Hello, everybody, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Okay, I have something to confess... I am addicted to "Pokémon Go." Yes, it's true. Someone help me. Hahaha. Speaking of "Pokémon Go," at about 11pm on July 14th, a Vaporeon Pokémon appeared inside New York City's massive Central Park, sparking a stampede of actual humans all trying to catch it. There were easily hundreds of Gothamites all running after the same imaginary creature, if not over a thousand. It's a pretty good Pokémon. It's not amazing. It's fine! To be fair, those people were all already hanging out in the park at 11pm (NYC is a pretty safe these days) looking for Pokémon. Since "Pokémon Go" favors public spaces, and since New York is an incredibly crowded metropolis with precious few public green areas, Central Park has become something of a giant Pokémon stadium over the last two weeks. Okay, let's talk about robots beating up toddlers.
A mall in Palo Alto, California suspended its use of security robots after one of them beat up a toddler in front of an Armani Exchange earlier this week. The little boy reportedly didn't notice the machine and ran into it, causing him to fall over. Because it was an evil robot incapable of human empathy, the machine kept moving and ran over the boy's tiny baby foot. Luckily, the little boy is okay, suffering only "a nasty bruise." The question is, though, is this incident only the beginning? We all know the robot takeover of the human race is coming eventually. Is this the first step? Children are the most vulnerable of all of us. Why wouldn't the robots choose to pick off the weakest members first? It's scary stuff. Take care of your babies out there.
Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger, 72, is expecting his eighth child and the first with his ballerina girlfriend Melanie Hamrick, 29. The lead singer in the iconic band has seven other children ranging in age from 17 to 45. He's so counter-cultural he's made being an old man who doesn't know when to quit cool. The rocker performed his first gig with the Rolling Stones 54 years ago, when his girlfriend wasn't even a twinkle in anyone's eye yet, and Jagger's eye still contained a twinkle. Decades later, beautiful and talented women young enough to be his granddaughter still want to have his babies. In related news, two months ago, fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, 68, had twins with his wife, Sally Wood, 38. Let's keep it going, fellas. You've each got a good 20 to 30 years of babymaking left. Any of you readers go to University of North Texas?
Trending on Facebook Thursday afternoon is a story about a University of North Texas mug that accidentally spells out an obscenity, and if you're literate enough to read to this point in the sentence, you've probably figured out what it spells. But where's that dastardly "C"? It's the handle.
Mindphuck. The mug's been hailed as an epic fail across the internet, but according to ex-students (and common sense), the one-letter-off curse spelled by their school initials is a pretty common joke on campus. A quick trip to the UNT bookstore website will also only yield you a photo of the cup with the handle on the wrong side... but it could have been updated since the story started going viral a couple days ago. A university representative said you can no longer buy the mug online or in the bookstore, although it was "designed/produced by a licensed vendor more than a year ago for a campus event." When asked whether the mug was created with any intent to spell out one of the most cursed curse words, she said, "There was no intent whatsoever. It was simply an unfortunate mistake." Unfortunate? The old adage about "any news" says otherwise. Either way... you can still buy all sorts of these mugs on Etsy. What is mug may never die.
Hey, I haven't mentioned "Pokémon Go" in the last few minutes... "Pokémon Go" exploded over the weekend because it's a genuinely fun game... it mixes the 90s nostalgia of Pokémon with a real-world scavenger hunt, and it gets people doing moderate exercise to boot (this is all an insidious plot by Michelle Obama, bet on it). Unfortunately, it also has been getting people discovering dead bodies, walking into traffic, and... alas... now getting robbed. That's right, some mastermind thieves in Missouri figured out that by placing a 99-cent lure at a Pokéstop in a deserted location, they could attract lots of nerds looking for 185 CP Bulbasaurs. But good luck getting through their pocket protectors, amiright? Pokéstops are places of interest in your city... things like statues, interesting architectural features, landmarks, and murals are all often Pokéstops (that must be one interesting parking lot). Players can add "lures" to the Pokéstops, meaning that every player can find Pokémon at that location (gotta catch 'em all, you see). All Pokéstops are marked on a Google Map-like interface, and Pokéstops with a lure are denoted by the presence of falling pink flower petals. And yes, this game doesn't make much sense when you think about it. Be careful out there! And go Team Instinct!
There's some inappropriate locations players have found so far in Pokémon Go." Like a strip club for instance.
Kids wander in to find Pokémon, and by the time they leave, they're done with video games forever. Some people are cashing in on the "Pokémon Go" craze like this pizza restaurant owner who promises you extra cheese AND Magmar.
A lot of people think Pokémon is a Japanese creation, but in reality they were created in Britain. You can tell by the names of them...
Hahaha. I need to find that one. Okay, let's talk about something different for a minute. Donald Trump has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate for president as you might of heard, and I think the logo looks like ooks like a T jackhammer-fucking the shit out of a P.
New photos have been added to the album: Beach Blanket Dorks. I love kids and I love kids' drawings... especially when they don't look so innocent.
Monkey? Don't! Alright, so, my kid is visiting again from Pennsylvania, and we were talking about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" together and how that show has changed. How has it changed? Let me show you with a pheature I call...
"Now as you can see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this police sketch of Klalid Muhammad Abdallah al-Mihdhar, drawn only three hours after the beheadings, does not simply resemble the elementary school teacher, it is the striking, uncanny depiction of the monster that stands before you."
Alright, before I show you today's Mindphuck, a lot of you readers... and I mean a lot of you, wrote and told me that the last entry of the Phile I had a Mindphuck. I looked back and thought, what the hell. Lemme show you my mistake...
I used the wrong graphic! Ugh! Haha. Good catch, people.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive People Who Went To See Ghostbusters.
5. Feminists excited about progress in the historically male-dominated field of ghostbusting.
4. People angered by the sexist reaction to it... and feel it should be judged on its own merits as a bland rehash of a tired franchise.
3. "Pokémon Go" players, certain that Jirachi is hiding in the third row.
2. Khaki jumpsuit manufactuerers, anticipating a bump in sales.
And the number one people who went to see Ghostbusters are...
1. People who are seeking air conditioning... it's hot out!
An air conditioner is a major home appliance that is not designed to cool the whole goddamn outside world, so close the fucking door, I'm not going to tell you again.
Today's guest is a member of the Chicago based band A Lull whose latest EP "Meat Mountain" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike Brown.
Mike: I am well. My apartment is a mess. How are you?
Me: I am doing very good. That's not the most exciting name for a band, I gotta be honest. Which one of you is responsible?
Mike: It’s usually Nigel’s fault.
Me: And how did you come up with it? What names did you reject? A Sleep? A Siesta? A Knockout? That one sounds cool for a band name.
Mike: It was between A Lull and B Lull. We rejected B Lull.
Me: Ha! I listened to your music and there's no lull about it. So, guys, who is in the band?
Mike: There are five of us. Nigel Dennis, Todd Miller, Aaron Vincel, Ashwin Deepanker, and Mike Brown.
Me: You guys are based in Chicago, right? Is that where you all met?
Mike: We are from Chicago. We all grew up around here and met when we were teenagers playing in different bands together. It’s pretty wild, but we have all known each other for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine playing music without these dudes. I love them.
Me: I listened to your EPs "Meat Mountain," "Confetti" and the EP "Confetti Reprise" and cannot imagine how you guys sound live. How do you pull it off?
Mike: We definitely have live versions of the songs. They aren’t drastically different, but there is a difference and unique quality that the live versions have. We all have different musical backgrounds, and all are multi-instrumentalist, so that helps a lot when it comes to turning the songs out live too.
Me: Was "Confetti" your first album? Wait, you had one out with an ice cream name or something, right?
Mike: "Confetti" was our first album. We released a single 7’’ for Weapons For War before it, and an EP entitled "Ice Cream Bones" back in May of 2009.
Me: Where did THAT title come from?
Mike: My family owns an ice cream shop in Indiana, and when I was a kid I use to save all the bones from my fried chicken, take them into the shop when they were making fresh vanilla ice cream, and dig in. I would just go to town. Eat till I dropped. Now I’m lack toast a bit, so it had to stop. Figured, might as well go out with a bang. "Ice Cream Bones."
Me: The few songs on the new EP were recorded when you made the album... why didn't you just put them on the album?
Mike: All four of the songs on the new EP are B-sides to the record. It just disrupted the flow of the record. Plus, it would have been an extremely long debut album. I don’t know how well that goes over.
Me: How many other songs did you leave off?
Mike: We record 70+ songs/ideas for "Meat Mountain" over the course of around 2 years. I’d say we have close to 50 pieces that were left off. We will, more then likely, never return to them.
Me: So, will there be a "Confetti Reprise Reprise" EP coming out or a "Meat Mountain Reprise" coming out?
Mike: Watch it.
Me: I cannot describe your music, Mike, can you? And what other bands are you into?
Mike: I would describe it as rock/pop music I guess. We never really wanted to go for a certain sound or genre, and we try to stay pretty true to that, but the older the band gets we know what we can and can’t do, ya know? We are always buying new instruments and trying new things though. As far as other bands go, we are all into a wide variety of music, and I feel it really helps us draw inspiration. For me, Talking Heads, Brad Mehldau, Fela Kuti, Gabor Szabo, and Bola Sete to name a few of the last things I listened to.
Me: And being from Chicago, I have to ask, you guys must listen to the blues, right?
Mike: Yeah. I grew up listening to a lot of Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Holin’ Wolf, etc… Blues runs pretty deep around Chicago.
Me: Another thing I have to ask... Ashwin's last name is Deepanker, which sounds like a name from the Star Wars films, what is the origin do you know, Mike?
Mike: Ashwin was born in India without a last name. When his family came to America his father chose the name Deepanker. It means “seed of light." Ashwin means “friendly." Friendly Seed of Light.
Me: Ahhh. I know you have to go already, thanks so much for being on the Phile, Mike. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wanna. Thanks again.
Mike: Our site is alull.com and you can get to everywhere else from there. Also free music downloads. Thanks so much. Hope all is well.
Me: Thanks. Take care.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Mike Brown for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Sandra Nasić from the German band Guano Apes. So, spread the word, not the tied. 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