Good evening, and welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. What's up? So, who is sick of hearing about Pluto? This guy. It's the biggest news of the week though so I have to talk about it, so let's get the Pluto jokes outta the way. You distance yourself from people and they just try harder to connect with you. So frustrating when you want some space. I get it, Pluto. If Pluto could talk it'll say, "So you dumped me years ago but now you're driving by my house real slow?" NASA reached Pluto for the first time ever & I cannot wait to see the look on its big dumb face when we tell it it's not even a planet. Should we keep Pluto sanctions? Great to see Pluto again after all this time, but hard to believe it turned out to be racist. Anyway, if you haven't seen the pictures of Pluto... it looks like this...
Now I know why it is called Pluto. One Tennessee woman thought she had a license to print money, and that it came from the highest authority. Usually, when people say "Thanks Obama!" they're being sarcastic. But not Pamela Downs of Kingsport, Tennessee. Until Sunday, she though the president's policies would make her rich. According to the "Times-News," Downs was arrested after attempting to use a counterfeit $5 bill at a grocery store. A close examination of the bill revealed that it was printed on computer paper, and that the two sides had been glued together. When questioned, Downs said that she had received the bill in change from a gas station, but when police examined her purse, they found a counterfeit $100 bill. This one was made in the same way, except the back was glued on upside down. Her purse also contained a Walmart receipt for copy paper and a printer. I'm no detective, but I think I can deduce what was going on. When the officers placed Downs in handcuffs, she told them, "I don't give a fuck, all these other bitches get to print money so I can too." Nobody was sure what she meant until they questioned her further at the police station. There, she said that it was her right to print money, because President Obama had signed a law making it legal. It turns out she had read a parody article on "The Skunk" entitled "Obama Wants Citizens to Print their Own Money." Downs had assumed the article was real, and intended to take advantage. It's a sad state of affairs when people turn to humor websites for real news. Did you see Caitlyn Jenner accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs last night night? The GOP field still has room for at least one more, right? Caitlyn Jenner's story is the classic tale of self-reliance, determination, and patriotism. A lot of people questioned why the GOP member got the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, but last night's speech inspired supporters and convinced (many) doubters as well with the back-to-back combination of the ESPY tribute video to Bruce Jenner the decathlete, and the long, hard road from the World's Greatest Athlete to the world's most famous Republican transgender woman. She reminded the athletes in the room of their responsibility to think about how their behavior and attitudes shape opinions around the world, especially for youth. Already, her line is the takeaway moment from the whole night: "Trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect." She reminded people that violence against trans people, and suicide, is unfortunately an everyday reality. "If you want to call me names… go ahead, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with who they are, they shouldn't have to take it." It was, in a word, courageous. I remember back in the day when Bruce Jenner was on a box of cereal... not on a box of tampons. I never thought I'd give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, so he really better not blow it on this one. Usually, when Donald Trump steps in political doggy doo-doo by saying or doing something offensive, his response is to double down, build a doggy doo-doo fort, and hang a "No Illegals Allowed In The Doo-Doo Fort" sign on it. But today, his campaign actually deleted a tweet and issued an explanation for the screw-up. That's right, there is a limit to Trump's awfulness: Nazis. Obviously, this is just a screw-up, but hey... it's a pretty big screw-up.
Anyone with a cat, a camera, and an intense dislike of Donald Trump can get on board. Speaking go Donald, did you see his last campaign poster?
Enough about him. So, you heard about this whole Bill Cosby deal, right? Did you know he was originally supposed to be the prince in Disney's Snow White film? No? Here's proof...
That's really stupid. Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, is rereleasing all its classic animated movies with Magic Mike like scenes thrown in. Why? I have no idea.
It's summer as you know, and through summer I am showing you some odd bathing suits or bikinis you might see at the pool or beach. So, here's another one...
Made from fast-drying microfiber developed by NASA. Okay, as you probably know I live in Florida and some of the craziest stories come out of this state. That's why I have a pheature called...
Ron Perkinson, a gun seller in Volusia County, Florida, is hoping to open a new gun range and café in Daytona Beach. The café is also seeking a license to serve alcohol. That's right, booze and guns under the same roof. It couldn't be more Florida unless they expand into fanboat rentals and alligator rides. Perkinson's business plan has some obstacles. Firstly, the proposed site will have to be reinforced to help protect nearby businesses, like the local Daytona Beach Flea Market. Just need to add a few feet of concrete and you're golden. Safer than mother's arms. As for ensuring that the rentable guns and the drinkable alcohol don't mix, Perkinson has been in contact with the owner of a similar business in Oklahoma City to get advice on how to keep everyone safe. Perkinson's brand new chew-'n'-shoot would be the third of its kind in the country. Perkinson's system would scan ID and driving licenses once a customer purchases booze, locking them out from entering the gun range for 24 hours. So, if you want to eat first then squeeze off a few clips before dessert, be sure to drink before you arrive. You could also convince your buddies to go to another gun range 8 minutes away. What if you want to have dinner with your gun? Perkinson, unfortunately, draws the line there: "Guns, whether you're planning to have a drink afterwards or not, will not be allowed in the café area at all." "At all?" What if we're invaded while I'm having a sub and a Yuengling? Because I'm peckish, I have to sit out on standing my ground for 24 hours? Man, some people's priorities are way out of order.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.
The Atlantic Ocean is the future home of the Empire State Building and Walt Disney World.
It's 7:17pm,81°F and Kelly is playing Radio City Music Hall in New York City tonight.
That was last night in New Jersey.
Okay, today's guest is a Phile Alum whose new EP "The Shift: Anthems For a Revolution" is available now on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Meka Nism.
Me: Meka! Welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?
Meka: Well, I have been quite good actually… been busy and getting ready for some tours coming up.
Me: Okay, last time you were here I mentioned how I came to know your band. I brought a car from Frankie at a car dealership. How is Frankie?
Meka: Frankie is great. He has always been such a big help to us and has been there since day one. He always talks so highly of you and sends his regards.
Me: He's a great guy. Is his step-son still in the band?
Meka: Why yes, he is. He is Bobby “The Ripper” Keller and he will shred your existence with his riffs on guitar.
Me: Speaking of the band your guitarist goes by the name FReeDom... what do you guys call him?
Meka: FReeDom’s actual name is Reed, hence the “ReeD” in FReeDom.
Me: He used to play drums in the band, am I right? Why the change?
Meka: Yes, Reed played drums since the inception of the band and continued to do so until right before we started recording “The Shift” which is our latest release.
Me: Meka, you're from Orlando but lived in Japan for a few years. What was the biggest culture shock when you moved there or did you even have a culture shock?
Meka: There were actually a lot of culture shocks going both ways. They put a lot of care into every detail in life. Its truly a different way to experience living down to the simplest daily activity. In America everything is extra large and in Japan sometimes the smallest, simplest thing has the most value.
Me: What made you go over to Japan? Was it to play?
Meka: Yes, I felt the call from my spirit to goto Japan. I played over 150 shows there and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I met Yukari, my bass player/songwriter, and we really enjoyed our time playing solo and together as the Origami Girls. We traveled all over the country and made a lot of beautiful friendship connections.
Me: Any plans to go back to Japan?
Meka: Absolutely, like I mentioned before, Japan has a very special place in my heart and I feel like a piece of my soul will always live there. We are looking to go back as soon as possible and tour in all the major markets in Japan.
Me: It's my goal one day to go to Japan... if I did what is one thing and one place I need to go to?
Meka: Kyoto is my recommendation by far! It’s the ancient capital and very well preserved. It is a big city and small town at the same time and has an old fashioned sensibility. There is also a huge thriving art/music community.
Me: Before you were in the band that is Meka Nism today you were in a few other bands, am I right? Is the current band the best band you have been in?
Meka: Absolutely, by far. Meka Nism is my perfect band and I couldn’t be happier. I am looking forward to traveling the world with this excellent group of genius humans and sharing our music worldwide.
Me: Okay, let's talk about your new EP... "The Shift: Anthems for a Revolution." This EP took awhile to record, am I right?
Meka: Yes, the writing process started back in early 2014 and we really decided to focus on the songs and not play too many shows. We chose Bret Hestla, the former bass player for Creed, to produce and record the album and we started with him in October. We wrapped up everything and released the EP on May 1, 2015, so it definitely took a while, but we wanted to take our time and not rush anything. We really wanted to create something special and we feel that we did.
Me: You raised money through Kickstarter for it which is a popular thing to do. What made you go that route and was it successful for you? I am taking it was, as you did record the EP.
Meka: Yes, we did a Kickstarter and we received so much support from all of our fans, family, and friends. The whole experience was extraordinary and we thankfully reached our goal in order to raise the money needed to record and get the EP all done. We have the best fan base around and we love them all so much!
Me: Where was it recorded, Meka?
Meka: "The Shift" was recorded at BHP Productions in Orlando, Florida, with Brett Hestla.
Me: Did the whole band write the songs on it or just you?
Meka: We have a very interesting dynamic when it comes to songs. On this EP, we collaborated a lot and shared ideas with each other a lot. Whether it was guitar licks, or lyrical ideas, we all worked together in creating what we thought was the best idea. I wanted to really make sure the message behind the songs was apparent in my lyrics so I asked for suggestions and bounced a lot of things off to the band and we all made it work.
Me: Where did the title come from and knowing you it has a meaning, am I right?
Meka: "The Shift" came from the idea of awakening people’s internal revolutions. Little things have shifted, like Reed shifting to drums, and other things like that. The name actually came about with the title track and when the first EP, "The Dance at the End of the World," was just coming out.
Me: Did you film a video for the album? We are currently working on this!
Me: There's song named after you on the EP... "Mekamorphosis." It sounds better than "Jasonmorphosis." Anyway, that could easily have been the EP's title. What is that song about?
Meka: "Mekamorphosis" is about internal transformation. Love is the creative force behind everything that exists and if we can tap into it we can achieve great things. It’s also an experience that you can share with another person. By expressing love you can inspire the metamorphosis in others and bring out the truth that lies within.
Me: So, are you playing a lot of shows in Central Florida?
Meka: Since the EP’s release, we have only scheduled a couple shows here in Florida, two being at House of Blues and several other surrounding areas. However, our goal for this year is to get on the road and tour. We really need to share these songs and get them out there and look forward to whatever opportunities come about.
Me: Are you already planning a new release? A live release would be really cool, right?
Meka: Wow, we actually haven’t thought of that one yet, but who knows, that could definitely be something to work on! We do have ideas and plans for the next EP, but can’t say anything yet.
Me: You mentioned a member of Creed produce the album. How was he to work with?
Meka: He was a fantastic fit and really did a great job capturing our sound and putting all of our dynamics into a small little sound file.
Me: Did you grow up being a fan of Creed?
Meka: Yes, but I preferred his other two projects, Virgo’s Merlot and Dark New Day more.
Me: What other bands did you listen to geeing up?
Meka: I really love a lot of dynamic and powerful musicians. I would have to highlight fierce/powerful women like P.J. Harvey, Madonna, Bjork and Janis Joplin. I also see bands such as Tool, the Deftones, System of a Down, Mars Volta, and Marilyn Manson to be very inspirational.
Me: What about O-Town? Haha. Do you remember that boy band?
Meka: We had to compete with them for our EP release date at the House of Blues.
Me: Alright, as you know I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
Meka: What do you mean? I don’t get into trouble.
Me: Suurreeee. Meka, thanks for being back on the Phile. Mention your websites and I wish you continue success. Take care.
Meka: You can visit our website at meka-nism.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/mekanismband to stay in contact and updated on all of your Meka Nism needs!!! Thank you so much again for having me and I look forward to talking to you again!!!
That about does it for this entry. Man, I'm so tired. Thanks to Meka Nism for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Monday with one of my favorite female singers... Circe Link. 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