Sunday, May 31, 2015
Pheaturing Carmen Townsend
Hi there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you, everybody? What's going on? Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House and current high-paid lobbyist... was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for allegedly attempting to pay an unknown person $3.5 million to cover up some sort of "past misconduct." We still don't know what this misconduct is, so I guess that means it worked? Your favorite porn stars might soon have to wear protective eye gear while banging away for the cameras, if new rules proposed by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards end up going through. "These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set... or even a Hollywood film set," Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke said in a statement. I actually think this is workable, just so long as they start phasing in machining plants as a common locale for hot sex. It's bad enough that California is in the midst of one of the biggest droughts it's experienced in years, but now it seems as though the state's largest lake is picking up and moving to someplace less dry: the sky. The Salton Sea, located in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, is quickly evaporating into a mere pond of its former self, leaving behind dry and powdery lake bed soil that could pose an environmental hazard if large amounts of it were stirred into the air. Lindsay Lohan has miraculously managed to complete more than 100 hours of court-ordered community service just ahead of the deadline, and is now... for the first time since the Bush administration... off probation and right with the law. “Hard work pays off. Thank you to all those that allowed me to volunteer while in NYC. God bless you all. Amen,” the actress wrote on Instagram. As of press time, she has not been arrested for any new crimes. The 1980 movie Urban Cowboy... which improbably featured John Travolta as a cowboy hat-wearing good ol' boy who likes to line dance... is being remade for a new generation of people who will eventually come close to killing themselves trying to ride poorly maintained mechanical bulls. It is currently unknown what Jersey-born Italian guy will star. A few weeks ago Simon Pegg accidentally revealed that Daniel Craig wanted to make a secret cameo in the new Star Wars movie. Well, apparently it's true and I have proofs, kids.
Man, that looks great. So, have you seen the new EA Sports FIFA game that just came out?
Now that FIFA officials are being arrested, what's left to believe in? Oh, yeah... everything. I have to show you this, a Phile reader sent this picture in...
And made the comment that they didn't know Obama played Potsy on "Happy Days." I laughed my head off when I saw that. It does look like Obama, does't it? Crazy. Okay, so, you've seen in some magazines where they show you pictures of stars without their make-up, right? Well, here on the Phile I like to do the same thing. Check it out...
Kaaahhhhnnn! Sorry, I had to say it. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...
Top Phive Reasons Why Pope Francis Hasn't Watched TV Since 1990
5. Constant arousal from watching "The Golden Girls" was too big of a risk of eternal damnation.
4. A million prayers to St. Anthony and he STILL can't find that damn remote.
3. Things just weren't the same after "Alf" went off the air.
2. There was this one episode of "The Outer Limits" that scared the bejeepers out of him.
And the number one reason why Pope Francis hasn't watched TV since 1990 is...
1. The cable went out and he's been waiting for the Time Warner guy ever since.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, you know I live in Florida, right. Well, there's some sone strange stuff that happens in Florida that happens nowhere else... that's why I started a pheature simply called...
In order to learn medical procedures, students often practice on each other. At Valencia State College, two female students were asked to participate in transvaginal probes to teach their fellow students how to complete sonography exams. The transvaginal probes were supposed to be voluntary, but when the students were told by professors that opting out would negatively affect their grades and their futures in medicine, it didn't feel so voluntary. The students filing the suit claim they had to partake in the invasive procedure, which involved disrobing and entering a room of their peers, on a weekly basis. Aside from the embarrassment of being naked on an exam table because their grades depended on it, one professor allegedly told one of the plaintiffs she was 'sexy' and should be an 'escort girl' during a probing session. Did that give you chills? It's because the creep-factor just went through the roof of one of those giant buildings in Dubai. If this story is giving you a rage-induced panic attack, you are having an acceptable reaction. As if choosing to go into medicine wasn't already punishment enough, can you imagine if your professors were basically blackmailing you into getting your vagina probed? If these allegations are true it will inspire a new show called "Law & Order SVU: Japanese Horror Porn." Here's more info about the case, I need to go scream or something... cnn.com/2015/05/18/us/orlando-college-sued-forced-vaginal-exams/index.html.
Okay, I recovered. Anyway, the 37th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Phile Alum Patricia Cox will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
Today's guest is a singer from Canada whose album "Waitin' and Seein'" is available on Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile, the gorgeous... Carmen Townsend.
Me: Hello, Carmen, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Carmen: Thank you, I am doing awesome.
Me: I have to compliment you before we start, Carmen. You kick ass. Not only are you a fantastic guitarist, you're an amazing singer, and you are hot. You are the total package. When did you realize you had a musical talent?
Carmen: Well thanks. I started performing live at 14.
Me: Being a red head like me... I am actually strawberry blonde, do you have a temper? All red heads do. I have a feeling you let it flow through your music, not like you sing angrily or anything. I have a temper, but I just swear a lot.
Carmen: Well the truth is... I have been dying my hair red since I was 15! I am not a real red head. I actually have blonde hair and blue eyes. BUT! Many au natural gingers have told me that I have the spirit of a true red head... and I do have a temper. I guess playing live is kind of like a tantrum really.
Me: You're from Canada, right? What part?
Carmen: I am from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Me: I ask every Canadian I interview, and there's been a lot of you guys, and girls, if you like one of my favorite bands of all time who are also Canadian. So, do you like the Barenaked Ladies?
Carmen: I like their early stuff. I really love their cover of Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers In A Dangerous Time."
Me: Let's talk about your music, my dear. I heard some of your album "Waitin' and Seein" and looked for it on iTunes but it's not there, not on the U.S. version anyway. Will it be up there soon?
Carmen: I really hope so... I would love to play more shows in the states. We are waiting on a U.S. iTunes release but stay tuned!
Me: When and where was the album recorded, Carmen? You wrote all the songs on it, right?
Carmen: The album was recorded at Carriage House Studios in Connecticut and Soundpark Studios in Cape Breton. I wrote every song except for "Start All Over," that was written by Jesse Harris. He contacted me by email (he is friends with one of the album producers) and said he had a song he wanted me to sing. He was very generous and let me make it my own. I was living in Toronto and I was planning on moving back home to Cape Breton after 5 years to finally focus on my solo stuff. My mantra at that time in my life was "I just want to start all over" so when he told me the name of the song I thought that was quite freaky.
Me: I was surprised when I found out who produced it. Tell the Phile readers who it was.
Carmen: The record was produced by Gord Gano of the Violent Femmes and Warren Bruleigh.
Me: Did you grow up listening to The Violent Femmes? What music did you grow up listening to?
Carmen: I used to cover them in high school! I grew up with my dad's records. Everything from The Beatles to The Ventures, Motown, classic rock... everything.
Me: Who did the album cover, and whose idea was it not to have a photo of you on it?
Carmen: Priscila Floriano of Sao Paulo, Brazil designed the album cover. We put the project on a website called Crowdspring.com where people from all over the world can enter their artwork for a specific project. There were over 200 entries! But, Priscila's was by far the coolest. I actually had no idea what we were going to do because I wasn't really into any of the entries. I was going to suggest that we just take a picture of my head and have the title written across my shoulders, the next day I woke up to find Priscila's entry. It was like she read my mind! Very cool!
Me: Carmen, I imagine you played all over Canada, but have you played the rest of America?
Carmen: We were lucky enough to travel to Australia twice last year... such a beautiful place. I am off to the U.K. in a few weeks which I am pretty stoked about. I would really love to tour the states! We had an amazing trip down to SXSW... we drove in a minivan to get there. I must say that spending 5 hours in New Orleans on the way home was by far the highlight. What an incredible place.
Me: I bet that was cool. Everybody I interviewed who played there love it. It gives you a lot of exposure. Do you like to play outdoor venues?
Carmen: Yes, I love to be a part of a major festival. It's such a blessing to be able to celebrate your passions. I love to play outdoor venues in the summer. Had to play in... 14 once in New Brunswick, that was not enjoyable.
Me: You need to come down to Florida to play. Have you been down here yet? We stopped in Jacksonville Beach for a beach/surf day on our way back from SXSW. It was amazing!
Me: You mentioned you played in Australia... I bet that was an expensive trip. Did you go over there to support anybody?
Carmen: We have been to Australia twice in one year. We are very lucky here in Nova Scotia as we were sometimes eligible for funding to help finance the trek over. We supported a band called The Fumes and played The Woodford Folk Festival and the Peat's Ridge Festival while we were there.
Me: I have to ask you about your band, Carmen. There's three of you in it, right? Who are the lucky bastards that play with you?
Carmen: My band members are Shane O'Handley on the bass and Thomas Allen on the drums. They have been my band since I decided to get my solo stuff on the go.
Me: Has any of them asked you out yet?
Carmen: LOL. No, we are like siblings. That would be wrong.
Me: You did a song for a Neil Young tribute album, is that right? What song did you do, and how did you get involved?
Carmen: I covered "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." A friend of mine suggested I submit a song and they really liked it! The tribute was called "Cinnamon Girl" and it was released from Laundromat Records in the U.S.
Me: I imagine you are a fan of his. Have you ever met him?
Carmen: I have seen Neil young 5 times... once unplugged and I cried my eyes out. The last show I saw from him was about a year or so ago and it was one of the best rock shows I have ever seen. I have yet to meet him.
Me: I read you were in a movie called Just Buried. Did you act in it, or do you sing in it?
Carmen: I didn't act in the movie but I did sing a song for it called "Just Buried." The song was written by John Wesley Chisolm and it's an amazing movie.
Me: Carmen, thanks so much for doing this interview. I wish you lots of luck and hope to see you in concert soon. Go ahead and plug your website and Twitter, Facebook, everything.
Carmen: Thanks for having me. You can download a free tune on my website and check out my stuff in all these places: Website: carmentownsend.ca, Facebook: facebook.com/carmentownsendmusic, Twitter: twitter.com/carmentownsend.
Me: Take care, keep rocking, and come back again, okay?
Carmen: Thanks, and I'll come back anytime!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Carmen for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Tuesday with actress Rachael Drummond. 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