Monday, July 16, 2018

Pheaturing Shane Speal From Shane Speal & The Snakes


Good afternoon, kids, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday. Two big international events have made headlines here in the U.S. this weekend... the first being that France defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the 2018 World Cup in Sochi, Russia yesterday. France won! Ugh!!! The other is that President Trump is having his first official summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland early this morning. Hillary Clinton decided to marry those two events in one brutal tweet to criticize Trump's close ties with Russia...


Damn, girl. That tea is scalding hot. The tweet came just a few hours after President Trump congratulated Putin and Russia for hosting the tournament...


On July 13th, special counsel Robert Mueller handed down indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Robert Mueller is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia as part of his probe into Moscow's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral college. President Trump continues to call the investigation a "witch hunt." Hmmm.
In the latest installment of Whites Behaving Badly, a nightmare miniseries that has been running in America for roughly 500 years, a racist CVS manager in Chicago called the cops on a black woman using a coupon. Yes, you read that right, unfortunately. It all went down when Camilla Hudson tried to use a coupon that CVS manager Morry Matson didn't recognize. Rather than checking the system like a normal human being, or politely asking Hudson how she got the coupon (it was mailed to her as the replacement for a product), Matson made assumptions and called a second manager over. According to Hudson, the second manager said it looked "fraudulent" and refused to answer her questions. "When I pulled out my phone to document what happened and exactly what he’d said to me (AND how he’d said it!) he turned his back and walked away from me. When I followed him and demanded that he answer my question, he ran to the back of the store and slammed a door in my face." Right after the second (unnamed) manager slammed a door in Hudson's face, Matson told her he'd called the cops, and then proceeded to call them again in front of her. "Apparently, they’d hung up on him the first time he called, so he had to call them back a second time, telling the 911 dispatcher that I was harassing them (which I have on video)," Hudson said. Hudson was able to get the second call on tape, which she later posted to her Facebook. The police later confirmed to Buzzfeed News that there were in fact two calls made from the CVS to report an "assault in progress." However, the cops who responded did not write up reports about the calls. After the video went viral, people quickly found out Matson is running for 48th Alderman and has specifically promised to "increase police presence" if he wins. This viral video has energized many to actively vote against him. Following the viral video, CVS posted an apology for both Matson and the other manager's behavior. "We sincerely apologize to Ms. Hudson for her experience in one of our stores. The employees who were involved in the incident will not be working in the store pending the findings of our investigation." Given the bleak stats on how the cops treat black people, having someone call the cops on Hudson for trying to use a coupon is terrifying on multiple levels. Hopefully he gest his comeuppance, both politically and in the workplace.
While the world celebrated the successful rescue of 12 Thai boys who got trapped deep inside a cave, Extremely Online billionaire Elon Musk was pissed that he didn't get to be a part of it. Rather than rejoice over the fact that the kids were freed, union buster extraordinaire Musk tried to make the news cycle about himself, insisting that a "kid-size submarine" could have saved the boys, because don't you dare forget about him for five minutes. British diver and Thai cave expert Vern Unsworth, who was actually involved in the rescue, called Musk's mini submarine a "PR stunt" that had "absolutely no chance of working," because Musk and crew "had no conception of what the cave passage was like." Rather than take a step back and applaud the guy for saving children, Musk decided to accuse Unsworth of being attracted to them. Um, people pointed out that it's not cool to just call someone "pedo guy," so Musk decided to double down. He ultimately deleted the tweets, but not before people took screenshots, and the accused "pedo guy" said he was considering taking legal action. And his company is taking a hit, too. Musk tweeting out vitriol and throwing around immature insults dovetails nicely with the other news of the weekend: that he's a top donor to a Republican PAC. Congratulations to the diver, because like the Republican party, he's gonna score some of Elon Musk's money.
There are few activities the collective Internet loves witnessing more than a good natured trolling. This isn't the kind of trolling that escalates into toxic bullying, doxxing, and mental health issues, this is an artful trolling, the kind of pranking that gets companies to write earnest responses to ridiculous queries. When the Twitter user Benny (@Kung_FuBenny) texted "Fox 10 News" with a hot photo tip about a local fire, it was only natural for the news station to respond. However, his tip was quickly revealed as a troll move when he sent a photo from "Spongebob Squarepants." His sister Steph (@zanoess) knew the Internet would eat up this delightful trolling exchange, especially since "Fox 10" was fully prepared to use Benny's photo.


Unsurprisingly, "Fox 10" ghosted Benny after he sent the photo of the fire at the Krusty Krab. The rest of the Internet, however, was feeling the joke. One guy weighed in with footage from the actual fire. Apparently, the fire took place at his local grocery store. This text exchange became an instant classic. Apparently he inspired other trolls, which while funny, legitimately sucks for the people trying to do their job at "Fox 10" (which should be noted is a local station, not Bill O'Reilly's homestead). Benny's supreme trolling tactics have officially placed him in the Twitter Hall of Fame, at least, for this week's lineup.
The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, aka the patron saint of having a heart as big as his muscles is a pro at remaining humble. While many actors would get defensive or in their feelings about receiving negative reviews, Johnson has taken the negative reviews of his latest film Skyscraper in stride. At the time of writing, Skyscraper has an average 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been criticized for having too thin of a plot, "ripping off Die-hard," and being "disappointing." However, not all of the reviews are so scathing. The film critic Kristen Lopez, who suffers from a disability, penned a review praising the film for its surprisingly nuanced use of a disabled protagonist. She noted that while Johnson's character in the film has a prosthetic leg, his disability isn't the focal point of the plot. He is presented as a full, complex person, and neither fetishized or pitied for his disability. Johnson shared the review with his Twitter followers, praising Lopez' writing and opening up a discussion for disabled representation in Hollywood. Fans of Johnson and Lopez' writing chimed in to point out the importance of disabled visibility, and how far Hollywood has to go. In the future, the hope is that Johnson's character would be played by someone who actually has a prosthetic leg. Lopez was naturally happy to receive the shout out from Johnson, hopefully this will give her an even larger readership. Not long before posting this tweet, Johnson announced that he'd joined forces with the Ruderman Family Foundation, a charity that campaigns for disabled representation in film and media. All of this only intensifies the Rock should run for president.
Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this record...


Ummm... maybe not. That's like the Filipino Justice League. Haha. You know I like the beach, Star Wars and women in bikini's, right? Well, here's a mix of all 3...


You guys know who that is, right? So, I was thinking about getting a new tattoo and someone took my idea...


Damn him. Hahahaha. If there's a God some people sure strayed from his light... not that guy with the tattoo, but this guy...


If I had a TARDIS I would like to go to the 60s and have lunch with JFK... but knowing my luck he would be having lunch with someone else... someone more important.


I have been telling you this for a few weeks now Marvel is very good at matching their actors with stunt people. Check it out...


Told ya. Creepy. There's still Royal Wedding souvenirs left if you want any. This is one I do want...

The sweetest. When I saw this movie poster I thought it looked familiar...


Then it hit me...


Hahahaha. Man, those people in London were so mean with their anti-Trump signs...


Hahaha. ICYMI, here's a pic of Trump meeting Prime Minister Theresa May...


I think it's her... ha. Oh, here is a pic of Putin from the press conference this morning...


I know. I know. That's not really Putin. I'm not that stupid. Here's the real picture from the press conference...


Hahahahahaha. I just cracked myself up. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...


Top Phive Things Overheard At Trump And Putin's Press Conference
5. I just saw a U.S. Secret Service agent put the soccer ball Putin gave Trump through a security scanner outside the Pres. Palace.
4. It seems crazy that Trump would share the evidence our intelligence agencies has collected against Russia with Vladimir Putin, but I'm sure he has his treasons.
3. Making gay jokes about Putin and Trump implies there are genuine human emotions behind their corruption. I wish they were in love with each other, because that would be easier to contend with than pure unstoppable ego and greed.
2. Trump: Say it.  Translator [sighing deeply]: President Putin, the pundits were saying there was no path to 270. But if you look at this electoral map...
And the number 1 thing overheard at Trump and Putin's press conference was...
1. Trump basically said "fuck America" while sucking Putin’s dick.




Yeesh. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. You know, a majority of the modern world has progressed to the fact that women are not only funny, but they're also terrifying human beings who are capable of great violence if you don't laugh at their jokes.



Ladies, I'm laughing... ahem. So, a friend of the Phile recently purchased a car if you remember. I thought I'd invite him back to see how it's going. Please welcome back to the Phile...


Me: Hey, Dindo, my friend, welcome back. How are you doing?

Dindo: Okay, I guess. It's raining out there.

Me: Yup. I hear the thunder. So, how's the new car?

Dindo: Well, I was driving down the street and a woman blew a kiss at me from a bus passing by. I leaned over to my friends to say, "Hey guys! Did you just see that? She blew me a..." Then CRASH, I ran into the little Volkswagon Fox in front of me and then he rammed the Audi in front of him.

Me: Oh, man, what happened then?

Dindo: That sucked. I totally destroyed the VW.

Me: Did you learn anything form this, Dindo?

Dindo: Yeah, never kiss and tell. Can I go now? I have to get a ride.

Me: Sure. Dindo Nuffin, everyone.



Night towels are more likely to be single.


Oh, you thought that the President of the United States was going to side with the American intelligence agencies that concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 election when Vladimir Putin denied it? That's cute. Today in Helsinki, Finland, President Donald Trump met privately with Russian president Vladimir Putin for two hours before hosting a press conference. Trump stood next to the former KGB agent and smiled as he blew anti-Semitic dog whistles, and the dude supposedly representing the United States accepted the Russian dictator's denials when his own Justice Department says otherwise. He might have thrown American law enforcement agencies under the bus, but at least he stands for the national anthem! The overwhelming conclusion from people who prefer America to Trumpistan was that it's a sad day for the superpower. Even Fox News was disgusted. FOX NEWS!!! Even if Republicans in Congress don't care that the president appears to be a Russian asset, history might.



The 83rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...


Chris will be on the Phile next Sunday. Okay, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida that happens nowhere else in the universe. So, once again here is...


A drunk dude in Orlando, Florida made three stupid decisions that got him and his buddy knocked out. 1. Don’t kick a man’s motorcycle. 2. Don’t get into a fight with a guy in a helmet. 3. Don’t go bare knuckle against a person wearing riding gloves In a viral video, a man riding a Yamaha R1 is passing through a crosswalk when a bald guy approaches him and kicks his bike. The biker gets off and lays a left hook squarely on his jaw knocking him to the pavement. Then, with zero hesitation, the southpaw cyclist knocks the guy’s buddy out cold, too. The biker then drives off like a hero. What’s interesting is that both men go down hard after what looks like a pretty soft punch. It appears as though the biker is wearing carbon fiber or Kevlar knuckle guards which is just like wearing brass knuckles. While the guys who got knocked out were clearly intoxicated it’s hard to know who started the fight. In a second video, there's an altercation in the crosswalk that preceeds the fight. Regardless of what caused the fight in the first place, when you kick someone’s motorcycle you deserve what comes next.


Phact 1. A Chernobyl fireman who claimed they didn’t know that the Chernobyl meltdown flames were radioactive, 20 years later said, “Of course we knew! If we had followed regulations, we would never have gone near the reactor. It was a moral obligation, our duty. We were like kamikaze.”

Phact 2. Netherlands and France share a land border. It’s in the Caribbean on Saint Martin... the smallest inhabited island divided between two countries.

Phact 3. Clint Eastwood ran for mayor in the city of Carmel in California, campaigning against an ordinance banning the sale of ice cream and he actually won.

Phact 4. Charcoal beetles fly into still-burning forest fires to mate and lay eggs because competition and predators will be low. They sense distant fires using infrared armpit sensors.

Phact 5. A guide dog calmly led her owner and 30 other people down 1,463 steps out of the World Trade Center on 9/11 despite the confusion, smoke, and noise around them. After descending over half the distance, they passed the firemen who were heading up, who the dog stopped to greet. Once safe, the dog then helped a woman who was blinded by the debris.



Today's guest is an American musician, historian and instrument builder who calls himself the King of the Cigar Box Guitar. His latest CD with his band the Snakes titled "Stay Primal," is available on his website. Please welcome to the Phile... Shane Speal.


Me: Hey, Shane, welcome to the Phile. How are you doing? 

Shane: I'm doing great, how are you?

Me: Not too bad. Hoping my power doesn't go out because of the storm. So, where are you from, Shane?

Shane: I grew up in western Pennsylvania and now living in the central part of the state in York, Pennsylvania.

Me: Cool, my son lives not far from you I think. So, what got you into the cigar box guitar playing opposed to a regular guitar?

Shane: Ha ha. You gotta understand, I started out like any red blooded Pennsylvania guy as a heavy metal freak. Back in the 80s I had the mullet, I was listening to thrash metal and all that stuff. When I went to college I heard Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" and that changed my life. Everything became blues for me, and even though I had guitars and "normal" instruments like that around me I kept going back in time searching for music that deeper blues. I listened to Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" then I went to Hound Dog Taylor and Muddy Waters. Then I took that step back to the Delta guys. For me this was back in 1993, this was before the Internet and it wasn't like I could punch something up. I saw these interviews with guys talking about when they started out they were so poor they couldn't even afford guitar from the Sears catalogue so they made one out of a cigar box guitar. For me I'm into that gritty primal one step deeper from the Delta blues sound. That's when I said I got to make my own so in 1993 I made my first string cigar box guitar.

Me: For people that don't know can you explain what a cigar box guitar is, Shane?

Shane: Okay, going back into blues history... the cigar box guitar for the most part was nothing but a broom stick through a box with one or two pieces of bailing wire put onto it and played with a broken bottle neck as a slide. These are the most primitive prime blues instruments you could find.

Me: So, what's the difference between that and a Fender Strat? Haha.

Shane: Hmmm... light years. If I play a Fender guitar I sound like everyone else. If I play a cigar box guitar I sound like Shane Speal. It's the one instrument that makes me sound completely unique because number 1. there's no rules to it. It's a pleasant instrument. Its something made by people that were desperate for music. Number 2. there's no rules for playing it. You approach it how you approach it.

Me: Okay, so, tell me about the ones you play, Shane. What are they like?

Shane: They have three or four strings and no frets, played with a slide. In the middle of a song it could go a little bit out of tune but that's kinda what I'm looking for. A blues that's so nasty and so rugged that you can't get it from a Strat. The last thing I wanna do is play a Strat in a concert any more.

Me: When did you start to amplify it? Was that common for people to amplify these?

Shane: My band is an absurd thing, Cigar box guitars were a front porch instrument back in the day. When I first started to build them myself they were all acoustic. Back in the 1990s I used to perform at a coffee shop and I would take like a tie tack microphone that interviewers use and shove it into the sound hole so the people could hear what I'm doing. Electrifying cigar box guitars is a new rules idea. You can use whatever you want as a pick-up. I have some cigar box guitars that were taken out of old guitars. There's absolute freedom making your own homemade instrument.

Me: So, when and how did you start playing with your band Shane Speal & the Snakes, Shane? 

Shane: Well, as it progressed I put together my band and our goal was to sound like a mixture of jug band and Black Sabbath. Now I still do acoustic shows as well, I like to go back and forth.

Me: What kind of tunings are you playing?

Shane: For me it's a slide open G.

Me: Do you do a lot of experimenting with it?

Shane: Absolutely. In fact I actually started my own guitar slide company. It's stubbyslide.com, but every slide that I sell on that site I include a tuning guide because that's kind of the cool fun of this thing is to try jazz tunings, Hawaiian tunings, mutant weird things. In concert I'm always using my tuner or I at least have seven guitars besides me per show because they're all tuned differently. I can just grab another one and do a different song. Have fun with the tunings. I even have a YouTube channel where I teach playing and tunings are a big part of it.

Me: I was looking at the videos, Shane. You teach AC/DC and Depeche Mode and blues staples as well, but no Foghat. So, how many do you have, Shane? Cigar box guitars... not videos. Haha.

Shane: Ha ha. Maybe I'll do "Slow Ride" soon. You have musicians reading this, right?

Me: I think so.

Shane: Okay, so, here's my tip for you musicians... when you buy a guitar have it sent to your office. Then when you'll sneak it home she'll never realize. If you have more than 40 guitars in your house she'll never notice another one. Hahahaha. Just kidding. But cigar box guitars, with my collection is over 200. Those are ones that I have made, that I've traded with people throughout the world or I bought. In fact when my father took over Speals Tavern in New Alexandria and I proposed to him we would have a cigar box museum inside of it one of the reasons was I was running out of room in my house. I wanted these guitars to be seen. The next thing is every time I go back to Speals to perform I always bring some more with me and I take a couple of the walls so I can perform with them. I just swap them around. The museum itself I just bought in 39 new guitars about a month and a half ago. We're running outta space on the walls. It's a beautiful thing.

Me: So, tell the readers about Speal's Tavern, and the museum, Shane. I think it's pretty cool.

Shane: The bar has been in my family since the middle of the prohibition. My great uncle started it and that was repealed legally. In fact Speal's Tavern has one of the oldest liquor licenses in Pennsylvania. Its been in my family the whole time. My father is a retired special-ed school teacher, his brother ran the bar for many, many years and finally said to my dad he was too old to take care of the bar, and did my dad want it because my uncle wanted to sell it. My dad was retired from teaching so he took it over. He called me up and and said, "I don't know what to do about this. There's nobody here." I said to him, "I have an extra P.A. system and I have my cigar box guitar collection. Let's bring live blues in there and make the place look like the Hard Rock Cafe of old time blues." The walls are just covered in cigar box guitars from all over the world. There's live blues music there every Thursday night, Friday and Saturday night. Here's a picture of the Tavern, Jason.


Me: So, what's the Guitar-B-Que?

Shane: Once a year they have the Guitar-B-Que which is a two day event of live music. It is not held on site, it is actually held in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania at the Sportsmen Club there. Typically it's so big and it gets so many people. The majority of the bands that perform at Speal's Tavern throughout the year all get together and it's a one big music festival of some of the best blues, roots and rock music in the area.

Me: Cool. If someone wanted to build a cigar box guitar, what kind of advice can you give them?

Shane: Oh my God, just build one. We have free plans on a website called cigarboxnation.com. That website is basically the hub of all cigar box activity. I started it years ago, and yes I did name it after Steelers Nation. Hahahaha. If you want the kit and don't want to collect the pieces you can go to gittykit.com and that has free plans to download and you can buy all the parts.

Me: I have to talk about your new CD "Stay Primal." What can you tell us about the CD?

Shane: We were talking about how loud my band can get... "Stay Primal" is a step back. It's more acoustic. Basically I forced my band to listen to "Led Zeppelin III" before going into the studio. On "Led Zeppelin III" is where they went acoustic so it's like this hard rock band playing folk music on acoustic. We're a hard rock jug band that goes back to Memphis and St. Louis jug band but still with the rock attitude. There's some rockers in there but it's still step back in time. I'm very, very proud of the album.

Me: Cool. Shane, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. Mention your website and I wish you continued success. If I am ever up in Pennsylvania I will stop by Speals Tavern.

Shane: Shanespeal.com, thank you, Jason.

Me: Cool, don't forget to do the "Slow Ride" video. Haha.

Shane: I won't. Thanks for having me.





That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Shane for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Chris Difford. In a few weeks as well is one of the biggest guests I ever had on the Phile. It's gonna be so cool. 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

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pheaturing Tal Bergman From Rock Candy Funk Party


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? So far, Trump's visit to the U.K. has been marked by a lot of derision. Protests in London have broken out to stand against everything he represents, a large baby Blimp of Trump in a diaper was launched to express distaste for the president, and now, a literal paraglider has flown over his Scotland resort bearing a message. Just shortly after Trump arrived at his golf Turnberry resort in Scotland, a paraglider from Greenpeace U.K. flew over his hotel to give the president a message. The large yellow banner reads, "Trump is well below par." While the message itself is fairly simple, the execution took serious commitment. It should also be noted this was a zero-fly zone, so the protester could get into legal trouble. Perhaps the best part of this form of protest is the fact that Trump was standing outside when the paraglider flew over, so there's absolutely no chance he missed the message. Local police are currently trying to trace the pilot due to the breach of the no-fly zone rule. Hopefully, for the paraglider's sake, they were able to vanish back into the blue of the sky from whence they came, untraced. Between London and Scotland's protests of Trump, the U.K. is really doing the legwork to let him know he's unwelcome. More on all that in a bit...
Actor Henry Cavill is in hot water after making comments about how the #MeToo movement has affected his dating life. In an interview with GQ Australia, the Man of Steel actor revealed that he is now afraid to talk to women because he doesn't want to be called a 'rapist or something.' The 35-year-old said, "It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like, 'Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to called a rapist or something.' So you’re like, 'Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and just go back to a relationship, which never really worked.'" Uh. Henry? The only "rule" in place is don't be an abusive prick to women. As long as you are following that "rule," you should be good! After Cavill's comments hit the web, Yale student Helen Price outlined why what he said was so fucked up in a Twitter thread that went viral. She said that Henry, like many other men, is trying to paint himself as a "victim" of the #MeToo movement. She also provided this statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) that says out of every 1000 rapes committed, only 6 rapists are incarcerated. But Price wasn't the only one calling Cavill out. Many others also chimed in with their feelings on his comments. Cavill later apologized for his comment in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, "Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention. In light of this I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest of regard, no matter the type of relationship whether it be friendship, professional, or a significant other. Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties. I look forward to clarifying my position in the future towards a subject that it so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (the artists formerly known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) just wrapped up a royal tour of Ireland. In Dublin, the duo happily met the Irish president's adorable dogs! Adorably became BFFs with a little girl! The couple also attended a posh garden party with Ireland's finest folks, which included some of the pro-choice activists behind the historic referendum to overturn the country's Draconian anti-abortion law. There, the Duchess is said to have celebrated the victory for women's bodily autonomy and rights to have control over their own healthcare decisions, and, um, that's not allowed. Feminist journalist and pro-choice campaigner Una Mullally shared a picture of her chatting with Meghan, tweeting that they discussed the Repeal and feminist activism in general. The Irish senator also stated that Meghan supports the movement in a now-deleted tweet. There's a 1689 Bill of Rights put political power in the hands of Parliament, allowing the Royals to continue to exist as long as they don't mess with it. That's what makes the "modern monarchy" modern. Since becoming the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is now in the precarious position of having this platform to effect change, but being Constitutionally limited in how she can wield it. Next time she wants to celebrate women's accomplishments in securing their own freedoms, she better ask the guests to sign an NDA first.
Adult film star and clapback queen Stormy Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club on Wednesday night, and even ex-Trump aides are saying that it "reeks of entrapment." You may recall that Stormy is suing President Donald Trump, making her a persona non grata (incidentally, that would be a great porn star name) in the eyes of the federal government, who had undercover agents following her on her national tour. Stormy was arrested on three misdemeanor charges of illegally making physical contact strip club patrons during her act. Under Ohio law, performers who are nude or semi-nude cannot touch or be touched by "patrons of a sexually-oriented business." CNN reports that "in a probable cause affidavit obtained by CNN affiliate WSYX, detectives who were at the Sirens Gentlemen's Club said they observed Daniels remove her top and force patrons' faces into her chest." Stormy's lawyer, who is now a celebrity in his own right, tweeted his outrage over the arrest and said she will plead not guilty. People are freaked out that an opponent of the president was staked out and arrested like that. Is this the best use of taxpayer funds? Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility? Ex-Trump aide A.J. Delgado wondered why undercover officers were being sent to strip clubs. America really knows who belongs in jail.
Facebook user Heidi Johnson’s 13-year-old son, Aaron, was going through a rebellious phase and told his mother he no longer wanted to be controlled. So she wrote him a letter saying that if he didn’t want to be parented, then he could live as an adult. But, as Aaron soon learned, being an adult comes with major responsibilities. Johnson posted the letter to Facebook and had no idea what would happen next.


Johnson was shocked to learn the letter went viral, amassing over 160,000 shares. The letter also sparked a lot of controversy. Some people thought Johnson was cruel for threatening to throw her son out on the street. While others praised her for taking a strong stance against her son’s defiance. So Johnson wrote another post, clarifying what she meant by the letter. “It's out there; and I am not ashamed of what I wrote... I am not going to put my 13-year-old on the street if he can't pay his half of the rent. I am not wanting him to pay anything. I want him to take pride in his home, his space, and appreciate the gifts and blessings we have.” In the end, the letter taught Aaron to be grateful for what he has and he agreed to act like a son again. "Sometimes, you have to lose it all to realize how well you really had it," Johnson wrote.
So, I don't know my neighbors really, and I'm glad I love at the top floor in my apartment complex building because I wouldn't want to get a note like this...


Hahaha. If there is a God some people sure strayed too far from his light...


Oh, boy. Okay, so you know I love Star Wars and the beach, right? Well, here, fellas, is a pic of Rey at the beach...


If I had a TARDIS I would love to go to see Jimi Hendrix and ride in a dune buggy with him. Knowing my luck he'll kick me out and pick up a hot blonde though...


See? You know, sometimes people really have to explain stupid things to adults...


Man, is that too hard to read? I apologize. Marvel does a pretty good job with matching the actors with stunt men. Check it out...


Almost... So, there's still some Royal Wedding souvenirs available if you want any. Like this creepy 3D magnet...


Meghan looks like Meghan buy Harry is an off-brand Harrison Ford. They're filming the new season of Doctor Who and they kinda updated the Daleks to modern times.


Hahaha. You know, the flying Trump Baby Blimp is nothing compared to this other Londoners' fierce anti-Trump sign...


Nice one. ICYMI, here's a pic of Trump when he first landed in the U.K...


Some people sure did not like he's over there...


Oh, man. Us Brits could be so mean. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...


Top Phive Things Overheard In England When Trump Visited
5. As Queen Elizabeth is obliged to have tea with Donald Trump, who is busily working to subvert the alliances established after WWII, let us recall that she is the last surviving head of state who served in uniform during that war.
4. After putting up with Philip’s punk ass for DECADES, Queen Elizabeth has to have to tea with Donald Trump today?! Whew. The things we put women through.
3. I need to know what the Queen and Trump are talking about. Guess I’ll have to wait til season 19 of "The Crown."
2. Not a royalist in any way but YOU DO NOT MAKE THE QUEEN WAIT. SHE IS AN OLD LADY AND SHOULD KICK HIM IN THE TESTICLES WHEN HE SHOWS UP THE BIG ORANGE WAZZOCK!!!
And the number 1 thing overheard in England when Trump visited was...
1. Like a solar eclipse, the Queen was totally obscured by a massive lump with no sign of intelligent life.



If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. You know, we can't all be winners all the time. The road to self-actualization is filled with embarrassment and shade, and sometimes we have to bask in our own failure. So...



You don't have to be British to laugh at this next pheature, but it will bloody well help...



I must not be British, I'm not laughing. Hmmm... 





If anybody says I'm getting too lazy with stuff on the Phile you may be right. Hahaha.


After making Her 92-year-old Majesty wait for 10 minutes, President Donald Trump and Melania had tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle, far from the throngs of protesters and blimp depicting him as a baby in London. Meanwhile, in the old colony across the pond, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments for 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU for hacking Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The split screen between Trump enjoying beloved pomp and pageantry next to the Department of Justice reminding everyone that Russia attacked the United States was nothing short of hilarious, knowing just how pissed he is in his hotel room right now.



The 83rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...


Chris will be on the Phile next Sunday.


A woman looks in the mirror and says, "I look fat," and then asks her husband to give her a compliment. He says, "Okay, you have perfect eye sight."


Today's guest is the drummer for the American jazz-funk band Rock Candy Funk Party, whose latest album "The Groove Cubed" is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Tal Bergman.


Me: Hey, Tal, welcome to the Phile. How are you doing?

Tal: Very good. How are you doing?

Me: Okay, I guess. You released Rock Candy Funk Party's third album "TheGroove Cubed." There's so many different genres all blended throughout the album... rock, and funk, jazz and you name it. What was the goal of this album?

Tal: Well, I know it's in the jazz category first of all but it's music so it has all kinds of influence. It's hard to put it inside of a box. The idea of this project and this band is all to break a little ground, or try to and really have no rules like in style. We love everything so why not do it? It's hard for me to categorize it in any kind of style. If you listen to the record it takes you to many styles of music which is like sitting in a room listening to a lot of interplay with each other, so there is a lot freshness to it in the way it's being recorded. We are really doing to for the love of music and obviously it's not a money making situation for us to make music thinking is this going to sell enough or so. If somebody likes it that's great, it's all about having fun.

Me: Tal, how do you write that kind of music? Does everyone add their own stuff or do you plan it out?

Tal: The structure actually comes in the studio. When we walk into the studio to record the record like we've done with all our records we don't have complete pieces of music. We have different idea which each of us come up with or whatever. We throw it out when we are in the room. We are really coming up with it in the studio and the number one thing we have is it has to really groove hard, doesn't matter what style of music. That's one thing. Anything is the way we worked on this record is we each have five parts for each tune, let's say we came up with a groove or an idea, guitar line, riff or melody, we're just playing it and know this thing really feels good but not only playing it where we feel tired. Once we have that stuff we think a little bit about the form and then we do the whole thing from the beginning to the end pretty much it's live. We do a few overdubs on top of it but the core of it is recorded live and we decide whose going to take the solo and how long it'll be.

Me: You are not only the drummer but the producer, right? So, what was your goal as a producer? I feel you were pretty strict.

Tal: My goal as producer was I want to come up with one tune a day in the studio... from nothing. It's risky but we love that edge and that comes up in the recording because it's special what it's going to be and so we decide what direction we are going to take.

Me: The band has an impressive line-up, Tal. Tell the readers who is is the band...

Tal: Myself on drums, Joe Bonamassa and Ron DeJesus on guitars, and Mike Merritt on bass.

Me: That's so cool... Mike for people that don't know is the bass player in The Basic Cable Band on "Conan." So, you worked with Joe Bonamassa and Ron before... and I am sure they are used to how you work. Could you do the same with other people that you don't play with? Does that make sense? 

Tal: Yeah, it does. I think it's essential to have real chemistry where the people that are in the room are really listening to each other and has a vocabulary that if someone is doing something and playing they know exactly what it's about without having to talk about it. There is no egos in the room, I mean we all have egos but it's healthy. We are going in what's best about the music. Not thinking I have to show my chops or let me do a killer solo or any of that. It's what we can bring in each of us together to create something that is really from the core of it if I'm thinking from bottom up it should really have the right stuff with the right space between. It's also what we are not playing is as important.

Me: So, what's it like working with Joe?

Tal: In this particular combination like you said I've been playing with Joe for years and I don't have to tell you how great he is. He has a great ear and punch. He learns something and whatever so fast. He's such a well oiled machine.

Me: I don't know anything about Ron, so what can you say about him?

Tal: He's one of the funkiest guitar players and they work so well together that they really leave the space for each other right off the bat. It's all about the interplay with each other that comes from not one. It came to us when we played the first times as a team, when we got to the studio with the first record it was really the first time we sat together in the studio for the recording. It just felt right with Mike Merritt on bass and we were really locked in as soon as we started playing. I think it has a lot to do with the chemistry, not just knowing someone for many years.

Me: Do you all like the same kind of music?

Tal: We have similar backgrounds and listen to the same kind of music when we grew up, with this particular thing we have people from all around the world that grew up somewhat listening to the same music. Which is really amazing. We all have different influences. I can deal with somebody you know for 10 years and go in the studio and something is happening.

Me: When I look at your resume you worked with some of the greatest musicians in the last 30 years. Do you think you're a drummer first or a producer first?

Tal: Well, I would say my drumming is always number one for me because that's everything I've done since I was 6-years-old. At this day and age, as a musician to be able to survive in the music business I really have to wear many hats. I cannot sit at home waiting for someone to call me. That's not going to happen. I would say I'm a drummer, then a producer, score movies... Hahahaha. It all comes from personal goals really from loving drumming and making sound designing rhythms. I like to explore many things but if I go into a session as a drummer and something needs to be programmed I'm not going to have a problem doing it. I need to know how to do it today. If they are looking for a particular kind of sound I have to use it as an instrument. I have to keep an open mind but first of all I'm always a drummer but when you Google my name it says I'm a film composer.

Me: Well, I introduced you as a drummer. Let me name some people you played drums for, Tal... Rod Stewart, Billy Idol, Chaka Khan, Joe Bonamassa... all those artists are different. How do you approach each act?

Tal: First of all I always go to the basic premise of attitude. That kind of attitude is what kind of sound I'm going to make. Sound makes me play so for example for Rock Candy Funk Party I used two different drum sets that was set up at the same time in the studio. One I call it the meat and potato drum set which is a really tight funky pop sound, which cold be a really big sound. The other drum set which is really a jazz bebop set which makes me play in a whole different way. Now I need to know how to play all these things but sounds make me play and sync differently, play each instrument differently and come up with different parts. So I adapt my play to how the music goes. Rock Candy is just a varied record with some styles in it we have some tunes where I either have two drum sets at the same time, that I overdub on top of another, or I have a tune where everything is goes into a jazz break, kind of jazzy thing. I switched the drum set to that. If I play with Joe doing a concert with him which is more like the English blues rock thing, my playing has to feel really wide. As it's a live situation I have to do some many stuff that I will not do in the studio because in the studio it would be overkill. It gives the energy and stuff like that and dynamics and its also the style of music when we play. All the snare and ghost notes are really important for that vibe. If I play like an English rock thing let's say Zeppelin kind of stuff, if you listen to Bonham, he was playing deep. It was a wider sound with a different figuration. By the end of the day by now it comes naturally to me... how to approach something depends on the music that's there.

Me: Okay, I have to ask you about your brother... this is so fucking cool. Tell the readers who he is. 

Tal: My brother is a film producer, and now I can brag about it, he produced The Last Jedi.

Me: That's so cool. And there's you... I have to show the pic of you with five former president's. What the fuck?


Me: It's like who is making mom prouder this week? Hahaha.

Tal: Haha. My mother was at the premiere, she flew from Israel to be with us at the premiere of the movie. That was amazing, we try and make her proud.

Me: Yeah, I think you did well. So, who do you think is more impressive? You or your brother?

Tal: I would say my brother more, but he's my little brother.

Me: Yeah, but you're standing between Obama and George Bush in that photo, which is pretty cool, and this is coming from a huge Star Wars fan.

Tal: I say I'm standing with five drum techs. Ha ha.

Me: And your wife does something cool as well, right? What does she do?

Tal: She's also a film producer and director. She's doing extremely well.

Me: Cool. Okay, back to you. How did you get into scoring movies?

Tal: I got into jumping into scoring movies because it almost fell on my lap. I composed seven movies with two fingers. My keyboard playing is two finger Bergman.

Me: I just interviewed Bruce Broughton and I didn't get to ask him this... does the director tell you what kind of music to put into a scene or do they just leave it up to you?

Tal: Usually when I go to score the movies I'm usually the last one on the chain. First of all they have the least amount of budge for me and they have a temp score they give to the editor while they're editing the movie, they just use temps from whatever movies. So I have a place to start from. I would say a lot of the time the work is more than a craft than an art, because I really have to take to the movie. It's not me showing what I know and this, which is a claim to fame for somebody. I would start at the movie with the director and they find out where they want music, what kind, and I go by the temp. Sometimes you have the temp from a million dollar movie, like the temp is from Titanic. It's like okay, there's no way I can do that. It doesn't work because the music is way too big for the movie. I would say it's a long process where I really have to be very patient. I always try to bring a different color. Whatever vibe I want to create, and try to to do it from different places, different sounds. It's fun to do, but it's a lot of work.

Me: Cool. I have to mention Rock Candy Funk Party's single "Don't Even Try It" with Ty Taylor singing. That song should be played on the radio if it isn't already, don't you think?

Tal: I wish. That song with Ty Taylor is amazing. It's really in a way to prove we could do top 40 music with all love bands playing in a room. It's all played with real musicians sitting in one room together. it's sounds as good as stuff they program everywhere. It's like old school but it's new school.

Me: It sounds just like a Bruno Mars track. Tal, thank you for being on the Phile. Congratulations on the new record. And tell your brother he needs to be on the Phile as well, so we can talk about his little film. Please come back again soon.

Tal: Thank you so much and I'm really glad you like the record.





That about does to for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Tal for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Shane Speal from Shane Speal and the Snakes. 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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