Monday, April 2, 2018

Pheaturing London Wilde And Dave Starr From WildeStarr

Hey, kids, good afternoon, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Did you have a good Easter? The White House Easter egg roll seemed fun. Wanna know what happened there? Trump talked about the military budget while standing next to the Easter Bunny. Even FLOTUS Melania looked at him like he's crazy at one point. Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr.'s soon-to-be ex-wife was also at the roll, not that that's awkward or anything. Sarah Sanders read to children and did not start every sentence with the word "look." Rick Perry copped a squat. President Trump talked about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which he says the Democrats killed, while signing autographs for kids. Shrug.
So, I have to be honest, I'm in a cranky mood... but I'm bet I'm not as cranky today as Bill Cosby is.
Bill Cosby perp-walked into a courthouse in suburban Philadelphia today as a retrial for sexual assault charges began. Back in June, Cosby's first trial on charges of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, a basketball official at Temple University, ended in a mistrial when the jury failed to reach a verdict. Well, why is this trial different from every other trial? The judge in this case is allowing five out of a potential pool of nineteen accusers to testify for the prosecution. The five women, including former model Janice Dickinson, all accuse Cosby of drugging and assaulting them back in the eighties. While the June trial was relatively recent, a lot has changed in the past couple of months. People are finally taking women's stories seriously after Weinstein and #MeToo, and nobody even pretends to want to rewatch "The Cosby Show" anymore. As cute as the young Raven-Symoné was, justice is more important than reruns.
As NBC aired "Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" last night, disgraced former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly tweeted...

Model and Twitter superstar Chrissy Teigen, whose husband John Legend played Jesus in the televised production, tweeted right back at O'Reilly, writing...

DAMN. Someone get Bill O'Reilly some Neosporin for that burn. Teigen is referring to "The New York Times" report in October 2017 that O'Reilly had paid $32 million to former Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl in a settlement following her accusation that O'Reilly sexually harassed her. Before that, in April 2017, the "Times" had reported that 21st Century Fox (Fox News' parent company) and Bill O'Reilly had paid five women who'd worked with O'Reilly a total of $13 million in settlements for sexual harassment allegations. Bill O'Reilly, who denies the allegations, was let go from Fox that month.
The world can often be a dreary and terrifying place. But at least we can distract ourselves with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's loving trolling when we start to think love is dead and all actors are bots programmed to make us feel lonelier and worse about our bodies. While it's rightfully impossible to truly know how a marriage is going unless you're part of it, for all intents and purposes Reynolds and Lively seem very happy with each other. Nonetheless, rumors and speculations over the state of celebrity relationships tend to spread like wildfire. So, when the "IBTimes India" posted a headline implying the couple doesn't get enough time together, Reynolds swooped in with a quick clap-back. "Deadpool Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively struggling to spend 'quality time," the headline suggested. On top of making assertions about their marital status, the headline also omits Lively's status as an actress and relegates her to the singular role of wife. In true Deadpool fashion, Reynolds was quick to hilariously dispel the speculation about his couple time.

People on Twitter were eating the interaction up with a spoon.
After a dog food company pulled out their ads from her show, Laura Ingraham has decided that maybe bullying a teenager isn't a cool thing to do. After the Fox News host (you know, the one who did a Hitler salute at the Republican National Convention) taunted March for Our Lives organizer David Hogg for not getting into UCLA, Hogg cleverly harnessed the power of capitalism, calling on her show's advertisers to stop bankrolling such nastiness. Lo and behold, it worked! Because when money talks, people actually listen, Ingraham issued an apology, albeit in a way that still pats herself on the back and promotes her show. Both David and his sister Lauren have declared victory, while also calling on her to learn from the experience. Here's to dog food and hotel reviews for pushing Ingraham in the right direction! Next time, try NOT mocking a 17-year-old who just survived a massacre.

So, instead of doing this blog I feel I should be listening to...

Ummm... maybe not. Do you remember Miss Piggy? Well, this is her now.

Feel old yet? Hahahahaha. So, some church's have a sense of humor. This made me laugh...

Did you see the new Avengers trailer? No? Check it out. 

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

Hahaha. Here's another sign from March for Our Lives...

Hey, you might want to get to Toys R Us real soon... they're having some good sales right now.

Awe. Good times. Okay, well, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida right now that is not happening anywhere else in the Universe. So, once again it's...

Students at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have a new accessory that's meant to keep them safe from guns... clear backpacks. A lot of the students issued the new backpacks are less than enthused about them. One student, Carmen Lowe, tweeted a picture of a clear backpack with a price tag of $1.05. In her tweet, as well as on her backpack, she wrote, "This backpack is probably worth more than my life." Lauren Hogg, sister of David Hogg, the teen who was recently bullied on Twitter by Laura Ingraham, tweeted sarcastically that she felt "sooo safe now" that she had a clear backpack. The backpack itself she declared "almost as transparent as the NRA's agenda." Another student, Delaney Tarr, tweeted that she was starting off the last quarter of her senior year with a "good ol' violation of privacy!" A lot more students weighed in on the subject... Carly Novell, a senior at MSD, told BuzzFeed News that she didn't think the backpacks were a good security measure, pointing out that people could hide stuff between folders inside. She added, "If the police can't protect us, backpacks can't either. I want to feel comfortable going to school and I haven't felt that since I've gone back." One freshman's father shared a letter his son had written to Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, outlining the reasons he didn't think that clear backpacks were a good idea. Among them were that girls might feel uncomfortable carrying tampons in a see-through backpack. Not everybody was against the backpacks, though. Sixteen-year-old junior Dana Craig told BuzzFeed News she didn't have a problem with them, saying "I understand that the school is just trying to bring some sense on security." Sara Giovanello, also 16, told BuzzFeed News, "I’m going to miss having privacy, but I guess if it makes us safer, I shouldn’t complain." But she added, "But I'm genuinely anxious that someone will see some hygiene products from the inside of my backpack, or see what I keep inside and rob me for it." The new backpacks were not a surprise... students were told in a letter in March from Superintendent Runcie that when they returned, "clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus." In addition to the backpacks, students and faculty are now required to wear identification badges whenever they're on campus. Runcie added that the district was considering using metal-detecting wands and installing metal detectors in the school, according to BuzzFeed. One student, Jack Macleod, tweeted a short video of himself in line to get into school, and a fellow student jokingly calling out, "Have fun boarding your plane." He himself said, "It's seriously like the TSA." Macleod told BuzzFeed News, "Getting into school today was really no different than any other. I didn’t bring my backpack, just three folders, a pen, a bag for lunch, and a water." He also said, "They let me walk into campus, no problems. I feel as though today was more of a hassle than anything, but this is not what the peak of the security at MSD will look like, we’re told we will get metal detectors and staff will get metal detector wands." He added that he is "100% for higher school safety measures."

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Oaky, so, there's someone out there that is trying to get a date for tonight and thinks the Phile is the place to go to. I have no idea why, or how this is gonna fucking work. Anyway, he claims he's the most eligible bachelor in Orlando. Maybe. Haha. So, fir the first time to the Phile... meet...

Me: Ummm... hello, Heywood, welcome the Phile. How are you?

Heywood: Howdy, Jason. No disrespect, man, but I'm here to speak to tha ladies.

Me: Ummm... sure. Knock your self out.

Heywood: Hey, ladies out there, I’m a photographer. I’ve been looking for a face like yours.

Me: Face like whose, Heywood?

Heywood: Stop. You're cramping my style. Ladies, did you ever realize screw rhymes with me and you?

Me: Ummm... I think that's enough...

Heywood: No, I have one more... this will work... Hey I'm looking for treasure, can I look around your chest?

Me: Okay, that's enough. Heywood Jabloemi, Orlando's most eligible bachelor everyone. There's definitely a reason for that.

Heywood: Chow, ladies. Call me.

Snail, come on the Phile. Spread the word, people. It will happen.

In a deeply on-brand move, president Trump celebrated Easter by tweeting holiday greetings and then promptly launching into a rant about how he wants to rescind DACA, and the need for a Mexican border wall. His unhinged series of tweets started off with a non-combative holiday greeting.

But soon after, Trump launched into the reasons he wants to revoke DACA.

Trump was passionate about expressing his (misinformed) fears and convictions about immigrants before stepping into church on Easter Sunday. Several people were quick to note that DACA only applies to children who have been in the United States since 2007, and that several of Trump's concerns were moot. Others pointed out that Trump's pattern of pointing fingers at Mexico would only exacerbate any actual immigration issues. Not to mention the wall Trump is still hell-bent on building on Mexico's dime. Trump's rant against immigrants on a religious holiday commemorating a historical figure from the Middle East is deeply ironic. But again, it feels very fitting.

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

Author Robert Rodriguez will be on the Phile next Sunday.

At school, Johnny's classmate tells him that most adults are hiding at least one dark secret, so it's very easy to blackmail them by saying, "I know the whole truth." Johnny decides to go home and try it out. Johnny's mother greets him at home, and he tells her, "I know the whole truth." His mother quickly hands him $20 and says, "Just don't tell your father." Quite pleased, the boy waits for his father to get home from work, and greets him with, "I know the whole truth." The father promptly hands him $40 and says, "Please don't say a word to your mother." Very pleased, the boy is on his way to school the next day when he sees the mailman at his front door. The boy greets him by saying, "I know the whole truth." The mailman immediately drops the mail, opens his arms, and says, "Then come give your daddy a great big hug!"

Today's pheatured guests are two people that pretty much make up the power metal band WildeStarr whose latest CD "Beyond the Rain" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile from WildeStarr... London Wilde and Dave Starr.

Me: Hello, guys, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

London: Doing great.

Me: I was gonna ask you where the band name comes from but didn't want to seem stupid... it's both your last names put together. Very clever. So, how did you two meet and how did the band come together?

London: Actually Dave and I have been friends for a long time for about 30 years, and have been married for 16. I'd say for the first couple of years I was engineering bass tracks for Dave when he was playing for Chastain. While we were in the studio wrapping this whole thing up Dave said he had all these songs ideas and he was putting together a new band and he was trying to find new band members and a new singer, and I said I could sing. I asked if I could give it a go and he said sure. So, I came back to him with a track of my vocals to one of his guitar ideas and the rest is history.

Dave: Three albums later... 

Me: London, so, were you a singer professionally prior to the band?

London: Yes, in there 80s I was in bands but I never lasted very long because in those days everybody wanted a male to front the bands. So I ended up giving up on there singing part and I was mostly doing studio work for people, back-up vocals, songwriting for other bands and I wasn't in the limelight any way. I was mostly recording and that's why Dave never heard me sing before but I have been singing for a long time. This is our third album so I'm now singing more than I'm recording. It was something I pursued, I just went in a different direction.

Me: In the intro I said you guys were a power metal band, London. There's a not a lot of female singers in that genre, am I right? Did you get a lot of resistance in the past?

London: Oh, I had a lot of resistance. Picture my voice in 1985, people didn't know how to wrap their minds around that. Even now it's not very common in the genre that I'm singing. For me I didn't want to sing in any other style or genre, this is what I wanted to do I say the vocals that I looked up to from Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, early Queensryche, that's what motivated me when I listened to their voices. I don't know why more women are not doing it because I think it's a very exciting vocally challenging genre.

Dave: There's lot more women doing it these days which is a good thing as I looked around checking out bands here and there, but I can tell by looking at them what they're gonna sound like and more often than not the bands I'm looking at are more metal and their female singers are in their operatic Nightwish kinda thing which is not what we do. I'm not knocking that, I think Nightwish is a great band, but they have certainly spawned a lot of clones and we're old school classic pretty Dio, early Queensryche, just the classic stuff who we are influenced by. I think there's also some resistance to guys that don't want to listen to women but the interesting thing is a lot of times before people hear us they see what we look like they're not expecting it to be a woman because they're not used to a woman sounding like Rob Halford or Geoff Tate so it's kinda interesting, I've got a lot of emails from people going "oh my god, I've never been into women singing before and I didn't know you guys had a female singer then I saw photos of you guys and I'm blown away."

London: When we first started our first song was a demo we put up on Myspace back when Myspace was so popular, some of the feedback was Dave was very high-pitched. People assumed Dave was singing for some reason. I think of you hear us before you see us there's no understanding whose doing what in the band.

Me: Ugh. Queensryche is one of my worse bands ever. Hahaha. Do you find image or music is more important?

London: The music. That's what counts.

Me: Dave, you started in a band called Vicious Rumors as a bass player. When did you switch from bass to guitar?

Dave: Well, I always played guitar a little bit enough when I was in Vicious Rumors to bang out some chords to get some ideas out to Mark and Geoff, songs that I wanted to do. As far as the level what we are doing with WildeStarr... I got clean and sober in 2005, and part of my rehab was basically just diving into this band with London and getting my head straight, and playing guitar for hours and hours and hours in my office every day, working on songs. I just got really good really fast. I didn't become a serious guitar player until WildeStarr. It's kinda rare that somebody makes a change like that in their career or life, but it's just what I did and what I wanted to do.

Me: Did you plan to have just the three of you in the band when you started out with this project, Dave?

Dave: Initially when we started this we were going to have people come in and play with us on the album like people I worked with either in Vicious Rumors like Brad Gillis, David Chastain, Vinnie Moore, I was just gonna throw some session work for people I worked with in the past. The more I played and the longer I was clean and sober I just found this would be a lot more personal for London and I if we can just do everything what is possible we could do ourselves. As long as it's real and convincing I didn't want to short change as a band with the songs saying I'm gonna do everything myself whether it sucks or not. No, I don't think that happened because if you listen to all the three albums you'll hear the guitar playing and songwriting is a really high caliber. It just came together really rapidly, by the time we went into the studio to record the "Arrival" CD in 2008 I only played guitar for a couple of years so it came together really, really fast. It's very hard to figure it out how it all happened but somehow it did. I don't know if it wad divine intervention or that but it just worked out for me personally for myself and the sound of the band. Since then we kept it that way. I play all the guitar and bass on the album and London does all the vocals and keyboards and the only outside help we get is Josh Foster playing the drums. If I could play drums I'd do that too. Hahahaha.

Me: I have interviewed many spouses or relatives who play together in a band over the years and it always amazes me that that happens. I can't see ever working with any of my relatives like that. How do you two make it work?

Dave: We sometimes argue and fight and I think that's only natural in art. I think in certain ways it makes things easier being a husband and wife because I'm doing the job of all three people in the band, two guitar parts and bass, I don't have to argue with the guitar or bass parts and being concerned what is right for the song. I know everything has it's own space. It sounds like I'm anti-social and don't want to work with other people but that's just the way this thing worked out for us and that's just the way we do things. London does most of the production and engineering work, I just learned my ear.

Me: London, what do you say about this?

London: If we have a disagreement over something I think it used to be a little more resistance for Dave in the beginning but now he just says he doesn't agree but if it's what I think then okay. Hahaha.

Me: You're a smart married man, Dave. So, do you think it has gotten any easier over the years? 

London: Yes, but a lot of times we agree more often than not.

Dave: It does make an interesting scenario because if I'm in a band and going to band practice with five other guys or five other people we'd get into an argument with somebody at band practice or gig you get in your car and you go home. But if London and I have an argument about something the recording studio is in our home we have to be careful were don't carry that into our personal life out the studio door because we're still at home.

Me: Do you both like being in a band together? I'm sure you do...

Dave: Yeah, it makes it really special for London and I. There's really not a situation like this or a team like London and I doing the music that we're doing that I'm aware of. If there are other people like London and I in heavy metal bands I'm just not aware of them. Whenever I think of husband and wife teams I think of Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo. That's obviously a different kind of music, it's more hard rock I guess. I think it adds to the chemistry and flavor.

Me: So, where did the artwork for the cover of "Beyond the Rain" come from?

Linda: The artist was Jonas De Ro, he's a conceptual artist in the movie and film industry. We thought it was a really haunting piece that fit the mood of the record. We think he's really talented. 

Dave: We got a lot of feed back on the album cover. People think the artwork is amazing and it is amazing. I don't remember people talking about the other two albums artwork in the same way. This digital art really seemed to strike a nerve with Jonas De Ro's work. If you go to his website his portfolio is amazing. Being in the film industry as a visual concept artist is fantastic. That piece of artwork is called "Moscow Ruins," and as soon as I laid eyes on it I knew I had to show it to London and we fell in love with it and it seemed to blend in with the "Beyond the Rain" concept and we contacted Jonas and got the rights to use it.

Me: Where are you guys based out of?

London: The Houston, Texas area.

Me: Are you guys gonna be touring soon?

London: Right now we don't have a tour lined up and in the past we put a lot of effort towards trying to assemble a touring line up and we just couldn't find the right people to work with. Finding people with the technical skills to work with or the interest. We were devoting so much time to finding these people then at some point I told Dave that we should not tour because we are taking the time away that we could be spending making original music because that's what we love to do. So, that's how it stands now. We were in California and we relocated to Texas a couple of years ago so we've been in flux a little bit, so at the moment we don't have any touring plans.

Dave: We get asked that all the time but we've been mostly a studio entity, studio project concept for London and I to make music and it's strictly been the CD's, the downloads, and videos. It is kinda frustrating because we do hear from fans all the time saying will we please tour for this album and I'm not trying to piss anybody off but we also have a lot of things going on. Businesses that we have here, London's mom moved in with us, so we have a lot of things anchoring us this year. Not making excuse but that's the way things are for us.

Me: You could easily put a band together, right, if you wanted to.

Dave: Yeah, we could, but one of the things that is difficult when we first started this out it was actually gonna be a band thing but people were trying to tell us what to do. When we done three albums doing everything basically ourselves we don't want people coming in saying they'll change this around, and do this. The last time someone said that to me it was basically when I shut the door on working with anybody else because London and I have a vision and it's very special to us. If we worked with other musicians they'd have to be very understanding of that. I think for a musician it's no easy to come into a band situation and being told what to do. They want to be creative and they'd want to contribute and I understand that.

Me: Did you like touring in the past, Dave?

Dave: I did a lot of touring with V.R. and traveled all around the world. There were lots of parts I liked and a lot of parts I didn't like. If I hadn't toured before I might have more of an interest of getting out there and doing it but just the grind of the 23 hours a day when you're not on stage I don't miss that. Being sober like I have for twelve and a half years, that's enough incentive for me not to want to be put back in that insane asylum. Thing are going great in the way we do things, and it may be a little different than the norm people are used to. Making a record, going on tour with the band... that's great for people that want to do that, but for London and I I think we've come up with a great situation that fits both of us as husband and wife and band members. We are making great music and that's all we care about.

Me: That's cool. Thanks, guys, for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun.

London: Thank you, Jason, we appreciate it.

Dave: Thanks, Jason, for having us on your blog.

Me: Cool deal, take care.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, Thanks to Dave and London from WildeStarr. The Phile will be back next Sunday with author Robert Rodriguez. 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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