Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pheaturing Sneaky Bones

Hey there, good afternoon, welcome to the Phile, how are you? It's October, and it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Just a reminder that mammogramming your boobs is more important than Instagraming them.  Let's start off with a story about a guy almost killing himself when hey brought his cat to talk to him. On Wednesday, a suspected car thief in San Francisco climbed onto a third-story window ledge and threatened to jump. Police negotiated with the suicidal man for three hours, but were having little luck talking him down. During the course of the negotiation, however, members of man's family arrived on the scene, and officers discovered that they had brought the man's orange and white cat with them. Officers took the cat up to the negotiators, who were talking to the man from a fire escape near the window. According to SF Gate, "Using his pet, hostage negotiators were able to persuade him to go back inside the building, come down the stairs and surrender without incident." They also let the man see his cat before being taken to jail. If somebody isn't already working on a script about a cat hostage negotiator, Hollywood is broken. I'd do it, but I'm too busy pretending I'm not crying in the office after reading this story.  Last weekend, I told you about Andrew Wardle, the British man with no penis and a big dream. A condition called bladder exstrophy caused Wardle to be born his bladder outside his body and no penile development. Now, a revolutionary procedure will build him a fully-functional penis out of tissue taken from his arm. Imagine the joy of being 40 and getting your first penis (if you wanted one). Wardle's inspirational journey has just been documented in a new TLC special, "The Man With No Penis." The documentary premiered the other night, and we've learned about some other fascinating (and baffling) revelations that it contained, specifically about his sex life. Apparently, Wardle claims to have slept with more than 100 women in his life, most of them in one-night stands. His strategy was to woo women, get them into bed, and then use his well-practiced skills to pleasure them so effectively that there was no need for them to even seen his naked pelvis, let alone touch it. From this quote, he actually sounds like a perfect date. “I knew my way around a woman’s body, I knew my way around their mind. I was very confident in bed of what I could do to them so they wouldn’t come near me and they were finished and I was fine.” He also indulged liberally in drugs, including ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD, and would use the side effects as an excuse to avoid vaginal intercourse. But any guy who can still perform orally after taking a cocktail like that deserves a medal. Most impressively, Wardle has a long-term girlfriend who only recently learned about his condition. Fedra is from Hungary, and initially their relationship was long-distance... a strategy employed by Wardle to avoid sex. When she eventually moved in with him, he claimed he had a microchip implanted in his kidney for medical reasons, and couldn't consummate the relationship for that reason. In fact, she only learned the truth about his condition when he took his story to the media. She had to read about it in the newspaper with everyone else. While she was angry at first, Fedra, now 24, has since forgiven him. She has pledged to stay by him through the four painful surgeries he will undergo before his penis is ready for primetime. She's definitely a keeper. And it sounds from his previous dates that he is, too.  A new study reports that 1 in 3 vegetarians eat meat when they're drunk. This very serious, very scientific study was conducted by Voucher Codes Pro, a discount code website in the U.K. It probably has nothing to do with the fact they have some hot, limited-time deals on hamburgers near a bunch of pubs. It could just be that they staff a seasoned team of pollsters alongside their rigorous statisticians. They took a poll of 1,789 Brits who claim to be practicing vegetarians and found that 37% admitted to eating meat when drunk. When asked how often the rule breakers ate meat, the responses varied. 34% said every time they drink, 26% said fairly often, 22% said rarely, and 18% said occasionally. And as for the drunken prizes they just can't resist after they've hoisted too many pints, drunk Brits go for kebabs first, followed by burgers, bacon, fried chicken, and pork sausages. That pretty much covers all the meats. And for the record, no one actually knows what type of meat is served on a kebab from a street vendor. The real mystery is how one drunkenly texts their ex with the greasy fingers brought on by those ridiculous late-night meat snacks. It must make the texts even more incomprehensible, that is, if the texter can even manage not to drop their phone.  You know how when you watch Home Alone, it's really hard to believe that Kevin's family completely forgot about him? Then you watch Home Alone 2, and you're just like, "SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK!" and your rage is so intense it ruins Christmas for your whole family? Well, that's exactly how a lot of people feel about McDonald's not including hash browns on their new all day breakfast menu. It started out as a day full of promise. October 6th, McDonald's finally started serving breakfast around the clock. Unemployed and hungover people across the country rejoiced and celebrated, even though they were still pretty tired. However, at approximately 10:31 am, the euphoria turned to outrage, as the tragic news began to flood social media, in what is now known as #hashbrowngate. If you'd like to know why your life is ruined and you can't ever have one minute of pure happiness, there is an explanation. According to former McDonald's franchise owner Richard Adams, "Some locations use the same vats to cook French fries as they do hash browns, but they require different cooking settings." Blah, blah, blah who cares. You put a picture of it on Instagram, you monsters!

McDonald's spokesperson Lisa McComb told BuzzFeed not to rule out a future with afternoon hash browns. "If a location isn't able to offer hash browns at this point, that doesn't mean they never may offer them as more learning continues to happen." Until then, all-day hash browns are nothing more than a dream. A dream you can have while you're still asleep at noon.  Do you have fond memories of visiting Disney World as a kid? Are you finding it harder to afford to go now that you're a repressed 30-something with a little bit of expendable income? Would you believe that when Disney World first opened in 1971, the price of admission was $3.50, roughly the cost of 3 gallons of milk at the time? Every year since, the cost of admission has gone uppity-up-up. "The Washington Post" reporter Drew Harwell outlined how Disney went from a middle-class household name to a behemoth luxury brand. To better illustrate how expensive Disney World tickets have become, the graph below plots the actual rising cost of admission since opening day against what that ticket would cost in last-year-dollars.

Around 1980, the price spiked due to the recession and runaway inflation. Within the last decade, the barrier of monetary entry has risen steadily and handsomely. Every year for the past ten years, Disney admission revenue has increased by 10 percent. In 2014, ticket sales raked in $5 billion, not including food and merchandise, which is another $5 billion. Not bad for a cartoon mouse who isn't in cartoons anymore. It is bad for a regular family who just wants to have fun and maybe see Elsa or Mufasa or Harry Potter or Iron Man or Fred MacMurray or whoever else Disney owns by the time I publish this thing. Attendance has always been high at Disney World and its subsidiary parks in the Orlando, Florida area. With higher demand, Disney's business strategy has been to target the richest of the rich, the one-percenters on vacation. Not only is the cost of admission pricing out the shrinking middle class, but Disney parks offer stratified park experiences catering to customers who don't care about cost. There are $115 steak meals, $200 princess makeovers, passes to skip to the front of the waiting line at rides, $3400-a-night tiki bungalow suites, and a world of other luxuries for the luxuriant (and... let's face it... tacky) holiday maker. So, you might be asking "What's the big deal, crybaby? Are you poor or something?" Walt Disney opened Disney World as a place for "all families to be able to spend time together in a fun atmosphere and be able to afford it," according to Scott Smith, assistant professor of hospitality at the University of South Carolina and former Disney park employee. “But as a kid who started there with his first job at 16, steeped in the tradition? It does make me sad that something that was set up by Walt, who wanted all families to be able to spend time together in a fun atmosphere and be able to afford it, is going by the wayside." As a current Disney Cast Member I say it's all worth it and Disney is the best pace to work for... ever. I did think it was kinda odd what Disney's response was to the people that are complaining about the price hike.

Are you like me, seeing an inanimate object and thinking you see a face? It happens to me all the time. Check it out...

Hahaha. That looks like me at work. That's so stupid. Wanna see what else is stupid?

That cracks me up.  So, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month like I said and a few years ago I showed you some breast cancer awareness posters. Well, I found a few more that I wanna show you this month.

And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive Ways To Celebrate "Twilight's" 10th Anniversary
5. Send a thank-you email to stephanie Meyer in the laughable, ham-fisted writing style you picked up from her books.
4. Furiously dry-hump a life-size cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson until the Barnes & Noble staff has ask you to leave... again.
3. Quit your waffling and FINALLY commit to either Team Edward or Team Jacob.
2. Hit one of your vampire bars, where blood is half-price from five to seven pm (Type A only).
And the number one way to celebrate "Twilight's" 10th anniversary...
1. Urge Meyer to re-imagine the "Twilight" saga from the perspective of well-written and fully-developed characters.

Paul Prudhomme 
July 13th, 1940 — October 8th, 2015
Dude spent most of his life about 6000 pounds overweight, finally got it together and got fit, and then died. What have we learned here, boys and girls?

That's an easy one, kids. Let me know if you figure it out. I'm sure you'll be able to.

Today's guest is a very talented musician from Portland, Oregon whose new album "Dream of the End" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Sneaky Bones.

Me: Hey there, Sneaky, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Sneaky: Hey, thanks for having me. I'm fantastic. How are you?

Me: I'm okay I guess. It's okay to call you Sneaky instead of Matthew, right?

Sneaky: Of course. Whatever pseudonym you prefer.

Me: How long have you been calling yourself Sneaky Bones?

Sneaky: Started back in January of 2014. The Dwells went on hiatus and I went solo.

Me: I was thinking it sounds like a restaurant name and had this whole joke I was gonna say, but then I discovered there is a restaurant named Smokey Bones, but that's not your name, so this whole thing is dumb. Anyway, it does sound like a blues name. Are you influenced by the blues, Sneaky?

Sneaky: Haha. I'm all about dumb jokes. You can still share if you like. I dig the blues... more it's  American roots... but love the traditional song tradition. Always cool to hear the musical evolution of tunes generation by generation.

Me: Where did the name come from... Sneaky Bones?

Sneaky: So, I was at breakfast with my friend Carly in Ft. Worth, TX and we devoured some chicken and waffles. As we were driving home, she complained of a bone stuck in her throat and exclaimed, "Those damn sneaky bones." I was hooked and determined to use it for something. Found its way to the top of the list when I was choosing a moniker. I've always liked the Sneaky surname ever since I head the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Me: Alright, so, where are you from? You're based in Portland now, am I right?

Sneaky: I am from Portland but have lived and played music in Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Maine, Nashville, Boulder, Montana, and now Seattle. Not sure where that makes me based but I have my roots in Portland. Just moved to Seattle so that is where I'll be spending my time for a bit.

Me: Portland is on my bucket list. Is it a great city to live in? I know it has a great music scene.

Sneaky: Yea, Portland is great. Great food and always good music. Getting a little overcrowded now though.

Me: How long have you been writing and performing, Sneaky?

Sneaky: I've been writing and performing since I started playing guitar about 12 years ago. When I picked up the guitar at 16, I immediately wanted to create my own music. So, I just started writing. Writing led naturally to roping other people in to playing my music, which led to performing with those roped, and into a career in music.

Me: What music did you listen to growing up?

Sneaky: I listened to a lot of Paul Simon and CSNY growing up as a child. My parents were born and bred in San Francisco in the 60s so that catalogue was constantly on rotation. Those two really stand out, more Neil Young maybe, because they stayed with me through my teens and musical exploration.

Me: I hear different influences in your music, and all influences I like. Who are your influences?

Sneaky: Well, thank you. Prob Ryan Adams, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Bill Evans and contemporaries like Jason Isbell. But that list could change for any particular aspect of my writing and production. I like to isolate tiny aspects of people styles that I vibe with and iterate on that. For example, Adams' melodies are infectious so I look to those in my melodic writing. Someone like Bill Evans... phrasing and voicing's... which I may use in my arrangements or guitar/pedal steel parts.

Me: Your music reminds me of Nick Lowe. Are you aware of who he is?

Sneaky: Well, I'm going to start listening now. I'm afraid I am blissfully unaware of Nick Lowe. Just put it on and I like it.

Me: You play lots of different instruments. What was your first one you learnt and what instruments do you play?

Sneaky: Guitar was my first love. Actually, I learned trumpet in 4th grade, then a big of drums, but really guitar in my teens is where I started connecting with music. I play guitar and pedal steel guitar primarily but could fake it on most things with strings (pianos included). But really I am a guitarist. 

Me: Do you play everything on the new album "Dream of the End."?

Sneaky: I played everything besides drums and bass on two tracks. However, I did do the arrangements so wrote all of the unplayed parts.

Me: When you play live do you have a band, Sneaky?

Sneaky: I play with a band when I can. I love the full sound but it is hard to find players sometimes and touring can be so much harder with a group. Ideally, I would have a band full time. We'll see. Maybe next tour.

Me: That's a great album, Sneaky. How long did it take you to record and write?

Sneaky: Thanks, Whitey. May I call you Whitey?

Me: Sure... I guess.

Sneaky: I recorded and wrote it in 5 months.

Me: It's an album in two parts... explain what that means.

Sneaky: Well, I like to write and perform in varied styles. I really love mellow, slow tunes so the first half of the record is more upbeat and the second half is maybe more downer? Haha, at least that is what I've been told. One side to ramp you up and the other to send you to sleep. Until "Have You" kicks in at least.

Me: I like the single "Eternity." And the video. Do you like making videos?

Sneaky: Thanks. Yes, videos are fun. Like conceptualizing a song into visuals. I actually have a degree in digital media so do lots of film and photo work as well for fun and projects.

Me: And what do you prefer the most? Performing or recording?

Sneaky: Man, when they are good both! Performing is a rush all in itself and it is so gratifying to connect with a new crowd. And recording... always so much fun to get into the studio and write parts and slowly build these tracks up, note-by-note, until they become something more. But they can both have equal frustrations. If I had to choose... recording.

Me: "Dream of the End" is not your first album, am I right?

Sneaky: It is my first full length as Sneaky Bones but I've released two other records with The Dwells and an EP with my first band, Wy'East.

Me: Where did the name of the album come from?

Sneaky: It comes from the track "Dreams." That was sort of the seed I started with to write the song. Dreaming of the end.

Me: On the single covers there's a buffalo picture but on the album cover it's a bird and yellow sky. Here's the singles' cover...

Me: Is there a reason?

Sneaky: I've messed around with different symbols for the music and collaborated with a few artists in Portland to refine some imagery. The singles were released a bit before the record so just decided to have a different take on the artwork.

Me: The album cover kinda sticks out which I like. Did you design it?

Sneaky: Yes, I did design it. Actually comes in 4 different colors and the physical has 2 different color schemes on the front and back. I'll send you one.

Me: Cool. So, what is next for you? Any more recording?

Sneaky: Yes! I'm headed back into the studio this winter and going to make another record. I write a lot and have set a goal for myself to release a record a year. Just gonna hammer it until it sticks!

Me: Will you be coming down to play in Florida?

Sneaky: Florida will have to be on the next southern tour. Planning a national follow up in the spring or summer of 2016 so yes, I will have to make Florida a stop!

Me: Sneaky, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back soon, I am a big fan, and love the album. Go ahead and mention your website.

Sneaky: Hey, thank you so much. That means a lot. It was a true please to be on the Phile and I will come on back.,,

Me: All the best, Sneaky. Continued success.

Sneaky: Same to you, sir. Thanks again!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Sneaky Bones for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Aaron Irwin from there jazz band Vicious World. 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

No comments: