Hello, welcome to Peverett Phile Sunday Morning. Ha. So, did you turn your clocks back one hour? The time change gives me an extra hour to be miserable today. I'm just kidding... or am I? Okay, let's talk about how the world's wealthiest are devouring all the money. The 85 wealthiest people in the world make approximately $500K per minute and $668 million dollars a day, according to a new report from Oxfam International. It also shows that there are now twice as many billionaires in the world as there were before the global economic crisis began in 2009. So, the bad news is that the global pool of money is being sucked upward. The good news is that there are way more rich people to toss us coins while we grovel in the street. You know, I'd rather be poor in the 21st century than rich 200 years ago. Even if I'm a loser at least I have an iPhone. Take that, Medici family. Extraterrestrials have visited Earth, according to the death bed confession of a man who claimed to be an Lockheed Martin engineer. The 78 year old alleged aerospace engineer who said he had "top secret clearance" explained in a recently released video that the alien beings are "approximately four and a half to five feet tall" with "three back bones" and the ability to communicate telepathically. Sounds plausible aside from the height thing. Call me a skeptic, but I just don't buy an alien standing more than three-feet tall. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are one step closer to losing the legal battle over their 2013 hit song "Blurred Lines," after a federal judge denied their motion that the court find that the song did not borrow heavily from the 1977 Marvin Gaye classic "Got to Give It Up." We can probably assume their case started falling apart shortly after the judge got around to listening to the two songs. Twenty bucks says Robin Thicke has asked his reps to put him in touch with the girl from the catcalling video. This is something I learned from my sister... Starbucks announced that it will soon begin delivering its coffee-based beverages to customers' homes, because opening locations inside every house in America was apparently unfeasible. Like love and money, it appears that trolling is now a language spoken around the world. Even in North Korea. Notice anything peculiar about this publicity photo of Kim Jong-un explaining crude crib technology to North Korea's top military leaders?
Yes, besides the dear leader's new look, featuring longer hair, parted in the middle like all the cool people in the mid-1970s. Look a little closer...
It's not that he's smoking a cigarette above a child's bed that is most likely as flammable as a pile of dried leaves. It's what's behind him, humping doggy style in the corner. I hope whoever the brave soul was who pulled off this beautiful prank is safely out of the country by the time Jong-un hears about the Internet and learns how to Google himself. In a place where you can be sentenced to hard labor for poetry, I'd hate to think what the punishment would be for embarrassing the country's most powerful maniac. Crazy, right? So, the Phile has a new sponsor.
I have no bloody idea what that is... or does. It's Sunday, and if you want something to read today where here is a suggestion.
That's how I learnt to be so awesome. Haha. Yeah, right. Is that John Tesh on the cover? So, do you kids like Taylor Swift? Disney does, as they are re-releasing all their classic animated movies with Taylor replacing the princesses. Here's the latest one...
That is a little bit scary. Okay, it's Sunday and I am sure you are going to church instead of reading this blog. There's so many cool churches out there that are different, so I thought I would show one to you today. This futuristic protestant church is located in Tokyo and it was first unveiled by the design firm of Ciel Rouge Creation in 2005.
The ceiling is specially made to reverberate natural sound for 2 seconds to provide a unique listening experience for worshipers and tourists. As you know, I live in Florida and some of the craziest stories come out of Florida and nowhere else. So, that's why I have a pheature devoted exclusively to that. So, once again, here is...
When Micah Dailey left his house in Cape Coral, Florida on Tuesday, he probably did not plan on going to jail. You have to think that if he thought there was even a chance that he'd be arrested and charged with possession of no more than 20 grams of marijuana, he would've changed his shirt before heading out.
Because, when you wind up posing for a mugshot wearing a Monopoly t-shirt that says, "Go directly to jail," you're not only going to hear about it from every cop in the precinct that night ("Hey, he just landed on Perp-walk!"), you can count on becoming a first-ballot Mugshot Hall of Famer. So, congrats, Micah! Your picture now belongs to the ages, among greats such as The Eye Shadow Thief, Meta Mugshot Guy, and, perhaps the greatest of all time, Crystal Metheney. Take a bow!
I bet you don't get this one, kids. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, so, a regular friend of the Phile, Laird Jim, gets introduced here as a singer, patriot and renaissance man. I get emails asking me about the singing part, and if he has any stories about his singing career. So, kids, here is Laird with a story about just that. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is.
Good morning, humans. Happy Sunday, phuckerz. Some days are always good for gazing out the window and letting your mind drift. About an hour ago, while doing just that... I drifted to Sunday nights at The Rock n Roll Cafe in Greenwich Village... early '90s. Steel Breeze-Unplugged (a 3 piece acoustic act I sang with) played there every Sunday night for years. One night, this very uppity woman in a pricey dress came in thinking she was too cool for the room. She kept parading around like Paris Hilton. Back and forth in front of the band and stage lights. Gliding long regally as if saying... "Look at ME... I'm FABulous!" She went into the ladies room for a bit and when she walked out and past the band, she had a lonnnnnng trail of toilet paper stuck to her heel and the back of her dress tucked into her panty hose. I looked and grinned along with everybody else who were EYES WIDE and waiting to hear my comments on the mike. I calmly and firmly said, "Don't any of you DARE ruin this for me!" The crowd complied for the next five minutes while the band played Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl." I could barely contain my laughter enough to sing as she continued to parade back and forth with toilet paper in tow and her dress visibly tucked in the aforementioned panty hose. NOBODY told her. That right there, my twisted little meatpuppets... is what you call... Knowing Your Crowd! The song ended and I said into the mike, "I'm sorry... I have to do this." I then walked over to her and said, "Look down at your shoe then look at the back of your dress in the mirror over there." I calmly walked back to the mike and said, "Okay lady... whatta YOU wanna hear?" as she shrieks and screams, "You all SUCK!" The crowd erupted with laughter and the band high fived with the waitresses. She ran out and we went back to drinking like vikings and taking requests from the crowd. I miss those days...
Alright, today's pheatufed guest is the 28th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery and has his own company called Martini Avenue. Pleasse welcome to the Phile... Al Abbazia.
Me: Hi, Al, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Al: I’m doing great, thanks.
Me: So, I take it you're an Indiana Jones fan, am I right?
Al: Absolutely. I even own a jacket... haha.
Me: I can see that. What's your favorite Indiana Jones movie, Al?
Al: It has to be Raiders of the Lost Ark. As much as I love Last Crusade, my favorite will always be Raiders. It was the first and the best.
Me: My favorite is Temple of Doom. Okay, I have to tell you I first saw your art at the Tampa Bay Comic Con last August. I almost purchased the Retro Batman TV series poster you were selling, but there was only one left, and I wanted the smaller one. I have to show a picture of it here.
Me: Your work is not really posters though, as they are metal. So, what would you call them?
Al: Well, most of my prints are done on pearl metallic paper. So they are not “metal” but a very high quality paper that will last forever. It gives the prints a beautiful shine. I’ll always have metallic prints available at conventions, but I am also starting a high quality matte line that will be less expensive for my customers.
Me: Al, where are you from, sir?
Al: I hail from Brooklyn, New York but have been calling Orlando home for the last twenty years or so. But, I still consider myself a New Yorker.
Me: Do you do a lot of conventions?
Al: Yes. I try to do about eight to ten convention every year. This year I did more out of state conventions like Dragon Con in Atlanta.
Me: Your artwork is fantastic, and features a lot of different elements such as photography and beautiful women. Let's talk about the women first... where do you meet these women, Al?
Al: Damn, it sounds like I date them too... haha. I’m on various social media websites, some that cater to photographers and models. And speaking of which, I’d like to mention the models who I have collaborated with a lot over the years. Their talent and creativity are a gift to me. Off the top of my head: Angie, Shannon, Ashley, Daisy, Michelle, Dana, Erica, Bobi Jo, Scarlette, Samantha, Cherry, Kristine, Christy, Mersina, Callie, Jenna, Cherry, Peyton, Jessica, Freya, Carrie, Ria, Stefanie, Rosalind, Tammy, Stephy, Cami, Lyn, Rachel, Shiree, Erin, Stephanie, Anastasia, Jaylynn, Lexi and anyone else who I left off! And I have worked with some wonderful make up artists and stylists over the years as well.
Me: Are they cosplayers?
Al: I see some of them dressing up at conventions and love when they stop by my table for a chat.
Me: I love the pin-up style, it's very retro and modern. How long have you been doing this style of work, and how did you come up with the idea?
Al: I love everything retro and vintage. I majored in history in college. I think I was born in the wrong decade.
Me: Anyway, do you have a favorite old school pin-up?
Al: Anything by the master, Gil Elvgren.
Me: Like most artists who do everything by themselves, you have the models and other people involved, which is cool. Once the photo is taken you do a lot of extra work on the computer, right?
Al: Oh yes. A lot of photoshop with techniques I developed over the years. Sometimes I also draw elements and scan them into the computer before finishing up digitally.
Me: What tools do you use, Al?
Al: Photoshop, ink and pencil, Copic Sketch Markers, oil paint.
Me: I have to ask about the company name... Martini Avenue. That's retro sounding as well, how did you come up with the name?
Al: I started doing the “girl on the martini glass” shots so I wanted martini in the name. To me, a martini symbolizes class and sexiness. I toyed with a few names like Martiniland (which was used), Martini World and Captain Martini... haha. I could imagine myself walking around in a Captain’s hat and sunglasses, holding a martini.
Me: So, do you ever take the models to conventions with you?
Al: I never take them but I do see them there. My number one assistant is my daughter Emily who comes with me to most conventions. She is such a big help and I love spending time with her so it’s a win-win.
Me: Let's talk about some of your art, starting with the Twistory series. That looks like a fun series, and original. Did you make all the background's for the pictures?
Al: Yes I did. I used a combination of photography, textures, patterns and effects. I also drew in some items.
Me: I love the Heroes & Villains series as I am a comic book fan. I'm guessing you are as well. Do you read Marvel or DC?
Al: I like both but more of a DC comics fan.
Me: This Rocketeer one is fantastic.
Me: I know someone who would want that one. Where did you find somebody that has a full Rocketeer suit?
Al: I went to a pin-up shoot with a number of models and makeup artists. A cosplayer named Thomas Galvin had a full Rocketeer costume and specifically wanted me to shoot him and a model named Haley. The shoot was at a bed and breakfast. I went upstairs and went out on the balcony, shooting down on them. Since I didn’t have my professional lights with me, I had to do a lot of drawing and graphic painting during post-work. It turned out to be one of my favorite shots.
Me: The Carnivale Di Avventura series is very unique. Is that Italian by the way?
Al: Yes. Being Italian, I wanted to give it some Italian flair. The Carnival of Adventure.
Me: Did you create your own costumes and come up with your own ideas for them?
Al: In almost every shot, I created the outfits or worked off of what the model brought to me. Pepper Mint, Mary Mint and Rick gave me the most to work with by having some great wardrobe choices. I ended up making changes to them... and I’m glad they were okay with that!. I did a lot of research on turn of the 20th century wardrobe and did my best with them. I did not even have a model for a few of the characters like the Joker and Flash.
Me: Okay, I'm a big Star Wars fan, and I love artists that do Star Wars theme stuff. Your Star Wars Serial post is really good. Check it out, kids...
Me: You should talk to Disney about selling that piece in the parks. I take it you're a big Star Wars fan, am I right?
Al: I am going to submit my work to Lucasfilm and see what they say. Fingers crossed. A lot of my Star Wars work lately has had no models in them. Just some takes on retro styled posters that could exist in the Star Wars Universe.
Me: So, out of everything you have done, what is your favorite piece?
Al: Hmmm. Tough question. I plead the fifth.
Me: Al, who is your favorite artist?
Al: I have a long list of them. Comic book artists like George Perez (who I have had the good fortune of befriending), John Romita Sr, and Neal Adams. Star Wars legend Ralph McQuarrie. Master impressionist Monet. Gil Elvgren. Steve Thomas. Jerry Vanderstelt. I better stop. I could keep going and going.
Me: I have to ask you about the piece of the naked girl in the tub. Brilliant! I have to ask, was she really naked?
Al: Haha. I have two tub girls, Michelle and Samantha. I must say they both had bottoms on. Both very beautiful and professional models.
Me: So, can anybody contact you and you'll take their photo?
Al: Yes, I am always ready to book a session... for money... haha.
Me: Do you do commissions?
Al: Once in awhile I do when I have time. Sometimes a photoshopped piece, other times a sketch.
Me: I like to ask artists I interview here on the Phile what they think of the Phile's logo. I know it's not really your style. If you were gonna make a logo for the Phile, what would it look like?
Al: Something that looks like it escaped from the 1950s! It came from Abbazia! Sounds like a B movie!
Me: Okay, so, here on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here we go... If you could have any view from your back porch what would it be?
Al: Something peaceful and relaxing. Green grass, some water, a lot of trees. Oh, and my dog Kallie running around.
Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Al. Go ahead and mention your sites and come back anytime. All the best.
Al: Martiniavenue.com. Thank you for having me.
Well, that does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and Al Abbazia. I definitely am gonna have him back on the Phile again. Okay, the Phile's schedule is gonna be a little confusing so you might wanna take notes. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Anna Coogan. Then again on Thursday with Terra Lightfoot from the Canadian band Dinner Belles. I'll be down south with my sister and her family on Sunday so they'll be no entry that day, but on Monday it's singer Jonathan Spout. 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