Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pheaturing Year Of October

Good morning, and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Personally I had the best Thanksgiving in years.  Let's start off with a nice story shall we about two brothers who took a spectacular selfie with a majestic animal they rescued from a trap. Neil Fletcher and his brother Michael were hunting in Dowling, Ontario, when they spotted a bald eagle stuck in a trap. The eagle had caught one of its talons in a claw trap used by fur trappers. They slowly approached the large bird, and draped a sweater over its head to keep it calm while they freed its leg. For the most part, the eagle did remain calm, and after some time they were able to free it from the trap. They were wise to be cautious, as eagles are complete bad asses that have been known to knock drones out of the sky for sport. After the rescue, they realized it was a rare opportunity to take a very unique selfie. Before setting the eagle off to magnificently cruise the forest, they posed for this picture...

One day, in the future, the Fletcher brothers are going to be in a tight situation. Their car might be perilously hanging off a bridge, or they could be outnumbered in a fight outside a bar. At some point, just when it appears that all is lost, this eagle is going to swoop down and save their lives. Then it's going to land on a perch, turn it's head and wink, and fly off never to be seen again.  There's a lot of cross-promotional stuff going on for the new Star Wars movie right now, but Disney probably didn't pay Spain's state-owned broadcast network Television EspaƱola to accidentally replace Al Qaeda's logo with that of the Rebel Alliance, the good guys of the original Star Wars trilogy. This occurred during a segment on how control of the Syrian city of Raqqa, now the "capital" of the Islamic State, has traded hands from Assad to Al Qaeda to the Islamic State. Someone did get to the bottom of how such a massive screw-up happened. A not-very-good-looking Spanish hip-hop label uses the Al Qaeda name and Rebel Alliance logo, which is such an impressive feat of unoriginality that it could conceivably piss off everyone from Western nerds to Middle Eastern radicals. Just a reminder, media: people understand the world is complicated. Take an extra day if you need to explain the history of a war-torn region without confusing it with conflicts from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Blue Origin, the space technology company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has just sent a rocket to space (100.5 km straight up) and landed it back on its own two feet like it's being piloted by Buck goshdarn Rogers. Eat that, SpaceX and your ocean landings. Cue rockin' guitar solo. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the United States of America. We're not just #1, we came up with the constant obsession with being #1. When we stopped being #1 in terms of rocket technology, what happened? Did we accept a future full of international cooperation? Hell no. Our billionaires (of which we have the most, because we're #1) started throwing money at the problem, because that's what we do, god dammit. You've probably heard of SpaceX, the rocket company created by PayPal and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, their successful space missions, and their attempts to get rockets from space to land vertically at sea. Well, now we have two companies (besides the psuedo-military Boeing/Lockheed joint venture known as United Launch Alliance that buys Russian engines and sells them to the government) that make the Space Shuttle look like the stepping stone it was always meant to be.  A group of girls is trying to enter one of California's oldest boys clubs: no, not the club of high-paid Hollywood directors... the Boy Scouts. The group of five girls, who call themselves the Unicorns, are former Girl Scouts who want a more hands-on outdoors experience... the sort of experience the Boy Scouts offer. And the Unicorns are good at that hands-on outdoors stuff, too. In the spring, they participated against several Boy Scout troops in an event called Camporee where they're "judged for grit and spirit," and they placed second. Boy Scout leaders, however, are not interested in letting the girls join, either on the local or national level. Local leaders rebuffed the girls, and the national organization sent this to journalists, "We understand that the values and the lessons of scouting are attractive to the entire family. However, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs for boys and young men.” Title IX is no help in this case, either... it actually has an exception for the Boy Scouts, noting that they don't have to allow women to enter. The arguments people are giving against letting the Unicorns join the Boy Scouts are things like "Yeah, this is supposed to be a place where boys can run around and get their sillies out" and "Coed tents? No THANK you!" as if agreeing to let girls join the Boy Scouts would automatically mean that they had to share tents. Neither of those are concerns of the Unicorns, who just care about getting to do the same work the Boy Scouts do.  So, I have a pheature on the Phile called Snack Hacks For The Phall as you might know... well, in the last entry I showed this one...

Well, Suzanne Dale from Manchester, England was excited to try the grilled cheese life-hack. BAD IDEA! A few minutes after Suzanne popped the sandwich in the toaster it started smoking. Seconds later flames appeared. At this point Suzanne acted on pure instinct, and threw the entire thing out her window. "Luckily I live in a house and have a garden, but if it was anyone living in a flat or somebody who was less agile who couldn’t get out as quick, they were real flames, it could be dangerous," she told Manchester Evening News. Thankfully Suzanne had no injuries. She posted the photo of her food fail on Facebook to warn other hungry/lazy people. Maybe stick to cooking grilled cheese the normal way, with an iron.  Did you go Black Friday shopping the other day? I went to Walmart just briefly after work, but I should of went to Target. Did you see the ads?

So, I'm not great with math but a Phile reader sent me this pic of a sign that I thought was interesting.

I don't get it.  Do you like the Disney movie The Little Mermaid? I have to admit, I am not a big fan, but I do have to say I like how they were originally gonna end the movie...

How realistic does the Creature look?  Did watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? I missed it this year, but wish I would of seen it after this happened...

That's so funny.  So, in the Thanksgiving Day Cowboys game Tony Romo was seriously hurt. Here is a picture of him laying down after his injury...

Oh, my. Moving on...

Yo, Adrian, I got a TV. Haha. Okay, well, it's fall and I have a pheature that hopefully will ell you, and not catch your toaster on fire. Here is...

This makeshift paperclip fork.

Use your scissors as the knife.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.  And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is this week's...

Top Phive Signs You've Overeaten On Thanksgiving
5. The coroner lists your official cause of death as "Turkey Leg Thrombosis."
4. You come to on the floor, surrounded by bones, and your family is nowhere to be found.
3. A week later, you find the meat thermometer in your stool.
2. The paramedic didn't need to eat the emergency Sloppy Joe you'd brought in your pants pocket.
And the number sign you overate on Thanksgiving is...
1. Around the country, the thing most people are thankful for is that "That fat bastard Marty isn't at our table this year"... and you're Marty!

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is a 2012 film about teenagers killing each other with bows and arrows instead of texting while driving.

Okay, today's guests are the three members that make up the cool band Year of October whose latest CD "Golden Days" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Phlecia Sullivan, Josh Sullivan and Kody Muhic.

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

Josh: We are doing well. Thanks for having us!

Me: I am a big fan of your music and love the album "Golden Days." You kids are too going to know what a golden day is. Haha. Where did the name come from?

Josh: The name actually comes from one of our singles on the album. It is a story about the house that Phlecia grew up in. It personifies the house and talks about its longing for the previous life that it had before her family moved in.

Me: Kody, I will get to you in a minute, I have to talk to the cute one in the band... not you, Josh. Phlecia, how are you? I love the spelling of your name. Is that intentional or were your parents creative?

Phlecia: Thanks so much. It is intentional. My dad really liked Phylicia Rashad but my mom didn't want to spell it that way. So she was at the hospital where I was born and she ran into a nurse who was named Phlecia and she loved the spelling. So I am named after a nurse in the hospital where I was born. It was pretty cool though because the other Phlecia gave me some personalized clothes because she knew how hard it was to find things with her name on them growing up.

Me: How many times do people say, "good-bye, Phlecia." to you? I have no idea why people are starting to say that but I promise I won't.

Phlecia: I hear that so many times a day. It is pretty ridiculous.

Me: I thought at first you and Josh were brother and sister but you're husband and wife, am I right? 

Phlecia: Yes, we have been married for a little over 4 years.

Me: Congrats, Josh, on having a cute and talented wife. So, what came first, the band or the marriage?

Josh: Thank you, I certainly agree on her being both cute and talented. We started dating and didn't start playing music until we had been dating for about a year. We just started playing a few songs together and then that turned into us writing our own stuff. 

Me: I also ask married couples who work and in bands together how they get along. Is it fun or stressful?

Josh: It is a lot of fun. We get to share what we love with each other. We travel and write. It really is a great time.

Me: Who is in charge? Haha.

Phlecia: I think that we both agree that Josh is the band leader.

Me: I should ask Kody, which one of the two are in charge?

Kody: Yeah, definitely Josh.

Me: Where did you two meet?

Phlecia: We met in college I was a freshman at the University of Kentucky and Josh was a junior.

Me: So, what did you study there? And I guess you are Wildcat fans? I have a UK shirt, but I tell people it stands for United Kingdom as that's where I'm from.

Phlecia: Nice, that's awesome. I studied broadcast journalism and political science and Josh studied telecommunications, like audio production and all that jazz. He records all of our music! I am a Wildcat fan but Josh is not. His family is originally from East Tennessee so he grew up a die hard Volunteer.

Me: How did you propose to her, Josh?

Josh: We were heading back to Phlecia's hometown one weekend to visit and I took her to a nice restaurant called Patti's up by the lake she used to go to when she was growing up. After we got finished eating I asked her to take me to her favorite spot. It had been raining all day so I was really worried that things weren't going to work out like I had hoped, but thankfully right as we got to this rock beach that she loved the sun came out and I got down on one knee on the beach and proposed. It was great because we were the only two people out there so we just hung out for a while and skipped rocks.

Me: Nice! Kody, how did you come into the mix?

Kody: I started playing with them earlier this year. They had another drummer named Greg who had been playing with them for a while who moved back to Utah to go to school. I played some shows in my other band Fat Tuesday with Year of October and they asked if I wanted to fill in after Greg moved and we just went from there.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name... it doesn't make sense. Where dies it come from?

Phlecia: When we first started playing it was just Josh and me playing acoustic songs we had written. I thought it felt like the music you would play around a campfire, so I thought October is a good time for campfires and I thought our music really took that feeling year round. So I came up with Year of October and it stuck.

Me: How long have you kids been performing?

Phlecia: I have been preforming pretty much my whole life. I grew up singing in church with my family. I also danced and did musical theater. Josh started playing music when he was 9.

Me: Phlecia, you have a fantastic voice. Have you been singing all your life?

Phlecia: Thanks so much. I have been basically been singing since I could talk. My parents have tons of old home videos of me making up songs and singing different songs I knew. When I was taking dance they used to call me the walking, talking, karaoke machine because I knew all of the words to the songs and I would sing them all the time. Also my grandmother plays piano and I would have her play music while I sang all of the classics. They ended up buying a karaoke machine and I think part of the reason was so I could entertain myself with it after she got tired of playing.  

Me: Who are you influences? I love Norah Jones. She is a major influence of mine. Also Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Patsy Cline, Rocco Deluca, Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, The Black Keys. The list could go on and on. I try to take things from different places and create something completely new.   

Me: You kids have been compared to Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys and Norah Jones. Not too shabby, kids. Are they influences of yours?

Phlecia: Oh yes, we are huge fans of all of them. It always makes us feel good when someone compares us to them.

Me: Josh, how long have you been a musician?

Josh: I started playing music when I was 9. 

Me: What is the first instrument you learned to play on?

Josh: The first instrument that I started playing was the trumpet. The first instrument that I really loved playing and what made me want to continue playing was bass. I started playing and taking bass lessons when I was 13 and I fell in love with it. I saved up money mowing lawns and bought my first bass. That was when I really knew that I wanted to play music for a living.

Me: Kody, you play drums, right? Have you been playing drums for a long time?

Kody: Yeah, I do. I have been playing for around nine years.

Me: So, who does most of the songwriting in the band?

Phlecia: Josh and I do the writing for the most part. I come up with the lyrics and melodies and Josh writes the music.

Me: I have to mention the video for "Gone." You kids have some odd fighting skills. I have to show a screenshot...

Me: Was all that practiced and thought out or done on the fly?

Josh: For the most part it was done on the fly. We plotted a little bit but that was basically so we hit the right spots in the end.

Me: I like the fight at the end with both of you. Josh, I would of picked Phlecia up and threw her into that lake. Did you think about that?

Josh: Yeah, I thought about it she was just too tough for me. 

Me: Maybe in the next video?

Josh: Haha. Maybe so. 

Me: I think it's cool that "Golden Days" is on vinyl. Are you kids big vinyl fans?

Josh: We are big vinyl fans. We worked at a record store in college and I think our love of vinyl started there. One of our good friends, Brian, was our manager at the time and he was big into vinyl. We started getting more and more into the store and we would order in stuff that we wanted. It was really cool seeing the resurgence of it in popularity. Also we basically had no money because we spent it all on music. Best job ever though.

Me: I love my record player and record collection... your album would look good in my collection. LOL. Whose idea was to have it black and red? It looks cool.

Josh: Actually we had a coupon for mixed colors. So it was cheaper to have them made that way then to do solid black. Also there are around 9 different colored vinyl so not just black and red and they are all different. We loved how they turned out though!

Me: What's the deal with the album cover? Why a fox? I would of put Phlecia on the cover myself.  

Josh: We were tossing around names for the album and for a while we were going with "Into the Night." We felt like it was a good representation of the album which is a little bit darker than our first record. In going with that we wanted a symbol to represent it. So we started thinking about different nocturnal animals and that is how the fox came about. Not only did it represent the night, but also they are sly and clever which is something I wanted to come across in this album. We ended up going with the title "Golden Days" as you know, but we still thought the fox was a good fit.

Me: So, what's next for you kids?

Josh: We are writing again and starting to record our third album which we are very excited about. We are also just playing as much as we can.

Me: Like I said, I am a big fan. Any plans to come down to Orlando to play?

Josh: Hopefully we can get something worked up down there this coming year. We would really love to play there. Phlecia also loved Disney World so it would be a double bonus for her. Haha.

Me: Well, I just happen to work there so... Thanks so much for being here. Please come back again soon. Go ahead and mention your website, kids.

Josh: Thanks again for having us. For more updates on shows and new music from us go to or find us on Facebook, just search Year of October.

Me: Alright. All the best, and continued success.

Josh: Thank you, we appreciate that!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to the kids in Year of October. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Mary Jennings. 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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