What the hell? Hello, kids, and welcome to the Phile. What year is it? I bet you are wondering what happened on Thursday. Well, it's a long story, kids. The Phile is back today and after today will be on hiatus for a few weeks. Anyway, you don't need to hear about my woes, do you? You wanna to know what is going on in the news. Here we go... 1/535th of the U.S. Congress's corruption problem was solved, when Michael Grimm... who represents New York State's 11th congressional district announced that he will resign from office, after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The state will soon hold a special election to pick up the political malfeasance where Grimm left off. Imagine how many crimes Michael Grimm will commit without a full time job. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency publicly took responsibility for the rash of UFO sightings that began in the 1950s, tweeting "Reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? It was us." What terrified civilians took for dangerous flying saucers were apparently nothing more than harmless U-2 spy planes secretly used by our government to bring the nation just up to the brink of global thermonuclear war. "UFO, FU!" said someone who just got anally probed by aliens and also loves palindromes. My dad was pretty good at coming up with palindromes. Apparently I am not. Preternaturally beautiful 42 year old mother Sofia Vergara has reportedly accepted a marriage proposal from ridiculously well-built 38 year old actor Joe Manganiello. The "Modern Family" and "True Blood" actors will be wed in a ceremony, surrounded by their wealthy and attractive friends in a location where you cannot go, ugly. They plan to get cracking on a pack of chiseled, big-breasted wolf spawn as soon as possible. Not long after giving birth to three cubs at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, a Sumatran tiger mother was discovered to have eaten her offspring, which is kind of another way of saying that Sumatran tigers are exactly as rare and endangered as they were a few weeks ago. Pop singer Miley Cyrus is likely sighing with relief, following a weeks-long stretch during which her unadorned breasts failed to gain the attention of international media. After posting a photo of her boobs... along with the presumably encrypted message to fans, "Some lame ass deff gonna [golf hole flag] dat [smiling pile of feces] but fuckkkkkkk it" to Instagram, the image was predictably pulled down. And then everybody started talking about how it was pulled down, because that's a thing that people still talk about apparently. It's not daring for Miley Cyrus to "bare it all." Daring would be to dress up as a homely Amish lady and churn butter in an asexual manner. Bill Cosby has reportedly hired a team of investigators to research the private lives of the growing number of women who are accusing him of having drugged and sexually assaulted them, in an effort to find information to use against them. "If you're going to say to the world that I did this to you, then the world needs to know, 'What kind of person are you? Who is this person that's saying it?'" an insider claims the once-beloved comedian told his legal team, presumably while petting a cat in the dark shadows of his underground lair. Bill Cosby has released a statement asking everyone to take the rape allegations with a grain of salt. And four muscle relaxers. Well, it's 2015 and this year the new Star Wars movie is coming out and people are already lined up for it...
Do you kids like Batman? It seems his comics have changed since I was a kid.
Why does he have a gun there? I have to show this ad, which is real, but I thought was kinda weird...
I do have to say she is cute. Alright, let's see who took the long dark nap...
July 19th, 1965 — January 4th, 2015
Much, much cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Little Jimmy Dickens
December 19th, 1920 — January 2nd, 2015
It's pretty tough to beat "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose".
June 15th, 1932 — January 1st, 2015
Hamlet under the Hudson.
July 21st, 1943 — December 31st, 2014
He was a GOD at sea.
January 12th, 1910 — December 30th, 2014
She was in a total of 9 Hollywood films, and won Oscars for best actress for two of them in consecutive years. Then she did nothing for 70 years, and died. What a ride!
Sometimes it boils down to the happiness that comes from watching a monkey slap Ben Stiller’s face. Those moments alone, while not justifying the existence of this bland, innocuous family franchise, were pleasurable enough to absorb any pointless rage that might come from wondering too much about why these films have to keep cluttering multiplex screens. And they could be worse, after al. Much worse. They could be set in some place far less worthy of attention than various important museums. Or they could leave their target viewing audience of children under 10 wondering why a person might bother ever going to a museum in the first place. Because it’s not like those kids are going to sit down with Frederick Wiseman’s "National Gallery" and get inspired to go look at a collection of Rembrandts. Why not place the action of a harmlessly bad series of family films at the Smithsonian, and trick the audience into thinking that the exhibits come alive at night, and indulge in the fantasy that some of those exhibits contain monkeys who will attack Ben Stiller? The plot remains (mostly) the same: dinosaur bones and wooly mammoths, Teddy Roosevelt (the late Robin Williams) and a cowboy (Owen Wilson), a Roman soldier (Steve Coogan) and some cavepeople (one of whom is Stiller, meeting his double and calling him “Dada”), all come alive at night and return to their respective static states at sunrise. There’s an ancient Egyptian tablet controlling this and that tablet is corroding quickly. Consequently, the magic will end soon and that means visitors will go back to being bored at museums. Stiller and crew travel to London’s British Museum in an attempt to stop this from happening. Ben Kingsley and Dick Van Dyke, Rebel Wilson and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Mickey Rooney and that monkey, each take their turns passing through the action and battling threats like giant multi-headed snakes and the destruction of Pompeii. Characters enter an M.C. Escher painting, they melt, they get chased by angry dinosaurs, Rebel Wilson falls for Stiller’s caveman, the monkey pees on Coogan. It’s nothing special, but it's non-toxic, funnier, sweeter and more meaningful than the first two movies. Its production values are up to the minute, a seamlessness digital/not-digital visual experience. And its chaos produces no anxiety, the real world consequences of entering historical incidents bypassed entirely. That would frighten the kids, anyway. Instead, there are subplots about fathers and sons and, because this is the end... or least that's what we're being told... there are strange, sometimes poignant lessons in how to say goodbye to people you know aren’t really people at all, like when it was time for those kids to leave Frosty The Snowman behind after he melted. It's a fantasy socialization exercise for little ones, and one last opportunity to see that monkey give Stiller the business. No harm in that. From 1 to 10, I give this movie a 7.
Beats by Dr. Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre is a headphone line that people are willing to spend $300 on because the music they're listening to with them was free.
If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. Okay, well, it's Sunday, and Jeff was supposed to be on the Phile Thursday to talk about football but there was no Phile on Thursday so Jeff is here today. Go that?
Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. Happy new year! How was your Christmas?
Jeff: It's always great to be back here on the Phile. My Christmas was good. I am looking for a fresh start in the new year, that's for sure.
Me: Me too. Okay, it's Wildcard week... I have some readers I'm sure who don't know what that means. Can you explain?
Jeff: Wildcard weekend is the first round of the playoffs. It's for the the teams that did not clinch a first round bye in the playoffs to face off.
Me: Okay, so, how many coaches were fired? Haha.
Jeff: The Jets, the Falcons and the Bears were the only ones to fire their coaches, while the 49ers coach resigned so he could go coach in college kids instead.
Me: Any other NFL news?
Jeff: There really isn't much news. A player got suspended for stomping his leg on Aaron Rodgers. It's not the first time he has stepped on people too. In other words he is not a very nice man. One of the Steelers got hurt so he will probably miss the first round of the playoffs as well.
Me: So, how did we do with the last pick a few weeks ago?
Jeff: As far as how we did in Week 16 (not this week, but the week before that) you gained some ground on me. Both our teams won, but I went 0-2 and you at least went 1-1. So as it stands I am in the lead by 8 points.
Me: Let's pick these Wildcard picks... I think the Panthers will beat the cardinals by 12, your Steelers will beat the Ravens by 6, the Colts will beat the Bengals by 13, the Cowboys will beat the Lions by 4. What do you say?
Jeff: I am agreeing on most of your picks, but not the spreads. I am going with Cardinals over Panthers by 7, Steelers by 3 over Ravens. The Colts will win by 10 over Bengals and Dallas by 10 over Detroit.
Me: Good job, Jeff. I will see you back on the Phile in a few weeks, my friend.
Jeff: Talk to you soon.
Okay, today's pheatured guest is a singer songwriter whose EP "Everything I Love" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Steven James Wylie.
Me: Hello, Steven, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Steven: I’m excellent! Thanks for asking. Honored to get to talk with you today.
Me: Okay, you're from Franklin, Tennessee... we were gonna move there a few years ago but never did. How is it living there?
Steven: Franklin is a wonderful place to live. Its a 200 plus year old town with loads of history. Its got a great vibe. We have definitely enjoyed living here.
Me: It's right outside of Nashville, so do you get to go to Nashville often?!
Steven: Honestly I don’t go up to Nashville that often. When family or friends come visit we always head up there and do the Broadway thing etc., but for the most part we enjoy the Franklin area. We’re a bit reclusive as we pursue our artistic endeavors here. By “we” I’m referring to my wife and I. She writes fantasy fiction as does our 4 year old daughter; however, we don’t always grasp what she is writing about. But like any good parent we’re sure it’s genius!
Me: Is that where you are originally from, Steven?
Steven: No, sir. I am from Spokane, Washington. It’s located right at the state line by Idaho. We’re the red headed step child of Washington state. Second largest city next to Seattle. Beautiful country in Eastern Washington. Wonderful place to live.
Me: So, you must of grew up listening to grunge a lot. What music do you listen to now?
Steven: Lots of grunge. Of course we don’t enjoy that label but it worked and sold a lot of stuff in the 90s, as we all know. I listen to a lot of ambient/post rock stuff right now. Bands like Hammock and the Album Leaf. I also am a big fan of Bon Iver. I also enjoy a variety of country artists but it kind of happens in binges for me.
Me: Your music is very country sounding, and I can picture Keith Urban singing your songs. Do you agree?
Steven: Man, I wish he’d sing some of my songs! HA! Seriously though, I think he could definitely sing some of them. I’m a huge fan of his. His story and hard work have inspired me a great deal.
Me: Okay, let's talk about your life... 2009 was a pretty shitty year for you, right?
Steven: It was the culmination of a few shitty years to be precise. Yeah, it was rough.
Me: What happened in that year, Steven?
Steven: At that point in 2009, we were firmly set up in my parents basement, as we were going to lose our house and were filing for bankruptcy. Super neat. One of the hardest experiences I’ve ever been through and yet I’m really grateful for it. It brought us to where we are today.
Me: After that you started to write music and play... were you a musician before that?
Steven: I had been writing and playing in bands since my church days as a teenager. So it was more of a rebirth in that dark season for me to begin to feel inspired about music again. Music was something I had kind of buried alive over and over hoping it would die but it just kept coming back demanding its rightful place in my life. I finally decided to listen.
Me: How is your daughter and wife now?
Steven: They are amazing. My wife Morgan Wylie has published two fantasy fiction novels in the last year with another on the way. My daughter is beautiful, brilliant and growing way too fast before my eyes. I’m a very lucky man.
Me: Steven, how long have you been playing guitar?
Steven: I’ve been playing guitar for about 15 years or more now. Which is a huge indictment on my playing because I’m terrible. HA! Thank God for studio musicians. Seriously though, I may not be terrible but I definitely would never call my self a guitar player. I do what I have to, to get by. ￼
Me: You have two projects out, your solo EP "Everything I Love" and your band Red Cabin has an album. How different is Red Cabin's music to your solo stuff?
Steven: Red Cabin is very alternative and ambient in its focus. It’s got a cinematic vibe to it. Lots of delay and reverb. Less vocal structure, if there are vocals at all. It’s a pretty artsy affair. I’m working on the first full length record now. I’m diggin’ the vibe so far. It’s gonna be cool.
Me: Who is in Red Cabin with you?
Steven: Honestly it’s mostly just me. Kind of an alter ego of sorts since it is so different from my solo stuff. I am, however, enjoying the creative contributions of my friend Sean Spence from Blue Grotto Sound here in Brentwood. He will deserve credit for his work on this project. It’s been a blast to work with him at his studio. It’s a world class place.
Me: Alright, let's talk about your EP "Everything I Love." What do you love?
Steven: I love my family, friends, and the simple experiences of this gift of existence I’ve been given. I love to create things. I love to tell stories.
Me: How long did it take you to write those songs, Steven? They are definitely songs written from the heart.
Steven: Most of that project was written between 2009 and 2010.
Me: What does your wife think of your music?
Steven: She wishes I had been a lawyer... I’m kidding of course. She is a huge fan and likewise I’m a huge fan of her work. I’m very lucky.
Me: Do you find it easy to write a song?
Steven: I do if I have the right music inspiring me. Otherwise, I honestly don’t even think about writing songs until I feel compelled to write one. It seems to happen in seasons. Right now I haven’t written a thing in months. It comes and goes. I’ve learned to just roll with it.
Me: I'm a songwriter as well, but I don't find it easy at all. What was your first song you wrote?
Steven: "The Hotchie Botch." I don’t know what it was about, but I think it was suppose to be a dance of some kind. I was twelve.
Me: You are currently working on other CD's as well, right? With your band or solo stuff?
Steven: Both. I’m working on the Red Cabin stuff that I talked about earlier and I have a solo project half done called “Acoustics of Sorrow” as well. Excited for both. Not sure of the time line on either for release though.
Me: Will it be country sounding as well?
Steven: Not really. Maybe in the Neil Young sense with some pedal steel in there a bit. It will really be more of an acoustic alt rock deal than anything country. A bit folky as well.
Me: Okay, on the EP you do a song with a singer named Christine Dente. How did you meet her and ask her if she wanted to be on the song?
Steven: Her husband Scott played all the acoustic guitars on my record. I’m an Out Of The Grey fan, which was her and Scott’s band in the 90s. After meeting Scott I asked if she would be willing to sing on that song and was very honored that she said yes.
Me: Do you think she'll want to be interviewed on the Phile?
Steven: Not sure. They aren’t really doing the artist thing all that much these days. No harm in asking though.
Me: Also, I have to mention your wife again... Morgan is a fantasy/ paranormal author. That's really cool, Steven. Do you read her books?
Steven: I help revise and edit in the early stages on her books. I’ve read them a few times each before they get to the final editor. It’s one of the things I love most about our life is being able to work with her on the book stuff.
Me: So, on the Phile I have a Book Club and wondered if Morgan would like her latest book pheatured and to be interviewed here as well. Whatcha think?
Steven: For certain! Let's get it set up.
Me: One of the projects you did was write music for her novel. That's an odd idea, but I like it. Was that her idea or yours, Steven?
Steven: Mine. I was just trying to add content. I think it’s unique and unusual. I figure even if it doesn’t shock the book world we still get to make cool music people might find and enjoy anyway.
Me: Is she a musician as well?
Me: Haha. Okay. So, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here we go... In which activity would you like a lesson from an expert?
Steven: Meditation. I would love to talk to someone who could help me along with that discipline.
Me: Steven, thanks for being on the Phile. Please plug your website and anything else you want to. Plug Morgan's stuff as well if you want.
Steven: Thanks so much again for having me on the Phile. Please check out my music and links at sjwmusic.com and my wife’s books at morganwylie.net. You can hit us up on Twitter and Facebook from the links on our sites as well.
Me: Please come back again and ask Morgan if she'd like to be on the Phile. All the best.
Steven: I will for sure. I’m sure she’d love to be on the Phile. Let's lock in whatever works best for you.
Me: Thanks, Steven.
There, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and Steven James Wylie. Okay, so, the Phile is taking a few weeks off so I can work on some personal stuff but it should be back at the end of the month. Fingers crossed. 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