Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pheaturing Imelda May

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday... how are you? Let's start off with a fun story, shall we? Pop star Sia has always done things her own way... for years she's worn a wig that completely obscures her face during performances, explaining in a 2016 interview with the "Guardian" that she feels better being covered up than being in the public eye (in 2013 she famously did a photoshoot with a paper bag over her head). She told "Guardian," "Everybody in the entertainment industry is insecure. We have been tap-dancing our entire lives for your approval and you won’t meet anybody who is in the entertainment industry who isn’t a bit fucked in the head." But the infamously private pop star did something unexpected when she found out that someone was trying to sell nude pictures of herself sunbathing on a balcony to her fans. Instead of trying to stop the person, or being embarrassed, she just released the photo herself, in a tweet that is now being called "legendary" by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. The pic s obviously NSFW because BUTT. ...

Along with the picture of her derriere, she wrote, "Someone is apparently trying to sell naked photos of me to my fans. Save your money, here it is for free. Everyday is Christmas!" (Sia does have a holiday album coming out this year, called "Everyday is Christmas.")And Sia's fans went crazy for the tweet, not so much because of the naked pic, but because she was brave enough to just put the damn thing out there herself. Way to go, Sia! From completely covered to entirely exposed, the woman is fearless, I just wish she posted a front pic. Just sayin'.
As sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood bigwigs become public, a common theme in the news is how the disgusting behavior have been "open secrets" in the industry for years. And with an "open secret," comes a joke on "30 Rock" and/or "Family Guy." Like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey before him, director/producer/alleged harasser Brett Ratner got a shout-out from Seth McFarlane, a quick line in a 2012 episode of "Family Guy" that refers to him being disgusting. According to Death and Taxes, this episode featured Brian the dog dressing up as a sheikh or emir to infiltrate a sex slave auction, in which the baby Stewie was up for sale (what?). After the infant does his little dance to Katy Perry's "California Girls," the auctioneer says "Thank you, Brett Ratner," to a guy who bid $75,000. I'm curious to see what other non-secret secrets McFarlane has referenced over the years. My son is obsessed with that show so maybe I'll find out soon.
The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 says that the president's eldest told her "if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it," regarding a bipartisan U.S. law passed to punish Russian officials. Many are interpreting this as a quid pro quo offer from the Trump administration to Natalia Veselnitskaya... widely believed to represent Putin's government... who also said that the most embarrassing Trump child wanted "financial documents showing that money that allegedly evaded U.S. taxes had gone to Clinton's campaign." "She didn't [have the documents] and the meeting quickly fell apart." No analyst, journalist, or armchair observer of the political circus really trusts the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016. Still, her new interview with "Bloomberg Politics" has given everyone more than enough to think about, as she dished hereto unheard details from her meeting with Trump's eldest, a pow-wow also attended by Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. This isn't the first or last time we'll hear about the Veselnitskaya meeting, so you better figure out how to spell her name. There's more implications in the "Bloomberg" article, too: Luckily for Trump supporters, all of this is invalid because CNN jumped to conclusions about the way Donald Sr. fed koi fish in Japan. Instead of responding to the collusion story, Donald Jr. has decided instead to keep his most recent tweets about how Trump did not, in fact, spontaneously murder a bunch of koi fish. #AbeDumpedFirst. Enjoy that defense when you hear it spouted by the Trumps' lawyers in front of Congress.
A picture of a cyclist flipping off President Donald Trump's motorcade has gone viral, and as a result, the woman was fired from her job, Huffington Post reports.

The picture was taken by a White House photographer traveling with the motorcade, and once news outlets picked it up it went viral on Twitter almost immediately, with people tweeting about the (then unknown) cyclist using the hashtag #Her2020. The woman, whose name is Juli Briskman, is a 50-year-old mother of two who was employed by a government contractor called Akima LLC at the time the picture was taken. Briskman says she had no idea that a picture was taken of her when she flipped Trump's motorcade the bird. But when the image started to blow up on social media, Briskman figured she should tell her company's HR department about it. In an interview with Huffington Post on Saturday, Briskman said that the day after she told HR, her bosses let her know that she had broken the rules of the company's social media policy because she used the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook, adding, "We're separating from you." Briskman explained, “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’" In response, Briskman said stressed to her bosses that she wasn't on the job when the picture was taken, and that her social media accounts don't mention where she works. But her bosses countered that since Akima is a government contractor, their business could be hurt by the photo. As Huffington Post points out, Virginia is an employment-at-will state, which means that employers can fire people at any time, for any reason. Fair enough, but what really bothers Briskman about losing her job over something like this is that recently a male colleague, who had Akima LLC as his cover photo, called someone a “a fucking Libtard asshole” on Facebook. All that happened in his case is that he was reprimanded and told to delete the post. Obviously, he kept his job. Briskman asked Huffington Post, “How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president? How is that fair?” Here's how: it's definitely not.
If you've sent or received a text message in the past week, odds are you've noticed a rather frustrating glitch. (And if you haven't sent or received a text message in the past week, odds are you've had some really nice alone time that, TBH, I'm a little jealous of.) The glitch in question happens when someone who's updated their iOS to the latest version types the word "I." For some inexplicable reason, "I" autocorrects to the letter "A" followed by a question mark in a square. As the glitch became more widespread, more and more people vented their frustration. Not to mention, this nonsense has been going on for nearly a week now. Despite having so much time to fix the glitch, all Apple seems to have done so far is offer a hack to autocorrect the problem away. The tech giant explained the quick fix on its support page yesterday. Here’s what you can do to work around the issue until it’s fixed in a future software update: Go to Settings General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Tap. For phrase, type an upper-case "I". For shortcut, type a lower-case "i."
Ever go into a public restroom and see something that kinda stuns you? check this out...

Why? People here in Florida try to get away with getting certain things on their license plates... like this one...

I wonder who Joe Blow is... If I had a TARDIS I might want to go back in time and try to stop Hitler like Nick Fury tried to do in a "Fantastic Four" comic once. I'll approach Hitler and he'll be like...

Hahaha. You know, not all Nazis are bad. Look at these two...

So, parents, I hope your child doesn't bring a note like this home from school...

I wanna know what the poem was. Ugh. So, don't ask me why, but I tried to Google "ballet slippers" and insured I Googled "battle slippers" and this is what I got...

Who would of thought? Hahaha. I mentioned the "i'"glitch on iPhones is ruining lives. Well, check out Apples new ad...

See? All is good. 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 a lot since then...

"I don't know where that damn telephone booth took me," Grover cried to the stunned pedestrians. "But I damn sure introduced the natives to sexual crimes never before imagined."

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, you know what is the best? Tooting. Haha.

Nothing conjures images of the apocalypse like a strong fart. This 8-year-old author understands that. A pair of book covers were posted to Imgur on April 2014. The volumes? "The Fart that Killed Everyone" and its companion, "The Fart that Killed Everyone 2." The photo has been seen over half a million times. The author? The next Crichton, I assume. Except, allegedly, this writer is eight-years- old. Still, I have a few questions before the inevitable book club discussion. Is the fart sentient? Does it have a name? If the first great fart killed everyone, how is there a sequel? In any event, can't wait for the movies to come out.

Haha. Okay, so, with the recent shootings at the Texas church a friend of the Phile wanted to come here and say something about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is...

Good morning, phuckerz. This waste of skin who killed those poor Texas churchgoers was a truly reprehensible human being from A to Z... Dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force. Jailed for domestic abuse against both his child and the child's mother. A devout atheist who had a deep hatred for anyone who was religious. This is a crime of hate as well as an act of terrorism... and should be approached as such. We have far too many defective human beings getting their hands on highly powerful weapons with great ease. Gun laws simply don't work at keeping guns out of the hands of NUTS and CRIMINALS (who don't obey laws, to begin with) HOWEVER... keep in mind, the church shooter was eventually stopped by two legally armed, everyday citizens. Who confronted, shot, pursued and may have killed the gunman. I don't claim to know what the answer to the problem is... I've just grown tired of repeatedly feeling the need to ask the question.

Donald Trump is in Japan and there's some wacky shenanigans going down. Out with his buddy Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the two leaders took a break from the North Korea standoff with a little visit to the koi pond, as you do. Amongst the fishies, controversy struck. If you see the pic you'll definitely think that Trump just got bored and dumped way too much fish food in the water. As anyone who's had a goldfish will assume, the fish would greedily eat it all up, get fat, and die because they have even worse portion control than you do. But then THE TRUTH CAME OUT. #AbeDumpedFirst. It's possible Trump tried to assassinate all those fish by giving them way too much food, but if he did, he was only following orders. When the prime minister and the president come to town, the fish eat like kings. Most likely, that was the allotted amount of food. Prime Minister Abe dumped his fish food in the water before Trump. The Koi truthers were justified, and they were furious. After all, the CNN article did wait until the fifth paragraph to reveal the fishy truth, that "Abe... actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump." Therefore, all Russian collusion must be a media lie, right? Look forward to #KoiGate coming up every time a new Trump official gets indicted. Because if the media can make a mockery of the president's fish-feeding, doesn't that mean special counsel Mueller can also fabricate ironclad evidence of serious wrong-doing by the administration?

The 69th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and Laura will be the guest on the Phile in a  few weeks.

This s really cool... today's guest is an Irish singer and songwriter whose latest album "Life Love Flesh Blood" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented and good looking... Imelda May!

Me: Hello, Imelda, welcome to the Phile. I'm such big fan. How are you?

Imelda: Great to be here. I'm good.

Me: Imelda, where are you originally from? Ireland, right?

Imelda: Dublin, but grew up in the Liberties area of that city.

Me: I love the new album "Live Love Fresh Blood." You must be happy with it as well, right? 

Imelda: Yeah, I'm happy the way it turned out. We did it al; live, fifteen songs in seven days then I spent a day or two doing the backing vocals after I sent everyone away. It didn't take long to make, but it took ages to write and ages to edit. I worked more on that than anything.

Me: I love the song "Should've Been You." It sounds very Phil Spectorish. Was that the plan?

Imelda: That was the plan. I had to fight for that one with the record company and I won. I wanted to have a soft vocal and a heavy band. I liked the soft contrast between that and it confused them a little bit. T Bone was definitely with me on that and said if I wanted to stick to it he'll be behind me.

Me: I was gonna ask about him... what was it like working with T Bone Burnett who produced this album? Does he give a lot of feedback with the songwriting?

Imelda: No, I had the album written before I met him. He's a very clever man and and he has different ways of working with different people which is the secret of his success so I don't know how he is when he works with anyone else but with me because I produced my first two albums and co-produced the last with Mike Crossey. With T Bone I knew he was a big character and a genius and I loved what he's done. He asked me a few questions, not tested me, but asked me a few questions to make sure I was getting him for the right reasons and not because I wanted the name T Bone Burnett on the album. I obviously passed that but I am a big fan of his and I knew what I wanted and I knew what he did. He picked up that I was completely nervous about handing over the reins because I produced my own stuff before. I'm not a control freak but when you do something that is not mainstream you often get people trying to get you to compromise, to help it go well. I might compromise a little of course but if I compromised too much I might of ended up making music I don't like. So he involved me in every way possible and he was brilliant. He had his own ideas, of course he did, and everything he came up with I absolutely adored. Part of his thing is to pick the right people for the right place and the right time and everything else sort of falls into place. He thought a lot who he was going to get on this album and he juggled it around a bit. I could see him moving names around on the table seeing what would sit. He didn't go into the songwriting other than saying something like "that middle that you wrote, I think you could write stronger." I just went off into his kitchen and sat there for awhile and wrote a different middle.

Me: You play a few instruments... bass, guitar, piano and such. When you wrote what instrument do you use?

Imelda: I don't play bass. I play a bit of percussion and I play enough guitar to write on but I'm not confident enough to play it for everybody. I hire a guitarist to do it well. I have a little guitar that I sit in the corner with that fits me as I'm only small. I play around on that and see what I come up with but I take it anyway that I can get it. It's like fishing or something. Sometimes it feels like they are giving themselves away but you have to be willing to catch them if that makes sense. If you're fighting it and pushing it in different ways you'll miss it. I just open my mind and it tends to come to me. Sometimes I come up with melody and lyrics just in my head. Probably 80% of the time they'll come together. I get crazy because if I ever get bored my brain goes into overdrive I entertain myself in my head. Sometimes when I'm walking I feel like I'm walking in a glass box... I'm not involved, just observing. It's kind of like an out of body experience. I'm just watching things what people are doing and I things people say. I can't do that all the time, I'll go mental. I do have moments like that when I write and I tend to find it when I'm writing it's all consuming.

Me: On this album you did some co-writing, right? Is that something you like to do, write with other people?

Imelda: I loved it mostly... on the ones I didn't love it those songs will never see the light of day. I got through it because it'll be rude to just leave if I wasn't feeling it. It's like speed dating or something. There's nothing wrong with it it's just not a match in anyway. Some people I wrote with were professional songwriters and I found them very methodical and I found that soulless. It's like paint by numbers, I couldn't wait to get out of of there. But they sent the songs to their publishers so they might be terrible songs with my name on them somewhere. There were a free I really clicked with and it was beautiful. I found it very interesting to see how someone else writes because I never go to do that and they were well rounded and quite disciplined and they had to be exact and end on time, and I was able to just leave and go back to work on it later. It's part of the reason I did it, I wanted to discipline myself and finish a song in an exact time. Sometimes it would just fly in one session and one point I went a bit mad. My manager had me do three song writing sessions a day. My brain began to melt... they weren't the best songs I've written I have to say.

Me: Haha. I love the song "Black Tears," it sounds just like a Patsy Cline song. What is that song about? What is are black tears?

Imelda: I hear that a lot... the Patsy Cline comparison. I got that after doing the Jools Holland show. My sister said, "She's doing that old standard "Black Tears.'" I found that quite flattering to be honest. About the name... I have a notebook with me all the time and I write down a line that somebody says or whatever and that was a title I had. I remember coming into a house and like most people they had a mirror by their door and I closed the door and saw my reflection and it looked like I was crying black tears. It was my mascara just running down my face and it looked like black tears and I thought there's a song in there. I saw the positive in it. That was the night, which I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I was miserable and found a leftover ham sandwich, and I hadn't eaten meat in 25 years and I saw this old nasty half eaten ham sandwich and I just sat on the floor and I ate it. It's devastating, isn't it? How glamorous!

Me: Awe. You recorded this album in Nashville, right? What did you think of Nashville, working there? It's a cool city, isn't it?

Imelda: It is. My manager said I mentioned co-wriring and said Nashville was the place to do it. They were loads of songwriters there and I thought they were all country songwriters but they are not, there's everything there. So I said okay, I'll try it and I found it interesting going down Music Row where everybody is writing in every room in every building . It's phenomenal!

Me: Jeff Beck plays on that track which is amazing. I recently heard an interview with Alice Cooper who praised Beck like crazy. My dad knew him pretty well, and I wish I could interview him here on the Phile. what was he like to work with?

Imelda: He's phenomenal. It's like singing with a vocalist, not a guitarist. He makes the guitar cry. I think he's the best in the world. Just how he can move you someone and how he can read a song and know what mood it needs to be. He's very open mind and a thoughtful thinker. It was a magic moment.

Me: I love the song "Leave Me Lonely," Imelda. Was that a hard song to sing?

Imelda: No, I knew on this album I wanted to sing, I wanted to let my voice free if you like. I love to punch out songs and not a lot of women get to do that. I was really enjoying flying that flag, but then I got to the point where I wanted to sing because I didn't always do that kind of stuff. I wanted to get back to my roots and sing again and write what I felt like doing. With "Leave Me Lonely" I nearly dropped that song but T Bone asked me to keep it.

Me: It's so cool that Bob Dylan said he is a big fan of yours... and Bono is as well. Didn't Bono do something on this album with you?

Imelda: I nearly fell over when I heard Bob Dylan say he liked me. I feel like I did something right when I got a "God lyricist" say that about me. I was just thrilled. Bono was just very, very helpful. He is such a poet and he texts poetically and it's hard to decipher what he's trying to say. He's such a writer and a creative thinker... I love being around him. He had me focused. When he heard what I was writing he said he liked it and gave me his email and said if I get stuck on anything we all need someone to lean on and a critic like a proper critic. I didn't think of it until I actually got stuck. I really didn't know what to do. My record company is great, I have to say, they backed me up all the time. But I got the call saying, "If you just add a bit of this and less of a bit of that and play to down here..." that sort of thing. They were quite honest with me saying they're not trying to change me they just want to help and get the record out there. It's just decisions like that as I'm all about the songs and Bono said to me, "Just focus. Do you want to make a hit or do you want to make art?" He was really, really good and T Bone would give me the other side of it. There's no point in making great art if nobody plays it. I loved working with both of them. Bono was there in the background advising me in loads of stuff.

Me: Who are you influences, Imelda? Who did you listen to growing up?

Imelda: Billie Holiday was my first records I bought, she was my first love. That got me to listen to loads of blues and jazz. That got me into Howlin' Wolf, which got me into Willie Dixon. Also Nina Simone... I loved the way she sang. She can take someone else's song and I swear on my life she wrote it. I found out a million people did it before but I never noticed it until she did it. Oh, I loved Roy Orbison... I loved his lack of rules. He went where he wanted and could do three songs in one. Later on as things went on Leonard Cohen is my God... I think he's the best writer that has ever lived. He once asked me to have lunch but he died so I didn't get to have lunch with him unfortunately. I was so gobless... not because I didn't have lunch with him of course, but because we lost one of the best songwriters.

Me: Wow. My dad, who was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, had a chance to meet Elvis Presley in Vegas once as he was told Elvis was fan of my dad, who was a fan of Elvis, but pre-Army Elvis. He always said Elvis "died" in the Army. Anyway, Foghat's manager was setting up a meeting with my dad and Elvis but my dad turned it down as he didn't want to meet his hero. A few months later Elvis died. Anyway, how do you think your music and writing has changed from your first record and this one?

Imelda: That's sad your dad didn't meet Elvis. I try to evolve on every album for different reasons. I write the album I need to write for me. "Love Tattoo" was great because nobody was listening and I did what I wanted to record and how I wanted it. "Mayhem" was me playing with production because I was really getting into the production side of things and pushing different effects because "Love Tattoo" was pretty minimal and I wanted it to be raw and quite live. With "Tribal" I wanted to push it to its heaviest. It's rockabilly with a punk edge on it at times. I did that purposely as I knew that was the last album of that kind I wanted to write so I purposely pushed it as far as I was comfortable with. I was really happy where it went. And I was really curious where I'm going next... I like not knowing.

Me: Your songs are sometimes serious, but sometimes very humorous. Do you like to write funnier songs?

Imelda: I like humor in songs and I like a slight dark side. I also love all the whole horror movies and things like that. The video I made for "Good To Be Alive" I got to be the bride of Frankenstein. I like to hide things in there as well. On "Good To Be Alive" the versus are quite dark and the chorus I wanted to be so uplifting and bright. Most people just notice the chorus and think that's a nice song but it's actually not. I like different songs that throw things at you. You think you know where it's going and you don't. I love the Undertones, they're a punk band, they're heavy but often write with a lot of humour. I also love the Cramps, they also had a lot of humour as well. I love Blake Mills as well. I moved from Leonard Cohen to Blake Mills. I love his songs. "Cry to Laugh" is a great song... you think lyrically you know where it's going but he keeps flipping it on its head.

Me: I have to show a pic from that video where you are the bride of Frankenstein...

Me: What is harder for you to write, Imelda, ballads or the rockier stuff?

Imelda: I find the process of writing songs when I'm heartbroken is more natural and I'm focusing inwards. Writing is a good way to get that out. But when I'm having a great time I'm just too busy and don't go into that place on my own in the corner. Writing a happy song is making me disciplined enough to do it but I wouldn't say writing a slow song is more difficult. More in the mood I think brings me to that place probably quicker.

Me: So, when you got the band together for this album did you guys do a bunch of demos? Did they know what they were going to play?

Imelda: With this album we just went in and played. They heard my demos and just started playing. I had many discussions with T Bone before, that was one thing we did. We sat and met and he wanted all kinds of references. I told the band on "Live Love Flesh Blood" everyone is playing so well, but imagine that you are trained in music and you end up somehow in a circus. The circus is not going well, everyone has left, you're all slightly drunk and lost sight with what it is you are doing in life. You're slightly pissed off, but slightly living for the gig and it's the end of the night, your tie is undone... then play it. They played it and it was right. That lazy, hanging back, slightly wrong feel to it that I was looking for for "Live Love Flesh Blood." It needed to feel a little more fucked up. It was too nice. Everybody hit the right notes, using the right tempos... it was beautiful. I didn't want it to be that beautiful, I wanted it to be a little more fucked up, so that is what they played. They got a little nastier at the end.

Me: Cool. I know you have to go, Imelda, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun.

Imelda: I hope I didn't write too much, Jason. I'll tell you why I said so much... I have been doing a years worth of interviews and very, very often I don't get to talk in depth about the songwriting but that's what drives me and so to have an interview where you are actually interested in it because I'm nerdy like you. And I like all those details and it's often people ask about my hair, my lipstick and my marriage but you didn't ask me about that at all. I always get the same questions and always get the same answers but at some point it gets boring. But this one was brilliant. Thanks so much for asking me about the band, T Bone Burnett, because it's not a solitary thing making a record. It involves a lot of people and a lot of talent from every angle, like what T Bone said, to the right people, the right place, the right time.

Me: You're welcome. Thanks so much. Go ahead and mention your website and I hope you'll come back on the Phile again soon.

Imelda: Imeldamay.co.uk. Thanks, Jason.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Imelda May. I love that album and her other four albums. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Tish Meeks from 3 Kisses. 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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