Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Pheaturing Justin Currie

I'm alive! Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. Yesterday morning I had the ablation procedure on my heart. It went well I'm happy to say. I'm just a little sore, but doing fine. Fine enough to do this blog thing anyway. And I'm not on any pain meds. So, how are you? Okay, let's start off with a story about a racist white lady calling black women in a restaurant the N-word, shall we? She says she'll never do it again.
I say she said it before and she'd say it again. Nancy Goodman has this week's dishonor of being the white woman with a terrible haircut to go viral for harassing black people. Goodman, nicknamed "Turn Down Tina" by one of her victims, was enjoying happy hour at a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina when she called two black women the N-word for allegedly being too loud. Chanda Stewart explained on Facebook that "what was supposed to be dinner with my girlfriends ended up in us being called stupid..." You know the word. "The climate of the country today has some people thinking whatever they feel... they can say. The reality is if we were to retaliate with this same kind of hate and ignorance we would be called 'angry black women,'" wrote Stewart. "We're paying for our food just like everyone else, and she told us we are the rudest people," Stewart said in the cellphone video, while Goodman obnoxiously "cheesed" for the camera. Goodman then took out her own phone and walked over to confront the women. "I've got real good friends who are black, and I love them," she volunteered, and then said, "Why are you so stupid... ?" "Do you call your black friends [the N-word]?" one of the women replied. "They're not like you," Goodman said, as she picked up her purse and walked away. After the video went viral, Goodman told WRAL that she regrets not telling the restaurant to deal with the alleged noise complaint, but she doesn't regret the language she used when she took the mission on herself. "I’m not going to say I’m sorry to them because they kept pushing at it," she told WRAL. "I would say it again to them. They are the rudest individuals I have ever seen." While racism is even older than the republic, people are tracing Goodman's overt display of animosity back to Trump and his Make Racists Unashamed Again platform. Goodman also had the audacity to blame her racist burst on "anxiety." "I suffer from anxiety which is not an excuse," she wrote on Facebook. If your "anxiety" is triggered by the presence of black women, you just might be a racist. And if you are, in fact, anxious... chill on the toilet for a fifteen minute breather like a normal person! There are dozens of remedies that don't involve racial slurs. I've tried them all.
Trump's Twitter going into 2020 is an advent calendar of racism with a new black target every day. Sunday, it was Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Oversight Committee Chairman who recently authorized subpoenas for senior White House aides' communications, including Ivanka "BUT HER EMAILS!" Trump's use of a private email account for official White House business. Yesterday, Trump has directed his Twitter missile at the reverend Al Sharpton, who was headed to Baltimore to refute Trump's claims that Rep. Cummings' district in Baltimore is Hades. Not even pretending anymore that he isn't trying to incite a race war, Trump declared that Sharpton "hates Whites & Cops!)" It must suck to wake up on a Monday morning and find that the president is harsher towards you than he is to literal dictators. Sharpton, for his part, had a good burn, because that's what politics is all about: trading barbs. "If he really thought I was a 'con man' he'd be nominating me for his cabinet," he said. Nice!
Speaking of cops, a police officer in Indiana accused a McDonald's worker of taking a bite out of his McChicken as an act of civil disobedience. After an investigation, the Marion County Sheriff's Office cracked the case, and the bite was an inside job: the officer ate the sandwich himself. An actual investigation took place, followed by an actual statement to an actual reporter. The sheriff's officer told WTHR, "The employee took a bite out of the sandwich upon starting his shift at the Marion County Jail, then placed it in the refrigerator in a break room. He returned nearly seven hours later having forgotten that he had previously bitten the sandwich. He wrongly concluded that a McDonald’s restaurant employee had tampered with his food because he is a law enforcement officer." Sorry, dude. While it would be fun to be a victim for once, the only thing you're a victim of is McChicken.
You know what's an even bigger and shinier accessory than an engagement ring? Handcuffs. A bride-to-be pretended to have cancer so a charity would pay for her wedding, and now she might be facing a jail more constricting than marriage. Carla Louise Evans, from a vowel-rich city in Wales called Trecenydd, forged a urologist's signature to convince the che charity that she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and liver failure. Wish For A Wedding is a non-profit that arranges wedding ceremonies for people with terminal illness (they must provide their own partner, however). Police say that Evans tried to swindle them for more than £15,000 which is about $18,723. Under the charity's rules, she would only have to pay £500 which is about $624.11, which is likely cheaper than bail. As the charity began planning the wedding, they contacted Royal Gwent Hospital, where Evans claimed to be getting treatment. When the hospital said that they had no patient named Carla Louise Evans, the charity called the police. Evans pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and is facing a prison sentence of between 26 weeks and three years, the She is free on bond, and sentencing will take place on August 6th. I hear that the conjugal visit trailer is a great place to honeymoon.
The story has a happy ending, but it's terrifying nonetheless. Maribeth Leeson's five-year-old son Adam drowned in a busy pool, surrounded by adults. He was saved with CPR and hospitalized soon after, and Leeson told her story in a viral post hoping that all parents will learn "the signs of struggle." "He looked like he was PLAYING," Leeson wrote in a Facebook post that now has over 240,000 shares. "When I found him myself, 2 feet from adults who were in the pool, my first thought was that it wasn’t him, that it was someone else’s kid who was seeing how long they could hold their breath." "His limp, gray, lifeless body was pulled from the pool and it was every mother's worst nightmare. He was dead," Leeson wrote. "I heard screaming, and after a minute realized the screaming was coming from me. I watched in slow motion as people rushed to him, as he was laid on the concrete, as CPR was started. After what felt like an eternity, Adam opened his eyes. He had a pulse." Adam spent three days at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. "Physically, it is beyond comprehension that he is suffering no consequences," Leeson wrote... and Adam is already eager to get back in the pool. Emotionally, "he clearly has some anxiety that he didn't have before," shouting 'Mommy!' every time she is out of sight. " I pray that some counseling and lots of reassurance will fix that," she wrote. Leeson was candid in her post about how she blamed herself for what happened. "This was 100% preventable. The fault was MINE. He's a big 5-year-old. He has a very needy twin who makes it easy for me to forget that Adam is still 5 too and has needs that other 5-year-olds need. He's not self-sufficient even though sometimes I feel like he is because he's so capable. I didn't tell him to get in the pool without his Puddle-jumper on, but I was aware that he had. I simply told him to stay in the shallow end while I got his sister's swimsuit on, then I would be over. I thought it was fine for 5 minutes, as he could touch just fine in the shallow end, he wasn't alone because there were multiple adults IN the pool, and I'd be right next to the pool getting her suit on. Wrong. I have never ever been so wrong. He remembers what happened. He said he slipped off the edge. Based on where he was in the shallow end, and where we found him, he means the ledge from the shallow to the deep end. He said he kept going to the bottom then to the top and tried to yell 'Mommy!' It kills me to hear that. It kills me to know that his last thoughts were that mommy didn't come for him. But God decided to give me another chance to do better. He gave my baby back to me. Now he knows I DID come for him." She included practical advice to parents to make sure that a near-tragedy like this doesn't happen again. "Before going to any pool, first make sure your kids know not to get in until the adult who is responsible for them is ready to watch them. That sounds like common sense, but I was thinking because so many adults were present, he was fine, but those adults didn’t know his swimming ability so they didn’t question when he was under water," Leeson explained. She also explained to parents that it's crucial to know the signs of drowning. In Adam's case, "he wasn't splashing, thrashing, or screaming. He was simply underwater and couldn't get his head above water."  After three days in the ICU, Adam is home, happy, and full of life. "Please don't forget Adam and his story!" Leeson wrote. "Remember every time you go to a pool. Watch your own kids, and also signs of drowning from others as well. Learn CPR. If Adam can save some lives by teaching others my mistakes, all he's been through will be worth it!"
If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time and try to meet Burt Reynolds, but knowing my luck he'd be on a date with Loni Anderson and wouldn't want to hang with me.

I think Ivanka Trump does have a TARDIS...

What the hell? Haha. A few weeks ago Trump was in England, and my fellow Brits sure had some clever anti-Trump signs...

Hahahahaha. Did you know Donald Trump is an accordion player? No? Here's proof...

Don Jr. has a new book coming out titled Triggered: How The Left Thrives On Hate And Wants To Silence Us. Well, that wasn't the original title...

That's a better fitting name. You guys know who Santana is, right? He is not only a really good guitar player but he also plays a really mean slug. Check this out...

That's sooo stupid. That's as stupid as...

They tell me that at Walmart I would see some strange sights. I didn't believe it until I saw this...

You ever see those people on the side of the road with the cardboard signs? Some I have to say are pretty creative...

Creative or rude... I'd say rude.

If you spot the Mindphuck, and I'm sure you will let me know. Okay, it's Shark week on the Discovery Channel. Well, I have to be a friend with a shark who once a year likes to come onto the Phile. So, please welcome once again...

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

Feargal: I'm feeling jaw-some. Ha! Get it!

Me: Ha! Why are you feeling "jaw-some?"

Feargal: I had electro shark therapy.

Me: That's great. So, usually who have some jokes for us. Do you today?

Feargal: Of course. Why did the street sharks get arrested?

Me: Ummm... I have no idea. Why?

Feargal: Dorsal profiling.

Me: Hmmmm... I barely get that.

Feargal: It's okay. a lot of people don't like my stand-up anyway.

Me: Really? Why not?

Feargal: They say "it bites!"

Me: Awe. Feargal, I'll let you tell us one more before you go away back to the ocean...

Feargal: Okay. Why don't sharks have tools?

Me: I don't know. Why?

Feargal: They don't have opposable thumbs. Get it?

Me: Yeah. It's kinda funny.

Feargal: See what I mean? Okay, I'm going to go back into the ocean. See you next year, Jason.

Me: Bye, Feargal. Feargal the Shark, kids.

As a writer, I believe in freedom of speech and love dark comedy and have been known to get looks at the occasional party for making an off-color joke. But even I know that making a 9/11 joke in front of an audience comprised of 9/11 first responders and their families is crossing every imaginable line, and especially when you are the President of the United States. But if there's one thing our president is good at, and there is literally only one thing: it is crossing lines. Yesterday, while signing a bill to authorize the extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Trump was joined by more than 200 people whose lives were impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including more than 60 first responders and their families. He took this opportunity to make a joke that the stage might collapse under everyone, adding that if it does, at least they "are not falling very far." People are calling the comments insanely tasteless, even for him. Some think the unhinged comments could be a reaction to growing threats of impeachment. While others just think it's more of the same behavior from someone who has consistently displayed a stunning lack of empathy. As if things could get worse, Trump claimed, in front of an audience of first responders, to have spent "a lot of time" at Ground Zero himself. This isn't the first time Trump has lied or exaggerated about his behavior during and after 9/11, and he once fist-pumped on his way to a 9/11 memorial. He also bragged about his building being the tallest in NYC after the towers fell.

The 102nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Mike D and Ad-Rock will be on the Phile next Monday and I can't wait. I'm a big Beastie Boys fan. I'm sooo excited. So, there's this local guy who I somehow don't think is a fan of the Beastie's. He claims he's the fanciest man in town and wanted to stop by. So, here once again is...

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

Samual: Splendid, my friend, just splendid.

Me: So, what are you up to?

Samual: I went to Disney World yesterday for the first time.

Me: You did? The first time? Wow. Why did you go there all of a sudden?

Samual: I thought as soon as I go inside, this place must be a MAJOR tourist trap!

Me: And?

Samual: Well, before that all the cool places I wanted to stop at on trips were flippantly referred to as such.

Me: Ha! So, did you like it?

Samual: I liked the teacup ride. But it was way too hot in my hat and tuxedo.

Me: You didn't have to wear that outfit...

Samual: Oh, but I do... it's fancy. Well, Mr. Peverett, I'm hungry so going off to dinner.

Me: Where are you going to dinner?

Samual: The Outback Steakhouse. See you soon.

Me: Samual Phancy, the fanciest man in town, kids.

In the world of flies, a young fly needed a heart transplant. After being taken to surgery, the fly anesthesiologist put the young fly to sleep. The fly doctor assistant cut open the young fly’s chest. He then announced to the fly heart doctor, "Your fly is open." The heart doctor blushed.

Today's guest is a Scottish singer and songwriter best known as a founding member of the band Del Amitri. His latest solo album "This Is My Kingdom Nail" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile one of my favorite singers... Justin Currie.

Me: Hey, Justin, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Justin: I'm good, Jason.

Me: I have to tell you Del Amitri favorite bands from the 90s. I saw you guys in concert once in Orlando and you guys were so great. You are such a great songwriter. Do you write on piano or guitar, Justin?

Justin: It used to always be the guitar, I would write in one of two tunings. I would always have a guitar set up. In the last 15 years I've been writing on the piano, nearly exclusively. I don't really know what the notes are. Rather depressingly when I transcribe the piano stuff I write to guitar it's the same chords on the guitar.

Me: Do you ever write on the bass at all?

Justin: No. I think I wrote one song on the bass when I was really young, which turned out quite well. It's funny, people do ask that, it's very unusual writing songs on a bass but I guess people do it. I supposed if I was working on a little project it'll be fine but bass is not the nicest thing to sit and play. I don't think I'll find any pleasure playing the bass and singing along. When I play bass half the time I can't hear what the notes are.

Me: Are you always writing ideas down for songs?

Justin: Yeah, most writers got a book full of titles or first line for chorus and things, but if I'm going for a writing jive I'll try to use those things and tend to wander off and write something completely new. Very very occasionally I'll write a verse and a chorus and go work out the melody. Often when I write the lyrics on their own the melody is kind of built in somewhere without me really realising it. Whatever I sing at the end of the day it doesn't matter what I'm singing about it doesn't really matter how I approach it I guess.

Me: Does song writing come easy for you?

Justin: In my mind there's two different styles of melody writing. There's the Paul McCartney approach and there's the John Lennon approach where there's only four notes. You can still write a great tune with four notes I think. I don't really think about melody and I am not good at sewing into a song and I get a wee bit obsessed the where the lyrics are, making the lyrics sound natural. If I do start imposing a real interesting melody on things I get really pissed off because it starts to force the lyrics out of controversial freedom into something a bit more like musical theatre or something. I suppose the real genius like McCartney is they could make very elegant melodies which is something I've never been able to do.

Me: The melody on "This Is My Kingdom Now," the title track of your latest album is great. When you came up with that did you know it was really good straight away?

Justin: No, but if I listen back to something later I think that's quite a good tune. Not at the time, at the time every now and then I know I've wrote a very good song. I'll write it and I'll know it definitely end up on the record if I'm really pleased with it. I wouldn't necessarily know right away if the tune was good. Most of the things I write don't really have tunes, they just draw on. That's fine, I don't particularly feel bothered about that. I played that song for the guy who produced my record and he obviously didn't like it at all. I only played it to him because it does have a good tune, but I didn't know that at the time. I don't spot that kinda thing when I'm writing.

Me: So, do you record your ideas as you write the album?

Justin: Yes, I use a Sony TCM-450DV, they still make these. Here's what it looks like...

Justin: They're incredibly handy because I could just pause or I could just bang on the record button, I can just chop things together as I go. It's much quicker than any digital device I know. I put stuff in the phone but to be honest I never listen to that stuff. This is my second last one so if they ever stop making them I'll be really up shit creek.

Me: I think the Sparks still use cassettes if I remember correctly from when I interviewed them a few years ago. So, who is one of your musical influences, apart from the Beatles?

Justin: Gilbert O'Sullivan, he's one of my heroes. I grew up listening to the first two albums in the 70s. Don't ask me why but my mum went to... we used to live in Leicester, and she went to a WH Smith or something that had a big record department. I do not know why but she bought two Gilbert O'Sullivan records which everybody hated except me. I listened to them on a daily basis. So everything I've done I owe to Gilbert O'Sullivan.

Me: My mum loved Gilbert O'Sullivan. I have to try and get him on the Phile. When you write do you take awhile to write a song or does it come quick?

Justin: Well, the things I write in notebooks could take years and years and years. I've got a book that isn't quite finished that I've had for about 25 years. It isn't quite fall and it's really just titles and some of them will get used at some point. What I do sometimes is I rent a wee cottage and I go away and try and write two or three things a day. That's quite handy to have a notebook there with a list of things. Then other things seem to percolate I guess, they're just swimming around in my head for months and years then suddenly they come up to the surface and I think where did that come from... that's weird. They've been turning around in my subconscious. The big thing anybody who is doing something who is trying to make stuff up is if you could turn off as much of your conscious mind as possible then that's where you're gonna get a decent result. I do have to play a lot of stupid games with myself so recent I've been writing songs stupidly early in the morning because my brain's not screwed on. So I've been writing songs like half six in the morning or something. Anything to catch my conscious brain to falling asleep.

Me: What do you think of songwriters like in Nashville or anywhere who write every day from 9 to 5?

Justin: I suppose I'm jealous and it pisses me off. People like Nick Cave who writes brilliant songs and uses that approach and there's people like Elvis Costello... why are you writing all these fucking songs? Just write half the fucking songs you write.

Me: What was it like writing back when you were in Del Amitri?

Justin: Back in the A&M days as soon as we had time off everybody was waiting for me to write songs so I had a bit of pressure to come up with stuff that the band could get their teeth into and get to the record company. I spent four years at one point writing a lot of stuff just for the sake of it. I'll never do that again because I've got reams of songs that just aren't very good. They're just okay songs, they got the right bits, they got a torso and arms and legs and head but they're all in the wrong order. They walk the wrong way so that's not for me now and why I can't writer for commission and people say can you write this and I I say no, because it just doesn't feel natural. I'm not very good at that, I'd rather just write naturally.

Me: Your singing voice is one of my favorites, Justin. When did you realize you could sing?

Justin: Well, I've always had a falsetto, it's changing a bit now I'm an old man, but it's a wee bit still there. I used to have a really really extensive falsetto a lot higher than most women that I know. Dale Griffin, the drummer from Mott the Hoople who died a few years ago produced a lot of the BBC John Peel sessions and he was very good at his job, he was kind of a fractious and patient producer, and he had to deal with idiots like us who came in at age 15 not knowing what the hell we were doing. It was our first time in a lavish 24-track studio, and we done all the backing tracks and he went for a tea break and as he went for a tea break we started laying down all these backing vocals. I ended up doing 10 tracks of falsetto harmonies and it was a complete mess, when he came back he was like "what the fucks going on?!" Also again that's such a Beatles thing, the Beatles used their falsetto, especially McCartney and Lennon, the falsetto really effectively. It's just a handy thing for a man to have that other voice, I could go to and jump into.

Me: When did you first start to write songs?

Justin: Well, before Del Amitri formed I wrote a bunch of punk things, really basic punk songs on two strings nylon strung guitar. I wouldn't even say they were songs, they were stuff. Then when I put a band together at school I wanted us to be like Joy Division or the Fall, all the bands I was listening to, all bands who wrote collectively who didn't have a principal song writer. I would write the lyrics but all of us would write the music so I out the whole ides of writing myself on the back burner. Then Iain Harvie from Del Amitri, after we made the first album, which took us years to write because the writing process was so arduous. The early erring process for Del Amitri involved four people in a room, staring each other eyeball to eyeball, you play something, no, you play something... then what I would do is I would gather little bits, little cycles of riffs and stitch them to other cycles of riffs that we put together a few weeks before. It took months to write a song and eventually I would take it home, throw lyrics over the top and edit. It was hellish. We ended up with all these songs which didn't have chord sequences and were quite odd, all for the better of it. It got to the point where it wasn't substantial because it got took us so long to write an album. It took us four years to write an album, and that's with rehearsing, and we'd spend five days a week with just writing. Then I started writing things on my own and Iain said, "Just do that, because it's going to save us a lot of time. I'll write stuff on the guitar and you should adapt that but you should keep writing stuff." So with that encouragement I ended up being the principal songwriter of the band, which I didn't have the desire to be, but I could do it and it saved everybody a lot of time. That's where that came from. I didn't start doing that until I was 19, something like that. Obviously we had written load of songs before that but I didn't think myself as a songwriter until I was 19 I guess.

Me: Did any of your early songs make it to the first Del Amitri album?

Justin: No, they didn't at all. It's funny you should ask that. When Iain joined the band I gave him a whole bunch of demos that I recorded at home, that were pretty much bad. We couldn't arrange them for a band, they were rubbish. I kind thought they were ideas, they weren't really ideas, they were just lyrics with very vague guitar notes underneath them. We just threw those out and started from what we did in the rehearsal room. What is great about that I got people involved with the writing process that never normally be writers. Anybody could play an instrument, just play something, and with a bit of manipulation and encouragement you could get anybody to write a song, or certainly the instrumental parts for a song. I always found that really satisfying, getting that out of people. Over the years as various different guitar players came in the band, the first thing we asked was do they write. If they said yes, that was very encouraging. We always wanted as many people in the band as possible to write. The more ideas the better basically. 

Me: How was it writing with Iain Harvie?

Justin: He and I would just come up with a riff, then we would jam out and I would take away and add other bits to deviling chord sequences. Quite a lot of the time, especially in the 90s, he would write what I would call complete songs. He specifically took on melody and lyrics, which would suggest what the melody would be. They were quite structured and I could tell what the chorus was and all that stuff. Even though he doesn't write melodies and top line lyrics and such, I consider him a songwriter, a lot of the time what he gives me is just easy, it's obvious what the song is going to be. Sometimes the music suggests what the song is going to be about as well. I think that's why Johnny Marr is a great songwriter, and maybe some other great guitar players in famous bands aren't songwriters, because I could tell the stuff he gave to Morrissey is complete. There's two or three different parts, a story that is being told. That's a song basically. The easy bit is writing lyrics.

Me: I loved how the Del Amitri songs were so damn catchy, like "Kiss This Thing Good-Bye," and "Move Away Jimmy Blue." You must be proud of those songs, am I right?

Justin: Yeah. They're both co-writes, both of those songs started with a riff that Iain had worked out on the bottleneck. I always preferred the songs that we wrote together. They just took me as a singer and lyricist to different places, I always thought they were much more interesting. But the second Del Amitri on A&M, and the third album technically changed everything. We wrote it quite quickly, and that's dominated by songs that I wrote on my own. That kind of the moved the audience into the an A&M expecting singer songwriter which is not what we were about, we were about being a band at first, hopefully with some decent lyrics at the top. So that put a wee bit of pressure to have a kind of acoustically singer songwriter side that I always felt was slightly frustrating. That's not what we wanted to be. We started as an arty indie band, and we moved into this mainstream American rock area and that was quite odd having this singer songwriter side to what we did. In interviews at the time we would always deny that we were into songwriting, we were not about songwriting, we were about being a band and all that sort of stuff. Which is a blatant lie really, but we just always thought those cunts in bands were really pretentious about the art of the song and all that. Fuck off. I say that now, but I'm now an old man and do consider myself as a songwriter but back in those days that wasn't how we wanted to be perceived. We wanted to be perceived as rock guys who wanted to do a show that people could enjoy.

Me: I love the song "Always the Last to Know." That could be my theme song. Haha. What's the story behind that song?

Justin: Well, that wasn't a song I thought was particularly exciting. I knew I had a chorus, and I'm not very good at writing choruses so I new that was a plus. It was written at the time we were really obsessed with the Faces, all the Faces records, and everything we did we tried to sound like the Faces. When we demoed that it was sort of like a Faces rip-off and what happened was Gil Norton, the producer, I think he felt under pressure to have something on the record to sound like a radio hit, he completely rearranged it. Two or three years later I was listening to it on the radio and I realised he completely ripped off John Waite's "Missing You." That was a big FM radio hit in the 80s, and he gone and wholesaled that whole basic drums, bass and guitar arrangement. It worked, because it was a hit, but it didn't sound anything like the song was written. That's a funny song that, it'd a very personal song, and it became pop hit which is kind of weird.

Me: Did you like having radio hits, Justin?

Justin: Yeah, it saved our bacon having radio hits, because that's all we had. We didn't have a huge amount of records.

Me: Okay, I HAVE to ask about "Roll to Me." I love that song but it's so bloody short. How did you write that one and why is it so short?

Justin: Oh, God, the melody and the chords all came together. I was desperately trying to write something throwaway and very Beatleesque. Weirdly is ended up sounding like early Del Amitri, lyrics all in a very small space. All when I wrote it I didn't realise how fast it was, it was the fastest thing we ever recorded. That's probably why it's so short. It has all the bits in it but it's sufficiently under 3 minutes. We were writing this kind of rock record which ended up being called "Twisted." We were listening to a lot of guitar rock records. I really liked that last Nirvana record. We were listening to a lot of sludgy guitar rock and I just felt we needed something a bit throwaway. When we recorded it I dumped that real melodic 12 string guitar on it it sounded really anomalous. I said to Iain this should not be on the record and he said we were gonna need it otherwise the record was gonna be a bit tramp. We put it on the record and it bought us both a house.

Me: When I saw you guys in concert, and I can't remember what tour it was, you did a great version of "Maggie May." You must love that song, right?

Justin: The great thing about "Maggie May" is I don't know how that song was written. It doesn't really have a structure, it just has a big wedges of verse. It just goes round and round and round and yet it's absolutely infectious. Those guys won't know they were writing a big hit when they wrote that, or they were writing something that people would identify with. It's just a bunch of lyrics thrown over a nice little chord sequence.

Me: What do you think is one of the greatest songs ever written?

Justin: "Happiness is a Warm Gun," nothing ever repeats, it's just a bunch of different choruses all stitched together.

Me: Would you ever sit and write a song with someone else?

Justin: Quite unwillingly I was thrown into a room with someone from a boy band years ago who would remain nameless. That was awful. Years ago I was offered things, normally very poppy things and they'd want a songwriter to come in and help. I'd listen to the demoes and go there's nothing wrong with the demoes. they can write songs, just leave them be. They don't need me to come in and make a fast buck out of it. The idea sitting in the room trying to drag ideas out of them just doesn't appeal to me. Most of the things I write get released so they're all on a shelf somewhere so if someone wants to go in and sing one of my songs is fine.

Me: Okay, I love your solo stuff, but why did Del Amitri come to an end?

Justin: We were never flavor of the month, we were always uncool. By one point we were really uncool. We tried to make this power pop record called "Some Other Sucker's Parade" which didn't really work, but has some good things on it, it was a bit underwritten. We were desperately trying to evade the audiences expectations and just weird to make us a bit more interested. The more we did that the more we lost our commercial bread and butter so we ended up in a big of a loft, ever dimishining. That's why we came to a halt. It became painfully obvious no matter what direction we went in it was not going to succeed. At the end of the day if we had hits in a certain style, that is what everybody wants, that's what the media wants, that's what the audience wants. Which is great when I enjoyed doing that but when I get bored of doing that I said good-bye to any sort of success, which is fine.

Me: Okay, so, with your last album "This is My Kingdom Now," there's a lot of songs abbot the sea. Why is that?

Justin: I think it's because they're all metaphors for being drunk.

Me: Haha. Justin, thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back soon. All the best.

Justin: Cheers, Jason. My pleasure.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Justin for a fun interview. I love his music. The Phile will be back on Monday with Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. Spread the word, and not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Pheaturing Zach Galifianakis

Good evening, kids and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? I usually set aside Sunday nights for debilitating self-pity. Did you watch Mueller's testimony to Congress Wednesday?
Former Special Counsel (and former action hunk in #Resistance comics) Robert Mueller testified before Congress because he was subpoenaed to do so. Act one of the political theater event of the summer was before the House Judiciary Committee, ostensibly to discuss obstruction of justice. If you didn't watch the hours of screaming, here are the key takeaways. Mueller said that Trump is  NOT. THAT. INNOCENT. I said that in my best Britney Spears voice. While Trump has tweeted on many occasions "NO COLLUSION AND NO OBSTRUCTION!" as a way to claim innocence and show off that he knows at least two SAT words, Mueller hit Trump with some new fancy vocabulary. The former FBI director said, in his own special way, that his report did not exonerate the president. "The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed," he told the House Judiciary Committee. The Republican game plan was clear: challenge Mueller's credibility by being louder than him. Every member of the House minority came out screaming like they were Rep. Shouty McShouterson (R-Hell). Ranking Member Doug Collins screamed about the dictionary definition of collusion. Jim Jordan, of ignoring a sexual abuse scandal fame, yelled about the Steele dossier, and accidentally debunked the conspiracy theory that it was what started the probe. Louie Gohmert yelled about Comey, and his head almost burst like a kid in a Gushers commercial. Matt Gaetz also raged about the Steele dossier, while looking like a bloated Colin Jost. "Mr. Mueller, why do the brothers of Chi Lambda Phi have a mixer with the chicks of Alpha Chi Omega and not Sigma Delta Tau?" This is how you treat a veteran and former FBI director? Republicans do not respect the military and law enforcement. He said that the only reason he didn't charge the president is because you can't charge a president. An Office of Legal Counsel (OLC opinion) states that sitting presidents can't be indicted. Mueller told Rep. Ted Lieu that he didn't charge Trump because he couldn't. When asked by House Judiciary Committee Nadler whether Trump could potentially be indicted for obstruction of justice after leaving office, Mueller responded, "true." This is true not only of obstruction of justice, but also of the campaign finance violations for which Michael Cohen is now in prison. Mueller found evidence that the President engaged in efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation. I don't want my friends talking about me behind my back either, but if they can speak to my innocence, I'd let them gossip away. He said that Trump asked staff to do what they did with pictures of his inauguration and falsify records. He who cried "FAKE NEWS!" tried to deal fake news.
Act two with the House Intelligence Committee had way more fireworks, and by fireworks, I mean full sentences of Mueller and explicit renunciations of crimes. Here's what you need to know. Chairman Adam Schiff summarized the Mueller Report in a way so succinct and damning that even your Trump-loving uncle would understand. The Kremlin wanted Trump elected, for reasons including sanctions relief. Trump welcomed that help with arms open wider then they ever were for Don Jr. The president saw his presidential campaign as an infomercial and opportunity to get close to world leaders and build a lucrative tower in Moscow. Mueller walked back his most bombshell-y moment in the Judiciary Committee hearing. Congress doesn't have a "no backsies!" policy. In the first hearing of the day, Mueller was asked by Rep. Ted Lieu whether he only didn't indict the president because Justice guidelines say you can't indict a president. It would be damning for Trump to hear the special counsel say "I would if I could but I can't so I shan't." If this seems like confusing, mealy-mouthed nonsense, it's because it pretty much is. Rep. Mike Quigley got Mueller confirm that WikiLeaks is evil, and then read off all the times Trump professed his love to them. "Problematic is an understatement," Mueller said, saying that Trump's love letters gave a boost to "illegal activity." Who would have thought that Trump is a problematic fave? Mueller said that knowingly accepting foreign interference is not only unethical, it is also a crime. Mueller volunteering the phrase "and a crime" was probably the longest sentence he said all day, and it's an important one. He said that foreign interference could be "the new normal," and didn't sound happy about it. If Trump doesn't face consequences for what Mueller calls a "crime," then people will almost certainly welcome foreign spies as campaign aides knowing that they can get away with it. One Republican actually asked a question, and got an actual answer: Yes, the 2020 election is likely unsafe. As we speak, troll farms and foreign spy agencies are likely collecting kompromat, so here's hoping that all 700 of the Democratic nominees are excited to get hacked!
How's this for in-flight entertainment? This week's viral video is a unique medley of MadLibs: a woman on a plane smashed a laptop on her boyfriend's head because he was "looking at other women," and she did so while screaming the N-word. Julia Scorupco had just boarded her flight from Miami to Los Angeles, likely expecting to pass her time watching Paddington 2, but instead was distracted by this racist Real Housewives-level freakout, "when the woman’s partner looked at another woman." "You want to try to fucking look at other women, nigger? Nah, fuck you!" the Passenger From Hell screamed. "I wear the fucking nuts, nigger. Watch 'til we fucking get home." The whole plane screamed once the computer went flying. "The couple were kicked off the flight, and an EMT came on board to check on those injured... the flight attendant went home (we had to wait for a replacement), while the passenger was fine to fly," Scorupco wrote. "This happened right before takeoff, and the flight was delayed 2 hours. A woman on the flight claimed to have seen them fighting already at the gate." While the woman had no chill with regards to her partner, whom she refers to as Memo, staring at another woman, she seemed pretty calm when it came to her inevitable arrest. "Ma’am, you’re gonna be charged with assault," the flight attendant told her in the midst of her freakout. "Fine whatever," she replied. The video went viral on Twitter, where people have proceeded to debate whether the non-black woman screaming the N-word is or isn't racist. Fine, whatever.
Kate Middleton... or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as she's supposed to be known... appears in public multiple times a week looking insanely radiant despite her busy schedule and bevy of children. And because we live in a garbage world where women's looks are dissected in nonsensical detail, it was only a matter of time before someone speculated seriously about whether she's had Botox. A London spa located close to her Kensington Palace home posted alleged before-and-after-Botox photos on its Instagram account, accusing Kate of having "baby Botox," or small injections of the chemical that freezes wrinkles in their tracks. And her spokespeople at Kensington Palace have taken the very rare step of denying that the princess has had Botox. Page Six tracked down both the princess's people and the spa itself. The spa's reps said coyly, “We wouldn’t be able to disclose whether she is a client or not. We have non-disclosure agreements where we can’t disclose our high-end clients. We absolutely can’t comment at all that she has come to us.” Wow, sounds totally ethical, what saints. Meanwhile, Kensington Palace didn't mince words. They said the spa's statement that she's had Botox is “categorically not true” and “in addition, the Royal Family never endorse commercial activity.” But the Instagram post is still up... and members of the public are starting to respond. The caption reads, "Our Kate loves a bit of baby Botox. Patients come from far and wide to see me for this procedure. It truly is so simple... There is no excuse for doctors to leave patients with brows on the floor. Note the reduction of fine lines on the forehead." The doctor not only speculated that she's had Botox, but also where it was inected... in great detail. "But also note the depression of the medial (middle part) brow but elevation of the lateral tail of the brow. The magic of baby Botox is that it does not leave you feeling so heavy and provides you with a subtle reduction of lines as well as a better eyebrow position. Now 90% of my patients have baby Botox and are happy even at 3-4 months post treatment." Here are the pics...

Of course, the photos are far from conclusive. Any amateur selfie-taker knows it's very possible to look 10 years older or younger based on lighting alone. Plus, in the photo on the left, she's furrowing her brow. In the photo on the right, she's not. Advertising Comments are turned off on the Instagram post, which is probably a wise decision. Once Kate and Meghan mega-stans find out about this post, they're going to go nuts. People are already responding to Page Six's article about the allegations on Twitter... mostly to say, "Who cares if she did?" Others are pointing out that it's interesting the Palace spoke up about these rumors... especially when they often remain mum on negative stories about Meghan Markle. This could be because Meghan and Kate's PR teams work for different people. Kate's PR functions out of Kensington Palace, meaning she and William's people are pretty much fully in charge of it. Meghan Markle's PR team falls under the Buckingham Palace umbrella, meaning the queen's people are in charge... and they might be too busy handling the monarch and, you know, the rest of her entire family (besides Will and Kate and their brood) to speak out about things like feud rumors. But it's a testament to how much we've grown as a society that most commenters are shrugging off the allegations instead of arguing over whether they're true or not. When it comes to Kate Middleton's alleged skincare, the general public actually seem willing to let her mind her own business. Who knew!
Turns out it's possible for meat to be too fresh. A video that's going viral on Facebook shows a slab of chicken breast (some are speculating it could be a skinned frog) twitching and flailing its way off a restaurant table. Here's a screen shot that doesn't do it any justice really...

Watch the video, posted by Rie Prettyredbone Phillips, and you'll see a generic plate of meat... until our hero's rogue limb lifts into the air and helps leverage the meat off the plate, then down to the floor. The screams and squeals of innocent bystanders can be heard in the background. The meat being cut to include a weird arm adds to the creepiness of the whole thing. Some people in the comments have speculated that the meat twitched because nerve endings in animals can survive long after the animals are killed. There have been instances of twitching raw meat going viral before. Normal or not, though, this probably didn't help the appetite of whoever filmed the video.
Hey, it's Sunday... did you go to church? Is your church as savvy as this one with their signs?

You know Ivanka Trump? She sure gets into places where she is not wanted...

Maybe she has a TARDIS. Ha. If I had a TARDIS I would go see Buzz Aldrin but will probably see him in space taking a selfie...

That's amazing, right? A few weeks ago Trump was in England and my fellow Brits sure had some clever anti-Trump signs...

Wanker.... one of my favorite British words. Speaking of signs, ever see those people on the side of the road with cardboard signs? You never know what they're gonna say.

Well then... Hey! Did you know Trump plays an accordion? No? Check it out...

Ha! That never gets old. I said last week that Don Jr. has a new book coming out called
Triggered: How The Left Thrives On Hate And Wants To Silence Us. Well, that's not the original title.

Here's a pic of Mueller at the hearing in case you didn't see it...

Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things You Never Hear In Church
5. Hey! It's my turn to sit in the front pew!
4. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.
3. Personally I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf.
2. I've decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
And the number one thing you never hear in church is...
1. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the junior high Sunday school class.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, do you remember the 90s? Well, there's this guy who still thinks it's the 90s. He wanted to come on to the Phile and say something. So, please welcome to the Phile again...

Me: Hey, Ed, welcome back. So, what's up?

Ed: Hey, dude. So, I met this girl last night! We are going on a date.

Me: Really? Congrats.

Ed: Yeah, she said to me "let's VHS and chill." I was like booyah!

Me: Hahaha. I'm happy for you, Ed. Anything else?

Ed: Yeah, I got a new CD Walkman the other day so I don't have to carry the boom box around anyone but the batteries keep going low. I think I should turn off the base boost to conserve energy.

Me: That's good.

Ed: Alright, man, I gotta book. I have a date. See ya soon.

Me: See ya. Ed Enistink, the guy who lives in the 90s.

Hahaha. That's very true.

Parenthood even changes your wardrobe. This guy went from wearing a suit to wearing his kids, which is so much more expensive. There's making someone else's pain all about you, and then there's this story. A married couple sent me an email asking about how much the husband complained about a toothache while the wife gave birth to their first child. The husband emailed first to ask if he was an asshole, and then the wife chimed in with her side of the story... and it all went downhill from there. Spoiler alert: he is definitely the asshole.

The husband claims he just mentioned the toothache a few times, while the wife tells things differently. Here's what he said, "My wife went into labor three weeks early so somewhat unexpectedly. Over the prior couple months I had started developing an intermittent toothache. About two or three hours into the 19 hour labor, I probably ate something delicious." Telling me you ate something delicious while your wife was at the beginning of her suffering is not a great way to garner sympathy, but go on. "After eating something delicious, I can’t quite remember what it was, my tooth started hurting in an ungodly way. I’m talking sharp, eye-watering pain. Her contractions at this point were very far apart, and she was in very little discomfort." She was "in very little discomfort"? Dig that hole a little deeper, buddy. "Over the next couple of hours the toothache became a competing topic of conversation with the imminent birth of our first child. I didn’t want to leave her side to look for medicine until her parents arrived." The imminent birth of your first child is not a "topic of conversation," it's a super important and potentially traumatic event that demands 100% attention of everyone involved but okay. "Once they arrived, to my surprise I was able to find an oral numbing medication at the hospital convenience store. That with a couple Excedrin was able to alleviate the pain just as my wife’s contractions started to pick up. Am I the asshole for discussing my mouth pain during her labor?" By the way, the subject of this email was "Am I An Asshole For Mentioning That I Had A Chronic Toothache While My Wife Was In Labor?" but even the husband's story makes it clear he went beyond "mentioning" his tooth pain. As if this wasn't enough, the wife then weighed in with her side of the story... and it's damning. Here are the deets, "My husband had been complaining about a toothache for months and months throughout my first pregnancy. It kept getting worse, and every time he’d complain I’d say he should go to the dentist, but he refused." Ah, a straight man refusing to get medical help despite the clear signs that he needs to, not to mention urging from everyone around him. That old chestnut. "So as he mentioned, as I was in labor he started to once again complain about this tooth pain. Granted I wasn’t in terrible pain, but for a few hours while I was in the hospital getting ready to push a child out of my body he continued to complain frequently about his toothache. I did feel bad he was uncomfortable, but I had asked him multiple times to get it checked out, and there were other things at the moment I felt I should be focusing on." Um, yeah. Like helping bring his own child into the world. "I’d like to also mention it wasn’t just he mentioned once or twice his tooth was hurting, this dominated the conversation for probably a couple hours. He is a great father and husband, but is he also the asshole?" It's hardly surprising that this man minimized his own part in the labor. But somehow, this couple is still together and has been "debating" whether this was a dick move or not for two years. I think the husband was in the wrong "because he refused to get it treated. At some point you should stop expecting sympathy, because you don’t deserve it. Did you think it would go away? Or be less irritating with little sleep and a newborn to care for? You know you should’ve dealt with it. Did you have to push the tooth out of your penis? Seems like the answer is no. Anyway, the couple confirmed that the man later had a root canal. The comeuppance is sweet, although three or four root canals would be a more equitable punishment. So there you have it. This toothache complainer is the worst. If you have a problem you want me to help out with on the Phile email me at thepeverettphile@gmail.com.

Every time I have to chase a ping-pong ball, I feel like a 3-year-old. I'm convinced there is no cool way to chase a ping-pong pool?

What a guy in a boat does.

Rutger Hauer 
January 23rd, 1944 — July 19th, 2019
Aside from Blade Runner, I think his greatest performance was multiple appearances in something called "Direct to DVD."

The 102nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Mike and Adam will be on the Phile next Monday! And now for some heart...

Phact 1. A woman had a heart attack on a plane. When the stewardess asked if there was a doctor on board, 15 stood up. They were on their way to a cardiology conference. She survived.

Phact 2. Scientists have developed artificial heart with two turbines which can now replace human heart. It will have a constant flow of blood rather than a pulse.

Phact 3. The first human cardiac catheterization was done by Werner Forssmann who, after failing to get permission from his department chief, anesthetized his arm, inserted a catheter into his vein and threaded it into his heart. He then walked down to the X-ray department and took a picture to prove it

Phact 4. An Italian brain surgeon had a heart attack in the middle of an operation. He powered through it when he realized his patient would never recover if he stopped.

Phact 5. Frank Hayes was a jockey who, in 1923, suffered a fatal heart attack in the midst of a race at Belmont Park in New York. His horse finished and won the race with his lifeless body still atop, making him the first, and thus far, only, jockey to win a race after death.

I'm so excited... today's pheatured guest is an American actor, comedian, and writer whose latest movie Missing Link is now available on Blu-ray and digital download. Please welcome to the Phile the really funny... Zach Galifianakis.

Me: Hello, Zach, welcome to the Phile. I'm a big fan and it's great to have you here. How are you? 

Zach: Hi, Jason, it's great to be here. How are you?

Me: Pretty good. Your new movie Missing Link is stop motion, which I like. Are you a fan of it? 

Zach: Yeah, I do like stop motion as well. I think it's an older art form for animation and when you're my age you grow up on these kinda Christmas stories that were stop motion. It's amazing people are still doing it to the degree that this film coming is doing it, it's pretty breath taking.

Me: Do you like those Rankin/Bass films, Zach?

Zach: Yeah, I still watch them. I watched Rudolph last Christmas. I don't know when it was made but I want to say the 40s. The 1840s. It was made by someone who rode a big bicycle wheel. Ha ha. As we all did in the 1800s.

Me: Did you enjoy working on this film?

Zach: You know, I'm lucky to be working on anything, but I think this one the art dedication to that form of storytelling is pretty great. I think they worked on this movie for four years, so it's an arduous process.

Me: You have two kids, right?

Zach: Ummm... hold on... one... two. Yes.

Me: Haha. Was that why you did this movie? For your kids?

Zach: That's not why I did it to be honest. I think a lot of people say they do it for their kids. My kids don't really know too much about what I do yet. I'll figure that part out, I haven't figured that part out on how to tell them what I do. I kinda tell them I tell stories and it's vague enough.

Me: Are they gonna watch this movie?

Zach: Yeah, they'll see this movie when they're 17, when they get old enough.

Me: What was it about this movie that made you want to be a part of it?

Zach: Well, I did like the idea of a character being innocent and in the woods yearning to find his elk if you will. That to me is appealing. I like any movie where the character is a standalone, those are the kinda characters I tend to play. Loners or people always looking for friends, seems like the character I always play.

Me: Why do you think you're attracted to people like that in roles?

Zach: I'm not attracted to them, those are the ones that come to me.

Me: Haha. Why do you think that is?

Zach: Well, I think comedically sometimes the business with the characters that I play are not accepted until they are accepted. I know people like that in real life and I have a big heart for people like that. I have certainly been not invited to the party many times. Some of these characters I do are relatable, and that's kind of why I take them.

Me: When The Hangover came out the press said you didn't play the "game." Is that true and why would they say that?

Zach: Well, I think there's a way that actors are supposed to be and sometimes the media expects them to be one way. Sometimes Hollywood is a pretty vacant place, or can be seen that way. I kinda roll my eyes at Hollywood in general. I always have because I'm from a small town in the south and that's what we do. But I'm in it so I kinda don't accept the Hollywood-ness of the system. I try to be just as normal is possible. That's just for my health.

Me: In 2009 I think it was I was at Macy's in Hollywood on vacation and I saw you shopping for men's clothes so I believe. If someone gets something wrong about you do you just accept it?

Zach: Well, I'm not on social media so I don't fight back. I don't know what's written about me. I don't tend to look at it so no, I just kinda do my job and put my head down and look for the next job. 

Me: Do you like living in a small town better than a big city?

Zach: Yeah, we had big city people telling us we were dying. I have a chip on my shoulder about it. I really do. I think it's more important to stay who you was instead of the business that I'm in turn me into a jerk.

Me: How can you be "outside" Hollywood yet be "in" it?

Zach: I think a real artist doesn't really care about that extra-curricular activities. And I'm not saying I'm a real artist whatsoever, but I just do not care about Hollywood's extra-curricular activities.

Me: Conan O'Brien said before that he'd love to be an artist but he knows commerce has to be a part of it. Do you agree and did I say it right?

Zach: Well, commerce always follows art. See, that's what's interesting I think. Is that commerce will always tag along with art but art doesn't really care to much about commerce a lot of times. So sometimes he's right, it's a weird balance. Especially when you're as known. In the comedy world it is very difficult to split those two sometimes.

Me: Do you think it's funny that you started off as this unusual stand up comedian and as my friend Jeff put it about you you've been in one of the biggest trilogies in the past 20 years, made several other good movies and Missing Link was number 2 movie in the land.

Zach: Listen, as far as keeping it real if I get any luck in Hollywood I end up in movies and was a comic that were performing in coffee shops in the lower east side I'm gonna feel like a sell out now. But I try to maintain a little bit of the integrity as I move forward because I do want people to see what I've done. That is a part of it. I just navigate and the work should speak for itself. Look, I still do stand up and back then when I was doing weird stuff on stage it was met a lot of times with crickets. I saw a cricket ride a tumble weed once. It is a lonely world. Now all of a sudden people like my stuff I sort of question that as a human being. Wait a minute, why do people like this now? Also I was older to when I started to get a little bit of attention, and I already formed this callous personality. I think if I was younger I would've been into the bottle service scene.

Me: Haha. I love your popular parody show "Between Two Ferns," Zach. How did that come about and why the rudeness with the guests? Haha.

Zach: I think really the "Between Two Ferns" thing is just really rude, it's not me, I just use my name, but it's not me. I think rudeness is funny because when I'm not self aware. I don't agree with the rudeness but I laugh at it. So I think that whole "Between Two Ferns," wait, did your readers fall asleep? Who needs Ambien when you have actors talking about their craft? Anyway, that version of myself which is not really myself is also was against celebrity culture because I never saw anybody asking any real questions, not that my questions are real. I just did the opposite and went on full on aggressive because actors never really are challenged so it's really funny to see them challenged for really no reason. My attitude is to be just as pugnacious as possible and to make me look like an idiot which I'm comfortable with.

Me: I heard "Between Two Ferns" is gonna be a film, is that true?

Zach: I heard that. We filmed for a few months so what comes out of it might be a movie, yeah.

Me: Is that the plan?

Zach: It's already been shot and filmed.

Me: Your "Hangover" character is pretty popular, I see you on a t-shirt as that character, I still see people dressed up as you on Halloween. It's crazy. How do you look back on that film now?

Zach: I'm very grateful that I got to be part of that movie.

Me: Why is that?

Zach: I wouldn't be on the Peverett Phile if it wasn't for that. It opened up doors, it was a great movie, I met some friends that we are still friends. So when I look back at things I got to do I go "does it hold up?" I assume that movie still holds up. There were three of them but I guess the first movie is what we're talking about. I'm very lucky to be part of that franchise.

Me: I can't believe it's been two years since the first one came out. Do you see people wear that t-shirt?

Zach: I do see people wear that t-shirt and it makes me feel good to see it. I mean I walk to the other side of the street when I see it but it still makes me feel good.

Me: Do you ever see anybody dressed up as you?

Zach: I went to a Halloween party, I guess it was in the last few years, and there was this guy dressed up as the character from The Hangover and I walked up to the guy. I didn't have an outfit on, I was just look like who I look like, and I went up to the guy dressed as me and said, "Hey, you're me." He says, "Yeah, right." And he just walked away. He didn't believe it.

Me: How does that happen?!

Zach: Look, if I tell the person who I actually are, which I never do, no one believe it.

Me: Any other weird meetings? Haha.

Zach: I had a guy the other day who came up to me on the street and goes, "Hey, can I ask you a question... did anybody ever tell you you look like the guy from The Hangover Three?" I said, "Yeah, I get that a lot." He said, "Oh, cool." And just walked away.

Me: What did you think?

Zach: That was a good one because he didn't linger.

Me: Do you ever get sick about talking about those movies?

Zach: No, I really like talking to people about it. I love talking to people about that stuff but I don't like taking pictures about it. But people are more interested in taking a picture for their commodity on Facebook or whatever than actually having a conversation, that makes me sad to be honest. It does. 

Me: Have you seen audiences change over time doing stand up?

Zach: Ummmmmmmm. Yes. I do. Yes, it's changed for many reasons over many different times, Yes, it just depends on the age... college crowds are very politically correct and even if I'm saying something that's not supposed to be perceived as something politically incorrect, I try to make a point they'll just hook onto a word I'm not supposed to say anymore. That's hard to navigate. But times are changing, and good comics change with the time.

Me: In your movies I think there's a lot of unlikely people concreting, like one of my favorite comedies ever that you're in... Due Date. Does anything draw you to that?

Zach: Well, listen, this is going to sound really sappy but I feel like of we could hear everybody's voices and everybody's stories, if there was a capability. not through a robot but actually hear their voices, I think we would be a softer society but now we're doing it, this connectability, a lot of times it's human beings acting unanimously. That's just a weird start.

Me: How important is working with people that you wouldn't normally work with, either in stand up or movies or other projects?

Zach: Well, with stand up I'm doing my own thing. It's as raw as I could get I think, and I need contact feed back at stand up. The audience needs to tell me they're enjoying it through laughter. Then when I go to work with her people in that realm I hope that we can together and we kinda have this same opinion as to how to elicit laughs. That is a different challenge because obviously because people's humor is completely different. I never get upset f somebody doesn't understand humor. I don't understand my humor.

Me: Zach, I really enjoyed the interview, and like I said I'm a big fan.

Zach: Should we do part 2 tomorrow? And part three the next day?

Me: Ummm... sorry, I have a procedure I have to get done tomorrow but come back again soon. 

Zach: Sure will. See ya, Jason.

Me: See ya, Zach.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Zach for a fun interview. Okay, like I just said tomorrow I'm having an ablation procedure on my heart. I almost said an abomination on my heart. Hahaha. Anyway, the Phile will be back on Tuesday with musician Justin Currie, as long as I'm feeling okay. If not it'll be later in the week but I'm sure I'll be just fine. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon