Friday, July 1, 2016

Pheaturing John Paul Keith

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. what's up? Today is Canada Day, eh. Let's honor Canada today by letting high school students drink legally. This Canada Day please take Justin Bieber back. This Canada Day, I'd love to go out for some traditional Canadian cuisine if there was such a thing. Well, as you know on Monday it's Independence Day. Let's take a break from complaining about America to  celebrate America. Let's show our padronism this July 4th by spending all our disposable income on seeing "Hamilton." Okay, what is going on in the world?
​Wesley Ahlgren summoned thousands of viewers on Perisocope yesterday to watch "Naked guy on Times Square." It was the suspenseful drama of a 21-year-old man, surrounded by police, standing naked atop the TKTS building, ranting about Donald Trump, and threatening to jump. At first, it seemed like garden variety NYC shenanigans, with the man dancing around. In the video you can hear people in the cafe are laughing at him and the comments on Periscope are all "likes" and "nices," but this man was disturbed. Specifically, he was terrified about an impending Trump presidency. Mohamed Adam, a smoothie cart who witnessed everything told Gothamist the Manhattan man kept yelling, "No no no Trump!" Gothamist reports a witness says the incident started around 7:15 a.m. The man neatly took his clothes off at the street level and left them in a folded pile. That's when 'Times Square Alliance security told him to put his clothes on, but the man ran up the stairs to the ledge above the TKTS booth." The man began spitting at police and threatening to jump off the ledge. Police put a inflated bag beneath the ledge, but the man threatened to aim himself for the pavement instead. Despite police efforts to "establish a dialogue" with the man, the man ran across the ledge and jumped. Terrifyingly, the man intentionally missed the airbag and landed on the pavement. He sustained minor injuries and was rushed to Bellevue for a psychiatric evaluation. All this, and we are technically still in the primaries.
Ladieeeees! It's summer time, and it's time to talk about hairless vaginas. The Brazilian wax (aka vaginal water-boarding) is more popular then ever before. And today, the majority of American women prefer their private parts to look more Danny DeVito than Magnum P.I. A new study this week cited by the "New York Times" blog found that a whopping 62% of women opt for total hair removal, while 84% reported at least moderate "grooming." But though women have been shaving or waxing or plucking or sheering their pubes for some time now, their reasons for doing so have shifted. Past research showed that women groomed to "facilitate sexual activity," but this survey found that the majority (59%) now groom for "hygiene" purposes. “Many women think they are dirty and unclean if they haven’t groomed,” said the study's lead author Dr. Tami S. Rowen, an obstetrician-gynecologist. BUT HERE'S THE THING. There's nothing unhygienic about a little pubic hair. In fact, just the opposite. Pubic hair functions as a kind of protective cushion for your sensitive pubic area, according to the "New York Times." It also traps bacteria to keep germs and other unwanted particles out. Think: a dust ruffle for your vag. The pube removal movement is messing with our natural ecosystems. It could be linked to a rise in health problems, various experts and doctors told the "Times," like folliculitis, abscesses, lacerations, allergic reactions to waxing, as well as vulvar and vaginal infections. Owch. And though there's no conclusive evidence, "some researchers speculate that micro-abrasions and nicks" from shaving could even facilitate the spread of STDs (with the exception of pubic lice, who can't survive in a tundra). Beyond the possible health risks, there's the whole issue of what excessively grooming our pubic areas could mean for women's self-image. Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology and urology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, lamented that the "Barbie doll look" is just another example of women being held to an unrealistic body standard. By now, you may be tempted to throw your razors in a raging bonfire along with your bras. But this isn't to say you must go full bush or bust, for the sake of feminism. However, it may be time to reconsider the reasons for going bare down there. Grooming to feel sexy is one thing. But if you're grooming for health or hygiene reasons, it may be time to toss that Brazilian wax punch card and save your vagina from a world of pain. If you don't believe it, trust the doctors. “If it is something you do for you and makes you feel better, awesome,” said Dr. Gunter. "But don’t tell yourself it’s healthy or better from a medical standpoint.”
In Colombia, Police Officer Luisa Fernanda Urrea is being hailed as a hero after she saved the life of an abandoned baby using nothing but quick thinking, compassion, and her breasts. Urrea was called to the scene after a newborn girl was discovered in the woods, crying in the undergrowth with part of her umbilical cord still attached. The girl was starving and at risk of hypothermia after being exposed, so Urrea swaddled her. And as luck would have it, she was a new mother herself, so she generously breastfed the baby from her own milk, saving her life. Video of the heartwarming moment was uploaded to Facebook. Urrea told local news, "I’m a new mother and I have milk, and I recognized the needs that this poor little creature had… I think any woman would have given her nourishment in the same circumstances." It's an important reminder of what a miraculous gift breastfeeding is, even if some people insist on treating it like a shameful secret. But even the most prudish milk-shamer, who thinks that babies should only drink Gatorade and bras should be padlocked by the government, would have to agree: this cop did good. If she had been more "modest," that baby wouldn't be alive today. The baby is now in the custody of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, where she is being cared for until an adoptive home can be found. Police are searching for the mother, who may face criminal charges. Kudos to you, Office Urrea. You've just earned major cop points and major mom points in one move.
A new study says that American women have the largest breasts in the world, with a mean breast size of 1,668 ml (that's the scientific "mean," not the slang "mean"). The study, published in "The Journal of Female Health Sciences," analyzed data from nearly 400,000 women in 108 countries. It excluded women that have breast implants or that were pregnant or breastfeeding, so it's truly a measurement of naturals from around the globe. You might be asking yourself why this study was done in the first place. If you guessed very important scientific merit, you'd be wrong. The authors stated the purpose of their research. "Increasing knowledge of the breast size variation of women from different countries is needed as a guideline for example for the product development and targeting of marketing actions of clothing industry and cosmetic surgery providers." Apparently this study is "needed" to help clothing manufacturers and plastic surgeons. It seems like clothing manufacturers already know how to produce different size shirts and that plastic surgeons know where rich insecure people live. But if someone thinks this research is helpful, go nuts. In the meantime, citizens of the United States can enjoy their title of largest breasts just before the Fourth of July. 'Murcia.
Alanis Morissette is expecting her second child, and she celebrated with a very serene pool party. Posting her pregnancy portrait on the 'gram, Morissette raised the bar for the art form by going underwater.

She captioned the pic with a cute quote from her feminist four-year-old son, "You have to be extra gentle around ladies because they are the most helpful people in the world 'cause they make persons." Underwater, Morissette looks like Sarah Silverman, which is ironic, dontcha think? (Well, as ironic as anything in the song "Ironic.") It's like a grown up version of Nirvana's "Nevermind" cover, but with a swimming adult (and a swimming fetus).
So, do you ever look at an inanimate object and think you are a face? I do all the time. Check it out, kids.

Hahaha. There's a new band called The Brexit I heard and I was a little puzzled when I saw their album cover...

That is sooo stupid. I love the Queen of England being from England but I think she's losing her mind.

It's cool she loves pizza though. So, in the last entry I told you about the #TrumpGirlsBreakTheInternet hashtag. Well, I showed you a picture of a hot Trump supporter... well, here's another...

Stay away from that woman. It's summer and one thing I love about summer is the bikini. Well, this summer I am showing you pictures of women in bikinis with something not so scary in the background.

Her boyfriend has jealousy issues I think. Okay, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Startling Similarities Between Donald Trump And Burger King's New Mac N' Cheetos
5. Resembles an Oompa Loompa boner.
4. Is a revolting combination of oranges, yellows and fat.
3. Seems concocted by Satan himself.
2. May cause runny, greasy stool.
And the number one similarity between Trump and Burger King's new Mac N' Cheetos is...
1. Is really, really cheesy.

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so on the Discovery Channel it is Shark Week... well, here on the Phile normally at the same time I have a shark that visits and tells jokes. Coincidence? Maybe. Haha. Anyway, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Feargal, welcome back to the Phile. How are you doing?

Feargal: Okay, I was at the beach today when I saw a man in the sea yelling, “Help, shark! Help!” I just laughed. I wasn’t going to help him.

Me: Ummm... I think he was yelling because he saw you.

Feargal: That's stupid. I’ve just read that according to statistics, donkeys kill more people every year than sharks. So, you'd better watch your ass.

Me: Okay. Thanks. So, do you have a joke for us, Feargal?

Feargal: What was the sharks favorite Orson Welles movie?

Me: Ummm. I'm not sure... Citizen Shark?

Feargal: Close. Citizen Kane-i-kokala.

Me: That is horrible. Give us a a better one.

Feargal: What's the great white sharks favorite candy?

Me: A jaw-breaker!

Feargal: Yeah, you got it. One moire... What was the sharks favorite B-52's song?

Me: I don't know, could be so many...

Feargal: "Love Shark."

Me: Feargal, you were terrible today. Maybe next year you'll be better. Feargal the Shark, everyone.

Feargal: Good-bye, people. I'm fin-ished.

The 50th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Martin Belmont will be a guest on the Phile next Thursday.

Today's guest is a fantastic singer songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee whose fantastic album "The Man That Time Forgot" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... John Paul Keith.

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile, how are you?

John Paul: I'm good, just enjoying this lovely July weather.

Me: Okay, you have three first names in your name. Should I call you John Paul or John?

John Paul: You can call me either, but my friends call me J.P. Both of them.

Me: Haha. My friends call me J.P. sometimes as well. Someone in your family must of been a Beatles fan, right? I don't know about the Keith though.

John Paul: Actually, no. My parents weren't Beatles fans at all, and it apparently didn't cross their minds... because if it had, they might have realized that I would be asked about it every day of my life. And Keith is the last name. It's Scottish.

Me: J.P., where are you from?

John Paul: Just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. I lived in Nashville for a while, New York City briefly, and then Birmingham, Alabama for a couple years. I've been in Memphis for the past 10 years or so, and I consider it my adopted hometown.

Me: You have a really cool band, sir, that backs you up... The One Four Fives. Who is in the band and how long have you been playing with them?

John Paul: The official lineup is Mark E. Stuart on bass, John Argroves on drums, and Al Gamble on keys. We've been playing together for about nine years now. When we started the band, we also had another guitarist named Kevin Cubbins, and a pedal steel player named John Whittemore, but over time the regular lineup shifted to just the four-piece. When we tour, we have to tour as a trio usually, without keyboards, due to the economic situation and also the fact that Al has a full-time gig playing B3 for Marc Broussard. We also have what we call "the bench": a handful of other musicians who can step in and substitute if the other guys can't make it. Rick Steff from Lucero is on our bench, for example. Usually our road gigs are with at least some guys from the bench.

Me: Where did that band name come from? Did you come up with it?

John Paul: The band name is a joke in reference to the I-IV-V chord progression, which is the basic, simple pattern behind most blues and country and early rock 'n roll. When we started the band, we were playing mainly covers and they were almost always a I-IV-V type song, so the joke was "these are the only chords we can play."

Me: Lets talk about your amazing album "The Man That Time Forgot," which I downloaded from iTunes. Do you think time forgot about you?

John Paul: I think time caught up with me. I don't think time ever thought about me in the first place.

Me: By the way, every time I see the album cover I cough. Whose idea was for that picture of you smoking to be the album cover? It's a pretty cool album cover, but smoking is band. Haha.

John Paul: Yes, smoking is bad, I wish I never started. The cover shot was the photographer's idea. We did some shots without the smoke, but that one just looked like an old album cover to us, so we went with it. It's really remarkable to me that having cigarette smoke on an album cover actually raises some eyebrows nowadays.

Me: I love all the songs on your albums, did you write them all?

John Paul: Thank you! Yeah, I wrote them.

Me: I am guessing you grew up listening to music at an early age, sir. How old were you when you started listening to music?

John Paul: I heard music from birth on. My dad was pretty much obsessed with music, although he is not a musician himself. He and my mom sang in church, too, so I heard that right from the get-go. 

Me: My father was a musician so I started getting into music when I was a kid. I never really learned an instrument. When did you first start to play the guitar?

John Paul: I love Foghat! That's awesome. I'm also a big fan of Dave Edmunds, who produced their first record, if I'm not mistaken. If you talk to Edmunds, tell him I've got a great band for him in Memphis for his eventual comeback record. I first started playing guitar when I was about 10 or 11. 

Me: You're right, Edmunds did produce the first Foghat album, an I have been trying to get him on the Phile for years. What make of guitar do you play, John?

John Paul: Fender Telecasters. I am a Telecaster extremist. There's nothing you can't do with them, they are indestructible, and no other guitar can get that sound. There's a whole Telecaster ethic and a whole school of players who are "Tele players," and I consider myself a member of that cult, for sure. And it's not just a country thing... Steve Cropper, Mike Bloomfield, Albert Collins, Ted Greene, Keith Richards... the Tele can do it all. And it won't break if you drop it or hit somebody with it.

Me: Okay, let's go back to your music... I love "Somebody Ought To Write A Song About You." That song has to be about someone in particular, right? I love that song.

John Paul: "Somebody Ought To Write A Song About You" is not about anybody, honestly. Part of writing songs is about being able to recall emotions on demand, kind of like an actor. You have experiences that you have to be able to draw from at will, when you need them. We were almost done with the record and were a couple songs short, so Bruce said "write some more." I went home and worked on that one for about two weeks, then we went back and cut it. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Me: And I love track "The Man That Time Forgot." It's just you and a guitar...

John Paul: Yeah, the track was just me and the guitar, one take. We had intended to do it with the whole band, and we tried a take that way and it wasn't coming together. Bruce said, "J.P., why don't you sing it for me one time by yourself all the way through, just so I can get an idea of how it goes". I did, and he came back on the talkback mic and said, "That's the take." He had been recording it, which I didn't know. He tricked me because he knew I would never agree to doing a song by myself. When I heard the playback, I reluctantly agreed that it was better solo than with the band. Nothing against the band... it's just that the lyric seemed better served by a solo performance. The band thought so, too.

Me: I downloaded another song you recorded called "The SXSW Song." Pretty much every band I have interviewed has played there. I want to go one year. How many times have you played there, John?

John Paul: Man, I don't really remember. It's always been a complete waste of time. It's worth doing it for the experience if you've never done it, but I wouldn't break my neck to do it again.

Me: I have to ask you about the band you were in The Viceroys, who changed their name to The V-Roys. You left the band before the first album was recorded, right?

John Paul: Yeah, we were about to sign with Praxis Records, which was about to morph into E-Squared Records. Steve Earle was going to produce us. I was nineteen years old and living with my parents. I'd never signed a lease or a car note, much less a recording contract. The band wasn't really getting along very well at that point, so I just bailed. I was afraid to commit.

Me: Do you prefer being a solo act or do you like being in a band?

John Paul: I almost never perform solo. My songs are pretty much all written to be performed by a band.

Me: Do you remember the name of the first band you were in?

John Paul: Yes, at age 16: Jimmie Hemorrhage. Not my idea.

Me: You play a lot of shows in the South, ever been to Orlando? You have got to come here.

John Paul: I'm afraid I've never played in Florida. I would like to, though. I've always wanted an excuse to do "Tallahassee Lassie."

Me: You also toured Europe, right? Didn't you do a tour with legend Jack Oblivian? For those that don't know, tell them who Jack is. That's a really big deal, John. Was that a fun experience?

John Paul: Yeah, Europe is great. They really treat you good over there... they feed you good and put you up in nice accommodations usually. By contrast, in the states, being a touring bar band is kind of like being a hobo or a leper, nobody wants to get close enough to smell you. (Just kidding. Sort of). And the audiences in Europe can be incredible, especially in places that haven't had a lot of American music come through over the years, due to the political situation, like Serbia. Serbia is one of my favorite places in the world. The way those people respond to our music just floored me... it's very humbling, and makes you think, "Maybe I haven't wasted my entire life with this music thing." The first time I went, I was just a sideman for Jack. The second time I went, I was opening for Jack and playing guitar for him during his set as well. Jack is one of my best buds and one of the best songwriters around. He was in a legendary Memphis punk band, The Oblivians, and he was also in a really wild band called The Compulsive Gamblers. For the past few years he's been recording and performing as Jack Oblivian and The Tennessee Tearjerkers. He is the real deal. There's not too many guys like him around.

Me: If you could tour or record with anybody who would it be?

John Paul: I'll tour with anybody who draws a crowd. I'd like to record sometime backing up a really first class singer, somebody who can really sing soul and pop music.

Me: Thanks so much for being here on the Phile, I am a huge fan and I hope you'll come back when your next album come out. Do you have a website you'd like to plug?

John Paul: Yes, just Google "lame pun raccoon." Or

Me: Take care, and I hope to see you in concert soon.

John Paul: Thank you!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to John Paul for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Thursday... I'm taking off this weekend... with Phile Alum Martin Belmont. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Have a safe holiday weekend!

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

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