Good morning, hello, welcome to the Phile. Did you miss me? Man, there's a lot of stuff that is going on right now. Where do I start? Forgetting your coffee on the roof of your car won't seem not so bad after you read about the CIA's recent oopsie. "The Washington Post" is reporting that the Central Intelligence Agency accidentally left explosive training materials under the hood of a school bus that went on to shuttle real students to and from school for two days before the materials were discovered. Whoops! The CIA was borrowing the Loudoun County school bus as a part of a training exercise to test a dog's ability to sniff out explosives. Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde Byard said that the dog was able to sniff out the explosives, but that some had fallen deeper down into the engine compartment, and were overlooked after the training was complete. In the two days where the explosives went undetected, the school bus transported twenty-six students to and from Rock Ridge High School, Buffalo Trail Elementary School and Pinebrook Elementary School, making eight trips total and traveling around 145 miles. The explosive material was discovered by a technician who was doing routine maintenance on the bus. Byard would not disclose exactly what type of material was found in the bus, but described it as a "putty-like material designed for use on the battlefield". Yes, you read that correctly. A battlefield. According to statement put out by the CIA following the incident, the explosives... despite being, well, explosives... didn't pose any threat to passengers. The CIA (aka, the people who are supposed to make you feel really safe) also said they have "taken immediate steps to strengthen inventory and control procedures in its K-9 program." Thankfully, no one was hurt. Well, no one's been hurt yet. Who knows what those angry PTA parents are capable of?
Did you kids hear about the guy who built a Scarlett Johansson robot that is creepier than the alien from Under the Skin? Forty-two-year-old Hong Kong resident Ricky Ma has spent a year and a half of his life plus $50,000 to create a freakishly life-like robot prototype, "The Mirror" reported. While Mark 1 is the official name for his bot, it should be programmed to respond to Scarlett because the robot is the spitting image of the Hollywood star. At least when it comes to her facial expression, at least. Her feet are undoubtedly robot feet. When complimented on her looks, Robo-hansson can say "Hehe, thank you" or contort her silicone skin into a wink, thus providing a reminder that this is not a real woman. Kudos to Ma for creating such an uncanny look-alike. His robot looks more like Johansson than Madame Tussaud's wax figure of the actress. And when compared to the real Scarlett Johansson, the resemblance is creepy AF. With the creation of Robo-hansson, aka Mark 1, it's starting to look like Phase 2 of the robot takeover is underway.
A lot of Star Wars fanatics had babies recently, according to BabyCenter's research on 2016's rising trends in baby names. Since 2015, several names associated with the galactic series have climbed their way up the rankings, ensuring that thousands and thousands of kids will never be able to live down the references as they grow up. Rey, the name of Daisy Ridley's character in The Force Awakens, skyrocketed up the list, surpassing over 11,000 spots more than it had been ranked in 2015, pocketing an increase of 82%. Linda Murray, BabyCenter's Editor-in-Chief, attributes the name's favorability to the character's strength. Rey's popularity has yet to match Leia, which is ranked 2000 spots above Rey and increased by 64% over the last decade to place #203 overall in the 2016 standings. As for boy names, Kylo, the name of an ill-tempered villain played by Adam Driver, shot up by 67% since 2015. Don't be surprised if the murder rate increases by the same amount once these children are old enough to wield a lightsaber. Murray was taken aback by this finding. "I was surprised by the rise in interest in Kylo because the character Kylo Ren is such a negative force, but some parents may be attracted to the power and the darkness in this name. If you're edgy and a bit of an outlaw, you might gravitate toward a name like this. And Kylo does have great lineage with (parents) Han (Solo) and Leia, so maybe people cut him some slack because his parents are awesome." Slightly more traditional names like Lucas, as in Star Wars creator and food court attendee George Lucas, and Liam, as in Liam Neeson who played Qui-Gon Jinn, ranked especially well, #5 and #1 overall respectively, though it's hard to say if Star Wars made those more popular. Amazingly enough, BabyCenter also reports that a few brazen parents went as far as naming their infants Jedi, Anakin, and Rogue (which turns out to be a girl's name). Unfortunately, there have been no reports of babies named C-3PO yet.
According to the Swedish paper "The Local," a man let loose a fart in a woman's apartment in Laholm, Sweden. But this was no mere intestinal chirp. The gas smelled so rancid that the woman called in the police to address the situation. "It smelled very bad in the apartment," she said, presumably before desperately shoving an oxygen mask back on her face. Unfortunately, this fart was not a joyful fart: it was, reportedly, a vengeful fart that the man emitted after the women refused to sleep with him. Well, this incident sounds immature on multiple different levels. In spite of the condemning scent and curious circumstances, the police aren't pressing charges, "The Guardian" reported. "It’s impossible to prove that he wanted to pass particularly smelly wind on purpose," Kenneth Persson, spokesperson for the Laholm Police said. Persson's response leads one to believe that if the farter had indeed admitted to said flatulence, this mysterious man with super-human gas would be in more serious trouble. It also makes one wonder more about how this situation went down: like did the guy stick around to ensure his fart was disgusting that poor woman as he intended? Most importantly, what did this man eat to incur such a wrathful fart? Whatever it was, it should quickly be added to the universal list of things not to consume before a date. Tooting is the best!
Look, if you want to be an adult who uses coloring books to relax, that's totally cool; it's even fine if you're stumped by logic problems meant for first graders (adults over-think things, after all)... but this... this is not a brain teaser. Being shared online right now by your former high school classmates who shocked everyone by graduating, "how many 3s can you find" makes the various Find The Panda puzzles look like some Good Will Hunting shit. Unless, of course, it's actually really smart. Dammit! It's also been reprinted in various British newspapers, which hopefully will dispel the notion that our neighbors across the Pond are more cultured than Americans. Unless it's really smart. Here it is. The answers are printed afterwards, just in case you need it. Which you shouldn't.
Did you look? There are 19. Three in the time, two in the battery percentage, eight in the number, three in the name, one where the number three is, a three replacing the number eight, and a three replacing the letter "I" on the phone pad. Some people argue that there are actually 21 if you include the three service dots in the upper left and the three wi-fi waves next to it. That is, however, really stupid. Unless it actually goes even deeper than that: Some people argue all groups of three count. The rows of numbers. The 12 digits in the phone number (4 groups of three). The 3x3 grid representing the keypad at the bottom. But that's probably giving this way too much credit.
So, did you kids see that Batman vs Superman movie? That's two and a half hours I'll never get back. Anyway, the ending of the movie kinda surprised me. Check it out.
Glad that they made up in the end. So, there's someone new that is running for president. I kinda like his campaign slogan...
How can he run though? He's not American. Speaking of people running for president... it's good to see Bernie getting some love from cartoon birds.
And I'm surprised that Trump changed his look. I don't think this will hurt him though.
Ha! So, I have news for you. I'm gonna be in the new "Powerpuff Girls" TV show.
That's so stupid. And why am I not wearing pants? Ever see an object that looks like a face? There's a name for that but I can't think what it is. Anyway, you'll see what I mean.
He's flipping you off. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...
Top Phive Real Reasons Batman And Superman Hate Each Other
5. Sure, he has super-hearing. But does he super-listen?
4. He always sounds hoarse, but gets mad when I offer him a lozenge.
3. That thing he does where he'll save an airplane mid-crash, then pose with it over his head for a few seconds before setting it down. We get it, dude: you're strong.
2. If his cape doesn't flap dramatically enough when he jumps off a rooftop, he'll climb back up and keep trying until he gets it right.
And the number one real reasons Batman and Superman hate each other...
1. The way he carelessly lets bullets ricochet off his chest... that guy's gonna put an eye out one of these days! The creepy way he's always sizing up orphans to be the next Robin.
Oh, Target. If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. It is a pretty easy one. Okay, so, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's some crazy shit that happens in Florida that happens no where else and I have proof with a pheature I call...
CNN is reporting that a 59-year-old Florida-based radio host is suing actor William Shatner for $170 million, claiming that Shatner is his biological father. Peter Sloan, who now goes by Peter Shatner (cue eye roll), claims that his mother, Katherine Burt, had an affair with the "Star Trek" actor in 1956. Sloan, who was given up for adoption shorty after his birth, has been looking for his biological parents since the 1980s. According to his lawsuit, Sloan met Shatner in 1984 on the set of his television show "T.J. Hooker," and Shatner verbally confirmed to Sloan that he is his father. When Sloan followed up via phone call days later, Shatner hung up the phone and tried to cease all contact with Sloan. Obviously Sloan is looking for a Star Wars/Star Trek crossover moment and wants William Shatner to say, "Pete, I am your father," but the actor is refusing a DNA test. When people bring up Sloan to Shatner, things get as awkward as one of Shatner's Priceline commercials. Sloan has done what any desperate person with Internet access would do and made a website to get his story heard. Petershatner.com features a gallery of images of Peter, a description of a film he is working on, and a poem he wrote. Although Peter's Twitter, Instagram and IMDB pages have all been suspended, he does still have a YouTube account. He uploaded a video of his daughter, Ann, meeting Shatner at Comic Con in 2011, and titled it "Peter Shatner video of his father William Shatner saying goodbye to his granddaughter Ann." Creepy. William Shatner and his team continue to deny that he is Sloan's father. Sloan is seeking $30 million in compensatory damages, $90 million in punitive damages and $50 million for pain and suffering on top of demanding a jury trial. He is definitely not a crazy person who is just coming after Shatner for his money.
December 14th, 1946 — March 29th, 2016
Her son was in Lord of the Rings, Goonies, and actually played the lead role in Rudy. Gotta be a bitch when your kid gets way better roles than you ever did.
April 20th, 1923 — March 27th, 2016
She dedicated her life to serving the church, and in return had a stroke on Christmas Eve and died on Easter. Nice, God. Real nice.
November 29th, 1949 — March 24th, 2016
I'm not sure exactly what "shandling" is, but he's certainly not doing it any more.
February 12th, 1926 — March 23rd, 2016
If you want to know how good a baseball player he was, just understand that he played for nine seasons on FOUR different teams. So, yeah. Not that good.
May 28th, 1969 — March 22nd, 2016
Too bad. He seemed like a fun guy.
The 46th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Phile Alum Jim Korkis will be a guest again on the Phile in a few weeks.
Old Navy is Goodwill for clothes that haven't been worn before.
Me: Brian, how are you doing? Welcome back to the Phile, man.
Brian: Just great, Jason, thanks. Glad to be back.
Me: So, this year the Phile is celebrating it's tenth anniversary and I really wanted to interview you again. I am a big fan of The Sumner Brothers as you know, and I love the new album "The Hell in Your Mind." Where did the title come from, Brian?
Brian: Tenth, hey? No kiddin. That means we got started in and around the same year. We just did our tenth annual Xmas show back in December. The title comes from a lyric in my brother's tune
"Ant Song." We're bad at naming stuff. Just check out the song names on the record.
Me: The hell in my mind is not good. Haha. Do you have a hell in your mind?
Brian: Naw. No more or less than anyone else I'm pretty sure.
Me: The album was recorded on an island somewhere, right? Which island?
Brian: Yea, Galiano Island just off the coast up here. It's actually the same cabin we recorded "Sumner Brothers" in. It's a friend of ours, Ben Brown's. He's an excellent musician.
Me: What made you guys record there? Was it pretty remote?
Brian: Well, we've never done more than just a few overdubs in studios. We always try and put ourselves in extraordinary circumstances. There's no way to be sure but my instincts tell me it has an effect on the recordings. From an engineering perspective it forces us out of our comfort zone. We have to learn to work with and manipulate our environment to get the sounds we're after. We've often found it difficult to achieve excellent sonic quality because the sound of the space we're working in imposes itself on the process but that character often has a 'quality' in and of itself and helps to tie the album together. We've also sacrificed so much to be musicians and songwriters and we did that cause it's just so bloody much fun. And recording in a cabin with your pals for a couple of weeks with a keg of beer and nothing to do but play guitar is one of the best parts. It's remote enough that we can play a fender hot rod deluxe on 8 at 4 in the morning but not remote as to where we can't drive into town and by beer with out to much hassle. It's a small Island.
Me: How long have you and your brother been playing together, Brian?
Brian: Somewhere in and around 10-11 years. I've lost track.
Me: So, did you and your brother Bob both write the songs on the new album?
Me: You guys get along pretty well, right?
Brian: Famously. We always got along pretty well but our blowups used to be huge. We seemed to have licked those as well. We've been touring for 8-9 years now so we learned. Nothing worse than getting in a dust-up with someone and then riding in a car with them for 8 hours. And we don't have any money to fight over.
Me: Have any of you thought of or recorded your own projects?
Brian: Yes, actually. We've got one each coming soon. Mine's 90% done and Bob's is written and we're just trying to sort out the logistics of getting it recorded.
Me: On this album are there any covers?
Brian: Nope. Our first record without any. The next record we're putting out is all covers though so that'll make up for it.
Me: Do you have a favorite track you recorded for this album?
Brian: Probably "My Dearest Friends" or "Go This One Alone." I think we got close on those two.
Me: Are you gonna make a video for any of the songs, Brian?
Brian: Yea. We have a video for "Ant Song" coming out pretty quick here.
Me: I have to ask you about the album cover... where did the photos come from and who chose them?
Brian: They've just been accumulating over the years. Bob and I feel like we're a part of a much larger community of musicians in Canada and along the west coast where we've done the majority of our touring. It feels like a big extended family. We wanted to try and capture some of that energy but also try to achieve an unsettled look as well to coincide with the album title and the thematic material in the songs.
Me: I also have to ask you about the promo pic... you guys look like rocking cowboys. Where was that pic taken?
Brian: That's from a Halloween show we did a few years back. We do an annual Halloween show up here in Vancouver and we always do strange stuff. That year we had my girlfriend who has a lot of experience in dance and choreography put together a tandem dance for Bob and I to pair up with a couple of Elvis covers off of "How Great Though Art." So there we were dancing and singing in unison. We bombed though.
Me: Who is responsible for the "look" of the band? Haha. You guys are way to fucking cool.
Brian: HaHa. Are you teasing?
Me: Perhaps. You're based in Canada, right? Do you still live there? How often do you come to the states to play?
Brian: Yea. Vancouver. Still here. Not going anywhere I don't think. We try and get down there twice a year (west coast) but we've been a little off that pace for a couple of years now. We'll get back to it sure enough. It can just be a little difficult with work Visa's etc.
Me: Will you be touring behind this new album?
Brian: For sure. We've done western Canada already. We made it down to San Francisco for a couple shows with our pals The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and we've got a bunch of other stuff in the works.
Me: I think I asked you this before, but are you guys gonna record a live album? That would be so cool.
Brian: Yea, I'd love to do that. We've always included a couple of live tunes on our "In The Garage" albums but to do a full one would be world class. I think to do it right it could get expensive though cause the way I'd wanna do it is to bring our main man Derek DiFilippo on tour with us to record all of our shows and then pick the stuff we like from that. But it would have to be the right type of shows though too. Preferably small ones where the audience was right on top of you and aggressive.
Me: You send out cover songs you guys record if you sign up to your mailing list, am I right? I want you guys to do a Foghat song. Whatcha think?
Brian: Yea. We've been slipping on that too in all honesty but doing a Foghat cover might just be the right way to get it going again. Your dad's band, right?
Brian: What a legend.
Me: Thanks. If you did, which song would you record? You'd do a great version of "Third Time Lucky" or "That's What Love Can Do" I think.
Brian: Awe, man. I'd have to think on that. There's so many. You've got me thinking now though.
Me: Alright, so, as this is the Phile's 10th anniversary, I am asking my Alum guests what they were doing ten years ago in 2006. What were you guys doing?
Brian: Recording songs with my brother in the garage and putting them up on Myspace. Then impatiently waiting to see if anyone liked them.
Me: What are your plans for 2016?
Brian: Looks like we're going to be going out east for a bit, Toronto area then hoping to get over to Europe at some point.
Me: Thanks for being here again, Brian. Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you lots of luck. Please come back soon.
Brian: Thesumnerbrothers.com, facebook.com/thesumnerbrothers, @sumnerbrothers. Thanks for having me, Jason. Always enjoy doing your interviews.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Brian Sumner for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the kids from the band Makar. 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