Monday, April 11, 2016

Pheaturing Scott Holt From Earl & The Agitators

Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Me? Well, I had lab work done today, I have a cold and I philed my taxes and getting nothing back. So... I'm doing just grand. But I'm not having a bad day as this person... Ethel Easter secretly recorded her surgery at Houston's Lyndon B. Johnson hospital last year after her treatment by surgeons left her worried she wouldn't make it out. As she told the "Washington Post," "I was fearful. I didn’t know if I was going to come out of the surgery, so I just wanted my family to know if something went on." What ended up being caught on tape wasn't malpractice, but what was recorded is very worrisome to anyone who has to go under the knife. Things did not go well for Ethel Easter from the moment she walked into Lyndon B. Johnson hospital. She was complaining of excruciating abdominal pain and blood in her urine, and her stomach was covered in bruises. She was suffering from a hiatal hernia... a rip in the diaphragm that pushes the stomach up into the lung/heart area. It can cause heart attack-like symptoms and Ethel had suffered from dozens of such attacks in the 24 hours leading up to her visit. The surgeon told her she could have an operation... in two months. As she told ABC News, when Easter got upset said she couldn't endure the pain for two months, the surgeon yelled back "Well, who do you think you are? You’re gonna wait like everybody else." In the end, Easter did have to wait a month for the necessary surgery, and opted to stay at LBJ hospital despite hearing from her family physician that her surgeon had written "bad notes" in her file. Apparently, a surgeon's file on you can include "red flags" about your bad "attitude." Indeed, the surgeon sure seemed to hold a grudge, because he loudly recounts his own version of the incident on tape, saying "She's a handful... she had some choice words for us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case in two weeks," and that she threatened to get a lawyer if no one treated her. He then joked about how people shouldn't talk that way to the person who will be cutting you up. He also describes her as a "handful," calls her "Precious" (like the movie), and says he feels bad for her husband based on her "queen" attitude. The nurses join in, too, with one getting huge laughs for "do you see that belly button?" Most disturbing is this exchange the "Post" wrote down from the original audio. Finally, despite telling her physicians of her penicillin allergy, Easter was given an antibiotic with known side effects for people with penicillin allergies, swelling her arm up several times and restricting her breathing. Although she has mulled a lawsuit, Easter says she mostly just wants an apology and for doctors and nurses to change the way they speak about patients. As for the hospital, they said they reviewed the tape and saw no need for action.
Yesterday, some guy on Twitter named Mark Hamill (or Mark Hamilton) wished a lady named Daisy Ridley a happy birthday, and tweet has gone viral as if it were propelled by some sort of Force. It was like a billion voices cried out and said, "cool, I like those people."

As you might have noticed, Rey (Daisy Ridley) appears to be undergoing Jedi training the way Luke Skywalker did from Yoda: with the Master riding on the pupil's back. Full circle the plot has come!
JCPenney is in the news for something other than sluggish sales: the company is being talked about for a so-called "period skirt." Alas, this piece of clothing isn't designed with built-in protection or clever patterns meant to disguise accidents. The skirt is being mocked for looking like someone period-ed all over it. On the website, the Worthington Side Slit Pencil Skirt simply looks like a floral skirt. Regardless, the skirt is now known as the period skirt.

If one looks quickly when the skirt is in movement, the floral design does resemble a menstruation that's been set free to stain the Earth. Though shouldn't the flower be on the other side of the skirt to be a true period skirt? Placement of one's period accidents aside, JCPenney has finally responded to the media storm. "We think it's a fab skirt for any time of the month. Period."
Facebook is hiding a few doses of notification-dopamine from you in your message inbox, as pointed out by Deadspin's Adequate Man. No, it's not the secret 'Other' folder you were outraged to find out about a few years ago. This one's even more hidden. If you go to your messages, select 'Message Requests' on the top bar, and then click 'See filtered requests,' you may find a world of spam, harassment, or nothing at all. I did this, and discovered a lot of messages from past friends, Phile and Foghat fans, and someone I dated a hundred years ago. Odds are, you won't find any life-changing messages awaiting your reply. But if you'd like to satisfy your curiosity or just check out Facebook's overly-effective spam filter, do so at your own risk of being disappointed.
In a recent interview with IGN, Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman, tried to explain what he saw as his character's motivations in the film. Warning: the next paragraph will contain spoilers, so if you're planning to see the film and haven't, don't read on! (Haha, of course no one who's planning on seeing it hasn't already seen it.) Just admire the awkward twitchy handsomeness of Jesse Eisenberg. In the film, Luthor tries to set up Superman to look bad, and then blackmails him into trying to kill Batman (why?). When that plan doesn't work, he just goes ahead and releases Doomsday on Earth. What gives, Lex? Here's Eisenberg's take on the whole thing: "I think Lex becomes increasingly unhinged throughout the movie. I also think he’s a guy who has 40 back-up plans and so when one thing doesn’t work out he has another and if that doesn’t work out he has another, which is why I think he never feels that threatened by Superman and Batman because he knows he always has the leverage and his final act, in my opinion; and this is now thinking back a year-and-a-half... was this kind of like last-ditch effort to leave it all on the table." Oh, okay, so Lex Luthor is just crazy? All righty then, mystery solved.
Do you have kids? Do they like to draw? One thing I love about kids and their drawings is that they are innocent, but could be looked at in a different way. Like this one for example...

And that was one happy ghost. Okay, if you guys have a Fitbit, there's now badges for lazy people. Really. Haha. Check it out.

Hmmm. Okay, yesterday I mentioned the new trailer for Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie. Looking at it again I noticed someone interesting is gonna be in it.

Do you see it? This could be a Mindphuck. Is that Jar Jar in the background? Now I do really wanna see the movie. Did you see the slogan for Kraft's new Mac and Cheese?

Haha. A lot of magazine's show you what celebrities look like without makeup, and I thought the Phile should do the same. Why not, right? Check it out.

Hahaha. I have no idea who the guy on the right is. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things You Don't Want To Hear Coming From The Next Bathroom Stall
5. So much corn! Aaaaaand here comes the cob!
4. No, no, you caught me at a perfect time. Let's do the mortgage application by phone.
3. Another pair of wing-tips... ruined!
2. Oh, man... pants off first, then sit down! Stupid! Stupid!
And the number one thing you don't wanna hear coming from the next bathroom stall is...
1. I told the waiter no peanuts. I told the waiter no peanuts. I TOLD THE WAITER NO PEANUTS!

If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. Okay, so, a few years ago I think it was the Maelstrom ride in Epcot closed down to make room for a Frozen themed ride. In the Maelstrom, the Norway pavilions ride there was a polar bear, and when the ride closed the polar bear was unemployed. Well, it turns out all it wanted to do was to be a stand-up comedian so once in awhile I invite it on the Phile to tell some jokes. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Petter. Welcome back to the Phile. How are you doing?

Petter: Jeg okay, Jason, beklager at du føler deg syk.

Me: Petter, once again, the Phile readers and myself down't understand Norwegian.

Petter: Noen av dem gjør jeg satse.

Me: Ugh, Okay, Petter, do you have any jokes for us? In English please.

Petter: What do you call a dream in which polar bears are attacking you?

Me: Ummm... I don't know.

Petter: A bitemare!

Me: Petter, that is terrible. Do you have another?

Petter: What do polar bears like to eat in the cold?

Me: I'm not sure. What?

Petter: A "brrr"-"grrr"!

Me: It took me a second, but I get it. That's better. Okay, one more...

Petter: Why did the polar bear cross the road?

Me: To get to the other side?

Petter: No. To get some bearrys.

Me: Petter, you should of quit while you were ahead. Petter the Comedic Norwegian Unemployed Polar Bear, everyone!

Petter: Bye, elsker dere alle.

The 46th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Author and Phile Alum Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile Thursday.

This is so cool. Today's pheatured guest is a fantastic singer and musician who is the lead singer of the cool new band Earl & the Agitators whose EP "Earl & the Agitators (featuring Scott Holt)" is available now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Scott Holt.

Me: Hey, Scott. Welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Scott: Hey, Jason, I’m doing great! Thanks for having me.

Me: I am so glad you are here on the Phile. I have so many questions to ask you. don't know where to start. Haha. where are you from, Scott?

Scott: I’m from Tennessee. We moved around a lot when I was little; Texas & Mississippi, but I started grade school in Columbia, TN and I’ve lived there ever since.

Me: You and I have a mutual friend... apart from Roger and Bryan... Alicia Wieberg. I used to work with her years ago at Disney. She's a professional photographer now, that's how you met her I think.  Crazy, right?

Scott: Wow that is crazy! What a small world!

Me: For the last ten years you have been playing with the great Buddy Guy. I am a big fan of Buddy and saw him in concert a few times. The first time I saw him in concert he went into the audience and I almost tripped him. That was almost 25 years ago. The last time I saw him in concert was at the Orlando Calling music festival in 2011 I think it was. Were you with him then?

Scott: My career began as Buddy’s guitarist in Oct. of 1989, I played with him until January of 2000. No, I wasn't with him in 2011.

Me: I might of saw you with him in '89. I have to show this cool picture of you both...

Me: What did you think of music festivals, Scott?

Scott: Music festivals are so important, especially now. Especially in this country, we have so de-valued the importance of music as art. We more and more are conditioned to expect it to be free. When our industry went to digital as the primary delivery system, they even took away the last vestiges of the physical interaction with music. Suddenly, you didn’t even have liner notes or an album cover (or CD cover, or cassette cover) to look at. Music festivals represent one of the last communal relationships that is focused on and based around music as a form of fellowship and community.

Me: So, did you grow up listening to the blues, and being a fan of Buddy?

Scott: I grew up listening to my parents record collection. My dad was enrolled in one of those record clubs “10 albums for a penny and you only have to buy one a month at regular price” type deals. As a result they had built a collection that was all over the place. When I was real little my mom played mostly southern gospel and country records; Lots of Elvis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Glen Campbell, The Stamps Quartet, George Jones, etc. We watched the "Johnny Cash Show" and the Glen Campbell show on TV as well as "Hee-Haw," so I was exposed to lots of varied and different kinds of music. Once I was old enough to use the stereo, I listened to everything from Ray Charles to The Carpenters! Blues wasn’t really something that, at a young age, I was really aware of. Actually, more to the point of your question, I wasn’t aware of “genres” just good music!

Me: When did you first meet him and how did you become a member of his band?

Scott: I was 19 and I heard Jimi Hendrix for the first time. That moment changed my life forever. I immediately begged my parents for a guitar and guitar lessons. My first teacher was Doug Thurman, a local guitar hero and still today one the best guitarists I’ve ever heard. He was the one that first told me that the music I was gravitating towards was called “blues." He introduced me to the work of Stevie Ray Vaughan and once I heard that I devoured every blues record I could find. I watched a documentary on Louisiana blues that had a segment about Buddy, my dad called and asked if I knew who Buddy Guy and Junior Wells were. I said, “Yes, I’ve just seen a documentary about Buddy and he has a club in Chicago called the Checkerboard.” He said that they were coming to Florida on tour and would I like to go see them. I said YES! Then, unbeknownst to me, my dad tracked down his number and called Buddy at home and asked if I could meet him! I met Buddy for the first time after a show in Tampa, Florida and went to his hotel room the next morning for a guitar lesson. We spent about 6 hours together that day and we’ve been friends ever since. About a year after that first meeting, Buddy asked me to join his band.

Me: You're a great guitar player yourself, Scott, but I am sure Buddy gave you a few lessons and some advice, am I right?

Scott: Thank you! Buddy taught me everything. I had never been away from home when I joined the band. He taught me everything from how to play chords like T-Bone Walker to how to order in a Chinese restaurant!

Me: As well as playing with Buddy and being in Earl & the Agitators you have released quite a few solo albums. The latest was "Kudzu." What does that mean?

Scott: Kudzu is a plant that grows all over the south. I guess the story goes that it was brought over from Japan in the early 1930s to combat erosion but it’s a hearty, voracious, fast growing plant that can’t really be contained. It will take over trees, cars and even buildings! My use of the title was more to the point that it spreads out over everything. The songs on that record are snapshots of life from a lot of different angles.

Me: Alright, so, we have to talk about your new band... Earl & The Agitators. Was it your idea for the cover artwork of the EP to say "Featuring Scott Holt”?

Scott: Ha! Absolutely not! I just wanted to be in a situation to play music with my friends and I didn’t care what we called it… as long as they called!

Me: Roger Earl and Bryan Bassett from Foghat are also in the band. How long have you known Roger, Scott?

Scott: It’s got to be 2 or 3 years at this point? It seems like we’ve known each other forever. Roger and I are truly kindred spirits when it comes to our love of music and making music.

Me: I have known Roger all my life. Haha. Did you know my dad as well?

Scott: Yes, you have! Ha! Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet your dad but I have tremendous respect for his talent. What a singer!

Me: Did you grow up listening to Foghat?

Scott: Of course, I grew up in the mid to late ’70s and rock radio was Foghat’s turf!

Me: So, there's a cool story on how this band came to be. Wanna tell us?

Scott: Sure, Roger and Bryan and I had been writing songs for the new Foghat record and they had a friend named Tom Mix (not the cowboy movie star but still an excellent name for a recording engineer). He was in the audio engineering program at Dark Horse Institute in Franklin, TN. He had mentioned to Linda (Foghat’s manager) that as a class project, they could bring in a band and record 5 or 6 songs and did she know anyone who’d be interested? She said, “Of course!” and Roger, Bryan and I started trying to figure out what we would record! Bryan came up with the name for the band and we all liked it and that was it.

Me: When Roger asked you if you wanted to do it, what did you think?

Scott: Whenever Roger has asked me anything I usually say “yes” before he finishes the question. I really like playing music with him and with Bryan. As well as Craig and Charlie when I get the opportunity. So when he calls and says, “Are you available…” or “Would you be interested in…” I just go “Yes!” and then wait to hear what I’ve agreed to.

Me: What was it like recording at Dark Horse Institute?

Scott: It couldn’t have been a more enjoyable experience. The staff was top-notch, The students were great and professional. The results we got were fantastic and I don’t think it would have been any more fun or better results if we’d recorded at any “world class," “famous” studio in the world!

Me: You recorded six songs there, am I right?

Scott: Yes.

Me: How did you guys pick the songs for the EP? Were they all recorded at Dark Horse?

Scott: All the EP songs were recorded at Dark Horse. We knocked out all 6 songs in 4 days I think. 

Me: There's one cover and the others are originals. Is the band gonna be writing more original songs?

Scott: We already have more stuff in the can and I can’t wait to write some more!

Me: Do you do the main songwriting or do you all chip in?

Scott: It’s definitely an all for one kind of thing. Someone has an idea for a cover tune or a piece of music and we get together and bang out an arrangement or some lyrics, everyone reads them and suggests changes or something. There aren’t any egos, no one’s all uptight about their part or whatever, we just serve the song and try to make it the best.

Me: On the EP there's just there's just three of you but when you play live there's five of you, right? Who else is in the band?

Scott: While we currently enjoy the allegiance of 2 additional “Earls” the apostle Rodney O’Quinn and the apostle Tony Bullard, we are discovering that the world is full of volunteering Earls! It’s already an extremely coveted gig in rock & roll! We’ve had some pretty big names ask about joining in! I can’t really mention names but I think you’d be really surprised and impressed!

Me: Hmmmm. You guys played your first gig on a cruise. How was that? Did you do a lot of rehearsing?

Scott: We squeaked onto the cruise at the last minute on the only time slot that was left; an 11:00 am show on the only day that the ship docked!! Even so, we had a great turn out and ended up being the most talked about act on the cruise! And not even for bad behavior!!

Me: Scott, I have to ask you about the guitars you play... what make and model do you prefer the best?

Scott: I’ve been a Fender guy my whole career. I played Strats for the first 25 years or so but about 3 years ago I fell in love with G&L guitars and I now play their version of the Telecaster. Of course Fender was invented and founded by Leo Fender who went on to found and develop G&L, so I’m still with the same guy!

Me: How old were you when you first started playing?

Scott: Nineteen.

Me: So, what's next for you and the Earl's? Do you think you'll be recording with them again?

Scott: I’m ready to write the next 6 or 7 records and do a world tour! Just waiting on Rogers call!

Me: You are also gonna be on the new Foghat album "Under the Influence." Are you singing on the album, Scott?

Scott: That’s up to Roger and the Foghat powers that be. I recorded vocals for a couple of tracks that they are considering using and I will be humbled and honored if they use anything that I did! Charlie is such a great vocalist that they don’t really need me but I just love being a part of the Foghat family!

Me: When that album come out I'll love to have to back on the Phile. Will you?

Scott: Of course! Give me a call anytime, Jason!

Me: Okay, mention your website and the Earl's website and please come back on the Phile soon. I hope this was fun.

Scott: Sure;,, I had a blast!

Me: All the best, Scott. See you in May.

Scott: Thanks, Jason, see you in May.

There.That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Scott Holt for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with author and Phile Alum Jim Korkis. Next weekend I'll be on vacation, so no Phile then. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Tooting is the best!

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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