Monday, February 22, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Jenn Bostic

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Well, Jeb Bush hasn't had an easy time of it this election season. What with Donald Trump mocking him mercilessly every chance he got, and the domain being redirected to Donald Trump's website, Bush's whole campaign was less "Jeb!" than "Jeb?" So after months of being a walking punch line, Jeb Bush announced Saturday that he was officially dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And much like a kid who strikes out twenty times before his mom finally lets him quit Little League and join the cheerleading team, he's probably going to be much happier. But we're sure going to miss getting to see faces like the time the DJ wouldn't let him play Jimmy Buffet.

The Meyer Middle School in River Falls, Wisconsin is nearly finished completing a new $100,000 fitness room, which was dubbed the Pride Fitness project early on. According to the "River Falls Journal," a large chunk of the funds came from the Royal Credit Union and the Roger T. White family. Chuck Eaton, the local elementary school principal and fundraising committee member, suggested a name befitting its major sponsors. After approval from the committee, the fitness center was officially named Roger T. White Pride Fitness Room as Presented by RCU. This is a bit wordy, so, as Eaton himself stated, the gym was likely to be referred to as the White Pride Fitness Room. Only after this name was publicized on the "River Falls Journal" Facebook page and people reacted did those involved realize that White Pride Fitness Room is a terrible name. “We can see and understand how the new name, ‘Roger T. White Pride Fitness Room’ could be viewed by some people as implying ‘white pride,’” River Falls Superintendent Jamie Benson said in a statement. Well, yes, it's pretty easy to see how "White Pride" could be interpreted as those exact words. The school has since decided to offer up two non-racist names for the new gym: the Roger T. White Wildcat Fitness Room or the Roger T. White Fitness Room as Presented by RCU. Students will likely best know the room as "the weight room."
You may never get hired as a panda hugger, but your hugs are needed for the next-cutest animal...  human babies. Adoption agencies are apparently looking for people to lovingly foster infants for a couple of weeks at a time before they go onto their new adopted parents, ABC News reports. The job sounds like the cutest (and possibly most intense) babysitting job imaginable. Says one volunteer, "My job is to make the baby feel safe and loved 24-7," she added. "I hold them all the time. I talk to them. I sing to them. We play music. And I get so much joy and pleasure. I feel so good when I'm with an infant that I hope that it does... something for them, too." Typically, volunteers take care of newborns for two to four weeks after undergoing a lengthy background check, according to ABC, and all the baby's expenses are paid for. And hey, if it turns out you hate dealing with a screaming baby for two weeks, if nothing else, it's effective birth control.
A San Francisco tech bro/entrepreneur wrote an open letter on Monday calling homeless people "riff raff" and saying that the city's poor, transient population is a huge problem... for "wealthy working people." Yup... without appearing to care much for the problems of actual homeless people, software developer Justin Keller bemoaned the trouble homeless people have caused him in a note posted to his website. "I know people are frustrated about gentrification happening in the city, but the reality is, we live in a free market society," Keller wrote in a letter addressed to San Francisco's mayor and police chief. "The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it. I shouldn’t have to worry about being accosted. I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day." The whole letter is incredible in the worst way... "somehow during Super Bowl [sic], almost all of the homeless and riff raff seem to up and vanish," Keller writes at one point, optimistically (?!?)... and worth a read. (Keller later apologized for calling homeless people "riff raff" while also continuing to apologize for nothing else.) Of course, Internet mob justice came swift for Keller. The website of his start-up,, mysteriously went down. You probably won't feel too bad for him, though.
Prince tweeted his new passport photo last week, and he's still got it. Prince Rogers Nelson is 57 years old, but you would never know it from that picture. His gaze defies age. If Prince held that mesmerizing look for long enough, he could probably just teleport anywhere he needed to and wouldn't need a passport. But instead he blessed us with this gift...

Everyone hopes to travel the world and look that good in their late fifties. His beauty secret is cleansing himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and/or purple rain.
So, yesterday I told you that that the Republican's picked Kylo Ren from Star Wars to fill Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court. Well, the Democrats did the same.

The Wimpy Kid. Since he is only 11, his appointment should last until 2100 and he has a nuanced view of Affirmative Action. You know, I am gonna miss seeing Jeb Bush looking like he was disappointed in life like the time they brought him Pepsi even though he asked for Coke.

So, you know I love the last Star Wars movie, right. Well, one thing I didn't like about it was the meaningless product placement that made no sense in the Star Wars universe. Check it out...

What the hell? I saw this the pic the other day...

I wondered where I saw it before and then I remembered...

Haha. I wish I remembered what the Martin Short character's name was. Anyway, here's another photo showing why candidates shouldn't pose with kids.

"10/10 chance I just pooped." Haha. Ed Gimley! Ha! Thanks, Internet. Okay, so, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's somethings that happen in Florida that happen nowhere else in the Universe and I like to talk about them in a pheature I call...

It might comfort you to know that Uber does not allow their drivers to carry firearms. Unfortunately, they don't all follow that rule to the letter, as one passenger learned about his driver one night in Bradenton, Florida. On the way home with at least one friend, the victim asked his chauffeur, Patrick McDonald, to pull over because he felt like he might throw up. The driver obliged, but when the victim then told him he was fine to get back on the road, McDonald told him to get out of the car. According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office report, the driver told the nauseous passenger that "he was not going to throw up in his $75,000 car." McDonald tried to drag the victim out of the vehicle, and they began to argue outside the car. At this point, McDonald apparently took "an aggressive fighting stance (clinched fist)," before reaching into his car and grabbing a black semi-automatic handgun and, according to the victim, pointing it at him. Another passenger got between them and no one was hurt. McDonald has defended his actions, saying he retrieved the gun but never pointed it at the victim. Furthermore, he feared for his life. From the report, "When asked how exactly he was in fear he said because they were talking about 'sticking dick's in his ear.'" Assuming the officer who filed the report made a small typo and the passengers were talking about sticking dicks in McDonald's ear and not something belonging to a man named Dick, either way, take a few valuable lessons from the story. Your Uber driver is a human being, he has ears to hear you, and he does not want dicks in said ears.

Ha! If you don't get this one there's something seriously wrong with you. Let me know if you figure it out. Okay, so, a good friend of the Phile wanted to talk about something that is dear to his heart. He's a singer, patriot, and renaissance man. You know what time it is.

Good morning, humans. Hmmmmm... since I had to quit all that other stuff that was killing me softly... looks like I've got to find some other way of risking my neck (what's life without a little salt?). Since I've lost all this weight and feel stronger than ever, I MIGHT as well go back to surfing. I haven't done so in several years, I miss it... I was good at it. It was a solitary pleasure that was a part of my daily ritual for many years. Just me, my board, the pre sunrise waves, music in my head or through duct taped to my ear Earbudz, watching the sun come up over my shoulder while gliding in. Wet suit, cup of coffee... maybe a small fire near your towels and shoes. Nobody... just me... middle of winter... snow on the sand... maybe a dog barking. I quit all that several years back because the good doctor told me I should. Asked if I preferred being a cool surfer or a guy who doesn't walk with a cane in his '50s. I quit... where'd all THAT smart thinkin' get me? Fuck it... Still got a nice board... now, I can fit in my old wet suit again... why not? I can't live like a monk... gotta have at least ONE vice... or six... okay, let's just say (for arguments sake) a dozen. I'll just ease into it. Not surf in the winter or during/just before/just after a storm and not after 7pm or before 5am. Besides... we're talking about puny little Long Island south shore waves... NOT Torquay Beach Australia, mate. What's the worst that could happen?

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was an American singer-songwriter, best known for creating the songs "Eat It," "Fat," and "Snack All Night" are based on.

Alright, today's pheatured guest is a wonderful singer and Phile Alum whose latest CD "Faithful" is available on iTunes. I am so glad to have her back on the Phile. Please welcome back... Jenn Bostic.

Me: Hello, Jenn, welcome back to the Phile.

Jenn: Thank you.

Me: How have you been?

Jenn: Things have been wonderful, I have a really good feeling about 2016 being the best year yet. 

Me: That's good. Before we start talking about you I have to ask you about Sir Terry Wogan who recently passed away. I have a pic of you and he I need to show.

Me: That's so cool. When I lived back in England from 1984 to 1987 he had a talk show  on TV which I watched every day Monday through Friday religiously. He was the first talk show host I got into before I got into Letterman and then Conan. Anyway, you met him and was on his radio show... which blows me away. When was this? How was he and have you heard of him before you were on his show?

Jenn: I was so sad to hear about Sir Terry Wogan’s passing. What a wonderful man. I had the privilege and honor of meeting him on St. Patrick’s Day of 2013, when he invited me to perform on his program. I performed my song “Jealous of the Angels,” as well as a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love,” with an English artist and dear friend, Emma Stevens. It was Sir Terry’s show that introduced me to Emma and her music, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Sir Terry was so kind. I remember walking into the studio and feeling as if we’d already met somehow. He championed independent artists and for his support I am eternally grateful.

Me: Another English DJ I used to listen to sometimes was Simon Bates... he used to read this sad letters on his Radio 1 radio show that listeners sent in. Anyway, it was because of Simon your single "Jealous of the Angels" and yourself got really well known in the U.K., am I right?

Jenn: Simon Bates is absolutely wonderful. He was the first to play and support “Jealous of the Angels,” which I found out about on Twitter. Smooth Radio also invited me to do a live performance from Nashville to the U.K. a few weeks later as part of Help for Heroes. My favorite memory of Simon Bates, was an interview that he arranged at St. Paul’s Cathedral. We took a private tour and recorded the interview in the crypt of St. Paul’s. It was truly an unforgettable experience. I remember crying tears of joy listening to the hour long program.

Me: How did this happen, Jenn?

Jenn: A wonderful woman named Tracey Harlow found “Jealous of the Angels” on YouTube, sent it to Smooth as part of their Our Tune program, Simon played the song with Tracey’s story and the rest is history. It became one of the top requested songs that week, which is when the Help for Heroes performance was arranged. It was an incredible blessing.

Me: Would you say you are more known in the U.K. or America?

Jenn: With the support both Smooth and BBC have shown my last two albums, I would say that my fan base is more widespread in the United Kingdom. However, there are so many beautiful communities around the U.S. that have been incredible supporters of my music.

Me: Where do you get recognized the most?

Jenn: My hometown of Waconia, Minnesota. I grew up in a really small town and I try to visit a few times a year to share music or work with the current middle and high school students. I know that isn’t what you were asking, but it’s the most honest answer.

Me: No, that's cool. You have done concerts in both countries... how do you compare the audiences? 

Jenn: I still remember trying to figure out how I might busk my way through Europe with a keyboard just because I wanted to travel there so badly, and then about a year later I was supporting Christian Kane’s tour in England and performing on "BBC Breakfast." God definitely blew my busking dream out of the water. So, thankfully I’ve gotten to perform in both countries and the audiences are both full of so much love. There’s a hunger for the emotional songs in the U.K. that I haven’t experienced before. I’ve connected with people around the world through my music, and I’m not sure I can really articulate it, but it’s different in the U.K.

Me: You're originally from Pennsylvania, but live in Nashville now I believe, am I right?

Jenn: Yes. I was born at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but don’t remember much of it as my family relocated about 18 months after I was born. I spent most of my childhood in Minnesota, studied music education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and have now been in Nashville for 8 years. I do have a soft spot in my heart for PA though. So many great friends, food, musicians and architecture there.

Me: Do you like living in Nashville?

Jenn: I love it. The winters are mild, the music is everywhere, and I’m constantly being challenged and inspired by THE Music City. I’ve grown so much here, and have met so many wonderful people. I’m not sure I’ll be here forever, but I don’t plan on moving anytime soon.

Me: Did you move there because of the music scene?

Jenn: I did. While attending Berklee College of Music, I went on a spring break trip to Nashville which included panels by industry professionals and gave me a true vibe for the city. I enjoyed the trip so much that I spent 3 of my 4 college spring breaks in Nashville. (I snuck off to Florida for one, because who doesn’t need a beach vacay). Nashville felt like home. The thought of living in New York or Los Angeles was overwhelming for this small town Minnesota girl, and most of the music I was writing and performing at the time was country. It just made sense.

Me: Nashville is known mostly for country music, but I wouldn't call your music country, would you?

Jenn: The million dollar question. I love music. I love good songs. Some of my released tracks sound a little country, others don’t at all. My first album was definitely pop/country, however over the release of my last two albums the genre lines continue to blur. The songs are faith based, piano driven and could be categorized as adult contemporary pop or singer/songwriter. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from the Grand Ole Opry, and truly love country music. I like being versatile, and writing country music is one of my most favorite things to do.

Me: I was very excited to see that you played at the Grand Ole Opry. How was that experience? 

Jenn: Surreal. I absolutely love the Grand Ole Opry. I remember attending and watching the greats sing there thinking “I want to play there someday!” Then it happens and you have to keep pinching yourself to make sure you’re actually standing on that stage. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to perform at both the Opry house and the Ryman Auditorium as part of the Opry show, all seven times felt like the first.

Me: Were you nervous to play there, Jenn?

Jenn: Nervous? Not really. Excited? Yes. I believe that God doesn’t give us anything we aren’t ready for, so I wanted to soak in every second of being on that stage. In December of 2012 when I performed there for the first time, I remember about 30 seconds of that 10 minute performance, but I don’t think it was nerves. I think if I had actually soaked in what was taking place I would have bawled like a baby. There is something so special about that stage and the history behind that program.

Me: That's a place you have to get invited to play, am I right?

Jenn: Yes. It is an honor to be invited to perform there.

Me: Is that the biggest and best show you have played?

Jenn: That’s tough. Every show has beautiful moments, and some of the most intimate shows can touch your heart in the most significant way. The Opry is definitely one of the biggest shows I’m performed, but it’s tough to have a favorite/best show when they’re all so special to me. I did perform on the Opry stage with my brother last year, and it was his debut. Singing “Jealous of the Angels” together on that stage was definitely at the top of my list.

Me: I am not sure I asked you this before but your dad was a musician like mine, am I right?

Jenn: My dad was an incredibly musician. He was also the CEO of Nordictrack, but every spare moment he had was spent with his family, playing music. It was so inspiring to watch him sit down at practically any instrument and have it mastered. Our favorite song to sing together was “Sunny-Side of the Street.” Amazing how deep the meaning of that song is to me now that he’s gone.

Me: My dad was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, and unfortunately I don't have too much of a musical talent wither though I play the kazoo. I do write songs though. What did your dad play? He was in a band?

Jenn: My dad played everything. Honestly. One of his favorites was the accordion, and I loved to hear him play it. There’s a regional band based in Minnesota called Traveled Ground, and before I could even walk, I would attend their shows when my dad would sit in on accordion, and at sixteen the band leader, Clark Machtemes invited me to sing on their album. I’ve sang on every single one since and perform with them any chance I get. They’re an incredible blues, Americana roots band that took me under their wings after dad passed.

Me: Your dad as we mentioned before passed away when you were young, and your song "Jealous of the Angels" is about him. What do you think he would say about your success now? I bet he'll be well pleased.

Jenn: I contemplate that question a lot. My dad always wanted to play music, but also wanted to provide for his family. He always said that when he retired he would play music full time. However, he never got that chance. I think it would make him smile to see both my brother and I chasing our musical passions and dreams. It’s not always an easy path, but it brings me comfort to think on that. 

Me: And your brother is in your band? How did that happen and what does he play?

Jenn: Yes. He’s performed many shows with me, and has been the bassist in so many different bands. One of my favorites was a blues band called Blues is Blood. He released his first solo EP this year called “Believe” and it is awesome! He has an incredible voice, and like my dad can play pretty much any instrument he picks up. We’ve had the opportunity to play a few tours together as well. It’s difficult as he’s based in Colorado, but we make it work when we can.

Me: I should have him on the Phile as well. Are you too very close?

Jenn: We are, and continue to grow closer as the years go by. I’m lucky to have such a great big brother.

Me: And your husband... I have to say, you two make a good looking couple.

Me: Is he in the music business?

Jenn: Thank you so much. Michael is not in the music business, but loves music. However he is a creative and does some freelance photography and video work. While he’d rather take pictures of wildlife than artist shots for me, he has been kind enough to take countless pictures of me, including my “Jealous” album cover.

Me: Wasn't he in the video for "Faithful"?

Jenn: He wasn’t in the video for “Faithful,” but he does have a cameo at the end of “Missin’ a Man.” He picks me up and spins me around after a long trip to the U.K.

Me: Let's talk about your latest album "Faithful." Where was that album recorded, Jenn?

Jenn: "Faithful" was recorded in Nashville, Los Angeles and London, with 6 different producers. It’s absolutely the best music I’ve ever made. I learned so much and grew as both an artist and a person throughout the process. I had the freedom to explore different genres, and with the help of my Pledge Music supporters, got to release the album with a full band in London, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Me: I loved the video for the title track, with the story, Did you come up with that concept?

Jenn: I wish I could take credit for that but I can’t. The treatment was written by the director, Jon Danovic. He’s an incredibly talented filmmaker in Los Angeles. I was a little unsure about having dialogue in the song, but he made it work so well!

Me: Do you like making videos, or performing better?

Jenn: It’s all so much fun. I love watching a song come to life through performing it life and connecting with an audience, to bringing visuals in photos and videos.

Me: You make a pretty good actress... ever think about doing any acting for real?

Jenn: Haha, thank you. You’re too kind. I have thought about it but never really pursued it. I’ve always been a little intimidated to pretend to be someone else, especially after writing so many songs about staying true to who you are, but maybe someday I’ll give it a go.

Me: You make a few videos where you do covers, such as Adele's "Hello" which your version is a lot better than hers. How do you go about choosing which covers to do?

Jenn: Wow. Well, that’s very kind of you. I started recording covers as part of my Pledge Music campaign. I offered a “Jukebox Jenn” package where the pledger could request any song and I’d record a cover video for it. Friends and fans responded so well that I continued to record these covers after the campaign was over. Some have been requests, others have been favorite songs, I resonated with the Adele song immediately, which is why I decided to record it.

Me: You have a so many great songs of your own, Jenn, why record a cover?

Jenn: I’m so inspired by the incredible music in the universe, and it’s fun to arrange a cover to fit your style. It’s also a neat tool to get my original material out into the universe a little more. Fans of Adele might not find my music naturally, but if they stumble upon my “Hello” cover and enjoy it, maybe they’ll click the link to “Jealous of the Angels” or “Counterfeit.” I’m also constantly trying to grow as an artist, so sometimes covering great songs or singers helps that process along.

Me: Good point. Last December you platted some Florida shows... I was gonna go see you but didn't get around to it. Did you have a good time here?

Jenn: Absolutely. Florida in December is always a good idea. I met the owner of Songwriters Island Radio, Sam Densler, through a mutual friend, and he was kind enough to help me put a tour together. I became fast friends with he and his wife Gina, and can’t wait to make a return trip. There’s something about breathing in the ocean air while performing that I could really get used to. Hopefully I’ll see you next time around.

Me: Next time you come here I'll take you and your husband to Disney. Does he travel with you when you tour?

Jenn: That sounds amazing! I love Disney and would still love to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast someday. Perhaps that’s how I could play my acting role. Michael occasionally travels with me, however he works hard at a city job here in Nashville and vacation time is minimal.

Me: I have to ask you about Tiffany Thompson, a friend of yours who has been on the Phile many times. She's gonna be on the Phile again but under a different name. Have you heard about this?

Jenn: I sure have. It’s an amazing project called Danae that I’ll let her tell you more about. Tiffany is one of my best friends in the whole world, and I know this new project is going to be big.

Me: When I interview her, is there anything I should ask her?

Jenn: Ask her about our tour in Germany last June, and perhaps how much she loves me. Haha.

Me: I will. Okay, so, this year it's the Phile's 10th anniversary and I am asking my Alum guests what they were doing 10 years ago. So, what were you doing in 2006?

Jenn: Great question! I was studying music education at Berklee College of Music in 2006, as a sophomore. That year I joined my first country/rock cover band, DiggerDawg, and performed in Berklee’s Singer’s Showcase. I was most likely desperately trying to figure out who I was as an artist and panicking over straight A's.

Me: Jenn, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again when your next release comes out. Wanna mention your website?

Jenn: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. All my new music, tour dates and videos can be found at Come say hi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr as well. Looking forward to the next time.

Me: Thanks again, and continued success.

Jenn: Thank you so much!!!

There, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Jenn Bostic. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Phile Alumni The Breedings. 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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