Monday, September 5, 2016

Pheaturing Hetty Clark

Hello, welcoke to the Phile for a Labor Day. The day we celebrate women giving birth. How are you?    Did you survive Hurricane Hermine? I'm so glad they released a poster for the survivors...

You're welcome. So, like I said, it's Labor Day, which is a great opportunity to reflect on what you failed to accomplish this summer. For those that don't know Labor Day is a fitting tribute to the contributions of American workers in industries other than those that recently destroyed America. Okay, let's start with a story about Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist who received the ridiculously lenient sentence of six months after raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, has just been released after only three months. His time was halved for "good behavior." Turner, dressed like he is ready to meet his boys for cocktails, kept his eyes down the whole time and ignored reporters as he stepped toward a white SUV. The only question that can be made out is, "Are you going to say you're sorry Brock?" He gave no response, which is to be expected considering his best known method of communication is texting pictures of his victim's breasts. Judge Persky, the man who gifted Turner the light punishment due to "special circumstances" (being a privileged white Olympic hopeful), has voluntarily removed himself from hearing criminal cases starting next week due to the public outcry against him. According to the AP, Turner will move back to Ohio to live with his parents while he serves three years of supervised probation, and he must register as a sex offender for life. The package he is carrying is hate mail the jail collected for him to receive upon release. Looks like he'll have plenty of reading material on his trip back to freedom.
Fewer American teens are getting pregnant, and the reason is... Birth control! That makes sense, given that it's called birth control. Births by teenagers ages 15 to 19 decreased by 36% between 2007 and 2013, according to federal data. You might think that's because teens had stopped having sex, but haha, no. A new study, which was published online in the "Journal of Adolescent Health," found that teens are not having less sex and they're also having fewer abortions. In that case, all signs point to teens using more birth control. Researchers found teens were using all types of birth control more often and were more likely to combine methods (such as, say, condoms and the pill). In 2016, there's basically a buffet of options to keep your uterus empty. So which method is best? According to the study's lead author, Laura Lindberg from the Guttmacher Institute, what matters most is that you use anything. "If a teen uses no method they have an 85 percent chance of getting pregnant [within a year]," said Lindberg. "Using anything is way more effective than that 85 percent risk." She added that the best method for teens is "one that they are willing and able to use." The world is your oyster!
Air travel! It's always an adventure. Last Monday evening, a Southwest flight was taxiing down the runway in Baltimore when a passenger reached into the seat pouch in front of her to find a mysterious six inch gold cylindrical device. "What could it possibly be?" none of us wonder. The passenger immediately alerted flight staff, who stopped the plane. The flight was then evacuated and search teams checked the aircraft thoroughly but did not find any threats. Passengers were then searched before they re-boarded, and the flight took off and arrived at its destination in Denver. So what was the mysterious device?? Obviously we're all thinking, "It's a vibrator. Duh." But no, it was actually a vibrating anti-wrinkle device called a Bar 24k Golden Anti-aging Skin Roller which is reportedly a hot selling item in Japan and Taiwan. Pictured here...

Okay, sure. It's an anti-wrinkle device. And the Hitachi magic wand is a back massager. Officers could not return the device to its owner, who remains unknown, so it is currently being held by aviation police who say they're "not sure what to do with it right now." Maybe they should use it on their skin to prevent the (natural) effects of aging? JK. Store that thing away in a plastic bag, because it's a vibrator.
Rejoice, for "Stranger Things" is getting a second season, and there will be justice for Barb. Netflix's "Stranger Things" has confirmed that there's a second season coming in 2017, giving its fans something to look forward to as we trudge through the rest of this awful election year. The teaser trailer released August 31th includes the names of the nine new episodes: "Madmax," "The Boy Who Came Back To Life," "The Pumpkin Patch," "The Palace," "The Storm," "The Pollywog," "The Secret Cabin," "The Brain," and "The Lost Brother." That's right, nine episodes, compared to the first season's eight. The makers know we need more, more, more! The trailer doesn't include any footage or other information about the upcoming season, but it does feature the same excellent eerie synth soundtrack by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein (two of the four members of the Austin band Survive), so it's probably safe to assume they'll be scoring this season, too. The only other thing confirmed for the second season is that there will indeed be JUSTICE FOR BARB! In case you still haven't watched the first season of the Netflix original show, what on earth (or anywhere else) are you waiting for?
Ready for your day to be ruined? BuzzFeed News is reporting that there may be people dressed as clowns lurking around South Carolina, trying to lure children into the woods using candy and money. You will have plenty of time to think about how scary that is now that you will never sleep again.
According BuzzFeed, several people have spotted and complained about seeing multiple clowns in Greenville, South Carolina. There have apparently been enough sightings to warrant the property manager of Greenville's Fleetwood Manor apartments to issue this statement to residents, "There has been several conversations and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods. First and foremost at Fleetwood Manor Apartments children's [sic] safety is a top priority. At no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night. Also if a person or persons are seen you are to immediately call the police. Greenville County Police Department is aware of the situation and have been riding [sic] the property daily. Remember there is a 10pm curfew for the property so to ensure your children's [sic] safety please keep them in the house during night hours and make sure at ALL times children are supervised. Anymore information that becomes regarding this issue will be sent out to all residents." On top of this, at least one person has filed a police report. In the report, Donna Arnold, mother of two boys ages 10 and 13, said that one of her sons reported seeing clowns on the edge of the woods behind their apartment complex, "whispering and making strange noises." Her older son also reported hearing "chains and banging" at the door of their home. Donna's husband, James, also reported that his sons had said, "Some had chains, some had knives, and some were holding out money, saying, ‘Come here, we’ve got candy for you,’ but they wouldn’t go." Another resident reported seeing a clown standing alone under a street light around 2:30am. one morning. The clown waved at her and she waved back, and the clown did not approach her BUT WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON THERE HOW DID SHE NOT PEE HER PANTS RIGHT THEN AND THERE? Oh, and the cherry on top of the creepy clown cake? Residents are theorizing that the group of clowns live in an abandoned house at the end of a man-made trail in the middle of the woods. Cool. Well. Nightmares are real and they are in South Carolina.
It's back to school season, and your Facebook feed is likely flooded with your friends' kids' first day of school pictures. It brings back lots of memories of first day jitters, excitement, and of course the all important back to school outfit. Today's kids will have to wait a few years for their back to school fashions to humiliate them, but that time will come. Oh yes, it will come. Until then, for the next few weeks I will show you some awkward first day throwback photos, and be glad you started grade school before the Internet. Maybe I will find one of my back to school pictures. Maybe.

Pretty confident you could buy this outfit at H&M right now. So, do you kids have a Fitbit? There's been a few times I was gonna buy one but I'd probably never wear it... then again they do have Fitbit badges now for lazy people.

So, with that clown story I mentioned it made me remember the new Stephen King movie that is out... for some reason.

Hahaha. So stupid. So... "Stranger Thnings"... seems like it's not that of an original concept, or someone is cashing in on it.

I love it! So, it's pumpkin season I guess... man, I hate the taste of pumpkins. Anyay, some companies are taking this pumpkin thing a little too far. This is a 100% real item, kids.

Why?! Alright, so, one of the things I like to do in the little spare time I have it to go on Twitter and look up certain words. One of those words I look up is "Foghat" and this is a tweet I recently saw...

Hmmm. There's so many things I could say right now, but won't. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Trump Did In Mexico
5. Tried to keep calm admidst all the "rapists and murderers."
4. Introduced himself as Donald Trump-o, next-o president-o American-o!
3. Scouted factory locations for Trump Ties, Trump Suits and Make America Great Again caps.
2. Asked President Enrique Peña Nieto, "Who's this 'Dirty Sanchez' I keep hearing about from Roger Ailes?"
And the the number one thing Trump did in Mexico was...
1. Enjoyed a late lunch with El Chapo.

Oh, Target. If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. Being Labor Day I don't know too much what to say about it, but I know someone who would. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning humans... Happy Labor Day. So, here's a random thought. Nobody ever bitches about it being Monday when it's a Monday on a three day weekend due to it being a holiday. While we're at it... since it's called Labor Day, we should take all the able bodied parasites (who are capable of working but refuse to... and then get a welfare check) and make THEM work today. Why not? They have the REST of the year off, WITH PAY... to enjoy themselves while WE go to work and pay their share of the taxes that pay for welfare and health care... for the lazy. But I guess I'm a prick for saying that out loud... I guess I'm wrong... I guess I'm insensitive... Must be me, right?

Good point, Laird. So, my son and I were talking about his we watched "Seasame Street" together when he was a kid. Well, this pheature shows you how the show is not the same.

"Have you ever heard about sounding, Bert? It's when you insert a long, thing object in your urethra. I can fit two straws in there side by side."

Gene Wilder
June 11th, 1933 — August 29th, 2016
Got his golden ticket punched.

Steven Hill 
February 24th, 1922 — August 23rd, 2016
Going down, Hill.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
A pumpkin spice latte is the only thing white girls can even.

Today's guest is a singer from England whose new EP "High" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Hetty Clark.

Me: Hello, Hetty, welcome to the Phile. How are you? 

Hetty: Hi! I am happy to be on the Phile, thanks so much for having me! 

Me: Okay, so, I have to ask you about your name first... I was gonna comment it's very English sounding, and then I read you are from England. Ha! So, what part of England are you from? 

Hetty: Yes, I am from the U.K. and I am kind of happy that I will never escape my Englishness because of my name! My first home was in Islington, North London (though in the late 70s it was not the hip, affluent area that it is now!) We moved out to Hertfordshire, to an amazing house with a beautiful rambling garden. Rural Hertfordshire is all that you imagine English countryside to be; very green with lots of sheep! Now, like all the home counties, you get Starbucks and suburbia creeping in to the towns but the countryside is incredible considering it’s only an hour north of London. 

Me: I am originally from London myself, Hetty. So, how long have you been in the states? 

Hetty: I had no idea you are from London! Whereabouts are you from in London?

Me: I was born in Balham.

Hetty: Balham is great... some of my best friends live there. I moved to L.A. 3 years ago on the back of a project my husband was working on. It was going to be Seoul, South Korea but then at the last minute it was L.A. After a particularly grueling British winter I was totally up for a move to California! 

Me: Cool. Anyway, back to your name... are you named after somebody? You don't meet too many people with the same name I am guessing. Anyway, I like it. 

Hetty: Thanks so much! I’m not named after anyone as far as I know. I like how Hetty is a little retro sounding. 

Me: So, Adrienne VanDeRocker who I interviewed a few months ago suggested we get I contact with each other and I interview you. That's one of my favorite things about this stupid little blog... how my guests connect me to different people. So, how long have you known Adrienne? 

Hetty: I first met Adrienne as I became good friends with her sister-in-law and so I immediately went to check out her music, which I love. I sought her advise on venues and where to play here in L.A. She was fantastic and very helpful, a really cool girl. 

Me: So, what do you think of her album "Jupiter's Kiss?" Have you heard it? 

Hetty: I dig her album and think it is a great combination of high-octane alternative rock, with a really nice retro feel. I love how the album is infused with electronica too and this gives it a fresh edge. I think her band expanding will continue to evolve and sound fantastic. 

Me: Have you ever worked together or played together? 

Hetty: We haven’t worked together as such but I am in her network and so it would be fantastic to play together sometime. Actually she is expanding her band right now so you never know! 

Me: Okay, let's talk about your music. You have a new EP out called "High." This is not your first release, is it? 

Hetty: Yes, my debut EP was released in April 2015, "Laughing in the Dark." Josh Ricchio (Sing Engine Records) also produced this EP. 

Me: Did you write the songs on the EP yourself? 

Hetty: This current EP began with me writing piano sketches and lyrics but overall the EP is a collaborative project between myself, Josh Ricchio, who produced the EP and Tom Marshall who I play live with. Two of the tracks, "Nighthawker" and "The Best Is Yet To Come" began as Ricchio’s instrumental and I then wrote the lyric/vocal. So overall it was a very interesting project to be a part of, and I learnt a lot. 

Me: How would you describe this new EP to your past work? 

Hetty: I think in this EP my writing style has shifted a little more into a dream pop world, whereas before the style was alternative indie pop. I definitely feel that each project enables you to refine the sound that you feel best encapsulates the mood and message that you are offering up to your listeners.  

Me: So, how did "High" get to be the title, Hetty? 

Hetty: The title came to me because the songs as a collection are all in someway quite dreamy, yet dark at the same time. The EP is about how we are never fixed in any one moment but constantly shifting between feeling high or elated to the opposite darkness and everything in between. I think the songs dramatize how transient life is and it’s about finding the beauty in this. 

Me: So, when was the EP recorded? 

Hetty: So, the songs went through various revisions and many different mixes as all songs do but this meant that the EP ended up taking longer to produce. I think we started in around October 2015. At the time I had just finished writing some songs that were due to be released as an EP but instead they are now signed to SyncStories, a Music Publishing company in Santa Monica. 

Me: I hear a lot of Everything But The Girl in your music, Hetty. Are you a fan of that band? 

Hetty: I am a huge fan, yes undoubtedly! I love how the lyric and the music feel like they are in perfect sync, and there is a sort of mesmerizing inevitability about the songs and how they ended up sounding. I am sure the process was no way close to being so straightforward! I think Tracey Thorne has the most amazing natural sounding voice. She has a completely inimitable sound that is truly her own and to me this is the mark of a great vocalist. I love singers like Adele, and Alicia Keyes and admire so much their impressive vocal ranges, but I am also really attracted to voices that are powerful in an understated style. There can be an arrestingly beautiful quality to a voice that does not demand to be heard. 

Me: Who else are your influences?  

Hetty: The early 90s Bristol trip-hop scene inspires me and there definitely seems to be quite a revival of this going on. There are so many bands that influence me but I love Massive Attack, Portishead, Rosin Murphy, Fiona Apple, The xx, Haelos, Bat for Lashes and London Grammar. 

Me: Do you get to perform a lot of shows in and around L.A.? 

Hetty: I haven’t been performing too much lately as I have been concentrating on writing and recording. I would love to play some shows soon and plan on doing so. 

Me: Do you go to see many shows yourself? 

Hetty: I have just been to F.Y.F. and saw Grace Jones. She is such an iconic performer and what an inspiration to be rocking it with such panache at 68! I love getting out to shows. One of favorite venues here in L.A. is the Echo because I love a smaller intimate venue. I went to see Kate Tempest there, she is an incredible rapper/poet. I also love going to the Ace Hotel. 

Me: Do you remember what the first concert you ever saw was? 

Hetty: Actually my thing was raves, way before I was into seeing bands. I got totally caught up in the rave scene in London aged around 15 or so. At that time illegal raves were everywhere in warehouses and disused spaces and for a few years house music was obsessively my thing! Friday night at Heaven (you probably went yourself?) was awesome; the DJ’s were insane! It was a proper sweaty night out, gloves and whistles the lot in true early 90s style! I subsequently had to educate myself on bands as I had missed out on a few years of seeing live music. Saying that I was really into Velvet Underground, the Stones Roses and the Smashing Pumpkins. 

Me: I have never been to a rave. Haha. Growing up in England, did you listen to a lot of Top 40 on Radio 1? 

Hetty: I sure did when I lived there for a few years in the 80s. Absolutely Radio 1 was and still is the best place to check out new bands. Then of course there was John Peel, what an inspiration he was and his sessions introduced listeners to eclectic, emerging bands. 

Me: You went to university in Scotland, am I right? Where did you go and what did you study? 

Hetty: I was lucky enough to go to Edinburgh where I got a Masters degree in English Literature. In Scotland the Masters are all 4-year courses but in my 3rd year I lived in Madrid on an exchange Erasmus programme. I got to speak Spanish, stay up all night far too regularly and not do much in the way of studying for a year. It was heaven! 

Me: So, have you traveled around the states at all? 

Hetty: I have been lucky enough to travel in California & Utah and I’ve been to New York but not as yet travelled extensively within the states. I long to go to New Orleans, Portland, Austin, Texas, so many places. 

Me: Hetty, your music is relaxing which is a good thing. Are you relaxed when you write it?  

Hetty: Thank you so much! Writing takes me to a quiet place inside myself, so typically I am at my most relaxed unless I get really antagonized when it’s not going so well. It is the highs and lows of writing that I find so addictive. 

Me: What comes first, the music or lyrics? 

Hetty: I think previously I would have said the lyric, but the more I write I realize that for a song to reach people it has to have a clear definable structure with catchy hooks. At the end of the day you want people to remember the song and be able to hum the tune. I think this is the most important test of a good song, but if a song is going to stick I think the lyric needs to have a life of it’s own too. 

Me: You also did a song with Will Pharoah... is that a band or a person? 

Hetty: Will Pharoah is a production duo made up of Josh Ricchio (formerly Freak Owls) and Kolby Wade based in N.Y.  Ricchio is now based here in L.A. He created Sing Engine Records, which is a boutique record label, and together they write, publish and release works by many emerging and established artists. I have been writing with Josh since I met him in 2014 and he has been really instrumental in helping me develop my sound. 

Me: Do you like performing and working on your own stuff or with somebody else? 

Hetty: I work a lot on my own developing ideas lyrically and melodically and I really enjoy this but I also need to be working collaboratively with others to get inspired. Writing songs is a really intimate thing and for me it is all about getting in the room with other musicians and if there is a good chemistry you know you are on to something! Since living here in L.A. I have been really fortunate to work with a number of musicians, from diverse genres and it’s been great to learn and share ideas. 

Me: So, what's next for you, Hetty? A lot of promotion for your EP I am guessing. 

Hetty: I have just started an exciting new writing project with Ned Douglas, (Dave Stewart’s engineer). The intention behind the project is to create songs that are direct, raw and unforced. We are both really into dark, moody electronic music so I am excited to see how this project will unfold. 

Me: Alright, so, Adrienne hooked us up... so, is there anybody you can recommend I interview? 

Hetty: I would love to recommend my friend Lettie. She is a London based electro pop singer songwriter. She is a unique talent so please check her out and send her my love! 

Me: You are new to social networking, right? Do you wanna mention your website or Facebook? 

Hetty: I am fairly new to social media so it’s all a work in progress! Please check out my website for updates on my new project:, Soundcloud:, Facebook:, and   

Me: Hetty, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope it was fun and I hope you'll come back again. If you see Adrienne tell her I said hello. All the best.  

Hetty: Thanks so much for having me on the Phile, and hope to be back soon! I will pass on your best to Adrienne. 

Me: Good job. Thanks, Hetty. 

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Hetty. The Phile will be back next Saturday with Phile Alum Michael Fargnoli from Hadley's Hope. 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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