Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Man, it's so hot out. My favorite outdoor activity is going back inside. Haha. Okay, I have to talk about something very serious... Star Wars Land, now called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be opening in 2019 at Disney World and Disneyland and fans were thrilled to get a comprehensive look at the detailed scale model on display at the D23 Expo. The Star Wars Land was first confirmed for Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland almost two years ago, but information has been a bit skimpy, with some concept art released, but nothing substantial. Until now. OrlandoInfomer.com further explains some of the highlights of the model, such as one jungle area, "which will have guests pilot the legendary Millennium Falcon on a 'customized secret mission'; the ship herself can be seen parked off towards the middle of the model, at a spaceport that will also hold special significance for guests and Star Wars Land's overarching narrative." Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, who unveiled the model at a special D23 Expo 2017 event, said of the new land, "To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement. All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model, we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be." I. Can't. Wait.
I am sure you know this story, but just in case you don't... After being alerted that the "New York Times" was sniffing around, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out the email exchange in which he set up a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in Trump Tower for dirt on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This seems too good to be true, but this is very much real life. The younger Trump got an email from Russian music publicist Rob Goldstone which states, "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump."The subject line is literally "Re: Russia - Clinton - private and confidential." On June 3rd, 2016, Trump Jr. received a message which, as the "Times" notes, "...[C]ould hardly have been more explicit: One of his father's former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton." Rob Goldstone, who is a British publicist, wrote to Trump Jr.,"Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump... helped along by Aras and Emin." Aras and Emin are Aras and Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star who literally had President Donald Trump appear in one of his music videos. Donald Trump Jr.'s reply? It came within minutes. And he wrote, "If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer." Junior quickly looped in "Paul Manafort (campaign boss)" and "my brother-in-law" Jared Kushner, who still has security clearance within the Trump administration. Six days later came the fateful Trump Tower meeting with a "Russian government attorney," as the "Times" describes, "On June 9th, the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president." Holy shit, is he dumb.
Well, this is infuriating. A former congressional staffer is facing charges for allegedly sharing nude and embarrassing photos of his boss, the delegate to Congress from the U.S. Virgin Islands, after going through her phone without her permission. According to CNN, Del. Stacey Plaskett allowed staffer Juan McCullum to take her iPhone to the Apple Store when it started malfunctioning in March of last year. During that trip, it seems that McCullum decided to go through his boss's phone, and according to court documents, he took "private, nude images and video" off of it. The indictment alleges that the following July, McCullum created a fake email address and sent at least ten messages with the images attached to members of the media, other politicians, and people Plaskett knows. He also allegedly created a phony Facebook account and posted the photos there. Last year, an aide told CNN that the images included a topless photo of Plaskett and an "innocent" video of her husband wearing makeup and playing with their daughter. McCullum is charged with two counts of cyberstalking. One of Plaskett's other staffers, Dorene Browne-Louis, is facing obstruction of justice charges for allegedly deleting texts from McCullum and misleading law enforcement, CNN reports. Plaskett released a statement in which she thanked the Capitol police and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for their investigation into McCullum's alleged crimes."While we continue to be saddened by the damage we suffered as a result of those egregious acts, my family is also incredibly thankful to the people of the Virgin Islands, who have shown us tremendous care, sensitivity and love throughout this ordeal," Plaskett said in the statement. Before he was in politics, McCullum apparently used to be a contestant on the VH1 reality show "I Love New York." CNN reports that his court date has yet to be scheduled. Browne-Louis pled not guilty to her charges in district court on Thursday. Hey, guys, don't go through your boss's phone, and definitely don't take their private, intimate photos off their phone and email them to members of the media. Okay? Cool, good talk.
Sorry, everyone: Kid Rock... the singer/rapper/yeller who brought us "bawitaba da bang da bang diggy diggy diggy shake the boogie said up jump the boogie"... just announced he's running for the U.S. Senate. I'm tired of the ba-wit-a-ba jokes already. And yes, this, like the rest of 2017, is unfortunately real. A few days ago the singer/rapper-ish tweeted this...
Before you freak out, CNN is reporting that there "appears to be no Federal Election Committee records filed under 'Kid Rock' or his legal name Robert James Ritchie or Robert Ritchie." Meaning his run isn't "official" yet. But, provided he does figure out HOW to do it, it certainly does seem like a distinct possibility that the Michigan-native, a known conservative, could try to jump-yell his way in to politics. And judging from the VERY STRONG reactions on Twitter, most people would not see this as a ha-wit-a-win (sorry) for America. C'mon, America. We can not let this happen. HIS NAME IS quite literally KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID.
Former president Bill Clinton, who may or may not smoke weed (he 100% smokes weed), made the ultimate dad joke last night at the expense of Press Secretary Sean Spicer. It's been a while since we've seen Bill this pleased about anything not involving balloons! While visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas, the former President posed for a photo with two statues of George and George W. Bush.
Just as Sean Spicer famously did to escape reporters, silly Billy hid in the "Bushes." GET IT? And Clinton just doubled down on the joke, with ANOTHER dad joke...
Someone get this man a microphone! He's on a roll!
On Wednesday, White House stooge Kellyanne Conway appeared on "Hannity" to talk about Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign in light of Donald Trump Jr.'s bombshell email scandal. During the interview, Conway randomly produced two large flashcards with the words "Conclusion? Collusion. Illusion. Delusion " on them to, in her words, "help all the people at home" with a visual aid. What, did Betsey DeVos come up with this lesson plan? She added, “What’s the conclusion? Collusion? No. We don’t have that yet.” Key word being yet, I suppose. If you don't believe this is real... look...
It's like she's asking to become a meme. Oh, Kellyanne. You make it way to easy sometimes. Right after Kellyanne held up those cards, she held up two others apparently.
Hey, it's Sunday, I should be listening to this record instead of doing this blog...
I bet it's a good one. Ever go to Goodwill? I have only been there once and I didn't buy anything. I wish I would of seen this there...
I bet it's a funny book. So, at D23 they showed a pic from the new Avengers: Infinity War movie. I happen to have it here in case you didn't see it.
It looks kids good. If you go to the beach this weekend, I hope you see something that looks like this, kids...
That should of been a Mindphuck. Do you kids have a fidget spinner? Well, the popularity of them is going a little bit too far. Check out this pic from the new Star Wars movie...
Hahahahaha. Alright, so, if you ever think about cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...
She's really cute. Tim, how could you cheat on her? Well, it's summer and like the past summer's on the Phile I am showing you some bathing suits or bikini's you might see if you go to the beach. Like this one...
If the hairy chest swimsuit wasn't enough to freak the hired help out, this Shocked Trump one piece should do the trick. Also by Beloved Shirts, the suit features 45 with his mouth agape for a mere $49.99. Before you head beachside, however, you have to wait about ten days for delivery, as every Beloved Shirts suit is handmade. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Phascinating Phacts About Kid Rock's Senate Run
5. Senator Kid Rock would be the only title nearly as horrifying as President Donald Trump.
4. He vows to drastically increase Michigan's stupid-fedora budget.
3. If elected, he'll be the second member of the Senate, after Mitch McConnell, to have appeared in a sex tape with Scott Stapp.
2. He'll revive Michigan's economy through a mix if tax breaks, training programs and screaming "Bawitdaba" over and over again.
And the number one fascinating phact about Kid Rock's Senate run is...
1. He'll campaign under his del name: Kiddington Thaddeus Rockefeller IV.
Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, my son and I were talking about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" together when he was a kid. That show has changed since then quite a bit... I hope.
Are you lazy? I vet you aren't as lazy as this person...
He must of been reading the Phile.
Thanks to the power of words, Donald Trump accidentally labeled his own, forthcoming Trumpcare bill as a failure.
Trump meant to call Obamacare failing, although his sentence structure made it seem that the GOP's bill to replace it had already "failed." The awkward wording isn't even the only error... Trump made "Republicans" plural, whoops, and used odd capitalization in his spelling of Obamacare. In case you've been living in merciful isolation, "Republicans Senators" dropped their revised version of Trumpcare on Thursday. Clearly, Trump needs a copy editor. Unless he wants to keep giving these gifts to Twitter. ICYMI: Last Monday, Donald Trump had a prayer session in the Oval Office, according to CNN. Hard to blame him, because he could use the help (and this was before the Donald Jr. revelations).
The photo, posted by Johnnie Moore of the evangelical Liberty University, has given you godless liberals of Twitter a great opportunity to criticize our clearly chosen-by-god president. And a rarely seen view of the back of Donald Trump's hair. According to Moore, "We similarly prayed for President Obama but it's different with President Trump. When we are praying for President Trump, we are praying within the context of a real relationship, of true friendship." The photo of Trump, surrounded by Mike Pence and a group of pastors, quickly made its way around the Internet. One pastor at the event, sharing on Facebook, wrote that "- wow - we are going to see another great spiritual awakening." As far as powerful people putting their hands all on the same object, it's probably better than this...
The 63rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Phile Alum and author Karling will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
Kid Rock is the people version of an above ground pool.
Today's guest is a Phile Alum whose latest CD "The Falling of the Long Shadows" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile, the always entertaining... Lee Negin.
Me: Hey, Lee, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been, sir?
Lee: Greetings, Jason. I am still breathing. I'm pleased you are, too!
Me: Me too. Last time you were here you mentioned getting a call from "Sir Paul" and I had a few emails asking me if that was a true story and if you really know Paul. Hahaha. I am guessing the story isn't true, as I get your sense of humor but I have to ask have you ever met any of the Beatles? You are a Beatles fan, right?
Lee: I was just taking the piss out of the whole name dropping thing. No, never met any of the Fabs. Don't want to, actually. I did see George Harrison live (a concert) in Tokyo many years ago. Very disappointing.
Me: I have a CD from that tour and I liked it. I know you don't listen to a lot of music, or at least new music, but do you remember what your first record you ever bought was?
Lee: No, actually I don't remember. My house was always filled with records, and I was an avid listener from a very young age, so my mother bought me albums and singles before I had me own money, plus she dug pop music, too. I have vivid memories of listening to and singing along with, for example, Sam Cooke's single "Chain Gang" over and over when I was about 5-years-old, for example. My parents had eclectic taste in music, exposing me to classical (my mother was a pianist), jazz and pop from the womb.
Me: Okay, last time you were here you were about to move? You're living right outside Tokyo, right?
Lee: Yes, I moved to the Yokohama area about 1 year ago, south of Tokyo. A very nice area, indeed.
Me: It's my dream to go there... but I doubt I ever will. If I ever do, what is one thing I have to do?
Lee: Bring an umbrella and no expectations. It's difficult for me to answer because I have lived in and/or around Japan for almost half of my life. My answer would depend on what your interests are. So many westerners fetishize Asia (and Asians) in general and Japan (and the Japanese) in particular. People are people.
Me: Since last September when you were here last Trump was elected president. Yep, that shit happened. What is the Japanese people take on that, Lee?
Lee: Being a very non-confrontational society, Japanese people rarely talk about (or are interested in) politics, either domestic or international in particular. Being in North Korea's direct line of fire has many people on edge, especially with the bellicose flatulence spewing from Agent Orange's piehole. I'm often asked how and why could he become president. The jingoistic fallacy of American exceptionalism is imploding.
Me: What is your take? I bet you are glad you are living in Japan now. Haha.
Lee: I'll heed the sage advice of Frank Zappa, and "Shut Up 'n Play (my) Guitar."
Me: Hahaha. Do you ever see yourself moving back to the states?
Lee: "Never say never." But, it really isn't feasible or desirable, especially with the abysmal health care situation. Frankly, the U.S.A. scares me: violence, rage, guns, polarization, racism, rotting infrastructure, failing school system, the political situation, income disparity and the general dumbing of America. I have been an expatriate for decades. Perhaps it's too late. I would probably be a homeless junkie if I lived in America! At least in Japan, I'm not homeless (yet).
Me: Alright, I listened to your new album "The Falling of the Long Shadows." There's a lot more acoustic piano on this album, am I right?
Lee: Yes. Again, I grew up with a grand piano in my living room, and it is one of my favorite instruments. I quite enjoy making electro-acoustic music. I have been playing a lot more "acoustic" piano in the last few years.
Me: How long did it take this album to record, Lee?
Lee: Unlike my other albums, which I usually wrote over a period of weeks, usually working daily constructing/arranging/producing the material, this one was written piecemeal over a period of months. I would sit down occasionally in my studio and sketch (I liken my work to painting) with no album project in mind. I have been in "survival mode" for the last couple of years with little energy or inspiration available for music/art/videos/photography. I actually thought about retiring completely from creating. Eventually I had a few pieces that I quite liked, and decided to assemble them into the new album.
Me: I am so excited there's a new Cheeze song "Requiem for Cheeze." It's a very slow and almost sad sounding song... Cheeze is not dead, is he?
Lee: Cheeze was never born, so he cannot die. He is the primal ooze that holds the seen and unseen universe together. Film for that track can be seen at: youtu.be/YRi6P3oBW04.
Me: For those that don't know, explain who Cheeze is. You should write a Cheeze novel, Lee. I bet that would be amazing. What do you think?
Lee: A very long story, told before in different interviews over the years, and in songs and videos concerning Master Cheeze. As you know, I did a "technopera" album called "The Cheeze Chronicles, Volume V" like an old-fashioned radio play. For this, I wrote a libretto, and I have a considerable "back-story" for Cheeze and his cosmic exploits. I have wanted to do a graphic novel, or a series of Manga of the Cheeze Epic for years. I even approached a few graphic comic book artists to collaborate with, but alas, it all comes down to money, of which I have none. You can see some Cheeze documentary footage at: youtu.be/tkDovC2XyLo, youtu.be/GafYnLH9gTs. These archival films show how Cheeze was first introduced to reefer (Cannabis) when a high school (literally) boy in the American midwest, and how it (THC) altered his perception of the nature of reality and gained him access to the alternate-universe dwelling alien dudes that eventually abducted him and his consort (Wei Lei, a Chinese chanteuse who sang with Cheeze's big band in a jazz-dance club in the American district in Shanghai), inserted his anal-probe connectivity device and set him off into the universe to observe and gather data for them. If there are any talented comic artists out there reading this, that would like to collaborate on a graphic novel about the "Saga of Cheeze," contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're looking to make a bigly pile of cash, you're oinking up the wrong bush.
Me: I have to ask you about the song "Parvati." What does that mean?
Lee: In Hindu mythology, Parvati is the wife of Shiva and the benevolent form of the Mother Goddess.You know me, Jason, more of my hippie mumbo-jumbo! Here she is! Dig her third eye!
Me: How do you come up with titles for the songs, Lee? Does the music or title come first?
Lee: It varies. Sometimes a title or a line of poetry or philosophy inspires a piece. Sometimes, after the piece is composed, it inspires a title. Right now, I am working on a 4-song cycle, based on the Hindu Cosmology of "Yugas," 4 ages of human history that we cycle through: "one of the four ages of mankind, together lasting over 4 million years and marked by a progressive decline in the vitality and morals of men." Right now, we are in the waning days of the 4th age, or Kali Yuga, the iron age, when things progressively turn to shit. Hmmm...
Me: The album has a crazy cover. What is it supposed to be and who did it?
Lee: I never view my covers as "crazy"! It fits the overall theme of the album. It's an alien dude. The title came to me while sitting under a tree in a park near my house (from which you can see Mt. Fuji, at the time, snow-capped. Quite lovely). The cover is an image made by a cat called Raphael Terra, a guy I hooked up with online. I dug his work, and he sent me many images to use at my discretion as long as I give him credit. He's heavy into UFO/alien imagery.
Me: Last year you were gonna do some live shows. Is that still something you wanna do sometime?
Lee: Yes. It's on my bucket list. This fellow Lee doesn't have much time left, so I have to do it soon, if at all. There are technical problems, though, especially with more airlines banning carrying on laptops. My show necessitates my laptop, and having to check it in to be bounced around like a basketball wouldn't help with reliability issues. But, I do hope to do some gigs next year, primarily focused on Europe.
Me: Okay, so, last time you were here I asked you about some other musicians and you just showed their photo. Is there a musician or someone famous you wish you could meet?
Lee: Not really. I have met many famous people and, well, people are people. I'm sure you know that. Your dad probably introduced you to some cool cats (he was one)!
Me: Yeah, he did, and thanks. Lee, thanks so much for being back on the Phile. Mention your website or anything else you want. Please come back on the Phile soon. Take care.
Lee: My old friend, the pleasure is mine. Thank you very much for having me. Some websites: passingphasemusic.com, store.cdbaby.com/Artist/LeeNegin, youtube.com/user/passingphasemusic, facebook.com/LeeNegin1, twitter.com/umeboshiroshi. Best wishes, Jason. Be happy NOW, or you never will be.
Me: Thanks, Lee, I'll try.
That about does to for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Lee for another fun interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the guys from the band Emerald Portal. 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