Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bill Majoros From The Foreign Films

Hey there, good afternoon, and welcome to a Tuesday entry of the Phile.  Well, according to 72 U.S.C. 403(c)(2)(C), I must show you new Star Wars screen shots as soon as they are released, and breathlessly discuss the implications of the 1.5 seconds of actual new footage.

At the beginning of this trailer, you see what looks like a sci-fi Nuremberg rally full of Stormtroopers. Standing in front of them are a collection of officers, led by one extra-evil seeming guy. One of these officers is (probably) Gwendoline Christie from "Game of Thrones," who will be playing Captain Phasma. One of the other officers is General Hux, played by Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, best known as Bill Weasley from the last Harry Potter films. Standing at center is (again, probably) Andy Serkis playing Supreme Leader Snoke. Collectively, the officers and the soldiers form The First Order, a group that has risen from the ashes of the Empire. The clip debuted as an ad on South Korean TV. I have now officially discharged my duties under the United States Blogging Code. Good day.  Target is changing their kids department to be more PC, and people are furious. The retailer is phasing out "boys" and "girls" sections in favor of a "kids" section. Shocking, right? A few months ago, I reported on Abi Bechtel, a mom/blogger who took to Twitter to call out Target for what she perceived as sexist signs in its toy department. She felt that the store was making unnecessary distinctions between gender, that both boys and girls should be encouraged to build, and that boys shouldn't be the default recipient for that sort of toy. Whether or not you agree with her (and many didn't), a lot of people on the Internet got behind her. Now, Target has heard their complaints, and is making some changes to its kids departments. In a new blog post, the retail behemoth announced that it is fazing out all "boys" and "girls" distinctions in certain departments, including toys, home, and entertainment. The action figures will be next to the dolls, the pink blankets will be next to the blue ones, and the sporting equipment will be next to the sitting quietly equipment. It seems like a nice gesture. Even if the original complaint was a little histrionic, why should there be a distinction between girls' and boys' products? If a girl wants to wear sports gear and play with monster toys, why should some sign tell them they're wrong? And why shouldn't boys play with baby dolls? They need to learn to nurture! To be clear, despite the many commenters saying otherwise, they are not removing the gender labels in the apparel section. Of course, a decision like this couldn't happen without furious online backlash. People across the Internet are flaming Target hard for the company's efforts to destroy families and turn every kid into a genderqueer vegan. What do you think? Has the PC movement gone too far, or is Target doing the right thing by trying to be more inclusive? Just kidding, don't actually tell me what you think.  Megyn Kelly's one minute response to Donald Trump is classier than his 98-story tower. It was either this or physically assault him, and that's still illegal. After Republican presidential frontrunner (shudder) Donald Trump's attacks on debate moderator and news anchor Megyn Kelly turned bizarrely personal (and expectedly misogynistic), people were wondering if she'd respond to the presidential hopeful. Well, she did. Damn, Megyn Kelly! I don't agree with your politics, and it's clear you're dancing around what a ridiculous clown man Donald Trump is to please Fox New's viewing demographic, but your tone drips with all the contempt he deserves. You've chosen not to respond, but that response is on point. She says, "Apparently Mr. Trump thought the question I asked was unfair and felt I was attacking him. I felt he was asked a tough but fair question. We agreed to disagree... Trump, who is the front runner, will not apologize. And I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism. So I'll continue doing my job without fear or favor. Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far. This is a tough business, and it's time now to move forward." Message: move forward, garbage man, cause I ain't looking back.  If you're keeping track, there have now been four Fantastic Four movies, and four criticial flops. To be fair, the first movie from 1994 was never meant to be released, and the next two were box office successes even if everyone hated them. The latest version, on the other hand, has no excuse. Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot (stylized as Fant4stic if you really want to be sick to your stomach) raked in a dismal $26.2 million over its opening weekend. Compare that to its $120 million budget, and the movie begins to look like a scheme by Dr. Doom to destabilize the U.S. economy... which would have been a better storyline. Even the director tried to distance himself from the movie with an impulsive tweet blaming the studio. He later deleted it, proving that even his opinion isn't immune to being rebooted. The ones who really suffer in all of this are hardcore Fantastic Four comic book fans. At this point, it seems unlikely that the team who put Marvel Comics on the map in the 60s will ever get their due on the big screen. I guess nerds will have to settle for the other 80 superhero movies that come out every year.  Perez Hilton wants us to take a break from covering the Kardashians. Challenge accepted. The gossip blogger Perez Hilton took to Facebook last night to ask his fellow media people to take a Kardashian hiatus. Mr. Hilton, I accept. Next week, from Monday, August 17 to Friday, August 21, this blog will not be publishing a single post about Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Tyga, Kanye, North, or anyone else affiliated with the Klan (er... not that Klan either). No selfies. No baby name reveals. No think pieces about the Kim Kardashian app. No feuds between people I can't quite identify. "Do U ever feel like there's just TOO MUCH Kardashian news out there?????" Perez Hilton asked in a post about his decision. Yeah bro, I do, that's why I support #NoKardashiansForAWeek. He promises "instead of the Kardashian klan, next week we'll be highlighting DAILY inspiring stories about amazing women from all around the world!" I'll try to do that too, if I'm not too busy with Miley stuff.  Okay, so, have you seen Donald Trump's new political poster? I have no idea what to make of it.

Enough is enough.  So, do you remember this from the Star Wars trailer?

Well, it's not entirely original.

Hahaha. Only three of you probably got that, or know who that is.  I love movie posters, I don't know if you know that about me. Anyway, I was wondering what movie posters would look like if they were made with stock photos. Like this one, for instance.

I have never seen Saw, because once again I don't like scary movies.  It's summer, and all trough summer I have been showing you different bathing suits you might see on the beach or by the local pool. Like this one for instance...

Our only consolation is that this somehow sold out. And now for some sad news...

Frank Gifford 
August 16th, 1930 — August 9th, 2015
He had an affair with Johnny Carson's wife, while he was married to Kathie Lee? Seriously? Kathie Lee is just plain HOT. What an idiot. Haha. I'm just kidding, Kathie Lee is not hot.

Monogamy is the practice of not having sex with one person at a time.

The 38th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

David will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer and founder for his project The Foreign Films whose EP "Fire From Spark" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Bill Majoros.

Me: Hello, Bill, welcome to the Phile. How are you, sir?

Bill: Hello from the north! Things are good, summer has finally come to Canada! The trees and flowers are waking up from a long winter sleep, I'm waking up with a strong cup of black coffee! Last night I was recording a song for my new Foreign Films record! I'm very inspired to make new music at the moment... working on all kinds of new ideas. 

Me: You're from Canada, right? What part?

Bill: I'm from Hamilton, Ontario. A tough steel town with a ton of heart and soul.

Me: I always ask my Canadian guests if they are fans of one of my favorite bands ever, who are also from Canada. So, are you a fan of the Barenaked Ladies?

Bill: My favorite Canadian artists would have to be from the old school... Neil Young, Joni Mitchell,  Cohen, The Band. Amazing, transcendent song writers. Robbie Robertson once told me I was a cool guitar player for a 19 year old... I was 26 at the time...  LOL! Alex McMaster who plays in my band has been doing shows with Arcade Fire. I think they 're a great modern Canadian band. My home town has so many fantastic artists/friends as well... Daniel Lanois, Caribou, Sandman Viper Command, Dave Rave/Teenage Head, The Rest, Marie Avery, Amber Edgar, Kori Pop. I could go on and on.

Me: Some of those people have been on the Phile. Let's talk about your own band, Flux A.D., which you were in and was popular back in it's time. Flux A.D. split up and the other members went to form their own bands. You didn't for awhile, right? What happened to Flux A.D.? Will you guys ever get back together?

Bill: Flux was a fantastic band to play in. It was a whirl-wind of creative and personal chemistry... fun/crazy times... LOL! Julie Fader has gone on to play with people like Feist and has a lovely solo record. Graham Walsh has a band called Holy Fuck that's doing very well in the Europe. We're still good friends, I'd love to work with them again but everyone is very busy and in various cities. My main focus is The Foreign Films these days.

Me: You started The Foreign Films in '07, but that's not necessary a band, is it?

Bill: I play many of the instruments and sing on the record but love to have special guests. People like Carl Jennings, Mike Keire and Jon Daly have been amazing in studio to work with. Solo records can be lonely... I'm lucky to have a talented group of friends to help me out and to have pints with. Haha! When I do live shows there is core of great players that can change from time to time. I respect and love working with all of them, it keeps things fresh!

Me: I interviewed many musicians in the past who record not under their name, but a band name, when it's not really a band. What made you decide to record under The Foreign Films?

Bill: I think of my songs as little sonic movies so it felt right to call my solo project The Foreign Films. It's a way to frame my art.

Me: Where did that name come from? If it was my band it'll be called The Phoreign Philms. God, I hate the while "ph" thing.

Bill: The name came out of my love of film and seemed like a creative way to think about my songs and the stories, characters and moods within the songs. These tunes are like the soundtrack of my life. I don't have a journal... I write songs.

Me: On the album cover you do have your name on there as well. I am confused, Bill. Is The Foreign Films a real band then?

Bill: It's more of a collective/solo project...  just a way of saying, in other words, Bill Majoros aka The Foreign Films.

Me: Let's talk about your music. I downloaded both your double album "Distant Star" and your new release "Fire From Spark" from iTunes and liked them both. How would you compare both releases? 

Bill: "Distant Star" was a 22 song record... I had all these tunes (35 total) and needed to get them out in the world. I love double records... "Quadrophenia," "White Album," "Songs in the Key of Life." It's in the tradition of those albums. I think my new music is a little less retro, a little more post-modern. I'm trying to connect the dots between the past, present and future. Trying to tell my own story and find my own sound.

Me: I was impressed "Distant Star" was a double album. That's a lot of songs, Bill. When you were recording it, did you think it was gonna be that long?

Bill: Yeah, a ton of songs! I love working in the studio. I remember the day I told talented friend/ producer Carl Jennings that there was an epic amount of songs with string and horns, etc. Lucky for me he was into it 100 percent, an amazing guy to work with!! Was it a plan... more of a flow of ideas with themes and sonic ideas. We were on a roll and had a great time making it, Carl's a very inspiring guy and bass player. So yes and no... it became the plan! The "Distant Star" LP is a chapter in my life, the new songs/record will be the next!

Me: Your latest release "Fire From Spark" is only a short album, or EP. That's a big difference from the first one. Like before, did you plan on the length?

Bill: My new record is being released in three parts... The 7 song EP that is out now then another 5 song record at the end of summer. At the end of the new year the full length album will be out. It will be a combination of EP songs and a few others, three EPS in one!! The idea is to have a flow of current creativity. In the 60s groups did this all the time. A great older idea in a modern context!

Me: Who produced and played on "Fire From Spark" with you, Bill?

Bill: Michael Keire produced tracks (1,2,3,4), Carl Jennings produced tracks 5,6,7. Jon Daly engineered, amazing guys to work with. Many of my good friends helped out... lovely background vocals from Dee Shalala, Marie Avery (I'm producing her record at the moment), Kori Pop, Amber Edgar. All such talented people!

Me: I watched your video, or film, for the song "A Message" which is made up of 4,000 photos. That's very cool. Tell the readers where they could view it themselves, and who took the pictures?

Bill: A very creative friend of mine Amber Edgar. We're starting work on a new video/mini film next month!! Here's a link to our latest one... youtube.com/watchv=nM8G6YYMYRM&feature=youtube_gdata_player.  

Me: I know Amber. She's been on the Phile twice. The pictures were taken during the recording of "Fire From Spark," right? How are you gonna top that, Bill?

Bill: The new video is going to be a bit film noir... a twist of fate leads to a shocking ending... LOL! I love 70s cinema, it will have that type of mood to it!! Should be very cool!!

Me: You must be into the visual side of music, as well as sound, am I right?

Bill: Very much so... music and visuals can walk hand in hand. When I write a song it comes to me as a story with musical color in mind. Chords and keys have shade and color in my mind. Funny enough I only have one official video. I plan to make many more.

Me: Someone told me your dog released a few albums as Dogzilla, but that's a different Bill Majoros I am guessing, right?

Bill: That not me... noooo. LOL!! I 'm his evil Canadian twin... Not... haha!

Me: Bill, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Come back any time, sir. Why don't you go ahead and plug your website.

Bill: Theforeignfilms.bandcamp.com/album/the-foreign-films-ep, billmajoros.ca.  

Me: Thanks again, and I cannot wait to see what the next video will be.

Bill: Thank you, I'll make sure to send you new music and videos as I release my next EP and full length record!!

Me: Cool, man.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Bill Majoros for a great interview. I love his music. The Phile will be back on Saturday with The Alpine Camp. 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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