Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pheaturing Maureen Davis From The Flutterbies

Hello, phriends, welcome to a special Saturday entry of the Phile. How are you? Thanks for stopping by. Today is Record Day, so go out and support your local indie record store. This whole Donald Trump thing running for president is getting crazy. The White House says that Donald Trump has “zero percent chance” of being elected president. Isn’t that a little high? Insiders say that Trump is running for president as a publicity stunt. That’s not the Donald Trump I know. Donald Trump has a great campaign slogan: “A complex world demands complex hair.” Donald Trump says he has never been more serious about running for president and that this is not a publicity stunt... but make sure to watch the announcement on the season finale of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Hosni Mubarak was arrested near the Red Sea a few days ago. They found him in hiding with his two sons, Hosni W. and Jeb. They were interrogating Mubarak and he had a heart attack. There’s nothing more stressful than being an out-of-work dictator. It’s a bad day for soap operas. ABC has canceled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” The announcement was made by the president of ABC daytime — or was it his evil twin? A high-ranking official at the FAA had to resign because air traffic controllers are falling asleep. I think FAA stands for “fell asleep again.” Lady Gaga claims that she does not believe in plastic surgery. I agree with her, except in my case, where I had to have a tail removed. The Navy tested a high power laser beam to help fight pirates. There’s nothing the pirates can do to defend themselves against this laser — unless they buy a mirror. I said already that today is Record Day, right. For more information go to to check it out. Also, today would of been my dad's birthday. He had one of the biggest record collections ever, and could have easily opened his own store. Anyway, I mentioned my dad a lot over the years, and thought for his birthday I would show a picture. Here he is...

Hey, did you see the new Mac ad? I didn't know they had a Mac version of Guitar Hero until now. Take a look.

And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Ten Signs Donald Trump Is Serious About Running for President
10. He unveiled his new campaign slogan: "I'm Hired!"
9. He promised his hair it could be the next White House dog.
8. He's recently learned where Iowa is.
7. He's looking to buy an American wife.
6. Campaign literature included with his latest eviction notices.
5. Said his running mate will be $600 million in cash.
4. The stars of the next "Celebrity Apprentice" are Madeline Albright and Henry Kissinger.
3. Already ordered "TRUMP" sign for Washington Monument.
2. What could prove he's more serious than being roasted on Comedy Central by The Situation and Snoop Dogg?
And the number one sign Trump is serious about running for president...
1. He's suddenly become less publicity-shy.

Today's guest is the lead singer for The Flutterbies, Los Angeles' hottest alt-country upstarts. You can download the EP "The Flutterbies featuring Maureen Davis" and the new single "First Rain of October" now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the lovely and wonderful... Maureen Davis.

Me: Hi there, Maureen, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Maureen: Lovely, thank you.

Me: I have to ask you first about the band name The Flutterbies. Did you come up with it?

Maureen: Yup..

Me: What is a Flutterby?

Maureen: Well, it's a spoonerism of "butterfly" and yes, you did spell it right :) It took us weeks to decide whether the band should spell it "Flutterbies" or "Flutterbyes"... but we opted for good grammar. Still confuses people. I chose the name because I'm kind of a fan of all winged things and well, the guys are all in several bands and I play with whoever 'flutters' by. Adam and I are the core of the band, and usually our bass player Steven Whalen.

Me: You're the lead singer, Maureen, but who are the other folks in the band with you?

Maureen: Adam Daniel, co-writer/guitarist/singer; Steven Whalen, bass; Christopher Allis, drums; Bart Ryan, guests on lap steel & electric or Marty Rifkin on pedal steel; Chris Joyner or Jamieson Trotter on keys; Molly Pasutti guest vocals on the CD. We've even had our pal Lee Curreri (Bruno from "Fame") on keys.

Me: You guys are based in Los Angeles, right?

Maureen: Yup.

Me: Are you originally from there?

Maureen: Nope. Born in Detroit, raised in Sylvania, Ohio; moved to NYC to act on Broadway; been in L.A. since 1991.

Me: I downloaded all your music from iTunes and really like it. Your latest is a single called "First Rain of October"... is that a preview of a new album you are working on?

Maureen: Yeah, we love that song :) We released it this week, part of a 'single of the month' campaign.

Me: I just watched your video for "How I Get Over You" and thought it was very cool. Where was it filmed and how long did it take?

Maureen: Well, it took 3 months to write, 4 days to film, 4 different locations, 2 months to edit. We filmed it primarily at friend's houses and at the Good Nite Bar in North Hollywood. Tiny dive with a pole to dance on. They have since taken the pole down. Awwww...

Me: There's a famous actress in it, Maureen. Tell the readers who it is. Did you know her before the video shoot?

Maureen: she was Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers and a teacher on "iCarly". I was a fan of hers from Second City improv on TV and when I was teaching at School of Rock she brought her son in to take voice lessons from me. We became gal pals and when she said she never had been in a music video I said, "you are now!" She did the whole thing for the price of dinner. I love Mindy.

Me: One of your songs "Hummingbird Heart" was used in a campaign to reverse California's Proposition 8. When I was in California a few years ago, a Prop 8 demo was going on in Hollywood. Explain what Prop 8 was, and how did your song get involved?

Maureen: Prop 8 was overturned, luckily. It banned same-sex marriage. My friend, John Ireland started and I wanted to help out somehow. So he used our song. We also led our fans to the site to educate them. Love is love, I say.

Me: Before you were a singer in a very cool band, you were an actress in "Into the Woods" on Broadway with Bernadette Peters, is that right? Is acting one of your first loves?

Maureen: Oh my, yes. My idols growing up were Bernadette Peters, Bonnie Raitt (not an actress but damn cool, no?) and Karen Black ("Terror Trilogy"). And momma sang big band with orchestra's as well as musical comedies, so acting was in my blood. I've been acting since age 8.

Me: Would another Broadway show be something you would do in the future? By the way, friends of mine at Disney just put on a "Into the Woods" play. Who did you play in the show?

Maureen: Hey, did you know I sang in the "Chance to Shine" mini musical at California Disney Adventure? Long before The Flutterbies... but what fun, being Nellie the Cowgirl! Broadway shows rock. I'd love to do another show. I played Sleeping Beauty, as well as Bernadette's 'secret' witch double (stunt woman). We were trained by magicians to perform a magical transformation and I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement until the show closed. I also understudied/played Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

Me: Maureen, I want to congratulate you on something. You are the second guest ever on the Phile to have played at Carnegie Hall. The first guest I interviewed a few weeks ago that played there was Danny Nova. Are you aware of his work?

Maureen: Don't know Danny Nova. Enlighten me!

Me: He is a singer, songwriter whose been around for a long time. Anyway, he described the experience so well about playing there. What was the experience like for you?

Maureen: Glamourous. Three girls in Mackie evening gowns singing swing music. It doesn't get better than that. And Gary Burton, the renowned vibe player... Side note: My dad and mom had not spoken in 10 years, Carengie Hall brought them together again, with their new mates. Finally, my great Aunt Sandi who was like my Auntie Mame mentor, saw all her work in grace and discipline in the spotlight in a historical place. I truly felt like I had arrived in the music business. Amazing. :)

Me: Did you play there with The Flutterbies or another band?

Maureen: I was in a girl trio selected from hundreds called The Pearl. We released 2 singles in Japan. I was blonde.

Me: Is there another venue that would be a dream of yours to play at?

Maureen: The Greek. The Hollywood Bowl. Joe' Pub in New York. The Ark in Ann Arbor (I played there with Michelle Shocked... opened for her!) and someone's gotta get The Stronghold in Venice a license again... that place was magical.

Me: You are a teacher as well as a musician? You taught at Santa Monica's School of Rock, right? How did you get that gig?

Maureen: Believe it or not... online. I auditioned with Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky" with 3 picking styles in one song as well as Mose Allison's "Cryin' Mercy". Taught voice, music theory, songwriting, even led kids in bands. Loved that job. Now I teach privately.

Me: Explain exactly what you teach now. Maureen. Do you get lots of students?

Maureen: I use a blend of pilates, yoga mudras, and my own technique. But it centers around each student singing with his/her own voice. Know your strengths. Don't imitate someone else's voice. Stay true to the story o the song. Use your whole body to support the sound. I do get lots of student's word of mouth, and now I coach bands in-studio too!

Me: So, what's next for you? Any new music or projects you are working on?

Maureen: Singing sonnets in Central Oark for Shakespeare's birthday April 22nd; playing Cooldog in Delaware April 23rd: more dates to be announced in NYC. A Bety-Page type of coffee table book called "Even Bad Girls Drink Tea" and hopefully tea sponsorship. Cover tunes Flutterbies style for TV/film. A super-secret indie film with a major star that comes out next winter. And "First Rain of October" on all Lufthansa worldwide flights May/June. We're big in Belgium (wink).

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Maureen. I wish you continued success and I hope you keep making music for a long time. Any chance you'll be doing some Florida shows?

Maureen: Bring us out there! We love doing home concerts as well as clubs. And my big brother lives in Miami Beach.

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and thanks again. I hope this was fun. Was it? Please come back again soon, okay?

Maureen: And we're raising funds for our mini tour April 22nd-24th. Fans can get autographed pics, song lyrics, downloads, EP's and other collectibles for $25, $50 AND $100. We also accept frequent flyer miles (wink). Thanks so much for the chat.

There you go, another entry, the second this week. Thanks to Maureen Davie for a great interview. The Phile will be back next week with a hot singer with the last name Swift. No, not Taylor, but Sheila. Sheila Swift. So, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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