Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alum Kim Edwards

Hi there, and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you?  Okay, let's start off with a story about Hot Pockets saving a man's life by helping him narrowly avoid a plane crash. An Akron, Ohio man, Jason Bartley, says a stop for Hot Pockets saved his life on Tuesday. Seven employees of a Florida real estate investment company were on the second day of a multi-city Midwestern trip when their small jet crashed into Bartley's apartment building. Regrettably, all nine people onboard were killed. Bartley just barely avoided the crash because he was out running errands. He left home Tuesday afternoon and took slightly longer than planned because he stopped to buy the Hot Pockets for dinner and breakfast, which might be the first time having Hot Pockets for breakfast has saved someone's life instead of shortening it. The 38 year old factory worker says he saw flames and smoke on his drive home, and a bystander explained that a plane had just crashed into his building. Bartley says he feels lucky to be alive, but is obviously distraught over the close brush with death. He told the "Akron Beacon Journal," "Sometimes you get nauseous thinking about it. It’s still even hard to comprehend." To be clear, he's talking about the plane crash, not having Hot Pockets for both dinner and breakfast. Unfortunately, he did not have renters insurance, so a GoFundMe account has been set up to help him replace his belongings and buy him some new breakfasts and dinners. You can go her if you want to pledge...  Over 100 women are suing Atlanta-based drug company Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for a 2011 error in their birth control's packaging, which the women claim resulted in unplanned pregnancies. Why? Because the worst mistake you could ever make while packaging birth control happened: the placebos were in the wrong place. As if that isn't bad enough, the name of the company is Qualitest. They combined the words "quality" and "test" to name their company, then failed to perform tests ensuring their product was quality. Three years ago, Qualitest recalled its birth control pills after discovering the pills’ labeling had been placed upside down. As a result, many women took the placebo pills when they should have been taking the hormone pills. The lawsuit includes 94 women who gave birth after taking the defective pills, 17 who didn't carry out their unplanned pregnancies, and two others who did not become pregnant. It's not clear what the other two are suing for; perhaps they or their partners had heart attacks after learning about the recall. According to the lawsuit filed on November 5th, the women who took the pills are seeking millions in damages to compensate for their pain, suffering, lost wages, and child-rearing expenses. In Oregon, state law specifies that child-rearing expenses include the the child's college tuition. That could make possible settlements quite pricey if the kids grow up to be highly intelligent. The company claims the recall was based on a small number of pill packs, and that the mistake was due to an external contract manufacturer. Either way, someone is totally getting fired.  Bloomingdale's has apologized after publishing a super uncomfortable advertisement suggesting that you celebrate Christmas by acting like a date rapist. The ad was published in their holiday catalog and features a somewhat creepy-looking dude next to a laughing woman with the message, "Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking." Here's a picture of the ad...

Bloomingdale's gave a statement about the ad to "Tech Insider," in which the company apologized, "In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdales' [sic] sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment." Go with something simple next time, like "Happy Holidays," or "'Tis the season," or "Give people presents, not drugs against their will."  Alexa Rice of Matthews, North Carolina was biking home on Wednesday when she passed a truck with a Confederate flag bumper sticker parked in her neighborhood. She continued home, where she kept on stewing in rage over the controversial image, getting madder and madder as she thought about the racist implications of it. Finally, she decided she'd had enough. She wrote a very pointed note and returned to the truck. Peeling off the sticker with her bare hands (apparently this was the most easily-removed bumper sticker of all time), she replaced it with her message. She documented the entire operation in a Twitter video. Leaving nothing to chance, she also uploaded a close-up image of the note itself...

Rice's video tweet quickly went viral, with almost 5,000 retweets and more than 6,000 likes as of press time. Many commenters supported her and her anti-racism message, while others pointed out that what she did was illegal, constituting theft and destruction of property. Of course, Rice was aware of that, which is why she identified herself in the video. She didn't want anyone else to get the blame (or the credit). "Fox 8" reports that since the tweet was posted, Rice's note has been removed from the truck (duh). However, reporters were unable to find the vehicle's owner for comment. There are just too many trucks with Confederate flag stickers and "Dixie" decals in North Carolina to sift through.  Last year, Facebook created Safety Check, a tool specifically for "disasters and crises" that helps you see whether your friends and family in an affected area are safe. Friday, Facebook turned on the tool in response to the horrible attacks in Paris. If you go to the Safety Check page, Facebook will list all of your Facebook friends in Paris who have checked in as safe. Furthermore, the tool will also notify you when other people on your friends list have checked in. Here's the link... The flip side of this is that if you're currently in Paris or you're in an area of crisis in the future, you can let Facebook know you're safe, and it will inform your friends. My thoughts are with everyone in Paris...  Okay, so, dod you hear about this whole Starbucks Christmas cup controversy this week? Well, they decided to change their logo...

I am not too sure what to think.  Do you guys like video games? Have you heard of the company Square Enix? I haven't, so I don't exactly get their new ad, but you might.

Is that a good thing?  I was in the store the other day looking at different books and I found this one...

I am kinda confused. It seems there's a lot confusing me recently. Haha.  Okay, so, if you know me well you know I don't like to break rules. Ha! Anyway, some people obviously do...

That sign says "Do Not Climb On Wall." What is he doing?!  It's almost one month to the new Star Wars movie and people like me are wondering why Luke wasn't in the trailers. Well, he was, you just have to look for him. Here'd a screen shot...

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

Top Phive Disturbing Signs That Starbucks Hates Christianity
5. Their baristas refuse to recite passages from Leviticus while making your latte.
4. They're willingly serve unbaptized customers like it's no big deal.
3. During the holiday season, its stores play "O Come all Ye Faithful" mere 87 times each day.
2. They don't offer a communion wafer-flavored frappucino.
And the number one disturbing sign that Starbucks hates Christianity is...
1. When they're the focus of a pointless, asinine controversy over cup design, they don't rush to re-design those cups to appease the far-right shitmonkeys who manufactured the whole thing in the first place.

Helmut Schmidt 
December 23rd, 1918 — November 10th, 2015
The worst thing this guy ever did was apparently smoke near a "No Smoking" sign, and even that didn't stick. How has this guy never done anything bad or funny? He's GERMAN for chrissakes. Thanks for ruining my day, Helmut.

I saw this map and with my warped mind I noticed something. Anyway, do you notice it? Let me know if you see it. I et none of you do. Okay, so, I just mentioned the Starbucks cup controversy... well, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. Happy Sunday, Phuckerz. Okay, people... Calm the FUCK down. There are those out there who are "upset, insulted, hurt and/or angered" by any and all public displays or mentions of Christmas. 1. Get over yourselves. 2. Pick up a newspaper and find something important to worry about. 3. Read the words closely, you whiney little turds... it says... "Freedom OF religion." not "Freedom FROM religion." 4. If my wishing you a "Merry Christmas" or the sight of a Christmas tree or hearing any mention of Christmas in a song somehow offends you... kindly fuck off, get lost and squat on a fire hydrant. You're a reactionary moron and I have no time for your particular brand of stupidity. Hope this cleared up any misconceptions regarding my feelings on coffee cups, religion, Christmas greetings and idiots.

The 41st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

My good friend Jeff Trelewicz will be the guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Today's phatured guest is a very talented musician who has a new EP out called "Lovers and Loners" which is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Kim Edwards.

Me: Hello, Kim, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Kim: Hey, Jason! Thanks for having me again. I've been well... it's been a busy season, but a good one!

Me: Last time you were here I was sick and you were on one of the shortest entries ever. Not this time though. Ha. Anyway, in the last two years since you were here your life has become really busy, am I right?

Kim: The busy-ness ebbs and flows, to be honest, depending on whether I'm writing, recording, touring, in between projects, etc. But yes, the last few months have been especially hectic with the new record. But it's a good kind of hectic.

Me: What has been the biggest change since "Wanderlust" your last release came out?

Kim: I think the biggest change has been me. Maybe it's just a part of growing as a person, but I feel much more... "settled" these days, I guess. I did a lot of moving from place to place around the time of "Wanderlust," and while I still love to travel and am always up for the next adventure, there's something nice about being at peace with where you're at... not just a physical location, but in life in general.

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

Kim: I am. I'm from the Lehigh Valley area, about an hour north of Philadelphia.

Me: Did you recently move to Dallas? Why did you move there? It wasn't for a guy, was it?

Kim: Ha, I actually did not recently move to Dallas! It's okay, I did do a lot of cross-country moves a few years ago, and I have successfully confused all of my friends and most of my family on my current whereabouts. Whenever I run into a friend, their first question is usually, "How are you?" followed by "So where are you living now?"

Me: I love the new EP "Lovers and Loners." Where did the title come from, Kim?

Kim: The phrase "Lovers and Loners" came to me a few years ago, and eventually it took shape as a song. It also seemed like the right title for the project as a whole since the EP encompasses all the different stages of love and heartache. And really, "Lovers and Loners" kind of covers everyone!

Me: So, which one are you? Me? I am more of a loner. Ha.

Kim: Ha, I hear you! I'm more of a loner at the moment, too.

Me: How long did the new EP take to record?

Kim: It was recorded off and on over the course of a year.

Me: Why did it take so long?

Kim: There were some technical delays (for instance, my producer moved his studio from one facility to another, which is a very meticulous process and takes time to make sure everything is set up correctly), but mostly I wanted to do this record right, and I was willing to wait for the right arrangements, the right musicians, the right people to come together.

Me: The more you write, does it come easier, Kim?

Kim: That's a tough question. In some ways, yes, the more I write, the easier it is for me to get into the mode of writing. But sometimes inspiration can be a struggle, and I'm finding that, for me, it really depends on if my creative tank is full or not. If I try to force myself to write too often, I can become depleted and feel like I don't have anything to say. When that happens, sometimes I have to take a step back from songwriting for a little while, fill up my tank with life experiences and films and stories and whatnot, and then come back and try again.

Me: I love the video for the song "The Sweetest Sound." Where was it filmed?

Kim: Thanks, so glad you like it! It was filmed on my friend's farm in Pennsylvania.

Me: Didn't you almost get seriously injured making it? What happened?

Kim: I had runner's knee a few years ago, and the pain occasionally flares up if I'm walking or running for long stretches of time. Well, as you can see in the video, there's a lot of both! Usually, if I know I'll be walking a lot, I'll wear a knee brace, but unfortunately I forgot to bring it that day. I felt my knee starting to give out right before we started shooting the running scenes, but I knew that we had a limited amount of time left, so I decided to grit my teeth and bear it. It probably wasn't the smartest decision I've ever made, but I was really determined to finish the video. Long story short, I ended up going to the Emergicenter a few days later because the pain was pretty intense, and the doctor prescribed some pain meds and physical therapy exercises for me. It's been almost two months since the shoot, and my knee feels back to normal, thankfully!

Me: So, what is the sweetest sound? I have a favorite sound but not gonna say what to is here. Ha. 

Kim: The sweetest sound is really anything you want it to be. I wanted to approach the concept from the place of learning to love again after having your heart broken; it's got to be one of the toughest (and bravest) things a human can do. "The sweetest sound you'll ever hear / Is when walls fall and you love without fear."

Me: Hey, I have to congratulate you on being on the cover of "Performer." I have  apic of it here...

Me: That's almost as cool as being on the Phile. Ha! The magazine is colder though, right? You can tell me.

Kim: Thanks; it's an honor to be on the Phile (of course!), and it is an honor to be on the cover of "Performer."  I knew they were going to run some kind of feature about me, but I had no clue it would end up being their cover story.

Me: Have you been touring quite a bit, Kim? Have you opened for anybody that is kinda cool?

Kim: I just got back from playing shows in Los Angeles, Dallas, and St. Louis, and last night I played a radio show in Long Island. It's been a while since I've played out, and so I have really loved reconnecting with fans/friends and also meeting new ones. I haven't opened for anyone recently, but I'm always down for that, too! 

Me: On the new EP you do a song with Cameron Ernst. Who is that?

Kim: Cameron is a great friend of mine and a fellow singer/songwriter. We met in Dallas a few years ago at a songwriting event, and we've been friends ever since. When I was writing "Love," I knew early on that I wanted it to be a duet, and I immediately thought Cameron's voice and style would be perfect for the song. He totally nailed it. 

Me: Do you think he'll wanna be interviewed on the Phile?

Kim: You'd have to ask him!

Me: You are a friend of a Phile Alum or two I think... Joy and her sister Peace. I love this picture of you guys...

Me: How long have you known them and when did you first meet them? 

Kim: I love Joy and Peace Ike! They are two of my favorites. I've known them for a couple years now, I think. I first met Joy when she reached out to me on Twitter about doing a show together, and I met Peace a little later at a different gig we shared. Joy and Peace are both insanely talented (I love catching their live show), and they are two of the most genuine and kind people I know.

Me: Joy has to be on the Phile again soon. Is she coming out with any new music?

Kim: Hmm, I don't know, but I sure hope so!

Me: You two should record together. Ever think about that, Kim?

Kim: Maybe! I think it'd be fun to perform a song together sometime. We both play ukulele (she plays a baritone, I play a tenor), so I'm sure we could come up with something!

Me: So, what's next for you? Anything exciting?

Kim: As for the immediate future, I'm pretty excited to celebrate the album now that it's finally out and about. As for the semi-near future, I'd like to continue writing over the winter and maybe get back on the road again in the spring. And, if possible, maybe record and release a single sooner rather than later...? We'll see.

Me: Thanks so much for being here. I know you are very busy, which is a good thing. Mention your website, Kim. Thanks so much for having me again!

Kim: It's always a pleasure. My website is

Me: Continued success and please come back on the Phile again soon.

Kim: Thanks, Jason!

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Kim Edwards. The Phile will be back on Tuesday with another Phile Alum... Neara Russell. 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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