Monday, July 27, 2015

Pheaturing Van Müller

Hey, good evening, welcome to the Phile. How are you? So, Hulk Hogan defended himself on Twitter for using the N-word and made it so much worse. If you haven't been keeping up with Hogangate, here's a refresher: the Hulkster was caught on tape dropping N-bombs, and then the WWE dropped him. Also, his daughter wrote a poem about it, and everyone else is making fun of him. That was pretty much the whole story until this morning. Previously, Hogan had just issued the standard official apology, but hadn't explained himself. Today, he gave a half-hearted defense by retweeting some poor schmuck who tried to back him up. The argument didn't really make sense, and now they're both in the line of fire. Here's the tweet in question: "Bi-racial President Obama uses N word, is applauded and keeps his job. @HulkHogan uses N word, is vilified and loses his job. — Wolfshead Online (@WolfsheadOnline)." That's really the best he could come up with? "Obama said it, so why can't Hulk?" I can think of a few reasons: one, Obama is black. Two, he was discussing race relations on a podcast, not talking about how he doesn't want his daughter having sex with black men. Three, Obama has more credibility than Hogan, because he's the president and not a big muscly clown.  Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan fulfills his destiny by being a cranky baby at Disneyland. You remember Billy Corgan, right? He's that guy from Smashing Pumpkins who was great at sing-yelling about all of your feelings when you were 12 and starting to understand what it feels like to not belong. Well, great news! That 48 year old adult man is still a cranky outcast, but now he's armed with a bucket full of conspiracy theories and, apparently, a fussy toddler's dislike of Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. At least, that's how it looks in this photo from last week that's gone viral...

What's wrong, Billy? Do you want a cupcake? Are you sure you don't want one, Billy? I think your blood sugar might be low. Take a cupcake, Billy.

That feels better, doesn't it?  After a concert in Uppsala, Sweden on Saturday, Snoop's car was stopped. Police suspected he was under the influence of drugs (no way), and even though he wasn't driving, he was still taken to the police station on suspicion of possession. They made him pee in a cup and searched the vehicle, but determined he was clean. Really? Snoop claims he was the victim of racial profiling, but I'm not so sure of that. How many black people do Swedish cops even see? If they do profile black men, this is probably the first time they've ever had a chance to put it in practice. I do think they profiled him, not for being black, but for being Snoop Dogg. Any one of his songs would hold up in court as probable cause.  President Obama is in Kenya right now, reaffirming U.S. political ties to African governments and driving birthers crazy at the same time. In a joint press conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta today, he took aim at the global ivory trade, saying, "I can announce that we're proposing a new rule that bans the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines." That's right. If you're profiting off the fruits of elephant poaching in the U.S., your free ride is over. From now on, it will be somewhat more complicated to make that happen. Red tape to the rescue! This story sheds light on why the hell selling ivory is still legal at all in the U.S. Despite previous legislation to limit it, America is still the second-largest market for elephant ivory in the world after China. And considering that nearly 35,000 endangered African elephants are poached every year, this is a big deal. Do we have to make playing the piano illegal to stop it? I'm okay with that.  Remember that scene in Love Actually when fake British Prime Minister Hugh Grant really sticks it to fake American President Billy Bob Thornton during a press conference? President Obama did that in real life, expressing his concern over Kenya's gay rights record, and the struggle for gay rights throughout the African continent. He did this despite requests from Kenyan leaders not to discuss it during his first official visit to the country. Homosexual activity is illegal in Kenya and punishable with a maximum imprisonment of 14 years. Obama discussed gay rights in the larger context of human rights and freedom, noting that "When you start treating people differently not because of any harm they are doing to anybody, but because they are different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode." It is most impressive that Obama did this for the record. And for the record, Love Actually is not a good movie and doesn't hold up.  So, whose excited for the new Star Wars movie? Or the new Spider-Man movie or the new Batman vs. Superman movie? Imagine if all those movies blended together with a football movie. You'd get this...

That's so dumb.  I actually have a new pic of a scene from the new Star Wars movie not seen anywhere else...

Hmmmm.  When I was a kid I was a big fan of those Hardy Boys books. There's one though I don't remember reading...

Okay, it's summer and as you know by now I am showing you bathing suits and bikinis you might be seeing around at beaches and pools. Here's another one...

"I held onto a rope, twirled around a bunch, and BOOM! High fashion." Haha. And now for some sad news...

Theo Bikel 
May 2nd, 1924 — July 21st, 2015
That should put an end to all that damned fiddling.

It's 8:31pm, 79°F and Kelly covered "Blank Space," and it was awesome, but does this hurt her chances of joining Taylor's squad?

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.  

Today's guest is a singer from Brazil whose album "Find Yourself Here" and her new single "Sweet Sugar" are both available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile the lovely...Van Müller.

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

Van: Hey, I've been good, thanks for having me on your interview, how are you?

Me: I'm pretty good. I have to ask you about your name... is your first name Van or is it short for something? It's unusual for a girl to be named Van.

Van: It is a short version of my name, Vanessa. We came up with this ''Van idea'' (my producers, my manager and I) as we were working on the songs, we just thought it would cooler to have a shorter name or a nickname that people could relate to the sound we were developing. I really like playing around with that though and I definitely dig the other ''Vans'' that I've known and heard so far, like Van Morrison and Van Halen, also if you think about girls with boyish names in the history of blues and rock 'n roll, you're gonna come up with amazing references like Joni Mitchell, Nico (Velvet Underground), Billie Holiday. But anyway, this has always been my nickname since I'm a child, I really connect to this ''Van persona'', I wouldn't say it's my alter ego, it's just a simple and playful abbreviation and it's all good and fun.

Me: Van, where are you from? Brazil right?

Van: I'm originally from Brazil, but to be more specific, from the country side of Sao Paulo.

Me: You seem so young, how long ago did you leave Brazil? Do you ever go back there?

Van: Oh,  thanks for the compliment! Well, before I moved to NYC, I was coming back and forth as I started thinking that I should try a career in the U.S. But it's been 2 and a half years since I packed my bags and changed hemispheres for good. I still visit my family every 3 months, I love going to Brazil, the weather and the people are so amazing, I'm really proud of where I come from.

Me: Did you ever go on a trip to Disney World with a group of people, and a tour guide holding a flag? Turning 15 and going on a trip is a big deal in Brazil, am I right?

Van: Haha. This is such a great question! So true, in Brazil you pick a place to go when you turn 15 and normally girlie girls choose Disney World. Well, I don't blame them! But I was more like a raw and rebel kinda girl, and of course my best friends were older then me and really into rock'n roll and adventures. So I convinced my mom and went on a road trip to another state, trying to get to a city where UFO's were currently identified. We were supposed to see the UFO's and hang out with the crazy but very artistic crowd that used to visit this town, but of course, as it would take us a few days to get there, we decided to go camping in random cities for the night. Trouble was that in one of those camping nights, we didn't check the ratings for this whatever camping place that we found and the whole thing turned out to be a horror movie, super cold weather, a very strange and lonely stalker in the middle of the night owner, angry dogs trying to attack us, awful camping food and me and my friends trying to put the tents together and light the fire like pro scouts. Of course we got back home right away, but the most amazing memories remain from that road trip!

Me: Wow. You live in New York, right? How did you choose New York over California or another state, Van?

Van: Cause I already had a few friends living here, so it didn't feel so lonely when I had to start all over again in a different city and country. I really love New York, it's been so welcoming since day one. But I love the west coast, and actually most of my friends who live here are either from L.A. or San Francisco or have that easy going Californian mood. I really love this country, the cities and everything else about it.

Me: Do you like living there?

Van: I love living in NYC, every day is an adventure, people are so creative and there's so many things to do and to see and amazing places to go all the time. It's been a wonderful journey and experience living here.

Me: You have a really cool album called "Find Yourself Here" with a really cool band. Tell the readers who is playing on the album?

Van: I've been blessed and so honored to have these guys playing with me and on my record: Ethan Eubanks on drums (Joseph Arthur, Crash Test Dummies), Whynot Jansveld on bass (The Weepies, Gavin DeGraw), Tomek Miernowski on keys (Morley, Charlene Kaye), Thad DeBrock (Suzanne Vega, Blow up Hollywood) also Andrew Sherman (Maria Carey) and Ben Butler (Paula Cole).

Me: Your drummer is from the band Crash Test Dummies. Being from Brazil, and them being obscure, have you heard from them?

Van: Oh yeah, it was actually a huge and great surprise when I found out that Ethan played with them. They had a big hit in Brazil back in the 1990s, that pretty cool ''Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm'' song, and to be honest I still like this band and enjoy listening to them sometimes.

Me: I had both Brad Roberts and Ellen Reid on the Phile before. Van, what kinda music did you listen to growing up?

Van: I grew up listening to my mom's records, she was a neo-hippie back when I was a child, so she had a collection of all these folk vinyls like Bod Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman, Carole King, The Beatles but as my mom got divorced and we had to spend a couple of years on my grandparents house, my ants, a little bit younger than my mom, were really into rock'n roll (probably because of their boyfriends) so I got to know The Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bowie, Mutantes, just to name a few, actually classic rock was really welcome in the house. I can still remember getting those records and trying to understand the whole concept of each one, all the colors and the amazing art work that used to come along with the record itself. I was too young to translate that feeling in words, but I've always been amazed and fascinated by all those bands and music in a general way.

Me: Any Foghat?

Van: Yeah I know this band, a fellow musician told me about this band over a year ago, to me it sounds like fun, classic rock'n roll. "Slow Ride" is a great tune. I love the way they came up with a name/word for the band and the album (I guess) that didn't really exist. Awesome creative rockstars. 

Me: You've been compared to Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter, to name a few. You must be fans of those women, right?

Van: I find Grace Potter and amazing singer/songwriter and I'm a huge fan of Sheryl Crow's. I discovered her in the 1990s and I still love her tunes, she really inspires me. I've seen her performing at Radio City Hall, and that was a fantastic concert. She's an incredible musician and definitely one of my heroes.

Me: I looked over your bio, Van, and one thing really stuck out... you started singing in bars at seven years old?! What did your parents think about this?

Van: Haha. Well, my mother had always known what music meant to me. She had that feeling that at the moment I was singing, I was being happy at my most. She just happened to be friends with a bunch musicians and they used to have me as a guest performing with them, I wasn't being payed or anything like that, I was just having fun. I used to sing pop Brazilian music with them, it felt so good. My memories from those moments are really fresh. I love it. But you also should know that I was some sort of annoying child, so big was my passion for singing that I used to sing anywhere I felt like, at school, kids parties, adult barbecues... There was this funny episode when I came to the bank with my mom and started singing out loud int the line, just so people could feel less sad... Life is funny!

Me: What kinda laws do you have in Brazil, anyway? That kinda stuff would never happen in America. At least, I don't think so.

Van: Well, it wasn't really official, so it was alright, but I guess the laws were probably easier in Brazil back in that period if time, or maybe it was just my town... But anyway, when I went I to this TV show to perform for example (you know those talent shows) as a child, I remember to get some sort of permission... What I'm trying to say is that once it's official and the kid's gonna be exposed, etc, you have to follow the law and it's rules. But back to my bar performances, my mom would definitely take me home right after the show, we were just having fun and fulfilling a necessity that I had for music.

Me: What songs did you sing at seven years old?

Van: Pop Brazilian songs.

Me: Van, thanks so much for being on the Phile. You're gonna be a big star I think.

Van: I thank you too so much, I had a blast answering those fun and smart questions! \

Me: Will you come back onto the Phile when your next single or album comes out?

Van: I would love to come back, just let me know.

Me: I wish you lots of luck, and continued success.

Van: The same to you, keep rockn'!!!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Van of a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Lisa Piccirillo from Hotels & Highways. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pheaturing Andrés Velasco From Chikita Violenta

Hello, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you?  So, Eminem rapped mockingly about Caitlyn Jenner to remind us all that he's edgy. Remember when Eminem was the bad boy of American music? That was before he was a middle-aged dad. But just because he's older, don't think he's lost any of that fire. As if to remind us all, Em appeared on SiriusXM's Sway in the Morning on Thursday and dropped an extremely angry 6-minute freestyle in which he ranted about everything from Miley Cyrus to Bill Cosby to Hillary Clinton. There were so many topical references, it was more like a late night host's monologue than a rap. But it was Eminem's lines about Caitlyn Jenner that got the Internet riled up against him. He rapped, "This a true statement, I see the bitch in you Caitlyn. I keep the pistol tucked like Bruce Jenner's dick/ No disrespect though, not at all/ No pun intended... that took a lot of balls." Despite his "no disrespect" disclaimer, the Internet has come down pretty hard of Mr. Mathers, labelling him a bigot and a transphobe. Do you think Eminem went too far this time? Do you think he's gone too far many times? Or do you buy his defense that, "I just say shit to say it." He also added that he'd just woken up. So obviously he can't help it.  A poem anonymously posted in a London bar is driving everyone crazy with its awesome twist ending. At first glance, this poem seems like something a mopey, angst-ridden teen would write.

But when you read it from the bottom up, it suddenly becomes very inspirational. I wish someone had shown this to me when I was a mopey, angst-ridden teen. I might have learned an important lesson about perspective. Nobody knows who posted this poem inside a London bar. Ronnie Joice just saw it and put in on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. But nothing stays secret on the Internet for long, and the origins of the poem were quickly discovered. As it turns out, it was written by a teenager: Chanie Gorkin, an 11th grader from Brooklyn, NY. The original was found on We may never know how an American high schooler's poem wound up on the wall of a London bar, but it's a good thing it did. A lot of people around the world had their day brightened by it, including me. And I'm still pretty angsty.  Hey, good news, people, we finally know who to blame for the scary rise in autism rates. If you follow medical news (or news at all), you're probably aware that autism rates are skyrocketing in the U.S. The neurological disorder, which many people hadn't heard of 20 years ago, is now diagnosed in 1 in 68 children. That's a startling 30% increase from 2012, when 1 in 88 children were diagnosed. These numbers are definitely scary, especially for any prospective parent, but there may be a less apocalyptic explanation. A new study published in the "American Journal of Medical Genetics" suggests that the reason more children are being diagnosed with autism is just that doctors are more likely to diagnose it. The study, titled "Comorbidity of intellectual disability confounds ascertainment of autism: Implications for genetic diagnosis," found that as many as two thirds of new autism diagnoses would previously have been classified as different conditions. Among older kids, that proportion rises to 97%. In other words: more kids have autism than before, but not nearly as many as we thought. The Penn State researchers who conducted the study looked at 11 years of special education enrollment data and found that the increase in the number of autistic children could almost perfectly be offset by a decrease in students diagnosed with other learning disabilities. It's difficult for doctors to diagnose autism because its symptoms vary so widely between patients. Some are high-functioning, whereas others are severely impaired, even nonverbal. And as doctors learn more and more about this mysterious condition, they're realizing that many different disorders actually fall under the umbrella of the autism spectrum. Even Asperger syndrome (still popular as a way to make fun of your awkward coworkers) is no longer considered its own disorder. Recent diagnostic guidelines for doctors have eliminated it entirely. These days, those patients are just diagnosed as high-functioning autistic. So tell that to the wiseasses in your office next time they make fun of you for eating at your desk. The Penn State study, while very interesting, is not conclusive. More research and peer review needs to be done to verify the researchers' claims. But it should come as tentatively good news to everyone. While autism is still a real challenge faced by families and doctors the world over, there probably isn't some medical boogeyman spreading it around at epidemic levels. We're just learning more about it, and that can only help.  Being Bradley Cooper must be awesome. He's a movie star, he's a sex symbol, he's a millionaire, he's the voice of a raccoon… you probably think his life is perfect, and on any other Monday, you'd be right. But this weekend, Cooper broke things off with his girlfriend of two years, Suki Waterhouse. Waterhouse, a 23 year old English model and actress, apparently wasn't ready to settle down with the 40 year old Cooper. In case you're not savvy, "not ready to settle down" is showbiz-speak for "holding out for Zack Galifianakis." Now, Waterhouse is celebrating her single life with a Clueless-themed girls' night out, while Cooper is being forced to deny having sex with Jennifer Lawrence. I have a tip for him though: have sex with Jennifer Lawrence.  Isis is a pretty name, when you think of it outside of the context of the militant Islamic State. Isis King, a high school student from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, certainly thinks so. When her mother named her after the Egyptian goddess, she certainly couldn't have predicted the rise of the militant Islamic State. Back then, ISIS was just the gleam in the eye of a couple of murderous, barbaric thugs with a perverted interpretation of Islam. Now, however, poor Isis is paying the price. In the last few years, she's been bullied more and more for her name (ironic, considering ISIS are the ultimate bullies). The ultimate humiliation, however, came when Facebook banned her from using her own name, on the grounds that it was "inappropriate and fake." After making her troubles public with the CBC, Isis was able to restore her Facebook account, but the bullying continues. She either has to wait for ISIS to be brought down (which would be good for many reasons), or finally give in and change her name to something less embarrassing, like Isis Queen.  Okay, so, with the success of the Magic Mike XXL movie, Disney decided to rerelease it's classic animated movies with male stripper like scenes. Man, this running joke seemed to go on for weeks. Anyway, this is the last one...

Who are those people?  So, there's a new pregnancy test that's out that pretty much says what you might be thinking.

You heard of the wailing wall in Israel, right? It's this...

Well, did you know Greece has a wailing wall as well?

Told you. Ha.  Okay, it's summer and all through summer I am showing you different bikinis or bathing suits you might see at the beach or pool.

For some reason, this screams "Tim Burton's Batman Movies." So, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida that doesn't happen anywhere else. That's why I have a pheature called...

When a Twitter user asked her followers to bring her pot, she didn't expect a response from her local sheriff's office. How many times do you think this exact sentiment has been tweeted? A million? A billion? Probably a billion. So you can't blame @Rosa_Sparkz, A.K.A. Jasmine of Jupiter, Florida, for assuming only her friends would see it. She certainly didn't expect it to be seen by the Palm Beach Country Sheriff's Office. But they did see it, and then they replied with an offer. "Where should we meet you?" Bam. If I had been in Jasmine's shoes, I would have freaked out. But she responded with the chill of a seasoned pothead who's long since gotten past the paranoia. "@PBCountySheriff follow back so I can DM you the location." Unfortunately, the PBSO didn't follow her, which is just bad police work. They'd almost cracked the case! Jasmine, on the other hand, wasn't nearly done having fun. The more the cops' tweet went viral (currently over 41,000 retweets), the more she seemed to enjoy it. "I'm famous Yall!!!" Famous just for loving weed. She's living the dream right now. I hope she enjoys her moment. More importantly, I hope she remembers to only smoke indoors. She doesn't want to meet those cops for real.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

Keep looking. Keep looking. There you go.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the Mexican City rock band Chikita Violenta, whose latest album titled "Tre3s" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Andrés Velasco.

Me: Hey there, Andrés. Congrats, you are the first band and guest from Mexico I ever had on the Phile. You're from Mexico City. What are your favorite things about the city?

Andrés: Yeah, born and raised in Mexico City. Quite frankly we like it a lot, it's a huge, crazy and chaotic city, but with a lot of charm and culturally very rich. You never get bored here, it's so big there's always new places to go to, it's a party town for sure, museums, shows, old and modern neighborhoods... BUT maybe the greatest asset is the people, warm, fun and hospitable... Oh, and also, there's mezcal, delicious mezcal...

Me: Apart from you guys in Chikita Violenta, the only Mexican bands I know of are Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys. What are some Mexican bands we should be listening to?

Andrés: Haha, never been in a list with Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys before! There's definitely a good batch of bands to check out: Bam Bam, Movus, Rey Pila, Los Fancy Free, Los Amparito, Nos Llamamos, Hypnomango, just to name a few...

Me: Growing up in Mexico, what bands did you listen to? Did many of your favorite bands come to Mexico City to play?

Andrés: Well, like any teenager in the 90s, Nirvana, grunge, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, NIN were all over the place... We liked them, but we were really drawn into the indie"/lo-fi acts from the 90s, like Sonic Youth, Pavement, Built to Spill, Polvo, Blonde Redhead, Yo La Tengo, Archers of Loaf... Also loved shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Back then not too many international bands came to play Mexico City (now they come all the time!). Some special gigs we got to see here when we were kids were Radiohead in a Hard Rock Cafe, David Bowie, INXS!

Me: How did you and your bandmates come together? Did you know each other before?

Andrés: We all came together in high-school. We're best friends from back then, and have remained together until now. A couple of us are cousins...

Me: I just downloaded your latest album "Tre3s" from iTunes and really like it. I also downloaded your iTunes exclusive "SXSW EP." Anyway, "Tre3s" is your third album, right?

Andrés: Yeah, it's our third album. Glad you like it! The first one we self-recorded, distributed and produced ourselves, the last two have been done with our producer and friend David Newfeld.

Me: I interviewed a singer from a band from Houston called Ledaswan years ago whose release is all about numbers, it's even called "NUM83RS" and I was explained where that 'spelling' come from. Who came up with the idea to spell trees that way?

Andrés: Well, it's kind of a "play on words" so you can read the title as Tres (Spanish number 3) or Trees. In a "numerology" perspective, it's our third album, three years past between the second and third albums, it was recorded in three trips to Ontario... On the other hand, it has to do with an experience we had while recording in Ontario. We spent the first 3-4 days there planting trees with Dave on his new studio grounds, before recording a single note of the album. We always say it's kind of a Mr. Miyagi experience, learn to plant trees then record album...

Me: There's an owl on the cover of the album as well, not a tree. There must be a story behind that, right?

Andrés: Well, our good friend and designer Leo Torres developed the artwork around the "Trees" concept, and started out with trees, explored the mythology of trees, ended up with an owl we thought fit well...

Me: Anyway, I love the album. I was guessing you recorded it in Mexico but you said it was recorded in Canada. That's a long haul for you guys. What made you decide to go all the way up there to record it?

Andrés: We had already recorded our previous album with producer David Newfeld and became good friends. We really liked working with him, and decided to go up there again. Now he has a great new studio he built in a 19th century church, which gives you loads of room to play with and record, it was a lot of fun...

Me: I mentioned SXSW just now, and you guys obviously played there, just like pretty much everybody I interviewed. Was that your first time there? What is the experience like? Did you see any other bands perform there?

Andrés: We love SXSW, it's one of our favorite weeks of the year for sure. This was our third time there, and definitely the best one yet... We had a busy schedule and didn't have too much time to watch other bands that year. In the past we've seen great bands, Spoon, Broken Bells, BSS, Annuals, Mew, etc. Our first year there we hopped around bars with a backpack full of CDs, giving them out. We landed some cool stuff... Highly recommend SXSW, always will.

Me: One thing I didn't ask you, what does the name of the band mean?

Andrés: In a straight literal sense it translates to "violent little girl" or something like that... The name was given to us by a good friend in high-school, who printed the name in our first ever flyer for a gig. He says it derived from a Blonde Redhead album called "La Mia Vita Violenta."

Me: Cool. I know you are busy and have to go. Thanks so much for being here on the Phile, you guys really rock. I am a big fan, and hope you can come back to the Phile soon.

Andrés: Muchas gracias! Hope to be back here soon too... Salud!

There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Andrés Velasco for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with hot female singer Van Muller. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Have a good weekend.

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

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pheaturing Circe Link

Good evening, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday. I'm your host, Jason Peverett, star of the new movie Pev-Man. That's so stupid.  Let's talk about Minions. Oh, you hate Minions? Well, this one saved a little girl's life, you monster. Ever since the Minions movie dominated the box office like it was making love to a yellow fire hydrant, many of us have been inundated with the disgusting little creatures clogging our newsfeeds and brains with their inane chatter. DEATH TO MINIONS! Wait, not so fast. One of these horrible banana chodes finally made a difference in the world... besides guaranteeing that screenwriters get axed completely from the movie-making process: "Um, yeah, here the Minion just garbles some bullshit, cut to an explosion, money flies in all our faces, and scene.". A Minion has saved a 5 year old girl's life, according to "The Daily News"... "A stuffed Minion teddy bear cushioned the fall of a 5 year old girl when she accidentally fell out of a third-story window in Colorado Springs on Thursday night... The girl had been playing in her room when she fell backwards out the window. 'Fortunately, when the child fell out of the window she continued holding on to a stuffed Minion teddy bear that is believed to have cushioned her fall,' cops said." If Minions can save even one child's life, I guess they're worth it. But she better grow up to cure cancer or something!  The U.K. tabloid "The Sun," which is like the "New York Post" but somehow more terrible, uncovered a video of a young Queen Elizabeth II giving the Nazi salute. The 17 second clip was filmed in 1933 on grainy black-and-white celluloid film... the Vine of its time period. Even though people are going crazy over the photo, Queen Elizabeth never actually supported Nazism. She was only in her teens during the war and actually went to great lengths to use her position of power to support British victims of the blitzkrieg. She also served as a mechanic in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war... and famously still knows how to repair a truck. Her younger sister just continued her studies, since she was too young to get involved. Elizabeth's mother, on the other hand, was one of the leading figures in the United Kingdom's fight against Fascism. Hitler once even called her "The most dangerous woman in Europe" for the threat she posed to his regime. The real shadiness of this video lies with Edward VIII. Edward VIII was a total Nazi-loving dickhead for a significant portion of his life. He openly expressed support for Hitler, and even visited him in 1937. Hitler was hoping to use him to his advantage, but Edward abdicated his power so he could marry his twice-divorced lover (royalty wasn't allowed to marry divorcees), so he wasn't much help. Obviously, Buckingham Palace is pissed. This video was somehow smuggled out of their private, personal collection and they think the public is misinterpreting it. Many historians have spring to the family's defense, with statements such as: I don't think there was a child in Britain in the 1930s or 40s who has not performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark. It just shows the Royal Family are as human as the next man. They're basically saying, "Ay, come on, it was the 30s! People threw up a heil once in a while, it's NBD." Meanwhile, other historians are thrilled, since the artifacts like this deepen our understanding of complicated historical relations between Germany and the U.K.  So, this is an interesting story... A sex toy company declared a national holiday tomorrow to celebrate humanity's most awkward sex act. You know how we have National Pancake Day in America? Well, Japan has something similar, but instead of pancakes, it's with hand jobs. The Japanese sex toy company Tenga has deemed tomorrow national "Hand Job Day." Similar to how free Slurpee day falls on July 11th (7/11, i.e. seven-eleven), they're using the numbers of the date as a marketing strategy: The reason is that “masturbation" in Japanese is “onanii." So, Jerk Off Day is probably more accurate. Okay, I get it, but Hand Job Day sounds funnier so I'm gonna keep calling it that. Tenga didn't just make a holiday out of it, however; Hand Job Day also has a mascot, Tengaman." Here's what he looks like...

He's the hero masturbation deserves, but not the one it needs right now. He's pretty much a Power Ranger who fights bad guys who are, uh, against hand jobs? I actually have no idea. Let's hope American companies don't try to compete; the idea of a PornHub Man is truly terrifying.  Bill Cosby's past self is one of the people speaking out against Bill Cosby. Thanks to an unsealed deposition from 2005, past-Bill-Cosby is now one of the people whose testimony directly conflicts with current-day-Bill-Cosby. The four day deposition took place in Philadelphia, when Andrea Constand brought a case against Cosby for sexual misconduct, which was settled out of court in 2006. Until now, only parts of the transcript had been revealed, but "The NY Times" found the entire nightmare of a document online. Basically Cosby admitted to everything he is being accused of doing to women over the last four decades. The most disturbing part is how he acts like he didn't do anything wrong. I literally just shuddered. During the questioning, Andrea Constand's lawyer Dolores M. Troiani, called Cosby out for his insensitivity for the gravity of the situation: Trioni: “I think you're making light of a very serious situation.” Cosby: “That may very well be.” It's a hard title to win, but he might be the creepiest man in America. Speaking of Cosby, he has a new movie coming out.

Wait a minute. Haha. Moving on...  Can you do a spoiler alert for reality? If so: SPOILER ALERT. If this is true, then one of humanity's last surviving mysteries is dead. Now, all that's left is "Is there life on other planets?" and "Why is Go-Gurt still a thing?" It's been called the "world's greatest mystery" by a guy who thinks he's solved said mystery. That mystery is: What is the Loch Ness Monster? The answer? It's a big catfish. That's it. According to Loch Ness specialist Steve Feltham, the closest animal that lives in the large body of water in Scotland is a Wels catfish. The dream has died, everyone. Aliens didn't build The Pyramids, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and there's definitely no God. Not any more, thanks to experts picking apart all the fun and claiming the monsters we thought we saw are actually just big, dumb catfish. Wait, what's that? Steve Feltham, who studied Nessie for over 24 years, says that maybe he hasn't solved the mystery necessarily... but that, yeah... probably just a catfish. The reporter takes the time to remind Steve how he's lost his girlfriend and his home, all to study something that is likely just a catfish. Steve regrets nothing. Everything is over. Who wants a drink?  Fresh off his tweet that accidentally used stock photography of Nazi soldiers, Trump used an appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, to question whether John McCain is in fact a war hero. “He's not a war hero," said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." What a brilliant political strategy. Instead of kicking someone when they're down, kick them for being held as a prisoner of war for over five years while suffering unspeakable torture. Trump's presence in the race continues to be a complete annoyance for all other GOP contenders, who quickly condemned his remarks and politely suggested that he should drop out of the race. Even Rick Perry, no stranger to gaffes, said that Trump is "unfit to be Commander-in-Chief." When Rick Perry tells you you're not qualified to be President, it's time to reconsider your campaign.  Man, this joke is getting old, but I'll continue it. Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, is rereleasing some of its classic animated movies with male stripper like scenes to cash in on the Magic Mike XXL popularity. Check it out...

So, do you like video games? My son Logan does and he loves the "Call of Duty" games, but I din't think it teaches kids the real art of war. Check out this cover...

Why is he facing the wrong way?  It's summer, and all through summer I am showing pictures of interesting bathing suits or bikinis you might see on the beach or by the pool. Here is the latest...

He killed and skinned the leopard himself. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Phive Criticizes Donald Trump Said About Other American Heroes
5. Neil Armstrong: "To me, you're not a space hero until you kill a few aliens!"
4. Jackie Robinson: "He broke the color barrier on the Brooklyn Dodgers! They don't even EXIST anymore! It's like it never happened!"
3. Paul Revere: "I'd have hired a HUNDRED men to ride horses and warn the people!
2. Abraham Lincoln: "He sent his army to fight eating blue uniforms? Ever heard of camouflage?"
And the number one Donald Trump said to criticize an American hero is...
1. Jonas Salk: By curing Polio, he cost this country thousands of jobs in the lucrative leg-brace industry!"

It's 8:00pm, 82°F and Kelly Clarkson's rendition of Nick Jonas' "Jealous" really clarifies what a creepy song it is. Kelly Clarkson sounds bomb singing this cover of a disturbing song at Radio City Music Hall last week, of course, because she has incredible pipes.

Check the video out at

Today's guest is one of my favorite female singers of all time. Her album "California Kid" is one of my favorite albums. Her latest "Bird's Amazing Odyssey and the Meaning of Tea" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... the fantastic Circe Link!

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

Circe: Peachy, thanks for asking.

Me: I have to ask you, how to you properly pronounce your name?

Circe: If “Sir” as in “Sir, take you hand off my knee...” and “See” as in “or you're gonna lose an arm, see?” were combined you would be pretty close. Although that's the American pronunciation, don't get me started on the Greek.

Me: Where are you from, Circe? You're based in California now, right?

Circe: I'm a California native. Los Angeles is my lovely, dirty, train wreck of a city and I love it most of the time.

Me: Maureen Davis from the Flutterbies introduced me to you years ago, Circe. Have you known Maureen long?

Circe: I've known Maureen for many years through my partner Christian Nesmith. Maureen has some killer pipes and is always such a hoot to hang out with! I think we first met back in the good old days of Highland Grounds a now defunct establishment where many Los Angeles musicians would cavort for a weekly open mic hosted by Mike McCarthy. We all miss it like a lost lover. Los Angeles is a great town, but there are few venues worth that kind of affection.

Me: I have to say I love your music, you're very Sheryl Crowish. I am guessing you are a fan of hers?

Circe: I have recently been compared Sheryl Crow but only since this latest release, and of course I'm flattered. My earlier records all have different styles however. I worked on a jazz record with composer/songwriter Michael Sherwood, writing a rock musical with Christian Nesmith, and creating a little folk collection as well. What can I say; I'm prolific if nothing else. I definitely respect Sheryl Crow but I don't cite her as an influence, unlike her old collaborator Kevin Gilbert whom I love beyond all reason. I don't often try to make music like those who inspire me. My favorite things to listen to like King Crimson, Steely Dan, Kevin Gilbert and all kinds of jazz have more of an unconscious impact on me.

Me: I also love the album cover for the new album. Was that your idea? Nothing like a drawing hot naked chick.

Circe: Gee whiz thanks. I did all the art work on all my records and website too. Before I did music I was a bit of an artist and feel the visual impact should be well crafted. Although, I think the emphasis on artificial beauty, along with wealth, in our culture is suffocating.

Me: I downloaded all your other music, Circe. How long have you been writing and recording?

Circe: I've been making music for around nine years now. Not so long actually compared to most of the talented folks I have had the pleasure of working with. As I mentioned before I was into fine art and poetry, but music just came along and started pouring out of my dreams. My first song was one I heard in a dream and I still wake up in the middle of the night with such mysterious gifts.

Me: You have a live album called "Live in Japan," Circe. Did you tour over there or just do a show or two? How did the Japanese take you, with tour music? I imagine you were a hit.

Circe: Making “Live in Japan” was one of the most wonderful times in my life! We did a little tour over there with a scaled down acoustic band. We also took our stellar engineer Brant Biles with us who recorded each show and made it possible for us to capture some of the magic we found and created while we were there. Playing for a Japanese audience is very different than an American audience, go figure! They were some of the most attentive and giving audiences I have ever performed for. When we arrived in Shinjuku there was a line outside the club and when I asked the promoter what was going on and he told me the line was to see us! After the gig the owners arranged for dinner, pulled the tables together with some of the fans and drank and dined with us till the wee hours. We were showered with gifts and flowers and I still keep a large hydrangea pressed in my journal from that time. Quite enchanting!

Me: Anyway, back to "Bird's Amazing Odyssey and the Meaning of Tea"... I like all the songs, and can't pick out which one would be a single. Do you have a single or video for this album?

Circe: No single, and no video as of yet. I like all the songs so picking a single is like asking a kid which puppy they want, all of them please! Making videos is not one of my skills yet, but I'm thinking writer, musician, DJ Barry Smolin from The Music Never Stops on KPFK 90.7 FM. Whatever he plays is cool by me! He has some wild taste and seems to be able to pick out the songs to air that people resonate with.

Me: I watched the video for "One Drop Of Poison" and thought it was very clever, and well made. Was that your first video? It looked like it was fun to make, Circe.

Circe: Filmmaker/animator Susan Holloway and Jonathan Nesmith created the video for “One Drop of Poison." It took a little while to do, as the work was a painstaking tedious assemblage and animation of still photos. I am so thrilled to have such an artful representation of that song; it's a little bit sweet and a little bit wicked! Not unlike myself...

Me: You have a pretty cool band you play with. Is it your touring band? Go ahead and give them a mention if you'd like.

Circe: I could not love my band more. We both play locally and tour when we can. For this last record I came up with the name The Discount Candy Family Band for our moniker as it describes how sweet and odd we really are. Christopher Allis on drums is one of the hardest working musicians in Los Angeles. But it's his finesse and skill that makes we want to skip gigs if he can't be there to hold if all together. His counterpart in the rhythm section is Jason Chesney on bass (also in the very cool band Old Californio) and his lyrical and melodic approach is the perfect match with Christopher. I call them Chocolate Chesney and Peanut Butter Allis 'cause they go so well together. Bart Ryan who has been on many of my records over the years playing guitars is the smoking gun slinger every little boy wants to be when he picks up a guitar for the first time. Greasy, dirty, dangerous and wild. Michael Sherwood (composer) on keys could not be a better match for all the myriad of approaches my songs need, not to mention his chops are astounding. Debra Tala and Laura Drew on backing vocals make me sound way better than I am. They both have an uncanny ability to bring themselves to me in diction and cadence. And lastly, my partner for most of my musical career Christian Nesmith on guitars, co-writing, mixing and producing... he is the puppet master behind this very shallow façade of mine. I am not lucky; I'm blessed indeed with this group of giants.

Me: I saw the reviews and press about you on your website and one person who stuck out was Al Anderson from NRBQ. I am a huge NRBQ fan, Circe. Do you know them, or Al?

Circe: I met Al Anderson at a music conference a few years back. I only had a demo of three songs at the time but he was quite taken with my meager efforts. Al was never in my band, but he did give me advice and guidance in my early career and I'll love him forever for that! And of course NRBQ rules. 

Me: I like the way you describe your music as cowboy jazz. That's a great name for a band itself. Do you still describe your music as that?

Circe: I came up with that description for myself when I first started out and I really was combining that Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys meets Pattie Page sound. But I love so many kinds of music my evolution has taken me to many differing styles that no one discription will suffice anymore.

Me: I read that you also like to write poetry and do art as well. What kind of art do you do?

Circe: As I mentioned, I was following my muse through art before. Primarily oil painting but I never had a show because at the time I couldn’t stand the thought of parting with a painting. I have always loved words and written poetry and I will always be consumed by “this business of words” to quote Anne Sexton.

Me: When you write a poem, do you think there should be music added? Is that how you write your songs?

Circe: Poetry and lyric writing have their roots in the same muddy pond but have such different needs that the two arts require very different approaches. I do not hear music when I write poetry but I do call on a poetic approach to many lyrical descriptions when warranted. Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell are at the top of the food chain for me when it comes to lyrics but as for poets Rumi, Sexton, and Bukowski knock me to the killing floor. I know many songwriters whose main nemesis is lyric writing. The challenge seems to be navigating a way through the predictable or even archetypical human experience, say for instance a love song, and having something to say that is neither too contrived or self aware but that can still deliver a sight or sound or feeling with effortlessness.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Circe. I am a huge fan! Go ahead and mention your website.

Circe: Thanks so much for having me, this has been one of the best interviews I have had the pleasure of doing! Feel free to have your readers visit me here:    

Me: Please come back when the next album comes out, and come to Orlando to play. Oh, one more thing, Maureen referred you to the Phile, do you have anybody you can refer?

Circe: Will do! Give Old Californio a try. They are my favorite L.A. band, and they never disappoint!

Me: I will. Take care, Circe.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Circe Link. The Phile will be back Friday with Andrés Velasco from Chikita Violenta. 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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alum Meka Nism

Good evening, and welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. What's up? So, who is sick of hearing about Pluto? This guy. It's the biggest news of the week though so I have to talk about it, so let's get the Pluto jokes outta the way. You distance yourself from people and they just try harder to connect with you. So frustrating when you want some space. I get it, Pluto. If Pluto could talk it'll say, "So you dumped me years ago but now you're driving by my house real slow?" NASA reached Pluto for the first time ever & I cannot wait to see the look on its big dumb face when we tell it it's not even a planet. Should we keep Pluto sanctions? Great to see Pluto again after all this time, but hard to believe it turned out to be racist. Anyway, if you haven't seen the pictures of Pluto... it looks like this...

Now I know why it is called Pluto.  One Tennessee woman thought she had a license to print money, and that it came from the highest authority. Usually, when people say "Thanks Obama!" they're being sarcastic. But not Pamela Downs of Kingsport, Tennessee. Until Sunday, she though the president's policies would make her rich. According to the "Times-News," Downs was arrested after attempting to use a counterfeit $5 bill at a grocery store. A close examination of the bill revealed that it was printed on computer paper, and that the two sides had been glued together. When questioned, Downs said that she had received the bill in change from a gas station, but when police examined her purse, they found a counterfeit $100 bill. This one was made in the same way, except the back was glued on upside down. Her purse also contained a Walmart receipt for copy paper and a printer. I'm no detective, but I think I can deduce what was going on. When the officers placed Downs in handcuffs, she told them, "I don't give a fuck, all these other bitches get to print money so I can too." Nobody was sure what she meant until they questioned her further at the police station. There, she said that it was her right to print money, because President Obama had signed a law making it legal. It turns out she had read a parody article on "The Skunk" entitled "Obama Wants Citizens to Print their Own Money." Downs had assumed the article was real, and intended to take advantage. It's a sad state of affairs when people turn to humor websites for real news.  Did you see Caitlyn Jenner accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs last night night? The GOP field still has room for at least one more, right? Caitlyn Jenner's story is the classic tale of self-reliance, determination, and patriotism. A lot of people questioned why the GOP member got the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, but last night's speech inspired supporters and convinced (many) doubters as well with the back-to-back combination of the ESPY tribute video to Bruce Jenner the decathlete, and the long, hard road from the World's Greatest Athlete to the world's most famous Republican transgender woman. She reminded the athletes in the room of their responsibility to think about how their behavior and attitudes shape opinions around the world, especially for youth. Already, her line is the takeaway moment from the whole night: "Trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect." She reminded people that violence against trans people, and suicide, is unfortunately an everyday reality. "If you want to call me names… go ahead, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with who they are, they shouldn't have to take it." It was, in a word, courageous. I remember back in the day when Bruce Jenner was on a box of cereal... not on a box of tampons.  I never thought I'd give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, so he really better not blow it on this one. Usually, when Donald Trump steps in political doggy doo-doo by saying or doing something offensive, his response is to double down, build a doggy doo-doo fort, and hang a "No Illegals Allowed In The Doo-Doo Fort" sign on it. But today, his campaign actually deleted a tweet and issued an explanation for the screw-up. That's right, there is a limit to Trump's awfulness: Nazis. Obviously, this is just a screw-up, but hey... it's a pretty big screw-up.

#AmericaWasGreatestWhenNazisMarchedOnTheSouthLawn! #Wait. #WTF? #Nevermind. Yes, those aren't just WW2 Germans, they're Waffen-SS in the Trump campaign pic. We can now at least say that the Trump campaign recognizes the limited appeal of people dressed in Nazi SS uniforms (one would assume even lesser, non-SS Nazis would prompt a retraction, but since the only other thing we've ever seen Trump try to walk back was a direct insult at Jeb Bush's wife, we can't be certain). So, how did Trump talk his way out of this one? Like any good business executive who built the empire he inherited from his dad from the 50th floor up, he threw an intern under the bus. Just a minor hiccup. Gesundheit. If you'd like something to take your mind off how stupid and awful Trump's America might be, may I recommend looking at cat owners who took their pets' excess fur and used it to start a meme called #TrumpYour Cat? See...

Anyone with a cat, a camera, and an intense dislike of Donald Trump can get on board.  Speaking go Donald, did you see his last campaign poster?

Enough about him.  So, you heard about this whole Bill Cosby deal, right? Did you know he was originally supposed to be the prince in Disney's Snow White film? No? Here's proof...

That's really stupid.  Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, is rereleasing all its classic animated movies with Magic Mike like scenes thrown in. Why? I have no idea.

It's summer as you know, and through summer I am showing you some odd bathing suits or bikinis you might see at the pool or beach. So, here's another one...

Made from fast-drying microfiber developed by NASA.  Okay, as you probably know I live in Florida and some of the craziest stories come out of this state. That's why I have a pheature called...

Ron Perkinson, a gun seller in Volusia County, Florida, is hoping to open a new gun range and café in Daytona Beach. The café is also seeking a license to serve alcohol. That's right, booze and guns under the same roof. It couldn't be more Florida unless they expand into fanboat rentals and alligator rides. Perkinson's business plan has some obstacles. Firstly, the proposed site will have to be reinforced to help protect nearby businesses, like the local Daytona Beach Flea Market. Just need to add a few feet of concrete and you're golden. Safer than mother's arms. As for ensuring that the rentable guns and the drinkable alcohol don't mix, Perkinson has been in contact with the owner of a similar business in Oklahoma City to get advice on how to keep everyone safe. Perkinson's brand new chew-'n'-shoot would be the third of its kind in the country. Perkinson's system would scan ID and driving licenses once a customer purchases booze, locking them out from entering the gun range for 24 hours. So, if you want to eat first then squeeze off a few clips before dessert, be sure to drink before you arrive. You could also convince your buddies to go to another gun range 8 minutes away. What if you want to have dinner with your gun? Perkinson, unfortunately, draws the line there: "Guns, whether you're planning to have a drink afterwards or not, will not be allowed in the café area at all." "At all?" What if we're invaded while I'm having a sub and a Yuengling? Because I'm peckish, I have to sit out on standing my ground for 24 hours? Man, some people's priorities are way out of order.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the future home of the Empire State Building and Walt Disney World.

It's 7:17pm,81°F and Kelly is playing Radio City Music Hall in New York City tonight.

That was last night in New Jersey.

Okay, today's guest is a Phile Alum whose new EP "The Shift: Anthems For a Revolution" is available now on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Meka Nism.

Me: Meka! Welcome back to the Phile. How have you been? 

Meka: Well, I have been quite good actually… been busy and getting ready for some tours coming up. 

Me: Okay, last time you were here I mentioned how I came to know your band. I brought a car from Frankie at a car dealership. How is Frankie? 

Meka: Frankie is great. He has always been such a big help to us and has been there since day one. He always talks so highly of you and sends his regards. 

Me: He's a great guy. Is his step-son still in the band? 

Meka: Why yes, he is. He is Bobby “The Ripper” Keller and he will shred your existence with his riffs on guitar. 

Me: Speaking of the band your guitarist goes by the name FReeDom... what do you guys call him? 

Meka: FReeDom’s actual name is Reed, hence the “ReeD” in FReeDom. 

Me: He used to play drums in the band, am I right? Why the change? 

Meka: Yes, Reed played drums since the inception of the band and continued to do so until right before we started recording “The Shift” which is our latest release. 

Me: Meka, you're from Orlando but lived in Japan for a few years. What was the biggest culture shock when you moved there or did you even have a culture shock? 

Meka: There were actually a lot of culture shocks going both ways. They put a lot of care into every detail in life. Its truly a different way to experience living down to the simplest daily activity. In America everything is extra large and in Japan sometimes the smallest, simplest thing has the most value. 

Me: What made you go over to Japan? Was it to play? 

Meka: Yes, I felt the call from my spirit to goto Japan. I played over 150 shows there and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I met Yukari, my bass player/songwriter, and we really enjoyed our time playing solo and together as the Origami Girls. We traveled all over the country and made a lot of beautiful friendship connections. 

Me: Any plans to go back to Japan? 

Meka: Absolutely, like I mentioned before, Japan has a very special place in my heart and I feel like a piece of my soul will always live there. We are looking to go back as soon as possible and tour in all the major markets in Japan. 

Me: It's my goal one day to go to Japan... if I did what is one thing and one place I need to go to? 

Meka: Kyoto is my recommendation by far! It’s the ancient capital and very well preserved. It is a big city and small town at the same time and has an old fashioned sensibility. There is also a huge thriving art/music community. 

Me: Before you were in the band that is Meka Nism today you were in a few other bands, am I right? Is the current band the best band you have been in? 

Meka: Absolutely, by far. Meka Nism is my perfect band and I couldn’t be happier. I am looking forward to traveling the world with this excellent group of genius humans and sharing our music worldwide. 

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new EP... "The Shift: Anthems for a Revolution." This EP took awhile to record, am I right? 

Meka: Yes, the writing process started back in early 2014 and we really decided to focus on the songs and not play too many shows. We chose Bret Hestla, the former bass player for Creed, to produce and record the album and we started with him in October. We wrapped up everything and released the EP on May 1, 2015, so it definitely took a while, but we wanted to take our time and not rush anything. We really wanted to create something special and we feel that we did. 

Me: You raised money through Kickstarter for it which is a popular thing to do. What made you go that route and was it successful for you? I am taking it was, as you did record the EP. 

Meka: Yes, we did a Kickstarter and we received so much support from all of our fans, family, and friends. The whole experience was extraordinary and we thankfully reached our goal in order to raise the money needed to record and get the EP all done. We have the best fan base around and we love them all so much! 

Me: Where was it recorded, Meka? 

Meka: "The Shift" was recorded at BHP Productions in Orlando, Florida, with Brett Hestla. 

Me: Did the whole band write the songs on it or just you? 

Meka: We have a very interesting dynamic when it comes to songs. On this EP, we collaborated a lot and shared ideas with each other a lot. Whether it was guitar licks, or lyrical ideas, we all worked together in creating what we thought was the best idea. I wanted to really make sure the message behind the songs was apparent in my lyrics so I asked for suggestions and bounced a lot of things off to the band and we all made it work. 

Me: Where did the title come from and knowing you it has a meaning, am I right? 

Meka: "The Shift" came from the idea of awakening people’s internal revolutions. Little things have shifted, like Reed shifting to drums, and other things like that. The name actually came about with the title track and when the first EP, "The Dance at the End of the World," was just coming out. 

Me: Did you film a video for the album? We are currently working on this! 

Me: There's song named after you on the EP... "Mekamorphosis." It sounds better than "Jasonmorphosis." Anyway, that could easily have been the EP's title. What is that song about? 

Meka: "Mekamorphosis" is about internal transformation. Love is the creative force behind everything that exists and if we can tap into it we can achieve great things. It’s also an experience that you can share with another person. By expressing love you can inspire the metamorphosis in others and bring out the truth that lies within. 

Me: So, are you playing a lot of shows in Central Florida? 

Meka: Since the EP’s release, we have only scheduled a couple shows here in Florida, two being at House of Blues and several other surrounding areas. However, our goal for this year is to get on the road and tour. We really need to share these songs and get them out there and look forward to whatever opportunities come about. 

Me: Are you already planning a new release? A live release would be really cool, right? 

Meka: Wow, we actually haven’t thought of that one yet, but who knows, that could definitely be something to work on! We do have ideas and plans for the next EP, but can’t say anything yet.

Me: You mentioned a member of Creed produce the album. How was he to work with?

Meka: He was a fantastic fit and really did a great job capturing our sound and putting all of our dynamics into a small little sound file. 

Me: Did you grow up being a fan of Creed? 

Meka: Yes, but I preferred his other two projects, Virgo’s Merlot and Dark New Day more. 

Me: What other bands did you listen to geeing up? 

Meka: I really love a lot of dynamic and powerful musicians. I would have to highlight fierce/powerful women like P.J. Harvey, Madonna, Bjork and Janis Joplin. I also see bands such as Tool, the Deftones, System of a Down, Mars Volta, and Marilyn Manson to be very inspirational. 

Me: What about O-Town? Haha. Do you remember that boy band? 

Meka: We had to compete with them for our EP release date at the House of Blues. 

Me: Alright, as you know I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble? 

Meka: What do you mean? I don’t get into trouble.

Me: Suurreeee. Meka, thanks for being back on the Phile. Mention your websites and I wish you continue success. Take care. 

Meka: You can visit our website at and on Facebook at to stay in contact and updated on all of your Meka Nism needs!!! Thank you so much again for having me and I look forward to talking to you again!!!

That about does it for this entry. Man, I'm so tired. Thanks to Meka Nism for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Monday with one of my favorite female singers... Circe Link. 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