Monday, September 25, 2017

Pheaturing Friendly Rich

Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday, how are you? So, I was wondering... does kneeling during the national anthem make you a Sith or a Jedi? Thousands of Americans have developed a newfound interest in football thanks to a new battle brewing between the NFL and (who else?) our President. At a rally in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday, President Donald Trump railed against national anthem protests and insulted the NFL players who dare (eyeroll) express their constitutional right to free speech on the football field. "Wouldn't you love to see one of those NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired. He's fired!'" Yesterday, a.k.a. game day, the teams had an opportunity to respond... and they all did. Some teams chose to take a knee during the national anthem, others linked arms, some sat on the bench, and more. Here's what a day full of those great American pastimes... football and free speech... looks like. The Steelers stayed off the field for the national anthem, aside from player and military vet Alejandro Villanueva. The Seahawks and the Titans skipped it. The Bills took a knee. The Broncos took a knee. The Saints stayed on the bench. The Chiefs and the Chargers took a knee. The Dolphins wore #IMWITHKAP shirts, then knelt for the national anthem. The Patriots took a knee, with notable exception Tom Brady. President Trump has yet to respond, as he's the President of the United States and has more important things to do than talk about football. Just kidding!
On Saturday night, the beloved Stevie Wonder took a knee during a performance at the Global Citizens festival in Central Park, joining the increasing number of people kneeling for racial justice. "Tonight, I'm taking a knee for America. But not just one knee, I'm taking both knees. Both knees in prayer for our planet, our futures, our leaders of the globe, and our world," Wonder told the crowd. Twitter has a lot of love for Wonder's act of solidarity. People all the way across the globe are following the #TakeAKnee hashtag. His voice is a welcomed and needed tool in this political climate. Wonder is not the only non-athlete to take a knee this weekend, earlier today the actor Michael Rapaport took a knee and called Trump a "dumb motherfucker" in a scathing Twitter video. What? You don't know about this story? Let me tell you...
"Boston Public" actor Michael Rapaport's made a trending video where he lays into the president, calling him a "dumb motherfucker" and a "son of a bitch." The video comes as a direct response to Trump's comments about the NFL on Friday, when he claimed athletes who protest at sporting events should be fired. During his speech, Trump laid into Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. He even went so far as to call the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback a "son of a bitch." Trump's fury towards athletes unfortunately doesn't stop there. On Saturday LeBron James called Trump a bum after the president disinvited Warriors player Stephen Curry from attending the White House in a tweet. This outburst from Trump was a day after Curry already declined the invitation as a form of protest. As a form of solidarity with the athletes standing up to Trump, the actor Rapaport has taken a knee on Twitter in his hilariously scathing anti-Trump video. People on Twitter were here for his fiery commentary. "You took away his invitation... to meet you? Motherfucker, no one from the NBA is fucking with you," Rapaport said in his video, referencing Curry. His unbridled and passionate anger towards Trump summed up how a lot of people are feeling. In the clip, Rapaport even rattled off a list of athletes and coaches who wanted nothing to do with Trump. “Kevin Durant], Lebron James, Steve Kerr, Greg Popovich, Yao Ming, Larry Bird, nobody is coming to fuck with you, man. No one wants to meet your ass," he said. People on Twitter really loved it when he he compared Steph Curry to Mickey Mouse. The Internet was fully deceased. While his rant provided much needed comic relief, it was also indicative of just how many people are angry at Trump for his NFL and NBA comments. In keeping with the rolling tide of athletes, coaches, and sports fan angry at Trump, the former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan told "The New York Times" he regrets supporting Trump. "I’ll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump. When he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading these comments and it’s appalling to me and I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be," Ryan said. Ever former Trump backers don't approve of his NFL commentary. Even the Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement against Trump, this is a man who donated $1 million to the inaugural celebrations. So, it's saying a lot. The statement read, "I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger." It would be a huge understatement to say this is a bad weekend for Trump's PR with the NFL and the NBA. In fact, it'd be more accurate to say his statements have garnered a league-wide protest. Okay, enough about this national anthem and protest stuff for a minute. Let's talk about a man gets his penis stuck in a gym weight, shall we?
Of all the places to stick your penis on a Monday, one man in Germany had to pick a dumbbell. As Fox reports, firefighters were called to a gym in Worms, Germany to help free a man and his penis from the grasp of a 5.5 pound weight. It took a grinder and a hydraulic saw... perhaps the two power tools you want furthest from your nether regions... to free the d. To celebrate, the Worms Fire Department uploaded a photo of the weight, broken into five parts, to Facebook.

The firefighters advised Worms citizens to "Bitte solche Aktionen niche nachmachen!", translated in English as "Please do not imitate such actions!" I want to know what he was training for.
For most of us, it's bizarre enough to come across a photo of someone who strongly bears your resemblance. Even the act of listening to a stranger describe your doppelgänger in detail can cause a mini identity crisis. So, we can only imagine the existential dread that hit Anderson Cooper when he hosted three doppelgängers on CNN on Tuesday. I highly doubt Cooper sat down at his desk and planned to host three of his own doppelgängers, because who invites that identity crisis in their life?! Nonetheless, the three guests all appear to be parallel universe versions of Cooper (although arguably he's the most handsome because being conventionally attractive is kind of his thing). Just, look at how uncanny this photo is.

HOW ARE THEY NOT ALL WRIGGLING IN THEIR OWN SKIN?! If I was Cooper, or any of his guests, I would immediately "fall sick" just so I wouldn't have to look at a funhouse mirror of my visage. It seems so uncomfortable. One doppelgänger is terrifying and strange enough, but FOUR in one television screen?! That's the plot to a horror movie. This image gives grown Children of the Corn vibes. This situation does feel plucked out of a sci-fi comic book. Reasonably so, people also noted the quad doppelgänger situation is statistically more likely when a network is hosting lots of white men. The real question at hand is, how did this make Cooper feel?! The world may never know. Haha.
So, I saw this picture yesterday and I thought of something...

Remember when "taking a knee" meant taking a knee? Hey, look at Trump respecting the shit out of the flag...

So, there's a new "Star Trek" show that debuted last night on the Internet. I liked the TV show "Star Trek: The Next Generation" but always wondered why Picard was always seat belted in his captain's chair. What? You don't remember that? Let me show you...

See? I told you. I don't use Activa, and there's a reason I don't use it. Check out their ad campaign...

I don't need anything that helps me poop. So, one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn easily, which is not good for me if you get bored by this blog. So, I thought, hey, I can show a porn pic here. Then I thought what if you are looking at the Phile at work or at school... I don't want you to get in trouble. So I thought of an ingenious solution. Check it out...

You are welcome, fellas. Hahaha. A few days ago I asked you guys to send me pics of dogs in pajamas... and you guys are doing a great job doing that. So, here's another one...

That's fantastic! Alright, so, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida that happens no where else in the Universe. So, here once again is...

Every new mother knows that sometimes we feel like newborn babies are less than angels. That said, it's still very NOT okay for a natal nurse to refer to your days-old child as a "mini Satan." Nurses Allyson Jeanette Thompson and Joanie Barrett at Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida were fired after leaked Snapchats in which they have a nasty photoshoot with (I'll say it again) brand new babies as props. Local news outlet Action Jax broke the news with an instantly infamous tweet that showed a nurse flipping the bird at a newborn she referred to as a "mini Satan." As the "Miami Herald" reports, the nurses were identified and immediately fired. "We have identified the staff members involved. They have been removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice," the hospital confirmed on Facebook. The post has gone viral, with dozens of commenters weighing in on whether they'd want a handler who referred to their baby as Satan. (Spoiler alert: They wouldn't.) "I'm sickened by the actions taken by these two individuals!!!!!” wrote a commenter named Lisa Wagoner Buttrey. “We are suppose to trust care systems... had it been my child they did this to loosing their license would have been the last thing they needed to worry about!!!!!!!!!!” As for the babies in question, their first actions in this world involved going viral on social media and getting two people fired. Won't that be fun to tell them in 18 years?

Hahahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. That's so funny. Alright, so, there's this comedian who I had on the Phile a few times that likes to tell funny jokes, but the problem is he's really old, and it's hard to figure out what he's saying. It turns out I'm old enough to totally understand what he's saying and told him I would translate his jokes for you. Yep. I'm that good. Anyway, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Alan, welcome back to the Phile.

Alan: Salutations, Jason.

Me: Alright, let's hear today's joke. I'm sure it'll be a good one.

Alan: An arch rogue hearing a woman cry kitchin-stuff ask'd her what it was? That which drops from flesh, says she. Say you so, says he, call to morrow and I'll help you to some. The next morning, she came, and he had prepared a pot half full of sir-reverence; the woman put her arm into the pot, and drawing it out, perceived the abuse, and began to be angry. "Nay, nay," says he, "don't be angry, for this is that which drops from flesh." "Is very true," said she, "and now your flesh appears to me very dry," (stroking his face with her hand) and wants a little greasing, and stands in need of basting too. Which she accordingly gave him.

Me: Hmmm. Okay, I think I got it. Here we go, kids. A woman needs some cooking fat for her kitchen, and a big jerk offers to help her by bringing some over. But instead, he brings over a pot of poop, which the woman realizes when she sticks her hands in it. As revenge, she tells the guy that his face needs some greasing, and she rubs poop on it. That's not  avery funny joke, Alan, but is that it?

Alan: Yessir.

Me: Okay, good, I guess. Alan Raglafart, the 100-year-old comedian, everyone. Thanks, Alan.

The 66th book to be phheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Chas Hodges will be the guest on the Phile on Thursday. Okay, so, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on here and express his feelings about having rights. I have a feeling I'm definitely gonna agree what he says. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is.

Good afternoon, phuckerz. Having rights is a wonderful thing... YOU have the right to take a knee, for whatever reason you choose... I have the right to not support you in your right to take a knee... I have the right to no longer watch whatever sport you're being paid way too much money to play... I have the right to not patronize any of the sponsors and/or networks who support your right to take a knee... I have the right to no longer utilize any product or service that endorses you, sponsors you or pays you in any way to display their brand or logo... I have the right to protest YOU, YOUR actions and/or any of the above mentioned products, companies, corporations or networks who support your actions... I have the right to publicly and privately ridicule you and all above mentioned organizations who support your actions... I have the right to be a PROUD American, who defends the flag and what it stands for.... Having rights is a wonderful thing... let me know how all this turns out for YOU.

Liliane Bettencourt 
October 21st, 1922 — September 21st, 2017
Beauty really is only skin deep.

Today's pheatured guest is a Canadian musician whose latest album "The Great Blue Heron" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the one and only... Friendly Rich.

Me: Hello, Friendly Rich, welcome to the Phile. How are you, sir?

Friendly Rich: Thanks for having me! I feel fresh, inspired, and happy to spend time with you!

Me: I like your name... I am sure it fits your personality. If I had a name like that and I was a recording musician it would be Cranky Ass Jason. Hahaha. Have you gone by that name a long time, sir?

Friendly Rich: I've worked under the artist name Friendly Rich for 20 years. A friend of mine pasted a photo of my head on top Canadian children's entertainer The Friendly Giant's head for a show flyer in the late 90s. Ever since, I've been friendly!

Me: You're from Canada, right? I ask all my Canadian guests if they are fans of one of my top favorite bands of all time... Barenaked Ladies. Are you a fan? I somehow think you worked with them, am I right?

Friendly Rich: Yes, I dig those guys, and did some work with Jim Creeggan a few years ago, he's a true gentleman, very generous with his time and ideas.

Me: I just listened to your fantastic new album "The Great Blue Heron." Actually, I can't stop playing that album. I recently had to go to Gainesville, Florida which is a two hour drove from where I live and I played it the whole road trip. How did the song "The Great Blue Heron" get its name, Rich?

Friendly Rich: I'm a big Jim Henson fan, and always a Big Bird lover. Well, with those two themes looming, the song practically wrote itself.

Me: The singing and songs are so cool and catchy... did you have fun writing songs like those? Do you have a process where you are always thinking of ideas?

Friendly Rich: Yes, I always have several works on the go. I charted this set of songs more in a lead-sheet style, and they're actually being sold as a compiled songbook via The Canadian Music Centre which is pretty fun. You can check that out here:

Me: I like the song "My Great Grandpa." What is the story behind that song in particular?

Friendly Rich: I have heard stories that my great grandpa, after returning to Italy from the war in Ethiopia, lost his mind. That's what this song's about... as a follow up to this tune, I am almost done writing a love song to my wife, called "If I Should Lose My Mind," which touches on my fear of following in my great grandpa's footsteps, and if I do, that song is there as a reminder of my love for her at its height of me realizing it. Fun stuff. Here's to preserving sanity, and loving your loved ones! 

Me: Awe. Another song I have to ask you about is "The Ballad of Henrietta Lacks." I was gonna ask if she was a real person as listening to the song I had a feeling she was. And then I Googled her... Holy shit! Okay, so many questions... tell the readers what she is known for. When did you first hear about her, Rich? When and how did you first decide to write a song about her?

Friendly Rich: I heard a compelling interview with author Rebecca Skloot on CBC radio, then read her book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Then this tune saw the light of day! She's an incredibly inspiring human...

Me: Another song on the album is "The Man Who Killed Ev Lewis." Is that a real story?

Friendly Rich: Yes, another true story about how the husband of the famous folk artist Maud Lewis was murdered... all of the lyrics are available here:

Me: Do you like writing songs about real events or songs about other stuff like "Frack Song" and "I Ain't Racist, but..." from the album "Bountiful."

Friendly Rich: Yeah, they usually come from some quirky faction of life that I'm either processing, celebrating, or criticizing.

Me: Does your band, The Lollipop People, write their own parts or do you pretty much have everything laid out when you go into the studio?

Friendly Rich: It's a mix. Over the last 20 years I've developed some very meaningful relationships with the musicians I work with. Some new, like with Hawksley Workman and Kevin Breit, and others spanning 20 years. Each musician brings their own voice and approach to the material, which is part of what I really love about the creative process. It's all fermentation...

Me: Your music is very unique with a hint of Nick Cave, Mojo Nixon, Tom Waits thrown in... who would you say your musical influences are, Rich? Who did you listen to growing up? I have a feeling you listened to rockabilly quite a bit.

Friendly Rich: Well, thanks for those kind words. I grew up listening to everything from Renaldo & The Loaf to Rimsky Korsakov and Rush. All who still provide different forms of inspiration to me today. I'm most inspired, however, by my own musical community, as we're a pretty amazing bunch of humans sharing the planet making this crazy art form together!

Me: Alright, so, I have to talk about the video for the song "The Melon Sun" which a group of people called Everything is Terrible! made. Did they approach you or vice versa?

Friendly Rich: I dig what those guys do, and had been in touch with them a few years ago. They agreed that it seemed like a perfect fit, so we went for it!

Me: Tell the readers who they are, and how you discovered them. With the video was it your idea or their concept, Rich?

Friendly Rich: They've been on my radar for years. I pitched the tune to them, and then always like to let the art inspire more art, which is what happened here... with a line like "you don't fuck with the curly fry empire" I think the imagery was inevitable.

Me: The video is a bunch of clips from different commercials over the years, am I right? What is the story and inspiration about the song?

Friendly Rich: It's about a high profile Canadian divorce. The song practically wrote itself.

Me: Is that Yvonne Craig in the blue dress in the video? I have to show a pic...

Me: Looks like her.

Friendly Rich: Yeah, not sure...

Me: I don't think it is. Okay, so, I have to mention Tom Green who you worked with for a few years on his show, doing the music. Did you know Tom for a long time beforehand, Rich?

Friendly Rich: I pitched Tom Green when he was producing his show in Ottawa on cable television, and he loved my music. He ended up using it when he moved over to The Comedy Network in Canada, and then remained loyal when he went over to MTV. We've kept in touch over the years, and he's always remained supportive of my work...

Me: I am guessing it was a fun time working with him, and you have some crazy stories. Is there a highlight of working on "The Tom Green Show"?

Friendly Rich: Yeah, I really admire Tom's DIY spirit, it was certainly a different time in television. 

Me: Do you wish the show continued? If he would do another show and asked you to do his music again would you?

Friendly Rich: Not really, I think it was a beautiful time, and I appreciate it for what it was. And yeah, totally, I'm big into collaboration whenever possible, I was on Tom's webovision show a couple of years back, always try to remain in touch...

Me: I have to mention Ron Sexsmith, who I had on the Phile years ago, and is due back again real soon. You did a show with him, right?

Friendly Rich: Oh yeah, right! When I ran the Brampton Indie Arts Festival, I had the pleasure of presenting Ron in concert. We presented some very important artists over the decade or so that the festival ran, in my hometown of Brampton, Canada.

Me: I was gonna ask you about the Brampton Indie Arts Festival... tell the readers what that is. How many years have you been putting that together?

Friendly Rich: I ran the thing from 1999 to 2009-ish in my hometown, as a way to battle boredom that suburban cities like my hometown are susceptible to. We did some good work together, presenting everybody from The Nihilist Spasm Band to Marc Ribot.

Me: How did you get the idea and get around to do something like that?

Friendly Rich: A few very supportive people who worked with the City of Brampton believed in what I was doing, and took a chance on me. I'm forever grateful to people like this in my life. For this, to you, dear Peverett Phile, I say thanks to you for doing the same and being so supportive of my music.

Me: You are so welcome. Rich, thanks so much for being on the Phile, Please come back again when the next project comes out. Are you working on anything currently?

Friendly Rich: Absolutely, I have a few projects on the go, reworking a Sinatra record, a split 7" co-write with one of my favourite artists Dave Clark and his Woodshed Orchestra, and a one-man show in development!

Me: So cool. Mention your website and anything else you want. Take care, continued success, and come back again soon.

Friendly Rich: Thanks a lot for those interested in learning more, from my podcast, to prior releases you can find it all at  Until next time...

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Friendly Rich. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum, the great Chas Hodges. 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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