Monday, March 7, 2016

Pheaturing Danae

Good morning, how are you? Welcome to the Phile for a Monday. Okay, let's start off with a story about a student who stole and distributed nude photos from his teacher's phone. Guess who the school reprimanded? Normally, it's the teacher swiping a student's phone as punishment, but this situation in Union County, South Carolina is all topsy-turvy. It started when a 16-year-old male high schooler took Leigh Anne Arthur's unlocked phone from her desk while Arthur was patrolling the halls, she told WYFF4. The student browsed her photo gallery and chanced upon "partially nude" photos his teacher had taken for her husband on Valentine's Day and forgotten to delete. The ballsy teenager sent screenshots of the pictures to himself, then went the extra mile and shared the pictures via text and social media. The student was reprimanded... scratch that... Arthur said the school district forced her to resign and is blaming her for the incident because her phone was "available" to the students. Despite the loss of her job, Arthur has managed to publicly forgive the student. "He's 16. He's going to make stupid decisions." At the same time, she said he's responsible. "He knows right and wrong. He had the ultimate decision to take pictures of my pictures and he had the ultimate decision to send them out." A student petition, which currently has over 10,000 signatures, agrees with Arthur that fault rests with the kid who took her phone and distributed her photos without permission. The students demand the return of Arthur, who taught a mix of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and computer programming dubbed Mecatronics. Interim Superintendent David Eubanks, who is apparently head captain of the blame-the-teacher team, deemed the student petition "insignificant." Eubanks is certainly not helping the notion that adults don't care what teenagers think. Though the school took no action with the kid and as of now have no plans to do so, the police have gotten involved because the incident got much creepier. Two days after the theft, printed out copies of the nudes were anonymously sent to Arthur's home with notes written on them. Keep track of the petition in favor of Arthur here...
This past Wednesday, a New York woman named Amanda Schweickert created a ridiculously dreadful cardboard license plate in an apparent attempt to fool the authorities. It did not work, because it looked like this...

The sheriff who pulled her over presumably noticed the fake plate immediately, also noting that she didn’t have a front license plate at all. Even worse for the lady, she was driving with a suspended license and no insurance. Not even cardboard versions. According to NY Daily News, “The Sardinia resident was charged with one felony count of possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license and three other traffic infractions.” Said the Sheriff's Office, "In case you are wondering, homemade cardboard license plates are NOT legal.​" Ms. Schweickert is currently being held at Erie County Holding Center and will need to pay $400 bail for release. But the sheriff’s department may have done her a favor when they posted her kindergarten-level license plate art project on their Facebook page. One commenter was so delighted, he even offered to pay her bail. "I think I'd like to pay her bail!" stated the comment. "Why you ask? Why not I say? It made me laugh and whats $400 for a good belly laugh anyway!" But the award for best comment goes to another Facebook user, who wrote, “I am going to make you a Vermont plate out of maple syrup and bacon." That's perfect. Because cardboard's a felony, but nothing created with bacon could ever be considered a crime.
Fancy designer Dolce & Gabbana has everyone hating on them again for a terribly named and very expensive pair of sandals. Up until recently, rich people could shell out $2,395.00 for their very own pair of Dolce & Gabbana "Slave Sandals." Yup, the label named a pair of shoes Slave Sandals for inclusion in its 2016 collection, HuffPo reported. The brand and online retailers have since given the offending shoes new names such as Decorative Flat Sandal. But the ugliness (not to mention high price) remains.

No, a glue gun-happy toddler didn't design this. The brand's website says the sandal... which is only available for pre-order right now, so don't get too excited... "features "Sicilian Cartwheel" appliques such as multicolored pompoms, mirrors, gold passementerie, crystals and metal filigree elements." Essentially, if a Michael's barfed on a shoe, it would result in these sandals. Nobody can understand why Dolce & Gabbana initially chose to name this shoe the Slave Sandal, because it was obviously such a stupid decision. Maybe they wanted to distract from the design? The sandals would, horribly, compliment the slave shirt from Wasted Heroes. What? You don't know that story?
Even though the main goal of a clothing company is to make its products likable, companies sometimes make very, very unlikable marketing decisions. For example: clothing brand Wasted Heroes was recently selling a shirt in online retailer ASOS's marketplace, and this was the product image they chose to use...

ASOS spoke to Mic and placed the blame on the manufacturer, Wasted Heroes. "Marketplace is a collection of independent sellers who must agree to our terms and conditions when they join," a spokesperson stated. "Whenever we find product that violates our policies we remove it immediately." ASOS did remove the image from the site, and Wasted Heroes has since weakly apologized and opted to advertise the shirt sans-model. Alas, the shirt... which is part of a collection meant to make a statement on brands... is still stupid.
A Chick-fil-A franchiser in Suwanee, Georgia just invented the "Cell Phone Coop," a little prison meant for cell phones at each table. If you can resist giving your phone a free-range lifestyle for the duration of your meal, you'll get a complimentary Chick-fil-A ice cream cone. The rules: 1. Turn all family cell phones to silent and place in this cell phone coop. 2. Enjoy your Chick-fil-A meal and each other distraction free! 3. After the meal, let us know that you have successfully completed the challenge and each of you will receive a small Icedream cone. Surprise! Chick-fil-A serves ice cream cones. “We really want our restaurant to provide a sense of community for our customers,” said Brad Williams, a Chick-fil-A operator and inventor of the promotion. "But as we all know, technology increasingly demands more of our time and can be a big distraction, even while we’re eating." Williams makes a good point. How many times have you been trying to enjoy a meal at Chick-fil-A when you get a text from a gay friend saying, "Hey, just making sure you're not eating at Chick-fil-A?" That always ruins the meal. According to the Huffington Post, more than 150 Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country are adopting the challenge. And all you have to do is jam a bunch of cell phones in a tiny container like so many caged chickens. No mention of whether or not the challenge is only for traditional families.
So, I was at the store yesterday and I walked by the Lego section and saw a Star Wars Lego set that kind took me by surprise.

I think they might be running out of ideas. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as this...

So, do you like Yankee Candles? There's a new one that just came out.

Ha! Alright, so, last week Facebook came out with some new "reaction" emojis, and like I have been saying, I think they are getting just a little bit too specific.

Hey, that looks like me... without the spots of course. Haha. So, did you see Hillary Clinton's new campaign slogan?

Hmmm. So, the last few weeks I have been showing you pics showing you why presidential candidates shouldn't pose with kids. Like this one of Hillary...

"It's a real baby!" I miss Jeb being in the race... especially his disappointing looks. Like the time he got outbid on the limited edition "Antiques Roadshow" DVDs box set.

Hahaha. I haven't mentioned this in a while but this year the Phile is celebrating ten years and I have been showing you what people look like she they read the Phile. Like these two ladies...

I think they like when I show pictures of myself. In my mind they do anyway. Alright, let's see who took the long dirt nap.

Nancy Reagan 
July 6th, 1921 — March 6th, 2016
Nighty night, mommy.

Oh, Target. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. You shouldn't have a problem with this one though. Okay, so, my son Logan is visiting from Pennsylvania and we were talking how much he loved "Sesame Street" when he was little. It's now on HBO and the show is a little bit different.

Big Bird prepares to visit the pre-school. 

Emoji are small icons used to express the emotional spectrum of feeling too lazy to think of something to say. 

Today's guest is a beautiful singer whose new album will be out real soon. She might look a little bit familiar to long-time Phile readers. Anyway, please welcome to the Phile... Danae.

Me: Hello, Tiff... I mean Danae. Hi! Welcome to the Phile! 

Danae: Thanks for having me. It’s always great to dive into conversation with you.  

Me: Okay, I am going to be honest, I had no idea what to title this entry, but you were a huge help. Pheaturing Danae works, as technically you were here before but not as your new name. By the way, I love the way your name looks and sounds... very pretty. What does Danae mean? 

Danae: Good question, according to some baby naming websites out there, the name is associated with music and poetry. 

Me: Where did the name come from? 

Danae: Danae is actually my middle name and that is the reason I am going by it in this next phase of my career. It’s always been a part of me, literally the center of who I am, but I’m finally sharing it with the world. Just like my new music. 

Me: My middle names are Lee James... it sounds like a county singer. Haha. Anyway, I have to say, I like you with shorter hair. I also have to say, have you ever taken a bad photo? I don't think that's possible. 

Danae: You are too sweet! It is funny how a small thing like cutting your hair can change the way you feel about yourself. I sent about 11 inches to Locks of Love (, which I highly recommend for anyone thinking of a dramatic haircut. 

Me: Before we talk about you I have to mention Jenn Bostic who was on the Phile recently for the second time, and we talked about you. I asked her what I should ask you about and she said your tour in Germany. So, did you two have fun on that tour, Danae? 

Danae: Getting the chance to explore a different country and play music with Jenn for an entire month was simply a delight. We share a common passion for creating beautiful, musical moments and connecting with people. Also, we both love coffee and ice cream, which is essential to traveling well together. 

Me: Why Germany and how did that tour come to be? 

Danae: The tour came through connections Jenn made while supporting her hit single "Jealous of the Angles” in the U.K. She was already planning the tour with Songs&Whispers and asked if I wanted to join. I love traveling in Europe and this tour was the perfect opportunity to return and share the stage with Jenn.  

Me: You both have known each other for awhile, right?  

Danae: Yes, we have known each other since 2011.  

Me: How did you first meet Jenn?  

Danae: I met Jenn through our mutual friend in DC, Kurtis Parks. Kurtis knew Jenn in Nashville before he moved to DC; he connected us when I was on my first writing trip in Nashville. 

Me: Did you two ever think about recording together? 

Danae: We actually recorded a few songs together last year for a custom songwriting project, which I created, called Rosettta...  I have no doubt that more collaborations are in our future.  

Me: She also told me I should ask you how much do you love her. I am guessing a lot. Do you have a favorite Jenn Bostic song? That "Jealous of the Angels" is a tear jerker, right? 

Danae: I do love Jenn “a lot.” I would call her an anchor friend; the type of friend who keeps you steady. Favorite song? Yes, "Jealous of the Angels" is amazing, but I also love  “Snowstorm" and “Counterfeit.” Her vocals on those two songs are magical. 

Me: Okay, you are not here to talk about Jenn's music, but your own. Your new music is very different to what we have heard from you in the past. What made you decide to change it up? 

Danae: From 2013 to 2014, almost every area of my life changed. I resigned from my job in DC, a serious relationship ended, and I restarted my life in Nashville. Through all of that, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I love collaborating with other people; it brings me true joy. I learned that I love the way music unites peoples and creates conversations. And I learned that growth is one of the hardest things, but one of the most authentic parts of life. So I let myself dream about music beyond what I could create alone with my piano and keyboard, which was the essence of Tiffany Thompson. I started desiring performances that incorporated audio and visuals to tell stories and connect with my audience. It was in that season of dreaming that I met Sarin Kuruvilla who would become the executive producer for my first EP and creative director for Danae’s launch. After a few co-writes and conversations, we realized we enjoyed a lot of the same music, shared a common vision for why we have a hunger to create, and were both at a place where we had time to invest in a fresh creative outlet. Looking back, I didn’t ever really decide to transform into Danae, it gradually became my reality. It is like when you plant a seed and then one day notice it has bloomed into a beautiful flower.   

Me: I heard a few of your new tracks and really like it. Did you do the songwriting yourself? 

Danae: My songs normally start as journal entries and Evernote idea snippets. Then I take those idea bits into collaboration sessions and we hit the ground running. The first single “Direction” was co-written with my executive producer, Sarin. His bright, positive, EDM style track guided the vibe and lyrics of a title I had, “New Direction.” When I began to understand the direction my new music was headed, I knew I needed to work with my longtime friend and producer Phil Danyew. Phil’s skill as a musician and programmer shines through on the two tracks we created, “Prove” and “Actualized.” His synth work is dazzling. While in LA working with Phil, I also had the chance to write with AG [], an amazing producer/writer. Our first collaboration, “Gold in the Dirt” will also be on the EP. 

Me: When can we expect these new songs to be released? 

Danae: I plan to release a series of singles starting in April and then a full EP once listeners have had a taste of the new music. Eventually, I will release a LP. 

Me: So, when you play shows will you be only performing your new material or older material? 

Danae: Moving forward I will only be playing my new material at my Danae concerts. However, I still have contacts/friends who book me for house shows and there will be opportunities there to play my older music.  

Me: I think it's very cool what you are doing... reinventing yourself. I should reinvent myself. Haha. Was it easy doing so? 

Danae: I would not say that it was easy, but it was right for me. I could tell I was transforming both musically and personally. My soul needed new music to sing in a new way. Like I mentioned earlier, Danae was more of an evolution than a reinvention. Something that evolved from what I was already doing as opposed to a manufactured change. I hope to inspire my fans that if you are changing and need a new direction... go for it. 

Me: So, when will your new music be available to purchase? Will it be in iTunes? 

Danae: You can expect the first single to hit on April 19th with a few more singles releasing before the EP release on June 7th. I have some other exciting releases planed as well, but I can’t give away all too much right now. 

Me: Is there anyone you wish you could work with? 

Danae: That’s an easy one for me. I would love to write/work with Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Bruno Mars, Sia and Mikky Ekko. 

Me: Alright, I saw one photo on your Instagram I have to ask you about... you are covered in paint with two other people. I have it here to show...

Me: What was that for? 

Danae: That was for the music video of a friend of mine, Daphne Willis. She is an amazing writer who works with Meghan Trainor. If you watch the “Done with Bein Done” [] video, you will l see me dancing in the final scene. 

Me: Okay, so, when your next release comes out will you please come back on the Phile? Then I can officially say Pheaturing Phile Alum Danae and I have tons of questions to ask you.  

Danae: For sure!  

Me: Okay, so, what's your new website? 

Danae: You can find me on socials (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), be sure to use the hashtag #danaeandphile Instagram, Facebook, Twitter @DanaeCo. My website is and if listeners sign up with their email, I will give away an exclusive link to download my first single, “Direction.” It’s also a great way to stay in touch and learn about exclusive pre-releases happening in the coming months. 

Me: Oh, by the way, I am asking my past guests what they were doing ten years ago as this is the Phile's 10th anniversary year... so, what were you doing ten years ago? 

Danae: I was at Wheaton College studying Political Science and asking overly analytical questions about the world around me.  

Me: Nice. All the best, please come back soon. Tell Jenn I said hello.

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Danae... by the way, I think this was Tiffany's first interview as Danae. That makes me happy! Anyway, the Phile will be back next Sunday with singer David Newbould. 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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