Monday, March 23, 2015

Pheaturung Lonesome Wyatt From Those Poor Bastards

Hello, and welcome back to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Last night I went to Mardi Gras and I might've drank a little too much. I'm not saying I have a hangover but if I did it's just God's way of saying I kicked ass last night. Okay, let's start with the news.  An employee of Florida's environmental protection department is claiming that he was forced to receive a mental health evaluation and go on a leave of absence after he made reference to climate change in a report concerning the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, thus violating Governor Rick Scott's unwritten prohibition of mentioning unseemly realities of life in his administration.  Apparently, we're not even allowed to watch people make delicious butter-filled foods on television anymore. According to a new study published in Appetite, people who regularly regularly watch cooking shows on television and also cook for themselves had higher body mass indexes than people do not watch those shows but do cook for themselves. It seems that the best option is to not watch any cooking shows and use that time instead to finish off another container of Mint Oreos. I watch cooking shows the same way I slow danced in middle school. I'm into it until things get hard. Here's some great news... Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is reportedly producing and starring in a film adaptation of Jim Henson's television series "Fraggle Rock." If you're old enough to be excited by that news, then this movie is probably not being made for you.  The Federal Aviation Administration has given Amazon an "experimental airworthiness certificate" to test their proposed flying delivery drones, so please enjoy these last few moments of blue sky outside your window. Before you know it, it'll all just be an undulating black cloud of buzzing robots, and the Earth shall fall into darkness. On the plus side, you'll get your humping dog USB toy really quickly. By the way, my new life goal is to be first person beheaded by an Amazon drone.  According to a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people who watch pornography for at least two hours a week actually had a higher sex drive and and stronger desire to perform with their partners than those who did not. So, for the sake of your relationship, you should probably get down to business right about now.  After superstar fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made the perplexing and idiotic decision to alienate the gay community by spouting a bunch of retrograde bigotry about gay adoption to the Italian press, Elton John... who has two adopted children with his husband led the charge to boycott their products. However, the iconic musician may need a refresher course in the rules of boycotting, as, less than one day later, he was photographed on the street with a Dolce & Gabbana shopping bag. And I have proof...

That does it... starting 46 years ago I am no longer buying any Dolce & Gabbana clothes.  The U.S. Secret Service wants to spend $8 million to build an exact replica of the White House in order to practice protecting the real White House. This will be a "more realistic environment, conducive to scenario-based training exercises," according to Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy. It will also be a place where they can hone their drunk driving skills without fear of running over the First Lady.  Sarah, this is for you... "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman opened up about the zombie apocalypse show's upcoming spinoff at SXSW last weekend, explaining that while the new show will begin as a prequel, representing the early days of how zombies killed off black characters, it will eventually catch up with the current timeline in order to show how zombies continue to kill off black characters in a different part of the nation. "The Walking Dead" spinoff should have an all-black cast so you're not sure who's going to die next.  So, like I said, last night I went to Universal Studios... I went on their Simpson's ride for the first time and I was so happy they added me.

Haha. I'm just kidding. That's not me... or is it?  The last few entries I have been showing you some pictures of Obama hanging out with Kim Jong-Un. Or are they? Haha.

Alright, I'll tell you the truth. Reggie Brown is perhaps America's most successful Obama impersonator, and he's had longer to prepare than anyone else... he's originally from Chicago, and he said way back in 2001 someone told him he looked like "some guy named Barack" a friend played basketball with at a local gym. Much less is known (appropriately) about "Kim Jong Um," a British Kim Jong Un impersonator who claims to be the only professional one around. On a purely physical basis, it's unlikely many other people could compete, anyway. These two got together in LA last month for three reasons: to cement world peace, to see the sights, and to get into an Oscar party. I wonder if there are 47 Republican senator impersonators out there (yeah, they're in Congress! Zing!) pretending to mess up negotiations with an Ayatollah Khamenei impersonator.  And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...

Phive Things You Can Say To Start A Conversation About Race With Your Starbucks Barista.
5. I'm here to talk about race and get something to help me poop.
4. Tell the truth, do all the customers look the same to you?
3. I hate you for your youth... not your race.
2. Talk to me about race, white suburban teen. I dare you.
And the number one thing you can say to start a conversation with your Starbucks barista is...
1. Am I pronouncing "grande" correctly?

I think I'm gonna be sick. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, before we continue I have to mention something I was just talking about in the opening monologue... porn. Yeah, I was thinking about that story I mentioned earlier. Keeping with the long tradition of scientific studies that help us justify our vices, UCLA researchers Nicole Prause and James Pfaus have shown that watching porn does not cause men to have a lower sex drive when they're with a partner. Hear that, everyone? Science just gave us the okay to watch dirty movies! Yay science! Okay, the study's not quite that rah-rah, tits-tits, bang-bang. But it did show that subjects that watched porn... aka "visual sexual stimuli" or VSS were more likely to want to bone their partners. Or, as the abstract for the study more politely put it, "More hours viewing VSS was related to stronger experienced sexual responses to VSS in the laboratory, was unrelated to erectile functioning with a partner, and was related to stronger desire for sex with a partner." If your sex life is meh, this unfortunately doesn't mean that watching porn will automatically fix things in the bedroom (or kitchen, or wherever you do it). Rather, it more likely indicates that people who have higher sex drives watch more porn. Okay, that's all I am gonna say about it. Now should we watch Sex Gondola 7 or New Places to Put Your Dick?

Pornhub is a video sharing website specializing in 2-3 minute clips of what you should try and remember used to be someone's little girl.

The 36th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer of the duo Those Poor Bastards whose new CD "Vicious Losers" is available on iTunes. And on April 21st "Bad Omen" his next CD with Phile Alum Rachel Brooks comes out. Please welcome to the Phile... Lonesome Wyatt.

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Should I call you Lonesome or Wyatt? 

Wyatt: Any combination of Lonesome and/or Wyatt is fine.

Me: My dad was Lonesome Dave, and you are Lonesome Wyatt. Where did your nick name come from? My dad was a big fan of the blues, and I am guessing you are as well.

Wyatt: I like the old blind acoustic blues singers like Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Blake. I was born Lonesome.

Me: I have to ask you about the other member of Those Poor Bastards, Wyatt, the Minister he calls himself. Does he always wear a hood?

Wyatt: Yes, he does.

Me: How did you two meet?

Wyatt: It must remain a mystery.

Me: And who named your band Those Poor Bastards? Are you really poor and a bastard? My new  band should be called Not Doing Too Bad Arsehole.

Wyatt: We both named it and are both poor bastards.

Me: You guys are from Madison, Wisconsin, is that right? Have you lived there all your life? Are you a Packers fan?

Wyatt: I grew up in the country around here. I hate sports.

Me: So, Wyatt, I first heard of you guys when your first EP "Country Bullshit" came out a few years ago. I gather you're not a big fan of modern day country music, is that right?

Wyatt: It's terrible.

Me: And I just downloaded your album "Vicious Losers." I love the new album, Wyatt, how would you compare it to the first EP?

Wyatt: Well hopefully it has progressed a little from the first CD and become a bit more desperate and unbearable.

Me: You don't record on modern technology, at least it doesn't sound like you do. I like the old 30s sound you guys make.

Wyatt: Thanks. We like things to sound broken and used.

Me: Wyatt, you played with a few other bands, and I have to ask you about one guy you played and recorded with, Hank Williams 3. When did you first meet, Wyatt?

Wyatt: I gave him our "Country Bullshit" CD after a show he played in Madison.

Me: He played on some of your stuff, right? Did you ever guest on any of his songs?

Wyatt: Yeah, he sings on the song "Swallowed By Sin" on "Satan is Watching," and we put out a 7" of him singing with us on Black Dog Yodel.

Me: Years ago I was supposed to interview him but his manager got pissed because I wanted to ask him about his dads friendship with Kid Rock so the interview never happened. Speaking of interviews, I interviewed a young lady named Rachel Brooke who you have recorded with on an album called "A Bitter Harvest" and the upcoming "Bad Omen" and she was the one who told me about you, so I guess you can thank her. She's the reason you are on the Phile, man. When did you first meet her?

Wyatt: We met on a tour a few years ago. She has a very distinct voice and unique songs, so I like her a lot. Uniqueness is sorely lacking in modern music, as well as society as a whole. We're about to leave for another tour in a few weeks, so hide your pets.

Me: Aside from Those Poor Bastards, you have a side project out under the name Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks. I downloaded the album "Moldy Basement Tapes" and like that as well. Who are the Holy Spooks and what does the Minister think of your other band?

Wyatt: That's just solo recordings. "Moldy Basement Tapes" was actually recorded way back around 1998 and I hope to revive that project very soon. The Minister is of course frightened.

Me: Wyatt, I know you have to go but thanks so much for being on the Phile, sir. Maybe next time I can have you and Rachel both here. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wanna. I wish you lots of luck, and looking forward to your next project. Maybe a live album?

Wyatt: Thanks, sir. Our website is Read books and watch out for Satan.

Me: Take care, and I hope to see you in Florida in concert sometime.

Wyatt: I hope to stay out of that place.

That was a very interesting interview. I don't really know what to say. Anyway, thanks to Lonesome Wyatt. I'll be in Pennsylvania this coming weekend so there's not gonna be any entries of the Phile that weekend. But the Phile will be back on April 4th with Phile Alum Jim Korkis. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. I'll see you back here in two weeks. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pheaturing Charlie James From Kubris

Hello, and welcome to the Phile, kids. It's spring! Spring is an excellent reminder that I was supposed to get into shape before spring. Being spring it's also Spring Break for a lot of kids. At my age, Spring Break means taking my full thirty minutes for lunch.  Let's start this entry with a story about France. The French government may soon pass legislation that would establish a minimum weight, based on body-mass index, for models employed by fashion houses and agents in ad campaigns and runway shows. Under this controversial proposed law, models would need to have a BMI of at least 18, so a 5'7" woman would have to weigh at least 121 pounds, which by fashion standards would make her a huge lard ass. France is considering a bill banning models who are too thin from runways and fashion spreads. Kate Moss is considering eating a Saltine.  More than 3,000 sinkholes have opened up along the banks of the Dead Sea over the course of the past decade, according to environmentalists. "It's nature's revenge," the Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East asserted to ABC News. "These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region." He did not specify exactly how many local residents were dragged kicking and screaming into these holes by the hellish beasts who no doubt emerge from them nightly to satisfy their insatiable hunger for soft human flesh. I always thought it was very weird that there are holes in our sinks and we call them drains, but then there’s this whole other kind of hole we call a sinkhole.  Nameberry recently released a list of fifteen names that are disappearing from American culture, due to parents' increasing unwillingness to burden their children with bummerish names. Among the names listed by the online database website were Alpha, Nanette and Zelma for girls, and Elmo, Remus and Waldo for boys. Sometimes extinction is for the greater good.  You know, when I first started compiling this list of news stories, I thought that it would be a good idea to inform you of the strange and disconcerting diatribe/sex tape that fugitive-from-justice Randy Quaid and his wife Evi recently self-released. Upon further reflection and a great deal of soul searching, though, I've decided that if you've managed to go this long without learning of the film's troubling existence, I cannot in good faith be the one to break it to you. Please, enjoy your lives as best you can.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney declared Barack Obama to be "the worst president in [his] lifetime, without question," during an interview with Playboy. This is actually a pretty big statement, even if we assume that he is speaking of just his current lifetime, which manifested itself during FDR's presidency. It's even bigger if he is referring to his true lifetime, considering how fourteen eons ago he worked in Kaajh'Kaalbh's second administration in R'lyeh. And that Outer God was awful at budgetary management.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won his re-election bid last week thanks in no small part to support from conservative U.S. supporters like Chuck Norris and Jon Voight, who lent their celebrity credentials to his campaign. The fear of Arab citizens in voting booths didn't hurt, either. It would be really cute if Netanyahu's email address was or if he didn't bail on the only plausible route toward peace.  Professional narcissist Donald Trump announced today that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee to discover how much press he can get for himself by pretending that he might enter the 2016 Republican primaries. "I am the only one who can make America truly great again!" he asserted in an official statement, because of course he did.  According to rumors swirling around the Internet, Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx are currently dating. Us Weekly recently published a photo of the two celebrities holding hands while sharing what they thought was a private moment. When you consider the fact that the last person to whom she was romantically linked believed that their love was sanctioned the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, this relationship seems a lot less weird. Life is too damn short to be listening to Jamie Foxx sing R&B about Katie Holmes.  Well, as I said it's spring and they already released a spring themed inspirational poster.

I think I'm gonna be sick.  Last week I showed you a picture or two or Obama and Kim Jong-Un hanging out. Well, they seem to be the best of friends.

Yeah, they play basketball. But wait a minute... is that really them?  I was watching videos on YouTube of the band Squeeze last night... hopefully John Bentley from Squeeze will be back on the Phile in a few weeks. Anyway, I discovered something cool that could be a Mindphuck.

I don't know if you can spot it or not. Look at the wall. By the way, My Father's Place was a club on Long Island and I think my dad was at this Squeeze show.  Today's guest like me is from England, and I don't know if you know this but there's places in England that only the British can name. For example...

I know someone that can be from there. Haha. Ahem. Moving on... And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive People Who Went To See Cinderella
5. Event planners looking for ideas for the next time they have to plan a ball.
4. They buyer for Payless and charge of leather, latex, and glass footwear.
3. Taffeta enthusiasts.
2. Oscar winner Kate Blanchett... trying to figure out how the hell she wound up in it.
And the number one people who went to see Cinderalla...
1. Creepy guys looking to expand their worlds beyond My Little Pony.

This might be a hard one. If you spot the Mindphuck email me.

The 36th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer and guitarist for the Oxfordshire band Kubris whose EP "The Lines of Disconnect" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Charlie James.

Me: Hello, welcome to the Peverett Phile. This is pretty exciting for me as you're the first band I interviewed from my old neck of the woods in Oxfordshire. How are you?

Charlie: Hello, Peverett Phile, thanks for inviting us onto your space, really nice to meet you and your readers here! Right now? Yes, we’re all good, excited to be on here too.

Me: I could only think of two other bands from Oxfordshire that I can think of... Ride and Radiohead. Are you fans of either of them?

Charlie: I don't know if Ride is still together. Radiohead have some songs that grow with you and still kick it when you hear them at serious volume that’s for sure, always liked how much space they allow themselves musically. Ride had split pretty soon (7 years I think) after their first release, it’s a shame when good bands split.

Me: Where exactly are you guys from?

Charlie: We’ve got two of us from a place called Wallingford, two from Marlborough, one from Didcot and one who just recently moved to Winchester.

Me: My grandmother lived in Wootton, Abingdon. What's the name of that pub there? The White Horse or something? Have you played there?

Charlie: Ah yes, you’ve got The Bystander and The White Horse, I think there’s a place called The Midget there too . We’ve not played in either place though we’ve an invite in the summer to make some noise over that way. 

Me: Wiltshire... there's a zoo there or something if I remember, right?

Charlie: You’ve got Longleat Safari in that area, nice old house there, very Sherlock Holmes.

Me: Yeah, I went to a "Doctor Who" even there once in the 80s. I lived in Fulbrook, just outside of Burford. Have you guys been there?

Charlie: Driven through it before, it’s weird how many nice little old places there are in one area of the U.K., you must miss it a little...  

Me: Checking out your tour dates and stuff, you guys are making me home sick. I am now living in Florida, have you guys ever been to the States?

Charlie: That surely must be the trigger for a holiday? And maybe take in a gig or two... We’ve two in the band that have been to the U.S. on holiday at different times, it would be an awesome place to visit.

Me: What kinda places do you play at?

Charlie: At the moment we’re at that weird phase where big places like you, but they want you to play the little places just to see if what they saw first time was a fluke. I think we’ll be near that point of needing the right help for the next levels in a few months though. We’re lucky cos of the way the music was written, we play these acoustically in more intimate clubs and bring out the mesa rig when the venue is huge and with a rock audience, for example, next Friday we headline a night of grindcore metal bands as an acoustic act, but cos we’ll voice it heavy with masses of crunch, it’ll slot in there perfectly.

Me: You guys play all over England but ever played outside England?

Charlie: Right now, Germany is getting lots of visits throughout the year and played in Holland, Italy and Spain. We did a silly thing in December where we performed in Oxford and the following night, scheduled to play in the city of Glasgow, not much sleep but we’ve got to work hard and play hard. Really warm audiences to play for in all of these countries and they always make us feel at home.

Me: How is the music scene in England right now? A lot different from when I lived there in the late 80's I am sure.

Charlie: I think in the 80s it was a fortunate thing to have musical movements, like punk and new romantic, etc. that large groups have been a part of and can express themselves in and was also part of the political makeup of the time and had a social purpose. Though the music scene of 2015, coming after all these era’s, does really need a renaissance, a rebirth to something a bit more real, less autotuned, polished up and musically afraid, hopefully we can remind them of this that it’s still okay to put positive anger and bite into your music and not be afraid of what anyone thinks. It’s important to express yourself through the arts and a risk here or there might be the next musical movement.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your band Kubris. Where does the name come from?

Charlie: Five years ago we had a sit down meet and had a brain storm session after a week of coming up with names, must be the same for most bands and one of the names we came up with was Hubris, in the meaning of being out of touch with reality. We wanted a harder sounding name so I put a K to the front of it, not knowing if there was a word Kubris. “The music will give it its meaning” was the idea.

Me: Do you all pitch in to write the music?

Charlie: I came up with the songs we’re currently playing live about seven years ago before we had all our band members in place, there were 57 songs written in a 2 month period where I just went for it with the pen in all sorts of styles and hoped we would all dig them (thankfully the band all liked em, which helps...). This had to be whittled down to 14 for a live set and 10 for recording, that’s where everybody came in to select the tunes we wanted to have on our first outing’s live and to have out there in cyberspace on the first phase of recording. We did what everybody has to do and grow the songs at volume and see how they hit the air and the feeling we get back from them. The songs worked well in the loud room. A good energy to share.

Me: I listened to your EP "The Lines of Discontent" which I downloaded and really like it. Is that your only release? 

Charlie: Thanks, that’s nice to hear, yes that’s the first EP, it’s going to be joined soon with some of the heavier songs on "Ten7Ten." The first EP is more of a musical journey with a totally live feel to it, we wanted to hear this as close to how it sounds face to face and keep some of the brightness and bass crunch in there you’d get at a gig, we mastered it at such a loud volume (bleeding ears n’all), just to make sure you have a good experience when you crank it up on your stereo, in your car or through a PA. It should sound fat wherever.

Me: Two songs I heard from you guys I have to mention... the first is "Boot Camp Britain." Explain to the Phile readers what is the meaning behind that song. It's not on the EP, will it be on a future release?

Charlie: Hmm... How long you guy’s got? Like all of the songs we’ve got, there’s a story that I hope your readers will find. "Boot Camp Britain" (you want the honest answer? Okay, I warned you) came about after a retirement meeting with an ex boss for a company I used to work for, back when our band wasn’t a full time career. Basically, the dude had a really hard take on what it means to be “an employee for life” and pointed out every few days that he hated the fact he had to struggle so hard just to get to where he is, and hated every second of it, it makes you kind of hope you don’t get to that age and regret the things you did, or should have done. It got me thinking “where do people learn their views about these things”, and the only place I could think was he must have been spoon fed this crap from his parents, who were fed it from theirs and so on and so on. The song’s based around a conversation between the boy and his mother where he asks about fulfilling your daily grind and why we must do this every day, she tells him life is about nothing more than getting up to go to your job, in the dark for some, and coming out, again in the dark, having lost hours of your own life, almost a day, with nothing more than a little money from our most merciful bosses each month as we climb the steps on our hands and knees to their thrones with our little begging bowl looking for spare change from them. He first asks his mother why we do this, she sings a rhyme back to him that she learned from her parents (which is the chorus of the song), unsatisfied with the answer, he asks the father the same question, who doesn’t know, but instead answers with the same rhyme as the mother, so eventually, they both sing the rhyme they learned from their parents... Each flawlessly confused but just following in dumb blindness the same answer (which happens to be the chorus) they were also given. It popped out 10 mins after I got home that day and will be available on the second EP "Ten7Ten." I put a sub sound in with the crunch guitar sound just before the industrial hammer sample on each verse lead in, it’s massive live.

Me: You guys are too young to remember when Thatcher was Prime Minister, right? That was a boot camp in some people's eyes as well.

Charlie: Well, yes, in some ways too young, but we are fortunate to have the outside view on the effect she had on the country as youngsters. When you shut down industry, outsource everything, and then, to top it all off, reduce the price of alcohol... what do you thinks gonna happen... nice move though you’ve got to agree. What’s worse of all though, she was kind of a fox, don’t you agree?

Me: Ummm... no, I don't. Haha. The other song I have to mention is "Rob's Song." That's about someone you knew, right? That's a sad song.

Charlie: Yep, that was and is a friend. It is a sad subject that I don’t think too many people talk about it though for me, personally, I wanted to write something in his honour in a nice way, at first the song started in honour of those people on this Earth who didn’t stand a chance from day one, then, in my mind, I was face to face aged 15 with my old childhood friend Rob in a place designed to help young adults, including me, who were a little bit dysfunctional and not at the same speed as the rest of the planet, to learn something that might help in the outside world. When we met it was day one for him and we hugged and he looked at me pretty strangely, I asked are you okay, what’s wrong, he just kept looking until he looked down at his new work boots he was holding, he had the laces in his other hand, then looked up with a tear and sweet look in his eye, I took them off of him and told him it’s okay, and laced them for him... in the songs chorus it says “you stood with the laces in your hand, that sweet look in your eye, how was the world supposed to know, you had never, been shown." He’d never been shown how to lace a pair of boots. Unless you knew the above, you’d never know what the song was about. Rob, like some of us, didn’t adjust after our training, he made some mistakes, got caught and put on remand where he got bullied. Because of the way we grew up he was nervous, even as a child of eight he was nervous, but people don’t often look too far into things too far and simply “don’t see” or even look at causes for things, why a person is the way they are, they just see the results. He was so scared, he killed himself. The thing is though, Rob’s are absolutely everywhere, I’m sure we all know one and for some, maybe even two, with time and maybe even a little understanding and love, who knows. (RIP sweetheart).    

Me: Onto happier things... I like your logo, guys. Who designed it? It's very stylish.

Charlie: Thanks. That there, was put together by Sanj’s (our guitarist) brother-n-law, Ákos Appel. He asked “what do you want” and I said “we’ll use anything you create, so long as it’s made in love for what you do, that’s important for us." All of our jaws were open when that design and logo came back, six people, all with their mouths open is a funny sight. You can see the love in it, he did a beautiful thing there.

Me: What's next from you guys? I would love to hear new music from you and I think a Kubris t-shirt would be cool. Oxfordshire represent.

Charlie: Well yes, these are the next stages, we have a few months of solid gigging before the summer festival season gigs start and in between we’ll be dropping in new material, some heavy some light but all crunchy for sure. The merchandising plan is on its way with alot in there so when the t-shirts are available, you’ll be hearing from us. We’ll also be looking at bringing in management or hunting a labels backing in a few months time too as part of the plan for our 2015 but mainly, having fun and meeting lots of new friends through our music.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Charlie. Can you come back again sometime? Next time I'm in England, I hope I can see you guys in concert.

Charlie: That’s kind of you to have us on here, it’s amazing how much support is coming to us in different ways from people from every angle, radio, websites, zines, its amazing! Again, thanks for having us on here, you help us reach more people and for that, thank you, man! Definitely let us know if you’re in the U.K., same as with all your readers and we’ll get you along to a gig or two, we’ll put a little more bite in than normal... We’d be glad if you have us back, we hope your readers demand it...

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and I wish you guys continued success. Take care.

Charlie: Take good care too! And best wishes. Come listen to some acoustic abuse and gig dates at:  Send abuse and join:  You can buy mp3’s or hard copies of Kubris debut EP “The Lines Of Discontent” here: Performances and videos:

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Charlie James for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with musician Lonesome Wyatt from Those Poor Bastards. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alum Ari Gold And Ethan Gold

Hey there, and welcome to another entry of the Phile for a Monday. How are you?  Let's start off with talking about ISIS. And I don't mean the superhero. Middle Eastern terrorist organization ISIS has apparently accepted a pledge of allegiance offered by Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram. "We announce to you to the good news of the expansion of the caliphate to West Africa because the caliph... has accepted the allegiance of our brothers of the Sunni group for preaching and the jihad," ISIS spokesperson Mohammed al-Adnani declared in a recently released video. It is truly a marriage made in an incredibly fundamentalist interpretation of heaven. Here's hoping the new ISIS/Boko Haram supergroup has as much staying power as Damn Yankees.  Comedian Andy Samberg... who was skyrocketed to fame as a beloved regular on "Saturday Night Live" before leaving to head an ensemble cast on the critically acclaimed sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has reportedly agreed to try in vain to bring humor to the next Emmy award ceremonies and then be judged harshly by everybody on Twitter.  The world lies in shock after the Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council made the counterintuitive announcement that mixing minute amounts of various substances into great masses of water does not offer any substantive health benefits. "There are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective," the report declares in no uncertain terms. The report... which is remarkably similar to the countless reports that preceded it is expected to have about as much effect on the homeopathy market as the solitary molecule of active ingredient in your sleeping pill will have on your metabolism. Apple has admitted that it pays human beings to sit at desks and listen to all the weird sex stuff (as well as less interesting things) that you whisper to Siri, iPhone's personal assistant software. “I heard everything from kiddos asking innocent things like 'Siri, do you like me?' to some guy asking Galaxy to lick his butthole. I wish I was kidding," one of the many people paid to listen to your private comments said. A company spokesperson points out, though, that you agreed to allow this to happen when you hit "Accept" without bothering to read your phone's policy agreement.  Ever since Netflix began dropping entire seasons of original television series like "House of Cards" at once, TV obsessors have be trying to figure out how and when it is acceptable for them to spoil important details for people who have things going on in their life and maybe didn't have a chance to inhale 13 hours of television in a single night. With regular serialized shows, it has long been common practice to announce major plot points on Twitter and Facebook mere seconds after they air. But things get a little trickier without an official air time. The Message's Rex Sorgatz has come up with a simple plan to make ruining viewing experiences for other people fun again: "Every day, a new episode is released, always at the same time, and blind to time zones." That way, everybody is forced to either put their lives on hold so that they can watch the show every day, at the same time, for thirteen consecutive nights or avoid all social media for nearly two weeks. Sounds brilliant! How do we make this happen?!  In yesterday's entry I mentioned the new Apple Watch... well, that's not the only new Apple product that was released this past week. Have you heard of the iEye? iEye is the implantation of a digital camera into your eye socket. Your eyesight get augmented with 20 times higher resolution than the average human eye, and you to get to magnify your vision up to 12 times. On top of that, you get to record visual data into a built-in hard drive, which can be shared with others and playback at your own request. Cool if you don’t mind being a cyborg. Here it is, check it out...

I love Google. If it wasn't for Google there wouldn't be a Phile. Blogspot is owned by Google if you didn't know. Anyway, I was looking something up on Google and this is what happened...

What the hell is the world coming to?  Do you guys like the blues? I do... maybe not as much as my dad did but I like the blues. Anyway, if you listen to a blues song this is what you get...

Yesterday I mentioned and showed you a picture of Obama and Kim Jong-Un handshaking. Well, that is not the only thing those two were doing.

Wait a minute... is that really them? Haha. By now you’ve probably seen the video showing members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity gleefully singing a hateful racist chant. Well, it's no surprise if you saw their logo...

See what I mean? And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive Tips On How To Better Enjoy The St. Patrick's Day Parade
5. Sure, your orange and green Dr. Seuss hat looks realistic...but you'll be thankful for it when that corned beef sandwich you had for lunch needs a place to go.
4. If you happen to see a 170 year old Irishman, do NOT mention the potato famine. It's still "too soon."
3. Shamrock face stickers are fun, but often fall off. This year, consider getting a face tattoo. 
2. Avoid eye contact with that police horse you assaulted in 2014.
And the number one too on his to better enjoy the St. Patrick's Day Parade...
1. Remember: a shot of green food coloring at the beginning of the day guarantees festive vomiting later.

Apple Watch 
The Apple Watch is a watch that can replace the iPhone that replaced your watch.

 If you spot it then let me know. 

The 36th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum Jim Korkis will be on the Phile in a few weeks. 

Okay, today's guests are two brothers... one is a Phile Alum and an American filmmaker, actor and musician who wrote and directed the movie Adventures of Power. The other is a musician whose latest CD "Songs From a Toxic Apartment" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Ari and Ethan Gold.

Me: Hey, guys, welcome to the Phile. Actually, welcome back to you, Ari. Man, it's been years you were here. How are you? 

Ari: I’ve been great. Still editing my second feature film, which is taking forever, but I’ve always been a slow, obsessive editor. 

Me: So, you two are twins, but which one of you is older? And by how many minutes? 

Ari: I’m older by two minutes, which means I’m two minutes wiser. But I do think that my “rushing out of the womb” had an influence on our personalities. 

Ethan: I'm going to wait a couple minutes before I answer that question. 

Me: Okay. Were are you two from? 

Ethan: We are San Francisco natives. I grew up in the foggy side of town and Ari was in the sunny side of town. 

Me: You both live in L.A., right? Do you live close to each other? 

Ari: I’m back and forth between New York and L.A. I’ve made them both bicycle-friendly cities for me, which is essential. 

Ethan: I've been spending a lot of time in New York as well, most recently to score Ari's next feature. 

Me: Ari, last time you were here you were plugging your film Adventures of Power. How is that movie doing? It won a lot of praise, didn't it? 

Ari: It’s a slow burn to becoming a cult film. It’s the kind of movie that some people watch ten times and memorize, and other people don’t get the vibe and hate it. Those who love it sing its praises, which is really gratifying after all the hard work. I feel sorry for the people who hate it. It means they are cold hearted! 

Ethan: The only hatred that's still socially acceptable is hatred of air drumming, unfortunately for Ari. But he's a brave man. 

Me: Jane Lynch, who since became a major TV actress on "Glee" is in it... how was she to work with? Have you known her for long? 

Ari: I met her when I cast her in Adventures of Power, and though she wasn’t famous like she is now, she was already very experienced and confident, which is why it was so great to have her on set. She has a generous, loving spirit, and for a terrified actor-director like me, that kind of collaborator is a great thing to have. My first day, I was shooting a riot at a coal refinery in inclement weather, and we had breakdowns that forced me to have only 3 hours to shoot the crucial riot. Jane kept me from committing hara-kiri. 

Me: For readers that don't know, tell them what the movie is about. 

Ari: Adventures of Power is a comedy about love, justice, air-drumming, and the American Dream. It tells the epic story of an unemployed copper-miner on an odyssey across this great nation, gathering a team of air-drummers to save their dignity and their way of life. It’s an attempt to combine the sublime and the ridiculous. 

Ethan: My job on that film was to make both of those things happen. 

Me: Ethan, you did the soundtrack for it, right? 

Ethan: Yep. Sublime music and ridiculous songs, that was my task. There were 90 music cues. It's a blend of plaintive music of the lonely Utah desert where the character Power comes from, and completely ridiculous songs in a lot of different genres, like Mexican death metal with lyrics about eating cereal, and nü-country mixed with pop punk, as well as deliberately bonehead versions of classic rock. 

Me: You guys seem to work a lot together on various projects, in your band The Gold Brothers, and videos and stuff. Have you always worked together? 

Ethan: We do our own projects but we try to help each other out. That's sort of what happens with my scoring his films, and him directing some of my music videos. But our visions are quite different so we do the bulk of our work separately. The Gold Brothers, our little musical comedy duo side project, is probably the closest to a full collaboration, though generally I write the songs and he does the visuals in that. But there's more crossover there. 

Me: You two must be very close, am I right? 

Ari: We have a great, difficult, fun, creative, fraternal working relationship. We aren’t Cain and Abel, and we aren’t conjoined twins. Somewhere in between. But he’s always been essential to my film work, and I’ve done my best to return the favor by making music videos that support his intense musical vision. 

Me: Do you ever criticize each others work? 

Ari: Do we ever not? 

Ethan: We don't ever not. We approach our art in radically different ways. Sometimes it's complimentary, sometimes is insultary. 

Me: Ethan, I read your bio and was fascinated by something... you wrote a short story called "The Dreammaker" when you were four years old? What the hell? What was that about? 

Ethan: Since I have memories at all, my strongest memories were of dreams, or more likely at that time, nightmares. Very vivid. I learned to control them, somewhat, at four, having had chronic nightmares at 2 and 3 and 4. So I wrote a story about this little miner who went inside people's heads with an axe to implant the dreams. My approach to my music and to my visuals is still to try to do this... to create dreams, three dimensional emotional sensory experiences. 

Me: Do you still have it...the short story? 

Ethan: I have some boxes in storage... it's in there somewhere. But it's in my life. 

Me: You knew how to write at four? 

Ethan: I don't really know how that happened. Our father is a writer so either genetically or by family influence, I was writing words. I didn't start writing music til I was about seven, and it was another seven years before my first music lesson. 

Me: Ari, how old were you when you did you first creative project? 

Ari: I was writing stories and jokes when I was eight. I have a book of them. My favorite is a women’s lib one that zooms in on a Women At Work sign. I attempted to write a novel, “The Giant Snail from Brazil,” when I was ten, but got sidetracked when I got word that Emily Mackenzie wanted to go steady. Ethan and I also had a comedy singing group, with our friend Noah, called The French Fries, which had epic songs about farts. 

Ethan: I think the Gold Brothers is somewhat the continuation of the French Fries. The subject matter of the light comedy has matured. Pleas pronounce that 'matoored'. 

Me: Before we talk about your solo album, Ethan, and videos, I have to mention the short "Helicopter," which Ari mentioned last time he was here. Ari, this is pretty deep... tell the readers what that short was about. 

Ari: Our mother was killed in the helicopter crash that took the life of rock music impresario Bill Graham, and the film is about the aftermath. It tries to emulate the feelings of grief and shock that come when a loved one dies without warning. It’s also about, to some degree, celebrity culture and the world of rock’n’roll that died at that time. Watch it at

Me: Ethan, when you first heard Ari's plan for this short, what did you think? 

Ethan: I was really glad he wanted to use art as a way to work things out for himself. It seemed healthy. 

Me: I remember the helicopter crash that killed your mom and Bill Graham. My dad, who was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, knew Bill so he was surprised. How did your mom know Bill? 

Ethan: They dated for a year or so when we were tiny, then reunited years later for another spell. They didn't survive another year. 

Me: You kids must of been young when the crash happened, right? 

Ari: We were young enough to still have a lot of life to share with our mom, so it was a major derailment of everything I thought and felt. 

Ethan: Yep. 

Me: Ari, apart from The Gold Brothers, you are also in The Honey Brothers. How is that band going? 

Ari: We’re on hiatus, which is a result of all the members having different projects. I sincerely hope we’ll find time to tour again, because I love playing with them. 

Me: Alrighty, then, Ethan... "Songs From the Toxic Apartment." That's your solo album, right? Is this your first solo album? 

Ethan: Yes, I've done a couple EPs but this was the first full length album I did solo. 

Me: Did you do all the songwriting yourself? 

Ethan: Yes, unless you count dream spirits, who give me some of my melodies. 

Me: So, is it safe to say you are more of a musician and Ari is more of a filmmaker? 

Ethan: That is safe, though I've been highly involved in the music videos I've made, and Ari also plays ukelele and drums. 

Me: What do you both prefer the most? 

Ethan: Songwriting. I like making videos but it's just another version of the sound. 

Me: Ari plays on the album with you, am I right, Ethan? 

Ethan: I played everything on this album. It was a solo experience in a very extreme way. 

Ari: I did arrange a string section for one song which didn’t make the album. 

Me: So no one else is on the album? Wow.

Ethan: No other people, but the are crows and pigeons and crickets and helicopters and raindrops which I recorded with a mic out the window. They're on there with me. And friends who listened well... they were helpful. "Songs From a Toxic Apartment" began as demos where I played everything myself and recorded it all at home. At some point I decided to stop calling them demos and turn them into a story that would have an arc. It's an extremely intimate record, but also really dramatic, and I hope, cathartic, for something so intimate. If you listen to the album on headphones while reading the five foot art scroll that comes inside the CD and vinyl versions you'll know what I mean. 

Me: You both play guitar, right? Any other instruments you guys play? 

Ari: I play ukulele and drums, actually... no guitar. And I play terrible piano, which allows me to be my own karaoke machine. 

Ethan: Ari is a party entertainer, and plays Black Sabbath ballads. 

Me: Okay, so, where did the album title come from? You didn't really write the songs on a toxic apartment, did you? 

Ethan: I really did. But the toxicity I'm referring to is more inner toxicity, the toxicity of pain, and repression, and unexpressed longing. Perhaps it's the emotional toxicity of the apartment we grew up in. I see this is a near universal experience, like the first sentence of Anna Karenina. I happened to make sure this experience was clear to me by literally choosing a decaying building as my first place to live on my own, but the album is about facing and escaping inner decay. 

Me: The videos are you amazing you guys did for the songs... everyone is different. What one was your favorite? 

Ari: I honestly don’t have a favorite. I see them as connected, different aspects of the same struggle to define manhood...

Me: There is one video of a little chick and a hamster... or mouse. Who came up with that idea? 

Ethan: I did that video with my friend Rachel Samuels. She had a beautiful painterly vision that I was determined to dirty up with taxidermy. Mainly because I wanted less of myself in the video. It's a mouse by the way, rented from a taxidermy shop. Rest in peace mouse, you're famous now. I hope that is a small honor for the mouse and the duckling. 

Me: Ari, did you come up with all the ideas or was it a joint effort? 

Ari: Ethan had the initial ideas for “Nonstop” and “They Turned Away,” and then I worked with him to flesh out the ideas for those two. “That” was shot, in a way, just to do something without any twinput (my new term for “creative input from a twin brother/sister”!). 

Me: The album came out a few years ago so are you working on a new album? 

Ethan: I have a new album that's basically done. I'm trying to figure out the best way to release it. The self-release thing on the first record was incredibly difficult. I got some great reviews but it's been difficult to get anyone to know this thing exists. Maybe that's why I started making videos, and then roping Ari into some of them. 

Me: Are you gonna make a bunch of videos for those songs as well? 

Ethan: I think I'll make some, but not as many. That was madness. 

Me: Ari, what is your latest project you are gonna be working on? 

Ari: The main project is currently called The Song of Sway Lake... it’s a feature film drama about a group of people whose lives change one summer on a glamorous lake. I’ve got shorts and videos I’m releasing on my Youtube page as well... I like to keep busy! 

Me: Cool. On the Phile I'm asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? This is dumb for both of you. What's your dream job? I take it you both are doing it now. 

Ari: The same as I’m doing now, except paid! 

Ethan: Dreammaker. 

Me: Thanks for being here on the Phile, and please come back. Will you? 

Ari: Of course, if you send me a coffee. 

Ethan: Thanks for the chattage. 

Me: Take care, and continued success, both of you. 

Ari: And you as well!

There. That does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to both Ari and Ethan Gold. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Charlie James from the Oxfordshire band Kubris and then next Monday it's musician Lonesome Wyatt. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alum Alexis White From Raised On Wilder

Hey there, how are you? Welcome to a Sunday entry of the Phile. How was your week? I hope no one crashed their SUV into the side of your house. That actually happened to a friend of mine. He now has a religious house... it's holy. Anyway, what's going on in the news?  The GOP-controlled Utah state congress passed a piece of legislation that been backed by both gay and Mormon leaders (also probably some closeted gay Mormon leaders). "The Utah compromise," as it's being called, prohibits employment and housing discrimination against gay people and women in pretty much all cases except when it comes to the Mormon Church, which will retain the right to continue its proud tradition of bigotry and suppression.  Palcohol... alcohol that is available to consumers in powdered form for ease of accidental poisoning has been once again approved for sale by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. This is a great day for American commerce and terrible day for humanity as a whole. Powdered alcohol is now legal in the America. Let natural selection begin. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" was found by an L.A. jury to be a ripoff of Marvin Gaye's 1977 classic "Got to Give It Up," even though the two songs don't really have all that much in common aside from a ineffable feeling. Unfortunately, you cannot get sued for writing a song that glamorizes date rape and has the creepiest, most-sexist music video in decades.  A new scientific study has found that chameleons may expand and contract nanocrystals in their skin in order to change color to blend in with their surroundings. Because everything has to have nano-something nowadays.  While Gizmodo's Mario Aguilar makes a compelling argument for why none of us should buy this first-generation version of the Apple Watch, we're all in agreement that we're all going to buy the watch eventually, right? I mean, not right away! We'll obviously spend a lot of time mocking it and making fun of the people we see wearing it. But then, in a couple months or a couple years, we'll start quietly eyeballing it online and trying to work its $350 selling price into our budgets. This is just the cycle of things. It's best to accept it.  I was looking at the Apple Watch and I don't think it's what I thought it was.

I'm allergic to apples so I wouldn't like it I don't think.  Here's a story that when I first read I thought no. Nope. No way. No thanks. Bye. This is a screen shot of a video that was posted by Jarred Smith, a 22-year-old resident of Sydney, Australia, who found the six-foot python just hanging out in his corn flakes box.

A few things: No. Hell no. If any snake is going to show up in a corn flakes box, it should be a corn snake. Snakes of the world, you guys are missing a huge opportunity for brand synergy here. Chris McGreal from the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service came to remove the snake. According to an article in Australia's Independent, "The python was over 2m long and I couldn't ­believe it was jammed into this small cereal box," Mr McGreal said. "When I got there I ­actually had to tear the box to get it out, that's how tightly squeezed in it was. It's likely it was hiding in there to feel secure." Look, snake, I get it. I've curled up in the corner of the room when I was feeling sad plenty of times. But I never did it in somebody's food. Then again, that is probably a good way to get attention. If that's what you were going for, snake, I applaud your ingenuity.  So, have you seen that picture of Obama and Kim Jong-Un shaking hands? No? Well, take a look...

Wait. A. Minute. Something doesn't look right. No, that's not today's Mindphuck. Kim Jong-Un doesn't look like that. He looks like this...

That's so stupid. Haha.  Okay, as you know I live in Florida and some weird stories come out of Florida that wouldn't come out of anywhere else. That's why I started a pheature called...

There's no denying that things shaped like penises are hilarious. Now, one brave pilot in a two-seater has devoted the time, energy, and fuel costs necessary to draw a penis in the sky. Flightradar24 captured the spectacle outside Kissimmee, Florida the other night.

There's no word yet on who the pilot might be, or why he or she took the time to create this important public service announcement. But I sure do appreciate the visual. However, if that yellow L-shaped thing is supposed to be a vagina, I'm not impressed.

Gene Gene the Dancing Machine 
April 25th, 1932 — March 13th, 2015 
He closed "The Gong Show" for years with his crazy, wiggly-footed dancing. Now that, my friends, is a celebrity.

Sam Simon
June 6th, 1955 — March 8th, 2015

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Now, just now I mentioned Sam Simon... well, I have to say something better about him than just "d'oh." At 59, Sam Simon has left the world too soon, but he made an impact. One of the co-creators of "The Simpsons", along with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, he could easily have sat back and let the accolades roll over him forever. Instead, he dedicated his life to philanthropy and his passionate love of animals, using most of that crazy Simpsons money to create The Sam Simon Foundation, which rescues stray dogs and rehabilitates them to be family pets, service dogs, and companions for soldiers returning from combat. He was also SO FUNNY! I'm not used to thinking of vegan, animal rights activists as people with a sense of humor, but Sam Simon proved it was possible. He pitched the original idea for Homer's Land of Chocolate vision and former Simpsons writer Ken Levine is quoted saying, “I'm here to tell you, the real creative force behind 'The Simpsons' was Sam Simon. The tone, the storytelling, the level of humor... that was all developed on Sam's watch." Let's pour one out for Sam Simon, pet a dog, have a veggie burger and remember him how he wanted to be remembered...

Okay, guess what time it is? He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. It's...

Reason #65,352 of why I have always been an idiot who says as he pleases... and that all THIS is not just some persona I adopted recently. Just after graduating high school, I went to meet a woman I was dating who worked as a DJ at Hammerheads in West Islip. She was there with her best friend who was dating Richie Blackmore. We all stood at the bar with Him while he was scouting Bobby Rondinelli (who was playing that night) for a newly revamped version of Rainbow... Richie was looking for a singer as well. I was 18 years old and I was drinking with one of my idols who was looking for a singer. Perhaps, when he asked what my favorite Deep Purple album was, I shouldn't have said "Come Taste the Band." You know... the one they recorded with Tommy Bolin on guitar. Yeah... right after that, Richie asked Joe Lynn Turner from New Jersey to sing for him. Yyyyyyyyyyep... I'm a dick.

Bobby Rondineli? I interviewed him on the Phile. Anyway, the 36th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Jim will be a guest for the third time in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum who is a singer, artist and photographer. She has a new music project she's working on with her husband called Raised On Wilder. I'm so excited to have her back on the Phile. Please welcome back... Alexis White.

Me: Hey, Alexis!!!! Welcome back to the Phile! It's been way to long. How have you been?

Alexis: Hey, Jason! It has been a long while. I'm well, thank you.

Me: Last time you were here was for the Phile's 6th anniversary entry, and I just had the Phile's 9th anniversary. Thank you for taking part, Alexis. Was it fun?

Alexis: Wow! Congrats! It was my pleasure to be a part of it, and yes, it was fun!

Me: Can you believe this stupid little blog is still going on?

Alexis: I'm just so impressed that you've been doing this for nine years. I do believe the Phile is still going on because clearly you're a dedicated writer and you have plenty of fans. But it's still an amazing accomplishment.

Me: Before the anniversary entry you were here on January 1st and you were plugging your new album "Unsettled Heart" and your artwork. Have you released any music since then?

Alexis: No, not officially.

Me: "Unsettled Heart" is an album of 31 songs. That's like three albums right there, Alexis. I can't remember, did you plan on releasing so much music at once?

Alexis: I don't think I planned on that. The recording process was (intentionally) kind of lo-fi. So once I had everything set up, I recorded all of my personal favorite songs that I had written during the years prior. That's kind of embarrassing to have 31 personal favorites of my own songs. Maybe I should call them "personal attachments" instead.

Me: Do you perform any of the songs on "Unsettled Heart" still?

Alexis: Yes, Robert and I play some of them in our band Raised On Wilder.

Me: So, are you still doing art and photography?

Alexis: Yes, but mostly for my own enjoyment these days. I'm doing photography more than art, mostly working at improving my technique and capturing photos of all the places I get to visit. I share my photos via Flickr, and I use some of my photos in a travel blog called Sound To Shore that I co-founded with my friend, Sarah.

Me: Okay, you're from Pennsylvania, but lived by Nashville when I first interviewed you about six years ago or so, is that right?

Alexis: That's right. I'm from Punxsutanwy, PA and I lived in Murfreesboro, TN.

Me: Then you moved to Nova Scotia, way up in Canada. Do you still live there?

Alexis: I do.

Me: Do you like living there? I bet it's cold there most of the time.

Alexis: I like it for the most part. I like the landscape and ocean... the hiking and cycling trails are wonderful. It does get much colder here than in Florida, but you get used to it.

Me: And you were working with grey hounds... are you still doing that?

Alexis: Yes, I was. We adopted two greyhounds, Huxley and Lewis. So, I don't have much time to help at the kennel anymore. But at least these two babies have a home!

Me: Your husband... Robert is in the military, am I right? How is he doing?

Alexis: You're right. He's doing really well.

Me: Is he the reason you moved to Nova Scotia?

Alexis: Yes.

Me: Have you visited Pennsylvania or Nashville recently?

Alexis: I haven't visited Nashville since I left in 2011, but I visited Pennsylvania this past December. 

Me: Cool. I'm gonna be there myself in a few weeks. Okay, you released music in the past as Oh, Alexis. Are you still gonna do that?

Alexis: I'm not sure. I kind of doubt it. I prefer to be in a band and try to remain somewhat incognito. 

Me: You know, I have a "band" called Strawberry Blondes Forever. You should check our album out called "How Do You Know My Name?" I'm the songwriter for it, Alexis. I find it hard to write songs, do you find it easy or hard?

Alexis: Yes, I know about Strawberry Blondes Forever. I listened to y'all not too long ago... great stuff! I think you're right about songwriting being hard. I used to think it was easy, but I've come to understand that I enjoy the challenge and the act of creating so much that I don't realize it's difficult. I just finished a song today that I've been writing for 5 years, so I think that was probably a hard song to write.

Me: Do you still do a lot of songwriting?

Alexis: I think so. I used to constantly search for the next song by writing lyrics as often as possible, but these days I do more contemplation and I don't try to finish songs right away. I was never in pursuit of quantity with songwriting, but that seems to be what I was getting (with some decent quality here and there). I guess I'm going for quality over quantity these days, which is a challenge since it's more natural for me to make songs like bunnies make bunnies.

Me: Is Robert into your music?

Alexis: Yeah. He tends to prefer the songs that I don't care for as much, which is strange, but probably a good thing.

Me: So, what does Raised On Wilder mean? Gene Wilder? Or is Wilder a drink? Haha.

Alexis: I'm not sure if Wilder is a drink, but Greyhounds are delicious drinks! Robert and I share a love for the "Little House On The Prairie" books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's incredible how the books we read have the power to shape our character and influence who we are. We still daydream about living in a log cabin someday, and we suspect it's because we loved those books so much!

Me: I was listening to your music the other day and love the song "I Hate Money." I love that song. Do you really hate money? I wanted to ask you that last time you were here.

Alexis: Man, it seems like so long ago that I wrote that song! Yeah, I really hate money... maybe it's better for me to say that I hate greed, excess, and materialism. But I do hate money. It's gross. You never know where it's been...

Me: I love money myself. Haha. You don't have any music up on iTunes anymore, Alexis. What happened?

Alexis: I hate money.

Me: Of course. Did you know there's a musician named Ryan Cassata who has an album and song called "Oh, Alexis"?

Alexis: I do. I doubt it has anything to do with me, but I could make an album in response called "Orion." That might be fun. I like stars.

Me: That's very funny. You're in another duo called Good Luck Ola. Last time you were here you said you and the other member of that band... Heather, right? You and Heather were gonna do a tour in Nova Scotia. Did you do that, and how was it?

Alexis: Yep, I'm in a duo called Good Luck Ola, although to say I'm "in a duo" might be misleading because it may imply that we live in the same city and play together regularly. We don't. Heather lives in Nashville, and I'm here in Halifax. We keep in touch and we still talk about music that would be great to play together... and when we're able to get together, we do and we play lots of music. We didn't necessarily tour Nova Scotia, but Heather did come visit me in 2012 and we performed in Halifax. It was a nice show... you can find videos of it on YouTube. We also performed at a coal mining memorial concert with some super-talented musicians in my hometown (Punxsutawney, PA) last year.

Me: Are you gonna do more music with Heather?

Alexis: We don't have specific plans for it, but I'm sure that we will make more music together the next time we have the chance. We do have a list of songs that could be used for a new Good Luck Ola album.

Me: Do you like working with other people such as Rob and Heather or your own better?

Alexis: I like working with other musicians a lot. I prefer to perform with other musicians, and I love to jam with others. That being said, I value the times I get to play at home with no one else around. I think I like writing alone and co-writing the same (though they are considerably different processes) ... but I haven't co-written in ages.

Me: You and Robert make a cute couple. I love this picture of you and he in the ocean.

Me: How long have you been together?

Alexis: Thank you! We've been together for five years. 

Me: You really must like working with him, am I right?

Alexis: I do!

Me: Alexis, thank you for being on the Phile again. In the last two years I have been asking random questions thanks to Tabletopics. What one fear would you like to conquer?

Alexis: I suspect I have a subconscious fear of math. So I'd like to conquer that. I would love to be able to do higher level math equations, like beyond calculus.

Me: I suck at math myself. Anyway, thanks so much for coming back. Please come back when your next project comes out, and maybe I can interview both you and Rob. Plug your websites and take care. All the best, keep in touch!

Alexis: You're welcome. Thank you for inviting me back. I look forward to coming back. Yes, a dual interview would be fun. We'll keep in touch! Cheers!,,

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Alexis White. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Ethan Gold and his brother Phile Alum Ari Gold. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker