Sunday, June 19, 2016

The 900th Entry Pheaturing Phile Alum Bryan Bassett From Foghat

Hey there, welcome to the Phie for Father's Day, people. Not only is it Father's Day but this is the Phile's 900th entry. Nine. Hundred. Beat that other bloggers. Hahaha. When Father's Day first started it was called You Knocked Up Mom Day. Of course you know my dad passed away, but I still wanna say to him dad, thanks for being slightly less embarrassing than all the other dads. Well, if this don't beat all. On October 13th, 2015, a 14-year-old girl in Lansing, Michigan was sexually assaulted at school by a boy her same age, and then suspended for 10 days for "lewd and lascivious behavior." She was suspended. The girl. Yep. The girl, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a complaint with the police saying she was "violently and forcibly assaulted" in a stairwell of Eastern High School. The attack was caught on a security camera. She didn't even report the assault to school authorities at first, though, because she thought she'd get in trouble. But the following day, the boy did report the incident, adding that the girl's boyfriend was threatening him. When called in to give her side of the story, Doe told the school's safety officer that the unnamed boy, identified as John Roe, "had taken her into the stairwell, took his penis out of his pants, masturbated himself, forced her to rub his penis, and attempted to force his penis into her mouth." She claimed she'd consented to none of this. After watching the security camera footage, the school decided that she was an "active participant," because it didn't look like she was resisting. As a result, both she and her attacker were suspended for 10 days for "lewd and lascivious behavior," and the boy was transferred to another school. The girl's mother, however, disputed the school's suspension, and filed a report with the Lansing Police Department. On October 22nd, Doe and her parents met with Sharon McWilliams, a student services specialist. McWilliams watched the footage and came to the conclusion that Doe actually didn't consent, but that she didn't try hard enough to stop it. Doe asked McWilliams, "What did you expect me to do, hit him?" to which McWilliams reportedly said, "No, you should not have hit him, but you could have said to him, 'Is that all you've got?,'" meaning his penis size. Interesting defense plan.
Doe's suspension stood, and she was told that she couldn't come back to school until, as her lawyer Karen Truszkowski said, "they could put a plan in place to 'curb her behavior.'" So basically, Doe had to first learn how not to get sexually assaulted in the future. Good luck with that. Broadly spoke to Neena Chaudhry, the director of education and senior counsel with the National Women's Law Center, who said, "The data shows that girls and boys are being sexually assaulted at every level of education. It's a nationwide problem. Schools have Title IX obligations to investigate promptly when they learn about a sexual assault. It doesn't sound like that's what happened here. It sounds like a lot of things went wrong." So now Jane Doe and Truszkowski are suing the school district for failure to properly investigate the assault, failure to adequately train supervisors, and failing to provide a procedure for students to file complaints of sexual violence. Truszkowski told Broadly, "My hope is that [this case] will settle without going to a trial. Hopefully the school will take a look at their policies and take some steps to create policies that comply with Title IX." Yes. That would probably be a good idea.
A new study conducted by the lingerie company Bluebella (who else?) sought to put the minds of many newlyweds at ease by revealing exactly how many couples actually summon the energy to have sex on their wedding nights. Bluebella's crack team of lingerie researchers surveyed 1,000 married couples to find out exactly when they first consummated their marital bed. The results may come as a surprise, except to married people. They know what's up. According to the study, only 48% of married couples had sex on their wedding night. That's less than half, for anybody who's extremely bad at math. Of the rest, about a third finally did the deed the next morning, while ten percent waited 48 hours or more before finally, begrudgingly, getting laid. The 52% of participants in the survey who waited to have sex were asked for their reasons, which tended to break down on gender lines. Most women said they were too tired, although some said they were too drunk, they wanted the moment to be special (i.e. they were not drunk enough), or they had to travel for their honeymoon. Men, on the other hand, were mostly just too drunk. Or they still wanted to party with their groomsbros.
84% of respondents said that when they finally did have sex, it lived up to their expectations, which is an encouraging number. Part of that may have to do with the 89% of brides who said they bought special lingerie just for the wedding night. Did you have sex on your wedding night? Send me an email to let me know, and make sure to cc your spouse on it. I want to watch the ensuing fight. Hahaha.
On Thursday, Justin Bieber learned one of life's basic truths: no matter how many tattoos they have, nobody looks cool falling into a hole. During his show in Saskatoon, Bieber was walking down the stage when he suddenly disappeared from sight. As you can just start to hear in the video, it only made the screaming fans scream even louder. And while they were probably screaming because they were startled, it definitely sounds like they're screaming because they think falling into a hole is super sexy. After he climbed out of the poorly-placed stage pit, Bieber noted, "Good thing I'm like a cat and I landed on my feet." Great ad lib, Biebs. You should try improv! One thing, however, is never explained: why the stage in a major concert venue had a hole in the middle of it in the first place. Hopefully this is the inspiration for a series of Justin Bieber-based mystery stories. Like I said before here, no matter what you think of the Biebs, I like him... he's a Foghat fan...

Miss Great Britain is being decrowned for being deflowered. Zara Holland, the beauty queen who received the Miss Great Britain title, has been stripped of her crown after she was shown having sex on the reality show "Love Island." The show "Love Island" is exactly what it sounds like: 12 single people are placed on an island and inevitably start mating. Twenty-year-old Holland had consensual sex with a fellow contestant. The Miss Great Britain organization said since Holland had engaged in consensual P-in-V action, they could no longer promote her as a "positive role model" who embodies the values of the U.K. pageant system. “We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title," the statement concludes. People are pissed and are accusing the Miss Great Britain organization of sexism. In a follow-up statement that is hilariously straightforward, the Miss Great Britain organization confirmed their position on sex. "To be clear we have no problem at all with sex... it is perfectly natural.We simply can't condone what happened on national TV." Fellas, here's a picture of Zara Holland for you...

Happy Father's Day.
Great news! Porn isn't just for people who can watch porn anymore. In a new endeavor branded with the altruistic phrase "PornHub Cares," PornHub is making a move that is equal parts ingenuity and brute capitalism by appealing to the one audience base it hasn't been able to capture yet: the visually impaired. For obvious reasons, there's a lot to be missed in porn if you are limited visually. Sure, you can hear the occasional sex sounds, but if you can't see, how are you supposed to be able to tell the difference between the sound of slapping balls and somebody forming hamburger patties? PornHub has decided they can do better. Enter their new porn category, "Descriptive Porn." Pornhub's taken their most popular films in varying genres and described them in detail for those who can't see. "Each video includes special narration that has been tailored and crafted to give the user full enjoyment of the scene," CNN reported based on a statement from PornHub. "The original audio remains intact but will act as an underscore to the scene." So basically, descriptive porn is to the blind as closed captioning is to the deaf. Strictly out of journalistic integrity, I have decided to check out the NSFW versions, just to make sure PornHub is really doing its job. Here's a still image and related caption from a particularly artistic film. Enjoy.

"...You can also see the silhouette of a coniferous tree beside her... or a bush... so it looks like she is outside of an apartment, doing a dance for us." Yup, it's all there, even acknowledgment for all the hard work of the porn set designer. Of course, descriptive porn has applications beyond meeting the needs of the visually impaired. This is something you can listen to on your headphones at work while your screen shows you are writing an article, for example. Your bosses will never know.
So, do you kids like video games? My son does... he's probably playing one right now. There's a new video game that just came out that is supposed to be very good.

Speaking of video games, have you seen this ad for one?

I am so confused. Hey, so, are you kids watching the new season of "Orange is the New Black"? I started watching the first season  week ago or so and I like it. Well, the fourth season just started and this time it's a little different.

Hmmmm. Never mind. Man, it's so hot out there, even the sun looks angry.

Actual picture of the real sun. Hahaha. So, that new Finding Dory movie came out. I don't wanna spoil anything for you, but she was found...

It's the 10th anniversary year of the year and like I said the 900th entry so occasionally this year I am showing you pictures of people what they look like reading the Phile. Like this pretty girl...

Well, it's Father's Day and Bryan from Foghat is here on the Phile today, and just because... here's a cool pic of my dad.

Okay, so, my son Logan is visiting for a week and we were talking about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" together. Well, that show is not what I remember it to be. So, here's a pheature called...

"Well, unless you're planning to release this autobiography posthumously, you might want to omit those chapters about your role in the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murder, Bert." "Fuck you, I;m expanding those chapters."

Haha. That's a fun one. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Well, as you know it's Father's Day... so a friend of the Phile wanted to talk about his dad. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. There was once this amazing being who walked amongst you. He was a ferocious young man who drove a '56 Chevy and wore a white t-shirt and jeans. He smoked Pall Mall no filters. He was tough as a coffin nail and took no guff from any fool. He was feared and respected by men and desired by women. At age 18 he met a woman at a party and hooked up with her. She became pregnant with child and he did what was referred to at that time as "the right thing"...  he married her. This was in 1961, when he was a senior at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York. When his son was born he worked at the local lumber yard while studying at the N.Y.P.D. police academy. He graduated at the top of his class and became a highly decorated and founding member of the N.Y.P.D. Street Crime Unit. He had TV movies made about him and his partner "Muggable Mary" Grotzel (Google it). He was featured in "LIFE Magazine" in 1972 and tragically left this planet at age 56. His passions were drag racing his Chevy, beautiful women, protecting the innocent and caring for his family... I called him father. Happy Father's Day.

Father's Day
Father's Day is an annual worldwide holiday honoring fathers for 20 seconds until they hand the phone to mom and go back to watching "NCIS."

The 49th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum, friend and author will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow. Okay, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive People Who Went To See Finding Dory
5. Mrs. Paul and her significant other, The Gorton's Fisherman.
4. Perverted ichthyologists hoping to see some serious fish-on-fish action.
3. Recently freed SeaWorld orcas, thrilled to finally have a night on the town.
2. James Brant, whose son Malcolm animated the kelp at the 32-minute mark, and just couldn't e prouder.
And the number one people who went to see Finding Dory are...
1. Bouillabaisse aficionados.

Okay, here we go... today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum, great friend and the lead guitarist for my favorite band in the world... Foghat. They're new CD "Under the Influence" comes out on June 24th. Please welcome back to the Phile... Bryan Bassett.

Me: Bryan! Hello, sir. Welcome back to the Phile. How are you?

Bryan: I'm doing well, Jason. My girls are glad to be on summer vacation and we are beginning a busy summer touring season. We have an upcoming CD release... so full steam ahead.

Me: Last time you were here was for the Phile's 400th entry back in 2011. It's been awhile. It's now the 900th entry. So, what do you think? Crazy, right?

Bryan: Wow, has it been 5 years... time is really flying by. Congratulations on 900 entries to the Phile. That is a lot of interviews... very cool.

Me: Okay, before we talk about Foghat and the new album "Under the Influence" I have to talk about Earl & The Agitators the other band you are currently in. I recently interviewed Earl's lead singer Scott Holt and he said you actually came up with the band name. How did you come up with it, Bryan?

Bryan: Roger and I were staying with friends in Nashville while we along with Scott Holt did some recording at Dark Horse Institute, a recording engineering school. Our good friend Tom Mix was looking for some artists to record for his final graduation project, Roger, Scott and I volunteered. We were so pleased with the outcome we decided to release some of the songs. As we were sitting around the dining room table sharing a glass of wine trying to decide what to call this project... the name Earl and the Agitators just popped into my head. We all started laughing and decided that everyone in the band should be named Earl... we had backstage passes made with Earl #1, Earl #2, Earl #3... and guest passes that say "I'm with Earl"... haha! This whole thing is just a fun project and an opportunity to play with our friend Scott Holt. We have been writing and recording a lot of songs together and the Agitators is a way for us to put some of it out there for people to hear.

Me: Did you have any other names you thought of?

Bryan: No, not really... it literally happened in about ten minutes.

Me: Did you have fun recording the Earl EP?

Bryan: Absolutely. Scott and I have a very natural guitar chemistry and along with Rog we just have a good time playing. Dark House Institute where we did the sessions is a great facility with a very professional staff and working with the students was a blast. I spent a couple years teaching at Daytona State College in a very similar program so I enjoyed the teaching environment. We had so much fun that we decided to finish the Foghat record at their main studio Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, Tennessee just outside of Nashville.

Me: It started off as a small project but is growing into something bigger, right?

Bryan: Right you are... between the Nashville sessions and many other tracks recorded at our studio in Florida I have well over an albums worth of material. So more Agitator music is coming at some point.

Me: I saw the Earls open for Foghat recently as you know and I have to admit, it was kinda weird, seeing the Agitators open for Foghat as the only difference was the lead singer. Haha. But both bands are different. How would you compare both bands?

Bryan: Well, the Agitators gives us the opportunity to play more... haha. Plus we get to play material that we enjoy and that would be out of place in a Foghat set.

Me: What's cool is that Scott sings on a few tracks on Foghat's new CD... which is like Agitators are on the new Foghat CD. I'm so confused. Hahaha. Anyway, was it planned for that to happen?

Bryan: It really wasn't planned at all it just naturally evolved. The whole thing is just a mashup and an extension of Foghat. Charlie sits in on the Agitator set, Scott sits in on the Foghat set and as you mentioned Scott guests on our upcoming CD. It all is really just us enjoying playing music together as a band and having friends join in with us on occasion.

Me: I love that. Scott said that there's some big names asking to be in the band but couldn't say who... can you?

Bryan: Well, the concept of having a boatload of Earls to make a band at any given time is something many of our friends thought was a fun idea. We wanted Scott to be Earl #1 and fill in guys as needed. We have our hands full, Rog and I, with Foghat and Scott with his own band so we'll just have to see what the Agitators get up to. We don't have any big name announcements at this time. But we are a secretive outfit who may agitate your town at a moments notice with any number of Earls. Haha.

Me: On the EP you play bass, right? How long have you been playing bass?

Bryan: I've been a closet bass player for many years mostly on sessions and home demos. I dig playing bass and groovin' with the drummer. I actually played bass in Molly Hatchet for a few weeks when we were in between players. That was a real baptism of fire as playing a full set live was quite a bit different than the occasional session. Mostly... ouch... my fingers.

Me: I don't think I asked you this before, but how old were you when you started playing guitar?

Bryan: I was one of the thousands of kids that got a guitar as a result of the Beatles and Stones playing on the Ed Sullivan show. I got really serious at 15-16 and received some excellent instruction from a big band guitarist, an older Italian gentleman named Jerry Conderato in Pittsburgh. As I remember his eldest daughter was a hottie and a smokin' guitarist... all his students tried to impress her... haha... seriously I just remembered that.

Me: What do you prefer? Slide, rhythm or lead, Bryan?

Bryan: I like all three equally. I've worked really hard on my slide playing to cover the Foghat tunes as best I can. Rod was a monster. When your dad asked if I played slide I of course said... oh yeah... I play slide all the time... haha. A bit of a fib but I wanted very much to work with your dad so I dove into slide with a passion at that time. In general though rhythm guitar is truly the most important skill particularly in the studio.

Me: Rod Price the original lead guitarist for Foghat used a glass slide... do you do the same?

Bryan: I have used many kinds of slides over the years and literary own dozens. Glass, brass, and steel but for many years now I've been using a custom ceramic slide made by Doc at Rocky Mountain Slide Co. who has graciously made a signature model for me.

Me: Okay, let's talk about "Under the Influence," the new Foghat CD. This CD took awhile to be made, am I right?

Bryan: Yes indeed. It took a while as we were in no particular hurry at first and wrote and recorded at our leisure on breaks in our touring schedule at our studio in Florida. We sort of hit critic mass last year when we amassed enough material to move forward. Having Tom Hambridge come in as a writer and producer got things moving in high gear. We set a deadline and set a schedule... both good things when trying to complete a project and we ended in real flurry of activity and creative output. 

Me: There's some cool guests on the album... Kim Simmonds from Savoy Brown (who I need to get back on the Phile real soon), Nick Jameson who was in Foghat for awhile and Dana Fuchs who was in the movie Across the Universe just to name a few. Okay, the first two I mentioned I can see but Dana? How the hell did that happen?

Bryan: As luck would have it we had the pleasure of seeing her perform on the Rock Legends Cruise that we both did last year. I loved her movie role and when a couple tracks seemed like they would benefit from a female vocalist Dana just popped into our minds. She is a killer singer and a very cool person.

Me: You know, I was supposed to be on the album playing kazoo but I couldn't go up to Tennessee to record... maybe the next album. Hahaha. What do you think?

Bryan: Foghat never had a kazoo solo before. I am truly looking forward to hearing a kazoo miked up through a Marshall stack...we are gonna do it, Jason. Haha.

Me: The album has some covers and some new tracks... how hard was it to choose which songs to do, Bryan?

Bryan: Not too hard really. We have a habit of bursting into any number of cover songs when we sound check at shows. Every once in a while we go... hey... that was pretty cool... so we put it in the back of our minds for when we get into the studio.

Me: Are their any covers that you guys were supposed to put on the album but didn't?

Bryan: We have several Johnny Cash covers in the can... they may see the light of day sometime... wink wink.

Me: The album ends with a new version of "Slow Ride" with a chorus of people that bid on for a Pledge. first off, how did the Pledge go? When Roger was here on the Phile we talked about the Pledge, but explain what it was.

Bryan: The Pledge went great. It was our first foray into crowd funding which in it's essence is a way for our fans to preorder the new CD. The cool part is having our fans get involved with the CD as it is being worked on and a lot of extra ways for us to meet people and have some fun with our supporters.

Me: How did you get all those people that pledged to sing the chorus into the studio?

Bryan: The singers that got in on the "Slow Ride" chorus recorded themselves at home and drop boxed their wav. file vocal track to us which I added to the Protools session of the song. They were mixed into the song and they sounded excellent.

Me: You have played on a few Foghat albums now, Bryan. Which one is your favorite?

Bryan: I like all the albums we've put out since I became a member but two of my favorite tracks are songs I never played on. Your dad and I used to write songs as we traveled together on the road. "Angel of Mercy" and "Play Dirty" were two songs we co-wrote and were recorded before I rejoined the band. Those days writing with your dad are very special personal memories for me.

Me: You have been playing some new songs in the last few Foghat shows... how are the audiences taking them?

Bryan: They have been received very well and blend very nicely into the set.

Me: Okay, I have to mention Wild Cherry, the band you were originally in. The song that the band is known for "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" wasn't supposed to be a single, right?

Bryan: That whole experience was the coolest thing for me as a young musician. The song is truly autobiographical. Someone actually said that to us at a club... you better start playing some funky music, white boy... haha. We were a cover rock group, a good one, but the music was moving in a dance direction. We wrote and recorded that song hoping to get a Commodore feel. We thought rock sounds and funk beats was a great sound direction. It was the B-side of a self produced session.

Me: Kinda like "Slow Ride" wash;t supposed to be a single... I love rock and roll history trivia. Anyway, "Play That Funky Music..." has a great story how that song came to be. Is what I heard true?

Bryan: We really just wanted to crack the local jukeboxes and we put it out as the B-side of a cover song. A label exec in Cleveland just happened to hear the track and we got signed to a record deal. The song broke in Atlanta when a DJ flipped the 45 over and started playing our original. The song blew up pretty fast. We went from the clubs to arenas in about 6 months. The best part was touring with the premiere funk artists of the day.

Me: Alright, real quick, football... I'm a Giants fan, you're a Steelers fan... any predictions for this season, Bry?

Bryan: Both of our teams are going to win their divisions. Go Steelers. Go Giants.

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

Bryan: Ten years ago.... hmmmm... let's check the memory banks. According to my old show sheets we had a busy touring season, much like we have now. I was also working on a few outside projects as an engineer. My girls were so much younger, Jordan was 3, Brynn 7 and Melissa was only 14 then. Really crazy to look back to that time... they were such cutie pies. I was so blessed to have my wife Julie looking after the girls while I galavanted across the country. Even then I was the oldest guy in the grade school pickup line... haha... hey is that your grandad. According to some old pictures I was wearing some awful nerdy looking glasses... big suckers. I had a cool ponytail then though... tragically lost in a hair clipper accident a couple years ago. Haha. So all in all it has been a rather consistent flow of time. A beautiful thing.

Me: Very cool, Bryan. Alright, mention your website or anything else you wanna. Thanks for coming back on the Phil for the 900th entry. Please come back again soon and tell the other guys in Foghat I said hello.

Bryan: for all current Foghat stuff. for all the great Foghat history. It was great seeing you in person a couple times this year. Thanks for giving me the 900 spot, I'm honored. I look forward to seeing you sometime this summer. All the best to your family. I will send your hellos to everyone. Kazoo man... we need more kazoo.

Me: Yep. I agree. Thans, Bryan, happy Father's Day. Take care.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Bryan. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum and friend Jeff Trelewicz. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Happy Father's Day.

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

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