Sunday, April 1, 2018

An Easter Phile Pheaturing Lou DiBello

Rabbit. Hey, kids, welcome to the an Easter Phile. How are you? Not only is it Easter but it's also April Fool's Day. Coincidentally Jesus did the first April Fool's Day prank when he walked out of the cave. My favorite April Fool's Day trick is pretending I'm going to leave my apartment. Did you have a good Passover yesterday? For those of you that don't know Passover is just like Easter but without the bunny, bonnets, colored eggs or New Testament. You know, Easter reminds me of how boring my death will probably be. I wonder if Jesus will make a special appearance on "The Walking Dead" tonight. Alright, let's see what is going on in the news, shall we?
It's a well-known fact that Donald Trump Jr. is having a hard time right now. His wife left him just as Robert Mueller is getting closer, and those meddling kids want to make it harder for him to own murder machines. Some of Don Jr.'s best friends are murder machines, and shooting animals are some of his only happy memories. This week, celebrating the weekly holiday of Throwback Thursday, Don Jr. shared a selfie of him deep into the Yukon wilderness, when he fled to northern Canada without his security detail to spend some time alone with his lack of thoughts.

That photo reeks of a midlife crisis... a la Ben Affleck's back tattoo... but the caption is even sadder. Oy. Don Jr.'s recent Instagram is bleak as hell. I bet he's singing, "Hello darkness my old friend." Donald Trump Jr. is but a humble man of the woods, seeking solitude, our modern Henry David Thoreau. As Thoreau wrote in Walden, "I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." With any luck, Don Jr. will be assigned to solitary confinement.
Jim Carrey's done another controversial painting, this one of the Trump sons being gored by an elephant that they probably wanted to kill (and decapitate, to bring home a trophy, now that the ban has been lifted).

He included the text "#teamelephant," so we know whose side he's on, and it's definitely never the Trumps'. A little background on the painting... the Trump sons are avid hunters and have been photographed with wild game they've killed. Carrey's also done paintings of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Donald Trump's son-in-law/White House advisor Jared Kushner. But a lot of people wondered if he hadn't, this time, gone too far. One man  actually claimed he'd contacted the FBI to report that someone had threatened the lives of his sons. That would really only make sense if Jim Carrey were an elephant.
The reactions to Ivanka Trump's publicist-vetted tweets are consistently one of the best things about that terrible website, Twitter dot com. While her posts presumably go through multiple focus groups on the White House payroll, people are having a hard time taking the purse designer's advisor role in her father's administration seriously.

Late Thursday night, Princess Peach tweeted photos from her dad's speech in Richfield, Ohio that was ostensibly about infrastructure (but instead covered pressing issues such as North Korea, Syria, and "Roseanne"), plus a random glamour shot of her in a trench coat, and it's... hilarious. You may notice that the first photos she posts are of her father speaking, workers applauding, followed by a random, cropped close up of her and her outfit. Other people certainly did. It provides no insight into the event other than, "I was there, and I wore this coat." As you may recall, "Scientist" was Ivanka's latest cosplay. This week, she's Carmen Sandiego. It's almost as if she's in the White House just for photo ops.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham has sunk to a new low by trolling David Hogg, one of the Parkland shooting survivors. Apparently Hogg was rejected by some colleges he applied to, and ultra-conservative website Daily Caller ran an article about it. Ingraham included the article in a tweet, writing...

Just to clarify, YES, that is an adult mocking a teenage school shooting survivor for not getting accepted at UCLA and some other colleges. Was there any reason at all that she had to tweet that? Nope. She just wanted to be mean to a teenager who wants gun control after losing 17 members of his high school in a horrific shooting. But Hogg retaliated, hitting Ingraham where it hurts... by listing the advertisers of her Fox show and asking people to contact those companies. He didn't explicitly call for boycotts, but people can take that information and express their concerns to those companies. Meanwhile, Hogg's sister, Lauren Hogg, tweeted to First Lady Melania Trump, pointing out that her brother was being cyberbullied by Laura Ingraham. Remember, Melania's pet project is supposed to be fighting cyberbullying. No word from the First Lady yet.
Ben Affleck would like you to know that despite the extremely large, garish ink covering his entire backside, he is indeed okay. After photos of Affleck and his back tattoo on the beach in Hawaii were published, "The New Yorker" published an essay pondering the societal implications of the many Sad Affleck memes. "Last Saturday, almost exactly two years after Affleck denied its existence, the back tattoo returned to haunt the headlines, itself a phoenix rising from the ashes of gossip rags past," The "New Yorker"'s Naomi Fry wrote. "These depressed-Affleck images can arouse both amusement and a sense of poignancy, a touch of Schadenfreude as well as something like sympathy. 'Same,' we might post on our social-media feeds, alongside a sad Ben picture, with the quick meanness of the Internet that tends to flatten a person’s story to a caricature, even if it is motivated by all the right reasons in the world." A few days after the photos and the essay were published, Affleck has broken his silence on being perceived as an avatar of midlife crises and the twilight of the straight white men. "I’m doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos," he tweeted. Batfleck fans are proud of his rebuttal. He's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
Even if you're not religious, you should be excited about Easter for one very sweet reason. Candy, duh! Next to Halloween, no other holiday is more associated with candy than Easter. Technically, it's an even bigger candy holiday than Halloween because of the amounts of cash people shell out each year for chocolate eggs and other Easter basket goodies. Americans reportedly spent $18.4 billion on Easter last year (up 6 percent from 2016) and it's likely that 2018 will be on par if not greater when it comes to candy sales. Wanna know what my favorite is? Cadbury Creme Eggs. There are those who love the Cadbury Creme Egg and those who gag at the mere sight of one. To those who hate it... you're wrong. The incredibly rich in taste eggs were first introduced in 1971 and they're still going strong today, relatively unchanged except for getting a little smaller. While it's somewhat annoying that the eggs have shrunk in size, that foul isn't enough to swear off the treat alone and they'll likely remain an Easter favorite for as long as people keep eating candy. Yum.
I'm not really religious, and I love chocolate, but could I bite into this cross without feeling guilty?

Probably not. Speaking of food, what do you think of these Easter cookies?

Hmmm. Do you know what a Florida Easter Bunny looks like? No? I'll show you...

That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

If there is a God I think some of you have strayed from his light...

Hahaha. If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to see an Easter egg hunt at the White House. Knowing my luck I'll end up there in 1889 instead of something like 1989. Haha. Cute kids though.

You know, they say you see some crazy aass people at Walmart... well, I don't believe it... but...

Or should I say butt. Man, oh, man. Happy Easter, everybody. Haha. Hey, I saw a brand new cereal in the store the other day. It might be out just for Easter, not sure.

Jesus Christ they good? Hahaha. Hey, parents, I hope your kids in school are as creative as the kid that did this...

Good job, Judy. Hey, so, here's another sign from the March for Our Lives march...

And fellas, here's another pic of Stormy Daniels for you...

You're welcome. Okay, it's Easter, so I thought I will start a new pheature today. Here's the premise... you guys seem to like my "Phacts" pheature. Well, there are facts that are easy to accept once you hear them, but others just sound like complete and utter bullshit. So, I decided to do a new pheature with faces that are really true. and just for the helluva it, an inside joke only about three of you will get I am calling this pheature...

When you receive a kidney transplant, your own kidney isn't removed. It usually stays where it is and a third kidney is placed in your pelvis.

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Wow! I didn't know this was gonna happen... someone just arrived and wants come onto the Phile and say something. This is either gonna be really good or turn out really bad. Anyway, please stand and welcome to the Phile the one and only...

Me: Ummm... hello... welcome to the Phile, Jesus. Happy Easter.

Jesus: Happy Easter. You're welcome.

Me: So, do you have anything you want to say?

Jesus: Sure... People, if you have mixed feelings at Easter, you're in good company. When you read the Gospels, you see everyone was ambivalent and a bit confused. Resurrection can have that effect on people.

Me: Okay, that makes sense.

Jesus: Yup. So, I have a joke for you. Wanna hear it?

Me: Sure, Jesus.

Jesus: Okay... At what time of day was Adam created?

Me: Ummm... I'm not sure.

Jesus: A little before Eve. Hahahaha.

Me: Haha. That's good, Jesus, sir.

Jesus: Wanna hear another?

Me: Sure. Why not?

Jesus: Why didn't they play cards on the Ark?

Me: I'm not sure. Why?

Jesus: Because Noah was standing on the deck.

Me: That's not as good as the other. why don't you tell one more?

Jesus: Okay, here goes... Why didn't Noah go fishing?

Me: I don't know. Why didn't he?

Jesus: He only had two worms. Haha.

Me: That's great, Jesus. Thanks so much for coming onto the Phile.

Jesus: You're welcome, and to the girls out there... you remind me of water but you turned into fine. Have a good Easter, people. Bye.

Me: Jesus H. Christ, everyone. Oh. Boy. Moving on...

Okay, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about Easter. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Happy Easter, phuckerz. Being raised as a good little Catholic school boy, there are certain aspects of my faith that I’ve never been able to come to grips with... take Easter for example. Zombie Jesus rises from the grave... and we celebrate by conducting a search of our homes for decoratively painted hard boiled eggs hidden by some creepy fucking rabbit. Then we allow our kids to get all hopped up on chocolate bunnies and sugar coated marshmallow baby birds? Yyyyyyyeah, sure... makes perfect sense to me.

Spread the word to get Shania Twain on the Phile. Shania, if you're out there... hellllooo? It will happen, damn it.

Step aside, Hillary Clinton! Online retailer Amazon is the latest victim of Donald Trump's Twitter outrage. On March 29th, Trump posted his concerns about Amazon with this scathing tweet...

But people couldn't help but point out something very strange that second line. Did you catch it? Yep, the president just criticized Amazon for using the postal system to deliver things. Uh... that's what a post office does, Donny! They even say so in their mission statement... "The Postal Service mission is to provide a reliable, efficient, trusted and affordable universal delivery service that connects people and helps businesses grow." Being a delivery boy is LITERALLY THE ONLY REASON THE POST OFFICE EXISTS. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

The 78th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Robert will be the guest on the Phile a week from today... next Sunday. And now for some Easter...

Phact 1. Easter Day is determined by an astronomical event (the Sunday after the first full moon of the Vernal Equinox).

Phact 2. There is a Polish celebration on Easter Monday that involves boys throwing water on girls and spanking them with pussy willows.

Phact 3. Swedish and Scandinavian children dress up as witches and go door-to-door asking for candy on Easter.

Phact 4. Two rival churches in Greece celebrate Easter by firing over 100,000 rockets at each other.

Phact 5. Bunnies were once believed to be hermaphroditic and able to mate without losing their virginity... that’s why the Easter Bunny is a symbol for Marie, with eggs being a symbol of rebirth, which is traditionally dyed red for Christ’s blood.

Today's pheatured guest is a rock and roll guitar play who latest CD "Heat Wave" pheaturing the song "Blood on the Cross" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Lou DiBello.

Me: Hey there, Lou, welcome to the Phile. Happy Easter. How are you?

Lou: Really good, thanks for having me.

Me: No worries. So, where are you from, Lou?

Lou: Urbana, Illinois. Not far from Chicago.

Me: Cool. You have a really cool album out called "Heat Wave" which features instrumentals and vocal tracks. How do you decide which song is gonna have lyrics and which song isn't?

Lou: Well, "Heat Wave" is actually my fourth solo release that I've done and of course they have all been independent. The first three were entirely instrumental albums and when I started doing this record or when I initially started working on the first little batch of material which was a few years ago I kinda thought I was gonna do just another full instrumental record. Then as this project started coming together I started thinking a little bit about doing some vocal tunes. I've written some instrumental music for a long time. The first solo full release that I did was called "Pile Up" that was in 1994. As far as writing instrumentals stuff I really take my cues a lot more like from jazz artists. When I was younger I was exposed to a lot of jazz music, my uncles was a really great jazz guitar player.

Me: So, who are your influences, Lou?

Lou: When I did that first record in 1994 at that time a lot of people thought and sort of asked me if I was influenced by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, but really that's not where the influence came from. It came from jazz and instrumental music when I was younger. At the same time I had a pretty good sense of songwriting structure and so forth. I used to listen to a lot of George Benson or Tom Scott the saxophone player. That's all instrumental jazz but there's a verse and a chorus, in jazz it's the lead part, so far me writing instrumental stuff always was much more of a songwriting idea.

Me: So, does writing instrumentals come easier for you than writing songs with lyrics?

Lou: Instead of words it was the melody that carried the tune. It's different than a lot of guitar instrumentals, especially rock instrumentals where it's a vehicle to shred through the whole tune or whatever. That's never been my thing, so writing instrumental stuff has come pretty natural to me and I tend to approach it a little more in that structured format. Then as far as the vocal tunes I've written and record for time and time over the years various demos and other stiff that I've done a lot of vocal tunes as well. There it's much more if I have a lyric hook or a phrase, whatever it may be, if I kinda have an inspiration for a hook like in "Let Me Hear You Scream: For Rock & Roll!," it's pretty easy for me to out together the rest of the tune because once I start hearing the hook the rest makes sense. So again it's approached in a structure with a verse, chorus, bridge and stuff. I think that's what makes the tunes on this record work because they're structured in a way that people are used to hearing.

Me: I'm glad there's songs with singing on them, Lou... I'm not a big fan of all instrumental albums. Are you gonna be doing that again in the future?

Lou: Yeah, when I started thinking about having more vocal tunes on this album I was kinda thinking a little on the lines of the Michael Schenker albums that were like that so it ended up having a little bit more vocal material than I expected that all came out great and yeah, I'll probably do more of that as we go forward.

Me: Cool. How did you decide to mix the songs on the album by the way it's laid out? Does that makes sense?

Lou: Yeah. The way the tunes are laid out from one to the next, not even specifically of the order but the different tunes, it ended up being the opportunity for a pretty nice flow through the CD. When I was working on it I had a pretty good idea how the songs would sound in my head but I still didn't know what it would sound like until it got done but yeah, I think it came out real nice.

Me: You do a few covers on the album, right? Who is somebody you covered as I don't recognize any of them.

Lou: "Into the Arena" is one by the Michael Schenker Group. His playing has a big influence on me early on and of course I still love it. The thing I kinda liked about that tune, and actually I had performed that song live maybe five or six years ago when I had a group playing all instrumental stuff at different times over the years. I had recorded a version for myself with some backing tracks I found on-line so I was pretty familiar with playing it, but sitting down to record it the whole second half I had to play that the way it goes. But with the leads in the first half were a little bit more spontaneous, a little bit less structured, and I didn't want to just copy to not for note but the rhythm part before the leads come in has a kinda Schenker Marshall tone, I didn't want to overdo the guitar tone so it really gave me a little more to work with on my own but the second half I was just pretty much trying to nail it all with that signature melodic part all the way out.

Me: I would think it would be harder to cover an instrumental than a song with lyrics, am I right? 

Lou: Yeah, there's a zone in there that if you go one way or another it sort of loses the appeal or doesn't connect in the same way.

Me: Is there any song you'd love to cover with a singer that you haven't yet?

Lou: Yeah, "Man on a Silver Mountain." If I covered that tune I wouldn't just mimic the solo all the way through.

Me: Is there a song you'd never cover?

Lou: I'd never cover "Crazy Train." If you played "Crazy Train" in a bar you'd pretty much play the solo like Randy Rhoads. I think there's kind of a line that you walk if you're somebody like myself and trying to legitimately perform a tune whether it's on the recording or live. Then how do you do that because there's so many people that play strictly by Rhoads. Even of they're reasonably good you can just totally tell it's by Rhoads. It's like they practiced that solo a million times and that's the only way they can do it. Either they hit every note perfectly or otherwise they are like lost. The real guys like Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads, that's not how they learn, and that's not how they play. You gotta try to be in that same zone whether you're doing original material or covering a tune like that you have to be in the same zone otherwise it doesn't translate.

Me: With the vocal tracks you have Carsten "Lizard" Schulz singing, whoever that is. How did that come about?

Lou: It was a really cool situation that turned into a real and great long distance friendship. I was at the Musicians Institute in California that was in '89, and a guitarist and instructor there named Ian Hershey had a big influence on me who was real versed in a lot of different styles, who went to Berklee and so forth, I worked with him a lot when I was out there. I looked him up over the years from time to time and in early 2016 I went to look up his Facebook page and I sent him a message and got message back saying that he had passed away a few months before that. I started a little chat with the person that sent me the message and it turned out to be Carsten who had also worked with Ian. Now I was messaging with this German singer who had worked with my former instructor. I looked up some of his stuff on YouTube and I thought it was ridiculously good. I sent him some of my stuff to see what he thought of my playing and he kinda gave a non-committal response and then right away he thought it was really good. I thought that was pretty cool and he thought it was that good, he clearly had a little more industry experience than me, especially in Europe. He had toured Europe extensively over the years in the 90s and 2000s. We started a little correspondence in maybe working together and once he did the first tune I was just totally blown away.

Me: What was the first song you had him song on?

Lou: Let Me Hear You Scream: For Rock & Roll!" and when I got the first tracks back on that I was just like dude, let's figure out a couple of more tunes here. I could have done another one or tunes vocals with him on this record although for time and various other constraints I just went with the eight tunes but I'm are we'll do some more work together. I got another handful of tunes to go for another record that will have Carsten singing. It just turned into a really great working relationship which was just perfect the way I hear there tunes in my head.

Me: Will you guys be playing live?

Lou: We're just in the early stages of playing live but it's not out the question. If I get a little more traction to might make it worth while for Carsten to come over from Germany and do some dates over here with me. I could go over there too, but we'll see how far we get. We'll at least do some more recording together.

Me: Are most of your shows you do now are in the Illinois area?

Lou: Yeah, definitely pretty regional. Mostly down state in Illinois which has a pretty good territory. Maybe I'll venture into Indiana a little bit. I haven't played in Chicago for a little while but most of the playing I do for time to time I do showcases but have some original stuff that I do, but most of the gigs I do are cover gigs. I'm looking at doing a little with an original act with the "Heat Wave" material. There's a lot of touring acts that come through here all the time that are hooked up with some management and industry people that I'm working with so basically if I had a line up going now I'd probably have a few dates scheduled.

Me: Cool. Lou, for being on the Phile, man. Go ahead and plug your website and please come back on the Phile again soon.

Lou: Thanks, Jason, I'll definitely come back again soon.

Me: I thought that said loud ibello for a minute. I was like what the hell? Take care, Lou, keep rocking.

That about does to foe this Easter entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jesus, Laird Jim and of course Lou DiBello. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the kids from the band WildeStarr. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Have a good Easter.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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