Monday, May 30, 2016

Pheaturing Diana Ebe

Happy Memorial Day! Welcome to the Phile, kids. How are you? Let's start off with a story about how Germany just completed a website to instruct you on how to bang their locals. Really. Germany spent $136,000 on a sex-education website specifically targeted to foreigners. The message is clear...  Germans want sex partners with skills, so don't even try to get off until after you've logged on.
Of course, EVERYONE wants a sex partner with skills, so what gives, Germany? According to UPI, the German Federal Center for Health Education created the website specifically to help the large Middle Eastern immigrant population making their way into Germany. Compared to those just arriving, Germans are very open (ahem) sexually, and the government wants to make sure they are fitting in (cough cough). To ensure everyone gets a clear picture of what is and isn't cool to do while sex-making, they have created a very descriptive website full of illustrations and descriptions of sex acts, with topics like "the body and sex," "virginity," and "sexual problems and fears." There are some really hot tips on there, for example this note to first timers, "Make sure that no one can disturb you. They are then relaxed." Anyone else ready to do the nasty? They also make sure to acknowledge that good sex is no one specific thing, "There are no rules to define what is good sex and what is not. This varies from person to person.​.. You must not do anything or love." Germans aren't known for their romantic nature, but let's just hope that one is a misfire in the translation. Here's some of their deep thoughts on porn, "Pornography is not the same as sex in reality. The following points are noticeable in pornographic material: People always slender body, large penises or large breasts (often these are technically processed). People want and at any time to have sex. People show no emotion. The reality is not so." Not exactly what you thought Germans would have to say about porn, right? The website doesn't shy away from the details, either. They explain almost every position, from missionary, to oral, to... While the site was intended for immigrants, it seems reasonable that anyone planning to visit Germany check the site out. Get on over there and bone up on that sex-ed.

Please note the frowny face to indicate bad boning.
Black rhinos are a critically endangered species, having lost 93% of its numbers since 1970, and reintroducing breeding rhinos to new areas is critical, and also requires dangling a one-ton armored mammal-tank by its impressively sturdy legs with a helicopter. Even when the guy leading World Wildlife Fund South Africa explains that "This is the kindest way we've yet discovered of moving a rhino from the field," you can't help imagining him saying "so please ignore how it looks." It makes total sense. It's a great, humane way to do it... especially since they drug them and blindfold them so that they don't get embarrassed at being ungracefully hogtied to a heavy-duty helicopter. I didn't believe it until I saw this picture...

Saving the environment, one rhino airlift at a time.
Here's a good story for Memorial Day... The dictionary weighs in on whether a hot dog is a sandwich. Their answer will infuriate you. It's a debate that has raged ever since mankind first put a tube of strange processed meat into a bun: Is a hot dog a sandwich? Although anyone who would use the phrase "hot dog sandwich" is obviously an alien trying to pass as human, semantically it makes sense. After all, what is a sandwich but a foodstuff comprised of unwieldy edibles placed into an easily-handled bread container for convenience? Doesn't that describe a hot dog? Or did your mind just get FUCKING BLOWN? Although many frankfurter fans would balk at the idea of their beloved tube steaks being classified with lesser sandwiches, a leading authority on words has come forward, out of the blue, to do just that. Behold this tweet from none other than the Merriam-Webster Dictionary...

SAY IT ISN'T SO. Merriam-Webster's tweet links to an article on sandwiches, which defines them as: 1) two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between 2) one slice of bread covered with food. Which seems to check out (but for the record, these dictionary people are probably communists). The article lists ten different types of sandwiches, although none of them are as controversial as the hot dog (even if the sloppy joe is a gray area). However, despite the lighthearted nature of M.W.'s post, the reaction on the Internet was immediate and combative. Despite the public outcry, it seems unlikely the Merriam, Webster, or any of their cronies will back down from their sausage high horse. From now on, you and everyone you live will have to live in a dystopian hellscape where hot dogs are sandwiches, cats chase dogs, and murder is legal. At least you can comfort yourself by grilling some sandwiches at a Memorial Day barbecue today. If you even want to anymore.
Hey, Harry Potter fans... J.K. Rowling recently confirmed to a Twitter fan that "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" will make you cry. The eighth book in her Harry Potter series will be released in July. The story, which is also being produced as a play, takes place 19 years after the ending of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." According to the play's website, the story focuses on an adult Harry Potter and his son Albus, who "must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places." It's common for Rowling to interact with fans on Twitter, and it's also common for her books to make people cry. How sad will the new book make you? Well, just hours before she responded to the fan, she was hanging out with the brilliant and tragically sad mind of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson. Wilson triumphed through sadness and created the album "Pet Sounds." So it's safe to say fans should be able to make it through another wizard book. Harry Potter books will always include tragic moments that make fans cry, but it will be worth it in the end. Unless Harry Potter's death is the result of accidentally getting hit by a Knight Bus. That would suck.
Martin Shkreli, the Pharma Bro famous for upping the price of AIDS medication 5,000% and hoarding a Wu-Tang Clan album, has done the inevitable in his journey of douchebaggery: endorse Donald Trump. Not only did he endorse the GOP nominee, he offered that astute advice on what Trump should be looking for in a vice president. Twitter wondered if he was subtly throwing his hat into the ring, but he quickly denied it. The two do have a lot in common. They're both cynically opportunistic businessmen and braggadocios. While he loves The Donald, he did take a moment to criticize his catchphrase. America is already great, because Martin Shkreli's in it.
I mentioned Harry Potter's new book just now, well, there's another Potter book coming out...

That should be the title of my book. Speaking of books, I was at the book store recently and I found this book...

Isn't he the guy that wrote "Watership Down"? Hmmm. He likes to write books about rabbits, doesn't he? So, this year is the Phile's 10th anniversary as you know and I have been showing you now and then what people look like when they read the Phile. Like this couple...

What are they reading for their reaction to be like that? Haha. So, today is Memorial Day... let's remember the military and those that served...

Ummm... Moving on...

Moving on! This time of year a lot of kids are going to prom. I never went to prom as we don't have that tradition in England. But if I did, it wouldn't be like this...
This teenage boy who posed with the three girls pregnant with his children.

Yup, this happened.

If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know.

Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday honoring the military men and women no longer on a V.A. hospital waiting list.

The 48th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Laura will be a guest on the Phile a week from today.

Today's guest is a talented singer originally from Sweden whose new single "Elusive Pleasure" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the gorgeous... Diana Ebe.

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

Diana: Good, thank you!

Me: You live in Los Angeles now, but you are originally from Stockholm, Sweden, am I right?

Diana: Yes, that’s right!

Me: How long ago did you move to the states, Diana?

Diana: I moved out here in fall of 2013. So this will be my third year here.

Me: What's the biggest difference between the two cities?

Diana: L.A. is much bigger than Stockholm and the weather is better. Sweden is too cold for me.

Me: Did you move over here because of the music business?

Diana: No. I moved here to get a break from my real estate studies at the university. I wanted to have fun and meet new people. The plan was only to stay a year and then go back to my studies. Half a year later, and over 30 songs written I decided that music is what I want to do.

Me: You know, Orlando, Florida is a lot better than L.A., right? Haha.

Diana: I’ve been in Florida many times, and one time in Orlando (for Disney, I loved it). I often visit Miami. I do like it.

Me: Cool. Where else in the states have you been?

Diana: I’ve also been in San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York.

Me: So, I am guessing you like the beach, am I right?

Diana: I do like the beach. But I never go…

Me: Okay, so, you have been singing since a young age, am I right? How old were you when you stated singing?

Diana: I don’t remember the exact age, probably around six or seven years old. I started playing the piano at four, so it came a bit later when I realized it was more fun to play and sing at the same time. 

Me: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a professional singer?

Diana: I was 20 years old.

Me: So, how did you get your start?

Diana: I took classes in music production. Soon after I started making music that people liked and then it kind of took off from there.

Me: What music did you grow up listening to?

Diana: I listened to Spice Girls when I was little. A song that I always used to sing was “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. My dad used to play Santana, Paul McCartney and classic rock bands at home. He says a good song needs a good guitar solo. I’m sorry dad, there not many guitar solos in my songs... haha.

Me: Did you take piano lessons in Sweden? What about singing lessons?

Diana: Yes, I do. I write all my music to piano. I started taking piano lessons and later on I started to sing. My piano teacher was the first one introducing me to singing. I’ve taken lessons since.

Me: I read in your bio that Robbie Krieger from The Doors is a big fan of yours. Did you meet him? How does he know about you?

Diana: I met him last year, when I was recording in his studio. My friend is friend of his engineer and introduced me to him. He is really sweet!

Me: Are you a fan of The Doors?

Diana: I haven’t listened much. Of course I’ve heard the classics. My dad used to sing along to “Light My Fire."

Me: One of my least favorite songs. Okay, let's talk about your single "Elusive Pleasure." Did you write that song, Diana?

Diana: Yes, I did.

Me: What is an elusive pleasure?

Diana: It’s something difficult that you can’t hold on to. The kind of pleasure that is hard to reach. Make sense? Haha. It’s hard to explain. Over all it kind of wraps up the lyrics for the song, and that’s what elusive pleasure means to me.

Me: Also, whose idea was it not to put a pic of you on the singles cover?

Diana: I didn't give my visual designer a picture to use for the single cover.

Me: I watched the video and liked it. Where was it filmed? I am guessing the beach scenes were filmed in California but I don't think the snow scenes were.

Diana: The whole video is shot in California. The beach scenes are from Malibu and the woods are from Topanga Mountain. The snow scenes are from Big Bear.

Me: Ahhhh. Was it really cold there, Diana?

Diana: In Big Bear yes! It was freezing, around 35 F.

Me: There was one scene where you cut your leg... you didn't really cut it, did you?

Diana: I did. I fell when shooting the running in the snow scenes. The snow was so icy, my leg started to bleed. I told the director to cut it out, but he was determined to keep it.

Me: Was this your first video? Was it fun to make?

Diana: Yes, it was my first video. I had a lot of fun.

Me: So, you are working on an EP... what can you tell us about it?

Diana: I can tell you that it’s different. Every song has its own story and uniqueness.

Me: When will it be out?

Diana: June 10th.

Me: Have you been performing live much?

Diana: I have been performing in the Los Angeles area. I’m setting up a brand new show, so what I’ve been playing before will be different now.

Me: So, will you come back when the EP comes out, Diana?

Diana: Yes, I’d love to!

Me: Alright, go ahead and plug your website and everything and I hope this interview was fun.

Diana: You can find more about me on Follow me on and

Me: Continued success and please come back soon.

Diana: Thanks for having me!

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Diana Ebe for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Bruno Mascolo, lead singer for the punk band Drive A. 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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pheaturing Mike Bloom

Hey there, welcome to the Peverett Phile: Apocalyspse. Haha. It's Sunday. How are you? Sorry you need to use an extra vacation day for all the time you'll be spending in holiday traffic. A great way to avoid Memorial Day weekend traffic is to avoid leaving the house on Memorial Day weekend. Okay, lets talk about Chewbacca mom and get done with it... until the Top Phive List. It's been a busy week for Candace Payne aka Chewbacca mom, who catapulted into Internet fame after a video of her laughing hysterically while wearing a talking Chewbacca mask for like three hours straight went cuckoo bananas viral. The 37-year-old Star Wars fan was on "Good Morning America," got to drive around with James Corden and J.J. Abrams, and visit the Facebook headquarters where she met the real Chewbacca (he's real, right?). And now she's reached another milestone in ultimate fandom... she got invited to the Lucasfilm HQ in San Francisco. Payne took a studio tour, and then sat down to talk to Andi Gutierrez on "The Star Wars Show," which is filmed at Lucasfilm. When asked what she thought of the tour, Payne responded: "Lucasfilm has done something remarkable where it's brought story into sci-fi, and it makes me drawn to it on a heart level." Okay, that's great and all, but the Internet has now reached the Chewbacca mom saturation point. There's really only one thing left for her to do... time to introduce Chewbacca mom to the hydraulic press.
Jenna Vecchio​ hit up the Movati Athletic Club​ in Ottawa, Canada over the weekend in a black tank top and grey leggings... also known as gym attire. Despite her perfectly banal gym wear, Vecchio received word from a female supervisor that her top was "inappropriate" and "offensive." The supervisor gave Vecchio​ the option of finishing her workout in a t-shirt, Metro News reported. Vecchio decided she didn't need that bullshit so she went home and got on Facebook. Vecchio provided some various angles so it could be understood that she was wearing that same type of tank top every chick wears to the gym.

Vecchio has boobs. Get over it. As if a t-shirt would make them disappear. Vecchio did her research, proving that this supervisor is obviously jealous of Vecchio's sweet rack. Vecchio not only touched base with other gym-goers, she provided visual evidence that this gym is being boobist. After the shit hit the fan with this one, the gym spoke again with BuzzFeed, insisting that Vecchio's outfit "was not as modest as she has suggested via the images she shared recently on Facebook and through media interviews, and caused multiple members to feel uncomfortable and voice their concerns to our staff." The gym said Vecchio "dressed inconsistently with our code of conduct" and her outfit had a "lack of coverage." Serious question: are the people who complained recently out of a fallout shelter, à la Blast from the Past? Or are they simply offended by women working out and don't understand that boob sweat is a serious discomfort that tank tops partially solve. By the way, I don't know what boob sweat feels like. Or do I? Moving on...
Stephen Dwyer​ survived leukemia​, but was unable to overcome his pedantic high school administration. Dwyer, his year's class president, spent what should have been his high school graduation watching from the stands because, as "Teen Vogue" reported​, he was 2.5 credits shy of receiving a diploma. Instead, Dwyer gets to walk next year at his Arizona school, with a bunch of kids he doesn't know. The reason behind the kerfluffle is that during his junior year, Dwyer underwent intensive treatment for leukemia, and subsequently was too preoccupied with his fighting for his life to sit in algebra class. Despite attending no classes at his Arizona high school, Dwyer was still elected senior class president. The kid is well-liked as well as eloquent and hardworking, but in the end, though, the school didn't relent. Dwyer chilled in the stands while his friends graduated. The sole concession they gave him was letting Dwyer go onto the field post-ceremony and pose in a cap and gown. Not quite the same thing as sitting in the gown and becoming incredibly bored with your fellow students. That's a rite of passage he was denied.
Time Out: Screech is back in jail. According to The Associated Press, Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on "Saved by the Bell," has landed himself back in jail on Wednesday, this time for violating the terms of his parole. Previously, Diamond did time at the Ozaukee County jail in Wisconsin for disorderly conduct and concealed-weapon convictions and was released just last month. He also found himself behind bars back in 2014 for stabbing a man in a bar fight. The latest arrest comes just days after an interview for "Extra!" with his former cast mate Mario Lopez where he said, "I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me… for that clean slate. Time for a change." Whoops. Diamond has really gone "full-sleaze" since his days at Bayside High, and has even directed and released his own sex tape back in 2006 with the classy and off-putting title, "Screeched—Saved by the Smell." He later admitted that he used a fake penis for the taping. He also released a book bashing his former "Saved by the Bell" co-stars, further alienating himself from them and the industry. Who knew that Screech would become the real bad boy of the "Saved by the Bell" cast? Well, "bad boy" meaning a hot mess of a former teen star who has really screwed up his life, not in the sexy and dangerous way. Obviously.
A very evil man named Antley Lamont Staten posted this brain teaser onto Facebook earlier this month that has totally frustrated the Internet. If you can't figure out what is wrong with the problem right away, you will be so mad at yourself when you finally do.

So far, the riddle has been shared over 385,000 times. Have you figured it out yet? You are going to feel really stupid when you are finally told the answer. Do you want to know? Really? You really want to be told what the answer is? Are you sure? Fine. Here it is.

Yep. So many people were focused on the numbers that they completely ignored the letters on the sign, where "mistake" was spelled incorrectly. It does make since that the "mitsake" was overlooked, since the brain can sitll raed wrods eevn wehn the lterts are siwthecd aurond, so don't feel bad. Feel good that your brain is doing its job right.
Hey, kids, have you heard of the company Activation? I'm sure you have. Anyway, I thought their slogan was kinda weird...

Hmmm. By the way, this is not me...

Just saying. Do you kids have a Fitbit? I still think of getting one, especially since they have badges now for lazy people.

So, I;m sure you saw the movie Captain America: Civil War by now. There was one scene that kinda had me confused...

Hmmmm. If there's one you might not know about me is that I don't like breaking rules... unlike this guy...

Don't use that knife! It's so hot in Florida recently people are doing this...

Stay classy, Florida. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is this week's...

Top Phive Overheard Outside Of Chewbacca Mom's Car
5. She won't be laughing when Social Services shows up to take her kids!
4. That's nothing. Two spots over, there's a guy in a Kylo Ren mask crying hysterically!
3. Hi, I think you're my Uber... uh... never mind.
2. Sadly, she can't stop laughing because of the fumes from that cheap-ass mask!
And the number one thing overheard outside of Chewbacca mom's car...
1. Clearly imbalanced AND the owner of a hard-to-get Chewbacca mask? I'm in love!

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, a lot of you have been asking how Laird Jim is. Well, let's see. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what it is...

Good afternoon, humans... had a rather interesting evening. I left work early to get a jump on the holiday weekend rush. Hopped a train out east to visit my dog, my youngest son and his mother. Had a situation. Chinese food with Michael and Hemi, I even bought dinner for my ex-wife. She asked if I could do her a favor, I answered with... "I'm NOT getting you pregnant, one last time before your eggs go sour." Somehow, she didn't think that was very funny. Turns out, she wanted me to change the locks. I asked why... but she wouldn't say (I'll get it out of either Michael or Hemi, later on).  After dinner, some laughs and a bit of handyman work I had my ex drop me at the train station to head home. My plan was to get off at my stop and have a pint at the local pub before walking home. I had two pints and a shot THEN walked back to the train station. Hopped a westbound to Penn and figured I'd walk around for a bit. At first, it was peaceful... just a train full of drunken twenty-somethings on their way to party in the Big Apple... then, my attention was drawn to this couple sitting in front of me. Him... bald with several scary tattoos on his neck and a cocaine nose that would make Rudolph envious. Her.... meek but sexy, looked like she'd been crying recently. He was yelling something about how he KNOWS she's got more money than that on her and he's not gonna spend all of HIS money on HER. Whatever... not my circus, not my monkeys. However, once he started threatening to "smash her face and take her money" I figured I'd see how this panned out... I.E. Target acquired. The train pulled into Penn and everyone stumbled to the street. I followed these two from a safe distance to keep an eye on him... he didn't seem right in the head. I trailed them to West 38th street and watched as he began to shove her against a storefront doorway. He was calling her a useless slut and told her to get on her knees and suck his dick right there in the doorway. She said no and he backhanded her across the face. Target, locked in... Missiles, hot. When he drew back with a closed fist to punch her, I asked if he had a cigarette. He turned and said... "No... fuck off." I asked if SHE had a cigarette. When she smiled and reached into her purse... he shouted, "You won't suck my dick... but you'll give him a smoke? FUCK you!" Then, drew his fist back again to hit her in the face. I hooked his arm in my right elbow, put my hand on his shoulder and pulled upwards until he screamed in pain. I spun him around, placed him against the same door he had her wedged up against and put a ranger choke hold on his wind pipe. It was right about this time that I saw the reflection of flashing lights from an NYPD cruiser in the window. Two of New York's Finest stepped out and told me to put my hands up. Instead, I pulled up on his arm even harder 'til he screamed. I then heard the click of a safety being turned off and the words..."Hands UP... or you WILL end up in jail." Now... since my work here was pretty much finished and I had no desire to either be tazed OR hurt one of the young rookie officers... I opted for un-handing the bald prick and interlocking my fingers behind my head. She said thank you... He had what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder... The police checked my I.D., interviewed her and called him an ambulance. He then made the mistake of saying "You're a fucking cunt, this is all YOUR fault." She replied by saying, "You're the one who had to get all jacked up on coke, asshole." The cops searched him and found three packets of cocaine, a gravity knife and an outstanding warrant from a few years back for assault with a deadly weapon. They checked my I.D. for warrants, checked me for weapons then un-cuffed me. I asked her for that cigarette, flagged down a cab for her and left him to deal with being arrested for illegal possession of a dangerous weapon as well as that of a controlled substance... and the warrant. The younger of the two cops looked at me as I lit my smoke and said, "Beat it, Bruce Wayne... we got it from here." I walked back to Penn and hopped the next train back home. I must be getting old... Twenty years ago, that story would've ended with him on life support and me in jail.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl was a date movie for couples who don't want to make conversation on the way home.

The 48th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Laura will be a guest on the Phile next Monday.

Today's pheatured guest is is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist who has played with artists such as Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis. His latest album "King of Circles" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike Bloom.

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

Mike: Hi. I suppose you could say, in terms of human ascension, I'm somewhere between a hungry ghost and an animal... but hopefully headed in the right direction.

Me: You have a nickname which is Caveman. Where did that nickname come from?

Mike: It came from an early song of mine in which I refer to myself as... well, a caveman... though, as often is the case, life imitates art and the circle keeps going around... for instance, I spent a lot of time in my closet, which served as my makeshift studio for a while... I've since stepped it up to a full room.

Me: I have to ask you about Rilo Kelly and Jenny Lewis, you have been working with them for awhile. How did you meet up?

Mike: I knew Blake (of Rilo Kiley) first. He was friends with my older brother. One day he saw me in my cave, scrawling some primitive symbols upon my cave walls, and it was love at first sight, almost primal you could say. From there, we started banging away on crude noisemakers as it were. We didn't realize it at first, but this was to become The Elected. We are now 3 albums deep with that project. Rilo Kiley happened for me as a next logical step, since they were looking for a guy who could club the hell out of potential predators, and who could fill in some musical gaps to emulate the bigger sound on their record.

Me: Mike, you play a lot of instruments. How many exactly and what do you play?

Mike: Well, I honestly don't know. Certainly anything with strings holds a particular allure for me (guitar, lap steel, dulcimer, etc). I'm sure most musicians can relate to this idea of picking up whatever instruments you can when you're writing and recording music and no one else is around. Guitar is my main thing, as I was attracted to it before anything else (except maybe Wonder Woman). Over the years, the more you do this, the more adept you become at being able to not only imitate your idols, but maybe even develop your own personality and touch. On my record, I play a lot of instruments because I had a lot of ideas and not enough time to wait around for help. It was especially fun to dig into some bass playing and a little drumming.

Me: What was the first instrument you started to play? Ever play the kazoo?

Mike: I had a toy guitar I used to bend the strings on when I was a wee lad. I always loved the guitar. If you consider the kazoo an instrument, though, that really opens things up (blades of grass, utensils, etc.)

Me: When you tour with Rilo Kelly, what do you play?

Mike: Well, Rilo Kiley hasn't toured in some time. However, when I did tour with them, I played guitar, keys, and blues harp mostly... sang a little bit as well.

Me: Most Phile readers know you probably from the band The Elected. The Elected released an album as well as your solo release. Were they recorded about the same time?

Mike: Well, they were finished around the same time. However, I started mine quite a bit before The Elected record. It's hard to say exactly how long it took because I was in and out of town quite a lot touring with different people.

Me: Let's talk about your solo release first, Mike. I downloaded "The King of Circles" from iTunes and really liked the album. Is this your first solo project?

Mike: It is my first official full length record, yes. I've been recording music for a long time and playing shows in the solo format, with various EP.'s and things. Seemed long overdue that I officially put something out and get out of that aforementioned cave with my songs.

Me: Did you write all the songs on it, sir?

Mike: I did, though one is a co-write with Jenny Lewis, and Blake helped me finish another one.

Me: Who plays on the album with you?

Mike: Definitely had some great players come in sporadically throughout the process. It's all in the liner notes, and I'd hate to mention some and leave others out. However, a few stick out in this moment. Jason Boesel on some drums, Brett Simons played a little upright bass, Adam Macdougall played some beautifully trippy keyboard parts, Andrea Babinski is a super talented musician who played a lot of the string stuff on the record, some of which was arranged by Nate Walcott. Blake sang on one. So that's a few. Sorry everybody else... I love you.

Me: I also downloaded The Elected's album "Bury Me In My Rings." What a morbid album title. Where did that title come from?

Mike: That's more a question for Blake. It has to do with an actual story of a woman who was buried with her daughter's inheritance around her fingers basically... torturing her beyond the veil.

Me: For those that don't know, who is in The Elected?

Mike: Sort of a rotating cast of characters. Outside of Blake and myself, no one else has played every Elected show or been on every record necessarily. Currently, we're on tour with Daniel Brummel and Dre Babinski. I think this particular lineup is one of my favorites yet. We're all on instruments that we don't normally play, so it's been a lot of fun.

Me: Mike, you and the other guys from your band are so busy, performing with Rilo Kelly as well as your own projects. You also are in Julian Casablanca's band as well. He's from The Strokes, right?

Mike: He does have a small side project he calls The Strokes. They're hoping to get someone to pay attention to them someday. I guess we'll see. Yeah, Julian's an awesome guy and it's a true pleasure and honor to play with him. We're currently working on the writing for the next record together, as a band. I'm really excited about that.

Me: What do you do in that band?

Mike: So far, for a change, I only play guitar... and I love that! I get to play in a way most of my other projects don't allow me to, given the genre and nature of where they're coming from.

Me: Mike, do you prefer working by yourself on your own projects or working with different people and bands?

Mike: I've worked by myself so much that I really value the opportunities to work with others these days. Though, I still have to force myself to reach out sometimes, because it's never really been my default mode to do so. I've got so many talented friends I'd be really doing myself a disservice to not make music with them whenever possible. Sometimes, though, I find myself a bit of a chameleon coming in and out of different projects as often as I have been lately... it really keeps me on my toes. 

Me: If you could be in any band, what band would you want to be in? Foghat maybe?

Mike: That's about as classic rock as it gets. Besides Foghat then, I grew up loving Kiss. As embarrassing as that is, there's still a part of me that would do anything to play "Love Gun" with my Space Ace make-up on. For real though, Zeppelin maybe? But as Bonham.

Me: I have to ask you about your brothers, who are both actors. Did you try any acting?

Mike: I tried it a very little bit, but never really connected with it. Maybe that's a euphemism, though, for me not being very comfortable with it, or particularly good at it? I honestly just always loved music and gravitated to it so much more than anything else that there was never really a question, you know?

Me: Are they musical as well, and do you ever work together?

Mike: My brothers are musical, yes. Have no idea where it came from as no one in our family history, that we know of, had any real inclination towards it. I mean, my parents can hum a good melody and all, but... yeah, my oldest brother played guitar before I did. My other brother plays keys well. We mess around, but they'd rather play "Rock Band" these days. Still waiting for them to man up.

Me: Mike, you are a very busy man, sir, so I really you being here on the Phile. If any of your band mates like Ryland would like to be on the Phile, please let me know, I would love to have them. As well as Jenny, who I invited awhile back and was supposed to be here. Do you have a website you would like to plug?

Mike: There's this little site called You should check it out, I really think you'll love it!

Me: Haha. Thanks again, tell everybody I said hello, and please come back, sir.

Mike: My pleasure. Thank you.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim... he's more of a man than I'll ever be... and Mike Bloom. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Diana Ebe. 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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pheaturing Steve McCormick

Hey there, good morning and welcome to the Phile for a Monday, people. How are you? Let's start with a story about a couple who were arrested for having sex during Batman v. Superman... the only people who enjoyed the movie. A couple was arrested in Manchester, United Kingdom during a screening of Batman v Superman because the guy's little Man of Steel leaped into the woman's Batcave mid-movie. According to "The Mirror," movie theatre (it's the U.K.) staff confronted the pair, who were enjoying some superheroic sexy time as Lex Luthor orchestrated a showdown between Superman and Batman. Hopefully, they waited until after (yet another) sequence of Batman's parents dying. They were presumably turned on by all those longing stares between Supes and Bats. Or maybe they were bored by the movie and found a different way to entertain themselves. The couple, horny and drunk, did not take well to being interrupted mid-coitus, and the guy went and punched the employee. The woman was arrested for public indecency, and the man was arrested for both indecency and assault. This never would have happened at the much-better Captain America: Civil War.
Okay, did you people see that video of the woman in the Chewbacca mask? Here's a screen shot of the woman with her new favorite thing in the whole world.

The woman, Candace Payne, filmed herself with an item she just bought that is basically giving her an orgasm of happiness. Not a sex toy... a talking Chewbacca mask. SHE IS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS MASK, Y'ALL. She doesn't even bother trying to hide her glee. It would be impossible to, anyway. The joy would just bubble up and escape from the seatbelt and flow under the car and float her home on an ever-rising wave of delight. Has anyone ever been this happy about anything? Probably not. Will anyone ever again? Doubtful. She's cornered the market on happiness. If you need happiness, you'll have to borrow it from her. She just cannot stop laughing and clapping. She's very clear that the talking Chewie mask isn't for her sons, it's absolutely, 100% for her. "When it's said and done, at the end of the day, this is MINE that I bought, and I'm gonna keep it for my own." Hey kids, cheer up... no, you don't get a toy, but you do get to see your mom in a state of cackling euphoria. Who is she making this video for, though? The answer is: for you. She made it for you. So you can see, for once in your pitiful life, what true jubilation looks like. And what does it look like? It looks like a hysterical, slightly unhinged woman in a talking Star Wars mask. Enjoy.
George Zimmerman continues to milk his infamous shooting of an unarmed teen for all the publicity it's worth, and now he's squeezed that rock so hard money actually came out. After trolls like "Racist McShootface" and "Weedlord Bonerhitler" caused the auction for the gun that killed Trayvon Martin to close early, the United Gun Group (ugg) has finally managed to keep it open long enough for the firearm to sell. It went at the shameful sum of over $120,000, according to TMZ. Not that $120,000 is a specifically shameful number, but anything above zero seems too much for the weapon that killed a kid and brought George Zimmerman into the public consciousness. Apparently a verification system is to thank (blame) for keeping the auction unmolested by fake users, and in the end only seven people ended up bidding. Zimmerman still must approve of the sale before it's final. Hopefully, this is the last you'll ever hear of him, but he's probably 2020's big political star to watch.
The O.J. Simpson verdict was one of the most-watched television events in history. Around 150 million people, that's 57% of the country, stopped everything they were doing at 10 am to watch what many believed to be a guilty man be declared free to go. Every part of the verdict was shocking, not the least of which was when O.J. leaned in to whisper to his council Robert Shapiro. Shapiro has never revealed what Simpson said in those first moments after the acquittal, until talking with FOX's Megyn Kelly Tuesday night. As Shapiro told Kelly, O.J.'s first words after being found not guilty were, "You had told me this would be the result from the beginning. You were right." If you take a look at Shapiro's reaction to O.J., he immediately checks the camera, terrified that someone might have heard. It's like he thought he'd been caught. When Kelly asked if he really believed Simpson was innocent, he gave what seems like resounding lawyer-speak for "no." "As far as moral justice," he told Kelly, "I haven't discussed it with anyone, including my wife." Yeah, you can't unburden yourself about how you probably got a double murderer off; it could really cause a rift in your marriage. Best to never speak of it again. Or until you're back on the news; whichever comes first.
You know how women are always saying, "Man, I wish a startup would climb inside my vagina?" Well finally, one is: my.Flow, the Bluetooth-enabled tampon, is here to bring startup culture to your vaginal canal. The idea is that my.Flow helps you avoid messy situations by sending you text updates on how full your tampon is and when you should change it. Technically, the tampon itself isn't Bluetooth-enabled. The only thing that's weird... I mean innovative about the actual tampon is that it has a super-long string that hooks directly into a "flow monitor." (It's sort of like when you make a telephone out of two cans and a string as a kid, except one of the cans is in your vajay.) Then, you walk around with the tampon-connected flow monitor on your waistband or underwear, which will surely look really cool next to the belt-mounted cellphone holster you already wear (Siri, take a note: lock down patent on duo cellphone/my.Flow holster). When it's not on your pants, my.Flow lives on your keychain, because as the old saying goes, "Keep your friends close, but your period monitor closer." In the company's video, Here's the company's video, which has a super awkward start with a record scratch and then a dude asking, "Wait, what? How did she know how full her tampon is?" because nothing puts ladies in the mood to learn about new menstrual products like cheesy video effects and men talking. (That said, this company is co-run by a man and a woman, which is much better gender equality that most start ups.) The app does track your period, which is cool. It gives you month-to-month stats on duration, heaviness of your flow, etc. But is it necessary? Somehow, miraculously, women have managed their periods without Bluetooth hooked up to their bits for thousands of years. And many accidents don't come from not knowing when to change your tampon, but rather from things like getting your period earlier than expected. So, my.Flow, here's the real question: how can you get Bluetooth all the way up into the uterus?
So, I don't know if you know anything about me, but one thing I will tell you is that I never break any rules. Haha. Really. Ummm... anyway. I don't. Unlike this guy...

He's so rude as well. So, have you seen Trump's new look? I have no idea what happened to him.

He looks like Sanders now. Almost. No tan and no wig. Hahaha. Speaking of Trump, you know there's a new Trump movie, right. Here's the poster for it...

Hmmm. Budweiser just announced that, through November, their beer would be renamed “America.”  Here on the Phile, I got a chance to see the new label. Check it out, kids...

I have no idea what to think. Okay, and now form the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Phacts About The New Burger King Spa
5. Ripping quest beef-farts in the sauna isn't just tolerated... it's expected.
4. The sauna-steam is activated by pouring ice-cold Dr. Pepper onto piping-hot hash browns.
3. Relaxing ambient music mixes pleasingly with the sound of cooks screaming at each tier to hurry up with the damn sausage biscuits.
2. It's perfect for patrons who are used to sweating excessively while they eat.
and the number one phact about the new Burger King Spa...
1. For many, this won't be the first time they've ever been naked in a Burger King.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, ever hear the saying "zero fucks different"? I hear that quite a bit in my personal life, and never really knew what it meant... until now. So, here's a new pheature simply called...

Yup. And now for some sad news...

Morley Safer 
November 8th, 1931 — May 19th, 2016
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Alan Young 
November 19th, 1919 — May 19th, 2016
A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a corpse of course.

The 48th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

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

Today's guest is a British singer whose album "Lowlights and Footnotes" is available at and the British version of iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Steve McCormick.

Me: Hi there, Steve, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Steve: Rubbish! Very sore throat and my glands are up, so I've been better!

Me: I have to say I purchased "Lowlights & Footnotes" from Amazon and really, really liked it. Good job. Did you produce it yourself?

Steve: I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wrote, recorded, played every instrument and produced the album single-handedly, other than pedal steel and the mastering. It wasn't because I was trying to be a smart-arse, it was down to the fact that I didn't have a live band (I do now) and I have a home studio. I should clarify the home studio comment though... it's a room that is about 6ft x 7ft, hence the reference to Spare Room Studios in the sleeve notes.

Me: So, what's wrong about being another English cowboy? I love that opening track by the way.

Steve: There are two things to this... the first being fake Americana accents, wearing Stetsons and trying to be American. There are few things as cringeworthy as hearing somebody singing in a full-on yee-haw accent, then speaking between songs in a regional English accent. Also, if you have ever visited a traditional C&W club in the U.K., you might well have witnessed the peculiar phenomenon of grown men dressing up as cowboys and having cap gun fights. I'd advise any Americans visiting the U.K. to try and get to a C&W night in a social club and see it for themselves. It's an experience.

Me: Speaking of England, you're from Carlisle, right? That's in Cumbria if I believe. For those that don't know, in relation to London, where is Carlisle?

Steve: Carlisle is pretty much as close to Scotland as you can get, just a few miles before the border, and well-known historically for exchanging hands between England and Scotland. Despite it's history, it's a cultural backwater. It's just before Gretna Green, which I a well-known tourist spot.

Me: I was born in London but lived in Oxford for a few years. Do you get out to Oxford to play much?

Steve: I've never played Oxford but it's a beautiful city. Hopefully within the next year we'll make it there with the band.

Me: Speaking of playing, Steve. You played a number of festivals in the U.K., including the Cockermouth Rock Festival. What kind of festival is that? I would be careful to play in places with names like that. Haha.

Steve: Haha. Cockermouth is indeed an amusingly named town. Its festival sadly turned out to be populated mostly by cover bands, playing the latest Killers, etc. Not my idea of a great day out.

Me: I checked out your influences and two names stuck out... Ron Sexsmith and Squeeze. I interviewed Ron and John Bentley from Squeeze on the Phile, y'know...

Steve: A little name dropping there. Ha.

Me: Yeah. Guilty. Anyway, have you ever met any of your influences or even better opened for any of them?

Steve: I met Ron a few years back but just after a gig as a paying punter, and also Robbie Fulks. I felt like a total tit on both counts really, as I felt quite nervous. I've since sent Robbie a copy of my album and he gave me some very kind feedback. I'd love to open for him on tour.

Me: I was surprised in your list on your bio you didn't mention Graham Parker, but you did mention Randy Newman. Is there a reason for this?

Steve: Totally honestly, I've never heard him. I'll open up Spotify now!

Me: Speaking of Robbie Fulks, his tribute album to Michael Jackson is great.

Steve: Yeah. "Billie Jean" is a cracker.

Me: Steve, apart from doing your own thing, you are working with a singer named Annette Stubbs, right? How did you two meet and what does your collaboration consist of?

Steve: Annette and I met at work, through her boyfriend, Rob Millican, who is also our live drummer and all-round top bloke. Annette has a really beautiful voice and a great ear for harmony and she sings harmony and plays some keyboards. Her voice adds a whole new texture to the sound and I've now written my first duet.

Me: Steve, did you know there's a singer in Nashville with the same as you. I bet you can take him in a fight.

Steve: Haha, he's a big guy! He'd probably kick my arse from Nashville back to Carlisle! Seriously though, he's a lovely guy, we've corresponded via email on and off for a few years, simply because I was amused by the same name thing and the fact we both performed as singer/songwriters. There are at least two others I am aware of... one in L.A. who also makes his own microphones or something and one in Middlesborough in England. It's one reason to add the distinction of a band to the name, hence Steve McCormick and the Half Moons.

Me: Well, as I said I really enjoyed "Lowlights & Footnotes", Steve. Are you working on a follow up? When it comes out I would love to have you back. And Annette if she would like to.

Steve: I'm sure she'd love to. The second album is pretty much written now, so some of the songs will get a bit of a road test, or at least be fleshed out in rehearsal with the band. Whenever I write a new song, I recorded demos at home but I want at least the band demos to be done by the end of the year. Ideally, I'll find a label to work with on this one.

Me: Go ahead and plug your websites and anything else you wanna tell the readers. I hope to see you in the states someday, Steve. Thanks again and good luck with everything.

Steve: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it. The best place to go is where you can download a 4-track sampler from "Lowlights and Footnotes," read the lyrics, reviews, there are links to iTunes, etc. and you can buy a, gasp, real compact disc directly from me! Closing comment: thanks for the introduction to Graham Parker, he's bloody good! Not quite sure how he's stayed off my radar for so long!

Me: Yeah, Graham is my favorite! Take care, Steve. Come back again soon!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Steve for a great interview. Well, today would of been my mum's birthday. So, happy birthday, mum. The Phile will be back next Sunday with musician Mike Bloom. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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