rich and/or important people... from his position after surveillance footage of him kicking a puppy spread around the Internet. Apparently, CEOs can only get away with animal cruelty if it results in delicious bacon cheeseburgers. You kick one puppy in an elevator and boom your careers a mess. Sounds fair to me.  Sad news out of Arizona. A Sedona, AZ McDonald's was forced by city ordinances to disfigure its famous golden arches by re-coloring them turquoise. This is so the fast food restaurant will more easily blend in with its desert surroundings. It does seem to be working actually. Look, you can barely see it here...

Hey, have you ever played the game Connect Four? Do you know there's a new version out? If you didn't, take a look...

Kids nowadays must be dumber than they were when I was a kid. If that's even possible.  Everybody is taking Selfies, like it's a new thing, but Selfies have been around for a long time. You can go back and look at older movies and characters are taking Selfies in them. Like this one for instance...

I have no idea what movie that screen shot is from... I think it's 300, am I right?  A Phile reader who knows I love Wawa sent me a picture for Mindphuck... I love it when readers sent me pics to use... but I cannot use this one, as the answer is circled, so it's not much of a Mindphuck. But loving Wawa so much I have to show it to you.

Hahaha. I have to go to my Wawa and see if they have one of this there.  And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Phive Ways The Massive Celebrity Nude Leak Changed The World 
5. Conspiracy theorists are left unmoored by confirmation that so many celebrities possess human anatomy and are not, in fact, lizard people.
4. After spending the weekend masturbating to Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, the Internet’s creepiest denizens find themselves with nothing left to look forward to in life and commit suicide en masse.
3. Jennifer Lawrence punishes public by refusing to ever do anything cute or down-to-Earth again.
2. Pervs feel cheated by discovery that famous boobs are composed of nothing more magical than human tissue and skin, not unlike non-famous boobs.
And the number one way the massive celebrity nude leak changed the world...
1. After spending several days viewing photos and videos of women in an extremely vulnerable and private state, the populace struggles with a brief period of shame and empathy for the victimized women before falling back into the callousness and narcissism of day-to-day Internet life.

If you spit the Mindphuck... and you should it's so bloody easy, email me at Alright, so, last December I showed you this picture that was emailed to me...

And it said it was from Rob the Balloon Guy asking if he could be interviewed for the Phile. I asked you readers to tell me if I should, and most of you said yes, but then in February the Phile went on an unexpected hiatus. So, I'll ask you kids again, should I interview this Rob the Balloon Guy guy? Email me and let me know. Moving on... football season starts today! And like the last three years I am gonna invite my good friend Jeff and like last year his wife Lori to talk about football, and do our yearly picks. So, here we go, with...

Me: Hey, guys, I can't believe it's that time of year again. Football season starts today.

Jeff: It is hard to believe that it is that time again. It's football season! So this is to settle it once and for all. You have a win, I have a win and my wife Lori has a win. So we will see who comes out on top this year.

Me: Yes, but first, I have to ask, how's married life?

Jeff: Married life is great. We just purchased a house in the same development that we are living in now. It will be built just for us, so that will be amazing. We just have to wait for them to build it now!

Lori: Married life is great! I get to make all the rules and Jeff holds my purse for me. No, I'm kidding. We're having a lot of fun, and we're just trying to enjoy all of it.

Me: Jeff, thanks for doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge when I challenged you. Here's a screen shot of you doing it...

Me: Was it fun?

Jeff: Lori and I were talking that we were surprised none of our friends had challenged us to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and then days later you challenged me, It was a lot of fun to do. I said all along that I would do it in a second.

Me: And you challenged Lori! Were you surprised Jeff challenged you?

Lori: I wasn't really all that surprised, Jeff asked me if he could challenge me first. Also, I was the one who filmed him, so if I'd been shocked, you would've heard it! And you could show my screen shot if you like.

Me: Okay...

Me: Is their a favorite celebrity of yours that did the challenge? Mine is Kelly Clarkson and Emma Stone's. Oh, and I loved Carla Gugino's and Malin Akerman's, both from Watchmen. Here's their screen shot...

Jeff: There were a lot of good celebrities that did it. I think the Philadelphia Eagles as a team did it together by jumping in a pool. I also liked Henry Cavill doing it in his Superman costume. I know who Lori's favorite was, but I will let her tell it.

Lori: My favorite celebrity was definitely Bill Gates. He went so far as to build a contraption to dump the water and ice on his head for him. Because that's how Bill Gates rolls.

Me: Before we took about football, I have to comment on the picture for Phootball Talk of you two. Where was that taken?

Lori: That photo was taken at an Eagles preseason practice we went to on August 10th. They actually held the practice at one of the local colleges that had been the Eagles stadium back in the '60s. It was Alumni Day so some of the players who'd played on the team back then were there to watch the practice, too.

Me: And there's a creepy kid photo bombing the photo which is funny. Did you notice him at first? 

Jeff: We didn't notice the kid in the background until after we took it. My camera has a front facing camera on it as well, but we thought it was funny with the random child staring at us so we didn't take another one.

Lori: We did not notice that child until after I posted the photo, though I did notice his father's knees in my back all day. Shudder.

Me: Okay, so, this is the fourth year we're doing this, Jeff, and Lori, your second. The first year I won, the second Jeff won. Lori, you were lucky last year... and I came in dead last. I'll have a better year this year, right, Jeff?

Jeff: No offense, Jason but I don't want you to have a better year. I want to win my 2nd championship and have my wife come in second place. If that's okay, honey?

Me: So, for those that don't know the rules on the football picks we do, Jeff, wanna explain?

Jeff: The rules are very simple. We will each pick the winners of two games this year and how much they will win by. I will keep track of all picks and points awarded. Each victory is worth 3 points.

Me: We each also have a team... I have the Giants, Jeff, you have the Steelers and Lori, you have the Eagles. We get two points for each of our teams wins as well, am I right?

Jeff: Yes, if our favorite team wins that week we will get an additional two points in our total for the week. This year winner takes all and has bragging rights!

Me: Okay, my picks I'm gonna be real nice, and pick both of your teams. I saw the Eagles will win by 13 and the Steelers by 10. What do you two pick?

Jeff: My picks are San Fran by 7 points and San Diego by 3 points. We are actually going to the week one game Jaguars at Eagles so who knows maybe we will have a better picture!

Me: No, we have to use that one all season, it's great. Haha. Lori?

Lori: The first week is so hard! You have no idea what's going to happen. That being said, I pick the Saints by 3 and the Patriots over the Dolphins by 5.

Me: Fantastic! I will see you back here next Thursday. Have a good week, kids. And it's on!

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a young singer/songwriter whose EP "Wake Up" is available now on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Sonali.

Me: Hey, there, Sonali, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Sonali: Hey! I’m great, happy to be here!

Me: That's a very beautiful name, does it have a meaning? I'm sure it does.

Sonali: Thank you, yes it does actually. Sonali is derived from the Sanskrit language, and means golden or made of gold.

Me: Where are your parents from? You have a very exotic look about you.

Sonali: I was born here in the US, but my family is from India.

Me: I bet with your talent and looks you have all kind of guys hitting on you, am I right?

Sonali: Haha, still waiting for the right guy to hit on me!

Me: Where are you from originally, Sonali? You were born in Florida, right?

Sonali: Actually I was born in Los Angeles, but my family moved to South Florida when I was three years old. So I consider Florida my home.

Me: You grew up in California but live in New York now, right? What part?

Sonali: I actually grew up in Florida, but yes I do live in New York now! I live near the East Village, it’s a really great place to be. New York is truly the best city in the world, the energy is just incredible. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by people who are so talented and motivated to reach their goals, which so many New Yorkers are.

Me: What did your parents say when you moved away from home?

Sonali: Florida and New York are a long way from another. Yes, they are definitely a long way from each other, and that’s been really hard since I’m extremely close with my family. But luckily my family is incredibly supportive of me and has pushed me to go out and make my dreams a reality, so that’s made it a lot easier. Plus a two-and-a-half hour plane ride isn’t all that bad… it could be worse.

Me: You play guitar, keyboard, bass and drums... which is a lot for someone your age. What came first?

Sonali: I guess technically piano came first because I started lessons when I was five, but I absolutely hated it and only wanted to sing at that time. The piano lessons stopped soon after, but I came to regret that decision and decided to teach myself later on when I was older. So the first instrument I was really proficient in was probably guitar.

Me: What do you prefer to play?

Sonali: That’s tough to answer! Playing drums definitely makes you feel alive since it’s such a physical instrument, and I also really enjoy playing piano because it’s just so beautiful and emotional. But since I play it the most I guess I would have to say guitar. There are just so many different types of sounds you can create with a guitar, and I find that really inspiring. But they’re all so much fun! They’re really different, it’s hard to compare.

Me: How old were you when you started to song write and sing?

Sonali: I’ve been singing forever, I started classical training when I was six, and didn’t start singing pop and rock until pretty recently, even though that was always where my heart was. As for songwriting I started when I was fifteen or sixteen, but didn’t seriously start to do it until about a year ago I’d say. I’m a very quiet and private person, so for the longest time the idea of having people hear my innermost thoughts was the scariest thing in the world. It still is, but now that’s also what excites me about it. Songwriting is so liberating, it’s the best way I know how to talk.

Me: I love the song "September" from the EP "Wake Up", Sonali. Is that based on a true story? 

Sonali: Thank you! You could say it’s inspired by a true story, but it’s not all word for word the same. That’s how all my songs are. I like to be inspired by things that have either happened to me or a friend, and then I craft a little story about that particular incident. It’s fun getting to invent and be creative that way, I enjoy being a storyteller.

Me: You also have an EP called "Speechless". Man, you like those S words, don'tcha?

Sonali: Haha... yes I do, maybe it’s because my name starts with an S!

Me: How would you describe your music?

Sonali: Great question… I like to say pop/rock with a bit of a folky twist to it.

Me: Being so young, do you listen to the normal bands people your age listen to? One Direction, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift?

Sonali: Of course! As a musician I think it’s critical to listen to as much variety as you can, and as an aspiring pop artist I have to know what’s current and trending. But my taste in music goes far beyond that. One of my all time favorite bands is Led Zeppelin, and just classic rock in general is so exciting! And this surprises most people, but I’m actually really into heavy metal… Bullet for My Valentine is the best.

Me: I have to ask someone your age what they think of Miley. What do you think of her?

Sonali: Hahaha... I think she’s incredibly smart. Her or her marketing team, I’m not really sure which one. Although her music isn’t necessarily my favorite, I think she was very successful in defining a really solid image and brand for herself and absolutely going for it, and from seeing her interviews she seems to have her head together. But we’ll see.

Me: You got to go backstage and meet Rihanna, right? I have a picture of you two...

Me: How did that happen and was she nice?

Sonali: Yes! That was a super cool experience. Universal put out a contest to make a video to her song “Diamonds”, and my friends and I decided to go one step further and make an actual cover in addition to the video. We ended up winning the contest, so we got to go backstage at Rihanna’s concert in Newark and meet her. First of all her concert was amazing, she’s an incredible performer, and then getting to meet her was even greater! She was so nice and down to earth, she even took the time to make a voicemail recording for one of my friends involved with the video, it was really sweet.

Me: Chris Brown wasn't there, was he?

Sonali: Haha, no, luckily he was nowhere to be seen!

Me: You went to, or go to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. I never knew there was such a thing. Is that a hard school to get in?

Sonali: Yes, I go there now, I’m a sophomore, and it’s part of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts! Yeah, it is pretty hard to get into, they only take about 30-40 kids a year and it’s one of the hardest undergrad programs to be accepted into in NYU. Believe me, I never thought I was getting in there in a million years. But I’m so glad I did, it’s a great place and I’ve grown so much as an artist since being there.

Me: What are you learning there?

Sonali: Our program is really focused on production/engineering and entrepreneurship, which is why I like it so much. You don’t technically need to study voice or guitar for example, to be a performer, so long as you keep practicing your craft. But learning the business and technical end of things really does help, because the more you can understand and do yourself the better off you are, especially in today’s music industry.

Me: Did you meet Clive?

Sonali: I wish! I heard him speak at a school event last year, and he attended the school’s ten year anniversary a few months ago, but I didn’t get to personally speak to him.

Me: Sonali, a lot of singers your age try out for shows such as "American Idol" and "X-Factor". Have you ever thought about that or auditioned?

Sonali: No, I haven’t, I really believe in the traditional route of grassroots fan building. Although it’s without a doubt a lot slower and more difficult, I feel like the fans you get are really loyal and supportive for the long run.

Me: On the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? If you could master one instrument which would it be? That's a good question for you.

Sonali: Just one?! That’s hard. Well, I’ll pick something we haven’t talked about already. I recently bought a banjo and I absolutely love it! You’ll definitely hear that on my EP. So if I could master that it would be great!

Me: Before I let you go to have fun with your friends and whatever you do I have to ask you about Smile Train. What is that, Sonali?

Sonali: Smile Train is a wonderful charity, and they provide free cleft palate surgery for people all over the world. I have first hand witnessed what people with a cleft palate have to go through and how difficult their lives really are, so I’ve always been motivated to do what I can to help since then. 

Me: And one hundred percent of the sales from your "Speechless" EP went to Smile Train. How do you expect to make money? Was that your idea?

Sonali: My purpose in making "Speechless" was to be able to help support the Smile Train, so my goal for that was not to personally make any money off of it. Everything I earned from that album I wanted to go straight to the charity.

Me: Does Smile Train have a website?

Sonali: Yes they do!

Me: Why don't you mention all your websites while you're at it?

Sonali: Sure thing! Whatever social media you prefer, I have:,,, Twitter/Instagram: @itsmesonali.

Me: Sonali, you are talented and beautiful and I see a long career ahead of you. Good luck, continued success and please come back on the Phile soon, okay?

Sonali: Thank you so much! And thank you for having me!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz, Lori Sedlacek and of course Sonali. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum, and one of my favorite musicians fever... Mike Gent. 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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