Monday, March 5, 2018

Pheaturing Sir Devon Nooner From The Molly Ringwalds

Hey, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Did you see last night's Oscars? I wish I could sing like Gael Garcia Bernal. Oh wait, I can. A silent woman falls in love with a monster sought out by the Russians... The Shape of Water or the Melania Trump Story? Thank you, I’ll be here all day! Last night, Jordan Peele won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for his film Get Out, becoming the first black screenwriter to ever win the award. And no one was more thrilled for him than his long-time comedy partner, Keegan-Michael Key. Keegan-Michael Key had the best reaction to Jordan Peele winning the Oscar, hands down. Film director and producer Ben Winston was with Keegan-Michael Key at the "Vanity Fair" viewing party, and captured the moment Peele was announced as the winner. President Obama's anger translator seemed pretty excited...

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were the stars of the Comedy Central's "Key & Peele," a half-hour sketch show that ran from 2012-2015. Since then, both have been working on separate projects, but their friendship always remained intact. Later last night, Key uploaded with picture of himself clutching fiancée Elisa Pugliese's hand in front of a screen showing Jordan Peele giving his acceptance speech. "Congrats to my partner in laughs @JordanPeele on his first Oscar. #oscarssopeele," wrote the comedian. Now those are some best friends goals.
Jimmy Kimmel kicked off his Oscars opening monologue addressing the elephant in the room (no, not Harvey Weinstein, he's been expelled from the Academy): La La Land-gate. As anyone who watched last year's show surely remembers, an accountant messed up the envelopes and La La Land was briefly announced to have won Best Picture when the winner was really Moonlight. "This year, when you hear your name called, don't get up right away. Give us a minute," he joked. Jimmy Kimmel talks #MeToo, Oscar's penis, and La La Land-gate in his Oscars opening monologue. Kimmel then explained why Oscar is the most celebrated man in Hollywood: "[He] keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations." He then called on Hollywood to treat women with respect, which is sadly something that needed to be said. "The world is watching us. We need to set an example," Kimmel said. "And the truth is, if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time in every other place they go."
The Dutch fashion retailer Suitsupply recently lost 12,000 Instagram followers following the launch of their ad campaign that features a series of gay couples. "The attraction between people is an important part of fashion advertising. A campaign featuring the attraction between men was long overdue and particularly relevant for our brand," the founder of SuitSupply, Fokke de Jong, told Indy100. The campaign launched on February 21st, and since that time, SuitSupply has received a barrage of troll comments on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter and over 12,000 unfollows on Instagram. The Internet has no chill. However, this backlash doesn't suprise De Jong, he told Indy100 he anticipated a debate around the images. "The fact that there is a debate about it makes it relevant. Our sales will not go up for the time being, if I see it so in the reactions. We do not aim to and cannot control the reactions, however, the new followers and positive messages that have been prominent in our social media is a good indicator that this campaign has been well received and has impacted many people positively." Plus, for every disapproving comment or social media unfollow, there were others who supported and celebrated the brand's choice to highlight LGBTQ attraction. As De Jong and several supporters of the campaign pointed out, straight couples show PDA in ad campaigns all the time, so why can't gay couples do the same? Representation matters, even if it's in the form of a suit advertisement. Good on SuitSupply for not shirking under the pressure of bigots.
On February 9th, 2004, 16-year-old Jon Romano entered Columbia High School in East Greenbush with a pump-action shotgun, immediately rendering the school in lockdown mode. Luckily, for the safety of all, the retired Columbia principal John Sawchuk tackled Romano to the ground and disarmed him, saving lives. One teacher was shot in the leg during the process and has since recovered. No lives were lost. Now, 14 years after shooting up his own school, Romano has written a letter expressing support for the survivors of the Parkland shooting, and more specifically, the gun reform they're extolling. The letter was penned to the "Times Union" Executive Editor Rex Smith in response to Chris Churchill's February 21st column which featured an interview with Sawchuk, the principal that saved the lives of Romano's classmates. Romano started the letter by thanking Sawchuk for acting on instinct, before going on to praise the Parkland students' activism, and denote the importance of gun reform. While musing on the importance of gun reform, Romano inadvertently posed the question: who would have died if he had a more powerful gun in 2004? One of his classmates saw the letter, and found herself shocked to agree with the former shooter. Some people were encouraged to see perpetrators speak out against their own crimes, while others remained unconvinced. Perhaps Romano's frank statement will open the door for other contrite perpetrators to speak out for gun reform. Even if it doesn't, his letter speaks volumes about how out of hand the gun laws in America have become.
In a brief reminder of what the world looked like when laws still mattered to the White House, Jared Kushner lost something he likely never would have had without being married to Ivanka Trump. No, not his job... his top secret security clearance. In the wake of the Rob Porter scandal, which revealed that an alleged domestic abuser with a protective order from one of his ex-wives was reading top secret material, Chief of Staff John Kelly decided to save face and reevaluate who gets to read state secrets. The result is bad news for the Kush. Politico reports, "Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded... a move that will prevent him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access. Kushner is not alone. All White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances... at the Top Secret/SCI-level... were informed in a memo sent Friday that their clearances would be downgraded to the Secret level, according to three people with knowledge of the situation." SCI stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information, according to Wikipedia. His name quickly became the number one trending topic on Twitter, as the Internet reveled in the schadenfreude. The White House is insisting that not having access to top secret information won't impede on Jared's ability to do his job, while everyone else sees this as bad news for his peace in the Middle East. Some people are skeptical that Jared still won't get all the intel. He is the president's son-in-law, after all. The downgrade isn't even the most damning Kush news of the day. The "Washington Post" just published a damning report saying that, "Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter." National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster reportedly "learned that Kushner had contacts with foreign officials that he did not coordinate through the National Security Council or officially report." That's shady AF.
So, watching the Oscars last night when I saw this...

It reminded me of something. And then it hit me...

The same, right? I thought it was funny they had the categories printed on the front in GIANT FUCKING LETTERS this year...

I am so glad about what won for Best Unreleased Short...

Hahaha. If you thinking about cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...

That's great. If I had a TARDIS I would go to see the Whole House in the 80s. But knowing my luck
drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and his son would also be there.

I wish I could see what was on his son's t-shirt. Hey, kids, do you like Dick's Sporting Good Store? They have a new customer reward card...

Here's another teacher asking what she wants to be be armed with...

Last weekend I told you about a dog who looked like he had an old man's face. Here he is in case you didn't see it...

Well, I asked you to send in pics of your dog if they have human like faces. Here's one I received from Long Island...

Ummm... not quite but that's a cute dog. Keep sending them in. So, twelve years ago when I started this blog I was showing you pics that looked like they were photoshopped... but weren't. I think that's so cool so I thought I would show you one today.

That's not photoshopped or edited... everything was covered in ash except for this red hibiscus flower.  So, instead of doing this blog thing I wish I was listening to this album...

Maybe not.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, a few months ago I introduced you to someone who claims he is the world's greatest inventor. What he said he invented though I thought was bullshit. Anyway, he wanted to come on the Phile again and tell us what he has been working on. So, please welcome to the Phile once again...

Me: Hey, Mak, welcome back to the Phile. So, before you tell us what you have invented recently tell us what you have invented in the past.

Mak: Sure, Jason, I invented moral man.

Me: Ummm... that's really stupid and impossible, Mak. What else?

Mak: Women clothes... oh yeah!!

Me: I don't think you invented that. So, what are you working on now?

Mak: A square wheel.

Me: Ummm... I'm not exactly sure that would work...

Mak: Sure it would, you'd just be in park the whole time.

Me: Ugh. Anything else that is useful?

Mak: Sure, Jason. How about an ejection seat for a helicopter pilot?

Me: Ummm... I don't think that's a good thing.

Mak: Why? I think I'm selling them to the North Koreans.

Me: Mak, you're giving me a headache. Thanks for stopping by, come back again when you are working on something useful.

Mak: Sure, Jason.

Me: Mak Asterborus, the world's greatest inventor, everybody, even though I doubt he is.

It's been almost a week and I still cannot stop staring at this photo of Donald Trump reaching over his wave to establish a gentle, yet firm, grasp of Mike Pence's thigh.

During the memorial service for the late Reverend Billy Graham, Trump shared this tender moment with Mother's husband, as the Vice President was visibly uncomfortable. Pence sat up tall with his lips pursed, counting down the seconds until their moment of physical contact was done. It's Trump's most romantic gesture towards Pence since the Republican National Convention.

People couldn't look away, and wondered just how Mother... who doesn't let Pence dine with women without her present... is reacting to this contact. There's no doubt that Pence didn't welcome the experience, but non-consensual touching is kind of Trump's thing.

The 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Howard will be the guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Hey, wanna laugh?

A guy was at a bar and needed to fart. He decided the music was so loud that he just went for it and timed his farts to the beat of the music. After he relieved himself he looked up to see everyone staring at him. Than he realized that he was listening to his iPod.

Today's guest is one of the singers for the fun, cool band the Molly Ringwalds whose albums "Experience the 80s," and "Glitterdome" are available on iTunes and Spotify, as well as their latest single "Is There Something I Should Know?" Please welcome to the Phile... Sir Devon Nooner.

Me: Hey, Sir Devon, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Sir Devon: I'm great.

Me: Okay, the Molly Ringwalds... out of all the actresses why her? I do have to say good choice. I met her once at Epcot in the late 80s and asked her out. True story.

Sir Devon: Because it sounded bette than The Anthony Micheal Halls... LOL. Plus she is the 80s icon.

Me: True. Which one of you came up with the band name?

Sir Devon: The name was was from a mutual friend of the bands. Once he said her name we knew it was it.

Me: Have you ever heard if she knows about you guys? I am sure she has.

Sir Devon: Molly does know about us. Her father has spoken about us in the past, he said she is totally fine with it as long as we don’t disrespect her. We would never do that.

Me: So, where are you and the guys from, Sir Devon?

Sir Devon: I am from Sheffield, England along with the majority of the group. Platinum Randi Wilde is from Leeds. His parents were rich!

Me: You all have such cool names... I'm jealous. Tell the readers who is in the band.

Sir Devon: Myself, Sir Devon Nooner, Platinum Randi Wilde, Dickie English, Sir Liam Thunders, Lord Philip Wang.

Me: So, how did the band come to be? Which one of you guys started the band?

Sir Devon: I am the only founding member of the band. We were looking for something to do in America that wasn’t being done here.

Me: How long have you guys been playing together?

Sir Devon: This line up has been together for almost 15 years.

Me: I love that you are represent different people and things from the 80s... Adam Ant, Pee-Wee Herman, The Karate Kid, Dee Snyder and Devo. Was it hard for you to all to come up with your look?

Sir Devon: Our look... it wasn’t difficult at all. We wanted to go iconic but also have a little of us behind it, if that makes sense. I was a big Adam Ant fan as Randi was a big Devo fan. etc.

Me: So, you play guitar, sing and keyboards... I like you all have turns singing, and playing instruments. How long have you been playing, Devon and what instrument came first?

Sir Devon: I think the fans really dig that we all sing and play different instruments. Keeps it interesting for the band and the fans. I actually started playing the flute since I was 8-years-old. Started guitar at the age of 19.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your music... you play covers from the 80s... I love that you do new wave, classic rock... all different genres. I take it you get permission to cover these songs for the records... is there any song you wanted to do but weren't able?

Sir Devon: We have never asked an artist to cover their songs. We do pay a royalty fee when we record a song for one of our albums.

Me: It's very cool, you don't really change up the songs at all... they are very spot on. Your version of Duran Duran's song "Is There Something I Should Know?" sounds just like Duran. How long does it take to break a song down and learn it pretty note by note, Devon?

Sir Devon: Thank you. We try and stay as close to the original. It’s challenging when you get into the studio. You can get away with playing the song a little different live but in the studio you have to really have it down.

Me: On your website you list I think over a hundred songs that you guys do live... and a bunch of them are on your albums and singles. How do you chose which songs you are gonna record?

Sir Devon: All members have equal voice. We like to choose some popular songs and then some not so popular songs for the record.

Me: Is there a song that was really hard to learn and play? I would think "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was hard to learn.

Sir Devon: There’s always those songs that are much more challenging than others. I think each band member would have a different list of what is harder or easier. For me it’s always "Under Pressure," I am playing keyboard and there a lot going on in that song. We have been playing that song for years and it’s still one of my fave songs to play.

Me: I have to talk about your stage show... it's very unique. The drums and keyboards are on these platforms that move about. If I was in the band I wouldn't want to drove one of those... I would probably roll off the stage. Hahaha. How did you guys come up with that idea for those platforms? 

Sir Devon: The Driving Risers are our drummer Sir Liam Thunders' ides. It’s an important part of our stage show.

Me: You do sooo many shows, Devon, do you have a favorite one that sticks out? I take it you do some corporate shows as well, am I right?

Sir Devon: We do some corporate shows but the music clubs would be my favorite. Dallas and Houston at this time are my faves. I am sure the other members have different places as well.

Me: On your "Glitterdome" album you do "West End Girls" with a guy named Ian Smith. Who is that, Devon, and how did you get to work with him?

Sir Devon: Ian Smith is a great local trumpet player in New Orleans. He has shared the stage with us a time or two... Platinum Randi Wilde has worked with many great artists in the New Orleans music scene.

Me: You have three albums out on iTunes... "Experience the 80s," "Glitterdome" and "The Mardi Gras Album." Have you ever recorded any originals?

Sir Devon: No originals at this time. Let’s wait and see. It’s something we have talked about in the past but haven’t committed yet???

Me: Being from England how did you guys come up with the idea for a Mardi Gras album, Sir? Have you ever been? I have not.

Sir Devon: We were approached by a local bakery that shops king cakes all over the world. We really enjoy New Orleans music and Mardi Gras. We recorded it in two days and had a blast. We are very proud of this record.

Me: So, Your last single came out a few years ago... are you gonna be releasing any new music soon?

Sir Devon: We will always release new (cover) songs. This is something we really enjoyed doing. We have minimal work to finish for our fourth album.

Me: You should do a version of Foghat's "Zig-Zag Walk." Thanks so much for being on the Phile. I love you guys, and will see you next time you are in Orlando. Mention your website and I wish you continued success. Rock on.

Sir Devon: The pleasure is mine. Thanks again. Great questions.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Sir Devon Nooner for a fun interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with author and member of The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie. Howard Kaylan. 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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