Monday, December 26, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alumni Makar

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday... it's Boxing Day, and the third day of Hanukkah. Hmmmm... I don't see Hanukkah on the calendar... but I do see Boxing Day. This entry is also the last entry of 2016. Thank God 2016 is almost over. There's no way 2017 can be any wor...

Ha. Moving on.
Sometimes it feels like I am allergic to working, but at least that is not actually the case, unlike the thousands of American Airlines flight attendants who claim their new uniforms are actually making them ill. "NBC News" reports that the new uniforms, which were issued in September, are causing a variety of issues, including eye swelling, rashes, skin blistering, wheezing, headaches and vertigo. Sounds bad. More than 2,200 flight attendants have filed complaints through the Association of Professional Flight Attendants union, which represents more than 25,000 attendants at American Airlines. Flying is already uncomfortable enough that I cannot imagine additionally being constricted by a starchy suit that is trying to ruin my life. On Wednesday, the president of the union, Bob Ross, wrote a letter to American's general counsel asking them to stop issuing the uniforms. "Personal health is so integral and critical to our Flight Attendant workforce, who must be able to work in a healthy manner and environment," he said. "To do so, our members need proper and safe uniforms." Along with requesting that American issue different uniforms, Ross also asked that the airline give its employees the sick leave they have requested, reimburse them for their medical costs, and launch a $2 million investigation into what is going on with the faulty uniforms. Since receiving the initial complaints, the airline says they've conducted three rounds of testing on the old uniforms and the new ones, as well as the packaging that they come in. Sounds a lot more in-depth than the "smell tests" I usually conduct on my own clothing. But apparently this isn't a new issue for American Airlines. In 2012, the company was the subject of a class action lawsuit that was filed after a similar complaint that the uniforms the flight attendants were being forced to wear were making them sick. What weird poison are they coating their clothing with? Hopefully the union can force American to comply to their demands, so that their employees can continue to do their already physically taxing jobs. Anyway, remember when being a flight attendant used to be glamorous? Me either. Seems like no matter how classy I dress, flying all ways makes me feel farty and bad. Bless the men and women who put their bodies through this on a regular basis and now have to wear evil uniforms sent to destroy them.
President-elect Donald Trump has been having a tough time finding anybody to perform at his inauguration January in Washingon, D.C. As of now, there are only three confirmed performers... the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, "America's Got Talent" alumna Jackie Evancho, and the Radio City Rockettes, who apparently have no choice in the matter despite at least some of the women reportedly being "appalled." James Dolan, the executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company (which owns the Rockettes dancers), issued the following statement confirming their appearance, "The Radio City Rockettes, an original American brand, have performed at Radio City Music Hall since 1932 and, as treasured American icons, have taken part in some of the nation’s most illustrious events such as Super Bowl halftime shows, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades and presidential inaugurations, including in 2001 and 2005. We are honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities." But clearly not all the Rockettes are on board. Rockette Phoebe Pearl posted an Instagram photo of the Rockettes dancing (which can no longer be viewed since she's made her account private), with a caption about her dislike of Donald Trump, reading, "I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts #notmypresident." A source told Perez Hilton, "It's been leaked that AGVA, the union who represents the Rockettes told the group of girls who contracted to do ALL promo events, that if they don't perform in the Trump inauguration, they will be sued/and or fired." And according to Broadway World, an email was sent to all the Rockettes concerning their performance at Donald Trump's inauguration, reading, "Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace... If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated. Doing the best performance to reflect an American Institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job." Sad!
Confusion swirled Friday evening as preliminary reports stated that actress Carrie Fisher, 60, was in serious condition after suffering a cardiac arrest on a plane moments before it was due to land in Los Angeles en route from London. According to TMZ, the medical emergency occurred about 15 minutes prior to touchdown, and an EMT "sitting in the back of the plane came up to first class and administered life-saving measures." An "unresponsive" Fisher was then rushed to UCLA Medical Center. Although at one point on Friday evening her brother Todd Fisher told the press that she had been stabilized and removed from the ER, he later clarified that she was in the intensive care unit and that it was too soon to say what her condition was. "We have to wait and be patient," he said, according to "USA Today." "We have so little information ourselves." On Twitter, friends and fans of the Star Wars icon... whose recent memoir "The Princess Diarist" recounted behind-scenes-secrets of the original film... expressed their heartfelt best wishes for Fisher, as well as the confidence that 2016 would not claim yet another beloved celebrity too young to depart from us. Fisher is currently being attended to not just by doctors but her daughter, Billie Lourd, as well as her French bulldog, Gary. So top-quality care all around. We're rooting for you, Princess.
If skin cancer wasn't enough of a threat to avoid tanning beds, then maybe the prospect of getting herpes will do the trick. Because, as it turns out, getting herpes and other STDs from a tanning bed is highly possible. It actually happens more often than you'd think. Dawn Marie Davies, associate professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told Yahoo, "In my practice, I've seen acquired bacterial infections, warts, and herpes infections from tanning beds. Ultraviolet light can theoretically kill germs, but it's not enough to kill germs on the tanning bed..." WHAT?! Uh, this is terrifying. Oh wait, it gets worse. "What's interesting is that when you use the ultraviolet light over and over again... and the tanning bed lights are on for multiple hours a day... if the bacteria or virus is exposed to some antiseptic but not enough to kill it, or some light but not enough to kill it, it can grow stronger and then it becomes resistant." Are we talking about herpes or Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Remember, there's no cure for herpes, although it can be treated. A person is most infectious during a random flare-up, or, as it turns out, while they're trying to look sexy on a tanning bed. Let's just adjust our thinking on sexy, and start to find pale sexy. It's easy, watch. Oh wow, your skin is so milky smooth, it's like I've fallen into a bath of baby powder…
As Andy Warhol's prophecy goes, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Well, 2016 certainly was the future, and we saw many people and animals achieve their 15 minutes. Raise a glass... and pour one out... for the people who saw their fame come and go this year.  Here are three that I talked about on the Phile this year... This year was so bleak that a woman became an international hero simply by smiling and laughing. Chewbacca Mom (real name: Candace Payne) brought so much awareness to the previously forgotten Star Wars franchise that she got to visit headquarters, as well as bike with everyone's favorite walking carpet around the Facebook battle station. Then there was Ken Bone... Ah, yes. Ken Bone. An undecided voter who was cute and meme-able until the stakes became so damn high. The winner of the second presidential debate charmed voters on both sides of the aisle. While we never got to hear his political opinions, the people did get to read his opinion on Jennifer Lawrence's buttonhole. In 2016, it was possible to check any page on the Internet without encountering a Harambe meme. The furry gorilla was just too pure for this world and was martyred on May 28th, 2016 after a three-year-old boy jumped into his enclosure at a Cincinnati zoo. Unlike Harambe himself, the meme did not die and tributes popped up everywhere with the tongue very, very much in the cheek.
Hey, the Phile has a new sponsor...

I might have to try that. I don't know about you, but I love pie charts so I think this one is relevant...

Hey, so, did you see Rogue One? They announced the title of the next Star Wars movie already.

Hahaha. And they are already filming the sequel to Rogue One and I have an exclusive behind-the-scenes pic.

There's a new Star Wars product by the way that just hit the shelves.

I have no idea what it does... but I might get to for my Slave Leia collection. Haha. So, if you are wondering what I thought of this year, wonder no more, people, thanks to this new mind reader device.

Yup... that's about right. Alright, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between The Electoral College And Rogue One
5. Introduces us to a bleak, dystopian society.
4. Has spurred months of baseless speculation and rumor.
3. Part of a series that should've been discontinued decades ago.
2. Haunted by the presence of a looming, monstrous tyrant.
And the number one similarity or difference between the Electoral College and Rogue One is...
1. Features a small band of rebels pulling off a stunning, last-second victory.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile for the last entry of 2016. How are you?

Jeff: Happy Boxing Day to you. I prefer Wrestling Day, but that's me. And as always glad to be back here on the Phile.

Me: I am glad this year is almost over, aren't you?

Jeff: I am glad that 2016 is almost over. Twenty-sixteen can go choke on an (expletive deleted).

Me: Hahaha. Okay, so, the Giants lost to the Eagles... a game they should've won.

Jeff: Yes, New York should have won. I'm a huge fan of Eli and all, but his interceptions really kill that team. If you take away that interception returned for a touchdown, New York wins.

Me: Did you see Odell's reaction after the game? Banging his head against a wall. I was like, man, what are you doing? You have gotta be a better sport than that.

Jeff: Man, are you really surprised? I'm not. I like Beckham most of the time, but the last year has kind of proven that he has acted like a spoiled brat. He's a few years away from writing a book called "Throw Me the Damn Ball 2.0" like Keyshawn Johnson. But the spelling in the book will be as bad as Donald Trump's. Which is unpresidently bad.

Me: Speaking of Odell, I thought it's cool he wore cleats made with grass from his high school’s field inside them. He is known to change his cleats with different themes. Is any of your Steeler guys that cool?

Jeff: That is cool. None of the Steelers do anything like that. At least that I know of.

Me: The Browns won, Jeff! Did you see after they beat the Chargers of all teams with a last-second missed field goal by San Diego, fans in Cleveland took no more than minutes to begin selling champion-like merchandise to celebrate their first win in 377 days?

Jeff: In fairness, if it was 377 days between your victories you'd be throwing a party too. And fans in Detroit are celebrating since they are still the only NFL team in history to go 0-16. See? Last week I said I wasn't going to say they couldn't possibly go 0-16 and then they go ahead and win a game!

Me: I think it's funny. So, did you see Detroit is the latest team to change its name and logo?

Jeff: Ions? They are positively charged that they are the only team in NFL history to go 0-16. A little science humor. You're welcome!

Me: Good one. Alright, what NFL news do you have?

Jeff: The biggest news is two quarterback's went down with injuries this week. Both suffered leg injuries. Marcus Mariotta of the Titans will miss the final game of the regular season. They were eliminated from the playoffs so it doesn't hurt as bad (well, for him it hurts!) unlike Derek Carr who could miss playoff time due to his leg injury. The other big news is the playoff scene is starting to come a little bit more into focus. In the AFC the playoffs are set. The six teams in the playoffs are New England, Oakland, Houston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Miami. The NFC is a little tighter. The NFC North is still up for grabs between Detroit and Green Bay, There's also one wild card spot up for position. Green Bay could win the division or they could be a wild card depending on the results of Detroit vs Dallas on "Monday Night Football." The Giants are the other NFC wild card.

Me: Okay, how did we do with the last picks?

Jeff: We both went 1-1 on with our picks. The Steelers won this week so I gained another point after the Giants lose. My lead now is 10 points.

Me: Expletive deleted. Haha. Let's pick the next games... I say Patriots by 5 and Bengals by 6. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks are Vikings by 6 and Seattle by 8. This marks the end of the regular season so I will see you in the playoffs!

Me: Alright, Jeff, have a good new year and I will see you back here on Sunday the 1st.

George Michael 
June 25th, 1963 — December 25th, 2016
Trying to narrow down cause of death. Possibilities: Boom boom in heart, jitterbug in brain, hanging like yo-yo, years of drug use and driving under the influence. Has to be one of those.

The 55th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Dave will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's Alumni guests are the two members that make up the band Makar. Their latest single "Zombies Have Rights Too" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile...
Andrea DeAngelis and Mark Purnell.

Me: Hey, kids, welcome back to the Phile. How's it been?

Mark: It’s been great, Jason. Thanks for having us back!

Me: So, you're still living in NYC I am guessing, am I right?

Mark: Always and forever. No other city for Makar. We can only exist in a certain ecosystem, and this be it.

Andrea: I think I’ve said this before but New York City is my country! Especially now. Honestly, there is so much to explore in all the boroughs of this wonderful city.

Me: Have you been playing many shows around town?

Mark: Nope, it’s all about the new album, "Fancy Hercules," now. Just recording, rehearsing with our new drummer, Livia Ranali from the End Men, and doing a national/international radio campaign for "Funeral Genius." We’ve been practicing at these amazing artist studios called Spaceworks. 

Andrea: Spaceworks is a nonprofit cultural community development organization dedicated to expanding the supply of long-term, affordable rehearsal and studio space for artists working in New York City. We just recently practiced in the Williamsburgh Library via Spaceworks when no one else was around, felt like we were Ghostbusters or something. We are planning on doing live streaming via Facebook and City Bird is having us do a live show in January.

Me: What's your favorite gig you two have played?

Mark: For me it was our second Knitting Factory show. The energy was incredible and at the end of the last song Damion Day I connected with the high note in a primal scream that puts a smile on my face to this day. Andrea was shredding, Mark Nilges was laying down serious bass action and Dawn McGrath was drumming like a fiend as I held the note like some crazed meth head in need of a hit. It was just Makar at our most rocking and at the end of the show people were going crazy, clapping and screaming and it felt amazing! Nothing better than connecting with an audience.

Andrea: I don’t know, I’ve enjoyed a lot of them. But I think recently, I really enjoyed playing Leftfield on Ludlow on a cold day in January because my dad and my brother attended and it was a small intimate concert with a lot of funny chatter from the peanut gallery. I was so relaxed even though it was the first time playing some of our new tunes!

Me: Last time we were here we talked about your band name... Makar... the origin of it. Did you know there's a character in "Legend of Zelda" or whatever the game is called named Makar?

Andrea: I am vaguely aware of this. Not before we picked the name though! Neither Mark nor I play many video games due to the possibility of our latent tendonitis flaring up. Ah, the joys of the modern world!

Me: Does anybody ever ask of the name is a combination of your two first names... Andrea and Mark?

Mark: Everyone thinks it’s an anagram of my name with an extra a but it’s not. Just Andrea chilling with the dictionary working on her debut novel, "Pushed." Being a published poet she loved that it meant poet in 15th century Scottish. Makar is all about the new and the old, combining old and new music styles, old and new word play, so it made sense for us to name our band something old that something new would emerge from, like our upcoming album "Fancy Hercules."

Andrea: We only realized that it could be a combo of our two names after the fact, must have been subconscious!

Me: Andrea, are you still writing poetry?

Andrea: Sadly, I haven’t had as much time for poetry as I would like due to our recent move and recording. But I hope to get back into it. I have been working on odd little stories and recently got another story accepted to "Timeless Tales."

Me: What's "Timeless Tales"?

Andrea: Timeless Tales is a digital magazine exclusively publishing retellings of fairy tales and classic myths. This new story I wrote is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Snow Queen."

Me: Also, are you still taking a lot of pictures? You're into photography, right?

Andrea: I would love to do more purposeful photography. Mostly Mark and I have just been posting to our Instagram @makarmusic which is definitely fun. But I’m making a resolution to really start taking photos seriously again after watching the inspiring melancholy documentary "Finding Vivian Maier." I always feel like I should be taking pictures but sometimes I experience this lethal hesitation when snapping a shot. Like who am I to add to the sensory overload that is a modern dilemma? Recently, I’ve only been really using my iPhone but I’d like to get back to a real deal camera. I like using an inexpensive fisheye camera with actual film. It’s kinda revolutionary not to be able to see what you’ve taken instantly after you clicked but then having to get the photos printed and then to scan and then upload is a little bit of a pain.

Me: That's ones of the best things about NYC... you are never short of shit to take pictures of. What's your favorite thing to snap?

Andrea: Art... unexpected and expected. Odd angles of architecture and shadow. Chronicling our gallivanting around the city and the sky never fails to disappoint. I don’t know if I really have any one specific thing I like to take pictures of but I liken it to this amazing art show I saw years ago at Crest Hardware in Brooklyn. The works of art would be hanging in the store’s aisles surrounded by actual regular day items for sale, the effect being that you weren’t sure what was art and what wasn’t. I walked outside and saw “ordinary” things as extraordinary and in a new light.

Me: Andrea, you took some great creative photos when you jumped into your parent’s pool. I have to show one here...

Me: What made you think of doing that?

Andrea: Thank you! Honestly, I think I saw these water proof disposable cameras on sale at CVS and I thought how cool. I love to swim and love being underwater. I basically swim like a frog so I’ve always wanted to capture that feeling of the water and being underwater but if I didn’t see those cameras, I probably wouldn’t have thought of it. So serendipity.

Me: Mark, do you have any hobbies like Andrea has?

Mark: I love anything that has to do with art, so we’re always going to museums, shows, movies, dance, plays or exhibits or taking pictures. Both of my parents were visual artists and photographers. Currently I’m working on my own debut novel called "Owen Little Way," a coming of age story. I also write a little poetry besides lyrics, some of which will be in my book and some of which I’ve read during live interviews. The following poem is something I wrote that is the very beginning of my book: Promise I was a tree
burned down by my own hand, I was a spirit
pulled down to the ground, I was the sun

Me: I saw pictures that you kids went to a Ramones exhibit. Where was that?

Mark: The Queens Museum, which was recently renovated and is a lot of fun to visit. The show was amazing and there were even live punk bands playing their own songs on the main room floor. It was kick ass to see how many kids are still influenced by the Ramones and punk music.

Andrea: What I was most impressed with in that exhibit was the sheer sonic power of the Ramones. How they faced off like a front line of punk and raw rock and roll. Their very physical stance recalled a force not to be messed with and their instruments their weapons of choice.

Me: Are you two fans of the Ramones?

Andrea: How could you not be?

Mark: Love them. Especially love that they were from Queens which isn’t always considered the coolest place, but hey the Ramones came from there so people need to recognize. They were an amazing band, playing CBGBs and keeping songs short and powerful. They inspire the length of our songs completely. In fact every time we’re writing a new song the punk ethos of not writing bloated rock songs is in full effect. Towards the end of the seventies bands were putting out 10, 15, 20 minute songs, just wanking off for hours in total self-indulgence. Punk came along and said enough of that bullshit, let’s get back to raw, powerful, real, energetic, spit in your face, cut you like a razor music and the Ramones were at the forefront of that. Them, the Pistols and the originators of punk, the band Death. Sometimes we have to be careful because we have minute and a half songs on "Fancy Hercules" that won’t get played on the radio because they have a two and a half minute limit to which I say bollocks! If the song is good… play it, moos!

Me: Ever see them live? I am lucky that I got to see them live once many years ago in the early 90s. And I saw Joey Dee Dee at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood once.

Mark: No, we didn’t, but that must have been incredible. At the Queens exhibit they had movie screen sized footage of them playing live and it was unbelievable how fast and furious they played. They were awesome. No two ways about that. We did get to see the New York Dolls though, and that was amazing too. Saw them at the Williamsburg Music Hall and they still had it, in fact many people were saying they sounded better than ever and I have to say they sound pretty damn great!

Me: So, you two are married, right? I think we went over that last time you were here.

Mark: Twenty years brother. Love of my life, best friend, songwriting partner, book collaborator, Tazmanian devil, punk rock diva and just all around beautiful baby who can wail like nobody’s business. Our songs don’t even begin to showcase the power in her voice. She shreds the Runaways’ "Cherry Bomb" like she was born to it then turns around and sings high clear angelic soprano like Joni Mitchell. Just one awesome lady. I’m a very lucky man. Andrea hadn’t picked up a guitar since she was 12 when we got married, was writing away happily and then she becomes this songwriting, guitar playing, singing force of nature. I didn’t see that coming.

Andrea: I love my hubby. I don’t know what I would do without Mark. Seriously he gets me through especially these days. During the work week, I have to have lunch with him every day. We’re lucky we’re in walking distance of each other’s day jobs. He is my love, my best friend, my inspiration and makes me a better person. We are so fortunate to have each other.

Me: Did you meet before you two were musicians?

Mark: Yeah, we met at the College Board, maker of the SAT. If there was one place on the planet I would never have thought I’d be working at, that was it. But it actually turned out to be a cool place full of artists and writers. We were working one half of the same day job, a team from the beginning. We became best friends after three days and it wasn’t until a bartender told us we were in love that it turned all romantic. Kissed her at three in the morn on a subway platform after some party. I didn’t care that the hobos were lookin’ on. I was in love and to this day the fire still burns like it was yesterday.

Andrea: Mark actually almost stepped on this big dude’s foot and he was about to get into Mark’s face but then he saw we were in love... L-U-V and was like have a good night.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new single "Zombies Have Rights Too." Hahaha. I disagree, but I love the song. Which one of you wrote it?

Mark: Ha! Complete collaboration on this one. That’s kind of where we’re at as songwriters now. We were rehearsing and I started noodling around on chords from another song, just the I, IV and V, and it sounded magical. Then Andrea started singing zombies have rights too and it was like I think we might have something here ladies and gentlemen. We had just watched an episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" where the whole idea of zombies being spirits stuck in purgatory that need guiding to the next world and not just monsters was being put forth and it blew our minds. Also, the way Rick on "The Walking Dead" in season one saw that half zombie woman crawling towards him and saw her as a person not a thing. A person like him who was now the living dead, but who had once had dreams and a soul and a family. It got us right in the gut and we penned this beauty as an ode, an anti-folk number, funny but not funny, serious but ridiculous and all in time for Halloween and to try to get it on the fan art portions of "Talking Dead."

Andrea: It’s kinda a Spinal Tap moment where Nigel is playing these beautiful chords on an upright piano and Rob Reiner asks him what the song will be called and he says, “Lick My Love Pump." Also, one of my favorite Clash songs is "Know Your Rights" so we riffed on that. I’ve wanted to write a funny zombie song for a while now but wasn’t sure how to go about it until inspiration struck Mark and me. The more I learn about the Day of the Dead, the more I see what a beautiful tradition it is, the gatherings of family and friends to remember and pray for loved ones who have died and help them on their spiritual journey. I’m not sure how this entirely works with our silly song except that it helped inform and change our thinking about death and zombies which says something in the overworked (but awesome) zombie genre.

Me: I take it you two are fans of "The Walking Dead." What are your favorite characters?

Mark: Super fans! My favorites are Carol and Michonne because they are both kick ass women and as a feminist I love seeing strong leading women, superheroes, especially when they’re wielding Katanas. I used to do a little kendo back in the day and that is one good weapon to have in the apocalypse.

Andrea: Neither one of us have read much of the comics. I just don’t want to spoil the story for myself. I love Carol and Michonne for the same reasons above but I also dig Morgan. His arc on the show is so interesting and compelling. He went from killing everyone living or dead to pledging to not kill anyone living. He falters but is still trying to stick to his moral path which is commendable in any world, apocalypse or not. Mark and I are also enjoying the spin-off series of "Fear the Walking Dead." There’s something looser about this prequel, maybe it’s because we haven’t spent as long with the characters and it’s not tied to the graphic novels and the characters like Travis and Nic seem even more conflicted and complicated, perhaps because they are less familiar. We didn’t start off watching "The Walking Dead" from the very beginning but the episode that hooked us was the one about Rick’s group finding sanctuary in the CDC. I think it would have been hard for me to stomach the gore without that thoughtful accidental introduction. I have a love hate relationship with horror, I am compelled to watch it but I hate the nightmares I usually have after watching. But I still do it, but gotta hone my apocalypse survival tactics because you know we’re going to need them.

Me: Anyway, was this a spur of the moment song, you two?

Mark: Totally!

Andrea: I think we literally started writing and working on the song the week after the "Fear the Walking Dead"’s mid-second-season finale "Shiva."

Me: I like the zombie sounds in the background. Is that both of you doing it?

Mark: YES! Glad you like them. Andrea went all out. I’m basically snoring, but in a kind of zombie menacing way if they were stuffed up. Unfortunately, Andrea probably recognizes those sounds all too well, but she went above and beyond. Kind of like a psychotic zombie totally losing her shit. I was super impressed with her zombie vocal abilities.

Andrea: Yeah, I was inspired, I’m not sure I could repeat them. Mark was like you can just make the noises in the same room with me when we were recording and I said there is no way I can do that without cracking up.

Me: You two need to visit Orlando and I’ll take you to a zombie experience where you get to shoot zombies. It’s so much fun. Have you two ever been to Disney or Orlando?

Mark: We’re so there! And want to see the new Kong ride too. Supposed to be amazing!!!!! We also have to do the Potter thing, and we went to Iceland in November and did the "Game of Thrones" tour. You know nothing Jon Snow! But Makar knows everything. Muhahahahahaha!

Andrea: I went with my family a couple times to Orlando. It was awesome except for the part when my parents tried to have a romantic dinner and we were left in the hotel room, watching TV. We started to watch this made for TV movie where these three kids were abandoned by their family out in the woods. Then my older brother convinced me and my younger brother that our parents were never coming back. We started screaming and crying running down the hotel hallways until management found my parents at the restaurant and told them their kids were going ape-shit.

Me: Haha. Your last album was "Funeral Genius" and that came out awhile ago now. When does your next one come out?

Mark: "Fancy Hercules" is on its way my man. Set for a September 2017 release and another national/international radio campaign! Fourteen songs of pure Makar madness. We’re totally stoked.

Andrea: Yep, we’re still working away on "Fancy Hercules," it’s coming. We’re kind of recording things a bit backwards... guitar, piano, vocals first and then we will go into the studio and add drums. We have pretty finished tracks for "I’m Glad," "Love and Confusion" and "Time Flies" and are currently working on the title track, "Fancy Hercules." I’m trying to get my slide on and experiment more so hopefully you will see more of that.

Me: Okay, this is the Phile’s 10th anniversary and I have been asking my Alum guests this year what they were doing ten years ago in 2006… so, what were you both doing?

Mark: Meditating on the top of Everest. I had gone for a Sunday stroll to clear my head and just happened to make it up in one go. Didn’t even need base camp to adjust my oxygen levels. Just went for it and once I had seen the view, which wasn’t too shabby, I slid back down, just my snow pants taking the hits, and there were many because that damn mountain is rocky! But I made it down in one piece, knocked about but much wiser. I don’t know, either that or Makar had just released our debut album, "99 Cent Dreams," and unleashed holy hell on the man!

Andrea: Still working on my damn novel.

Me: Thanks, kids, for being back on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Before you go mention your Facebook, Twitter, website and anything else. Visit soon here or I might have to visit you in NYC.

Andrea: Come to NYC! We’ll grab some beers! Cheers!

Mark:,, Twitter: @makarmusic, Facebook: makarrocks.

Me: Good job, see you guys soon.

That about does it for this entry and this year for the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Mark and Andrea. The Phile will be back next Sunday with singer Melody Federer. Spread the word, not the turd. 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

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