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."
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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