Monday, October 19, 2015

Pheaturing Phile Alum Lee Negin

Hey, kids, good morning and welcome to another entry of the Phile. It's October as I hope you know and it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just want to remind you to have someone besides everyone on Facebook examine your breasts.  Did you hear about the new Star Wars movie? You know, Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Of course you have, you're a responsible citizen of the Internet and the planet. But did you know that there actually wasn't a poster for it before yesterday? Crazy, right? Well, that glaring omission has been corrected now with this glorious piece of color-theory-filled movie art. Here it is...

Just kidding. Hahahaha. Here is the real one.

Can you spot the real star of this poster? It should be deathly obvious once you find it. Apparently, the few Imperials who survived apparently think they've figured out how to close all the exhaust ports on the Death Star. Either that, or the giant-laser-like thing on the new battle station's side is actually just an engine for flying the eff away from Jedis and living in peace in another galaxy. Which is how they found Earth. Mindsplosion.  Man, people are upset the biggest elephant in Africa was killed because some guy thought that would be fun. How is big game hunting by rich white dudes vacationing in Zimbabwe still a thing after Cecil the Lion? "The Daily Mail" reports that a German hunter flew to Zimbabwe earlier this month and paid $60,000 for a permit to hunt the largest elephant seen on the continent in 50 years. It was part of a 21 day hunting trip/murder spree. The elephant's tusks were so big that they dragged on the ground, and weighed 122 lbs each. After killing the creature, the hunter proceeded to take super douchey victory photos. And the Cecil-esque outcry is on.  Are you people excited for Halloween? I don't really lie Halloween, but nobody hates Halloween as much as this man who lit kids' costumes on fire at a Walmart. Okay, so authorities aren't actually sure yet why a 40 year old man at a Walmart in San Leandro, California doused children's costumes with lighter fluid and set them ablaze. But it can't be because he loved Halloween, right? "I loved it so much, I set fire to it" is a phrase that makes no sense unless you're talking about a really great candle or you're performing a Viking funeral. According to police, the man had been walking around the store with the lighter fluid for "several hours" before actually setting fire to the costumes. The suspect has been treated for smoke inhalation and detained, and they're looking into whether he might be responsible for other crimes in the area. The Walmart, meanwhile, was evacuated and closed for four hours to deal with excessive smoke from the fire, which also spread to the Halloween candy. I had no idea that candy can be flammable. You learn something new to be afraid of every day! One interviewee at the Walmart summed the whole thing up pretty accurately with this statement: "It is scary. It is. It's ridiculous too, at the same time."  Two Wendy's employees were fired for leaving a racist note in a 7 year old's kids meal. A 7 year old found a racist note in her Wendy's kids meal, and on a much lesser note, they didn't even give her a toy. ManĂ­ge Osowski of Arvada, Colorado took her daughter to a local Wendy's, where she ordered a kids meal. Instead of getting a Wendy's Tag game, she got a deck of cards. Written in black ink on the ace of hearts was "the N word as well as other derogatory sayings." Osowski went back and told the manager, who told the employees to "stop playing games." The manager then ripped up the card, and when Osowski asked for it back, he refused. Osowski refused to leave without the card, so the manger "called the police and had her removed from the store," which was probably not the best move. Osowski organized a protest outside the restaurant on Tuesday. Wendy's was quick to apologize and fire the employees. Wendy’s Spokesperson Bob Bertini said in a statement to ABC News. “We investigated and responded swiftly, and the two employees who were involved are no longer with Wendy’s." Osowski doesn't think it's enough, though; she said that she doesn't accept their apology. #nojusticenofrosties. Haha.  I love this next story... an eleven year old Rebecca DePietro drew a stick figure drawing of a burglary suspect for police that resulted in a successful arrest. She made the drawing for the Stratford police after they asked her family if they had seen anyone suspicious following a string of neighborhood robberies. Rebecca had, and while she thought they might not take her attempt seriously, they used it to capture the suspect who then confessed to ten burglaries in the area. "I was like, yeah I can draw a picture of him. It wasn’t like the best picture, it was just a head and some legs and I thought oh he’s probably just going to crumple it up and throw it out." They police did not throw it out. Instead, they superimposed her picture over mug shots of potential suspects, and found a match. Stratford Police Chief Patrick Ridehour praised Rebecca's work and hinted at a possible future in law enforcement.
"For us to take that sketch and match it up, it was remarkable. Maybe she’s part of our next generation of detectives."

He's not smiling anymore. Haha. The only way it could have been a more perfect arrest from a stick figure drawing is if the suspect was nabbed outside a house with a disproportionately huge chimney under a giant smiling sun. As a result of her assistance, Rebecca was honored at a ceremony along with other Stratford police officers for distinguished service. She has taken the neighborhood watch to the next level.  Alright, so on a few days on the 21st it is Back to the Future Day. That's the day that Marty McFly landed in the future in the second movie. I was watching the movie the other day and I don't know how they did it, but they got some face right. Check it out...

Freaking amazing, right?  A Phile reader went to a mall the other day and saw something he thought was kinda disturbing and I think so too.

I bet the food is good though.  So, do you kids know who Norman Rockwell is? He was a famous painter... my mum loved his work. Anyway, I noticed something about one of his famous paintings that I never noticed before.

Haha. Before you people email me to complain, I know that's not a Norman Rockwell painting.  Alright, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am showing you some clever breast cancer awareness posters. Here's another one...

A store in Brazil stocked these bras for customers to discover among their regular products. Okay, so it's fall and I thought it'll be cool if I showed you some snack hacks I discovered in a pheature I call...

This DIY popcorn container.

Your hood will smell nice and buttery afterwards.

Haha. This is a pretty easy one. Okay, it's Monday and time to talk football with my good friend Jeff in a pheature called...

Me: Hey there, Jeff, welcome back. How're you doing?

Jeff: I'm doing well, how's it going over there, Jason? And welcome to week 7.

Me: Things are okay I guess. Okay, so, I have to ask, did you hear about the Giant who had his foot removed? What the hell? At least he didn't burn it off with a firecracker.

Jeff: Yeah, I heard about the player who had part of his foot removed. I think the Giants are trying to build another football player Dr. Frankenstein style. A foot here, a finger there. But yeah, I agree. At least this time it wasn't an idiotic move like you said with firecrackers.

Me: Alright, what's the NFL news this week?

Jeff: There really wasn't any big news out of NFL this week. With the exception of the Falcons, the teams that were undefeated coming into the week are still that. Undefeated. We saw two overtime games last week. The Steelers found a way to win as they were down to their third string QB. Peyton Manning has more interceptions than touchdowns yet somehow the Denver Broncos are 6-0. Other 6-0 teams include New England, Cincinnati, Green Bay and Carolina. This coming week we have the first game played from London that will only be broadcast on the Internet. So I guess that's news, right?

Me: Sure. Jeff, wanna hear the biggest news in the NFL? During tonight's Giants game they are gonna show a new Star Wars trailer! Star Wars and the Giants?! How fucking cool is that?!

Jeff: I am very excited to see the final trailer for The Force Awakens during the Giants/Eagles game. I mean it combines two of my big passions, football and Star Wars. And there are rumors that a wrestler appears in the movie, so yeah. I'm all set!

Me: Last week I was winning by 7 points. Lucky number seven. How did we do last week?

Jeff: Well, as far as the 7 point lead, you still lead. However I didn't add up everything properly last week. The Steelers thanks to a win on last Monday Night (which was too late for the Phile) gave me another point. You have 8 wins this season to my six wins. We won't have an official point total until next week since the Giants play on Monday Night this week.

Me: Yeah, and I picked Tampa last week and they had a bye week. I am an idiot. Let's pick this week... I say Bills by 1 and Jets by 6. What do you pick?

Jeff: My picks this week are Falcons by 7 and San Diego by 3 points. Good luck!

Me: Okay, I'll see you here next week.

Jeff: Talk to you next week!

Autumn is the nickname Yale literature professors gave to the season of fall.

The 40th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author Gary Gerani will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum whose latest CD "Surfing Samsara" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile the always entertaining... Lee Negin!

Me: Leeeeeee! Welcome back to the Phile, man. How have you been?

Lee: Jaaaaaason! Thank you. Nice to be anywhere. I'm still breathing (when I remember to).

Me: I lost count how many times you have been a guest here. Do you know?

Lee: Not enough! It's always a pleasure, my friend.

Me: So, how's South Korea treating you? 

Lee: Much better since I left. I split Kimchi Land in February, and now live in Tokyo. Back in Japan after a 10 year absence.

Me: Oh, wow, I didn't know you left. You and I are going through something very similar... how are you doing with it?

Lee: Are you referring to the acid (LSD) flashbacks, or the cognitive dissonance? I'm controlling both with prescribed medications, so no worries!

Me: That's not what I was referring too. Haha. Moving on... Recently I interviewed a guy named Laszlo Gardony and I said he was the first professor I interviewed... but that's bullshit and wrong. You are a a professor. So, I have to apologize. Remind myself and my readers what you teach and where.

Lee: I teach nothing of consequence at various establishments built to perpetuate our dysfunctional paradigm (if you can dig that).

Me: How long have you been doing that, Lee?

Lee: You mean spewing nonsense like my last answer? Since before I was born.

Me: I was meant have you here earlier this year when your "Terminus-EP" came out. That's a four song EP, right?

Lee: Indeed. 4 extended tracks. 

Me: What was the story behind that project, Lee? I know there is one.

Lee: Last December, I knew that I was splitting for Japan, and that involved packing up my studio and instruments and shipping them (literally... by sea), so I knew I wouldn't be able to make my noise for a while. I had been working on/experimenting with different ways of treating sounds with various effects, less 'musical' (as in harmonic structure) and more focus on the vibrational aspects... and how they (different frequencies and harmonics) affect the listener (viscerally, not just intellectual-masturbatory exercises like so much of what's classified as 'experimental' 'avant-garde' music). "Terminus" refers to 'the end of the line' and also a place where people move-on from (as in an airport 'terminal'... but in this case, a space station!

Me: See. I knew there was a story. You have a new CD out called "Surfing Samsosa." What is a samsosa?

Lee: I think Sammy Sosa was a baseball dude. And, a samosa is one of my favourite Indian foods! The album's title is "Surfing Samsara." Samsara is a Sanskrit word, which means 'the material world,' a Hindu concept of the nature of things.

Me: I'm an idiot. At least I got the name right at your intro. Do you surf? I have never surfed... unless you count on-line surfing.

Lee: A great Yogi said, "If you can't stop the waves, learn how to surf." It beats drowning! At times, I hang ten!

Me: This CD features eleven songs that were previously released on your past projects, am I right? 

Lee: Got me! Yeah... I'm repeating myself. Somewhat abashed...

Me: How did you go about picking songs to put on this album, Lee?

Lee: I get a fair bit of radio airplay internationally, and these are the tracks that are most popular (and streamed and downloaded) from my most recent albums. As you know, 'singles' are the rage now; the album, as a cohesive art form, is all but dead.

Me: So, would you call this a greatest hits CD?

Lee: You must be mistaking me for Lady Madonna Beaver. The only 'hits' I've had are on a pipe, a bottle or at the end of a fist (physically and metaphorically).

Me: I am glad there's two Cheeze songs on the album. I still think there should be a Cheeze movie. Tell the readers who don't know who Cheeze is.

Lee: A movie would be way cool. Perhaps it will materialise! I've thought about doing a graphic novel, along the lines of the cooler Japanese manga comics. Sigh... The legend of Cheeze looms large in the universal psyche; the collective unconscious. If people want to know about Cheeze, there are tomes and scrolls to be found in monasteries, opium dens, the Playboy Mansion, small tablets (dig that word play), deep meditation and Himalayan peaks. For example:,, Turn on, tune in and Cheeze out!

Me: You play many instruments, Lee. Which one is your favorite to play?

Lee: I enjoy tinkering with medical instruments the most. Although, in a pinch, plumbing fixtures come in handy!

Me: Ha! What was the first instrument you ever learnt?

Lee: The didgeridoo. I was raised by a pack of feral poodles in a rough, posh suburb. You know, the hood. After that, I started playing trumpet at about 7 years old (formal lessons) and studying musical theory, etc.

Me: Your music is very techno-based, but ever think of doing an acoustic album?

Lee: I do blend the two... electro-acoustic music. I play flugelhorn on several of my tracks, as well as acoustic drums. But, because of budgetary constraints, I mostly use samples of acoustic instruments. If I had the budget, I'd go into a large studio with an orchestra... I write and play (samples) string and horn arrangements on several of my pieces. One of my heroes is George Martin (a good example would be "Eleanor Rigby"). Another is Jack Nitzsche; listen to Buffalo Springfield's track, "Expecting To Fly." Sublime music!! I also incorporate, along with my synthesiser arsenal, acoustic instruments from all over the universe in my work (samples, sorry to say). The title of my main website is Neo-Psychedelic, New World Music.

Me: So, are you currently writing new music?

Lee: I will be starting work on a new single soon, inspired by a dear friend of mine, a British artist who made a painting with me in it! A total surprise gift. It kind of reminded me of the cover of The Beatle's "Sgt. Pepper" (you'll understand when it's released) and it inspired me to do a single with the painting as the cover. He went for the idea, and he had to do a bit of tweaking... it showed ladies naughty bits and my record distribution company wouldn't go for that. The slightest site of a nipple or vagina sends Amerikans into a puritanical frenzy of witch burning... does that mean their god wears a thong? If she created us in her own image, then what's with this obsession? Mostly, I am focusing on gearing up for an international tour next year... learning new software and hardware. It ain't like the old days, when I never read manuals (for my old Minimoog, ARP 2600, Roland TR-808, Linn Drum, etc.). This new gear is way deep (too deep, actually).

Me: You're planning a concert tour? How are you gonna do that?

Lee: Honestly, I don't know. It will supposedly be a solo performance with very cool visuals. An audio-visual equivalent of an LSD/Magic Mushroom experience (of course, I tried them, but I didn't inhale). I am working on the details and logistics as we speak. It's driving me madder than mad!

Me: Are you gonna have dancers on stage with you?

Lee: Are you offering??!! Again, me thinks you're confusing me with Taylor Gaga, or Cher! Maybe if I end up in Vegas at the Boom Boom Lounge and Brothel. I'm quite popular there, so Madam Kiki tells me.

Me: What about a band? Will you be touring with a band?

Lee: Nah... against my principles! Don't want to share the groupies!

Me: Where is the tour gonna go to?

Lee: Probably straight to hell in a hand basket (what the hell is a hand basket??). I hope to tour Europe (London, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam... not sure yet) and perhaps do some Asian cities (Tokyo, Delhi, Beijing). It's all pie-in-the-sky at the moment, but the technology is now available for me to do this alone.

Me: Alright, so, your music is very different then what is out there. Do you have any major influences or music you listen ti nowadays?

Lee: No. I literally stopped listening to music a long time ago. In my formative years (now I'm deforming) I, of course, was a rabid consumer of music. Concerts, thousands of CDs and 12" vinyl albums, esoteric stereo playback gear, etc. Now, and for the last several years, I just play/listen to what I produce. I am more inspired now by some philosophical systems I am fond of, nature and graphic arts. I have mentioned many times that one (of many) profound influences on my music is Monet... the way he captured the vibratory waves of light emanating from flowers, etc. I spent a day at his house in Giverny, wandering around his house, studio and gardens, literally awestruck. I took about 10 rolls of film (yes, analog X 36 pictures a roll) and made a video of some of my best photos with a soundtrack attempting to duplicate what he did visually with sound:  Van Gogh also captured 'the light.' I spent hours in his museum in Amsterdam (with some herbal aides from a 'coffee shop' helping me to tune in), amazed. And one more piece of art (out of MANY) that left me gobsmacked was Michelangelo's David. When I was standing in front of it, I was transfixed... timeless moments (also really dig Bosch, Hieronymus... that guy makes Dali look like a realist!). I think you get the picture (sorry... I'm tired).

Me: That's okay. What's next for you, Lee?

Lee: I might have a light snack... perhaps some fruit and green tea.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile again. In January I'll be celebrating ten years of this stupid thing, and hope you'll come back then. Will you?

Lee: My dear friend, nothing will stop me... not even the death of my body! Don't forget to invite me!

Me: Mention your website and anything else and I wish you lots of luck and continued success. Take care.

Lee: Thank you so much, as always, Jason. Your kind support has meant a great deal to me over the years (yes, my friend, years). Here are my main websites:,,,, And, last but not least, a very cool on-line shop in the U.K. that exclusively sells my visual artwork and other groovy goods by other artists (t-shirts, mugs, panties, ribbed condoms, etc.): Check it out! Cool holiday presents found there! Thanks, Jason. I hope I passed the audition.

Me: Good job.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and of course Lee Negin. The Phile will be back next Monday with rock cello player Noah Hoffeid. 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

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