Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Jeremy Croston

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Let's start off with a story on
Pharma bro Martin Shkreli who decided you don't hate him enough so he released a video threatening Ghostface Killah. Martin Shkreli is tired of being known as the a-hole who raised the price of AIDS medicine. Now he wants to be known as the d-bag who threatened a member of the Wu-Tang Clan while drinking red wine from a stemless wine glass. In an unintentionally hilarious video obtained by TMZ, Shkreli, dressed in a blazer and surrounded by masked "goons," threatens rapper Ghostface Killah and demands he gives him a written apology. "Not in crayons, either," suggests a thug, and Shkreli agrees that's a good idea. An apology for what you may ask? Shkreli is pissed that Ghostface referred to him as the "Michael Jackson nose​ kid." Which isn't really an insult if you think about it, since Jackson paid a lot for that nose. The comment came after Shkreli dropped $2 million for Wu-Tang's one-of-a-kind album. The low-budget diss video looks like something your high school friends would make in their mom's basement for an "SNL" audition tape. Basically: it's both awful and the best. Shkreli even gets a pretty sick diss in there when he called Ghostface by "his government name" Dennis. "You're old, Dennis" is the best insult since #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch tweet from Amber Rose to Kanye. Hopefully 2016 will have a beef-a-day, because it's the saddest/most funny thing "celebrities" do.
Oh Barbie, you thought you were so progressive making dolls in a variety of skin tones and body shapes, didn't you? Well guess what: now Lego is hot on your (w)heels, making its first minifigures in wheelchairs. The new mini figure, spotted at two toy fairs in London and Nuremberg, is part of an upcoming Fun in the Park set that even comes with a helper dog. Of course, we also know from The Lego Movie that in the Lego universe, some disabled Lego mini figures instead choose to build themselves a super-suit with a shark for an arm. Apparently, Barbie also had a wheelchair once, but ironically the wheelchair wouldn't fit in the Barbie Dream House's elevator. That's less of a problem when you can just move a few bricks to make a toy building accessible to people with disabilities. If only it was that simple in real life.
This woman believes she's a cat trapped in a human's body and makes a pretty compelling case...

Nano is a 20-year-old woman from Norway who thinks she's a cat. She meows, purrs, and hisses at dogs. She wears a plush tail and ears and says she hates water. She claims to be able to hear things that others can't, like keys jingling in pockets and suitcases rolling by (no word on how well she can hear a can of cat food being opened). She states that she often walks on "four legs" and sleeps in the sink (hey, a lot of people like sleeping in sinks, that doesn't make us cats). Sometimes she stalks and chases mice in the shadows, but she admits she's never managed to catch anything. Hang in there, lil' kitty, it'll happen! Nano's best friend Svein has multiple personalities, one of which is a cat. They meow at each other, and they swear that they can communicate using "cat language." According to Nano, it's possible to get used to living with cat instincts, but it's "exhausting," which must be why cats sleep so much. Nano claims to have felt this way since birth, but it wasn't until she was 16 that doctors found a "birth defect" that explained it. She stops there, though, without going into any further details about what that defect is. There is a phenomenon known as "species dysmorphia"... a disorder wherein people believe they were born into the wrong species. However, there is no mention of Nano having been diagnosed with that condition. Her psychologist told her she could grow out of it, but she thinks it's unlikely (you know what they say: once you go cat, you never go back). This brings up a lot of questions though, like: what does a cat even talk to a psychologist about? How much money does she have to spend each month on string? Can she get high from catnip? And if you drop Nano, does she always land on her feet? Not to be skeptical, but the only way she could ever prove that she really is a cat is by licking her own butthole. Your move, Nano.
Hey, this is a story for you, Sam... Lauren Graham officially confirmed that "Gilmore Girls" is returning to television (or Netflix, anyway). You haven't been this excited since Lorelei finally kissed Luke. According to "Time" magazine, most of the major actors are returning, including Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Sean Gunn, and Keiko Agena (noticeably absent so far is huge movie star Melissa McCarthy, perhaps for reasons of being a big movie star). Netflix hasn't given out a premiere date or an episode count for the show yet, so stay tuned to find out how Rory Gilmore’s newspaper coverage of a then-obscure politician named Barack Obama turned out.
Everyone knows that Disney princess movies are usually at least a little sexist... Snow White is a brainless dope whose biggest joy is cleaning up after seven men... but now there's a new reason to be suspicious of these movies: even though in all of them, women have the lead role, in many of them men have way more lines of dialogue than women, a new study found. Believe it or not, this trend didn't begin with movies like Snow White and Cinderella, with their decidedly retro gender politics; it began with The Little Mermaid, which was praised at the time for its spunky, rebellious heroine. In The Little Mermaid, of course, Ariel literally gives up her voice in exchange for legs, but women speak even less in the five princess movies that came after the 1989 classic. This may be because most supporting characters are made male by default. “There's one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things,” one of the researchers said. “There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions, or women inventing things. Everybody who’s doing anything else, other than finding a husband in the movie, pretty much, is a male." "My best guess is that it's carelessness, because we're so trained to think that male is the norm,” another researcher on the study added. “So when you want to add a shopkeeper, that shopkeeper is a man. Or you add a guard, that guard is a man. I think that's just really ingrained in our culture.” So, it turns out Disney princess movies are sexist in an entirely different way than you thought.
So, I told you the other day that Adam Driver resembles a cat, or vice versa... well, there's other people from Star Wars that resembles animals as well. Check it out...

By the way, Han lives... he was caught shopping at Target.

I think that's Target. I don't know about you, but love the news... especially when they make mistakes...

That's snot right. A fan of the Phile and Foghat found something that was on eBay and wanted to share it. It should be a Mindphuck...

That's not Foghat, people. That's Five Finger Death Punch I think. Technically, the band should be called Four Fingers and a Thumb Death Punch. Am I right? So, I have been showing you some pictures of why presidential candidates really shouldn't pose with kids. Like this one...

"Is this a better fake smile?" Also, for the Phile's 10th anniversary I have been showing you pics of people what they look like when they are reading the Phile.

How nice, they are having a picnic and looking at the Phile. Very nice. The other day I told you the story of the people behind this health campaign really should have consulted Urban Dictionary first. Well, here's another one of their ads I thought I had to share...

It's never too late to try new things. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York...

Top Phive Reasons Why We'd Like To Have Melania Trump As First Lady
5. Well, there's the whole "former swimsuit model" thing.
4. She's a great example to girls that a super-hot woman can accomplish anything her gazillionaire husband out her mind to.
3. Anyone who has skincare product line called Caviar Complexe C6 has to be a woman of the people.
2. She's still young enough to have more children, which will produce the kind of delightful media frenzy beloved by the British Royal Family.
And he number one reason why we'd like to have Melania Trump as First lady is...
1. Her April 26th birthday is shared by both William Shakespeare and Jet Li. Try telling me that's a coincidence.

Okay, so, all through January I have been showing you Mindphucks sent in by some of my readers. I know how you guys feel now, when you can't figure them out. Anyway, here's the last one sent in by a reader. If you spot it, let me know...

Okay, real quick, a lot of you asked how Laird Jim was doing. He apparently is still in the hospital but is doing better. Laird, we are thinking of you, my friend. Okay, so, there's doe stories that definitely deserve to be put under their own pheature. That pheature is known as...

No, a woman stranded on a desert island was not saved by Google Earth. A quick glance at this story, posted on some bedbug-infested, back alley flophouse of a website called (come on, at least try to look legit) makes immediately clear that, no, a woman named Gemma Sheridan was not rescued by Google Earth after being stranded on a desert island for 7 years. Not that anyone cares, since it's already been shared on Facebook and Twitter enough times to be depressing. In an apparent exclusive, a non-existent person named Gemma Sheridan was boating with two friends across the globe to Hawaii when "there was a huge storm that took out the boats [sic] electronics and washed her 2 friends overboard and seriously damaged her boat." The piece doesn't dwell too much on the apparent death at sea of Ms. Sheridan's two friends, since none of this ever happened. Long story short, her damaged boat drifted ashore to a desert island, at which point the article switches to first-person so Gemma can use her own words to recount a bunch of details that read like they were plagiarized from the treatment for the movie Cast Away. Here's the pic that's supposedly the Google Earth image that fake-saved a woman's fake life...

Duh! You've probably already seen it in your Facebook feed with a bunch of comments like "Incredible!" and "Hooray for technology!" and "Remember me from high school? I'm even more stupid now." Snopes has already debunked the pic as having been published in 2010 by "Amnesty International" in an article about violence in southern Kyrgyzstan. The photo was cropped to remove surrounding buildings.

Further, Snopes finds that much of the text was lifted from a 2013 article in the "Daily Mail." But you don't need to be an Internet sleuth to know this is bullshit. Nothing in the article is sourced, and appears to be one of those news sites that hasn't raised the capital to afford things like quotation marks or spell-check yet. This is 2002-era hoax quality. "The Daily Currant" staff are shaking their heads at the amateurs who put this thing together. But still, it's everywhere. We need to reset. Start from the assumption that everything you see on the Internet is a lie or, at the very least, a Jimmy Kimmel "prank." The burden of proof is on the content, and no one can share it until all reasonable doubt has been removed. Until then, it's lies.

Paul Kantner 
March 17th, 1941 — January 28th, 2016
Guy was in a rock band for five decades, advocated the use of LSD and marijuana, opposed the use of cocaine and alcohol, and had 3 kids. Someone please send me an obit for this weirdo, please?

Today's guest is a Phile Alum and author whose novel "The Negative Man: City of Chaos (Pacific Station Vigilante Book 1)" is the 44nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome back to the Phile... Jeremy Croston.

Me: Hey, there, Jeremy, welcome back to the Phile. How are you?

Jeremy: Thanks for having me again! I’m not too bad, Mr. Peverett, how the heck are you?

Me: Ugh. You don't wanna know. Okay, first of, what's the deal with you hair in the pic, Alfalfa? Haha.

Jeremy: Don’t bash the power of the ‘hawk, my friend. It is my secret weapon.

Me: Ha! Alright, so, I have interviewed Jeff Trelewicz on the Phile twice... as well as have him on the Phile as a guest to talk football so many times and we talked about how because of me and this blog you guys are talking and now have the podcast and Two Dudes, Brews, and Books. How is the podcast doing?

Jeremy: The podcast is going great. It’s a fun 18-22 minute show each week where we talk about everything from books and beer (obviously) to sports, music, and movies. We try to avoid "real" topics like politics and world news. I mean, who wants to listen to that nonsense?

Me: Do you give me credit as well? If it wasn't for me and this blog you guys wouldn't have your podcast. Haha.

Jeremy: Oh sure... Two Dudes, Brews, & Books, Power by JP – My name’s Jeremy… whoa, was that a Mission: Space flashback?!

Me: How do you guys do the podcast? On the phone? Jeff invited me as a guest to be on it sometime.

Jeremy: We do it through Google Chats, so basically like a phone call. Jeff records and edits it then on his end with a podcasting program. It’s actually quite easy and a great way to get to even more people.

Me: You guys now have a website, right?

Jeremy: Yeah, last year we decided to really embrace the digital age and get a website. Wix offers free ones to poor authors (which we qualify as!) and was born.

Me: Alright, so, let's talk about your latest book "The Negative Man: City of Chaos (Pacific Station Vigilante Book 1). Shit, that's a long ass title, Jeremy. So, this book is not part of the hockey/Norse series I take it.

Jeremy: Nope, this is a totally new and separate series. The "Ragnarok on Ice" series is finished, spanning three volumes, "Power Play," "Penalty Kill," and "Game Over."

Me: How many books have you written now?

Jeremy: "The Negative Man" makes book number 6. Whoa, I can’t believe I’ve published six books so far.

Me: I love the premise of this book. I love super hero movies and comics, so I think this is great. It kinda reminds me of George R.R. Martin's series from the 90s called "Wild Cards." Have you heard of that series?

Jeremy: I have not but now you got me curious. I like Martin’s writing style, so this sounds like something I need to check out after the interview.

Me: I wish "Wild Cards" was a TV show instead of "Game of Thrones" but we are not here to talk about thats series. Are you a comic book fan and a fan of super hero movies, Jeremy?

Jeremy: I love comics. My wife probably wishes I didn’t as much as I did, but those be the breaks. One thing we can agree on in comic inspired movies for the most part of five shades of awesome.

Me: What is your favorite super hero and super hero movie? I am a HUGE Watchmen fan myself. 

Jeremy: Favorite super hero… that’s a tough one. If I had to pick, I’d say Michaelango from "TMNT."  As for my favorite movie, I could watch Captain America: The First Avenger all day. That was one of the best.

Me: Okay, so, where did the idea for this book come from, Jeremy?

Jeremy: A lot of comics these days are pretty vivid and I wanted to bring that to the novel realm. At the same time, I wanted to create a world that was a bit of a throwback... gritty, corrupt, and dangerous. Pacific Station (where the novel takes place) is not a good place to live. The theme of the book is the city is at war and there is this aura of suspense hanging over like a dark cloud.

Me: The Negative Man is me, right? LOL. Actually, I'm more like Worst Case Scenario Man. Seriously, who is the Negative Man?

Jeremy: That’s a really good question. I guess somewhere in that book of mine the answer pops out! 

Me: The good guy in the series is The Dark Lion? Do you have an idea in your head what these characters look like? Have you drawn them at all?

Jeremy: I know what each character looks like in my head. Unfortunately I’m a crappy artist and can’t draw them. If any of your readers are artists and would like to collaborate, I’d be all about that. 

Me: Could you see this book being a TV show or comic, Jeremy? It's cool that it is a novel. 

Jeremy: Definitely a comic. I mean after all, the idea came from my love of comic books so it would only be natural for it to jump to that format one day.

Me: So, the book does;t take place in the real world, right? Where is Pacific Station supposed to be? 

Jeremy: No, it’s a fictionalized version of the U.S. Pacific Station is the San Diego of that world (for "Flash" fans, think of this as Earth-2).

Me: This is volume one... how many volumes are you planning in this series?

Jeremy: Three main volumes with a ton of supplemental on various websites (my blog, our main website, WattPad, etc…). All the supplemental stories will be free, just to expand the universe I’ve created.

Me: If it was gonna be made into a movie do you have an idea who you would want to be in it? Which actor to play certain roles?

Jeremy: That is a good question. I don’t know that I can answer that right now. Heath Ledger might’ve been an amazing Negative Man just based on his performance as the Joker a few years back. Tough question there, Jason…

Me: Okay, so, I talk a lot about Star Wars on the Phile so I have to ask, what do you think of the latest movie? How many times did you see it? I saw it twice so far and I loved it.

Jeremy: Yeah, it was a throwback to A New Hope, but every story needs a starting place. For those who thought it was bad or a rip off, this is a movie that I think can only be judged properly after the next release.

Me: Good point. The cover of "Negative Man" has a city scape, why not pictures of the characters? 

Jeremy: Pacific Station is as much as character as anything. Plus, in my writing, I want the reader to have a chance to form their own versions of the characters. Everyone’s perception of a character will be different and that’s really cool.

Me: So, what's your next book gonna be about, Jeremy?

Jeremy: I think every great story needs a sequel. We’ll be coming back to Pacific Station later this year.

Me: This year it is the Phile's 10th year so I am asking my Alum guests what they were doing in 2006. So, what were you doing?

Jeremy: That was my last year at Innoventions, so I was probably making fun of random guests with you!

Me: Thanks for being back here on the Phile. Go ahead and mention your website and where a reader can purchase the book. Take care, and I'll have you back on the Phile soon.

Jeremy: Yeah, check out Jeff and I’s work at! Plus you can find all my latest goings on at my blog... Thanks for having me again, Jason, these interviews are always a blast!

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Jeremy for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Alexis Bambini. 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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Holly Elle

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Wednesday. How are you? Let's start with a story about a teen being in the hospital after the Duct Tape Challenge went horribly wrong. A 14-year-old boy may lose vision in one eye after playing the Duct Tape Challenge... a "game" in which someone is tightly wrapped in duct tape and then filmed trying to escape as fast as possible... giving parents of teens everywhere another fucking thing to worry about. After Washington teen Skylar Fish was wrapped in duct tape by his so-called friends earlier this month, Fish lost his balance and slammed his head into a window, causing a brain aneurysm, severe head injuries, and damage to his left eye socket. And why would anyone do this, you're wondering? For the most important reason of all: Internet stardom. Videos of the duct tape challenge are racking up millions of views on YouTube, because it's that easy to become moderately famous these days. Just think... you too can become an Internet celebrity and all you have to do is combine the optics of being kidnapped with the threat of physical harm that comes with being kidnapped.
The Game: rapper, actor, Dr. Dre protégé, philanthropist, and shameless humble bragger. In an Instagram post announcing his $500,000 donation towards the relief effort in Flint, Michigan, Game not-so-subtly, probably-not-on-accident included the available balance in his charity's checking account. Just a casual $13,274,585. The Game AKA Jayceon Taylor also fired some shots at the paltry $10,000 donations of the not-an-alcoholic Jimmy Fallon and the still-exciting Madonna. Game donated $1 million worth of water bottles to go along with the $500,000. Good for him. And bravo to anyone who's not embarrassed to show their bank account numbers, but kudos to everyone who averts their eyes from the bank statement at the end of a $40 ATM transaction, too.
More than a dozen Tulsa, OK high school students smuggled a banner painted with the words "Trump Makes America Hate Again" into a Donald Trump rally last Wednesday and managed to snap a picture before Trump had them removed. One of the teenagers hid the banner in his shoe before entering the Mabee Center rally. Trump noticed the protest banner and had security remove the teens, as his supporters booed them, ripped the banner out of their hands, and then stomped on it. That'll take care of those pesky teenagers with their liberal, non-racist views! Kieran King-Sellars, a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School, was one of the students who came up with the idea to protest at the rally. His parents told him he wasn't allowed to miss school, but he went to the rally anyway, because he sees Trump as a racist and was upset he was coming to Tulsa. He got grounded for two weeks (not because his parents support Trump but because he disobeyed them) but he thinks it was worth it. Noah Miracle, a Booker T. Washington High School junior, said the group went to the rally because they've learned that it's important to stand up for their beliefs. He told "Tulsa World," “We’ve really had the idea of freedom of speech drilled into our heads in school since a young age, so this was really an opportunity to apply these things to the real world." "Get him out of here," Trump told security guards. "Get outta here, kid. See, he wants to be politically correct. This isn't the old days… But I like it, I like it, I hope they do a couple more today, because the only way those cameras, which are crooked as hell, will ever turn to show this packed arena, with 15,000 people, is if we have a protestor, right? So I love protestors." There you have it... Trump loves protestors! Do with that information what you will.
Actor Joseph Fiennes, a white guy, was tapped to play King of Pop Michael Jackson in an upcoming movie, something that is causing many heads to get scratched today because Fiennes is a white British guy and Michael Jackson is African-American (albeit, yes, a pale African-American because Jackson had a skin disorder). It's like they saw a picture of Fiennes' brother Ralph dressed as Lord Voldemort and were like, "Oh yeah, that looks right, does this guy have any relatives with hair?" The movie is based on the near-legendary road trip that Jackson supposedly took to "escape from New York" after 9/11 with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, which, mind you, is an amazing concept for a movie... something that makes this tone-deaf casting all the sadder. Here's hoping producers make this right in the best possible way: by casting a black actress as Elizabeth Taylor.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a picture of him swimming with his infant daughter, and while she is an adorable billionaire baby, you know why you're really here: to check out Mark Zuckerberg's shirtless, pale, freckly, patchy-haired chest. Well, here you go, you sick freak...

Yes, Zuckerberg can be topless on Facebook but your breastfeeding photos might get flagged for nudity. Sorry.
Yesterday I told the story of the people behind this health campaign that really should have consulted Urban Dictionary first. Here's another one of their ad campaign posters...

The fish makes it even grosser. There is a new movie that came out last Friday called Dirty Grandpa... I didn't wanna see it until I saw this poster for it...

Now I really wanna see it. Speaking of Star Wars, yesterday I told you the story of how Adam Driver looks like a cat... or vice versa. And then I showed you a picture of a monkey of some sort looking Mark Hamill. Well, there's another animal that looks like someone from Star Wars...

Hahahaha. That's so stupid. That as stupid as this...

Get it? Okay, so, all this month I have been showing you pictures of what people look like reading the Phile as it's the 10th anniversary. Here we go...

Bet they're trying to figure out a Mindphuck. For the next few weeks I am also showing you pictures showing you why presidential candidates really shouldn't pose with kids. Like this one of Jeb holding  baby for the first time...

"Is this how you do it?!" Haha. Good job, Jeb. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Donald Trump Will be Doing During Tomorrow's Debate
5. Binge-watching "House of Cards" to pick up a few governing tips.
4. Prank-calling George Pataki to ask of he'd be his running mate.
3. Reviewing "Re-elect Trump in 2020" bumper stickers.
2. Giving his hair a much-needed night off.
And the number one thing Trump will be doing during the debate tomorrow is...
1. Spouting empty rhetoric and lowest-common-denominator insults from the comfort of his own home.

Okay, all this month for the Phile's 10th anniversary I have been showing you some Mindphucks you readers have sent in, and I have to say, they have not been popular. Have of them we can't figure out. Let's see if today's is any better...

I have no idea what I am looking at. Some kinda video game apparently but I don't get it. Alright, so, as you know, I live in Florida and there's some strange things that happen here in this state that happen no where else in the world. That's why I have a pheature called...

Twitter user Zealot may have left his job at a Florida Burger King, but he still loves the fast food chain's offerings. When he left work for the last time, Zealot took with him all the chicken nuggets he could grab.

Twitter quickly rallied around the "hero," who has rightly earned a place in the pantheon of those who quit their jobs in epic fashion. In response to claims that Zealot stole from BK, he pointed out that he only swiped a few dollars' worth of nuggets. "I took $5 worth of chicken nuggets / let that sink in," he tweeted. If that's the case, were those really all the chicken nuggets at that Burger King? Zealot's stash looks more like the amount a few people would order. Or one very hungry/stoned person. Zealot hasn't shared the exact number of nuggets he has. He's too busy basking in his Internet success. "I'm a god," he tweeted. At least as long as the chicken nugget supply lasts.

The 44th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author will be a guest on the Phile on Sunday.

Okay, today's guest is a Phile Alum whose new single "How A Heart Breaks" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile, one of my favorite guests... Holly Elle!

Me: Holly, welcome back to the Phile. How are you?

Holly: It's great to be back thank you! I'm doing very well, I hope you are too.

Me: I'm okay. Okay, so, this month is the Phile's 10th anniversary... actually all year, but this month I want to have some of my favorite guests back on the Phile. And yes, you are one of them! Do you do a lot interviews, Holly?

Holly: Congratulations again that's very exciting! I do a fair amount of interviews and you are one of my favorite interviewers as well. I love the elements of humor and fun, those are a few of my favorite things. 

Me: That's good. What is the craziest interview question any one has asked you?

Holly: There hasn't been anything too crazy, but I like it when the questions are inventive and different, it makes it more enjoyable for me and more interesting for everyone.

Me: I have to be honest and tell you that your interviews are very popular here and I get emails from guys asking about you. Do you get lots of emails like that?

Holly: That's awesome to hear that they're popular. You seriously get emails from guys? What are they asking? Now I'm very curious...

Me: Yeah, I do. Next time you're here I'll ask you some questions sent in. At your shows do you get guys hitting on you?

Holly: I'm noticing a theme here... no I actually don't, I don't get hit on a lot in general. Discuss.

Me: Haha. we'll discuss at a later time. Okay, you have a new single out called "How a Heart Breaks." Did you write that song?

Holly: Yes, I did. And that next level you're hearing is production superhuman Isaac Hasson.

Me: Will you be doing a video for it?

Holly: Right now there are no plans in the works for a video, but never say never!

Me: So, have you had your heart broken recently?

Holly: Wow, we're just cutting right to the good stuff aren't we? I hate to get all mysterious artist on you, but I don't like to directly reveal the meaning of my songs. I want people to listen to the music and draw their own conclusions about what it means to them.

Me: That's fair enough. You're originally from Canada, right? What part again?

Holly: I am! I'm from Calgary, Alberta. Yeehaw!

Me: You live in Nashville now, right? How are both places different? I guess in a lot of ways.

Holly: Yes, I've lived in Nashville for a while now and I love it. The weather is more mild and it's a lower cost of living. Not to perpetuate the odd stereotype of Canadians living in igloos, but yeah it's warmer in general here. I think most of the differences in people I notice are northern vs southern, as opposed to Canadian vs American. But southern people are cool as hell. I'm working on converting to Southernism.

Me: Do you get to go back to Canada often?

Holly: I used to barely get back there once a year but now I've been heading back more often. I'm so glad because I get to see my niece and nephew more. 

Me: How long have you been in Nashville now?

Holly: I've been here 8 years. The awesomeness of Nashville is no longer our little secret, a lot of people figured it out and are moving here.

Me: Okay, back to your music... are you working on an album or EP? It's better just to do singles, right?

Holly: Yeah, I'm all about that single life right now. That's not to say I'll never put out a project again, but I'm feeling singles for a while. I think it makes more sense for the way people are consuming music right now. Especially as an independent artist, it's freed me up to focus on the music more.

Me: You do a lot of shows; do you like recording or performing better?

Holly: You have the best questions, no fluff, I dig that. I love both but there is something about being in the studio that really gets me buzzing. If I'm in the zone in the studio 12 hours could feel like the blink of an eye, and I'm having so much FUN. Those are the indicators that you're really where you're supposed to be.

Me: You are very, very photogenic, which I am sure I told you before. I love the pic on the singles cover... how many pics did you go through to pick out that one, Holly?

Holly: Thank you, you're very kind. I did a photo shoot with a local guy named Brandon Oursler, what you're seeing is the evidence that he does great work. I got about 600 photos from the shoot, and I set out to pick out 20 that I loved, which was tough because there were so many I wanted. From that 20, I chose this album cover. I've done a lot of shoots with a lot of different people, sometimes you struggle to come out with one good shot.

Me: Oh, by the way, when is the "Holy Hell" EP coming out? Hahahaha. Explain the story about that, Holly. I'm a genius, right?

Holly: You will never forget about that will you? LOL. I recall you liked the way Holly Elle/Holy Hell sounded. It just has a nice ring. You're obviously a genius. But we can't force these things. Maybe it's not even an album name... that sounds like a great byline for my "Rolling Stone" cover story...

Me: Don't give them credit. You went to Belmont University in Nashville, right? How was that? What did you study there?

Holly: Belmont is a great school with a gorgeous campus. I studied music business there. I didn't spend a lot of time on campus because it was my second degree so I was kind of over college life, I really came to Nashville to further my career.

Me: I re-read your bio and saw that you played poker... and I don't remember ever asking you about you playing poker before. So, I'll ask you. How long have you been playing?

Holly: I've been playing for many years. My brother and mother (she's the ultimate card shark) taught me how to play Texas Hold'em, and then I taught my sorority sisters in college back in Canada, and we would play.

Me: Do you play for money?

Holly: Now, now, Jason, gambling is illegal in Tennessee. When I'm home or in Vegas? Hell yeah.  

Me: Ever play strip poker? I would lose in a heartbeat!

Holly: That's what I would play with my sorority sisters! Right before the pillow fight. Dear "Penthouse"... No, I don't think I have actually. You know I'm really very shy and demure. 

Me: Hahaha. Me too. So, have you been doing many shows recently, Holly?

Holly: Lately I have, I'm focusing on performing more and setting up some tour dates soon.

Me: You know you still gotta come down to Florida to visit. It's not far from Nashville you know. 

Holly: Where in Florida are you again? Please say Key West, that's one of my favorite places.

Me: Right outside Orlando. Okay, so, I'm asking my Alum guests what they were doing 10 years ago... what were you doing? Do you have a pic of yourself back then?

Holly: Hmm let me think. I was in college in Winnipeg, Manitoba freezing my ass off and singing opera. No, there were no cameras back then.

Me: Smart ass. Ha! You were making music then, right? Was that when you did the Klatuu tribute album?

Holly: Hell, yeah, I was making music. Klaatu tribute was 2004 I think. Around that time I had just finished my first EP. I was also in a country cover band. Which was so weird because I'm not a country singer and I had to learn a lot of the songs. At the time I had no idea I would end up in Nashville. Neat, huh?

Me: Yeah. Alright, so, you know the more music you make the more I wanna interview you and pheature you, right?

Holly: I'm cool with that. Always leave 'em wanting more.

Me: Okay, so, go ahead and mention your website, Holly.

Holly: HEARHOLLY.COM!!!!!!

Me: You will come back on the Phile when the next release comes out, right?

Holly: Totally. Don't get bored of me now. 

Me: Alright, take care and continued success. And visit me!!!! LOL. 

Holly: Thank you so much, same to you. Who knows where the upcoming tour will take me...

That about wraps this entry up. Thanks to Holly for another great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with author and Phile Alum Jeremy Croston. 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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Neara Russell

Good evening, and welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. How are you? Let's start off with a story about a giant snow penis, shall we? Someone in China drove to a parade carting a snow penis on the trunk of his car. It isn't your typical penis drawn on the windshield, either. Think a snowman, but in penis shape... and, like most snowmen, it really would look adorable with a stovepipe hat. It truly is the winter of snow schlongs. According to Mashable, the man was carrying snow to the parade because snow is a rare sight in that part of China. It certainly is rare to see three-foot-long penises anywhere.
Aside from his acting abilities, Adam Driver is known for his unusual face, which has divided fans into two camps: those who don't get why he's hot, and those who do. Given the actor's atypical features, it would seem unlikely that a perfect doppelgänger of Driver exists. While no human has surfaced who looks like him, animals are another story. This Oriental Shorthair cat is Adam Driver....

Does the resemblance not take your breath away? The cat's name is Corey, which is close enough to Kylo that it could be changed. The two-and-a-half year old feline had been residing at the Monmouth County SPCA in New Jersey, but he's since been adopted. Corey's already been giving his owner tips on acing that Force choke!
A health campaign in the Canadian territory of the Yukon sought to remind people to get plenty of D this winter... Vitamin D, that is. The innocent folks of the Yukon Department of Health and Social Services were apparently unaware that "the D" is slang for "penis." What ensued was a hilariously sexual, abundantly awkward ad campaign...

There wouldn't be the baby without the D. A representative from the Department of Health and Social Services told the Yukon News, "We knew it was an innuendo for sex. We did not realize that it was as crude as it is now being purported to be." They have since nixed the campaign, but the message should still inspire.
Hey, are you a fan of "Friends"? Well, the "Friends" cast reunited... Could this be their day, their week, their month, or even their year? On Sunday, NBC taped a star-studded special program called "Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows," and the guest list for the show honoring the legendary TV director seems like it was all VIP. In fact, the holy moment predicted by Nostradamus finally came to pass: The "Friends" cast was reunited! Oh, wait, Matthew Perry's not there. Forget it, no prophecies have been fulfilled. But Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Courteney Cox were there! Perry was working on a play in London, and pre-taped his tribute to Burrows separately. In this picture, 5 out of 6 friends were joined by key players from "The Big Bang Theory," so that almost makes up for it.

Their smiles say, "We're happy to be reunited," but their eyes say, "Not everyone here was invited to Jennifer's wedding."
TMZ reports that Paramount Pictures is being slapped with a class-action lawsuit by four New York City-based production assistants (showbiz speak for "lowly servants"). The four P.A.s, who began working for the studio in 2010, claim that they were regularly required to work 60-100 hour workweeks without overtime pay. Their assignment during this time was as humiliating as it was dull: keeping pedestrians and vehicles out of film locations. What's more, the P.A.s claim they were not allowed to leave their posts for even a minute to eat or use the bathroom, forcing them to relieve themselves into bottles and buckets in their cars. Which probably helped to keep bystanders away, but still sucks. These working conditions, and the lack of overtime pay, are especially egregious considering that these four car-poopers were working on blockbuster movies like TMNT, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. That last title alone made Paramount more than a billion dollars. Maybe next time, some of that could go toward renting a Porta-Potty. Little-known fact: the mountain in the Paramount logo is actually a giant pile of poop.
I mentioned just now that there's a cat that looks like Adam Driver... but did you know there's other animals that look like the stars from Star Wars? Like this one for instance...

Haha. So, do you like pie graphs? I do. So, I did some research and put it into a pie graph.

By the way, Tom Brady has a new job...

Turnovers, anyone? Hahahahaha. So, in the next few months I thought it'll be fun to show you photos  that show why presidential candidates really shouldn't pose with kids.

"This is the worst moment of my life." By the way, that's not me in the red jersey. Haha. This month is the Phile's 10th anniversary month and I am showing you pictures of what people look like when they are reading the Phile. Check it out, kids...

Wonder what he is reading. At work, I see a lot of strange people that I swear are aliens. Aliens do exist.

Arrest my case. Okay, and now let's see who booked a one-way ticket to Dirt City...

Abe Vigoda
February 24th, 1921 — January 26th, 2016
Go, Fish.

All through this month for the Phile's anniversary I have been showing you some Mindphucks sent in from my readers. Some were a success, some pissed people off. Let's see how today's goes...

I don't see it... if you figure it out let me know. Okay, before I continue I have to mention something... on Saturday the Phile's good friend Laird Jim had a stroke or so it seems. He's in hospital on Long Island and doctors are doing tests on him. Knowing Laird I think he will bounce back goods new, but keep him in your prayers. I will try and keep you updated as news comes in. Meanwhile, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back. How are you?

Jeff: Hey, Jason. I'm doing okay after a weekend that didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. That's Mother Nature for you!

Me: That sucks. I'm sorry. So, the Broncos and the Panthers are going to the Super Bowl. Are you surprised? I kinda wanted Arizona to go.

Jeff: Carolina went 15-1 in the regular season so it's hardly a surprise they are in the Super Bowl. Denver is a surprise though.

Me: I'm glad the Patriots are not going, are you?

Jeff: I'm glad New England isn't that's for sure!

Me: Alright, so, what's the deal with this female coach for the Bills? What do you think of that?

Jeff: I'm all for equality in sports. If she's qualified to be an assistant coach then that's great. There's no reason she should be viewed as a female assistant coach. She is an assistant coach who happens to be female.

Me: Okay, so, how did we do with our last picks, Jeff?

Jeff: I'm sorry (well sorry but not sorry) that you went 0-2 and I went 1-1. So with that I clinch the season victory!

Me: I can still win if I pick the Super Bowl winning team? Wait, I don't think I can! Shit!!!

Jeff: Mathematically you're eliminated. I lead by six.

Me: Ugh! I was in the lead the whole season! Let's do the final picks of the season... I say Panthers by 4, what do you say?

Jeff: My final pick is Carolina by 7.

Me: Alright. We both pick the same team but but different points. See you here in a few weeks. Take care.

Jeff: See you in a few weeks.

The 44th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jeremy Croston will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann is a former America pornographic actress, best known for portraying Sarah Palin as both a character and a metaphor for what she would have done to the country if she'd ever become President.

Today's pheatured guest is a fantastic singer and musician who has some great releases on iTunes... "Noise and Silence," her singles "Get Happy" and "Dance With Nobody." Her newest release is a duet of "Chandelier" with Ari Herstand. She's one of my favorite people I met since I started interviewing people here on this blog. Please welcome back to the Phile... the lovely and wonderful... Neara Russell!

Me: Neara! Welcome back to the Phile for it's 10th anniversary month. I know you were just here a few weeks ago but you are one of my favorite people I met doing this stupid little blog I really wanted you back here. How are you? How was your Christmas?

Neara: Happy New Year, Jay! Thanks for having me back. My holidays were cold and snowy back home in the midwest. Went on a road trip back to L.A. which was an adventure!

Me: So, I forgot to mention this last time you were here but you recorded a single called "Chandelier" with a guy named Ari Herstand. How did you two meet and decide to record together? 

Neara: Ari is a dear friend of mine, also from Wisconsin. We were introduced when I first moved to L.A. When he wanted to cover “Chandelier," the song by artist Sia, I was his first choice for those screaming high vocals!

Me: Are you two gonna be recording any new music together?

Neara: Not that we have planned, but that would be fun sometime!

Me: Last time you were here you mentioned you liked a band called Walk the Moon or something. I never heard of them at the time but since then I heard their catchy song a lot. How does it go? This is the best song you hear or something? Not exactly. Anyway, have you seen them live? What do you like about them?

Neara: Yep, they are great dudes! We met backstage at a radio show when I was a new fan of theirs. We’ve stayed in touch and I get to see them when they’re in town. Caught their headlining show at the Greek Theater last fall. They have infectious positive energy and have earned every bit of their success!

Me: If they asked you to go on tour opening for them would you drop everything and do so?

Neara: Anytime.

Me: I saw a picture of you and Weird Al... I have to show it here...

Me: I have been wanting him on the Phile but just interviewed Bermuda Schwartz his drummer twice. Anyway, how did you meet him, Neara? Did you guys work together? Was he cool?

Neara: Yeah, I met him briefly at a rehearsal space. He was totally cool! I was a big fan growing up and was too shy to say anything to him. We got a picture together though.

Me: I saw him once at Epcot backstage but that was years and years ago. Anyway, do you get star struck? Is there anybody you'd love to meet but never did?

Neara: I don’t usually get star struck. Working in the business, I see celebrities in sweatpants and no makeup and totally get that they are normal people with unusual jobs. I’m hoping to meet Sheryl Crow someday. She was my idol growing up.

Me: I met her once... she was in a golf cart at a celebrity golf tournament... she was having problems with her video camera and I asked her if she needed help and she said no. My sister took a pic... let me see if I have it. There.

Me: Okay, back to you... So, you live in L.A. still, right?

Neara: Yes, I do.

Me: When you are not playing what do you do for fun? Did you see the new Star Wars movie?

Neara: Haha, no, I like to read and go hiking in the mountains around L.A. I’m getting more into cooking and nutrition, hanging out at farmers markets like it’s my job.

Me:  I love the cover of "Chandelier" more than the original which I don't like. I'd shit brick if you did a cover of a Foghat song, Neara. Hint, hint. Have you heard my bands music... Strawberry Blondes Forever? What do you think?

Neara: Aw, no, I haven’t yet! Send me a link.

Me: So, last time you were here you were plugging your single "Dance With Nobody." You released that just as Neara. Why was that?

Neara: Yeah, I wanted to keep the release simple. Everyone still knows who I am without the last name! Someday I may invent a band name, as well.

Me: Are you gonna be releasing any new music soon?

Neara: Working on it! I’ve been writing a bunch of new songs with different producers. I premiered several of them this week at the NAMM music conference in Anaheim, during my live performance. 

Me: So, I am asking my Alum guesses this is the Phile's 10th anniversary where they were and what they were doing in 2006. So, what were you doing? Playing music I am sure.

Neara: Wow... I started college that year! I was awarded my full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, appeared on the NPR music show From the Top… It was an exciting year.

Me: Any big plans for 2016, Neara?

Neara: Writing more and working on some high-profile projects. Will be another adventurous year in music!

Me: Very cool! Okay, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I still want you to visit in Orlando... you know that. Mention your website and come back again soon.

Neara: Thanks for having me!

Me: Anytime!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. It's late and way past my bedtime. Haha. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and Neara Russell. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Holly Elle. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Get better, Laird!

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