Monday, December 26, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alumni Makar

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday... it's Boxing Day, and the third day of Hanukkah. Hmmmm... I don't see Hanukkah on the calendar... but I do see Boxing Day. This entry is also the last entry of 2016. Thank God 2016 is almost over. There's no way 2017 can be any wor...

Ha. Moving on.
Sometimes it feels like I am allergic to working, but at least that is not actually the case, unlike the thousands of American Airlines flight attendants who claim their new uniforms are actually making them ill. "NBC News" reports that the new uniforms, which were issued in September, are causing a variety of issues, including eye swelling, rashes, skin blistering, wheezing, headaches and vertigo. Sounds bad. More than 2,200 flight attendants have filed complaints through the Association of Professional Flight Attendants union, which represents more than 25,000 attendants at American Airlines. Flying is already uncomfortable enough that I cannot imagine additionally being constricted by a starchy suit that is trying to ruin my life. On Wednesday, the president of the union, Bob Ross, wrote a letter to American's general counsel asking them to stop issuing the uniforms. "Personal health is so integral and critical to our Flight Attendant workforce, who must be able to work in a healthy manner and environment," he said. "To do so, our members need proper and safe uniforms." Along with requesting that American issue different uniforms, Ross also asked that the airline give its employees the sick leave they have requested, reimburse them for their medical costs, and launch a $2 million investigation into what is going on with the faulty uniforms. Since receiving the initial complaints, the airline says they've conducted three rounds of testing on the old uniforms and the new ones, as well as the packaging that they come in. Sounds a lot more in-depth than the "smell tests" I usually conduct on my own clothing. But apparently this isn't a new issue for American Airlines. In 2012, the company was the subject of a class action lawsuit that was filed after a similar complaint that the uniforms the flight attendants were being forced to wear were making them sick. What weird poison are they coating their clothing with? Hopefully the union can force American to comply to their demands, so that their employees can continue to do their already physically taxing jobs. Anyway, remember when being a flight attendant used to be glamorous? Me either. Seems like no matter how classy I dress, flying all ways makes me feel farty and bad. Bless the men and women who put their bodies through this on a regular basis and now have to wear evil uniforms sent to destroy them.
President-elect Donald Trump has been having a tough time finding anybody to perform at his inauguration January in Washingon, D.C. As of now, there are only three confirmed performers... the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, "America's Got Talent" alumna Jackie Evancho, and the Radio City Rockettes, who apparently have no choice in the matter despite at least some of the women reportedly being "appalled." James Dolan, the executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company (which owns the Rockettes dancers), issued the following statement confirming their appearance, "The Radio City Rockettes, an original American brand, have performed at Radio City Music Hall since 1932 and, as treasured American icons, have taken part in some of the nation’s most illustrious events such as Super Bowl halftime shows, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades and presidential inaugurations, including in 2001 and 2005. We are honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities." But clearly not all the Rockettes are on board. Rockette Phoebe Pearl posted an Instagram photo of the Rockettes dancing (which can no longer be viewed since she's made her account private), with a caption about her dislike of Donald Trump, reading, "I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts #notmypresident." A source told Perez Hilton, "It's been leaked that AGVA, the union who represents the Rockettes told the group of girls who contracted to do ALL promo events, that if they don't perform in the Trump inauguration, they will be sued/and or fired." And according to Broadway World, an email was sent to all the Rockettes concerning their performance at Donald Trump's inauguration, reading, "Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace... If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated. Doing the best performance to reflect an American Institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job." Sad!
Confusion swirled Friday evening as preliminary reports stated that actress Carrie Fisher, 60, was in serious condition after suffering a cardiac arrest on a plane moments before it was due to land in Los Angeles en route from London. According to TMZ, the medical emergency occurred about 15 minutes prior to touchdown, and an EMT "sitting in the back of the plane came up to first class and administered life-saving measures." An "unresponsive" Fisher was then rushed to UCLA Medical Center. Although at one point on Friday evening her brother Todd Fisher told the press that she had been stabilized and removed from the ER, he later clarified that she was in the intensive care unit and that it was too soon to say what her condition was. "We have to wait and be patient," he said, according to "USA Today." "We have so little information ourselves." On Twitter, friends and fans of the Star Wars icon... whose recent memoir "The Princess Diarist" recounted behind-scenes-secrets of the original film... expressed their heartfelt best wishes for Fisher, as well as the confidence that 2016 would not claim yet another beloved celebrity too young to depart from us. Fisher is currently being attended to not just by doctors but her daughter, Billie Lourd, as well as her French bulldog, Gary. So top-quality care all around. We're rooting for you, Princess.
If skin cancer wasn't enough of a threat to avoid tanning beds, then maybe the prospect of getting herpes will do the trick. Because, as it turns out, getting herpes and other STDs from a tanning bed is highly possible. It actually happens more often than you'd think. Dawn Marie Davies, associate professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told Yahoo, "In my practice, I've seen acquired bacterial infections, warts, and herpes infections from tanning beds. Ultraviolet light can theoretically kill germs, but it's not enough to kill germs on the tanning bed..." WHAT?! Uh, this is terrifying. Oh wait, it gets worse. "What's interesting is that when you use the ultraviolet light over and over again... and the tanning bed lights are on for multiple hours a day... if the bacteria or virus is exposed to some antiseptic but not enough to kill it, or some light but not enough to kill it, it can grow stronger and then it becomes resistant." Are we talking about herpes or Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Remember, there's no cure for herpes, although it can be treated. A person is most infectious during a random flare-up, or, as it turns out, while they're trying to look sexy on a tanning bed. Let's just adjust our thinking on sexy, and start to find pale sexy. It's easy, watch. Oh wow, your skin is so milky smooth, it's like I've fallen into a bath of baby powder…
As Andy Warhol's prophecy goes, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Well, 2016 certainly was the future, and we saw many people and animals achieve their 15 minutes. Raise a glass... and pour one out... for the people who saw their fame come and go this year.  Here are three that I talked about on the Phile this year... This year was so bleak that a woman became an international hero simply by smiling and laughing. Chewbacca Mom (real name: Candace Payne) brought so much awareness to the previously forgotten Star Wars franchise that she got to visit headquarters, as well as bike with everyone's favorite walking carpet around the Facebook battle station. Then there was Ken Bone... Ah, yes. Ken Bone. An undecided voter who was cute and meme-able until the stakes became so damn high. The winner of the second presidential debate charmed voters on both sides of the aisle. While we never got to hear his political opinions, the people did get to read his opinion on Jennifer Lawrence's buttonhole. In 2016, it was possible to check any page on the Internet without encountering a Harambe meme. The furry gorilla was just too pure for this world and was martyred on May 28th, 2016 after a three-year-old boy jumped into his enclosure at a Cincinnati zoo. Unlike Harambe himself, the meme did not die and tributes popped up everywhere with the tongue very, very much in the cheek.
Hey, the Phile has a new sponsor...

I might have to try that. I don't know about you, but I love pie charts so I think this one is relevant...

Hey, so, did you see Rogue One? They announced the title of the next Star Wars movie already.

Hahaha. And they are already filming the sequel to Rogue One and I have an exclusive behind-the-scenes pic.

There's a new Star Wars product by the way that just hit the shelves.

I have no idea what it does... but I might get to for my Slave Leia collection. Haha. So, if you are wondering what I thought of this year, wonder no more, people, thanks to this new mind reader device.

Yup... that's about right. Alright, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between The Electoral College And Rogue One
5. Introduces us to a bleak, dystopian society.
4. Has spurred months of baseless speculation and rumor.
3. Part of a series that should've been discontinued decades ago.
2. Haunted by the presence of a looming, monstrous tyrant.
And the number one similarity or difference between the Electoral College and Rogue One is...
1. Features a small band of rebels pulling off a stunning, last-second victory.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile for the last entry of 2016. How are you?

Jeff: Happy Boxing Day to you. I prefer Wrestling Day, but that's me. And as always glad to be back here on the Phile.

Me: I am glad this year is almost over, aren't you?

Jeff: I am glad that 2016 is almost over. Twenty-sixteen can go choke on an (expletive deleted).

Me: Hahaha. Okay, so, the Giants lost to the Eagles... a game they should've won.

Jeff: Yes, New York should have won. I'm a huge fan of Eli and all, but his interceptions really kill that team. If you take away that interception returned for a touchdown, New York wins.

Me: Did you see Odell's reaction after the game? Banging his head against a wall. I was like, man, what are you doing? You have gotta be a better sport than that.

Jeff: Man, are you really surprised? I'm not. I like Beckham most of the time, but the last year has kind of proven that he has acted like a spoiled brat. He's a few years away from writing a book called "Throw Me the Damn Ball 2.0" like Keyshawn Johnson. But the spelling in the book will be as bad as Donald Trump's. Which is unpresidently bad.

Me: Speaking of Odell, I thought it's cool he wore cleats made with grass from his high school’s field inside them. He is known to change his cleats with different themes. Is any of your Steeler guys that cool?

Jeff: That is cool. None of the Steelers do anything like that. At least that I know of.

Me: The Browns won, Jeff! Did you see after they beat the Chargers of all teams with a last-second missed field goal by San Diego, fans in Cleveland took no more than minutes to begin selling champion-like merchandise to celebrate their first win in 377 days?

Jeff: In fairness, if it was 377 days between your victories you'd be throwing a party too. And fans in Detroit are celebrating since they are still the only NFL team in history to go 0-16. See? Last week I said I wasn't going to say they couldn't possibly go 0-16 and then they go ahead and win a game!

Me: I think it's funny. So, did you see Detroit is the latest team to change its name and logo?

Jeff: Ions? They are positively charged that they are the only team in NFL history to go 0-16. A little science humor. You're welcome!

Me: Good one. Alright, what NFL news do you have?

Jeff: The biggest news is two quarterback's went down with injuries this week. Both suffered leg injuries. Marcus Mariotta of the Titans will miss the final game of the regular season. They were eliminated from the playoffs so it doesn't hurt as bad (well, for him it hurts!) unlike Derek Carr who could miss playoff time due to his leg injury. The other big news is the playoff scene is starting to come a little bit more into focus. In the AFC the playoffs are set. The six teams in the playoffs are New England, Oakland, Houston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Miami. The NFC is a little tighter. The NFC North is still up for grabs between Detroit and Green Bay, There's also one wild card spot up for position. Green Bay could win the division or they could be a wild card depending on the results of Detroit vs Dallas on "Monday Night Football." The Giants are the other NFC wild card.

Me: Okay, how did we do with the last picks?

Jeff: We both went 1-1 on with our picks. The Steelers won this week so I gained another point after the Giants lose. My lead now is 10 points.

Me: Expletive deleted. Haha. Let's pick the next games... I say Patriots by 5 and Bengals by 6. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks are Vikings by 6 and Seattle by 8. This marks the end of the regular season so I will see you in the playoffs!

Me: Alright, Jeff, have a good new year and I will see you back here on Sunday the 1st.

George Michael 
June 25th, 1963 — December 25th, 2016
Trying to narrow down cause of death. Possibilities: Boom boom in heart, jitterbug in brain, hanging like yo-yo, years of drug use and driving under the influence. Has to be one of those.

The 55th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Dave will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's Alumni guests are the two members that make up the band Makar. Their latest single "Zombies Have Rights Too" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile...
Andrea DeAngelis and Mark Purnell.

Me: Hey, kids, welcome back to the Phile. How's it been?

Mark: It’s been great, Jason. Thanks for having us back!

Me: So, you're still living in NYC I am guessing, am I right?

Mark: Always and forever. No other city for Makar. We can only exist in a certain ecosystem, and this be it.

Andrea: I think I’ve said this before but New York City is my country! Especially now. Honestly, there is so much to explore in all the boroughs of this wonderful city.

Me: Have you been playing many shows around town?

Mark: Nope, it’s all about the new album, "Fancy Hercules," now. Just recording, rehearsing with our new drummer, Livia Ranali from the End Men, and doing a national/international radio campaign for "Funeral Genius." We’ve been practicing at these amazing artist studios called Spaceworks. 

Andrea: Spaceworks is a nonprofit cultural community development organization dedicated to expanding the supply of long-term, affordable rehearsal and studio space for artists working in New York City. We just recently practiced in the Williamsburgh Library via Spaceworks when no one else was around, felt like we were Ghostbusters or something. We are planning on doing live streaming via Facebook and City Bird is having us do a live show in January.

Me: What's your favorite gig you two have played?

Mark: For me it was our second Knitting Factory show. The energy was incredible and at the end of the last song Damion Day I connected with the high note in a primal scream that puts a smile on my face to this day. Andrea was shredding, Mark Nilges was laying down serious bass action and Dawn McGrath was drumming like a fiend as I held the note like some crazed meth head in need of a hit. It was just Makar at our most rocking and at the end of the show people were going crazy, clapping and screaming and it felt amazing! Nothing better than connecting with an audience.

Andrea: I don’t know, I’ve enjoyed a lot of them. But I think recently, I really enjoyed playing Leftfield on Ludlow on a cold day in January because my dad and my brother attended and it was a small intimate concert with a lot of funny chatter from the peanut gallery. I was so relaxed even though it was the first time playing some of our new tunes!

Me: Last time we were here we talked about your band name... Makar... the origin of it. Did you know there's a character in "Legend of Zelda" or whatever the game is called named Makar?

Andrea: I am vaguely aware of this. Not before we picked the name though! Neither Mark nor I play many video games due to the possibility of our latent tendonitis flaring up. Ah, the joys of the modern world!

Me: Does anybody ever ask of the name is a combination of your two first names... Andrea and Mark?

Mark: Everyone thinks it’s an anagram of my name with an extra a but it’s not. Just Andrea chilling with the dictionary working on her debut novel, "Pushed." Being a published poet she loved that it meant poet in 15th century Scottish. Makar is all about the new and the old, combining old and new music styles, old and new word play, so it made sense for us to name our band something old that something new would emerge from, like our upcoming album "Fancy Hercules."

Andrea: We only realized that it could be a combo of our two names after the fact, must have been subconscious!

Me: Andrea, are you still writing poetry?

Andrea: Sadly, I haven’t had as much time for poetry as I would like due to our recent move and recording. But I hope to get back into it. I have been working on odd little stories and recently got another story accepted to "Timeless Tales."

Me: What's "Timeless Tales"?

Andrea: Timeless Tales is a digital magazine exclusively publishing retellings of fairy tales and classic myths. This new story I wrote is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Snow Queen."

Me: Also, are you still taking a lot of pictures? You're into photography, right?

Andrea: I would love to do more purposeful photography. Mostly Mark and I have just been posting to our Instagram @makarmusic which is definitely fun. But I’m making a resolution to really start taking photos seriously again after watching the inspiring melancholy documentary "Finding Vivian Maier." I always feel like I should be taking pictures but sometimes I experience this lethal hesitation when snapping a shot. Like who am I to add to the sensory overload that is a modern dilemma? Recently, I’ve only been really using my iPhone but I’d like to get back to a real deal camera. I like using an inexpensive fisheye camera with actual film. It’s kinda revolutionary not to be able to see what you’ve taken instantly after you clicked but then having to get the photos printed and then to scan and then upload is a little bit of a pain.

Me: That's ones of the best things about NYC... you are never short of shit to take pictures of. What's your favorite thing to snap?

Andrea: Art... unexpected and expected. Odd angles of architecture and shadow. Chronicling our gallivanting around the city and the sky never fails to disappoint. I don’t know if I really have any one specific thing I like to take pictures of but I liken it to this amazing art show I saw years ago at Crest Hardware in Brooklyn. The works of art would be hanging in the store’s aisles surrounded by actual regular day items for sale, the effect being that you weren’t sure what was art and what wasn’t. I walked outside and saw “ordinary” things as extraordinary and in a new light.

Me: Andrea, you took some great creative photos when you jumped into your parent’s pool. I have to show one here...

Me: What made you think of doing that?

Andrea: Thank you! Honestly, I think I saw these water proof disposable cameras on sale at CVS and I thought how cool. I love to swim and love being underwater. I basically swim like a frog so I’ve always wanted to capture that feeling of the water and being underwater but if I didn’t see those cameras, I probably wouldn’t have thought of it. So serendipity.

Me: Mark, do you have any hobbies like Andrea has?

Mark: I love anything that has to do with art, so we’re always going to museums, shows, movies, dance, plays or exhibits or taking pictures. Both of my parents were visual artists and photographers. Currently I’m working on my own debut novel called "Owen Little Way," a coming of age story. I also write a little poetry besides lyrics, some of which will be in my book and some of which I’ve read during live interviews. The following poem is something I wrote that is the very beginning of my book: Promise I was a tree
burned down by my own hand, I was a spirit
pulled down to the ground, I was the sun

Me: I saw pictures that you kids went to a Ramones exhibit. Where was that?

Mark: The Queens Museum, which was recently renovated and is a lot of fun to visit. The show was amazing and there were even live punk bands playing their own songs on the main room floor. It was kick ass to see how many kids are still influenced by the Ramones and punk music.

Andrea: What I was most impressed with in that exhibit was the sheer sonic power of the Ramones. How they faced off like a front line of punk and raw rock and roll. Their very physical stance recalled a force not to be messed with and their instruments their weapons of choice.

Me: Are you two fans of the Ramones?

Andrea: How could you not be?

Mark: Love them. Especially love that they were from Queens which isn’t always considered the coolest place, but hey the Ramones came from there so people need to recognize. They were an amazing band, playing CBGBs and keeping songs short and powerful. They inspire the length of our songs completely. In fact every time we’re writing a new song the punk ethos of not writing bloated rock songs is in full effect. Towards the end of the seventies bands were putting out 10, 15, 20 minute songs, just wanking off for hours in total self-indulgence. Punk came along and said enough of that bullshit, let’s get back to raw, powerful, real, energetic, spit in your face, cut you like a razor music and the Ramones were at the forefront of that. Them, the Pistols and the originators of punk, the band Death. Sometimes we have to be careful because we have minute and a half songs on "Fancy Hercules" that won’t get played on the radio because they have a two and a half minute limit to which I say bollocks! If the song is good… play it, moos!

Me: Ever see them live? I am lucky that I got to see them live once many years ago in the early 90s. And I saw Joey Dee Dee at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood once.

Mark: No, we didn’t, but that must have been incredible. At the Queens exhibit they had movie screen sized footage of them playing live and it was unbelievable how fast and furious they played. They were awesome. No two ways about that. We did get to see the New York Dolls though, and that was amazing too. Saw them at the Williamsburg Music Hall and they still had it, in fact many people were saying they sounded better than ever and I have to say they sound pretty damn great!

Me: So, you two are married, right? I think we went over that last time you were here.

Mark: Twenty years brother. Love of my life, best friend, songwriting partner, book collaborator, Tazmanian devil, punk rock diva and just all around beautiful baby who can wail like nobody’s business. Our songs don’t even begin to showcase the power in her voice. She shreds the Runaways’ "Cherry Bomb" like she was born to it then turns around and sings high clear angelic soprano like Joni Mitchell. Just one awesome lady. I’m a very lucky man. Andrea hadn’t picked up a guitar since she was 12 when we got married, was writing away happily and then she becomes this songwriting, guitar playing, singing force of nature. I didn’t see that coming.

Andrea: I love my hubby. I don’t know what I would do without Mark. Seriously he gets me through especially these days. During the work week, I have to have lunch with him every day. We’re lucky we’re in walking distance of each other’s day jobs. He is my love, my best friend, my inspiration and makes me a better person. We are so fortunate to have each other.

Me: Did you meet before you two were musicians?

Mark: Yeah, we met at the College Board, maker of the SAT. If there was one place on the planet I would never have thought I’d be working at, that was it. But it actually turned out to be a cool place full of artists and writers. We were working one half of the same day job, a team from the beginning. We became best friends after three days and it wasn’t until a bartender told us we were in love that it turned all romantic. Kissed her at three in the morn on a subway platform after some party. I didn’t care that the hobos were lookin’ on. I was in love and to this day the fire still burns like it was yesterday.

Andrea: Mark actually almost stepped on this big dude’s foot and he was about to get into Mark’s face but then he saw we were in love... L-U-V and was like have a good night.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new single "Zombies Have Rights Too." Hahaha. I disagree, but I love the song. Which one of you wrote it?

Mark: Ha! Complete collaboration on this one. That’s kind of where we’re at as songwriters now. We were rehearsing and I started noodling around on chords from another song, just the I, IV and V, and it sounded magical. Then Andrea started singing zombies have rights too and it was like I think we might have something here ladies and gentlemen. We had just watched an episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" where the whole idea of zombies being spirits stuck in purgatory that need guiding to the next world and not just monsters was being put forth and it blew our minds. Also, the way Rick on "The Walking Dead" in season one saw that half zombie woman crawling towards him and saw her as a person not a thing. A person like him who was now the living dead, but who had once had dreams and a soul and a family. It got us right in the gut and we penned this beauty as an ode, an anti-folk number, funny but not funny, serious but ridiculous and all in time for Halloween and to try to get it on the fan art portions of "Talking Dead."

Andrea: It’s kinda a Spinal Tap moment where Nigel is playing these beautiful chords on an upright piano and Rob Reiner asks him what the song will be called and he says, “Lick My Love Pump." Also, one of my favorite Clash songs is "Know Your Rights" so we riffed on that. I’ve wanted to write a funny zombie song for a while now but wasn’t sure how to go about it until inspiration struck Mark and me. The more I learn about the Day of the Dead, the more I see what a beautiful tradition it is, the gatherings of family and friends to remember and pray for loved ones who have died and help them on their spiritual journey. I’m not sure how this entirely works with our silly song except that it helped inform and change our thinking about death and zombies which says something in the overworked (but awesome) zombie genre.

Me: I take it you two are fans of "The Walking Dead." What are your favorite characters?

Mark: Super fans! My favorites are Carol and Michonne because they are both kick ass women and as a feminist I love seeing strong leading women, superheroes, especially when they’re wielding Katanas. I used to do a little kendo back in the day and that is one good weapon to have in the apocalypse.

Andrea: Neither one of us have read much of the comics. I just don’t want to spoil the story for myself. I love Carol and Michonne for the same reasons above but I also dig Morgan. His arc on the show is so interesting and compelling. He went from killing everyone living or dead to pledging to not kill anyone living. He falters but is still trying to stick to his moral path which is commendable in any world, apocalypse or not. Mark and I are also enjoying the spin-off series of "Fear the Walking Dead." There’s something looser about this prequel, maybe it’s because we haven’t spent as long with the characters and it’s not tied to the graphic novels and the characters like Travis and Nic seem even more conflicted and complicated, perhaps because they are less familiar. We didn’t start off watching "The Walking Dead" from the very beginning but the episode that hooked us was the one about Rick’s group finding sanctuary in the CDC. I think it would have been hard for me to stomach the gore without that thoughtful accidental introduction. I have a love hate relationship with horror, I am compelled to watch it but I hate the nightmares I usually have after watching. But I still do it, but gotta hone my apocalypse survival tactics because you know we’re going to need them.

Me: Anyway, was this a spur of the moment song, you two?

Mark: Totally!

Andrea: I think we literally started writing and working on the song the week after the "Fear the Walking Dead"’s mid-second-season finale "Shiva."

Me: I like the zombie sounds in the background. Is that both of you doing it?

Mark: YES! Glad you like them. Andrea went all out. I’m basically snoring, but in a kind of zombie menacing way if they were stuffed up. Unfortunately, Andrea probably recognizes those sounds all too well, but she went above and beyond. Kind of like a psychotic zombie totally losing her shit. I was super impressed with her zombie vocal abilities.

Andrea: Yeah, I was inspired, I’m not sure I could repeat them. Mark was like you can just make the noises in the same room with me when we were recording and I said there is no way I can do that without cracking up.

Me: You two need to visit Orlando and I’ll take you to a zombie experience where you get to shoot zombies. It’s so much fun. Have you two ever been to Disney or Orlando?

Mark: We’re so there! And want to see the new Kong ride too. Supposed to be amazing!!!!! We also have to do the Potter thing, and we went to Iceland in November and did the "Game of Thrones" tour. You know nothing Jon Snow! But Makar knows everything. Muhahahahahaha!

Andrea: I went with my family a couple times to Orlando. It was awesome except for the part when my parents tried to have a romantic dinner and we were left in the hotel room, watching TV. We started to watch this made for TV movie where these three kids were abandoned by their family out in the woods. Then my older brother convinced me and my younger brother that our parents were never coming back. We started screaming and crying running down the hotel hallways until management found my parents at the restaurant and told them their kids were going ape-shit.

Me: Haha. Your last album was "Funeral Genius" and that came out awhile ago now. When does your next one come out?

Mark: "Fancy Hercules" is on its way my man. Set for a September 2017 release and another national/international radio campaign! Fourteen songs of pure Makar madness. We’re totally stoked.

Andrea: Yep, we’re still working away on "Fancy Hercules," it’s coming. We’re kind of recording things a bit backwards... guitar, piano, vocals first and then we will go into the studio and add drums. We have pretty finished tracks for "I’m Glad," "Love and Confusion" and "Time Flies" and are currently working on the title track, "Fancy Hercules." I’m trying to get my slide on and experiment more so hopefully you will see more of that.

Me: Okay, this is the Phile’s 10th anniversary and I have been asking my Alum guests this year what they were doing ten years ago in 2006… so, what were you both doing?

Mark: Meditating on the top of Everest. I had gone for a Sunday stroll to clear my head and just happened to make it up in one go. Didn’t even need base camp to adjust my oxygen levels. Just went for it and once I had seen the view, which wasn’t too shabby, I slid back down, just my snow pants taking the hits, and there were many because that damn mountain is rocky! But I made it down in one piece, knocked about but much wiser. I don’t know, either that or Makar had just released our debut album, "99 Cent Dreams," and unleashed holy hell on the man!

Andrea: Still working on my damn novel.

Me: Thanks, kids, for being back on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Before you go mention your Facebook, Twitter, website and anything else. Visit soon here or I might have to visit you in NYC.

Andrea: Come to NYC! We’ll grab some beers! Cheers!

Mark:,, Twitter: @makarmusic, Facebook: makarrocks.

Me: Good job, see you guys soon.

That about does it for this entry and this year for the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Mark and Andrea. The Phile will be back next Sunday with singer Melody Federer. 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, December 22, 2016

A Peverett Phile Christmas 8 Pheaturing Ila Minori

Hey there, welcome to a Peverett Phile Christmas 8, how are you kids? I'm wishing you a safer holiday season than the woman from "Baby, It's Cold Outside" had. Any of you have a December birthday? I'm so sorry your December birthday is overshadowed by a guy who wore sandals indoors. May your holiday travels not be as long as the next four years already seem. Okay, let's start off with a sweet story. Every November for the past six years, Jim Glaub and his husband Dylan Parker receive hundreds of letters addressed to Santa Claus, delivered to their 22nd street apartment in Manhattan. They have no idea how their address got mistaken for Santa's, they told "Us Weekly," but they've made it their mission to ensure that every single letter gets answered. Most of the letters are from low-income children, said the couple. So, heartbreakingly, many of the kids' Christmas requests are basic necessities like clothes and food. “We got one from a kid who asked for a bed because he was sleeping on the couch and springs were hurting his back,” Glaub told "Us." “I started crying.” ME TOO, Jim. Me too. Because two people couldn't possibly answer that many letters, they've enlisted the help of strangers via a Facebook group called Miracle on 22nd Street, which allows volunteers to "adopt" letters, which they can respond to, along with sending gifts if they want.
The Facebook group now has 4,000 members, with people offering to help out from all over the world. As far as why these letters ended up at their apartment, Gaub said "it's a mystery." A Christmas miracle, perhaps? The couple has since moved to London, but they've kept their NYC address and seem to have no intention of retiring from their work as stand-in Santas. “It requires that we put ourselves second momentarily to help someone unknown to us and without the usual gratification of seeing the outcome or receiving thanks,” said Parker. “The act of giving has to be enough.”
The Jefferson Mall in Louisville, Kentucky has made it clear they won't tolerate hate speech, by promising to find and ban a woman whose racist tirade at one of their stores went viral this week.
ICYMI: on Tuesday, a human stocking full of hot coals told Hispanic shoppers at a JC Penney to "go back to wherever the fuck you come from," and "speak English," among other slurs and insults. Fellow shopper Renee Buckner recorded the rant on her phone and shared it on Facebook, where it's been viewed over 7 million times and received over 50,000 comments. "They can't act like the hero, they come here to live and act like everybody else," says the woman in the video. "Get in the back of the line like everybody else does and be somebody. That's the way I look at it. You're nobodies, just because you come from another country, it don't make you nobody." This is horrific, un-Christmas-like behavior on every level. I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't down with hate speech and wouldn't want it anywhere near his birthday celebrations. The Jefferson Mall, where the incident took place, responded yesterday in a Facebook post, promising to ban the woman in the video, "
"We will work to identify this woman, and once identified, she will be permanently banned from Jefferson Mall, per our Behavioral Code of Conduct." JC Penney has also issued a statement of apology. The company said they are "deeply disturbed" by the incident and are asking for the public's help in identifying the two Hispanic women who were targeted in the video, so they could "offer a sincere apology for their experience" and also reimburse them for their purchases. A JC Penney spokeswoman wrote on Facebook, "We regret that innocent bystanders... both other customers and a JC Penney associate... were subjected to such discriminatory remarks. We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores, and are working with our associates to ensure any future incidents of this nature will be addressed quickly and appropriately." I'd wish this woman a very miserable Christmas. But based on first impressions, that's basically a guarantee.
Have you seen the “drone-boarding” Santa Claus? He's is sick as hell, bros. Look!

Snowboarder Casey Neistat is a braver bro than most of us. He and his buddies couldn't find a drone powerful enough to lift a human (even online!?), so they built their own. Neistat then attached his snowboard to the drone by a tow rope and used it to launch himself through the air, all while dressed in full Santa Claus garb. And behold: the invention of "drone-boarding." This is the stuff you dreamed about as a kid, if you were the kind of kid who loved playing outside and always got picked first in gym class. I was not. But luckily for us indoor kids, it was all captured in some amazing video footage which we can watch from the warmth and safety of our beds. I never say this, but this video was sick as hell, bro. The video was shot in Finland, where I imagine the real Santa Claus lives. And in this behind-the-scenes video, the team explains how they built the drone, nicknamed "Janet," which took them over a year to build. Remember back when drones were just for delivering packages or catching your wife cheating? Not anymore. Christmas future is here. And it looks like this...

Damn, that picture is moving. What the hell? That's a first on the Phile.
Better get the tissues ready for this one. A Tennessee man who plays Santa Claus every year around the holidays rushed to the hospital recently to make a dying little boy's Christmas dreams come true. Santa, whose real name is Eric Schmitt-Matzen, got a call from a nurse he knows at a local hospital who told him that there was a very sick five-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa. “I told her, ‘Okay, just let me change into my outfit.’" Schmitt-Matzen told "Knoxville News Sentinel." She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’” Schmitt-Matzen arrived at the ICU just fifteen minutes later. Outside, he met the boys' mother, along with some other family members. "She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) 'PAW Patrol' and wanted me to give it to him," he said. "I sized up the situation and told everyone, 'If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.'" Schmitt-Matzen went in to see the little boy alone. He shared the conversation they had with "Knoxville News Sentinel." He provided the boy the much needed comfort that only Santa could bring. "When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, 'Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!' He looked up and said, 'I am?' I said, 'Sure!' I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down. 'They say I’m gonna die,' he told me. 'How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?' I said, 'Can you do me a big favor?' He said, 'Sure!' "When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.' He said, 'They will?' I said, 'Sure!'" Unfortunately, the little boy passed away right after his conversation with Santa. (I know, I know. It's terrible. I'm cruel for even telling you this story.) But at least we can all take comfort in the fact that this hero Santa made his last moments happy ones. Schmitt-Matzen was so distraught by the incident that he thought he'd have to hang up the red suit forever. (How could you not feel that way?) That is, until he found the strength for one more Santa gig. "When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play, he said. "For them and for me." What a hero. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows in Christmas cookies. Wait, I can't eat them. Shit. Moving on...
Hey, wanna see what a $30,000 ugly Christmas sweater looks like?

What do you get for enough money to buy you a year of tuition at a fancy private college? This ugly Christmas sweater made by Tipsy Elves featuring Santa riding a unicorn past Saturn. It comes complete with two fake diamond necklaces rimming the collar to let everyone know you mean business. The entire monstrosity is covered in 24,274 individually placed Swarovski crystals and took 52 hours to create. I know what you're thinking, this is just too valuable to wear. Fear not! It will be shipped to you "inside a luxury frame" so you can spend a lifetime staring at this hideous mistake. Usually ugly Christmas sweaters come in under the $20 mark, because they're supposed to be jokes, like the one I am wearing now that cost me 9.99. But this year, the joke is on you! Make ugly sweaters expensive again. So far there is only one review, but it is glowing! "There are a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters, but until now none of hem told the story of how bad I am with my money." So hurry up and get yours before they run out (please tell me they only made one). It's the perfect sweater to remember what this holiday is all about: throwing your money around.
I have an extra story I have to tell you. Remember last entry when I told you about the heroic cops who rescued a baby from a locked car, except it was not a baby. Welllll... Kathy Cadle's lifelike baby dolls are very lifelike... so lifelike that someone thought they were running a human trafficking ring. The artist, along with her sister Rachel Smith, make extremely lifelike baby dolls to sell and donate to nursing homes, for old folks to remember the glory days of early parenting. ABC5 reports that when someone on Facebook stumbled upon an ad for a new doll, they thought she was selling a real, live baby. Cadle opened the door one day to a cop investigating her for human trafficking claims, after the Facebooker reported her to the police. She told ABC5 that when the office showed up, "He asked to see the baby, and I brought it in, he shook his head, I wasn't expecting this at all, like wow hey there's a cop. I said nobody is going to believe this, can you take a picture with me, and I can post it. He said sure okay, and that was nice.” The story generated so much publicity that they're struggling to keep up with the Christmas demand. It'll make a great gift, as long as they don't leave their new babies in a hot car. Look how real this friggin't thing looks...

Yeesh. Crazy.
Okay, so I mentioned the $30,000 ugly sweater... well, there's a bunch of sweaters that are not as expensive but they do show the ugliness that was 2016. Like this obligatory Harambe sweater...

Hahaha. I love it! Do you guys like that movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Did you know before they cast Jim Carrey they had somebody else cast as the Grinch? Now? Well, take a look...

Very fitting, right? Do you know what Donald Trump's previous job was? I'll show you...

Hahaha. He has tiny hands. I have been showing you the last few weeks some really cool Christmas ads. Here's another one...

I have no idea what it is for. Oh, well. So, do you guys like Fisher-Price toys? They have been making toys for years and years, but I think now they ran out of ideas. Check out their latest product...

If my son was a toddler I would get it for him. One of my favorite Christmas movies is A Christmas Story but they seemed to have updated it for modern times.

Ha. That won't only shoot your lights out but will shoot your whole face off. Hey, if you wanna play Santa and forgot to get the costume check this out...

It might work. Maybe. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Elf On The Shelf's Biggest Complaints
5. Felt pants chafe like hell!
4. I got stuck on a low shelf when the dog was in heat!
3. I was named by a five-year-old boy... so legally I'm "Fartsy McPoophat"
2. My legs have atrophied to hell after being stored in the attic for 48 weeks a year!
And the number one Elf on the Shelf complaint is...
1. Turns out the Bratz doll I sent the night with lied about being 18! Now I gotta introduce myself to the neighbors as a Registered Sex Offender: Doll Division!

Hahahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, this is something cool... you heard of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, right? Well, apparently during the year it turns out he is a stand-up comedian now that he is grown up. So, I thought it would be cool to have him on the Phile and tell some jokes. So, gather the kids around, people. Please welcome to the Phile...

Me: Man, could that lettering me anymore blurry? Hey, Rudolph, it's good to have you here... I'm a big fan... how are you?

Rudolph: I am good. You comet here often? Hahaha. Get it?

Me: Yep, I get it.

Rudolph: Jason, you'd be amazed what I can do under a buck.

Me: Ummm. okay?

Rudolph: Can't you tell by my antlers I'm a little horny?

Me: Not really. You are supposed to be here telling jokes.

Rudolph: Okay. What do the reindeers' wives do while their husbands are helping Santa deliver gifts all over the world?

Me: I don't know. What?

Rudolph: They go into town to blow a few bucks. 

Me: Rudolph, that's not kid friendly. Try again. 

Rudolph: Did you hear about the dyslexic Satanist?

Me: Ummm... no.

Rudolph: He sold his soul to Santa.

Me: That's terrible.

Rudolph: How about this one? Why does Santa have a big sack?

Me: I'm afraid to ask.

Rudolph: Because he only comes once a year.

Me: Rudolph! That's terrible!

Rudolph: Why did Santa name his penis Conjunction?

Me: I can't imagine. Why?

Rudolph: Because it joins Clauses. 

Me: I do not like that one at all. You need to stop now, Rudolph.

Rudolph: Why is Santa so jolly?

Me: Because he is just a happy guy?

Rudolph: Because he knows where all the naughty girls live.

Me: Ugh. Okay, you have one more chance before Jeff and I talk football.

Rudolph: Why did Santa land on the roof?

Me: Sigh. I have no idea why.

Rudolph: Because he likes it on top.

Me: Ugh! Okay, Rudolph, that's enough, you're ruining my childhood. Go back to the North Pole!

Rudolph: Okay, but can I take a picture of you, so that I can show Santa what I want for Christmas? 

Me: No! Get out!

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome to the Phile for it's Christmas entry.

Jeff: Always good to be back on the Phile. Merry Christmas to you and your readers.

Me: How are you?

Jeff: I'm okay. Working in a flower shop before Christmas is chaotic, I can assure you that.

Me: So, are you looking forward to Christmas? Any cool plans planned?

Jeff: My plans for Christmas is spending it with the family. And waiting up for Santa, because I've been a good boy this year. Most of the time.

Me: Hahahaha.

Jeff: Hey? Why are you laughing?

Me: It's funny. So, did you see there's a GoFundMe page to fund the Browns 0-16 perfect season parade if it surpasses the goal?

Jeff: Well, we did see that Cleveland can throw a massive parade for when their team wins, so let's see what happens when they lose. I'm not going to ask if they could go all year without winning. Though I am a little worried since their last game is against Pittsburgh.

Me: By the way, the Browns are the latest team to change its name and logo...

Jeff: At this point Cleveland needs to do whatever they can to distance themselves from the product they are putting on the field.

Me: Man, what do you think of the Seahawks' color rush uniforms? I didn't know if that was Russell Wilson or Teletubbie Dipsy on the field.

Jeff: I'm personally not a fan of the color rush jerseys. Throwbacks are okay, especially the Bumblebee ones of Pittsburgh. Though those got retired. Shame!

Me: What NFL news do you have?

Jeff: The biggest news is we had our second coaching causality of the season. Jacksonville fired Gus Bradley, joining the Rams coach of Jeff Fisher. And speaking of Fisher, he has said he wants whatever team he coaches next to play the Rams so he can get revenge on them for firing him. Adrian Peterson returned to the field earlier than expected, but the Vikings lost again. Remember when they were the last undefeated team? I think they are 1-6 since then.

Me: Okay, so, how did we do over the weekend? You're still kicking my ass, right?

Jeff: I didn't realize that we both picked the same team last week! I picked by 7 and you picked by 14. It was Atlanta. And they won by so much that if we added up both our predictions, they still covered the spread! I continued the hottest streak in the history of the league by going 2-0 with a huge Steeler come back win. You went 1-1 with a Giant win. So I extended my lead now. I'm up by 7 now!

Me: That sucks! Let's do this week's picks, Jeff. I say Titans by 1 and Packers by 4. What do you pick?

Jeff: My picks are Chargers by 10 and Miami by 3.

Me: I have to ask, do you have any productions for the Super Bowl? Who would you like to see in it... of course you wanna see the Steelers play.

Jeff: At this point you almost have to go with the teams with the best records which are Dallas vs New England. I honestly would hate that. They are my least favorite teams. So I'm going to say Giants vs Steelers. BRING IT ON!

Me: Okay, so, there's gonna be no entry this Sunday as it's Christmas but the Phile will be back Monday. Wanna be back then to talk about the picks for Saturday's games or next Sunday?

Jeff: Either day works for me. 

Me: Jeff, have a great Christmas, and I will see you here on Monday.

Jeff: Have a good one everybody! Merry Christmas!

Mistletoe is an evergreen plant which produces oval leaves, white berries, and sexual harassment lawsuits.

The 55th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Dave will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. BTW, Foghat is mentioned in the book.

That's sick! I'm so sorry. Alright, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and tell us he's feelings about Christmas. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is.

Good evening, humans. Brief list of things I hate about Christmas.... Crowded malls with nothing you want and no parking. Hearing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" on the radio. People. Running out of tape while wrapping gifts. Bad Hallmark TV Christmas themed shows. People who get insulted when I wish them Merry Christmas. People who dress their pets like elves. Sequels of Christmas movies that sucked to begin with. People who put those stupid fucking reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses on their cars. People who wear ugly holiday sweaters. Rude clerks in stores. People who post pictures of themselves in Santa hats with cocktails by the pool in whatever area they live in that has a warm winter climate. People who act all nice for the holiday... when they're DICKS the rest of the year. Houses that are so lit up and decorated you could see them from the moon. People. That FUCKIN' "Dominic the Donkey" song. People who give you a gift from the checkout counter of a 7 Eleven when you spent $80 on their gift. People who buy you a star (really?). Getting a re-gift of the very same item you gave someone three years ago. People who make a BIG deal out of the fact that they're not Catholic and don't celebrate Christmas. VEGAN DINNERS SERVED ON CHRISTMAS DAY! People who ask, "So... are you all ready for the holidays?" People who call from out of town and want me to go into the city with them and see the tree... or go to Times Square on New Years Eve. That fuckin' version of "Jingle Bells" with the dogs barking. Winter hats that look like animal heads. "Hey Santa" by Wendy and Carnie Wilson. SantaCon. Family pictures of anybody by the tree. Gingerbread Man cookies. People. Anyone who says, "I can't believe it's Christmas already... where did the year go?" People who spend thousands of dollars decorating their homes... yet continuously walk by a homeless person without dropping ONE dollar in their donations cup. Merry Friggin' Christmas...

Ha! I agree with most of those. Good job, Laird. Okay, today's pheatured guest is a wonderful singer-songwriter whose new single "Plastuc Hearts" is available on her website. Please welcome to the Phile... the lovely Ila Minori!

Me: Ila! Hey, how are you? I'm so glad you are here on the Phile. I have to get this over with and say it now... you're gorgeous. Okay, I said it. Ahem.

Ila: Thank you. Glad to be on it.

Me: I love your name... it sounds like something from a Star Wars movie or very Italian. But you have Mexican background, right?

Ila: Yes, I have a Mexican-American background. Supposedly my aunt says I have some Italian but I don’t know for certain.

Me: Where did the name originate from?

Ila: I wanted something androgynous so I researched some names. I liked the sound and look of Ila (it’s Hindu) and Minori is Japanese. I didn’t know it was Italian until I visited Italy to write my album. My friend said that there is a town near her house in Gaeta called Minori and we drove off the Almafi Coast and visited Minori. It is a tiny, beautiful village on this jaw dropping coastline of Italy. Also Ila has some history with Hindu Mythology. Ila was basically cursed by a Hindu God to change sexes by the waning of the moon but it ended up being strength because he has both sexes. He even had a boyfriend God and everything.

Me: Wow. Speaking of Italy... you recently spent a lot of time there. What made you decide to go over there?

Ila: The first time was in 2014/2015 and I lived in the Trentino Alps to write the new album. Then the second time was this year and I went to play shows and visit friends. I toured Germany. I also got on a friends’ indie label based out of Berlin called Bakraufarfita Records. I missed Italy and wanted to visit my friends that I made out there and make more new friends. I also became friends with some musicians in Rome so when I’m ready to tour there I have a band there. Everything in Rome is a process and takes twice as long. Italians are really big on the relationships with people and want to see you’re serious and invested. So I spent a lot of time visiting with my lead guitarist that lives partly in Rome and Napoli. We would plan and plan before we even rehearsed. So it’s really different how things are done show and band wise. But it’s a personal goal to play some great shows with a band in Rome and Napoli. There are a few great indie rock venues there.

Me: I have been through a lot these last few years and traveling overseas was the last thing I would of thought of going to. My happy place is Port Jefferson on Long Island. Anyway, how long did you stay there?

Ila: I have been overseas twice. The second time I stayed for 10 months.

Me: Did you stay in one place or travel, Ila?

Ila: The first time I lived in the Trentino Alps in a small village. And the second time I stayed and lived in Rome. But we traveled a couple of times to Berlin, Germany where my friends in a band called Feline and Strange live.

Me: Would you go back again?

Ila: Absolutely.

Me: Did you perform over there? What else did you do?

Ila: Yes, I performed. Worked and lived a very traditional life-style with my boyfriend and his family. The first time I isolated myself in the alps and wrote part of my album. I played in Vienna, Austria and some places in north Italy.

Me: How were the audiences compared to American audiences?

Ila: I think there they listen more. It’s more a respect for the music as opposed to respect for the drinking.

Me: You recently toured the east coast, and I wish you would of came to Florida. You need to come down here for a few days. Ever been?

Ila: The east coast tour was so fun and I plan to do it again in the spring. Yes, I want to play Florida. 

Me: You're from Texas originally, right? What part, Ila?

Ila: Yes, San Antonio.

Me: So, if I went to Texas to visit you where would we go?

Ila: We would go to Southtown the arts district in San Antonio, Austin… cool places in San Antonio for sure.

Me: Alright. I love your voice and music, Ila... have you been singing pretty much all your life?

Ila: No, I was a late bloomer and did not sing until I started to play guitar after high school.

Me: Who were your influences growing up?

Ila: My influences were bands like Mazzy Star, U2, the Doors stuff I listened to growing up and as a teen… I was a teen in the 90s so all of the grunge era... Sonic Youth, the Pixies, Fugazi, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Belly… etc.

Me: How long have you been playing guitar, Ila?

Ila: Fifteen years.    

Me: Did you teach yourself?

Ila: Yes. I took some lessons but mostly taught myself with friends.

Me: What was the first song you learned to play?

Ila: It was a Cure song... I think it was “A Forrest.”

Me: What bands do you listen to now?

Ila: Phantogram, Vasco Rossi currently.

Me: If you could share the same bill with somebody who would it be?

Ila: I would love to play with Mazzy Star or Phantogram.

Me: Let's talk about your new music... I love the song "Plastic Hearts." What was the inspiration behind that song, Ila?

Ila: I was separated from my husband and was in Italy. I had a lot of guys that wanted something from me serious before I left but they were always two-faced or false intentions. Even in Italy the men there take the girl out and do a big presentation. They might throw 1,000 EU on a weekend to make a big presentation, for it to only be a game. Mind blowing. So I wrote “Plastic Hearts.”

Me: I love it you released it on lathe vinyl. For those that don't know, explain what that is.

Ila: So, lathe vinyl is basically a lighter vintage plastic that’s in mono. It was one of the first kinds of vinyl they started to press in the 1950s.

Me: How did you decide to release it that way?

Ila: A label in Brooklyn called Leesta VAll contacted me and said they specialize in lathe vinyl singles. They would love to release one of my songs. So it went from there.

Me: You're coming out with a new CD called "Traveling With Ghosts." I take it that was written when you were traveling in Italy. Is it a personal album?

Ila: Yes, very personal.

Me: What can you tell us about it?

Ila: I will say it sounds incredible. I’m so proud of it. The production is gorgeous and all the songs are wonderful. It tells a story. It’s earthy and has balls but delicate at the same time.

Me: You know you have to come back here when it comes out... right?

Ila: Of course!

Me: So, are you gonna be making a video for "Plastic Hearts"?

Ila: Yes!

Me: I have to ask you about the single cover... who is that on it? It's a beautiful picture.

Ila: The cover is artwork from a local San Antonio artist Tim Olson. He works with old photos and created art out of them... you would have to ask him who the bride is.

Me: You write such beautiful music, when you write does the lyrics come first or the music?

Ila: Usually at the same time.

Me: Who plays on the new release with you, Ila?

Ila: John Fernandez (drums), Joseph Lopez (lead guitar) and Dylan Ilseng (bass) played on the album.

Me: I mentioned at the top of this interview that you are gorgeous... which you are. I have seen many photos of you, and I have to say, you have never taken a bad photo! Do you like having your pic taken?

Ila: Yeah, there’s an art to it. Thank you.

Me: So, when the album comes out, Ila, will you be doing another tour?

Ila: Yes. Planning to do another east coast to and midwest.

Me: You know I might have to come to Texas to visit you, right?

Ila: Haha... bring it!

Me: Alright, mention your websites and anything else you'd like. I hope this was fun and I hope you come back on the Phile real soon. Take care, Ila.


Me: Good job, Ila. See you soon.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz, Laird Jim and Ila Minori. The Phile will be back on Monday with Phile Alumni Makar. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Have a good Christmas, everybody. Be safe!

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