Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pheaturing Cable Car

Hey, it's Saturday, kids, welcome to the Phile. How are you? It's also the last day of August and the last day of summer here on the Phile. Summer flew by quick this year.  People are still mad about that whole Ben Affleck being Batman thing. When Batman fans heard Ben Affleck is going to be the new Batman, they went crazy and petitioned the White House to get rid of Ben Affleck, do something! Nothing, however, about getting rid of the goon running the show in Syria. But Ben Affleck has got to go!  Donald Trump and Trump University have been sued by the New York attorney general for running an unlicensed university. They said "It's illegal. Your university is just like that thing on your head. They're both unlicensed." Do you think Donald Trump's own kids when to Trump University? No! His kids went to that fly-by-night diploma mill, the Wharton School of Business.  New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got in a car wreck last weekend... not to be confused with his campaign. That's a train wreck. And he tweeted the insurance company the wrong photo.  Speaking of mayor like types, it's not bad news for the former San Diego mayor. Today Bob Filner was offered a new job as a TSA agent at the airport. So, you fly often, do you?  So New York City comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer says if he wins, he will work for only $1 a year. Which is pretty smart, because at that rate, he won't be able to afford another $5,000 an hour hooker until the year 7013.  The NFL is now cracking down on what they call excessive celebration, like when a player is found not guilty and does that little dance in the courtroom. Okay, that's 15 yards now.  Pepsi has introduced a new snack food called Pepsi-flavored Cheetos. I mean, who is this for? On-the-go stoners who don't have time to eat both? Pepsi and Cheetos? Really? Are we that lazy now we have to combine the snack and the drink together? Is the Pepsi can too heavy? Oh, it's too heavy, getting carpal tunnel bringing it up here. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's 11-year-old son, or somebody claiming to be him, took to Facebook the other day to tell America that it doesn't have the guts to launch a military attack against his old man's country. After goading the U.S. for failing to strike yet, Hafez Assad, who really seems to have a knack for cutting right to the bone of his target, wrote "America doesn’t have soldiers, what it has is some cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators." Obama has yet to give word on whether or not we'll be attacking Syria after recess. What if we just attack Syria with t-shirt cannons? Everybody loves t-shirt cannons.  British Parliament, which in fact is not the French Parliament, voted in a French-like manner against taking military action in Syria, almost as if they were acting on behalf of the people of France. This comes as a major disappointment to David Cameron, who as Prime Minister was hoping to maintain a long-held tradition of U.K. heads of state doing whatever the U.S. asks of them. Well done, U.K. Parliament. Now make Cameron get an “I ❤ the NHS” tattoo for fun.  I mentioned Batman earlier and I noticed in the new Batman comic they are changing a few things. Check it out.

I wonder how many of you got that joke.  How are the gas prices in your neighborhood? Here in Central Florida they don't seem to be too high. A phiole reader sent me a picture of his local gas station and things are a little different.

I'll take the supreme fuck u, thanks.  My son is addicted to that XBox, and I went to the store the other day to look at what new games he might be interested in and I found this one...

Let me mention Miley Cyrus for a moment. I cannot believe she stuck out her tongue pretty much the whole time during her VMA's performance. But I guess she has been doing that for awhile.

Maybe she's a Luther Foghat fan.  Well, summer is just about over and all through summer I have been showing you some phascinating swimming pools and I have one more to show you.

Poseidon's Rage is the tallest wave pool in the world. Not deepest, tallest. It flings a wall of water at the swimmers, sometimes knocking them back all the way to the shallow end! At times this pool is even used for surfing! No. Thank. You.  And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Percentage Of Americans Who Are In Favor Of Bombing Syria
5. Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama and his few remaining strong supporters.
4. Americans excited to have anything in the news that isn't about Miley Cyrus.
3. Assholes who disagree with the theory "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
2. Cinematographers who anticipate getting work on Michael Moore's next documentary Why We Never Should Have Bombed Syria.
And the number one percentage of Americans who are in favor of bombing Syria...
1. Syrian rebels (until they find out our "smart bombs" aren't all that "smart".)

It's tempting to like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters for what it is not. For example, it is not a movie where anyone shouts, "LET'S DO THIS!" (which, along with its dim-witted cousin, "LET'S FINISH THIS!" is the most ubiquitous bit of gung-ho verbal nothingness to appear in blockbuster-minded scripts all summer long.  It's also tempting to like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters simply because it tries so hard. It knows its debt to everything Harry Potter already accomplished and it's content to live in that shadow, aiming for a somewhat younger audience demo and holding way back on terrifying darkness, bloodshed and death. In its own way it acts as training wheels for future Potter consumption while spoon-feeding its young fans rudimentary knowledge of Greek mythology.  But the best reason to (mostly) like this second chapter in the saga of a teen demigod (Logan Lerman), the half-blood son of Poseidon, is that it's clear and uncomplicated, it hits its marks like it should and provides enough derivative spectacle to please its tween fans, most of whom haven't seen enough of this sort of thing to know it's all been done before.  Percy has to retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Sea of Monsters in order to repair the broken barrier set up around the demigod training camp he's attending with the children of other gods. The path to this is fraught with obstacle, almost-danger, fire-snouted mecha-bulls, eyeless witches driving mystical taxicabs, Nathan Fillion as Hermes posing as a quippy UPS guy, ocean vortexes smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle that swallow Percy and his pals into a giant underwater digestive tract and an abandoned island with a crumbling amusement park presided over by a hungry cyclops. If none of those stations of the cross (sorry, mixing up gods, I know) sound like they possess any sort of organic flow, well, they don't. Episodic, random and lacking any one set piece that stands out as more memorable or exciting than the others, it displays all the narrative qualities of a story made up by a child babbling in the backseat on his way home from the dentist.  That this isn't such a horrible experience to sit through comes down to the way that the whole of it is dead set on believing its own line of goofy reasoning. And Lerman, though 21 and appearing all of 14, the kind of young man who'll be carded in bars until he's 40, is a wide-eyed avatar for 9-year-olds who know they wouldn't have the gravitas to deal with a Voldemort-level threat, but who'd be perfectly willing to try outracing a digital cyclops on a runaway roller coaster. Sometimes that's enough. From 1 to 10 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters gets a 6.

Alright, over time on the Phile you might of heard me mention how much I like Sarah Palin. I don't like her politics, or her as a person, but I think she's hot. And now, she's not gonna be here on the Phile. But a phriend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about her. So please welcome back to the Phile, Executive Director for Organizing for Action... Jon Carson.

Me: Hello, Jon, welcome back to the Phile. It's Labor Day weekend, what did you wanna talk about?

Jon: This is the last thing I wanted to talk about before Labor Day weekend, but you gotta hear this...  Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin just joined the "Defund Obamacare" movement.

Me: Defund Obamacare? Who are those people?

Jon: A group of people, including 80 members of Congress, who are willing to sabotage the economy because they don't like Obamacare.

Me: What do you think of this?

Jon: This is the kind of reckless nonsense President Obama is up against in trying to pass a smart budget that actually grows the economy for the middle class.

Me: Well, I am guessing OFA is going to fight back...

Jon: Yes.

Me: Why, Jon?

Jon: Because when it comes down to it, I doubt the American people are going to like hearing that people are threatening to shut down the government instead of passing a budget.

Me: What a reckless plan. Is there a deadline or anything?

Jon: Congress has a budget deadline of September 30th.

Me: September starts tomorrow, what are you guys gonna do about it?

Jon: All next month, OFA is going to push Congress to consider President Obama's plan for the country...

Me: What plan?

Jon: One that focuses on creating jobs and growing the economy, instead of scoring political points. 

Me: Anything else?

Jon: We'll be calling out the radical members of Congress for their recklessness.

Me: What about John Boehner?

Jon: We're going to ask him to be a leader and stand up to his colleagues.

Me: Do you think he will?

Jon: I don't know, but if our representatives don't know that there's a price to pay for this kind of nonsense, it's not ever going to stop.

Me: So, I have to say this, as it just hit me what you said... the latest plan being pushed by some members of the House: Cut all funding for Obamacare, or shut down the government. Am I right?

Jon: Yes, you are. These representatives think this is the best time to wage a fight against a law that is already helping millions of Americans.

Me: For people that don't know, can you explain what the federal budget is, Jon?

Jon: The federal budget is how we determine our priorities as a country. Congress is deciding whether we give more tax breaks to corporations, or fund programs for our country's schools, or... yes, help people get access to affordable health care.

Me: And President Obama has a budget plan to grow the economy?

Jon: From the middle out... not the top down.

Me: and for those that don't know why is this important?

Jon: Because unless we make investments to help the middle class to grow, we'll never do more than move from one fiscal crisis to the next. We don't need more obstructionism from some members of Congress. And we certainly don't need a government shutdown.

Me: Jon, thanks for being on the Phile and explaining this. Have a good Labor Day weekend and please come back.

Jon: Thanks, Jason.

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Alright, you know what time it is. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. Please welcome back to the Phile, our phriend Laird Jim in a pheature we call...

Denny's for a late breakfast, full house. Parents with hyped up kids, waitresses trying to make ends meet... and one manager with a Napoleon complex. He seems to be more interested in berating those working there than making certain the customers are being served. I finished my meal... smiled at the very nice waitress and asked that the "Midget In Charge" bring me my check. She complied and when he asked, "Is there some kinda of problem, sir ?" I replied, "Yes, could you kindly check the expiration date on the container this tomato juice came from?" Then pointing to a barely sipped from glass in front of him. He picked it up with a non believing smirk and went to sniff it. I advised him that it smelled like kerosene and bad breath. He went to the fridge and checked... June 6th 2013.  "It's YOUR job as the manager to check that at the beginning of your shift, isn't it ? I suggest a new vocation for you... you're not very good at this." I gave the waitress a nice tip aaaaaaaand I'm pretty sure my work here is done...

Good job, Laird. Okay, the 29th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author Dr. Beverly Wixon will be a guest on the Phile on Monday.

Today's pheatured guests are the members of the band Cable Car who have their debut EP "Ride" on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Nate Mott, Ryan Murphy and Jack Turner.

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

Ryan: Just fantastic. You?

Me: Not bad.

Nate: Couldn't be better thanks.

Me: So, there are three of you in the band... which one of you is in charge?

Nate: The way we see it, we all take turns. There is no one person who runs it all. One of the reasons this group works as well as it does is that we know that we all have separate strengths so when someone needs to step up they do.

Jack: I am dammit!

Ryan: If you’ve heard the record, then you know that WOMEN are always in charge.

Me: Good point. I have to say; you guys look more like models than musicians. Have any of you guys done any modeling?

Nate: We never say no to work so yes when that kind of opportunity comes our way we all take it. In fact, Jack recently did some great print work for Gillette that ended up in Time magazine amongst other publications.

Jack: Meh... I asked for a body double in that shoot.

Me: By the looks of you guys, I am guessing a lot of your fans are girls. Which one of you gets the most attention from women?

Ryan: By the time we finish bickering about which one she is trying to talk to, they are usually fed up and gone.

Nate: I hate to admit it, but Jack’s English accent gives him the one up on that one. However, I feel confident that when we tour the U.K. the tables will turn.

Jack: My accent’s fading, so I’m hoping by the time I tour the U.K. women will be convinced I’m a yank.

Me: Now if I were in your band... none of you would get any women. Just kidding. Okay, where are you kids from? I would guess San Francisco just because of the band name.

Nate: Of that we have no doubt. We apologize for misleading you but the name does not represent where we hail from. We are actually an L.A. based band. Ryan and I are both from Rhode Island where we used to play both together and in separate bands. Jack's from the U.K. We all somehow ended up in Los Angeles and created Cable Car.

Jack: I lived in S.F. for a time, great place, good people, however only one Cable Car in my life…

Me: Where did the name Cable Car come from?

Nate: The origin of our name is a funny story actually. Ryan, Jack and I were celebrating the completion of one of our earliest songs with a good ol' fashioned pub-crawl. We had walked a good couple of miles stopping into any and every placed that would pour us a pint. We were figuring our how to get home when one of those cable car tour buses that ride around the city pointing out all the famous sights pulled right up beside us. The guy got on his megaphone and starting yelling look there’s three members of Maroon 5. We looked at each other shrugged and for the next 5 minutes we took pictures, shook hands, high fived until they drove away. After that Cable Car was the name. We were almost “star fuckers” but that name was taken.

Me: Were you all musicians when you met?

Nate: Yes, amongst a myriad of other things. Some not so savory.

Ryan: Nate was working at a college when I first met him. He was doing some maintenance work on the side, and one day got caught solving all of the brain-buster problems the professors leave for the incredibly gifted math students. Well, once the professor caught him, he made him sit down with Robin Wi... shit, I’m thinking of Good Will Hunting again.

Jack: I barely feel like a musician even now, but I’m working on it... I’ve been a musician for a long time but I haven’t created any stuff with anyone for a while. I’m profoundly grateful to have found these guys and to be making the music we are.

Me: So, two of you play guitar, right and one plays drums. Have you all been musicians all your life?

Ryan: Music is my best friend. Drums are my worst enemy. Been that way my whole life.

Nate: I have been singing forever, used to piss my sister off something fierce. Guitar found me around 13 so yah most of my life.

Jack: I’ve played keys most of my life. Guitar came later. I’ve still got a ways to go!

Me: I saw a picture of you guys in concert and there was a hot woman playing with you. I think I have that picture here.

Me: Who was that, and why isn't she being interviewed right now?

Jack: The reason they aren’t being interviewed right now is because you get all the women when you’re around. We didn’t want that to happen.

Nate: There are a couple of extremely talented woman that we call to the stage with us. The first is the beautiful and talented songwriter/actress Allie Gonino. The second is the equally beautiful and talented songwriter/actress Emily Oman. They both helped us out with some singing and Allie with some violin playing for our EP. When they aren't doing their own thing we get to have them play with us. It's always great fun to share the stage with people you respect as much as we respect Allie and Emily.

Me: Do you often collaborate with different musicians?

Nate: Funny you should ask we are currently working on a new track called "Smoke and Mirrors" that features a great hip hop artist named Theo Martins. So yes, we do love to work with other people when the mood strikes.

Ryan: Luckily, music is in such a place where the ability to share your creative musings allows for so many collaborations previously thought near impossible. It makes our minds as artists sort of reel with possibilities.

Me: So, which one of you does most of the songwriting, or do you all write?

Ryan: After listening to the record, do you remember your favorite parts?

Me: Yeah.

Ryan: Cool. I wrote those.

Nate: Thanks, Ryan...The songwriting is shared in equal part. We all write on our own but when it comes to Cable Car music everyone dips their hand in. We trust each other to make the song the best it can be.

Jack: I really feel that we write as a trio, and that we’re bigger than the sum of our parts, which is just wonderful to experience.

Me: I downloaded your EP "Ride" from iTunes and enjoyed it. Was the EP titled "Ride" to tie in with band name?

Nate: Ride has a few meanings the first obviously being the most literally tied into our band name. But also the creation of our group as well as the stories in our songs and even the unknown elements in our future are just one big ride. It's funny we call our fans Passengers but until this moment I didn't realize that we are passengers as well. RIDE, RIDE, RIDE!

Me: You describe your music in your bio as "new vintage" and "tragically sexy". What do you mean by that?

Ryan: I think the concept of familiarity sometimes gets lost in music. Pushing boundaries is a crucial element of what we do, but making sure that people really relate, whether actively or innately, is really the key. And, the less perfect moments of love and sex and trust and youth are a true connector.

Nate: We wanted to make sure that we were making music that felt timeless but also new. When discussing how to do that the concept of New Vintage really seemed to fit the intention. We want all elements of what we do to hold true to this concept. From our instrument choices to the story lines in our music.

Me: How can anything be tragically sexy?

Jack: Regarding the ‘tragic sexy’, how I interpret that is as the bittersweet loss we have when a relationship finishes, or (maybe more interestingly) never really gets off the ground. We can only live it in our imaginations, and we’ll project all sorts of crazy alternate futures and possibilities on ‘the one that got away’. It’s tragic, but it’s emotive, and sexy.

Nate: There is a singular female character in the songs, she's a mess and she's beautiful. She'll break your heart and make love to you just after. She'll keep coming back but always leave. There are elements of love and relationships that are so often filled with passion but tragic because of they are inevitably doomed. The moment can be sexy, passionate, exposed. The result tragic and heart-wrenching. That's tragic sexy. We wanted to write the songs so that people could romance the moment with us but also hear the undertone of real life’s imperfection. We wanted to write about what is real, not what could be. No fairy tales.

Me: One of you went to the U.K. recently, right? Was that for fun or business?

Nate: Don't think it was me I played in a fantastic little pub in London years ago but not recently. Must be Jack.

Ryan: Every night, while laying in bed, I close my eyes and I’m at Old Trafford scoring a scorcher from about 30 yards out.

Jack: Ryan, you’re a glory hunting scumbag... I’m due to go back to the U.K. at the end of this month, but I am shooting a trailer for a movie, so I can’t go!

Me: That's cool. I was gonna ask you where did you go and did you have a good time?

Jack: This I’ll answer in the hypothetical because I’m not going and I’m gutted! If I were to go back at the end of August I would spend a couple days in London, seeing friends there, checking out some great boozers... there’s this one in Piccadilly Circus I love that just serves Sam Smiths beer... so good. Then I’d head southwest to see my family and friends in Weymouth, and to reintroduce myself to the beautiful coastline down there... something I miss very much.

Me: Do all of you have the same influences music wise?

Nate: In many ways we couldn't be more different. I always loved Jeff Buckley and Ben Harper growing up. Anyone that could emote lyrically the way these two could always got me.

Jack: For me it was blues growing up, and it’s what I still go back to. Also, smooth R and B has been a dominant force in my life. Thank goodness.

Ryan: Right now the first five artists on my most recent playlist are Kanye, Cult of Luna, French Kicks, The Gap Band, and Miley Cyrus.

Me: LOL. You just recorded a video and did a cover of the Justin Timberlake song "That Girl". Are you all JT fans?

Ryan: Dude is brilliant, and surrounds himself with brilliant people. Keeps me interested and inspired.

Nate: JT is one of the most prolific artist of the decade or longer really. You can't help but respect his accomplishments as well as his vocal technique. When Jack came to me with the idea of covering "That Girl" I was a bit intimidated. In the end, we just got it going and made it our own.

Jack: Yeah, I always have been, even when it wasn’t cool to be a fan of his in the U.K.! I think his work is great, and he has a terrific reputation, which I really respect.

Me: Have you heard what he thinks of your cover?

Nate: Unfortunately not. We'll let you know if we do.

Jack: We heard his manager saw it though... she said she loved it and thought we were cute. I hope that was cute as in hot, not as in the diminutive...

Ryan: He texted me that he really thought I was the best part. Cat’s outta the bag now, fellas.

Jack: Oh...

Nate: Shit!

Me: Haha. Have you guys heard of the English singer Robbie Williams? You guys could easily do a cover of any of his songs.

Jack: I heard sooo much Robbie Williams when I grew up, and so many birds were all in love with him... that if one of the guys suggested it I’d resign from the band as a matter of preserving my sanity and not reliving my jealous past.

Nate: I'll have to catch myself up on him. Although I’m worried about Jack...

Ryan: Maybe we’ll cover “Feel.” Maybe we’ll dedicate it to Liam Gallagher. Maybe we’ll send it to him in an envelope, and it’ll just say, “Take This.”

Jack: Hahahaha!

Me: So, if JT invited you to tour with him, what would you guys say? You know, I'll bet he'll get ALL the women. Haha.

Nate: It would be a true honor to tour with JT. I'm sure there is so much we could learn from an experience like that.

Jack: We’d have to bring you on tour! Then you’d get them! We’d love to tour with both you and JT. 

Me: JP and JT. Alright, fellas, so on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to a game called Tabletopics. You ready? What is the most fun you ever had at a party?

Nate: There was a hot tub, she was a foot taller than me.

Jack: Haha, I don’t know why this comes to mind. When I was a teenager everyone thought I was gay (btw I was just frightened of girls). People weren't mean to me, they were very respectful, and it didn’t bother me because who cares? But when I kissed this girl at a house party the whole house erupted in cheers! It was crazy! Like a football game! I had no idea everyone was watching... I probably wouldn’t have kissed her if I’d known!

Ryan: This one time, I dared this dude to wear a wig and make out with a British guy at a random house party.

Jack: Hahahaha, oh my God...

Me: Guys, thanks for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun. Go ahead and plug your website and please come back soon. Take care.

Ryan:,,,  It’s been real fun. Thanks so much!

Nate: It was our pleasure thanks for having us.

Jack: Thank you.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim, Jon Carson and of course the guys from Cable Car. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Dan Nowicki, lead singer for the best musical project ever... Strawberry Blondes Forever. Spread the woird, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pheaturing Chocolate Robots

Hello, and welcome to the Phile, how are you doing? So, last night "Breaking Bad" was on, and the MTV VMA's. If you don't know, "Breaking Bad" is a fictional show about meth. The VMA's are a collection of people on meth. I'm looking at you, Miley Cyrus. I was too tired to stay up to watch the VMA's last night, but I saw clips this morning. How old is Miley? That's what I wanna know. In a way it's hot, but in a way I'm confused. Didn't she used to sing about ice cream? I'm sure I'll talk about Miley in a minute again.  A couple of days ago they found a great white shark dead on a subway car in New York, and today he's chowder at Red Lobster. Yep, they found him on surveillance tape going down the stairs and through the turnstile. He seemed perfectly healthy. A shark in the subway. This is what happens when you don't have stop-and-frisk. The police had an autopsy done on the shark, and they found a tourist from Cincinnati. The shark was apparently in town for shark week.  Do you like Oreos? I don't really. But you have your regular Oreos and they have Double Stuf Oreos. Somebody measured the things, and it turns out there is not twice the amount of stuff as in the regular Oreos. No double ammonium bicarbonate, no double thiamine mononitrate, no double calcium phosphate. Now if you are at home measuring stuff in an Oreo, you should take a long, hard look at your life. I'll tell you something else right now, we wouldn't have to worry about stuff like this if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was president.  Would-be New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez wasted no time getting himself on the injured list and ruining every Jets fan's night after being sent in during the fourth quarter of the preseason game against the New York Giants. Sanchez replacing another would-be starting quarterback Geno Smith who had been ruining every Jets fan's night by shitting the bed all over the field up until then.  The NSA has admitted that some of its agents have on occasion been caught using their government-trained surveillance skills to spy on their spouses and parters, a practice that the agency calls LOVEINT. Though, to be fair, who's to say that the guy some agent's wife is meeting in a hotel room by the interstate isn't delivering "sensitive" material? LOVEINT is the new boombox in the rain.  Marvin Gaye's family has turned down a six-figure settlement from Robin Thicke concerning his song "Blurred Lines," which just so happens to sound a crazy amount like Gaye's "Got To Give It Up." Instead, the family will continue with its planned lawsuit, despite a preemptive lawsuit from Thicke, so that the memory of this unpleasantness can linger for-seemingly-ever even if you want to get it out of your head. Just like the song in question. The first time I heard Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", I thought that's so Gaye.  Back to Miley, I will never look at a foam finger at a baseball stadium the same way ever again. Who ever put her bit on the show was a genius. It had little people, and strippers. Check it out if you can read this...

Have you seen the new McDonald's ad? It's pretty brave of them.

Fuck salad. I don't think I ever had a salad at McDonald's. Speaking of ads, there's a new biker safety ad out that I thought was interesting. This is 100% real, people.

Lucky bloody biker.  Alright, it's still summer and all through summer I have been showing you some phascinating swimming pools and I have another one for you.

In the town of Ouray, Colorado, (population 877) there is a hot spring swimming pool that is kept at a comfortable 96-106 degree temperature year round. pretty impressive considering Ouray's elevation is 2375m (around 7,800 feet) above sea-level. Nice, I'd go to that. Let's now take a look at Miley Cyrus from last night...

Keep staring, guys. And now for some sad news...

Julie Harris
Dec 2, 1925 - Aug 24, 2013
She won five Tony Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award, and was nominated for an Academy Award. And yet... and I'm not kidding here, I don't recognize a SINGLE thing she was in.

Alright, with everyone talking about the Miley Cyrus performance on TV last night, I thought it'll be fun to invite a phriend of the Phile to come on and talk about it. So, please welcome back patriot, singer, renaissance man man... you know what time it is.

Jason, I stopped watching and caring about the content of MTV programming when they stopped focusing on music. I have far more important things to worry about in my life. Just sayin'... But I just watched it on Youtube because I was curious as to what all the hoopla was over. A.) Ewwwww... B.) When did Charlie Sheen become her manager? C.) If Billy Ray green lighted this idea, he is the worst father since Wood Allen. D.) It was so far beyond dreadful, it'd take the LIGHT from dreadful 70 thousand years to reach it. Billy Ray is sitting on a barstool somewhere screaming "I knew I shoulda throwed her ass in one a them there convents when she quitted that Hannah Muntanuh show!" Oh... and one more thing. SHE LOOKED LIKE DAVID SPADE IN DRAG!

It's 10:13, 83°F and Kelly Clarkson is getting married…but she's not pregnant. The pop singer revealed to People magazine that she and fiancĂ© Brandon Blackstock had decided to elope rather than put on a big party. Soon after, rumors began swirling that she had decided to elope thanks to baby news. But Kelly put the speculation to rest through a post on Twitter. "FYI…Brandon & I are getting married & no I am not pregnant, we are eloping for one reason only. We both want an intimate ceremony." Hmmm... maybe she won't get married after all.

Okay, now for something a little more serious. Gun safety laws are coming up again and someone special wanted to come on the Phile and talk about it. He is the author of the book "Walking In Daniel's Shoes". Please welcome to the Phile... from Littleton, Colorado... Tom Mauser.

Me: Hello, Tom. Welcome to the Phile. I am so sorry about your son. For the people that don't know, can you tell us something about Daniel?

Tom: Jason, my son, Daniel, was a smart, quiet kid. He'd just become a straight-A student, and he was overcoming his shyness as a new member of the debate team.

Me: And for those that don't know, which I doubt there's anybody out there that don't, can you tell us what happened to Daniel?

Tom: On April 20th, 1999, my beautiful and bright 15-year-old son was killed by two teenagers with guns in the library of Columbine High School.

Me: How many kids were killed that day, Tom?

Tom: Daniel was one of 12 innocent kids who lost their lives for no reason at all.

Me: It's been quite a few years since that day, it seems like yesterday. What has the years since Columbine been like for you, sir?

Tom: It's been 14 years since that horrible day... fourteen years of fighting so no family has to grieve like ours did.

Me: Since then there has been many tragedies like this. I won't name them all, but there's been quite a few. Do you think Congress has done anything?

Tom: These tragedies keep happening, and so far, Congress has failed to take common-sense action to stop them... even though nine in 10 Americans have agreed that expanding background checks would help close the loopholes that put guns in the hands of dangerous people and prevent future violence. 

Me: The other day there was a Day of Action, right? What was that about?

Tom: Jason, OFA and allied organizations stood up for a national Day of Action to ask members of Congress: What will it take to finally act to prevent gun violence?

Me: In the last fourteen years I can't imagine how much you life has changed, Tom, for you and your family.

Tom: The evening of the shooting at Columbine High was the most hopeless I've ever felt. Since Daniel's death, I've found a way to honor him: by trying to prevent other families from feeling this pain.

Me: You are a better man than I am, sir. Daniel was 15 when he was killed, my son is almost 14 and if anything ever happened to him like what happened to Daniel it'll be good-bye Jason. You have done so much.

Tom: Thank you.

Me: Tell the readers what kinda stuff you have been doing?

Tom: I've advocated locally and nationally for smarter gun laws... even helping achieve a statewide ballot victory here in Colorado.

Me: I wasn't gonna mention any other mass shootings, but I have to ask you what did you feel like back when you heard about the Newtown shootings last year?

Tom: In December, when I heard about the shooting in Newtown, I sat in my office and broke down. I was watching another community torn apart by guns... more parents grieving, more kids who would never see graduation, or a wedding, or a family of their own. And in the wake of another tragedy, nine in 10 Americans agreed that it was time to act.

Me: What changes do you think need to be done?

Tom: Expand background checks to close the loopholes that put guns in the hands of dangerous people.

Me: And Congress is still doing nothing...

Tom: Congress disappointed us, putting politics above the safety of our kids. That's why we're asking: How many parents will have to go through what I did before we say "enough"?

Me: Is there anything my readers could do to help?

Tom: Tell Congress you're going to keep asking until they act.

Me: Thank you, Tom. Please come back on the Phile again. I'm gonna add your book "Walking In Daniel's Shoes" right now to the Phile's Book Club. It's available in stores and on Amazon.

Tom: Thank you, Jason.

Me: Thank you, Tom, and God bless to you and your family. Daniel would be proud of you.

Damn it, I'm tearing up. Most of the times I think why the hell am I doing this stupid little blog? It's not really that funny, and is kinda pointless and a waste of the time. But then I meet someone and get to chat to someone like Tom Mauser and I realize some good can come out of this little thing. Please pick up his book. Speaking of books...

The now 29th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Yesterday I said Dr. Beverly will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks, but she'll be a guest on the Phile a week from today.

Today's pheatured guests were originally supposed to be on the Phile back in October, but I came back from vacation with a broken shoulder and I don't know what happened. Anyway, their debut album "PIZZA FACE" is available on Bandcamp. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike, Mutt and Marcus Giresi from... Chocolate Robots.

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

Mike: Hi.

Me: Okay, you are all three brothers, right? Who is in the band? And what do you each do?

Marco: Yes, Mike "Vacation Boy" Giresi guitar, synth, vox. Mutt Giresi skins, synths, myself bass, and robot voices.

Me: Which one of you guys started the band and approached the other two?

Mike: Our father forced us to play together. A fortune teller at a psychic convention told him that his 3 sons was going to be his ticket to fame and fortune. He figured when we got famous he would finally be able to meet Liona Boyd. He believes there destined to have a child together and there love child would be the fourth member of the Choc Bots.

Me: Have you guys always wanted to be in a band together.

Mutt: Yes, we wanted to be in a band because our dad didn't make us go to school so we could practice and get famous and he could meet Liona Boyd.

Me: You guys get along pretty good I am guessing. I said it before on the Phile, when I interviewed couples, and siblings who are in a band together, I love my wife and sisters but I could never be in a band with them. So, how's the dynamice in Chocolate Robots?

Mike: Rather casual I guess, a liter and a half a wine usually gets the juices flowing so to speak. Play a couple of tunes, eat some pizza, talk about how much we hate bands like Kings Of Leon and then we talk about how much we hate people who are fans of Kings Of Leon , then we talk about how much we hate the way the Kings Of Leon look, then we talk about if we ever had a chance which member of Kings of Leon you would knock out first. I'm not sure if that really answered your question...

Me: I'm not sure. Okay, let's talk about the band name, it make me hungry. In fact, the album title "PIZZA FACE" makes me hungry as well. I got it right, right? "PIZZA FACE" should be in all capitals?

Marco: Yes, all caps!

Me: Who came up with the band name?

Mike: Our dad told us that our band name was going to be Chocolate Rabbits. We thought that Robots sounded cooler so with out him knowing we changed it right before a big talent show. They introduced us as the Chocolate Robots so that's how he kept it.

Me: Did you have other names you were gonna use? Vanilla Robots maybe?

Mike: I wanted to call us Sky Domi.

Mutt: I always liked but it was kind of out of our hands.

Me: You named the album "PIZZA FACE" 'cause you all worked at a pizza joint, right? Where is this place?

Marcus: No, actually it is just a coincidence. Pizza is super hot really now, and we were just cashing in!

Me: You and I have something in common, guys... your dad is a singer, songwriter from the 70s. My dad was as well. Did your dad perform in America or Italy?

Mike: Our dad was really dedicated to his songwriting! He spent a whole year in his room writing songs, he had no money, all he could afford to eat was baby food. He wrote some really beautiful songs, he had a manager and was getting press in Italy. He was getting ready to ship off to Rome until he meet our mother at his fathers pizzeria. He said he wrote hundreds of songs but he lost them all in a fire. We actually used to cover one of his songs. It was called "you got the meat I got the bone" That's cool that your dad was into the music as well. Does he have any old gear lying around that he would like to part with??

Me: Ummm... no. Where are you guys from? Canada, I think, am I right?

Mike: Sarnia, Ontario. Its also known as chemical valley cuz they process a lot of oil here. They make gas and plastic and tons of other stuff. Basically everyone is like Homer Simpson with a a healthy appetite for prescription drugs.

Me: Okay, let's talk about the album which I downloaded from Bandcamp. Will you be putting it up on iTunes at all?

Marcus: That's awesome. Thank you! It's on iTunes, maybe they were sold out there last time you checked.

Me: Let me look now.

Me: Yep, it's there. I'm an idiot. Anyway, this is a cool story, Fab Moretti from the Strokes helped you put it all together. How and where did you meet him?

Mike: I meet him in Detroit. I went to see his side project Little Joy. Only about 8 people came to his show. I was talking to him after the show and he invited me out for a few frames at the bowling alley that was in the basement, we also ate some pizza from a place called Sgt. Pepperoni's.

Me: What a great name for a pizza place. I take it you are a fan of the Strokes. What other bands are you fellas into?

Mike: Who doesn't like the Strokes! There great, but I wouldn't say they influence the way our music sounds. I'd say right now were just into our band!

Me: I enjoyed the album, and I have to ask you about one of the songs... "Purrfect Sound" which is dedicated to S.M. Jenkins. Is that a good friend of yours?

Mike: It's my love song to Stephen Malkmus, were great friends he just doesn't know it!

Me: The art work for the album is very crazy and clever. Who did the art work?

Marcus: Jason Yates.

Me: I know a Jason Yates! I wonder if he's the same one. Does this Jason Yates live in Florida and used to work at Disney?

Marcus: Haha, no. This Jason Yates lives in California. I think he's roomates with Ariel Pink. He's done work for Captain Beefheart, and Animal Collective. He's to cool for school and too weird for the world. He actually owes me $80, he won't return my emails anymore.

Me: So, what's next for you guys? A tour? A new album?

Mike: Mutt and I are working on a FREE rap EP to be released this summer. Its all 808's. Lil Ceaser and MSG... Be ready, were gonna lay swag to rest and blow the doors off the joint and take the game to new heights.

Me: That's cool, I guess. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Go ahead and plug your websites and everything. Take care, and good luck. And I want a free pizza some day.

Mike: Come by the shop, tell em the Robots sent you. The code words Pizza Face, they'll be expecting you.,,,!/ChocolateRobots.

Well, there you have it. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim, Tom Mauser and of course the boys from Chocolate Robots. The Phile will be back next Saturday with the boys from Cable Car. Then on Sunday it's Phile Alum Dan Nowicki from the greatest music project ever put together... Strawberry Blondes Forever. And on Monday it's Dr. Beverly Wixon. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pheaturing Sheldon Gomberg

Hello, and welcome to the Phile. The first thing I have to say is... chemical attacks killed a hundred people in Syria and nobody panicked. Ben Affleck becomes Batman and everyone just loses their minds. I hope Ben didn't check the internet in the last few days. Poor guy, he spends ten years working your his back into everyone's good graces. He wins an Oscar. Then he gets cast as Batman, and BAM! He's Gigli again. All this outrage over Affleck, yet no noise of the fact that they've got less than two years to make a $200 million movie they have no script for. I have to hand it to Warner Brothers, those boy are smart. "A Wonder Woman movie would be too big a financial risk! We've decided to go with a proven moneymaker: A Ben Affleck superhero movie!" There's other stuff going on, people.  Recently, in one of the New York City subway cars, they found a dead shark. Other passengers just thought he was sleeping so they didn't say anything. The Transit authority suspects foul play. This is bad for the city because now there's been a huge drop in marine predator tourism.  So, former President George W. Bush had to go into the hospital, had a little heart surgery and he's okay, but he blames it all on the fatty foods served by White House butler Forest Whitaker. Doctors told him to avoid any heavy exertion, so that means no reading. He had a little touch of coronary artery disease. One of his arteries was clogged with old Al Gore ballots.  This is a weird story... Bradley Manning is choosing to become Chelsea Manning. Unwilling to simply serve his 35 year prison term for espionage in the normal shitty manner of most convicted felons, Pfc. Bradley Manning is seeking hormone therapy as preparation for a sex-change operation and wishes to be considered a woman. A gay transgendered person who leaks U.S. military secrets... Bradley Manning is like the final boss in a Republican video game.  Yesterday I went to the Tampa Bay Comic Con and walking around, there was a lot of Star Wars stuff everywhere. I was thinking to myself, man, if I was to make Star Wars it would be a whole different movie. It would look more like this...

And then I saw a picture from Star Trek that I have never seen before. And it kinda worried me...

Well, it's Sunday and "Breaking Bad" is on tonight, kids. A Phile reader was at a store the other day and saw this and sent it into me.

It seems everybody is jumping on the "Breaking" Bad band wagon. Not me...

Okay, before we continue I have to mention something. I don't know if you noticed but in last Monday's entry in the iPhone graphic where I list who is gonna be on the Phile in the future I mentioned Sid Bernstein. Well, on August 21st, Sid passed away at the age of 95. If you don't know who Sid was, he was the man who brought The Beatles to America. Reading about the growing Beatlemania, he persuaded the group's manager Brian Epstein to let him promote two shows at Carnegie Hall despite the fact, Bernstein said, that he had never actually heard their music. A Carnegie Hall official told Bernstein the demand for tickets was so high that he could have sold out 50 dates. That remark led him to book the 55,000-capacity Shea Stadium for the following year. In 1976 and '79, Bernstein tried to persuade The Beatles to reform for charity concerts. They declined. He also arranged concerts for artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Jimi Hendrix. In a documentary about Bernstein's life, late funk singer James Brown said the promoter was the only mainstream impresario booking black singers in the 1960s and so, according to Brown, "was in the forefront of race relations". Bernstein made his own musical debut at the age of 93 with an album of cover versions of his favorite songs which what he was gonna be on the Phile promoting. Anyway, RIP, Sid.

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

Top Phile Reasons The World's Oldest Man Is Still Alive
5. He smokes three packs a day (low tar).
4. He loves sticking it to Sears and their "lifetime warranty" on all Craftsman tools. 
3. He always lifts from the knees
2. He was determined to get into the Guinness Book... and as long that as Kobayashi guy is still alive, the hot dog eating record is out of reach.
And the number one reason the oldest man in the world is still alive...
1. He studiously avoids sugar, pasta and alcohol... which is actually pretty easy when you live in a dirt-floor hut in Bolivia. 

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Hey, do you know what time it is? He's a patriot, singer and renaissance man, and a phriend of the Phile. It's...

Good morning humans... Your future is not a destination, it's a journey. Best if you keep both hands on the wheel. Happy Sunday. Ben Affleck to replace Christian Bale as Batman in new movie. Gotta say, Ben was pretty good in Daredevil. Bale turns down a reported 50 million for role... really? Small world... but I wouldn't want to paint it. Heading for a late lunch in Chinatown, driving on Canal St. Some jackass in a brand new Mustang cuts me off, forcing me to stand on the brakes... then as fate would have it gets stuck next to me at the same red light. He flips me the middle finger and says, "Fuck you, pal!" I roll down my window and say, "You're instigating a confrontation with someone you don't even know. What if I was the kind of man who would shove this stainless steel Parker pen through your ear and tickle your brain?" Just then, a uniformed member of the NYPD stepped out of an unmarked patrol car that I didn't see and walked between our two vehicles. The jackass laughs, "Now, it's MY turn, smart guy. Officer, this man just threatened me." "I heard no threat made... this man was asking you a very valid question... and I see your inspection sticker is past due... please pull over after the light changes and give me your license and registration." I smiled at the officer and he says to me, "I see you haven't lost that famous Laird charm." "I'm sorry, do I know you?""I worked with your brother, we met a few years back at a barbeque at his place. You're alot like him... NUTS. Just like the stories I used to hear about your dad." Couldn't stop smiling all through lunch...

The 28th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...

Although everyone went to school, beginning to work on the other side of the desk can be frightening and exciting. The tips in this book are intended as a helpful guide to the many nuances of working on that other side. Sections in the book include students, guardians, colleagues, substitutes, and self while the tips range from classroom management to storing your lunch. The book is filled with not-so-common tips that long time veterans of a particular school may consider common sense. Of course, nothing is common sense when you're just beginning your career. Dr. Beverly Wixon will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a is a producer, engineer and bassist who has worked with many artists including Ben Harper, Warren Zevon, Rickie Lee Jones, Ryan Adams, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and more. He has a new project out called Secret Skwirl whose album "Nothing is Real" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Sheldon Gomberg.

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

Sheldon: Phine. Better than Phine actually. One might even say Phantastic. Think to come of it, I’ve never Phelt better.

Me: That's good. Okay, I have interviewed many people from many bands, sir, but this interview about a band that is kinda different. You are not in the band, but you produced the band, right?

Sheldon: Sorta, kinda, not really. It’s true that I’m not in the band. And I did mix the songs, as well as having some parts added. So, I’d say that I mixed and co-produced the “Nothing is Real” album.

Me: No one knows who is in Secret Skwirl, is that true?

Sheldon: No one that I know of knows who’s in the band. Is it true that you also don’t know who’s in the band?

Me: Yep, I have no idea. Haha. You came up with the band name though, right? How did you come up with that name and why is squirrel misspelt?

Sheldon: Now you tell me that I misspelt squirrel!!!? The name came up quite by accident, really. It was during a conversation with a friend of mine who was speaking about a vendor he deals with. He mentioned that they act very “secret squirrel” when asked certain questions about their process. I knew instantly that I had to use it for this band. I misspelt “squirrel” to avoid a lawsuit with Hanna Barbera, who had a cartoon called “Secret Squirrel”, in the late 60s or early 70s.

Me: I loved "Secret Squirrel".

Sheldon: By the way, one could argue that misspelt is misspelled. I also had a grade school teacher called Miss Pelt. Coincidence? I think not!

Me: Anyway, this is a fascinating story, Sheldon. Can you tell the story of when you found these tapes?

Sheldon: Total fluke of circumstance. I was dropping off a friend of mine at his home in Tarzana. On the way, we drove by a garage sale. We could hardly believe our eyes, as we noticed several stacks of what appeared to be 2 two-inch tape boxes.

Me: So, how did you find the boxes?

Sheldon: We turned left at Greenland. Seriously though, they were on a table, in the front yard. They appeared to have been well taken care of: no stains, dents, rips, etc.

Me: When you heard the music for the first time what did you think?

Sheldon: I was fascinated. Immediately intrigued. I could hardly believe my ears. But of course, I had to. After all, they are my ears. Why would they lie? And, if you can’t believe your own ears…

Me: When do you think the original songs were recorded?

Sheldon: It’s hard to say. Sonically, they are quite well done. The woman who owned the house had been in it only four years. They could have been recorded as recently as 2005, or… who knows when?

Me: What was the quality of the tapes like?

Sheldon: Quite good actually.

Me: I know you must've done some detective work to find out who the band is. Did you come up with anything?

Sheldon: Even though I donned my deerstalker hat and calabash pipe I was unable to find out anything. Even my good friend Watson also came up empty.

Me: Did you hire an investigator?

Sheldon: No. I did however hire an instigator. I thought about hiring an alligator. If one owns a deerstalker and a calabash, and has a friend called Watson, why bother?

Me: With the tapes, did they have the song listings, or did you come up with them yourself?

Sheldon: Good question. Of the very little documentation in the boxes, we did have song titles.

Me: I noticed one song was named "Deep Purple". I wish it would of been "Foghat". Anyway, the first single for the album is "Jeez Louise". How did you pick that song to be the single?

Sheldon: I wish that I had a hat to wear in the fog. As for “Jeez Louise” I loved the sound of the song as well as the imagery that it brought to mind. I hired an animator to do a video and used it as the first single.

Me: How many songs were they altogether?

Sheldon: Right around one hundred. Some are in pieces, live jams in the studio, the majority are complete.

Me: So, will there be more Secret Skwirl music coming out?

Sheldon: We’re working on a Christmas album! Seriously though, there will be. In fact the second album is nearly finished being mixed.

Me: With the songs, did you add anything to them or take anything away?

Sheldon: I did add some things. Horns, for one. I also reprocessed some of the guitars, bass and drum sounds, as well as a lot of the vocals. The goal was to “modern up” the sounds while still retaining the vintage vibe that was obviously intentionally intended.

Me: You set up a website to explain and showcase the music. Has anybody come out and said, "Hey, that's our music"?

Sheldon: Unfortunately, no.

Me: If anybody did, how would they prove it?

Sheldon: I imagine that whoever recorded these songs originally MUST have some cassette copies or something. Plus, the lead singer’s voice is so identifiable. All he’d have to do is sing a few lines for me.

Me: So, how did you come up with the album name "Nothing is Real"?

Sheldon: It’s a line from “Strawberry Fields”, and I felt that it fit the whole mysterious vibe of the project.

Me: Obviously you are making money from this release with the music on iTunes and whatever. If someone does pop up and they wrote the songs will you start giving that person money? What happens then?

Sheldon: All proceeds generated by this project are being kept in reserve, in case we do find the real guys.

Me: Do you think you'll ever find out who Secret Skwirl is?

Sheldon: Right now, I’d be happy to phind my wallet. Have you seen it?

Me: No, I haven't... yet. Okay, let's talk about your other career. when not finding boxes of old tapes and putting music out from a mysterious band you also engineer and produce, right?

Sheldon: It’s true. Guilty as charged.

Me: You worked with so many people. One of which was a guest on the Phile... Ron Sexsmith. Who has been your favorite band or musician you worked with?

Sheldon: Ron was certainly one my phaves. Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones, the list is long. I’ve also played with so many greats. I’d have to say that the entire list of those on my website, are all among my phaves.

Me: I thought you were gonna say Joey Lawrence. You did a session or so with him, right? I didn't know he sang.

Sheldon: He does sing! He sings great! We did a Sinatra style/big band thing. He was great.

Me: Is there someone you would love to work with?

Sheldon: The list is too long. There are so many. Please, send them all my way.

Me: You also play bass. Is that your main instrument?

Sheldon: Yes. Is there another?

Me: Hmmmm... kazoo. Sheldon, do you have your own band... apart from Secret Skwirl that is?

Sheldon: I have my own rubber band. I believe you call them elastic bands. Does that count?

Me: No, and I call them rubber bands. Sheldon, please come back on the Phile when the next Secret Skwirl album comes out. Go ahead and mention the Secret Skwirl website and any other website you wanna. Good luck, Sheldon.

Sheldon: Well, let’s see. We have that ought to do it. By the way, this has been a blast. Is it usual for the interviewee to answer out loud, while alone in a room? That’s how I do it! Cheers!

Me: Thanks, Sheldon.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim as always and Sheldon Gomberg. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the guys from the band Chocolate Robots. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!