Monday, October 5, 2015

Pheaturing Alia Lorae

Hello, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? It's October so you know what that means... Merry Christmas! October is breast cancer awareness month, while breast awareness month os every month.  Let's start this entry with a story about man fired for farting too much at work.
Seventy year old Richard Clem was fired from Case Pork Roll Company for his excessive flatulence. The company, in Trenton, New Jersey, has been hit with federal lawsuits filed by Clem and his wife (who was also an employee) through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The employer said that the excessive odor was a disturbance for their employees and visitors to the office, and subsequently fired Clem. His wife, Louann, claimed in a court filing that her husband's termination was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because of his weight. At the time of his hire, Clem weighed about 420 pounds, but underwent gastric bypass surgery in October 2010. He claims his excessive gas is a result of the surgery. Apparently it is a common and not well-publicized side effect of the procedure, which sounds like a deal with the devil. Sure, you can lose a bunch of weight, but you'll fart forever and lose your job. Clem described the nightmare curse, "I couldn’t go out anywhere, go to the movies, to the market, you name it, without having to look for a bathroom everywhere I went." According to Louann, the president of Case Pork Roll Company was allegedly not sympathetic to Richard's condition. "This can’t go on. We can’t run an office and have visitors with the odor in the office. We have to do something about Rich." It sounds like Richard obviously could not control his condition, and his suit may have sound legal basis if they can prove his obesity is a condition that was disabling or perceived to be disabling by others. Clem is asking for three weeks worth of paid vacation and two years’ salary which he says will total about $250,000. Apparently you can bring home a lot of bacon when you work in pork rolls. As for the company, it's also understandable that they would part ways with an employee whose farts are so strong they overpower the scent of a pork rolls in New Jersey.  Andrew Wardle is not like most men... he has a show coming out on TLC. Also, he was born without a penis and his bladder on the outside of his body. The operation Andrew went through as a baby to put his bladder back where it belongs resulted in a lot of scarring and not much else... down there. After a wild teenage life and some despair, at 33 Andrew heard of an operation that could help him build a third leg. Out of his arm. Andrew told "People" about the process, which will also be the subject of his upcoming show: "I'm at the age where I really don't care. Since I hit 40, I don't care what people think or do." Congrats, dude. You've accomplished what most men never will: being cool with what you got.  Champion MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is taking the world by storm. Even BeyoncĂ© is quoting her. She has now crossed a line no female athlete ever has... Ronda is on the cover of "Men's Fitness." The editors of that magazine I have never read in my life have deemed her fit enough for the eyes of men. The world is changed. No one tells Ronda Rousey to smile, unless they want to get kicked in the throat. Not that she isn't beautiful, of course! But more than beautiful, she is... FIT AF.  According to new research from Dr. Ioana Ramia of the University of New South Wales in Australia, if you are between the ages of 30 and 65, you are absolutely not living your best life. This info is based on surveys from the office of Household, Income and Labor Dynamics. Even though we have always guessed this to be true, actually having it confirmed is kind of a bummer. What about all that stuff about women hitting their sexual peak at 40? Was that just a carrot to keep us going through our twenties? reports, "It then stays still low, but increases slightly, and is the highest around the age of 80," she said. "So that's something to look forward to." Hurray! We'll be happy when we're 80. Meanwhile, just grit your teeth and hang in there for almost 4 decades of being bummed out.  The Sistahs of the Reading Edge book club have filed an $11 million dollar racial discrimination lawsuit against the Napa Valley Wine Train after being asked to leave the tour in August for being too loud. The incident made headlines, particularly because the police were called to escort the women from the train. The club said their reputations were tarnished and that two of them were fired from their jobs after the incident. They filed the lawsuit despite an apology from the company's CEO and a pledge for enhanced sensitivity training for train employees. Club members felt those efforts came only in an effort to thwart negative publicity. The Napa Valley Wine Train published a post on Facebook shortly after the original incident, which they then quickly removed, "Following verbal and physical abuse toward other guests and staff, it was necessary to get our police involved. Many groups come on board and celebrate. When those celebrations impact our guests, we do intervene." Now the wine tour company can hop aboard the lawsuit train, because the sistahs have retained San Francisco lawyer Waukeen McCoy for their discrimination case. It is a well-established legal precedent that book clubs get drunk and laugh together. Very little reading is ever involved. If they win their case, they'll be able to afford a great bottle of wine wherever their travels may take them.  Did you see Donald Trump's new hair look this week? You had go have. Anyway, if you didn't, here it is...

Crazy, right?  When the Pope was here in the states he blessed so many people I believe, but there's something else he also blessed.

That's BB-8 from the news Star Wars movie in case you didn't know.  Speaking of Star Wars, not every idea George Lucas came up with was original. He stole some of his ideas from painters like Monet. And I have proof...

Yep. That is real. Just play along.  Like I said it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and what I did in the past is show you some breast cancer awareness posters. Well, I found a few more that I will share with you this month.

That's clever.  Do you kids like snacks? Well, through October I am gonna show you some snack hacks to prepare you for hibernating this fall in a new pheature simply called...

That's really lame. Anyway, here we go. This cupcake sandwich hack.

Do you eat enough cupcakes for this be useful? You're not alone. By the way, I do not like cupcakes. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Phive Things Overheard At President Obama's Meeting With Vladimir Putin
5. This man Trump, I do not like him. As gift to you, I have him killed, yes?
4. My English not so good... how you say, "You make we want to vomiting in my mouth?"
3. I haven't worn a smile this fake since Biden kept repeating that joke about the horny groundhog!
2. Just between you and me... the Pope said to tell you to go fuck yourself!
And the number one thing heard at Obama and Putin's meeting...
1. So what you said before about Trump... were you serious?

This a a really hard one. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's Monday and time to talk football with my good friend Jeff in a pheature called...

Me: Jeff! Hey! How are you? Welcome back to the Phile!

Jeff: Hey Jason, it's great to be back on the Phile.

Me: How's your new book coming along?

Jeff: The new book is coming along great. I finished writing it last week and now I'm in the editing process. I'm almost done editing it, then I will give it to my editor to look for any errors that I missed. The release date is October 29th. So it's right around the corner.

Me: Alright, I haven't paid much attention to NFL news this week. I don't think much has happened, has it?

Jeff: As far as news, no you really haven't missed anything. Rumors are swirling that the Dolphins will be firing their head coach this week. But we will see if that's true. No major injuries in the last week, so that's always good.

Me: Yeah, the Dolphins are sucking. So... how did we do? I was in the lead by one point last week. 

Jeff: We both went 1-1 this week. But the difference is your Giants won this week, The Steelers could have won but they choked. Multiple times. So due to that fact, you gained an additional point on me. So you now lead by two points over me. Congratulations!

Me: Yeah! Let's do this weeks picks. I say Bears by 1 and Falcons by 4. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks for week 5 are Ravens by 3 and Broncos by 4 points.

Me: Okay, see ya next week. When your book is out I'll have you back as a pheatured guest.

Jeff: That sounds good to me. I look forward to it! See you next week!

October is the Houston Astros' biggest rival.

Today's pheatured guest is a singer whose new EP "Rumors" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Alia Lorae.

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

Alia: Doing well. Keeping very busy. Thank you so much for having me!

Me: So, I am 46 years old and I never heard anyone named Alia before. That is I don't think I have. What does it mean?

Alia: Usually when people hear my name, they think there are a few extra “Y”s and “H”s in there. Mine is the utilitarian spelling of the name. It’s Hebrew and Arabic in origin, and means, “to ascend.” My parents are geeks, however, and named me after a character from the sci fi series, "Dune." The character was known as Alia the Abomination. That would have made a hell of a stage name, now that I think about it. 

Me: Yeah, it would of. Alia, you're based in New York, right? Is that where you are originally from? 

Alia: Yes, born and raised. Originally, I’m from a quaint little village in Westchester. I moved to New York City right after college and have been here ever since.

Me: You've been singing for a long time, am I right? How old were you when you started to sing and perform?

Alia: I’ve been singing and making up songs since I was old enough to speak. It’s funny; even when I was a very young child, I had a lot of vibrato in my voice, so when I sang I sounded sort of like Snow White in the Disney cartoon, or one of the Chipmunks. I started performing pretty early too, when I was in elementary school.

Me: Did you know you always wanted to be a performer and singer?

Alia: I’ve always loved singing and performing, but it didn’t solidify into a career pursuit until I was about 18. Before that, I actually wanted to be an author. When I was a teenager I started writing a dark fantasy vampire novel set in a steampunk universe. I got about 200 pages into it. One day, I thoroughly intend to sit down and revamp (haha) the project.

Me: When you were a kid you were part of a group called Harmonaires, am I right? Was that an all girls group?

Alia: No, it was co-ed. It was basically an elementary/middle school chorus that you had to audition for in order to be a part of.

Me: Was it fun? It must've been fun, Alia, you played Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium. Were those good gigs?

Alia: It was very fun. I enjoyed being part of a performing group, especially since many of my friends were also involved. The time I performed at Shea Stadium was the first and only time I attended a sports event. I didn’t understand a bit of what was happening on the field, but it was still a great experience.

Me: Now you are a solo act, do you like that better?

Alia: I like having control over everything I do artistically. I don’t have to wait around for other people to get their shit together, if you’ll excuse my language. Right now I do everything myself. I produce the tracks in my home studio, write the lyrics, record and mix everything, and book all my own shows. I also do most of my own promotion, keep up my official website and social media. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes I miss the camaraderie of working with other artists, but over all I prefer it this way.

Me: You do like to dress up I see, Alia. Do you design and create your own costumes?

Alia: I do love dressing up, sometimes for my shows and sometimes just because. I design costumes... very elaborate ones... on paper, but don’t have the skills to fabricate them into items I can actually wear. Most of my outfits are bought, or pieced together from what I already have.

Me: And you do your own make up, right?

Alia: I’m only just teaching myself now to do my own make-up. For previous shows and photoshoots, I’ve always hired a professional, but that can get mighty expensive. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of online make-up tutorials so I can get better at it. I figure that I’m pretty good when it comes to drawing on paper, so why not on my own face?

Me: You also draw I see. If I would of known that I would of featured your art in the Phile's Art Gallery. Maybe I can still do, and interview you again sometime. Anyway, do you like to draw?

Alia: I love to draw. I find it very relaxing. My father is an amazing artist, so I learned from watching him over time and studying the many art books he had lying around the house. Most of my illustrations feature my crazy cast of vampire characters. I just never get tired of drawing them. And, yes! Please keep me in mind for an art-based interview in the future. I am trying to market my visual artwork as well as my music. In fact, I have a line of greeting cards featuring my original illustrations. You can find them on my website, along with everything else I do.

Me: Let's talk about your EP "Rumors." and the video for that song. That's a pretty crazy video. Do you know all those people in it?

Alia: It is a crazy video. All those people are my friends, friends of my boyfriend, and friends of friends. Pulling that project together is one of my finest accomplishments... I was extremely pleased with how many wonderful people came together to participate in the video. The funny thing is, several of those people met at the video shoot for the first time, and are now good friends with each other.

Me: You edited it, am I right? That is some cool editing, especially in the beginning. Do you like making videos?

Alia: Thank you so much! The intro is directly based off the intro to the "Ali G Show" shot for shot. That first 30 seconds of the video was all stop-motion, which was an entirely new experience in terms of editing for me. It took a month just for me to edit all the individual photos together, and another two months to edit the rest of the live footage. This was certainly the most ambitious editing job I’ve ever taken on, and it was quite a challenge. My boyfriend came up with the concept for the video, and directed it, so we were very much a team in its creation. Putting together a video is time consuming, tedious, but ultimately very rewarding.

Me: So, how long did it take you to record the EP?

Alia: About half a year.

Me: Did you write all the music on it?

Alia: Yes. I wrote all the lyrics, produced all the tracks, recorded and mixed everything myself. Female producers never get enough credit in this industry, so I like to make people aware that I am a music producer first and foremost.

Me: I don't know much about EDM... how do you write a song like that? Lyrics or music first, Alia? 

Alia: All completely depends on the song. With some songs I come up with the lyrics and melody first, then build the instrumental track around it. With others, I produce the track first, then write the lyrics. With “Rumors,” it was track first, then lyrics.

Me: You have been compared to Kate Bush and Nine Inch Nails. Both are two different types of music. Are they influences of yours?

Alia: I find so many music artists inspiring, including those two. I’d say my vocal style resembles that of Kate Bush or Amy Lee, and my production style resembles that of Trent Reznor or Bassnectar. If you look on my iPod, you’ll see such an eclectic array of music, from speed metal to show tunes. Everything inspires me, which is probably why I am somewhat difficult to pin down in terms of genre.

Me: I am guessing you grew up listening to Madonna and are a fan of Lady Gaga as well, am I right?

Alia: I actually never listened to Madonna growing up. I listened to a lot of Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, Nirvana… and Broadway show tunes. I adore Lady Gaga’s theatricality, but feel her live shows have lost some of the energy they had when she first started out. But, all artists change and evolve... you never know what she’ll do next.

Me: So, I have to ask what is a typical Alia Lorae show like? I bet there's a lot of dancing.

Alia: In the beginning I tried to choreograph dance moves to go with my performance, then noticed that it was interfering with my ability to feel the music, and really put my all into the singing itself. I still move around a lot on stage... it just happens naturally... but I feel better without the fixed choreography. One day I’d like to have backup dancers, though. Possibly a whole cast to portray the characters of my beautiful, twisted universe.

Me: I have to ask you about the Suzuki Music School... I never heard of it. What and where is it? What did you study there? 

Alia: The Suzuki School is (or was: I have no idea if it’s still active) a pre-school in Westchester designed to introduce young children to music. They gave us tiny violins and taught us to play simple melodies. I was never wild about the violin. I much preferred singing, and discovered the electronic keyboard at about age 10. I have no formal training in piano, but I taught myself what I needed to know to synthesize music electronically on the keyboard.

Me: You started a business called Electro Empress Entertainment. What kinda business is that?

Alia: It’s a music and film production company. I release my music through it, as well as my music videos.

Me: That's your nickname as well, right, Electro Empress? Did you come up with that?

Alia: Originally, I was calling myself the Empress of Electro Rock, which was a play on the title of that vampire novel I was writing in my teens. The novel was called "The Empress of Electric Chairs." Over the years, my music has shifted away from rock, and can now best be described as electro, so I tweaked my title. It’s a bold move to call myself the Empress of something, but in this industry one has to be bold to be anybody.

Me: So, will you be making any other videos for your songs on the album, Alia?

Alia: I intend to. Its all a matter of finding sponsors and getting the funding together. If not for this album, then certainly for the next one. I have so many ideas. Whenever I write a song, it forms in my mind as a three dimensional experience... I see the visual that should accompany it, the costume I should be wearing to perform it; everything. I want to make many more videos, and not just for my own music. I’d like to produce videos for other artists as well.

Me: Alright, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Was this the best interview you have ever done? Haha.

Alia: That’s a loaded question. But, I certainly had a lot of fun! I also like that your blog name sounds like a paraphilia.

Me: Thanks. Tell the readers your website and social media stuff, and please come back on the Phile again sometime. Take care.

Alia: Thank you so much again for having me! My official website can be found at All my social media links are there on my website... but if you are truly averse to going there, you can just search the name Alia Lorae on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and all the rest.

Me: Great. And I'll have you back here as an artist soon.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and of course Alia Lorae. The Phile will be back next Sunday with fantastic musician Sneaky Bones. 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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! You ask awesome questions.

~ Alia Lorae