Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pheaturing Meka Nism

Hey! It's Thursday and another entry of the Phile, kids. How are you? Are you loving this cool weather? Man, those poor people in Buffalo. One way to help people in Buffalo is to stop complaining about it being slightly chilly where you live.  By the end of this week, the entire western half of New York state will have been buried under mountains of frosty, white snow, according to meteorologists. The region has already been smitten with five feet of the frozen precipitation, and as many as three more feet are expected by tomorrow. Living in Orlando every time I see an update of the winter snow in upstate New York I get survivors guilt.  Virginia's former senator Jim Webb is launching a presidential exploratory committee, according to Politico. This officially makes him the first high profile Democratic politician to formally express an interest in getting his ass handed to him by Hillary Clinton and then taking a spot on the ticket as V.P. This week the 2016 presidential race became a new reality show: "Who Wants To Get Beat Up By A Grandma."  The primitive desert community known as "Utah" is seeking to legalize the firing squad as a state-sanctioned form of capital punishment. "It's an instant death," state representative Paul Ray said of the innovative new way of killing people. "A lot of these folks are dead before they even hear the gun." Utah to revive death by firing squad. I thought having to live in Utah was already a form of capital punishment? Haha. I don't think I have any readers from Utah, so I should get no complaints about that.  In addition to alienating friends and accidentally walking into the paths of city buses, people have been allowing cell phones to ruin their lives in a way we're only just now discovering. A new medical study being published in the journal Surgical Technology International claims that people are causing severe damage to their spines by continually staring down at their phones. "It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common," a medical expert explained. "Just look around you, everyone has their heads down." On the way home today I saw a guy texting while riding a bike... so that's it for us. Best of luck to the species that replaces humans, cats probably.  Netflix has bravely decided to hold off on releasing Bill Cosby's new stand-up comedy special until its customers have successfully managed to put all thoughts of his sexual assault accusations out of their heads and gone back to thinking about him as a cuddly old man with ugly sweaters. So, you see? Actions really do have consequences. Y'know, I lived almost 46 years of my life without ever considering Bill Cosby's dick.  Women are less grossed out by the ugliness of potential sexual partners if there is little chance of the regrettable sex act resulting in a hideous baby, according to recent scientific studies. Research seems to suggest that women on contraception were less repulsed by the thought of intermingling their genitals with men who do not resemble Chris Hemsworth than women who also had to consider intermingling their genes. I try to treat all ugly people equally.  I mentioned the poor people in Buffalo just now, and I have to tell you this story I just read. As Buffalo residents got suspended in place due to apocalyptic amounts of snow from the now-infamous lake-effect snowfall, the biggest question came: what are we going to do about this abandoned Doritos truck? Like manna from heaven, a giant truck containing nature's most delicious abomination had been abandoned, and it contained both Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. What happened to the driver is unclear, but in his attempt to save himself, he no doubt saved many others an impossible trip to the store. He also saved them from having to try the even more impossible task of resisting the beckoning flavor granules that frosted each chip like the snow that frosted the streets. Stealing Doritos isn't worth the jail time, but I wouldn't worry about it. They'd have to be able to get police down that street first. Doritos ingredients vary per chip, but I bet there's enough sodium on those bad boys that if the residents wanted, they could use the rest of their stash to melt the roads back down to normal. Check the picture of the truck out...

So, did you read those Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were a kid? I loved those books, and thought I read everyone until I saw this...

Haha. I don't remember that one.  I love inspirational posters, and I haven't shown one on here for a long time, but I saw this one and had to show it to you.

I thought it was funny. Ha. Okay, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Groups Of People Who Went To See Dumb And Dumber To?
5. Morons, excited to finally see this crazy-lookin' Star Wars sequel.
4. Jeff Daniels fans anticipating the same gritty, dramatic gravitas he brings to "The Newsroom."
3. Long-bearded old timers who recall he last watchable Farrelly Brothers movie.
2. English teachers, furious about the title's stranded preposition.
And the number one group of people who went to see Dumb and Dumber To are...
1. Terminal-flatulence sufferers, figuring there'll be enough farts onscreen to mask their own loud, rumbling rippers.

Ugghhh! Make it stop! I hate it. Let me know if you spot the Mindphuck. Alright, I have to mention something pretty sad for a second. Yesterday was a sad day in the music world, but more importantly, in our personal life. Former Foghat band member and good friend Riff West passed away. Riff was a member of Foghat back in 1990 and one of my dad's best friends. Both were non-smokers, vegetarians and had a true love for the music they performed. Riff was also a huge supporter of animal rights and worked for years to help raise money for animal shelters. Riff will be missed by many, but forgotten by none. Riff loved the Phile and wanted to be a guest on it and talked about my dad and his time in Foghat and Molly Hatchet but he was sick, and never could find the time. I was planning on meeting with Riff next week in fact. I have to show this promo photo of Foghat from the early 90s... it was the only time Foghat had five members in the band at the same time.

It's crazy to think three people in that photo have passed. Riff, Rod Price and of course my dad. Riff will be missed by many, but forgotten by none. Rest in peace, dear friend. Okay, moving on... it's Thursday and time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey there, welcome back. It's Thursday, so lets talk football. How are you?

Jeff: I'm doing all right, I suppose. How are you?

Me: I'm doing okay. So, what's the big football news this week? Anything major?

Jeff: The biggest news is that Adrian Peterson has been suspended for the rest of the season due to his arrest earlier in the year for hitting his four year old child with a switch. He had been on the Commissioner's Exempt List so he was getting paid to sit out of games. But he was never disciplined by the league. Now he has been. The other big news is Denver has lost two in a row, Indianapolis lost and so did Philadelphia. A lot of top contenders went down this week. It is also really sad that a team is 4-6 and leads their division and will make the playoffs that way if the season ended today. That would be the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile every team in the AFC North is at least two games at .500 showing quite a bit of parity in the league this year.

Me: Okay, so how did we do with last weeks picks, Jeff?

Jeff: Last week we both went 1-1. The only difference is the Steelers lost while unfortunately the Giants did not. My lead is 8 points.

Me: Okay, let's do this weeks picks. This week I say Colts by 13 and Chargers by 6. What do you say?

Jeff: I am going to go with Kansas City by eight points and the 49ers by five points.

Me: Okay, it's Thanksgiving next Thursday so the Phile will be on Wednesday instead of Thursday. See you then.

Jeff: See you next week! I will be in Connecticut next week visiting the family, but I will have time to give you my picks.

The 30th artist to be pueratured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Winged Warrior Chrissy Alberston and this is one of her pieces...

What the hell? Anyway, Chrissy will be a guest on the Phile on Monday.

Alright, today's guest is the lead singer of the Orlando band named after her... Meka Nism. I love that name. Their EP "The Dance At the End of the World" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Meka Nism.

Me: Hey there, welcome to the Phile, Meka, how are you?

Meka: Most Excellent, how are you?

Me: I'm okay. Okay, over the five or six years of doing interviews on the Phile I have got my guests in so many different ways... through PR companies, artists, musicians themselves, and being referred by someone I interviewed or a friend. You are something different all together. I was at a car dealership getting my car worked on and I was wearing a House of Blues t-shirt. My car dealer Frankie said his step-son just played there. I asked what band he plays with and he said Meka Nism. He showed me pictures and videos and we talked and I decided I should have you on the Phile. Crazy, right? So, you can thank Frankie for this interview. Or unthank him if it goes bad. Haha. Do you do a lot of interviews, Meka?

Meka: I've done a few here and there over the years, always with spurts arounds an album release, so I have a feeling a bunch are coming soon. :-)

Me: I have to say I love your name... which is also the bands name. It's a perfect rock band name, and very clever. You had the name before the band, right?

Meka: Yes, Meka has been a nickname since late teen years. Then my brother called me Meka Nism (amongst many other funny teasing names) and I thought it was a good stage name.

Me: You started off as a solo artist, but now Meka Nism is more of a band. Who is in the band with you?

Meka: Bobby "The Ripper" Keller lead guitar. Alvin Bauer bass, FReeDom guitar, Jeremy Mansfield drums. That's my band family :)

Me: Do you have all creative input, Meka, or do the guys in the band put their two cents in?

Meka: I try to promote and encourage a group creativity. It's always better when multiple musicians collaborate. We have a talented team and they always honor my vision, as I honor each of theirs and we all try to honor the process and progression. Each person has a huge strength and important contribution. Each different but equally valued. Lots of trust involved in working together.

Me: The band is based here in Orlando, but you were born in Japan, am I right?

Meka: No, I'm a Florida grrrl, born in St. Pete by upstate New Yorker parents. Just recently lived in Japan for a few years, playing about 150 shows of different kinds and I really found new parts of myself and my soul there. That's why I call Kyoto my spiritual "hometown"

Me: When did you come to Orlando originally?

Meka: Moved here in high school to go to Dr. Phillips School of the Arts.

Me: You have played all around the world, do you have a favorite place you have played, or a favorite show you have done?

Meka: My favorite venue is Urbanguild in Kyoto, since I had great moments of feeling directly connected to source there, and we had the artistic freedom to do tons of butoh dance and performance art. Even through a Zombie Prom for an Origami Girls CD release party October 2009. Second favorite so far is the House of Blues. That just feels so right to play on stage where I've seen some of my favorite artists. Like Concrete Blonde, as well as Alterbridge, Slayer, Lucana Coil, Kittie, Ween, My friend Steve, Volbeat, Lamb of God, and Megadeth. I also really like Firestone Live! Another great place where we you can feel the intensity of the amazing audience, while also having the artistic freedom to put on a theatrical stage show with butoh dancers, performance art and video multi media experiences. Also have had some great shows at Kyoto Muse Hall, The legendary Brass Mug, The Haven, Will's Pub, Backbooth, Otto's Shrunken Head, CBGB's and Sidewalk Cafe in NYC, and other places in Tokyo, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Sapporo.

Me: Your look is very Japanese looking, Meka, so Japan is a big influence on you, right?

Meka: My look is timeless, locationless and expansive. I put what I love into my life when I can. So lots of vintage costumes and crazy punk rock flavor. Yes, since I love Japanese style, it shows up constantly. And since my clothing helps express my spiritual side, then lots of intentions of Shamanism and other healing arts show up as well. There's a great story about this on our platform site.

Me: Don't you sing in Japanese on the song "Bring the Sun Back"?

Meka: Yes, I do sing in Japanese in that song, it was one of the first pieces that I wrote after my return to Orlando. Japanese words were still fresh on my mind and on the tip of my tongue. I was strumming a guitar riff one day during practice and the words all just came out in both languages.

Me: I do have to say, you are very pretty and you don't need all that make-up drawings and stuff on your face. That make-up has a meaning though I am guessing, am I right?

Meka: Yes, keeping thoughts sacred and intentions spiritual. Activation of third eye and connection to source.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your EP "The Dance At the End of the World" which I downloaded from iTunes... if the world was dying dancing would be the last thing would do. I don't dance. Haha. What does that title mean, Meka?

Meka: Keeping hope alive and living life to it's fullest no matter what threat LIES in your way. Fear blocks us from enjoying the existence we have, we exist almost as zombies sometimes. No matter what... Keep striving to make the best out of whatever you have in life. So I say Dance With Me!!!!

Me: The whole EP has a theme, right, and the band has a message?

Meka: Absolutely! Awakening and Enlightenment.

Me: What is the message and theme?

Meka: It goes in order with a storyline like a rock opera. 1.) "Tyranny Reigns"... the problem song, establishing the disease and rape of all in different ways. Looking at that degradation of what is truly sacred and found in every being in existence. We are divine, and expect to be treated with that honor. 2.) "Bring the Sun Back"... a call to the Light. 3.) "Dance at the end of the World"... keep hope alive no matter what is going on around you. There has also been a feeling that we are temporary and that the world will crumble around us at any second. Stop living in the fear. Time to know that we are Infinite and should be enjoying existence to its fullest. 4.) "RISE"... a call to action. Get up, and live your greatest potential. Wake up!

Me: Most bands just write about having sex and the normal stuff, but you are using your music for a deeper reason. Have you always done that?

Meka: Figuring out love and dealing with disappointment and broken hearts has come up before, but it's time to speak a greater truth and strive to have a brilliant impact on the world.

Me: Meka, how old were you when you started to write and knew you wanted to be a performer?

Meka: Well, I'm pretty sure that I had it figured out before I was born, and that's why I came here. I started as a dancer from toddler years, than musical theater, and I would put on concerts for the neighborhood on my front porch with the sisters down the street. Mostly singing to pop hits like Madonna songs with choreography and costume changes. Then I started writing original tunes and more theatrical story lines to put it all together. I was a different character most days. I loved my costume box and the tea parties that my mom would throw for me. She was into theater and crafts. So I had some creative influence.

Me: What are your normal fans like? Is your fan base mostly male or female?

Meka: Such a huge variety. No way to pinpoint that. It's all inclusive for anyone who embraces creativity and powerful presence.

Me: So, where was the EP recorded, Meka? 

Meka: With Jeff MacAlear at High Five Studios.

Me: You kids are coming out with a new one soon, right?

Meka: Totally. Get Ready for "THE SHIFT."  In studio now with Brett Hestla Productions.

Me: Let's talk about the video for "Bring the Sun Back". Where was that filmed?

Meka: Here in Orlando.

Me: Do you like making videos?

Meka: One of my favorite things ever!!!!!!!!!

Me: It's very artsy, Meka, so I am guessing the video concept was your idea. I have to hand it to you, you put a lot of work in your music and band.

Meka: Yes, I had a strong idea of elements that I needed to incorporate, but it fully developed as a group and a lot of inspiration came from many directions. You have to stay open to allow a group awesomeness! Many friends put a lot of time, energy and talent into this project. You are very kind. We all work very hard to make it the focus of our lives. Lots of dedication and sacrifice to do what you love in conjunction with people you believe in!

Me: Who are your influences musically?

Meka: Sooooooo many!!!!! From PJ Harvey, Janis Joplin, Bernadette Peters, Hide from X Japan, to opera, to metal, punk, blues, Broadway, Japanese rock, Indian classical music, alternative, indy, psychedelic, folk, acoustic, tribal, funk, ska, chanting, new age, rockabilly, Renaissance and anything else that rocks!!!

Me: Okay, so, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Oh, shit, this is dumb, you already speak two languages... I'll ask you anyway. Which language would you like to speak fluently?

Meka: All of them. Then let's make a new one. Love is a universal language, so is music. Oh, and I'd like to speak lion. Their voices are fierce.

Me: Meka, thanks for being on the Phile. Mention your website and I am sure to see you in concert soon. Please come back on the Phile when your next release comes out.

Meka: Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! we really appreciate you and this opportunity to share with you! Looking forward to keeping in touch and supporting the Peverett Phile!

There, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and Meka Nism. The Phile will be back on Sunday with My Phorty-Sixth Birthday Special Entry Pheaturing Phile Alum Chris Nelson. Then On Monday it's artist Chrissy Alberston and on Wednesday it's Phile Alum Kirk Waldrop from Nine Times Blue. So, 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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