Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. Senator Ted Cruz, who apparently has nothing to do on Sunday evenings, has spent the night in a Twitter battle with Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker. The force awakened when Hamill directed some Twitter shade at Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and architect of the ruling on net neutrality.
Cruz responded to Hamill's tweet... accidentally tagging the wrong Twitter account in the process... partly to defend his position on net neutrality and partly to attempt to correct Hamill's Star Wars knowledge.
Cruz, it seems, is trying to explain to the man who played Luke Skywalker what does and does not belong on the dark side. Big mistake.
Hamill responded, dissing Cruz for getting the name wrong, and citing perhaps the worst moment on Cruz's long list: When he was caught watching porn at his office.
As we all know you don't start a conversation with a Star Wars fan that you can't finish. Maybe someone can get Ted a ticket to The Last Jedi, and he can put down his phone for a few.
In a burst of surprisingly good news, the "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Jason Priestley shared that he once punched Harvey Weinstein in the face at a party back in 1995. Violence certainly isn't the answer (usually), but after weeks of hearing about over 50 allegations against Weinstein, it's hard to shed a tear for the disgraced producer. The Canadian actor revealed the story on Friday, after Mira Sorvino shared how Weinstein derailed her career for decades. After reading how Weinstein ran an active smear campaign against Sorvino, the actress Tara Strong tweeted...
Naturally, Strong's revelation prompted questions from other Twitter users. Who among us DOESN'T want to be regaled with a story of Weinstein getting his due?! At this point, Priestley swooped in with the full story of Weinstein's well deserved punch in the face. Apparently, it all started at a Miramax party in 1995 when Weinstein, unprompted, asked Priestley to leave the soiree. "Harvey told me I had to leave… I was leaving when he grabbed me by the arm and said 'what are you doing?' I said 'you told me leave, I'm leaving. I didn't say you had to leave' he replied. 'You just told me to leave... right over there' I tell him once again. Getting heated now. He then grabs me tighter and says 'why don't we go outside and talk about this.' That was all I needed to hear. ‘I’m not going anywhere with you’ I said as I pushed him back and punched [Weinstein] with a right hand to his face,” Priestley wrote. “Suddenly, there were security guards pulling us apart and I was escorted out of the party." A lot of people on Twitter were feeling the story. For obvious reasons. Again, violence isn't (technically) the answer. But I doubt the world is worse for this punch.
Uh-oh, it's on. Omarosa Manigault Newman was on "Good Morning, America" on Thursday, doing a segment about her exit from the White House. But things turned nasty when, after the segment, co-host Robin Roberts said, "She says she has a story to tell and I’m sure she will be selling that story. Yeah. Bye, Felicia." (For those not in the know, "Bye, Felicia" is a reference to the movie Friday, and it's most definitely a diss.) Those were the original shots fired, but now Omarosa is shooting back. When "Inside Edition" asked her about Roberts' remark, the former "Apprentice" contestant said, "That was petty," and added, "It’s a black woman civil war.” The circumstances of Omarosa leaving her position as White House aide are not completely clear. There are reports that she had to be dragged out of the building after being fired by chief of staff John Kelly. Omarosa, however, says that she was the one who decided to leave, after she saw things that made her "very uncomfortable." She told "GMA," “I resigned, and I didn’t do that in the residence as reported." So now the civil war's in Roberts' court, so to speak. Will there be more (musket) shots fired?
The latest racist white person to go viral on Facebook comes courtesy of a Bay Area Starbucks, where an international Korean student, Annie An, and a tutor named Sean Lee made the incredibly offensive decision... according to this woman below... to speak to each other in Korean. How dare they.
"Oriental," the woman can be heard saying at the very beginning of the video. "I hate it." She later generously concedes, as the baristas try to remove her from the premises, that the duo can stay as long as they don't speak. What a gem. Sean Lee provided an update to the infuriating video, in which he explains that as his student "was heading to get her coffee, this lady screamed at her, 'don't you dare say that again.' She was berating my student for talking in Korean, and proceeded to demand that all immigrants speak English." Why do racist outbursts always happen in Starbucks? At one point, the woman appears to continue working on the computer, to which one of the baristas calls her out, "You're pressing numbers over and over again." After Annie stopped recording, apparently, is when the cops showed up and removed the woman from the establishment. And while Lee wrote that "there are hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans who would cheer on this racist lady," and he's certainly not wrong... the comments on his video were refreshingly unanimous.
On Thursday night, Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter to complain about people complaining about the vote to repeal net neutrality. In a tweet, Don Jr. calls out 'Obama's FCC chairman,' and randomly suggests that most people didn't know what net neutrality was before this week.
Just one problem: the current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, was appointed by his father, President Trump... not former president Obama.And no, "Net Neutality" is not some delicious, new chocolate-hazelnut spread... it is just a typo. On Thursday, The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, voted to dismantle Obama-era rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the Internet, giving more power to broadband companies. Rolling back the 2015 regulations to ensure an open and free Internet could potentially drastically change the way Americans experience the web. Tweeters were not shy about calling the junior Trump out for spreading #fakenews. Enjoy Don Jr.'s incredibly uninformed tweets while you still can, folks!
Last night on NBC they aired "A Christmas Story Live." It was really good, but I was surprised who was in it...
So, they other day I Googled "cpucake" instead of "cupcake" and this is what came up...
Hahaha. So, when I die I want to be taken to the cemetery in this...
Hey, so, one thing about the Internet is that you can look at porn easily and for free. The problem is you might go look at porn if you get bored reading this blog. So, I thought why not show a porn pic here... but then I thought what about if you were at work or school. I don't want you to get in trouble. So, I came up with a solution...
You are welcome. So, I have been telling you that this seasons biggest trend is women making their breasts look like reindeer. Don't believe me?
See? So, every time there's a new Star Wars movie comes out there's new merchandise and this time there are Star Wars themed vibrators.
Crazy, right? So, I saw this pic the other day and it reminded me of something...
Then it hit me.
Ha! So, did you see The Last Jedi? I was surprised that after Rey said, "I need someone to show me my place in all this" the next scene was this...
Kinda crazy, right? Hahaha. Man, those Porgs are popular... they are getting their own movie.
That's stupid. That's as stupid as...
Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Reasons Why Omarosa Left The White House
5. Trump decided that the White House was only big enough for ONE abrasive, dangerously unqualified reality-TV hack.
4. She decided to move on to other made-up positions that don't actually exist.
3. Trump will need her office for lawyers once impeachment hearings start.
2. With the holidays approaching, she needed to focus on her duties as Krampus.
And the number one reason why Omarosa left the White House was...
1. There was simply nothing left fir her to achieve.
Me: Hello, Jane, you were the one that was here before, right?
Jane: Yes, that was me. Hi, Jason, happy holiday's, everyone!
Me: So, what have you been up to, Jane?
Jane: I let my little sister and her friends see me naked on Saturday for fifteen dollars.
Me: Ummm... you did what?! Why?
Jane: They said they didn't have a computer so seeing the other gender nude wasn't a mouse click away. They wondered about things.
Me: But why charge them fifteen dollars?
Jane: Jason, you could get stuff done for $15.00. That was a couple packs of baseball cards, a slice of pizza with a soda and several games of "Donkey Kong" or "Asteroids Deluxe" at the pizza place down the street from my house.
Me: Sheesh. Well, as long as you got something for fifteen dollars, Jane.
Jane: Yep. I was happy. They only see me completely naked for an hour...
Me: That's enough. Have a good Christmas, Jane. Jane from the Joules family, everybody.
Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.
In typical fashion, the president's old tweet expressed a fear that Obama would take away the very same freedoms Trump's administration is threatening. Or maybe, since the wording is a bit confusing, he was expressing distaste for net neutrality in the first place?! That is all for this installment of "Trump's old tweet that has eerie relevance." I have faith there will be more episodes in coming weeks.
Phact 1. More than 1,000,000 Euros are thrown into the Trevi fountain every year. The money is used to subsidize a supermarket for the needy.
Phact 2. London and NYC have “buildings” which are actually facades hiding subway ventilation/maintenance systems.
Phact 3. When she was the First Lady, Barbara Bush called "The Simpsons" “the dumbest thing I had ever seen." She received a letter from Marge Simpson which moved her so much, she wrote back apologizing.
Phact 4. When Britain changed the packaging for Tylenol to blister packs instead of bottles, suicide deaths from Tylenol overdoses declined by 43 percent. Anyone who wanted 50 pills would have to push out the pills one by one but pills in bottles can be easily dumped out and swallowed.
Phact 5. A 9000 member indigenous tribe in Guyana is fighting illegal logging of their land by filming the activity with a drone they built by watching DIY videos on YouTube and taking the footage to the Guyanese government.
Today's guest is a singer-songwriter from Canada whose latest CD "Into the Dark" is available on Bandcamp. Please welcome to the Phile... Kirby.
Me: Hello, Kirby, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Kirby: Not too bad, just at home since getting back from tour in September. Still feels strange to be back for this long and not be playing every night.
Me: So, where did the name "Kitby" come from? Is that what most people call you?
Kirby: Most people just end up calling me Kirby, when I started playing solo it just seemed Kirby would be more memorable than plain old John. When someone calls me John... I feel like I'm about to get in trouble for something.
Me: Where are you from, Kirby?
Kirby: Originally I'm from Burlington, Ontario but I moved to Hamilton (and back to Burlington, then Toronto then back to Burlington, then back to Hamilton) about nine years ago. Though at the moment I'm back with my folks in Burlington. Didn't need an apartment when I was touring so... I'm back here, planning my next moves. Drums fingers together sinisterly.
Me: Isn't Kirby a video game? I have to ask my son.
Kirby: Oh, it sure is! I actually want to make a t-shirt that has a silhouette of the Kirby character with a beard... always thought that would be funny.
Me: Haha. I ask all my guests who are from Canada if they are fans of one of my favorite bands who are from Canada... are you a fan of the Barenaked Ladies?
Kirby: I'm not like a huge "OH MY GOD!" BNL fan but I think they and their music is fun. A buddy of mine toured with them for a while and had some funny stories about their hijinks on the road. They seem like stellar dudes to play with.
Me: Okay, let's talk about your music. In your bio you said you asked yourself why am I doing this after a bad gig. Did you mean touring and recording?
Kirby: I think I meant the whole thing, yeah. More so touring but at the time the whole thing seemed catastrophic. It all stemmed from this like three day span I had while driving from Grande Prairie to Ft. St. John to Wells BC. I was pretty much broke and the shows weren't at least from my perspective that great up to that point. But I was more just mad at myself for not making more of the tour; promoting properly, contacting people, networking. I wasn’t making sure I enjoyed myself. So in my own head, I'm condemning myself for essentially just screwing up prior to tour and maybe not promoting enough, or spreading the word enough. It happens, but the last thing you need when you are alone is the isolated negativity beating you down. It was actually playing those shows that made up for it. The shows are the best part, even if there are only 5 or 50 people. Its the before and after, that time between that was killing me and how I perceived it. The shows... weren’t actually bad, maybe slow, but fun.
Me: How bad was the gig, Kirby?
Kirby: All musicians no matter how successful had a bad gig now and then. It wasn't really the one gig right, like it was a culmination of everything at that point and me over zealously summarizing my career on a valley or low point. Which is as bad as doing it on a peak. At the end of the day, everyone has a bad day or week or whatever at work, no matter what you do. I was lucky enough though, I had posted on Facebook that I was, albeit jokingly, thinking I should quit music and become a lawyer or something. I got a bunch of messages from people, a lot of whom I don't talk to that often that thought I was serious or at least more serious then I was thinking. It was this weird form of support I didn't think exsisted, but its as if this handful of people knew I was just that pissed off and needed a kick in the but. Things like "your lucky to be doing it" and "suck it up, you could be in an office right now," it was really cool to see that. Even thinking of it now warms me.
Me: I listened to your latest release called "Into the Dark" and really loved it. For some reason I was expecting it to be an acoustic album with just you and a guitar? Why was that I wonder. Who plays on the album with you, Kirby?
Kirby: Thanks! Stoked you enjoyed it. My first few records were all acoustic. Simply because I didn't have at the musicians on board to work with or really the clarity on the project to see how full arrangements would work on the songs. Call it lack of focus or laziness. But for this last release I was able to get some great musicians interested on working on it; Mike Scime on drums, Ken Corke on bass, Graham Peacefull on guitar with some other friends Max Wray and Sara Garcia to do some guitar work and vocal work respectively. They all did great work, I was so lucky to have them able to do it.
Me: Where did the name Leominster come from? What is a leominster?
Kirby: Leominster was the name I was going to switch to from Kirby. I had even begun to transition from Kirby to Kirby of Leominster but it stopped short of the full change. The name itself is the street I grew up on as a kid. I liked it. And I was tired of always hearing about the Kirby Nintendo character, or the vacuum company or someone’s dog or what have you. It was also a bitch to Google me if say, you came to a show but didn’t get any music. You go home cause you wanna check it out online, fire up the company, type in Kirby and you get 20 pages of nothing but Nintendo. So all of this for some reason bugged me. I wanted to have a name more unique, at least from a Google and image standpoint. But, much like what Coke did in the 80s with New Coke. The problem was my own, not everyone else’s. No one who likes what I do or listens really gives a shit that my name is similar to that of a cream puff or vacuum. No one ISN’T listening to me because of that. If anything it adds to the recollection of the name. So with all of that and many of my friends saying, “WTF is LEO… INSTER, Lemonster? Leominster? Why are you changing it?” I put it to a vote. I went on Facebook and asked my fans if I should go through with the change. It was a unanimous NO. Since then I’ve dropped the Leominster thing, save updating a few sources on my social networks, and I'm continuing on with Kirby.
Me: I have a feeling the album title and song name "Into the Dark" came first before the song was written, am I right?
Kirby: Actually it was totally the other way around. This record (EP) took so long to complete for a 7 songs disc. By the time it came to go to mastering and encoding the songs, I more or less panicked at the title. I hadn’t titled the record at that point. I figured, since everything was taking so long… I’d just get to it, but for now it was fine being unnamed. I picked "Into The Dark," because of what that name represents to me, an unknown step, a new direction, the uncertainty of what will be. It somewhat contradicts what the song "Into The Dark" is about, standing firm, seeing it through, being there in the present and now… it's almost an interesting dichotomy between the two. With all of that, I went with "Into The Dark" as the title.
Me: What is that song about? I know it has a good story behind it.
Kirby: When I sing it live I always say its about real love. Not TV love or that young love when you think you know what its about but realize its totally not something you know. Its about ultimate commitment to someone because of love. Now it doesn’t mean it has to be about lovers, love can exists between friends… family, anyone. But real love, real love latches on to you, real love won’t be so petty as to lead you away, quietly and defeated… into the dark. See what I did there?
Me: Another song from the album I really like is "I Want to Live in New York." Is that true? Why do you want to live in New York? You can move there, y'know, it's not that far from you.
Kirby: Hahahhaha, its true. And a funny story. I wrote this about someone completely different than what it became. I had a girlfriend who I derived a slight passion/obsession with New York from. I want to go… and I still haven’t. There was something in my head so Hollywood romantic about living there with a girl, being a musician and just existing there. It was sexy to me to have that thought. But really nothing more of a fantasy… have you seen the rent prices in New York? YOWZA! Now that being said, I was at an after party while on tour and began talking to this girl. This was no ordinary girl. It was this instant attraction and we were discussing all of theses just various things about life and people and she even sang and played guitar. She killed me with these B side Counting Crows songs she new and right then and there I was in love. It was crazy, intense for me. The kicker… was she grew up in New York… right downtown. So it was this almost serendipitous moment for me where I had written this song about that city, and intense real love and being there with this person and to my eyes, there she was, right in front of me. I was silenced, I couldn’t even tell her about the song. It right away seemed so hokey and silly to even mention it. I let it lay there, just sitting in my head until the end of the night and just wanted to share this with her… I was so sure this was it for me, in this post show, semi intoxicated awesome I was swimming in…when her friend poked her head around the corner and said my new lady friend should probably call her boyfriend as he was most likely wondering where she was. I… was crushed… but it happens. My life sometimes feels like an unfortunate string of circumstance and bad timing. However we’re still friends and still chat once in a while. But man, what a cool experience to have.
Me: This is your second album, right? What was your first one called?
Kirby: I have actually released five different things under the Kirby moniker. Six if you include this demo I did in 2006. This is the first album I’ve done with a band since recording with First Time Fallen. I played with them and still do from time to time. But it's more of a hobby band than a serious touring band at this point. Though hopefully we can record a new record, love playing with those boys.
Me: How do you compare the releases, Kirby?
Kirby: My first demos of Kirby stuff, my first solo material outside of my band… was… terrible. Just meandering half thoughts of songs that I was either too scared to finish or lazy to complete. Not see them through. I always equate song writing to essay writing in high school. Many disagree with me but hear me out, cause its true for me. I love the feeling of finishing a song. Truly. Much like I loved when my homework was completed when I was in school. Now its not to say I did it all the time, on time, but when I knew I had something to write, say an essay for English, I would put it off, occupy myself with other things… but when I got into it, I loved it. I loved conveying whatever it is I wanted to say in to something compelling. I loved story writing too. But, man… what an arduous task. First drafts, second drafts, edits, crafting it and honing it for the most impact and imagery you could conjure. Song writing for me… is the exact same thing. With the slight difference, that I enjoy it slightly more. But its not to say the struggles to complete both aren’t on the same parallel. I want to finish the songs… much like the essays… but I always think I’ll have time later or sometimes its good enough. It’s a struggle for me to complete things, and complete them well.
Me: I have to ask you about C & B Records, that's your own record label you own, right? Do you release just your music under it or did you sign other bands?
Kirby: C&B Records is a label I use to release my material under… I don’t know why really. I started it for a release I did after the first incarnation of First Time Fallen, in between myself and drummer Randy Telo and guitarist John Nunes did this 4 song demo as Minus-1. The joke being it was our old band, minus one member. A friend of ours asked if he could release it under his label and for some reason we thought we should just have one as well. We were like 17… we didn’t know shit, it just seemed cool. Since then though, I revived it with my friend Jon Clement to release these compilations under the C&B Mixtape Record Series and the C&B Records Acoustic Side Stage we ran during the Sound Of Music Festival in Burlington. We haven’t done much in the ways of comps since 2009 when our fundraising side stage was shut down by the police… for being noisy… even though the main festival, only mere meters away was going on louder… (this is a whole diatribe of another story) and because I’ve been touring we’ve just let it sit and I still continue to release anything by myself or First Time Fallen under C&B.
Me: What does C & B stand for?
Kirby: C&B stands for Careen and Barrage. Get in my Delorean with me would you? Back to 2001 or 2002, can’t remember. 16-17-year-old kids, in a band together hanging out down by Lake Ontario. Our guitar player Sean was walking on the sea wall (lake wall?) lost balance and nearly fell into the lake on top of a bunch of ducks. Catching himself he said, “Jesus… I nearly careened into a barrage of ducks.” I laugh… and think Careen and Barrage sounds like it could be used as something, some sort of name. Yada yada yada, a few years later its my record label. Its silly, but I still like it.
Me: Not only are you into music, but you produced a trailer for a film called Sons of the Sunshine. How did that happen, and is that something you're gonna do in the future, Kirby, work on film stuff?
Kirby: Son of the Sunshine came to me through a friend of mine. I actually co-produced the trailer with my good friend and producer Matt Montour and asked if I would write with him on it. We’ve since done some other small film work pitches as well as wrote for this fun short called "A Dragged Out Affair" and I’ve done some other pitches for commercial work and small indie films. It’s a tough uber competitive world. There are what seems like an infinite amount of talented people out there, so landing something is great. But as Matt says, it’s the exception not the rule. I love doing it though. It's always fun to compose within the framework of something. I find it challenging and a blast.
Me: What is Son of the Sunshine about? Where can a Phile reader find out more info on this film?
Kirby: Son of the Sunshine (sonofthesunshine.com) is a great film by writer/actor/director, Ryan Ward, star of the "Evil Dead Musical" and also the star of Son of the Sunshine. It’s a story about a young man stricken with Tourette’s struggling to understand his his past, love and coping with self discovery. It's a great film and has been winning a bunch of awards internationally. I was so happy to be a part of it, even a small part.
Me: Kirby, thanks so much for being here, I hope it was fun. Is there a website you'd like to plug?
Kirby: Thanks a ton for having me! If you wanna check out more of my stuff, head over to kirbysings.com.
Me: Cool. Take care and I hope to have you back on the Phile again soon.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Kirby for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with A Peverett Phile Christmas 9 Pheaturing Sparks. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker