Monday, July 13, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alumni Blade Of Grass

Hey there, kids, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile. How are you?   Do you kids like that The Wizard of Oz movie? Well, someone is offering a $1 million reward for the stolen ruby slippers from it. The reward is coming from a millionaire. But you already knew that. Back in August 2005, the famous ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz were stolen from a museum in Minnesota. As we approach the ten year anniversary of this theft, an anonymous rich person/huge Judy Garland fan from Arizona is willing to pay $1 million for information leading to the recovery of this precious footwear. Sometimes I forget that if you're rich you can still use you money for whatever you want. Sure, finding a pair of shoes is a strange use of a million dollars, but I bet millionaires would think it's weird how much money I spend on pizza and Pop Vinyls. So let's call it a draw.  Bad news, fellow freedom-loving patriots. In this increasingly militaristic police state we call the United States, you are no longer allowed to call 911 to tell the authorities that your delivery Chinese food is "not up to par for [your] liking." A 44 year old Alliance, Ohio woman learned this lesson the hard way recently when she picked up the phone and dialed a 9 and two 1s to inform the state-run emergency telephone service... which is paid for with your tax dollars that the Asian-style cuisine she ordered from a local restaurant could have been prepared a little bit better. The woman was charged with "charged with misuse of 911" and will have to defend herself in court in the coming days. It gives me no pleasure to report this harrowing story to you. The American Eagle that lives inside my heart is literally weeping tears of blood as I write these words. And I'm not even American.   Ha.  Have you ever felt older than your years? If you're like me, then you answered, "Unnggghhh yes, ohh the pain." But as it turns out, we're not all just whiners. There's some science behind that awful feeling. A new study published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" found that people have a "chronological age" and a "biological age," and that these numbers can be radically different. Some subjects in their late 30s had the bodies of people ten years younger, while others seemed to be approaching retirement age. Some seemed to age three years for every year that passed. The researchers determined subjects' biological ages by tracking 18 different aging-related traits, including weight, kidney function, and gum health. (I'm not sure if pants height was one of them, but it should have been.) They found that patients with older biological ages tended to score lower on tests of brain function and grip strength as well. I guess the lesson is that aging is like a house of cards... once anything goes out of place, it all comes crashing down. The subjects of the study were 954 people from the same town in New Zealand, all born in 1972 or 1973. The scientists examined each of them three times, when they were 26, 32, and 38, to determine the rate at which they were aging. Some of the subjects seemed to not be aging at all, while others were falling apart in front of the scientists' eyes. "They look rough, they look lacking in vitality," said Professor Terrie Moffitt of Duke University, one of the authors of the study. She told the BBC that the results of the study show that our emphasis on chronological age in society is unfair. "Any area of life where we currently use chronological age is faulty, if we knew more about biological age we could be more fair and egalitarian." You see? There's a silver lining to this story. Just because you're getting older doesn't mean you have to slow down. Also, just because you're still young doesn't mean you don't have an excuse to slow down. It's a win-win.  I didn't realize how much I missed Dave until I saw him again. He really is the one that got away. I should have done more to treasure the 33 years we had together.  A newly-bearded Letterman made his first public appearance since his retirement on Friday at a live show hosted by Steve Martin and Martin Short in San Antonio, Texas. Saying he was "so happy to be out of the house," Letterman explained that he had no regrets about his retirement… until he heard that Donald Trump was running for president. Consumed with the fire of a man half his age, the veteran host had no choice but to fly to Texas and mock Trump with one last Top 10 List. The list even included a record three jokes about that thing on Trump's head. Is this a harbinger of more surprise Letterman drop-ins to come? God, I hope so.  Okay, so, with the success of Magic Mike XXL, Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, is rereleasing some of its classic animated movies with stripper like sex scenes thrown in. I have been showing you some scenes in the last few entries and I have another one....

Who is that? Cinderella and her Prince? I think so.  I don't know if you believe in aliens or if they have landed on this planet yet, but there's a lot of unusual people on this planet which makes you think. Check it out...

See what I mean?  Okay, so yesterday I talked about Jared from the Subway commercials whose home as raided by the FBI. I said I had a new Subway poster they came out with that was a joke and told you I was hesitant in showing it. Well, a lot of you said you'd like to see it. I am still hesitant but will show it anyway. Here goes...

There. And yes, I know he has been charged yet. It's a joke. Moving on...  It's summer and it's beach season. Chances are if you go to the beach you are gonna see some unusual bathing suits or bikinis, which I have been showing you here on the Phile. Like this one for instance...

Possibly a malfunction, but at least they don't have to worry about being tailgated. Haha.  Alright, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is another one of...

Top Phive Benefits Of Taco Bell Delivery
5. You may now enjoy crippling diarrhea in the comfort of your own home.
4. You can convincingly pretend that your 15-taco oder is for more than one person.
3. You can strip to your socks and enjoy your chalupa without being hassled by some fascist "manager."
2. You;; be able to avoid those 15 year olds in the parking lot who always call you "Gordito Supreme."
And the number one benefit of Taco Bell delivery is...
1. You won't have to waste the gas you'll need to get next Tuesday's angloplasty.

Etsy is a website that allows you to finance someone named Susan or Linda's hobby.

Today's guests are two Phile Alum who make who make up the band Blade of Grass. They have an new EP out called "She Was." Please welcome back to the Phile... Mike Hurst and Josh Murphy  from Blade of Grass.

Me: Hey, guys, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been? 

Mike: Really great, couldn’t be better, we are getting close to finishing our (as yet untitled EP) which will come out in August and the unreleased tracks have been getting rotation on local LA radio (KCRW), so we’re really stoked right now. 

Josh: Fantastic! Never better! Thinking about big things ahead.

Me: Mike, last time you were here I called you Michael. What do you prefer? Mike or Michael? 

Mike: Either is cool... if you're in a hurry go with Mike... but if you have some leisure time... I'd go with Michael.

Me: And Josh, you go by Josh not Joshua, right? 

Josh: I prefer Joshua as it is my God given name. But it's weird being an adult named Joshua. Only little children are called by Joshua or Gary Busey from Lethal Weapon

Me: Last time you were here we talked about the band should be called Blades of Grass as there's two of you. Did anybody else ever tell you that? 

Mike: You are onto something because that’s pretty much what everyone calls us anyway! 

Josh: Singular or plural... the music is still awesome, it’s “a rose is a rose” kind of thing. 

Me: Good point. You have some sort of new logo,  emblem, I don't know what to call it... this triangle thing. 

Me: Who designed it and what does it mean? 

Josh: Its a secret masonic design that triggers the subconscious center of will forcing you to listen to our music using sacred geometry and witchcraft.

Mike: A friend of mine with Chief Creative is a graphic designer hooked it up. It reminds me of sacred geometry and how everything in nature fits together. Sacred geometry is the belief that God created the universe according to a geometric plan, and this belief system has ancient origins. 

Me: Okay. You're both from California, right? Do you both still live there? 

Mike: Yes, we’re in Los Angeles, everyone’s favorite city to hate! “We love it!” though (cue Randy Newmans’ “I Love LA”).  

Josh: L.A. is the opposite of Kauai. 

Me: And if I remember correctly you met at UCLA. Were you in the same classes? 

Mike: Yes we had the same philosophy class with this evil TA who I remember to this day: Brian Josh: Brian Williams right? Wait, that's not right... Brian Wilson? (No… Beach Boys…) Anyway... this guy was and I bet you is still a fucking a-hole. Skinny, evil, and un-fun. I failed his class… 

Me: Haha. So, whose idea was it for you to both be in a band? 

Mike: One thing led to another, we’ve always played music, and we’ve been in a few different bands since we first met. 

Me: And which one of you came up with the band name? 

Mike: A few years ago when Facebook had a “poll” feature (where you could poll your friends), I asked all my friends to vote on “Blade of Grass” or “Fundamental” and Blade of Grass won in a landslide. 

Me: Alright, so, I listened to your two song EP "She Was." She was what? 

Josh: I blew it with her. I made some mistakes, I tried to say I’m sorry. But, as Chicago put it: "It's hard for me to say I’m sorry," and she left... in a UFO, to a distant dimension. 

Me: Okkkaaayyy, anyway, I like both songs. Why did you release just two new songs? 

Mike: Thanks for saying that! Truthfully it’s because we wanted to get the music out there and the recording was going SLOW, but we have a 5 song EP coming in August. 

Josh: Two songs is plenty, these days people are in such a hurry... who has time to listen to a 15 song album? That might’ve flown in the 70s but today, with microwaves and gigaprocessors etc. Two is plenty... as long as they’re hit singles. 

Me: So, did both of you write the songs? 

Mike: Yes, I’ts a collaborative effort. 

Josh: I write all the good parts of the songs (for the record). 

Me: It's cool you made a video for each song, guys. Who is the cute girl in the "She Was" video? I am gonna show a pic of her just for the helluva it.

Mike: That’s Sayo Orange an actress here in L.A. who we met at Starbucks. She had just gotten out of a cinema makeup class and had gruesome zombie like makeup on her neck, and we were like she’s the one.  

Josh: She is cute, huh? She’s an Irish Japanese dream girl. Sayo is super cool and a bad ass. We jammed with her on the day of shooting the she was video and she was a natural. And you know how Rick Ocasek always had cute girls in his videos? We were thinking that is a good recipe for a hit video… 

Me: Where was the video filmed? 

Mike: Elysian Park, which is a beautiful park and hiking area which is in the shadow of Dodger Stadium. 

Me: The second video for "Who You Gonna Run To" is an animated one. That's a great idea. What made you go that route? 

Mike: We brainstormed the idea and it just went from there. 

Me: Who did the animation? 

Mike: After being unable to find anyone who could work in our budget in the U.S., we found some very talented animators in somewhere near the Ukraine (can’t remember which country). Those guys building their portfolio at the time and have since gone onto some major league gigs. 

Josh: Ukrainian animators are the best.

Me: So, do you guys play all the instruments or do you have a band? 

Mike: On these recordings it’s mainly just the two of us playing and singing, our producer has a lot of input into the music as well. We love playing with others and will do so when play live. 

Me: I am sure you play a lot of shows... what is a usual Blade of Grass show like? 

Mike: It’s evolving constantly and we’re putting together a great new set for our shows later this summer, but it’s hopefully something you can dance along to but a lot of the time there’s so much going on that people just watch. 

Me: So, you guys gonna be releasing more music you said? 

Mike: Yes, 5 song untitled EP coming out in August. 

Me: A live release would be great to hear from you guys. Did you ever think about that? 

Mike: That’s a really good idea… the studio recordings are great but theres always more synergy when we play the songs live. There’s always a few surprises. 

Me: Then when you release it call it "Jason's Idea." Haha. Who are your influences? Do you both listen to the same music? 

Mike: World music, the sound of the rain and thunder. Yes, we listen to the same music a lot of the time because we’re hanging out a lot of the time before and after we work on our music. 

Josh: I like aboriginal music, or anything indigenous. That’s the real deal, ancient melodies, music as medicine... star medicine. 

Me: If you could open for anybody, who would it be? 

Josh: I would like to open up for Kanye but destroy the sound system and stage with fire and explosions so that he couldn't play and then film his temper tantrum. 

Mike: No specific artist, but I would love to play Coachella and similar festivals (I really enjoy the vibe at events like this with everyone letting their hair down and just soaking up music for a few days). 

Me: Okay, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Do you learn more when you win or when you lose? 

Mike: Wow, good question, I have to admit that you learn more when you lose. 

Josh: I never lose, so I’d have to defer to Mike’s experience with losing. 

Me: Thanks so much for the interview guys, you guys rock. Plug your website and everything and you are both welcome back any time. Cool? Continued success. 

Josh:  Thanks for interviewing us and making us think!! We’re on: Soundcloud :, Twitter:, Facebook:, Blade of Grass website:

Me: Fantastic. I'll have you both back here soon, guys.

There. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Mike and Josh from Blade of Grass. The Phile will back on Thursday with Phile Alum Meka Nism. 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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