Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pheaturing Jimbo Mathus

Hello, welcome to the Phile, kids. This will be a day long remembered, this is the last entry for Star Wars Month. All month the Phile has been celebrating, if that's what you want to call it, the Star Wars films. It is the 35th anniversary of the original Star Wars film, plus Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, plus my one year working at Star Tours. Before we talk more about Star Wars, let's see what else is going on.  Police in South Dakota arrested a 53-year-old man formerly from Chicago who's trying to climb Mount Rushmore. The guy is in his 50s, from Chicago, and he's desperate to get on Mount Rushmore. Oh my God, it's Obama!  Speaking of Obama, just two weeks after a felon in jail got 41 percent of the democratic vote in West Virginia, President Obama got embarrassed again in Arkansas when an unknown lawyer got 42 percent. See, that proves once and for all that there's only a 1 percent difference between a lawyer and a convicted felon.  Four Secret Service agents fired for that sex scandal decided to fight their dismissal. The lawyer said they didn't realize the women were prostitutes. Is that the best argument when you're trying to get your job back in the Secret Service? These guys are supposed to be experts at picking people out of a crowd. Can't spot a hooker? Really?  A new study says that people who snore have a higher risk of cancer. But the good news is: Hey, at least they're not losing any sleep over it.  So, did you hear the news about Justin Bieber? He's wanted for questioning by the Los Angeles sheriff's department. Apparently Bieber had an altercation with a photographer. Bieber went all Mel Gibson on some dude. Now Justin's on the lam, considered armed and adorable. The photographer says he was roughed up by Bieber. He had to go to the hospital. Doctors say he'll live, but his masculinity will never fully recover. The guy probably will sue Bieber for some cash. But he will be known for the rest of his life as the guy who got beat up by Justin Bieber. How much is that worth to you?   Okay, when the Star Wars Blu-rays came out, a lot of die-hard fans were pissed off Lucas made more changes again. Lucas answered back with this...

It's cool though, one the Blu-ray set there's some Star Wars deleted scenes. Take a look at this one.

A few entries ago I mentioned that Lucas ripped of Dr. Seuss when he was making the films. Readers of the Phile wanted more proof, and I have it here.

If I created and directed the Star Wars films, things would be a little different. For example, the droids would look like this...

And Darth Vader would look like this...

People have asked me why I love Star Wars so much, and I would like to sum it up with one picture...

You don't see hot girls like Megan Fox wearing Lord of the Rings t-shirts, do you? Anyway, all month I have been showing you real products with the Star Wars pieces of merchandise that are out there and you might not be aware of. Well, here's the last one I have to show you. If your problem with ladies isn't related to your smell, but rather, your looks, then relax and let the Lando Calrissian Disguise Kit help you pass yourself off as the studly administrator of Cloud City.

And now, from the home office on Coruscant, here is the...

Top Ten Ways To Get Lucas To Make Episodes 7-9
10. Label three tapes in his Library "Episodes 10, 11 and 12". That way he'll think he has to make the prequels.
9. If he doesnt do them, James Cameron will!
8. Threaten to mass produce copies of the Holiday Special.
7. One word: Wedgie.
6. Come up with a foolproof way to do it without totally, utterly and completely annihilating the continuity of the Expanded Universe.
5. Make them... or your flannel collection gets it!
4. Convice his kids it's a good idea!
3. Claim that the numerous times he said he wasn't going to make 7, 8 and 9 were all part of a different continuity that can be discarded piecemeal or wholesale at will.
2. Catch his eye by submitting witty yet insightful response to Peverett Phile top ten list.
And the number one way to get Lucas to make Episodes 7-9...
1. Three words....Portman, Gold, Bikini.

During the month I had a brand new character to the Phile come one and tell some really funny jokes. Okay, they weren't all funny, but he was pretty popular. So, please welcome one last time, the intergalactic comedian...

Tractor: Knock knock.

Me: Um... who's there?

Tractor: Dook.

Me: Dook who?

Tractor: Ha ha! Get it? That's it, I'm out, don't eat the bantha, suckers.

Doc Watson
March 3, 1923 - May 29, 2012
And you thought he was blue before.

Johnny Tapia
February 13, 1967 - May 27, 2012
"Looks like I've Tapia'd out! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk."

Okay, this is cool, today's guest is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work with the swing revival band Squirrel Nut Zippers. His latest album "Confederate Buddha" is available in stores and on iTunes and he'll be next appearing in Little Rock, Arkansas at Whitewater Tavern on June 8th. Please welcome to the Phile... Jimbo Mathus.

Me: Hello, Jimbo, welcome to the Phile, how are you? I can call you Jimbo, right? Or do you prefer Jim?

Jimbo: Hey, Jay, you can call me Jimbo.

Me: I have to talk about one of my favorite 90's bands, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, that you were in. How did that band come about?

Jimbo: That band was the result of a curious combination of influences. Eary Trinidad calypso, early New Orleans and Harlem jazz, and a vaudeville-type presentation with a distinct visual edge incorporated from early German cinema and Max and Dave Fleischer cartoons.

Me: That band changed music styles from when the first album came out. You jumped on the swing bandwagon during that craze. Was that something that came natural because you liked that music, or another reason?

Jimbo: I would disagree highly with the assertion that we changed styles to jump on the swing craze of the 90's. Our music was never the jump blues of the Setzer orchestra et al. We were even more experimental thru the later part of the 90's than we were on our first release.

Me: I have to ask you about another band you were in... The North Mississippi All Stars. Awhile ago I had Luther Dickinson on the Phile which was cool. When did you first meet Luther?

Jimbo: They opened a show for Squirrel Nut Zippers in Memphis circa 1996 with their jug band Gutbucket and after that Luther and I started collaborating, sending each other music and doing all kinds of gigs together.

Me: Did you know his dad Jim?

Jimbo: Yeah, thru him, I met his dad Jim and immediately began collaborating with him as well. He was the first producer that made sense to me, and I played on many of Jim and Luther's records and have helped with songwriting chores and chores around Zebra Ranch ever since. A lot of people tend to throw their names around but, to me, Jim and Luther are probably the second greatest contribution to my musical vision.

Me: Who was your first?

Jimbo: The first being my own father teaching me the instruments and harmony singing.

And do you have a third, Jimbo?

Jimbo: Third would be my tenure with Buddy Guy. My participation in "Sweet Tea" was pretty in-depth. I was charged with being a sort of North MS music form translator, taking the Junior Kimbrough style mainly and helping make a form that made sense to Buddy. We would rehearse all day and then do 40-min takes until we got the form and trance vibe right. We toured with Double Trouble as the rhythm section.

Me: Jimbo, where are you from?

Jimbo: I am from Mississippi. I was born in Lafayette County in 1967.

Me: You have your own studio as well, right?

Jimbo: Yeah, I started my studio, Delta Recording Service, up in Clarksdale in 2003 then moved it to Como where it is today. We use a lot of the old school ribbon microphones and tube preamps and just record in a big room, always live with live vocals. That's where we recorded "Confederate Buddha".

Me: Okay, let's talk about your latest band... The Tri-State Coalition. Who is in that band with you, sir?

Jimbo: Matt "Pizzle" Pierce, Justin Showah, Eric Carlton, Alex "Felix" Holeman and Ryan Rogers

Me: My twelve year old son Logan and I listened to your latest album "The Confederate Buddha" and really enjoyed it. He has a question for you, Jimbo...

Logan: Are you a confederate?

Jimbo: I guess I would consider myself a confederate but also a patriot! I love my state and my country.

Me: My favorite song on the album is "Jimmy the Kid". Who is Jimmy the Kid? Is that you?

Jimbo: I'm glad you like the song "Jimmy the Kid". It's really written about my dad and kind of plays with the idea of a real story turning into myth or folklore like John Henry, Casey Jones or any of the outlaw ballads. A lot of the other songs on the Buddha are story-songs, too, such as "Aces and Eights" and "Days of High Cotton".

Me: Jimbo, you say this about Mississippi... God bless Mississippi and pass the antiseptic. What do you like most about that state?

Jimbo: One of my favorite things about my state is the abundance of great musicians and rich musical history.  I also love the little rib-joints, honky-tonks, crawdad holes and catfish houses. I play a lot of gigs in these kinds of places, entertaining patrons of all ages, races and beliefs. It's in these little joints that I developed my repertoire of Catfish Music...

Me: What is Catfish Music?

Jimbo: Just a blending of different folk songs that people love to hear and enjoy themselves, too. I take my ego out of the equation and just use the music for it's pure purpose... entertainment & enjoyment.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want to. All the best, and please come back to the Phile again when the next project comes out.

Jimbo: I really appreciate the opportunity.

Well, that about wraps it up for another entry and Star Wars Month. The Phile will be back on Saturday, not Sunday as I will be at Star Wars Weekends again, with teen singer Bree Rose. Then on Monday it's Alumni Marc Savoie from Infinite-Lane Highway and then next Sunday it's the 500th entry with rock icon Dion. This is the last entry on Wednesday's for awhile as well. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Make the phorce he with you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pheaturing Alumni Robert A. Medeiros From The Clarences

Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile on a Monday. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master. Master of the Phile. Happy Memorial Day, everybody. All through the month of May here on the Phile is Star Wars Month as you probably know by now. Before we get more into Star Wars stuff, let's see what else is going on.  Shares of Facebook stock dropped again. They say if it drops any lower, Mitt Romney will swoop in and divide it up into Face and Book. Mitt Romney reminds me of the guy in the commercial that buys his wife a Lexus for Christmas with the big bow on it.  It's been a rough week for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg has lost so much money in the market that President Obama is going to have him replace Ben Bernanke.  In New York, here's a parking spot in the Greenwich Village area that will be priced at $1 million. I would love it if whoever buys this spot parks a 1986 Ford Taurus in it.  Marvel Comics announced that their first openly gay superhero, a character called Northstar, is getting married. Mitt Romney came out against this because he believes marriage is a sacred bond between one super man and one super woman.  The Center for Responsive Politics reports that President Obama has become the first politician in history to raise $1 billion in his political career. Imagine how much more he could have raised if people hadn't lost it all in his economic plan?  A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden has been convicted of high treason in Pakistan. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping us. Think how much worse the sentence would have been if Pakistan wasn't our ally.  New research shows that eating organic foods can make people more arrogant and judgmental. In fact, eating just one handful of organic bean sprouts has the same effect as driving 1,000 miles in a Prius.  Did you guys watch that new show with Kelly Clarkson called "Duets" the other day? It's a singing competition show. It's about time somebody did one of those. Each of the new show's stars say they are in search of undiscovered talent, which I don't think we have anymore, to be honest with you. In fact, I think we should start forcing some of our existing celebrities back into obscurity. Here's how a TV pitch meeting goes. "Ok, so, it's a singing competition, and..." "Stop right there, we love it. We're putting it on." On the show each celebrity picked two people for the competition and Kelly picked a guy named Jason. What is it with her and Jason's? First she does her own duet with Jason Aldean and now she is singing with another Jason. It won't be long before Kelly and I duet... if you know what I mean. My hall pass is ready.  Alright, well, it seems everybody is on Facebook. Even a guy named Wedge.

You know, I was watching the original movie the other day and I spotted something that happened that I never noticed before.

Princess Leia sucking on Darth's finger. Very odd. So, I have been showing you some real Star Wars products over the month. I will show you another one in a minute, but there's also knock-off's that are sold in China and other places overseas. Look at this, it's real, and fake at the same time if you know what I mean.

I think this one is from Russia or somewhere. Starswar? Star Swar? And isn't he standing at calculator? That's funny, and sad. Alright, well, wanna see a real Star Wars product? Sleeping inside of a tauntaun is really only a necessity in the freezing extremes of Hoth. When you're ready for a more sophisticated night of romance by the fire, only the skin of a vicious Wampa will do.

Man, that's the best thing about Star Wars, Leia's slave outfit. God bless George Lucas. And now from the home office on Coruscant, here is another...

Top Ten Ways I Would Have Destroyed the Death Star
10. Mind-Tricked it into blowing itself up.
9. Install Windows ME on their main computer and wait thirty seconds for the crash.
8. Make it fight the other 500 ultimate superweapons from the Expanded Universe.
7. Sneak Jar Jar onboard.
6. The ol' potato-in-the-exhaust-pipe!
5. Throw that stupid mouse droid into the reactor core.
4. Control+Alt+Delete.
3. Put a really big mirror in front of the superlaser.
2. By over producing it, and causing its fan base to become alienated and dissolved.
And the number one way I would have destroyed the Death Star...
1. One screw at a time.

Alright, a few months ago I introduced a new character to the Phile who loves puns, and he has a bunch more Star Wars puns he wanted to share with you. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Hey, Rebel scum, can you beat a Gungan at a staring contest? Yes, because Jar Jar blinks!  Which Imperial commander was afraid of swimming? Darth Wader.  What did people say when the Jedi Master was victorious at the video game jujitsu tournamment? 'Obi Won Shinobi!'  On Hoth did the Chinese restaurants serve tonton soup?  The IRS cracked down on the Jedi master because he Yoda lotta money.  Why could the rebel space fleet not fly? They were all ex-wings.  What do Jewish Star Wars fans play with? Droidles.  The foul black excretia of the Imperial presence was embodied in the Death's Tar.  Was C3-PO an early example of a personal robot whore? Yes he was a proto call-droid! Yoda never let Luke speak during his training... he had to master the Jedi mime tricks.  Why didn't they storm the Empire's base from the shadows? Because Yoda warned them about the dark side of the forts!  Which of Jabba's henchmen made millions selling licorice? Nib Fortuna.  The windshield of the Millenium Falcon was so small they could barely achieve wiper-space!  Why did Mark Hamill's career fizzle?  Because he was taken out by the star-destroyer.  Liam Neeson was not known for his big rear end; in fact on set they called him the Phantom Man-Ass.  How did the grey-haired Jedi-nemesis threaten his victims? "I'll Count Dooku, then I'll shoot."  The queen's handmaiden was self-conscious about her bosom, they jokingly referred to her as Padme.  The Gungan leader was into chasing tail and listening to Springsteen, they called him Boss 'n' Ass.  Which rebel pilot loved Tex-Mex potato skins? Wedge-and-chilies!  Which father of a bounty hunter was partial to tropical fruit parties? Mango Fete! Which Jedi leader cleaned his corn with ammonia spray? Maize Windex!  Which Imperial general made out in the back seat? Gran Moff Parkin.  Hayden Christensen can't act. They should have renamed his character Mannequin Skywalker!  Despite having drunk wine, the rebel pilots were cleared to fly. After all, they had just one Red Litre.  Which Naboo captain defecated in a pan? Captain Pankaka! That's it, scum, I am gone.

"Somethin' that ain't got nothin' to do with nothin," says Will Smith at one point during the new adventure of those guys in the suits who manage the universe's alien traffic flow. And to what "nothin'" is he referring? Nothin' really, and it doesn't matter anyway, because what he's unexpectedly describing is this entire film. It is, in fact, about nothing.  Don't misread that. Nothing can be the multiplex's highest achievement when properly constructed. And summer is the best time of year for the movie about Nothing. It doesn't even matter what the motivation is, which is good because that motivation is usually a studio desire for cash in the hundreds of millions ballpark. Of course, you have to aim for Nothing in just the right way. Battleship was about nothing, and a pretty entertaining Nothing, for the record. But it sank, at least in American waters. It was, maybe, too much Nothing. Too proud of its own stupidity? Too convinced of its Taylor Kitsch-appeal? We'll never know. Nothing is tricky.  Will Smith, he's pretty good at Nothing by this point. He knows when to turn it on and off, and he's got it turned on about halfway here, not fully committed to much more than the get-paid angle of Nothing. And Tommy Lee Jones? He's barely in the movie at all. Josh Brolin, on the other hand, is going full-tilt Nothing, so fully and satisfyingly immersed in his role as young Tommy Lee Jones (time travel, see) that he threatens to make it Something.  There's a story, sort of: J (Smith) wonders why K (Jones) is so boring and expressionless, why they never talk about anything but work. He wonders what K's relationship with O (Emma Thompson) held in the past . Also there's a bad alien ("Flight of the Conchords'" Jemaine Clement) trying to destroy the world, so heading back to 1969 is the only way to get answers and set the balance right. That means we get cool furniture, the Moon launch, Andy Warhol (Bill Hader, just right) and a future-seeing weirdo (A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg) as well as a reset button for the relationship between J and K. It moves along quickly, never wears out its welcome and is full of still-amusing moments recycled from earlier installments. It's bright and cheerful and, in a hokey third act twist, generically sweet. Best of all, the effects are effective. And the cool monsters/aliens/Cronenbergian body cavities pop into your face in not-annoying 3D.  Like that brain-wipey thing the black-cladders use... a neuralyzer? yeah, that's it... you won't remember much of it by Summer's end, or maybe even next week's end, and it won't leave you clamoring for more sequels. This one feels like gentle penance for the lackluster MIB2 already. But as Nothings go it's exactly the right amount. From 1 to 10, I give it an 8 and I will probably end up buying it when it comes out.

Okay, today's guest is a Phile Alumni who was last on the Phile September 4th, 2011 and was one of the oddest guests I ever had here. His band The Clarences will be playing every Saturday at Norge Laundry in Oakland, California. Please welcome back to the Phile from The Clarences... Robert A. Medeiros.

Me: Hello, Robert, welcome back to the Phile. It's been less then a year since you were here. Have have you been?

Robert: I have have been great! Have have you been, Jason?

Me: Pretty good and busy. Okay, last time you were here I asked you about the band name The Clarences but you were a little vague. There's no one in the band name Clarence, right? Where did the name come from?

Robert: Nope, nobody named Clarence. The clue is: Eddie Murphy.

Me: You should've named the band The Medeiroses. Whatcha think?

Robert: My dad already owns the rights to that name. They are senior citizen Death Metal band. My dad is the singer, manager and tour bus driver.

Me: By the way, who is in the band? You have some girls in the band, right?

Robert: The girls come and go, I stay and freeze.

Me: How long has the band been together? About the same length as the Phile, right? Six years?

Robert: I have no idea what your length is, Jason! T.M.I! You are making me blush. The Clarences have been around since 2006 BC.

Me: Sorry, didn't mean to make you blush. LOL. Robert, you are based in California, right? What part?

Robert: Yep, in Oakland, California. You can feel sorry for us.

Me: Why? Oakland is a nice place I heard. Let's talk about your music. Do you do all the songwriting?

Robert: Yep, and also the writing of songs.

Me: I love the songs you have recorded so far, are you planning on recording any more?

Robert: Yes.

Me: And you still don't have music up on iTunes or Bandcamp. Are you planning on doing so?

Robert: iTunes makes the listener pay for the music. The Clarences music and merchandise is and will forever be FREE!

Me: You play keyboards and guitar, right? What came first, Robert?

Robert: Bass.

Me: Do you remember what the first song you learned to play was?

Robert: "Paul's Got No Balls". The 1st song I ever wrote which was for the band I had in high school, The Turtlenecks.

Me: Last time you were here you described your music as Glock-octave-pop-rock, which I have no idea what that means. Can you explain?

Robert: I was forced to say that under the influence of DSL.

Me: On your Facebook page The Clarences music is explained as John-Rah, am I right? What in hell does that mean?

Robert: You know, the John-Rah of music that we play.

Me: Also, last time you were here we talked about one of your songs called "Jason Kinderhook & The Leper Cons". Who is Jason Kinderhook?

Robert: Jason Kinderhook is... hmmm.

Me: You mentioned you might record a song called "Jason Peverett & The Peverett Philes". Are you still planning that?

Robert: Yep. Everytime it's played I introduce it as, "Jason Peverett & The Peverett Philes" and I say it's dedicated to the best interviewer on the planet: Jason Kinderhook & The Leper Cons!

Me: Thanks, I guess... Okay, let's talk about your shows at the Norge Laundry and Cleaning Village. Where and what is that?

Robert: It's our monthly Saturday afternoon FREE & ALL AGES concerts at Norge Laundry (3908 Grand Ave, Oakland, California) with a different musical guest every month.

Me: How long have you been playing there and how long will you be playing there, Robert?

Robert: Since last Fall and until my community service time runs out.

Me: Is it a laundromat? I don't know.

Robert: It has washing machines, dryers and dry cleaning. I think it's a car factory.

Me: So, what is a typical Clarences show like?

Robert: Oh, you know, the typical things: Satanic rituals, colon cleanses, Easy-Bake Oven cookoffs and lots o' love! Aww.

Me: And if you could open for any band who would it be?

Robert: That one band, you know, the one that sings the one song about love.

Me: Robert, I wish you lots of luck and please come back on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your websites and I wish you luck.

Robert:,, & are electricity-free so, no plug is necessary. Thank you , Jason! You rule! Your site rules! It means alot to me and is much appreciated! Jason, Jason, Jason!

Well, there you go. Another entry of the Phile done. Thanks to Robert for a good, but odd, interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with musician Jimbo Mathus and then on Saturday, not Sunday as I will be at Star Wars Weekends again with teenage singer Bree Rose and then next Monday it's Alumni Marc Savoie from Infinite-Lane Highway. and coming up soon, the 500th entry with rock and roll legend... Dion. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. May the phorce be with you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pheaturing Joey Spiotto

Hello, everybody, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Evacuate in our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances. HA! All month has been Star Wars Month here on the Phile as you may know. Before we talk more about Star Wars let's see what else is going on.  So, who saw "Duets" the new show on ABC on Thursday? Kelly Clarkson is in it so you know I saw it. I didn't know it was possible for me to like Kelly even more, but I do.  Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend got married one day after Facebook raised $16 billion on the stock market. Zuckerberg listed the 10 things he loves about her, while she listed the 16 billion things she loves about him. Their reception was annoying, though. Right when everyone got used to the seating arrangement, Zuckerberg changed the layout for no reason. After losing billions of dollars, Zuckerberg is being sued for hiding Facebook’s weak financial report. Apparently he put it somewhere no one will ever look... Myspace. President Obama tossed around a football at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Obama told Biden to go long. Then, he hopped into his car and drove away. While attending meetings in Chicago this week, President Obama stayed at a hotel instead of his own house. It was annoying. When he asked for a wake-up call, they just showed him the latest poll numbers.  Have you been watching the NBA playoffs? The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs  after just five games. Yeah, the Lakers fell fast... which explains their new name: the Los Angeles Facebook Stock. DC Comics announced that one of its existing superheroes will be reintroduced as gay. Or as Aquaman put it, “Why is everyone looking at me?”  An 83-year-old man in the U.K. recently became the oldest living kidney donor in history... which is pretty cool unless you’re the guy who just got an 83-year-old kidney.  Members of the Secret Service told the Senate that there’s an unwritten rule amongst agents that what happens on the road stays on the road. Not to be confused with that WRITTEN rule... that they shouldn't have sex with prostitutes.  Here’s an election update. Mitt Romney met with a group of wealthy Latino business owners. Or as Romney calls them, “the Juan percent.”  Britney Spears is planning to launch a new fragrance called Fantasy Twist. That sounds like something John Travolta gets at the end of a massage.  Here is news from the greatest company to work for ever... a Disney cruise employee is being investigated for stealing a passenger's iPhone. If he's found guilty, he'll be given a really tough punishment... eight more years working on that Disney cruise. Or he'll be sent over to Star Tours where I will be his trainer.  Okay, I mentioned Facebook and it seems everyone has Facebook. Check this out, kids.

Remember the Cantina Band from the original Star Wars film? Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes as real Star Wars fans know them as. Yep, that is really the band name. Anyway, they are like the Beatles of the Star Wars universe. Don't believe me? Take a look.

Well, this weekend is Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios and I was surprised they are selling another inspirational poster with bad language on it again.

All month I have been showing you real licensed Star Wars products that are out there for you to purchase. It seems George Lucas doesn't care what he puts the Stars Wars brand name on. This is something I would want. This delightful piece of merchandise is so ridiculous that it was actually created as an April Fool's Day prank. It got so many requests for the item that they ended up getting the rights to make the sleeping bag become a reality.

And now from the home office on Coruscant, here is today's...

Top Ten Lesser Known Goals Of The Empire
10. Making Lucas pay for the Holiday Special.
9. Spread the freshening power of Tic-Tacs across the galaxy.
8. To finally figure out life's greatest mysteries. Who is Keyser Soze, figuring out the Colonel secret recipe, and how they get the caramel inside the Caramilk Bar.
7. To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. And disintegrate them. 6. 6. A Starbucks on every planet.
5. To provide the galaxy with homely family cuisine at affordable prices in a slightly nostalgic, but overly annoying atmosphere.
4. As the galaxy's largest construction outfit, bringing down the Steel Workers' union dental plan became paramount in the fight to lower overhead prior to the redoubling of efforts.
3. Secret co-production of Dangeresque 1, 2, & 3
2. Make Mon Mothma kiss Jabba.
And the number one lesser known goal of the Empire is...
1. Make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Alright, all month I have invited my good friend Jeff Trelewicz to the Phile to talk about the Star Wars films one by one and we have finally reached the original film. So, please welcome back to the Phile Jeff in a pheature I call...

Me:  Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. We have finally made it to the original film. Do you call it Star Wars, Episode 4 or A New Hope?

Jeff: It's great to be back on the Phile. I refer to it as either Star Wars, or Episode 4.

Me: I refer it to as Star Wars. Do you remember when and you first learnt about Star Wars?

Jeff: One of the first movies I ever saw in the theater was actually Return of the Jedi. It was either that or The Black Cauldron or Muppets Take Manhattan. Those were the first 3 movies I ever saw in a movie theater. So that would be the first time I heard about Star Wars.

Me: The first time I ever heard about Star Wars was we were at Macy's at our local mall on Long Island and in the kid's clothing section I saw t-shirts with C3-PO and R2-D2 on it and another one with an X-Wing and right away I loved the look. I asked my dad what was that about and he said it's a new movie coming out called Star Wars and I knew right away that was something special. Okay, I have to ask... Who shot first, Han or Greedo?

Jeff: There is only one correct answer. Han shot first. End of argument!

Me: Jeff, I am sure I have readers who have never seen the Star Wars films or have done and have a few questions. Wanna answer some?

Jeff: I will do my best to answer any and all questions posed to me about Star Wars!

Me: Cool. Here we go then, when Luke has an argument with Owen and Beru and storms out, Beru says to Owen, "He's too much like his father", to which Owen says "I know. That's what I'm afraid of". But if Luke is like Anakin (as Owen and Beru fear), then what caused Luke to not go to the dark side like his father did, if Luke had all this frustration of wanting more control in this movie like his father did when he was younger?

Jeff: I think the main reason Luke never went to the dark side like his father was he was never pushed that way. The death of Anakin's mom and the dreams he had of Padme dying was enough to push Anakin to the dark side. Luke never knew his parents. He lost friends in the fights, but not anyone so close to him that he would go to the Dark Side. But if you think about it, we saw glimpses of the dark side in him during his lightsaber fights with Vader.

Me: Good answer. Okay, what did Obi-Wan mean when he said to Vader, "You can't win, Vader. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine"? Also when he said "Strike me down", did he specifically mean taking Obi-Wan's life?

Jeff: Obi-Wan, I believe, was referring to the fact that he would transcend death. Even after he died, he was strong. He was able to communicate from beyond the grave and teach Luke and talk to Yoda. He helped guide Luke to help blow up the Death Star! Yes, I think the "Strike me Down" comment meant death. If you got struck with a lightsaber in anywhere other then an arm or a leg, you are dead. Sure we saw hands get cut off, but if you hit someone in the chest or head? Dead Jedi!

Me: A Guest at worked asked this question... I read that Mace Windu was originally going to be in this movie. Is that true? Do you know the answer, Jeff? I do.

Jeff: I had not heard anything about Mace Windu being in the Episode 4. Not sure how he could have been since he died in Episode 3, and it took place so many years after Mace's unfortunate (but not bitch like) death.

Me: Good point, but Mace Windu was originally gonna be in Episode 4. The name "Mace Windu" dates back to the very first story treatment that George Lucas wrote in 1973, however the character bears no resemblence to the distinguished Jedi Master of the prequel trilogy. In the rough draft, the name is given to a brother of Leia's, while a later draft has the character as a friend of Luke's. The name was ultimately dropped from the script entirely, only to be reintroduced when choosing names for the Jedi council members decades later for the prequels. Next question, I never understood why the officer who is disrespectful to Vader in the meeting on the Death Star calls the Force an "ancient religion". If I remember correctly, at the moment, Vader only mentions the Force, not the Sith or Jedi. Since it has only been 19 or 20 years since the Jedi were defeated, wouldn't the Force still be something that a lot of people, around age 35 and older, could remember and have knowledge of?

Jeff: I think the officer was more referring to the fact that there wasn't many at the time (other then Vader and the Emperor) who could use the Force, so it was ancient. No one else could use it. I am sure he had heard about it growing up and all, but it wasn't practiced by many.

Me: This has bothered me since I saw The Phantom Menace... Why isn't Darth Vader's and Obi-Wan Kenobi's duel aboard the Death Star as good as the lightsabre duels in Episodes 1, 2, & 3? Is there any reason, Jeff?

Jeff: Part of the reason why the lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader wasn't as epic in Episode 4 as it was in Episode 3 was age. Obi-Wan was a much older man and couldn't do all the same moves. Plus think about the setting. Everything added to the epicness of that fight, including where it was held. It's much different then fighting in a cargo bay. Plus Obi-Wan knew he had no chance of winning. That's why he pretty much commited suicide in the fight.

Me: Well, I think that wraps up everything for the original Star Wars film. I am sure I have more questions though. Next week come back and we'll talk about my favorite Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back.

Jeff: I look forward to discussing your favorite movie in the series. Mine too! Until then!

Today's guest is the 17th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. He is an illustrator, artist and concept designer. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented... Joy Spiotto.

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

Joey: I'm doing great! I spent most of the weekend playing "Skyrim"... So it feels nice to come back to the real world for a bit.

Me: And then you're on the Phile... Where are you from, Joey?

Joey: I was born in Pasadena and grew up in a city called La Verne in Southern California, home of the worlds largest indoor car wash as well as the church from The Graduate and Wayne's World 2. It's a pretty exciting town.

Me: Okay, I have to talk about the fauz... or phaux album covers you have created which are so fucking cool. Not only have you created the front covers, but the back covers with song titles and even a record with the label. What the hell? Bloody amazing. What was the first one you did?

Joey: Thanks! I'm glad people are digging them. I've had a lot of fun creating them. The first one I did was River Tam and the Fireflies for the show Crazy 4 Cult at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. I was having trouble coming up with ideas for what to do for the show. It was my first Crazy 4 Cult show and I really wanted to do something unique. I am a huge "Firefly" fan so I knew I wanted to do something with Serenity because it hadn't been done for that gallery show yet. A trip to Disneyland helped inspire the concept after a ride through It's A Small World. I thought it would be cool to have pop-culture characters represented in that Mary Blair style and then it all came together.

Me: My favorite is the Conan one you did. Did you ever send a copy of the picture to him?

Joey: Cool! Thanks! I had a lot of fun with that one. I grew up watching Conan so it was a lot of fun to go through old clips looking for ideas. I'm not sure yet if he's seen it or not.

Me: How did you come up with the song titles and concept?

Joey: The song titles are always made up of references to whatever the album is. And most of the time, they're albums of stuff that I'm a huge fan of so I know a lot of inside things that only diehard fans would get. For instance on the back of the Fireflies album, there's a "Blue Sun" logo in the upper right hand corner. Someone could watch the entire series and movie and never pick up on what "Blue Sun" is. It's everyone throughout the show, in the background, on t-shirts, screens, etc. I love those little nods to things and so I try to hide them everywhere on the artwork including the running time of certain songs.

Me: Your art on them is very retro. Did you have albums when you were a kid?

Joey: I did. I grew up in a house where my parents had a pretty big record collection. Growing up in the 80's, vinyl was on it's way out and cassette tapes were in, but we still had a Playskool record player. We listened to a lot of kid friendly music like The Monkees and "Sesame Street" songs. I think the record I remember most was the "E.T. Read-Along Adventure" from Disneyland Records.

Me: I have to ask, did anybody ever think these were albums, the ones you created?

Joey: Yes. It doesn't happen often, but some people have placed orders through my Etsy store, and then a few days later I get an e-mail saying "uh... where's the record?". I think some people just don't take the time to read item descriptions. It would be pretty awesome if those songs were real, but they aren't, and I'm pretty clear about that in all of my descriptions.

Me: You met Joss Whedon and the cast of "Firefly" and showed them the "Firefly" album cover. What did they think of it? I have a picture of you and them here I grabbed from your blog, Joey.

Joey: That was a pretty incredible experience. I had met Joss a few years earlier at a Comic-Con party I crashed. He was one of the few people dancing and having a great time, and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to talk to him. So I jumped in and danced with him. I wish all of my celebrity encounters happened via dance party. But I got to formally meet him last year at the "Can't Stop The Serenity" Charity event in Los Angeles. I had donated a Fireflies album signed by some of the cast/crew to an auction. Joss and Nathan Fillion were at the event and I asked the organizers if I could get them both to sign the artwork. I was a little nervous, obviously. Standing in front of me was Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his creator. But they were very nice and seemed to like the work a lot. I had just finished the artwork for the next Crazy 4 Cult show where I did "Sing Along with Dr. Horrible" and they seemed to enjoy that artwork a little bit more!

Me: Were you nervous showing it to them?

Joey: Yes. As an artist, it's always a little intimidating to put yourself out there in front of the world. The internet can be a harsh place to live, but the artwork had been such a huge success online, I felt like they would probably appreciate it. I was a little nervous, but they were really great and had some great things to say.

Me: Did Joss tell you anything about The Avengers movie?

Joey: LOL. Ha! No. And I wouldn't have wanted him to. Spoilers would really ruin things.

Me: I like the other album covers you did like the Guns n Roses one with Skeletor and He-Man characters. You need to make a Foghat one somehow. My dad would've loved it.

Joey: Wow! My dad is a big Foghat fan! The Guns n Roses / He-Man mashup was just something I did for fun. I was listening to a ton of "Appetite for Destruction" and was having a nostalgia trip through Eternia. It seemed like a match made in heaven.

Me: If anybody asked you to design an album cover for real, would you do it?

Joey: I think it depends. I LOVE music. I have great respect for anyone with artistic talent. I feel a little bit like i'd be ruining the mystery of it all by putting my work on the cover as a representation of the songs included inside. I always associate albums with their cover art. They're kinda an entry point into that world and so I'd feel a bit distracted by being a part of it. What I'd love to do is design concert posters or t-shirts for bands.

Me: Joey, when did you first become an artist?

Joey: I don't know the exact moment I became and artist because I always was just drawing. I think everyone has the ability to be an artist, the game Draw Something for the iPhone proves that. It's all about communicating ideas through visuals. So, the more you do something, the better you'll get. I drew a lot as a child and I stuck with it. I also had parents that encouraged me to continue with it, so that helped. I can never remember a time in my life where I wasn't an artist.

Me: You must've grown up drawing space things and robots, am I right?

Joey: Yep. I also drew a ton of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was a big TMNT fan as a kid. I also draw a lot of Simpsons characters, which came in handy a few years later in life.

Me: I like the Marvel super hero designs you have done, especially the Deadpool one.

Me: That was for a Marvel video game project, right? What video game, Joey?

Joey: Thanks! It was very early early work for an upcoming Marvel MMO. I can't say it was directly for the game because at the time when I did those it was just style exploration. I'm friends with the Art Director and he asked me to do some designs in my own style just to kinda put something on the wall. So, it really was just me drawing a bunch of characters I loved but hadn't actually ever drawn before. 

Me: Speaking of video games, you also did design work for the game "Dead Space" which I never heard of. I don't play video games, so you'll have to excuse me. Do you play video games apart from "Skyrim"?

Joey: Oh man. "Dead Space" was a dream come true. I do play video games. A lot. My parents bought us a Nintendo when it came out. I was 5 years old, and it changed my life forever. I have been playing video games for over 25 years now and they continually amaze me. Getting to be a part of a team creating a game that a lot of people loved really was a proud moment for me.

Me: You created the look for the characters in "Dead Space". Did the video game company give you any guidelines, or were you free to do what you want?

Joey: Yeah. I worked at Electronic Arts up in the Bay Area for about 3 years. After I had finished working on "The Simpsons Game" I moved onto "Dead Space". It was very early in pre-production and the artwork that had been created already blew me away. They had contracted Ryan Church to do some work and I love his stuff. It was a new direction for EA. I was a big "Resident Evil" fan and they were going that route so I was pumped. Anytime you work on a project like that, it's going to be a team effort. I had a great team and everyone had feedback into everything. I worked directly with the Art Director Ian Milham and Executive Producer Glen Schofield to develop the looks of the characters. We would have meetings where the character department would get together and analyze everything and make changes accordingly. It's a really fun process and something I miss. I don't get any of that sitting alone in my apartment working on my own things. So there's a huge tradeoff with the freedom that comes with being a freelance illustrator. I really miss working with a team on something everyone is passionate about.

Me: Let's talk about "The Simpson's Game", Joey. This I have heard of. Were you a fan of "The Simpsons" growing up?

Joey: That was the first big game project I worked on. It was an excellent experience. I was a HUGE "Simpsons" fan growing up. Like I said earlier, I liked to draw characters from "The Simpsons" as a kid, and so getting to do that for a job (and much better quality at 25 years old than 10 years old) was incredibly fulfilling.

Me: What did you think when you were first offered this job?

Joey: It probably went something like this, "So, let me get this straight. You want to pay me to draw the Simpsons?" followed by a lot of yes's and where do I sign's. I also had never worked at a big corporate studio before and I loved it. EA was an awesome place to work. It's like it's own tiny city in the middle of a Silicon Valley corporate park. They have an arcade, a big soccer field, a full gym and basketball court, and it's very own Starbucks in the lobby.

Me: I am guessing they also had strict guidelines. Am I right?

Joey: Yes. We worked closely with Gracie, the production company in charge of "The Simpsons" television show. So we had some definite guidelines we had to adhere to, most of which was in the name of authenticity.

Me: Joey, what is your favorite thing to draw?

Joey: Right now I'm having a great time doing various albums based on popular culture things. Each one is like an entirely new project but set in the same style so I get the hard part out of the way. The fun is creating all of it and not just the drawing. I love finding clever inside jokes to hide throughout the work.

Me: You're also working on a chidren's book right now, right?

Joey: Sort of. I started a book project to try it out and see how it went. I have since gotten a literary agent who has been very helpful in helping guide me. So I'm still navigating the murky water that is the childrens books industry. The first book I wrote we decided wasn't quite ready for primetime so I've been developing a few other ideas and going back and forth. It's a long process for sure.

Me: Do you have children of your own? I don't.

Joey: I am getting married in June, so hopefully in a few years I can answer this question differently. I do have 3 nephews and one shiny new niece. They are all awesome!

Me: Are you just drawing the children's book, or writing it as well?

Joey: Like I said, I'm doing both, but it's not quite figured out yet. It's much easier for me to separate myself from the writing and want to go headfirst into the artwork, but as a writer you really have to nail down your manuscript before you can think of putting pencil to paper with artwork. So I'm in the in-between phase on a few different books.

Me: What is it called, can you say, and what will the artwork look like?

Joey: I can't quite yet discuss them but one is in a style that I kinda took inspiration from Eyvind Earle, he developed the look of Disney's Sleeping Beauty. The other book I'm working on is in the style of my albums with a nod to Mary Blair. As you can see, I love Disney artists. Maybe someday if I ever get good enough I'll attempt Glen Keane's style, but that guy is really untouchable to me. His work is the epitome of inspiration.

Me: So, the Phile has a book club. When it comes out I will have you back and feature it if you want. Whatcha think?

Joey: Yes please! Hopefully sooner than later!

Me: Joey, I am guessing you use a lot of tools. What do you use?

Joey: Well, I work digitally now. I went to college at Art Center in Pasadena where I learned Photoshop. I've never looked back. I currently have a 24" iMac with a 13 year old Wacom tablet. I'm about to invest in a 24HD Cintiq and a Mac Mini for my next working set-up. I do love working hands on with materials though so when I do the gallery work, I really enjoy putting the framed albums together. I'm working on one now that is one of the coolest gallery show's I've ever been involved in yet. I can't wait until it's out in the world.

Me: So, if you were gonna create a logo for the Phile, what would it look like?

Joey: It probably wouldn't look as great as a flying filing cabinet. That is excellent!

Me: Joey, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I wanna write lyrics to your songs on the albums. Go ahead and plug all your websites and I wish you lots of luck and continued success.

Joey: Thank you for having me! I always appreciate hearing from anyone who is kind enough to contact me to talk about my work, so I thank you for your interest in what I do! If you'd like to see what I'm up to, I regularly update my blog which can be found at: I'm also currently working on a personal project "A to Zombie: An ABC's guide to the Zombie Apocalypse". You can check it out at: Follow me on twitter! @joeyspiotto and you of course can always find all of these links via my website

Me: Please come back on the Phile soon, Joey. And keep up the amazing work. And good luck at your wedding.

Joey: Thank you, Thank you, a thousand times, Thank you.

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Jeff as always and to Joey for a great interview. Joey is one of my favorite artist's I ever had on the Phile. Okay, the Phile will be back tomorrow with Alumni Robert A. Medeiros, lead singer for the band The Clarences. Then on Wednesday it's musician Jimbo Mathus. Next Saturday, not Sunday it's teenage singer Bree Rose and on Monday Alumni Marc Savoie from Infinite-Lane Highway. And coming up real soon, the 500th entry with rock and roll icon Dion! Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. May the phorce be with you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pheaturing Andy Richards From Uniform Motion

Welcome to a Wednesday entry of the Phile, kids. Look, good against remotes is one thing, good against the living, that’s something else. Here on the Phile for the month of May as you know it's Star Wars Month. Are you sick of it yet? Don't worry, only one more week to go. There'll be more Star Wars stuff coming up on the Phile in a minute, but first, let's see what else is going on.  Al Gore has a new girlfriend. Apparently, it's getting pretty serious. He's already been over to bore her parents. Gore and his girlfriend were spotted taking long walks on the beach, measuring how much the sea is rising.  President Obama gave the commencement speech at Barnard College the other day. He told graduates their future is bright unless they want jobs.  A 1920 Babe Ruth uniform sold at a sports memorabilia auction for $4 million. As a matter of fact, this is the uniform he was wearing when he was first dating Betty White.   Did you see the season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice"? Arsenio Hall is the new champion. One day you're hosting a late-night talk show and the next day you're getting coffee for Donald Trump.  That Facebook guy, Mark Zuckerberg, got married over the weekend. His company goes public, and he's now worth $100 billion. Then he gets married. He may not be as smart as we thought. Facebook is worth $100 billion. Today it was friended by Greece. If you don't know, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room and in eight years built it into the most popular waste of time the world has ever seen. Six ago I created the Phile and it's the second most waste of time the world has ever seen. Facebook has lost so much money that founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named an honorary board member of JPMorgan.  Congratulations to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The city of San Francisco has named a street after her today. It's called Botox Avenue. Two new studies have found that people who snore have a higher risk of cancer. Although in most cases, the spouse will smother them with the pillow long before the cancer takes them.  Bad news for CNN. They just had their lowest rating in 15 years. Their ratings are so low that today Jesse Jackson turned them down for an interview.  DC Comics has announced that one of their super heroes may be gay. I've got my money on Dog Groomer Man.  Republicans are trying to raise money, so Mitt Romney's checking under his couch cushions.  So, you know I love inspirational posters, right? I saw this Star Wars themed one and don't necessary agree what it says, but thought it was cool. Check it out.

Okay, I agree with the holy shit part, but not the arousing part. An Asian chick with Mickey Mouse ears does nothing for me.  So, I was thinking the other day, what would Star Wars be like in Quentin Tarantino made the movies. And then I saw this...

All month I have been showing you Star Wars products that you might not know exist but are out there.   It seems like Lucas never turns down any license deal. Of course, to eat all of your delicious intergalactic delicacies, you'll need to pick up the right eating utensils for the job and these lightsaber chopsticks are just the ticket.

Okay, it's time to talk about another movie...

Once upon a time there was a battleship named Battleship. Battleship was full of loud and well stocked with stupid and his favorite thing to do all day was exploding. Some half-human/half-lizardy aliens came along and said, "Hey Battleship, we are going to invade the ocean and probably enslave the human race." Battleship didn't like this idea and so he started exploding the androphibians with the help of the U.S. Navy. Then they made a movie about the historical incident, starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson and Rihanna.  Michael Bay probably should have directed the movie but he was busy making another one about loud, stupid, exploding space-robot-cars, so Peter Berg made it instead and that's why it's not quite as loud, stupid or exploding. And when I say "not quite" that doesn't mean that it isn't plenty of those things, just like it should be, but that Bay's genetic code is made of that stuff so in a perfect world he'd be the go-to guy and his version probably would have given you an aneurysm.  Kitsch is the good-at-heart-yet-wild-and-troubled main Navy guy in charge of battling the space lizardmen because he has to prove he's got courage, heart and humility. In fact, it could be argued that his movie brother, Skarsgard, engineers the invasion just to wake up his wayward sibling and set him on the right life path. Evidence: The answer to Skarsgard's scolding question, "Who do I call to teach you some humility?" is obviously space and its many furious, human-like reptiles, because almost immediately after that exchange the invasion kicks in. If you think it's a coincidence then clearly you've never paid close enough attention to the plot of the song "The Christmas Shoes," in which God sends a poverty-stricken child to a shoe store to buy a new pair of pumps for his dying mother in order to teach the song's jerk narrator the true meaning of Christmas. This kind of thing happens all the time. Anyway, the movie is the perfect distillation of monsters with ambiguous intentions, digital re-interpretation of board game iconography, AC/DC, cowardly nerds, Top Gun volleyball, chicken burritos, VFW nostalgia, Liam Neeson slumming in between other slumming jobs he takes on [Fill In The Blank] Of The Titans movies, people repeatedly yelling variations of the answerless question, "WHAT IS THAT THING?!" and Coke Zero. It's a multi-layer cake frosted with Rihanna pointing big guns at giant space ships and letting off all her rounds while screaming "AUUUUGGGHHH!"  You want this. From 1 to 10, it gets a 9, and I might be it when it comes out.

The 17th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Joey Spiotto and this is another of his pieces.

Joey will be a guest on the Phile this Sunday.

Today's guest is the creator of an illustrated indie-folk band combining music with visual arts who will be playing at Espace Bonnefoy inToulouse, France. Their new album "One Frame Per Second" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile from Uniform Motion... Andy Richards.

Me: Hello, Andy, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Andy: Hi, Jason. Not too bad thanks. How are you?

Me: Not bad either. Kinda tired, but that's okay. So, the other half of Uniform Motion is French, right? Are you French as well?

Andy: No, this half is half English, half Irish, and wholly British.

Me: That's good. I already interviewed a French musician last week. So, Andy, I wanted to interview you because at first I thought you were just a typical band, playing the kind of music I like, and then I REALLY wanted to interview when I saw your band is very original. You are the music part and your partner Renauad Forestie does something different. Explain to the readers what I am on about.

Andy: I won't hold it against you mate! That would a little self deprecating, wouldn't it? That being said, I've been living in France for quite some time now, and I sometimes get the impression that I'm not really that British anymore. But I wouldn't go as far as saying that I've turned into a frog! I hate all that kissing they do, and cheese makes me vomit rather violently! And is it me, or have the Brits become more Italian over the last few years anyway? Seems to me there's a lot more public displays of emotion going on than there used to be. What happened to the stiff upper lip!? Anyway, I'm glad you like what we do, and to answer the last part of your question, well, Renaud is an illustrator and he projects his drawings in realtime to a video screen using one of those magic graphics tablets. So you get to see the creative process of an illustrator while I serenade you with the sweet strumming of a classical guitar.

Me: Do you ever think while you are on stage, look at me, not at the screen?

Andy: No, but sometimes I think "stop looking at me, look at the screen!"

Me: Who gets the most groupies, the musician or graphic artist?

Andy: I'm legally obliged to give him all of mine so he gets them all. He'd probably get them all anyway though!

Me: How did you two meet? Renaud doesn't do anything musical, right? I take it with a name like Renaud Forestie he is French.

Andy: We work for the same company. He most certainly is French. He shrugs his shoulders a lot, says 'quoi' and eats cheese on garlic bread for breakfast every other day.

Me: Do you guys ever argue about ideas or the direction Uniform Motion is going?

Andy: Only when we're on tour and we forget the Sat Nav. As for the artistic direction and the ideas, no, not at all.

Me: Who came up with the name and what does it mean?

Andy: I came up with the name. I didn't know it at the time, but it is actually a term used in physics. When I came up with it, I wanted it to mean roughly the same thing, but from a more philosophical point of view. It is the idea that you move through life in a straight line and the only reason you change is because you bump into things, or people, or they bump into you. I liked the sound of it too.

Me: Apart from releasing music, which I purchased off from iTunes, more on that in a minute, you guys had a webs how of some sort, is that right?

Andy: Well, thanks for buying our music! Yes, we released our first album as a webshow before it ended up on iTunes. Every couple of weeks, we released a new studio song, a live video recording and an interactive comicbook that you could read through while listening to the music. It was a lot of work, a lot of stress getting it all ready in time, but it was really fun to do as well. It was kind of silly for a debut album though!

Me: What was it called and how many episodes did you make? Are you planning on making any more?

Andy: It was called Uniform Motion Pictures and we made 9 episodes. No plans to do it again for the moment.

Me: Okay, I purchased all three Uniform Motion's CD's off from iTunes. "Pictures" and "Life"and the latest one, "One Frame Per Seconds". How do you compare the three?

Andy: Thank you again! The first one was a lot more painful to make. I took some demos to a professional recording studio with the intention of getting some drums recorded. Then, the drummer left the project rather abruptly (a long story) but the lovely folks at CDM Studio in Toulouse took a shine to me and took me under their wing. They found a drummer for me and helped get things going. So I re-recorded parts of the demos in the studio, and kept some other parts and we ended up with a rather messy set of songs. I must have made 20 different versions of each song. It took forever to finish it. That was part of the reason for doing the webshow. It provided us with a deadline and ensured we would actually finish one song! Unfortunately, CDM Studio burned to the ground a few months after we released the "Pictures" album, which was a nightmare for them by the way, so I decided to do the other album's at home and produce them myself. It took a lot less time to record, mix and master and was a lot more spontaneous I suppose. Less conceptual as well. I don't really know how to compare them as albums though. To me, it's just number 1, number 2 and number 3 chronologically with two different ways of producing them. Although I think I was in a better place mentally when I wrote the second one. The new record sound's a little different. I've put 2 extra strings on my guitar so I have the full 6 now, which is a strange feeling after playing on 4 strings for so many years. And I've been playing the songs a lot, rehearsing them with a new member of the band, a drummer, who can also play a bunch of other instruments (while he's drumming, he's a genius, yes!).

Me: I like the covers of the albums, Andy. I am guessing Renaud did the artwork, am I right?

Andy: Yes, but I made tea while he designed them so I think I deserve all the credit.

Me: Are you guys working on anything new?

Andy: We certainly are. A top secret project that I'm not going to disclose for the moment.  We'll release the top secret stuff at the same time! Aside from that, Renaud's working on all sorts of stuff. You can keep up to date with all of that on his blog I have a side project called The Konami Bonfire. We have about 5/6 songs and we've been rehearsing regularly for the past few months. It's an anti-folk band with guitars, synths and drums. I'm also producing a friend of mine called Trevor O'Neill (remember that name!). We should have his debut EP ready in a month or so.

Me: You guys have a song on "Rock Band", right? How did the creators of "Rock Band" discover your music?

Andy: Yes, "Roll Over" is available on "Rock Band". The creators of "Rock Band" opened up the platform to allow people to submit their songs, and sell them via Rock Band Network. So potentially, just about anyone can get their song on "Rock Band" now I think. We found out about it really early thanks to our friends from No-Source, a US-based netlabel. They asked us if we would interested in being on Rock Band and they took care of everything. They were in the beta program, so we were in the first 100 tracks released via RBN. I haven't has a chance to play it yet though!

Me: You must be excited to be featured in a video game. One of my dad's songs, "Slow Ride" was in "Guitar Hero 3", so I know how thrilling that is. It's gonna help sales of your music, Andy, that's for sure. Have you ever played "Rock Band"? I am guessing Renaud has.

Andy: Yes, we're really chuffed to have the song on "Rock Band"! It's been on there for a while now (more than 6 months I think) but I haven't seen an increase in any sales really.

Me: Have you guys ever been to the States to play? If not, is that something that could be possible in the future?

Andy: No, we haven't. We would love to but it's not on the cards for the moment. Touring is expensive.

Me: Andy, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I like what you guys do, and hope you keep it up. Is there anything you wanna plug?

Andy: Thanks for having us, Jason.,,,

Me: Thanks, Andy, for being here. Come back to the Phile again soon, please. and tell Renauad I said hello.

Andy: Will do. See ya.

Okay, that about does it. I need to finish up so I can watch the season finale of "American Idol". Thanks to Andy for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Sunday with artist Joey Spiotto and then on Monday it's Alumni Robert A. Medeiros from The Clarences and next Wednesday musician Jimbo Mathus. And coming up real soon the 500th entry with Dion! Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. May the phorce be with you.