Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Webb Wilder

Good afternoon, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday... how are you? So, how many more days?  No, not until Christmas... until the next Star Wars movie comes out.
Well, following evidence of sexual misconduct, Senator Al Franken has announced his official plans to resign from the U.S. Senate. As Franken pointed out in his resignation speech today, there are other, more prominent members of government who have also been accused of sexual assault. "I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office," the democratic senator said, referring to Trump. "And a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party," Franken said, in reference to Roy Moore. "But this decision is not about me," he continued. “It is about the people of Minnesota.” While President Trump has yet to comment on Franken's official resignation, his son Donald Trump Jr. jumped at the chance to tweet a joke. Commence eye roll.

As noted by The Hill, the tweet is a quote from Stuart Smalley, a character who Franken played in a recurring "Saturday Night Live" segment called "Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley" In the segment, he recited affirmations, including the one Trump Jr. tweeted. Except it's actually doggonit, not God-darnit. Not a good week for the Trumps and typos... I'm looking at you, Ivanka and President Trump. Trump Jr.'s specific intentions with his tweet are murky. Perhaps he's recommending Franken recite some self-affirmations to get through this moment; perhaps he's referring to the political segment Franken once starred in, where Stuart tells himself "you should steer clear of politics;" perhaps he's just attempting to convince people that he's somewhat cultured and knows how to make references. Most realistically, he was probably trying to hide the fact that he was caught looking at pictures of anal bleaching!
A clip tweeted by ABC News shows how far some people will go to help an animal in need. In the video, taken yesterday, a man is desperately trying to save a rabbit from the wildfires near Santa Barbara County. The poor lil' thing is a terrified of the flames, but somehow the guy manages to catch it. Whew! The man pulled his car over just to get out and help the rabbit, according to witnesses at the scene. At first the creature scampered away, heading directly into the fire, causing the man to become visibly agitated. He risked getting burned but wouldn't leave the rabbit behind. Luckily the rabbit changed direction and headed back towards the man, who then grabbed it (he caught a wild rabbit! With his hands!) and reportedly carried it to a place where the brush was not on fire. The people who took the video said the man declined to be interviewed. But now the unknown man is an Internet hero, and the rabbits have gotten together and decided to officially make him a saint. Now if he could just save the rest of Southern California, that would be great.
"Time" has announced their Person of the Year and thankfully it is not Donald Trump. Rather, "Time"'s cover honors The Silence Breakers... those who have spoken out recently against rampant sexual misconduct in Hollywood and ignited the #MeToo campaign. Including in this grouping is Taylor Swift because of her counter-lawsuit over the summer against former radio host David Mueller, who groped Swift while posing for a photo. Mueller sued Swift for financial reparations after losing his job due to his behavior. Swift famously counter-sued for $1 and won the case. Some are rankled that Swift was featured on the cover alongside the likes of Ashley Judd, who helped expose Weinstein in the "New York Times," and in favor of activist Tarana Burke, who originated the Me Too concept and is honored inside rather than on the cover of the magazine. The general complaint about Swift being honored is that she was relatively silent about her case. She released a statement after wining in which she promised donations to organizations for sexual assault victims and said, "My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard." Otherwise, Swift did not comment publicly about her trial, until now. Nor had she engaged in the growing public discussion about sexual assault. Others (like her fans) have spoken out against the backlash towards Swift's inclusion. As "Time"'s Eliana Dockterman wrote, "Swift would not accept blame for the abuse she experienced." In her interview with Dockterman, Swift broke her recent silence about sexual harassment and assault. "My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you." Swift pointedly added, "Even though awareness is higher than ever about workplace sexual harassment, there are still so many people who feel victimized, afraid and silenced by their abusers and circumstances." What this response from the public most clearly shows is that people are expecting a lot more from celebrities these days. Also, the tide is turning against Taylor Swift.
It's a well established fact that First Daughter and White House Advisor Ivanka Trump struggles with the English language. A thread went viral earlier this year tracking the many words she misuses, and she's supposed to be the smartest Trump. Her language skills have been so consistently off, that decided to troll her with their choice of "complicit" as the Word of the Year. Ivanka's latest failed foray into human speech, to her credit, was an issue of spelling, not of basic word definitions. Between retweets about the tax break she's lobbying to get herself, she posted a #relatable pic of her playing with her kids in an evening gown. And, um, homegirl couldn't even spell "peek-a-boo" correctly.

She couldn't get it right on Instagram, either. Two tries, and she failed both. People on Twitter were quick to point that out. Needless to say, her "humanizing" exercise did not go as planned. Not to mention the fact that the scene kind of looks like a Russian doll. Looks like a fun game, but there's one game of peek-a-boo she certainly wishes she could get out of.

John Mayer was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday morning for an emergency appendectomy. As E! Online reports, the singer has been touring with Dead & Company for a slate of sold out shows that would have taken him across the United States and Mexico. Tuesday's show in New Orleans has been postponed. "All tickets for the December 5th show will be honored for the rescheduled date," the touring company wrote on Twitter. "Information on the rescheduled date will be announced as soon as possible. Should ticket holders choose to seek a refund, they will be available at point of purchase." "This sucks for all of us," a fan responded on Twitter. Others are taking the more polite approach and offering Mayer their well wishes. As of Tuesday evening, no update on Mayer's surgery... or his remaining tour dates... has been announced.
So, it looks like that Nick show "The Wild Thornberrys" had a different look at one time for one of their characters...

Hot except in the face. Have you ever written a passive aggressive note to your neighbor or received one? One person has...

People here in Florida sometimes try and get really clever with their license plates...

Y'know, if I had a TARDIS I would go back in time and try and meet John Quincy Adams. Unfortunately, he won't be happy about that...

I like to follow the rules but some people take it just a tad too far...

Hahaha. So, I was supposed to Google "Tesla car" the other day but instead I Googled "Tesla cat."

So, on Monday's entry I showed this pic and said it was real...

Well, it turns out I was wrong... it's fake. This album is real though...

Or maybe not... So, the biggest trend is women making their breasts look like reindeer this season. It's fantastic!

Ladies... send them in! Alright, it's Thursday... you know what that means...

Apparently John Cutlip really hated his boss. Cutlip not only ejaculated into her cup of instant soup, but he also posted a video of himself doing the jerky deed on Facebook. His boss discovered the video when Cutlip's browser was left open at work, but alas it was already after she consumed said soup. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges. He thought she ordered Cream of Sum Yun Gai.

I think that's the dumbest Mindphuck ever! If you spot it let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How are you?

Jeff: Always glad to be back here on the Phile! I'm alright. Been a little under the weather lately, but I think I'm getting better.

Me: That's good. Okay, the Giants are taking over the NFL news... The Giants have fired head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese. This is the very first time the Giants' coach was fired mid-season, even though the season is over. Are you surprised? I'm not surprised the coach was fired... but surprised Jerry Reese was fired.

Jeff: Considering the season the Giants are having, no I'm honestly not surprised that McAdoo and Reese got fired. Part of it had to do with injuries which isn't their fault, but the season is pretty bad regardless.

Me: With those two gone, it looks like Eli will be starting QB again! Do you think they made a mistake benching him last weekend? They still fucking lost.

Jeff: Yeah, I was surprised Eli got benched, especially considering his streak for starting games. And the Giants knew Geno Smith isn't the future of the team, they should have started the rookie they drafted to see if he could provide a spark. Smith looked good, but it wasn't enough. Like I said, they have a lot of issues and it's not just at QB.

Me: You know what I say about Eli? Without him, cheaters would have six Super Bowl rings and an undefeated season.

Jeff: Eli will go down as the greatest QB in Giants history, and that says something when you remember they had Phil Simms. Eli has two issues, one he seems to forget who he's throwing to. He usually has a lot of interceptions in the season, especially the last few years. Two, he will never be the most famous in his family. He might even be third behind his father and that dude name Peyton.

Me: Let's talk about other NFL news, Jeff. This was amazing. During the fourth quarter of the Eagles-Seahawks showdown in Seattle, Eagles QB Carson Wentz made an unreal 45-yard throw to WR Nelson Agholor. Wentz was being chased from behind and had it his legs pulled down from him but was still to get this throw off. This kinda shit doesn't happen everyday, right? Can you think of another play as good?

Jeff: The pass was great! I will give you that. But we've seen some pretty amazing passes the last few years. I know I'm partial but the Big Ben to Antonio Brown two weeks ago that set up the game winner was pretty epic too.

Me: I saw this and have to mention it... CBS cut to a Browns fan taking money out of her bra during Chargers-Browns game.

Me: I wish she would of just taken off her sweater. Do you think she knew she was being filmed, Jeff? Hahaha.

Jeff: I think she was too busy reaching into her shirt to realize she was on TV. She probably knows now!

Me: Did you see during today’s Patriots-Bills game in Buffalo, Pats TE Rob Gronkowski delivered a dirty WWe-style hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White? After the game, Gronk apologized and cited the lack of calls for the reason his to lose his cool. Regardless of the situation and why Gronkowski laid the hit on the Bills CB, a suspension should happen. Do you think it will?

Jeff: Gronk has been a WWE ring before, so he probably learned that from his friend Mojo Rawley! He has been suspended for a game, but he's appealing it right now.

Me: What NFL news do you have?

Jeff: I mean we've pretty much covered the big news. The Steelers and the Bengals played on Monday night in one of the ugliest games of the year. The Bengals set the most penalty yards for the season last night, but the Steelers had some stupid penalties too. These two teams just don't like each other and it's obvious.

Me: Hey, so, I am dying to see what you think about this... Disney has taken over your team, Jeff.

Me: Hahahahaha. Well? Hahahahaha.

Jeff: Hmmm, I feel like they could have done more with the logo. What? I don't know. But not that. 

Me: Okay, so, how did we do last week?

Jeff: Last week I had another perfect week going 2-0 with a Steeler win while you went 1-1 with a Giants lose. So my lead grows!

Me: Ugh. Okay, let's pick this week... I say Packers by 3 and your Steelers (Or Dwarfs) by 1. Also, the Giants better beat the Cowboys. Please. Oh. Please.

Jeff: My picks are Saints by 3 and Jets by 5. I wouldn't hold my breath on a Giant win, but we shall see.

Me: Okay, my friend, I will see you back here next Wednesday. Have a good week.

Jeff: And speaking of seeing, I will see you next week!

Okay, so, a lot of people are saying that Trump was shutting his words and having a stroke yesterday. A "friend" of the Phile wants to explain what happened. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Sarah: Oh, my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine... hello, Jason.

Me: Hello, Sarah. So, yesterday, much of the world watched as president Donald Trump made a speech announcing his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While the speech itself marks a big political move, a lot of the Internet was preoccupied with the way Trump slurred his words at the end of the address. What happened to him, Sarah?

Sarah: Jason, it was just a dry throat. There were a lot of questions on that. Frankly, pretty ridiculous questions. The president's throat was dry, nothing more than that.

Me: So, the president is in good health?

Sarah: Yes, he is in good health, and he's scheduled to see his doctor next year. the results of this appointment will be shared with the public.

Me: There are still a lot of questions on the table. For one, why can't he see his doctor before next year?! Is he getting enough water? Is there a stash of White House cocaine?! There's a lot left unanswered.

Sarah: Can I go now?

Me: Sure. Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, ladies and gentlemen. Speaking of Trump...

Donald Trump done messed up on Twitter again. No, he didn't admit to obstruction of justice, or address the wrong mass shooting, but he did misquote one of the most famous sentences in American history in attempting to honor the victims of Pearl Harbor.

Any fifth grade American History student or FDR fanboy or girl could tell you that the quote is actually "a date which will live in infamy." Sure, it's a mistake a lot of people make, but a lot of people aren't the President of the United States. People noticed the error. At this point I guess we should be glad that he didn't fuck it up as much as he could have. Trump could have added his own language instead of just simply messing up FDR's. Stay tuned for a mention of "Four score eleven years ago" on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Oh... and he's not the only Trump to mess up their tribute to the first fallen American heroes of World War II.


The 71st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Lol will be the guest on the Phile on Monday.

If you don't know what net neutrality is let this help you understand...

World War II
The other thing Hitler is famous for.

Today's pheatured guests is one of my favorite singers and songwriters of all time. His great latest album "Mississippi Moderne" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile the fantastic... Webb Wilder!

Me: Webb! I am so glad to have you back on the Phile... you have no idea! How have you been? 

Webb: Thanks, Jason! Glad to be back. I suppose I have been every which a way since we have spoken but, mostly very good.

Me: Webb, where are you living nowadays?

Webb: I have lived in the Nashville area since 1982.

Me: You're originally from Mississippi, right?

Webb: Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Me: I have to say I purchased your latest album "Mississippi Mordern." What does the title mean, Webb? I am guessing the Mississippi part is because you are from there…

Webb: Yes, the term itself belongs to R.S. Field who also was born and raised in Hattiesburg. I have such a long history with him. He was the drummer in WW & the Beatnecks for a short time back in 1985 but, continued on as producer and really, principal songwriter for many years after that. Mississippi moderne is one of many terms he thought of to describe our music. It seemed to fit for a title on this particular album.

Me: It has a bunch of obscure covers and a few originals on it, am I right?

Webb: Yes.

Me: How did you chose which covers to do? Are these songs you wanted to record for awhile?

Webb: Yes, I always wanted to do "Lucy Mae Blues" by Frankie Lee Sims. Buddy Guy beat me to the punch in covering it but, I deliberately never listened to his version as I didn't want it to influence my interpretation of it for which I had a pretty clear vision. "Lonely Blue Boy" by Conway Twitty was something we used to play back when Bobby Field was still the drummer. We met Conway in a studio one time which was very special. As the direction of this album began to take shape, I had an idea for a more "caveman" kind of arrangement of it which the guys in the band really expanded on. We had been playing "Who Will the Next Fool Be" onstage for quite a while so, that was kind of a no brainer as the album had taken on a bluesy kind of direction. The Kinks cover, "I Gotta Move" is a song I used to do in a band called the Drapes back in Mississippi before I moved to Nashville.

Me: Do you like covering songs better than doing originals? A lot of your covers are better than the originals... that's just my opinion.

Webb: Well, thanks for saying so! At the risk of sounding immodest, I think I have pretty good taste in songs. The flip side of that is my standards for songs are probably higher than my song writing ability! It is only in recent years that I have sort of given myself "license" to actually record what I write more often.

Me: One cover I have to ask you about is the Kinks' "I Gotta Move" which you just mentioned. This is a really cool version. You grew up being a fan of British music, right? Was the Kinks one of your favorite bands growing up?

Webb: Without a doubt. I distinctly remember hearing them for the first time although I can't remember if it was "You Really Got Me" or "All of the Day" but, I remember thinking that they must be inebriated Hispanic people! They certainly didn't sound British to me. I loved their early raw stuff but, then got pretty obsessed with their more intellectual "golden" period which kind of starts with "Face To Face" and continues through "Arthur: The Fall and Decline of the British Empire." Having said that, the "Lola" album is great and "Muswell Hillbilles" is very good. After that, I like them on sort of a song by song basis although the huge "concept" albums that followed are impressive to be sure.

Me: What other bands were you into?

Webb: The Band, NRBQ, Badfinger, The Faces, The Small Faces, The Rolling Stones, Free, Delaney and Bonnie, Blodwyn Pig, Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield, Poco the original Johnny Winter Trio, Canned Heat and many more. The Beatles were and are always top of the heap, though… perhaps to the point that I placed them aside as an influence because I was sure I couldn't remotely "go there" in like fashion. Later on I was very into The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Rockpile.

Me: My dad used to say there's Stones fans and there are Beatles fans. In the 90s I would say I was a Stones fan, but nowadays in my older years I would have to say I am a bigger Beatles fan. What about you?

Webb: I am both but, I guess I am more of a Stones "person" if that makes any sense. I related to them and am influenced by them more but, as I said, the Beatles have always been in a class by themselves.

Me: Webb, how old were you when you started to play guitar and sing?

Webb: I was 12 when I first started learning to play. Kind of embarrassing because to have been playing that long, I ought to be Segovia by now! I will say, that people who grow up with parents or siblings who play do seem to catch on to it easier. My parents were not in the least bit musical and I was an only child.

Me: Do you remember what the first song you learnt was? 

Webb: "(Hang Down Your Head) Tom Dooley." It only has two chords!

Me: What was the name of your first band and what kinda music did you play?

Webb: It was called (not my idea) The Power of Steam. It was the era of far out band names: The Chocolate Watchband, The Vanilla Fudge, etc. One of the guys in the band had a friend who had a sound effects album dedicated to steam locomotives which was called The Power of Steam. We played (awfully) rhythm and blues covers, San Francisco psychedilc covers, Young Rascals and stuff like that. We basically TRIED to cover the same songs some of the older bands played at the Hattiesburg Teen Center except that we threw in all of these Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead covers mainly because the guy who named the band was the eldest and dug the San Francisco thing. I do remember buying "Beggar's Banquet" and insisting we do "Sympathy For the Devil!" I am sure we were never in tune! 

Me: Cool. Anyway, let's get back to the latest album... where was it recorded, Webb?

Webb: A great deal of it was recorded at a now gone and demolished (literally!) studio called Studio 19. It's true legacy would have been under it's original name which was Music City Recorders which was once owned and operated by the late, great Scotty Moore who was Elvis's original guitarist. Among it's other notable visitors was Ringo Starr who recorded his "Beaucoups of Blues" album there back in the 1970s. It has been sold and levelled, sadly., Nashville is really changing! A couple of the songs were recorded at Joe McMahan's Wow & Flutter studio where I did the "More Like Me" album. One song was recorded back in the '90s at a former home studio of George Bradfute's.

Me: Who plays on the album? Is it the same band you had all these years?

Webb: Pretty much. Jimmy Lester and Tom Comet play drums and bass throughout except George Bradfute plays bass on "Going To Get My Baby" and Greg Morrow plays drums on "Stones In My Pathway." Micha Hulscher played some great keyboards on a couple of songs and we had two of the McCrary Sisters (Regina and Anne) on one song. The only guitarists in evidence on the record are Bob Williams, Joe V. McMahan (two songs), George Bradfute (one song) and myself.

Me: There's one song I have to ask you about, and I think it's an original... "Too Much Sugar For a Nickel." I think I know what that means, but tell me just in case I don't.

Webb: That comes from an old country expression my mother used to use to describe something that seemed a little dodgy (too use the Brit term!) or was too good to be true.

Me: This is your 9th studio album I think... do you have a favorite album of yours, Webb?

Webb: No. I am very proud of all of them. I was very pleased with this one. The only one that bugs me soncially is "Hybrid Vigor" which is full of great songs and performances but the SOUND of it is rather 1980s, I'm afraid!

Me: I love the live album "Born to be Wilder." Do you think you'll be ever releasing another live album?

Webb: It is certainly possible. I think you will see live tracks here and there whether there is a truly live album yet to come or not. Going through a lot of old previously unreleased stuff and hioping to put together an "archival" release early in 2018.

Me: You play a few shows in Europe I read... how would you compare American audiences to European audiences?

Webb: There are always exceptions but, in general I think European audiences are more open minded.

Me: You played so many shows over the years do you have a favorite?

Webb: Not just one although The Barrowlands in Glasgow opening for the Georgia Satellites in 1989 is a stand out. Sharing the bill with Jerry Lee Lewis at the legendary Tiptina's in New Orleans years ago was like a dream. Unreal. Backing Bo Diddley, playing the old Antone's on the drag in Austin back when Clifford Antone was still alive and having Wayne Bennet (Bobby "Blue" Bland) sit in with us, hosting a "Mississsippi" night here at 3rd and Lindsley during Americana Fest a few years ago with Marty Stuart and band, Paul Thorn and band, Luthor Dickinson all on the bill as well as my band with Ian MacLagan in the audience and backstage was a great night!

Me: I think I know the answer to this... what do you prefer, playing live or in the studio?

Webb: I guess live but, when I really feel we've gotten something in the studio it is a very rewarding feeling.

Me: I have to ask you about "Orange Couch." That's your show on the Internet, right? Are you still doing that?

Webb: It wasn't REALLY my show. I hosted it. It was sort of an experiment that was initiated by the folks at Audio Productions here in Nashville. We had some great guests but, didn't do it long enough to work the bugs out, get our production values up to snuff, etc.

Me: And you are hosting a radio show called The List? How is that going? Do you like doing that kinda thing?

Webb: Yes, I am. Going great. It is a lot of fun.

Me: In the past we talked about your acting. You were in the movie The Thing Called Love and you came out with a video called "Corn Flicks" which had a few shorts. Are you still acting, Webb?

Webb: I haven't done much acting since around 2006 in a film that wound up being kind of a stillborn effort called Scattergun. To give you an example of how messed up the whole thing was, we have a song called "Scattergun." The name of the film is Scattergun. The song is not in the film!

Me: Haha. Have you ever thought about releasing "Corn Flicks" on DVD? I still have my VHS copy somewhere.

Webb: Yes, but, we haven't done it for various reasons. We did have a DVD for a time that had the two main short films and a bunch of bonus stuff from the director as well as some WW & the Beatnecks bonus features but, it is out of print now.

Me: So, what are your plans next year? Any new projects in the pipeline?

Webb: As I said, I am also putting together a "previously unreleased" album which should see a 2018 release. January will be quite busy with the 30A Songwriter Festival and the Outlaw Country Cruise. The List will continue on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, I have two or three new recordings which I hope will be the start of an altogether new album to be released at some as yet unknown future date. 

Me: Webb, you know I have to ask you... you have a cool credo... can you tell the readers what it is?


Me: When did you first come up with that credo, Webb?

Webb: In the van in 1985 returning from the first out of town gig that WW & the Beatnecks ever did. Luckily it was captured on a boom box recording as I spontaneously and simultaneously composed and first said it!

Me: Alright, thanks so much for being on the Phile again. It has been way too long. Will you come back when your next release comes out?

Webb: You bet!

Me: Go ahead and plug anything you want and mention your website. All the best, and please come back here soon. Rock on.

Webb: Well, the Three Aces tour has a poster and it can be found at The List, the Americana Chart Show can be heard from anywhere online at on Fridays at 2pm CST or Saturdays from 7 to 9am CST. Thanks, Jason!

Me: Of course. Great job, Webb.

There. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Webb Wilder. The Phile will be back on Monday with author and original Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst. 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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