Hey, kids, good afternoon, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. What's up? Remember Garfield, the cartoon cat who loves lasagna? He recently caused quite the stir amongst the people of the Internet over what his gender identity is. No, I'm not kidding. "The Washington Post" reports that Garfield's Wikipedia page had to be put on lockdown after a "60-hour editing war" in which the cartoon cat's gender changed back and forth between "male" and "none." It all started when Twitter user Virgil Texas dug up an old interview Garfield creator Jim Davis did with Mental Floss back in 2015. "Dealing with eating and sleeping, being a cat, Garfield is very universal. By virtue of being a cat, really, he’s not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old," Davis said in the interview. Because of this, Texas declared that Garfield being genderless was "canon" and announced that he had changed the character's Wikipedia page to reflect that. This launched a furious behind-the-scenes discussion amongst Wikipedia users, with some citing specific moments in the Garfield comics and cartoon series that indicated the cat was of the male gender. (I highly suggest reading through some of the thread. It is truly incredible.) After much back-and-forth, Garfield's gender was officially listed as male on Wikipedia, citing four comic strips. One of those cited was this comic strip from 1979 in which a vet tells Garfield's owner, Jon, "He's too fat." PHEW. Glad we got THAT cleared up. Yes, this is a real thing the Internet was arguing about, but sadly, the debate is over... for now. What other beloved characters from our childhood have questionable genders? LET'S START A NEW INTERNET WAR!
St. Patrick's Day is just a couple weeks away, and everyone is getting ready for the celebration. Team Trump even released a special edition, St. Patrick's Day "Make America Great Again" hat. Super festive, right?! Too bad it has just one little mistake. See if you can find it.
Got it yet? Give up? The clover on the back of the hats has four leaves, while the shamrock, the symbol of Ireland, only has three. That's actually a four-leaf clover. Seems like a small mistake, right? Not on the Internet! The Irish aren't so thrilled about being associated with Trump. And one of these non-shamrock hats will only set you back $50! What a bargain! Maybe it's not too late for a re-print. (They should probably fix Trump's inauguration poster while they're at it, too.)
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (daughter of Mike Huckabee, no relation to Bernie Sanders) made the rounds on morning shows today to try and defend Donald Trump's baseless claim that Obama personally wiretapped his phones. Proving herself to be the new Kellyanne Conway in terms of LPM (Lies Per Minute) and attempts to dodge questions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders got totally torn apart by pesky attempts to yank out the truth. First, on "Good Morning America," she had no idea how to handle George Stephanopoulos pointing out that if Donald Trump were indeed under surveillance, "[t]here is a world of difference between an illegal wiretap ordered by a president and court-ordered wiretap approved by a federal judge. There is a world of difference between those two things." Huckabee Sanders responds that Trump doesn't accept FBI Director Comey's words (as per the "New York Times") that there was no such wiretapping. (Credit where credit is due: Huckabee Sanders did have a solid joke. "If the president walked across the Potomac, the media would report that he can't swim," she said, which is funny if you ignore the attempts to compare Donald Trump to Jesus.) On "The Today Show," Huckabee Sanders also got interrogated, just like Kellyanne Conway before her. Shit got just as real, Savannah Guthrie grilled Huckabee Sanders on whether Trump got his info on this conspiracy theory from the conservative web site Breitbart, or the president-y sources he has access too like real intelligence agencies. Alas, the spokesperson told Savannah Guthrie she did not speak to Trump. Watching Trump surrogates get roasted first thing in the morning is as energizing as coffee.
Everyone is getting pumped up for the release of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, but some folks in Alabama may not be able to see it at their local drive-in. The owner of Henagar Drive-In is banning Beauty and the Beast after it was announced that the film would include a gay character. Beauty and the Beast's director revealed in a recent interview that the character of LeFou, played by Josh Gad, would be openly gay. The owner told TMZ that he decided not to show the film after the character's sexuality was revealed because he "refused to compromise on what the Bible teaches." (Does the Bible not teach love and acceptance for all people?) "If we can not take our 11- year-old grand daughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it," the theater's owner continued. "If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it." He sounds like he'd be fun at parties. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's probably okay to take your kids to Beauty and the Beast, a Disney film about a princess.
Sam, this story is for you... Don't pack away the Pop Tarts and coffee just yet, you may be returning to Stars Hollow sooner than anticipated. According to "Time," Netflix has had “very preliminary” discussions with "Gilmore Girls" creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino about potentially producing a second season of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." Although nothing is set in stone yet, the success of the revival series definitely may have lit a fire under the butts of Netflix execs to produce more episodes pronto. Chief Content Officer for Netflix Ted Sarandos told Press Association in an interview that "The worst thing is to wait a couple of years for your favorite show to come back and for it to disappoint you but they sure delivered and people were really excited about more and we have been talking to [Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino] about the possibility of that." Now read that long, run-on sentence 10 times faster in Lorelei's voice. "Gilmore Girls" originally ran from 2000-2007, and "A Year in the Life" came to Netflix in November 2016. Although the revival series ended with quite the cliffhanger, fans were still uncertain if the mother/daughter comedy would continue on. The show's stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are keeping busy with other high profile projects, but if there are more "Gilmore Girls" episodes on the horizon, hopefully you don't have to wait another nine years to see them.
Recently I told you that "The Washington Post" added a slogan to their masthead. It says "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Before they used that slogan there was another one they used for a few days...
That's a stretch... I wonder how many of the readers here got that reference. Have you heard of Brazzers? It's a porn site in case you didn't know. I might or might not have went to that site. Well, the new video on it looks interesting.
I'd watch it. Hahaha. I mentioned about the wiretapping situation just now... well, I hate to say it but there's proof Obama is spying on Trump...
Maybe it is happening. Who knows? President Trump today has signed a new executive order... I wonder what it is.
I have no idea what he's trying to say. Now he's being stupid. The new thing is gender-free and there's a new gender-free PSA poster that's out there that I don't think is good.
See what I mean? So, there's a new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer out there and I am not sure about one scene in it. Check it out...
Kinda weird, right? So, there's a lot of Trump products out there and not all are flattering. Check this one out...
I think that's my favorite out of all the ones I showed you. You know how some magazines like to show you celebrities without makeup? Well, I thought I would do the same on the Phile.
Hahahaha. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...
Top Phive Shocking Revelations From Obama's Trump Tower Wiretaps
5. Trump once spent six hours on the phone with Reince Priebus in a game of "You Hang Up First, No, You Hang Up First!"
4. Last February, Trump ordered Melania the $19.95 Russel Stover milk chocolate Valentine's heart, but balked at the $34 assortment that included truffles.
3. A week does;t go by without Trump prank calling Chris Christie and offering him the ambassadorship to McDonaldland.
2. Trump has spent countless hours arguing with Dial-A-Mattress customer service over their policy of not exchanging urine-stained box springs.
And the number one shocking revelation from Obama's Trump Tower wiretap is...
1. Trump once put House Speaker Paul Ryan on hold, then went back out to dinner, came back, said, "Paul, are you still there? Good. It will be just a few more minutes!" Then went to bed.
Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, telling a good joke is not so hard... it's making people laugh that's the hard part. Anyway, there's this guy that says he is having problems telling funny jokes and wanted to come on the Phile and try a few out. So, I said, what the hell, why not? So, kids, please welcome back to the Phile...
Me: Hello, Ollie, last time you were here you told some jokes that weren't really funny. I hope you do a better job this time.
Ollie: Okay... I'm nervous.
Me: Don't be nervous... just tell a joke.
Ollie: Okay. Here's a poem to start off... Roses are red, Violets are blue. I have a gun. Get in the van.
Me: Umm... Ollie, that's not good. Why don;t you they a Knock Knock joke? Those are always funny.
Ollie: Okay. Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
Me: To who?
Ollie: To whom.
Me: Ugh! That was terrible, Ollie. You have one more chance.
Ollie: Okay. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
Me: Hahaha. That's better! Ollie the Guy Who Doesn't Know How To Tell A Joke. See you soon, Ollie.
Ollie: Thanks, bye.
Coffee is a brewed beverage that can be served either hot with your name misspelled on it or iced with your name misspelled on it.
Me: Hello, Brian, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?
Brian: Doing well. Thanks for having me.
Me: Okay, I have to ask you about the band name, Brian. If I had to take a guess I would say it means in English False Group Bandits. Am I right?
Brian: Well... no. Though that would be easier to pronounce. It translates to Fake Bahians, but it basically means Non-Brazilians. One time we were announced on stage as Falso Banho (The Fake Bathrooms), so I think any of the above would be preferable.
Me: So, no one in the band is from Brazil?
Brian: Initially, no. The core group is four Americans, but occasionally we collaborate with Brazilians, like on the new record and in concert these days.
Me: While we are at it, who is in the band and what do you guys play?
Brian: We have Zack Pitt-Smith (sax, flute and clarinet), Jesse Appelman (mandolin), Ami Molinelli (pandeiro, zabumba, other percussion), and myself (7 string guitar). Carlos Oliveira (7 string guitar/cavaquinho) and Rebecca Kleinnman (flute) have been performing with us sometimes.
Me: Brian, your band is a choro group, which I never heard of. I heard of a tasty treat called a churro (have you ever had one?) but what is a choro group?
Brian: I can say that churros taste way better than choro. But I still think choro sounds better. But maybe that's because last time I listened to a churro I burned my ear. Anyway, choro is a small-band style of music that developed in the late 1800s in Brazil. Many people say it's like baroque classical melodies mixed with syncopated samba-like rhythms. Instruments are traditionally acoustic (guitars, mandolins, flutes, hand drums, etc), and it has a particular swing that's closer to samba than bossa nova. It's relatively unknown in the U.S.
Me: Have you been playing this kind of music for a long time?
Brian: We've all been playing choro for about 10 plus years, though longer for Brazilian music. For example, I was first introduced to Brazilian music by way of bossa nova in 1995, because I was a jazz player, and the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim (famous bossa nova innovator) is prevalent in jazz.
Me: Have you ever been to Brazil?
Brian: Three times. My band mates have all lived there.
Me: Brian, where is the band based at?
Brian: We're in the San Francisco Bay area.
Me: Okay, let's talk about Grupo Falso Baiano's latest CD "Simpilicidade: Live at Yoshi's." This is the band's second album, am I right?
Me: How did you decide to release a live album so early on in the band's career?
Brian: We actually decided two days before the show that we should record it, out of sense of "what if." And we liked what we recorded! Plus, we had the chance to perform with Jovino Santos Neto (piano/accordion), and that was a rare treat. So it all came together rather quickly, and it was an easy decision to put out an album.
Me: The album before it is "Viajando: Choro e Jazz." I was surprised to find out that the live album has all new songs. Did you write songs just for the live album?
Brian: We actually didn't write any of the songs. Three of the compositions are Jovino's. The rest are covers.
Me: Ahhh. Where is Yoshi's by the way?
Brian: Yoshi's is in Oakland CA, though they opened a second one in San Francisco. The album was done at the Oakland location.
Me: I rethink my dad might've played there. With your studio album, I now know what choro is and of course know what jazz is, but what is viajando? It sounds like a character from Star Wars.
Brian: Intergalactic chore... I like it! Viajando means traveling. The title of our first album basically mean traveling (through) jazz and chore.
Me: Brian, who writes the music for the band? I am guessing you all take turns, am I right?
Brian: At the moment, we only play other people's compositions. We have a few originals in the closet, but the music is so relatively unknown that we feel that drawing from the thousands of choros that have already been written is a great way to bring the music to our mostly American audience.
Me: Do you play with other groups as well, like a lot of jazz artists do? They never seem to be happy with one group, they gotta have many.
Brian: Yeah, we jazz musicans get around. We all play with other groups, some Brazilian, some not.
Me: You play a seven string guitar, Brian. I am guessing those are hard to find. Does one extra string make a lot of difference?
Brian: They are hard to find, but it's easier now than when I started looking. It does make a difference. With that extra low string, you don't need bass, and it's a traditional element in chore.
Me: What made you decide to play a seven string guitar?
Brian: Jazz guitarist Howard Alden was my first introduction. And because of him, I started playing 7 string jazz guitar. When I was playing in a jazz group with Zack Pitt-Smith, he introduced me to choro, which has a rich 7 string guitar tradition... far more than jazz does. I was hooked!
Me: Are there any other instruments you play as well?
Brian: I also play mandolin and cavaquinho (traditional steel string soprano guitar from Brazil).
Me: Apart from jazz and choro, what other music do you like to play and listen to?
Brian: I'm a big flamenco fan. And being from New Jersey, I like classic rock, soul/r&b, hip-hop.
Me: I imagine you can play a wicked version of "Stairway to Heaven," or "Slow Ride."
Brian: You betcha! Jimmy Page was a big influence when I was in my teens learning to play guitar.
Me: You studied music at Berklee, right? Was that a fun experience?
Brian: Yes. I loved it. Playing music twenty-four hours a day while living in rat-infested off campus housing... what better way to prepare for the conditions of a professional jazz musician's life?!
Me: Okay, Brian, what's next for you and the Baiano's?
Brian: We're halfway through recording our new album.
Help us bring this batch of original tunes and a few classic sambas to life! Go to kickstarter.com/projects/1054663142/grupo-falso-baiano-3rd-album-fund.
Me: I have to say I like your song "Super Mario" on the first album. Is that the music from the video game?
Me: Are you guys Super Mario fans? Are there any other video game themes you guys play?
Brian: Who isn't?! That's the only video game theme we play.
Me: How on Earth did you choose that song?
Brian: Our mandolinist Jesse was noodling in a rehearsal one day, and he played it, and we all looked at each other. "That's it!" we thought; let's put it on our record.
Me: Cool! Thanks so much for being on the Phile, and I hope you can come back again, and this was fun for you.
Brian: Thanks, and we will.
Me: Go ahead and mention your website, Brian.
Me: Thanks again and take care, Brian.
Brian: You too.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Brian Moran. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Haikal from Hoody Woody Freaky. 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