Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pheaturing Carrie Wade

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile. How are you? Everyone is on strike in France, even the garbage men. There are huge piles of garbage rotting in the streets. It smells like Randy Quaid has moved in. In Paris, they called in riot police. They’re no joke. They crack skulls with baguettes and they unleash fire hoses filled with soft cheese. The reason for the strike is that the government wants to raise the retirement age to 62. Right now, it’s 27.
The judges are raving about Bristol Palin on “Dancing With the Stars.” Her mother must have threatened to shoot someone. Former President George W. Bush has a memoir coming out soon. Between this and Justin Bieber’s book, this could be the biggest year ever for literature. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, backed by the U.S., has been receiving bags of cash from Iran. That’s a conflict of interest, I think. There have been tornado warnings across the country, with at least 24 possible tornados. Possible tornados are the second worst kind of tornado. If this weather keeps up over the weekend, kids that are dressed up as witches and Superman may actually be able to fly. In New York, they’re still cleaning up from a tornado named “Charlie Sheen.” This weekend it's Halloween and I can't believe they have inspirational posters for it. Check this one out.

With all the Charlie Sheen talk in the news I am surprised CBS released a new poster for "Two And A Half Men". Check it out.

It starts with getting dumped. In fact, it starts with what may be the funniest, fast-talkingest, character-establishingest breakup scene ever. But the point is that it starts with getting dumped. Mark Zuckerberg is an ego-bruised Harvard man who takes to his LiveJournal to drunk-post about the lady he lost. Then he cruelly creates a "Hot or Not" site based on her and all the other women of Harvard. And then he creates Facebook, zooms past the competition, sells out his best friend, makes a billion dollars, gets sued and winds up dating his other best friend: his laptop. So the moral is that it's the socially awkward rage-penis that climbs the ladder to era-defining success. Okay, that didn't make a lot of sense but you know what I mean.
So, it's either a biopic or a loose interpretation of real events amped up to look like a biopic, but that's not really the point. It's really a somewhat familiar story about the ascent to power, just a different sort of power than the one that a place like Harvard could even see coming. Weirder, it was a situation that wrote new rules and felt democratic even if it was the work of guy who knew only how to get his own way, a social network invented by a lone wolf. It's part Citizen Kane, part Goodfellas, part Revenge of the Nerds and the most entertaining film you never knew you would want to see. If I had a buck for every person I've read or heard say, "Why would I want to watch a movie about Facebook?" I'd be a billionaire myself. If you hate life lessons, this is not your movie. Nothing makes me more annoyed in a film than when the lead character is an unsympathetic jerk and the filmmaker tries to make you love him by showing you his inner pain. Another thing I hate is comeuppances for the unsympathetic jerks. So thanks, David Fincher, for not rolling out any of that. This guy stays prickly, brilliant and unpleasant, while the movie demands that you admire his nerve, ambition and throat-slitting snappy answers to stupid questions. And the only person who gets an anti-reward in the whole film is the guy who had one too many feelings and didn't want to take risks. It's a David Fincher film so that means there's all sorts of green-screen seamlessness going on, from the too perfectly composed scenes of men rowing crew to the movie's coolest trick, a set of identical twins played by one actor, Armie Hammer. Yes, the great-grandson of that Armand Hammer. At one point Eisenberg is even seen wearing a T-shirt with the baking soda logo on it. Watch for it. From 1 to 10, it gets a 10 and is one of my favorite movies of the year so yes, I will be buying it. Now maybe they can make a movie about a guy who updates his blog once a week and does some really cool interviews.

This is the 10th book to be pheatured on the Phile and next week the author Patricia Cox will be the guest.

Today's guest is a very talented singer/songwriter who has a new album out that I purchased on iTunes called "The Old Ways". She'll be playing next in concert tomorrow night at Kulak's Woodshed in North Hollywood, California. Please welcome to the Phile, the amazing and talented... Carrie Wade.

Me: Hello, Carrie, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Carrie: Hi, Jason, and thank you! I'm doing just fine these days… life is good.

Me: Okay, I have to ask, are you from New Zealand or America?

Carrie: I understand the need for the question. Even though a good deal of my debut album "The Old Ways" was recorded in New Zealand, I am indeed American. For better or worse.

Me: So, how many people call you Care Bear? It seems everyone that is named Carrie is called Care Bear.

Carrie: Well (smile), the good news is, it's not constant. Not because I hate it, but because I tend to like things like that to be personal and not global. I knew a woman for a while who called me that and because it came from her, and no one else called me it at the time, I enjoyed it. I think I've heard it once or twice since. It’s clearly affectionate, so it’s sweet.

Me: You are based in LA, right? How did you get to meet and work with Peter Kearns?

Carrie: I am based here in Los Angeles, yes. Peter had solicited on-line as a Producer through a songwriting organization and when I read his post, I had a feeling about him. I heard some of his sample work as a producer and liked the sound and his production values. We agreed to speak right away via telephone, I played him some of my songs through the phone and he liked them. With “The Old Ways” being my first real project and with Peter being based in New Zealand, it was a real learning experience for me on so many levels. I sent him possible songs for the album via a very basic four-track cassette recording. We agreed on the 12 or so (there ended up being 10). He managed to transfer my tracks of acoustic guitar and vocal to his music software, and built the songs up around the guitar/vocal. Some were real instrument tracks, some midi. He’d send MP3s of his arrangements, I'd give feedback and we'd continue like that song by song. From the beginning, Peter seemed to know the direction I wanted to go in without me saying a lot – extremely musically intuitive. Here in Los Angeles, a fine engineer/ producer named Meghan Gohil engineered a number of tracks and was and continues to be invaluable to me in his talents and knowledge. And Marty Rifkin slayed me in his ability to not only be a great talent in multiple things but a wonderful person. I’ve not stopped complimenting myself in the Finding of Marty. He was perfect in helping me to complete the album. We worked together to replace some of the midi tracks Peter had intended as guides but we kept quite a bit of midi, too. I was ultimately pleased with having had both. I layed the bulk of my acoustic guitar and vocals with Marty. And as a musician, he layed some of, what I feel are, great bass, pedal steel, dobro and slide guitar tracks. The bottom line is that I could not have been happier with Peter and Marty as my co-producers/engineers on the project. Brilliant, both I think that was a much longer answer to your question than you had intended.

Me: It's funny, I was introduced to Peter through Jeff Cameron and Peter introduced me to you, so you have to introduce me to somebody else to interview. Have you heard of Jeff Cameron?

Carrie: Can’t say I have.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your album "The Old Ways" which I purchased off from iTunes and really like it by the way. It's your debut album, right?

Carrie: Thanks so much for purchasing the album, Jason - very much appreciate that! And I am, of course, very happy that you like it. It is my debut, yes. Many years in the making. I wanted to do it the right way and I believe the album reflects that, but it took me a while.

Me: How long have you been writing music and playing guitar?

Carrie: I believe I started writing songs when I was about 20 or 21. I was playing guitar longer than that. Even though I’d been playing guitar for quite a while, I never really focused on it - no lessons, etc., so I've never really thought of myself as a guitarist until fairly recently; I consciously make the decision to believe others' comments about being "a good guitar-player". For many years, and for various reasons, I sang background vocals with original music bands in the Boston area rather than concentrating on songwriting and working on a career of my own. I guess I am as they say, a late bloomer

Me: You have a really good band, Carrie. Who played on your album?

Carrie: I was so pleased with the players. There are those on the album I do play with live and then others I brought in specifically for the recording: Instrumentation and Musicians for The Old Ways: Acoustic Guitar and vocals: Me of course. Drums: Peter Kearns, Christopher Allis and Marty Rifkin. Bass: Peter Kearns and Marty Rifkin. Electric Guitar: Adam Daniel and Stefano Capobianco. Pedal Steel, Slide Guitar and Dobro: Marty Rifkin. Piano: Peter Kearns and Adam Daniel. Strings: Peter Kearns, Benedikt Brydern (violin), Briana Bandy (viola) and Kevan Torfeh (cello). Harmonium: Peter Kearn. Accordion: Bob Malone. Trumpet: David Zasloff.

Me: "The Old Ways" is also a song on the album... what made you decide that was gonna be the name of the album?

Carrie: Many songs on "The Old Ways" reflect a rather lengthy period of time of struggle. I believe at the beginning of that period I was very much a certain kind of person. Prior to the writing of the title track I thought I had come a long way in my, call it “personal growth”, only to experience something that blindsided me insofar as my reaction to it being uncomfortably close to how I had [over-]reacted in the past. So, the song refers to a pattern of behavior that I had thought of as my old ways OR "the old ways". In addition, I was raised to acknowledge and hold compassion in my heart for the Native Americans and the genocide that occurred as the result of our attempt to and success in conquering what was their Nation. The Indians refer to their traditional ways as “the old ways”. So, there was that, too.

Me: I love the cover, but when I first saw it I thought that was a real tiger sitting by your shoulders. Did you come up with the concept for that cover?

Carrie: (Laughs) Yeah, turns out many think the tiger looks real, which I love. It was not my idea and in fact, I was resistant to the idea at first. We had the shoot at the house of a friend of mine, amazing actor and artist Daniel Mailley - wonderful house. The vintage Gund stuffed tiger is his and at one point he just grabbed it and put it around my shoulders. I tend to be way too serious for my own good, and I think allowing some lightness into the picture was ultimately a good thing. Also good because there’s a significant amount of stuff to chew on on the album itself.

Me: I am greedy for your music, Carrie, when is your next album coming out?

Carrie: How cool. Thanks, Jason. I don't have an ETA yet on the next album. Right now, I'm focusing on getting “The Old Ways” out there and writing for the next. I like working with titles for songs, and I’ve got some good ones, so I’m excited. What’s funny is I’m thinking of titles that would be good hooks in country songs. So, we’ll see…

Me: Not only did you work with Peter Kearns but you worked with Marty Rifken who worked with Springsteen. Are you a fan of Bruce? Did Marty tell you any good Springsteen stories?

Carrie: Marty Rifkin has worked with many well-known (and lesser-known) artists in addition to Bruce. He’s played on highly-acclaimed albums such as Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” and on Jewel’s "Spirit" album, amongst others. I met Marty backstage at a Springsteen concert at The Greek here in L.A. It was Bruce's tour for his album "The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome" which I loved being able to witness live. It was more than a concert – real presentation. I guess I was cool enough that night to have a VIP area pass so after the show, I walked up to Marty and told him I thought his pedal steel playing was phenomenal. We got to talking and he told me he was based here in the Los Angeles area and that he also produced (and enjoyed producing) a number of artists in his studio, many, Indie. And, yes, I am a fan of Bruce's. I remember his original albums with the E-Street Band which were so powerful and then I loved how he later forayed into more traditional folk-sounding music with his “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and “Nebraska”. Brilliant. As far as "Bruce Stories" go, and I hope I remember this right, Marty told me they were playing a show at a huge venue in Santander, Spain to promote "The Seeger Sessions" and it was his (Marty’s) 50th birthday. Before he knew it, Bruce had the entire audience (thousands) singing Happy Birthday to Marty in Spanish, which of course, goes down in Marty's world as a pretty big deal and a great memory. I think the biggest thing that was worth hearing about Bruce, is that he supposedly is a really nice guy and a very generous artist to those lucky enough to have been able to support him.

Me: I read something that you are mentioned on Neil Young's website... or was that Neil Diamond? Am I getting confused?

Carrie: Neil Young, yes. Neil has a "Living With War Today" page on his website where he posts favored songs that have to do with the war experience. As you may know, he is very anti-war. My song "Broken Soldier" (not on the album) was lodged at #39 on the chart there for a while, which was a real honor.

Me: You play a lot of shows I see, Carrie. What is your favorite gig you have done?

Carrie: Hmmm... well, my favorite show ever could've been the release show for “The Old Ways” at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles. That was incredibly satisfying in many ways: the actual completion and release of the album after having worked on it for over 6 years, the great crowd of friends and fans who attended, the company that kept me company onstage and the response. Over-the-top. An extremely joyful evening.

Me: And if you could open up for anybody, who would it be?

Carrie: Perhaps Emmylou Harris - that would nice.

Me: Carrie, thanks for being on the Phile. When your next project comes out, come back, okay? Go ahead and plug your website if you want.

Carrie: Honored to have been invited, Jason, and thank you for that - I'd love to come back! My debut album "The Old Ways" is available on CD at and as downloads on iTunes. And I’d love to hear from your readers at:,,

Me: Take care, and I wish you all the best. Can't wait for your next album.

Carrie: Jason, thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about my music and “The Old Ways”! The support is so meaningful to me and it's great that you're a fan. And, of course, a new friend. Best always, Carrie.

Well, that about does it. It's getting late and I am tired. Thanks to Carrie for a really good interview and to Peter Kearns for introducing me to her. Before I go, I want to say something important. Last Sunday the daughter of a good friend of mine lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis. She was only 18 years old and was still studying in school and planning on going to college. I am honored to know Julie and remember when she was born and was there when she went to her first Foghat show when she was just a few months old. I am asking Phile Phans to please donate to the to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Please click here to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Florida Chapter, Central Florida Office, 1850 Lee Road, Suite 111, Winter Park 32789. Thank you so much. Okay, now that's done, thanks for reading this week. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pheaturing Elliot Ulysses Brown

Hello, welcome to the Phile. So, this Saturday on the 23rd it is our 13th wedding anniversary. Also known as I Can't Believe She Put Up With Me For Another Year Day. Philosophy is a struggle to answer the most basic questions in life such as “Why are we here;” “Where do we come from;” and “What the hell was Jennifer Tackett thinking marrying me?” Starting in January, couples can actually get married at McDonald’s in Hong Kong. I’m not saying those marriages won’t work, but when have you been to a McDonald’s and not regretted it one hour later? A man in India just moved into a billion-dollar home with 27 floors. It’s really hard to make excuses when friends ask to crash on his couch. He’s like, “Oh, ordinarily I’d totally let you stay, but I already have like 2,000 friends staying with me.” One of the 33 Chilean miners revealed that they all joked about cannibalism while they were trapped. He was like, “If you don't believe me, ask the 34th guy — I mean... never mind.” November 2 is Election Day. Americans will cast their votes and everything will remain exactly the same as it was before.
The White House canceled President Obama’s visit to a Sikh temple because you have to cover your head, and they thought pictures of Obama in a turban may fuel rumors that he’s a Muslim. It’s the same reason he canceled Turban Tuesdays at the Rose Garden. Apparently the Octomom still has 29 frozen embryos, which is almost enough to give one to each Chilean miner. I think it’s time for President Obama to build a border fence around the Octomom’s uterus. Hopefully Brett Favre won’t be suspended. It would break his streak of retirements.
Christine O’Donnell revealed in a debate that she didn’t know the separation of church and state is in the Constitution. I guess they don’t teach that at Hogwarts. Okay, you all know that Disney (the greatest company to work for ever) purchased Marvel, right? Well, real soon there's going to be Marvel super heroes in the parks... with a slightly different look. Here on the Phile is an exclusive of what one character will look like.

And here's an inspirational poster that I really truly like. And I agree 100% with it, which isn't a joke.

And now for some sad news...

Bob Guccione
December 17, 1930 - October 20, 2010
From the Penthouse, straight to the basement.
Tom Bosley
October 1, 1927 - October 19, 2010
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. Tuesday - not so much.
Barbara Billingsley
December 22, 1915 - October 16, 2010
That's a beautiful casket you're wearing there, Mrs. Cleaver.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Ways To Make Baseball Games More Exciting
10. Replace Green Monster with green monster.
9. Three strikes and you're neutered.
8. Incorporate the word "Extreme" in some way.
7. Play with a football, have the players wear pads and helmets, use a 100 yard field... well, you get where I'm going here.
6. Have announcer read an entry of the Phile.
5. Bat Night featuring Ozzy Osbourne.
4. 9 players, 7 uniforms.
3. Skip the first eight innings.
2. Bases loaded -- with TNT.
And the number one way to make baseball games more exciting...
1. Steroids.

This is the 10th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club...

It's available at and in two weeks the author, Patricia Cox, will be a guest on the Phile.

Today's guest is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. His latest album "Delirium Tremens" is available on Amazon and at iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Elliot Ulysses Brown.

Me: Hello, Elliot, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you, and g'day.

Elliot: Thank you sir, it's an honour! I am good thank you.

Me: By the way, I love your name, a very good stage name. Do you use Ulysses often?

Elliot: I never used to use my middle name, Ulysses, until I discovered that U.S. Grant's middle name was Ulysses but due to a mis-print they put his middle name first and added an S. Grant didn't have any names starting with S but he couldn't be bothered changing it back. When I was younger my stage name was Ulysses E. Brown for that reason. I've stopped doing that now, I'm not like that anymore.

Me: I have to ask, being from New Zealand, are you a fan of "Flight of the Conchords"?

Elliot: Yes I am, and I have been for a long time. I'm not a fan of Lord of the Rings, however, which is the other thing NZ has done since the War.

Me: You played in a band called The Stomps, am I right? Did you leave the band to go solo or do you do both?

Elliot: The Stomps was a band Jackson Hobbs and I started a few years ago. We were angry young men and we sang a lot of anti-love songs. We never wrote a single pro-love song. We had a basic 1/1 time signature and played at every dive we possibly could. At our best we played 7 consecutive nights and then died of exhaustion.

Me: What do you prefer, being in a band or being solo?

Elliot: I prefer being in a band, or at least playing with a band. It's frustrating playing solo when you know, for instance, that an organ should be playing with you.

You kinda have a new band, right? The Candy Caps. Who is in the band with you? Did they play on the CD?

The Candy Caps was what I called anyone who would help me record or perform. There were any official Candy Caps. The name comes from a mis-hearing of the words ''Canned Heat Tapes''. I guess the Candy Caps, who never existed, decided they were sick of me being drunk at every practice and so up and left for the coast to do their own thing. They're probably going to be more successful than I ever will be like when Brian Poole left the Tremeloes.

Me: Okay, let's talk about the CD. It's called "Delirium Tremens" which is not an easy name to remember. What made you name the album the after the song of the same name?

Elliot: I have thought about this since deciding on the name. It is difficult to remember and the name isn't immediately appealing unless you have heard the term before. People are more familiar with the expression DTs than Delirium Tremens. The reason I chose that as the album title was because it was played on the radio more than any of the other songs I've ever recorded, and was getting a lot of airplay when I was compiling the album. The other reason I chose that as the title track was because I was polishing off at least three litres of wine per day when all of those tracks on the album were recorded, so it's a pretty central theme.

Me: I purchased the album off from iTunes and really enjoyed it. It took you two years to record it, right?

Thank you! Well, it is a compilation of two years' recording. I never had the idea to record the album then spent two years working on it, the album really only took about two days to make.

Me: Who are your influences and idols?

Elliot: My most recent two heroes are Jimmie Driftwood and Townes Van Zandt. Van Zandt doesn't need to be explained but Jimmie Driftwood is almost completely obscure. He was a schoolteacher and folklorist from the Arkansas Ozarks born in 1907 and he wrote over 6, 000 songs including The Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee Stud, and Banjer Pickin' Man. He has changed my approach to music more than any other musical hero I have ever discovered. There was a period recently when I actually couldn't listen to anything except Jimmy Driftwood songs. There's a comforting lesson for all of us young songwriters who are struggling: look at Jimmy D., he was better than all of us and lived in relative obscurity all his life. I guess that may account for the fact that he remained so productive over all those years-fame and fortune never got a chance to make him start sucking. The only other influence which comes close, for me anyway, is Hank Williams. He taught me a lot about songwriting too, but then again he influenced EVERYONE. Edgar A. Poe, of all people, has probably had the most influence over the way I meter lyrics.

Me: I read that you are planning on coming to the States. Is that to live or to tour? Any plans to play in Florida?

Elliot: I have wanted to come to Florida since I was about 6. There was a competition on where if you collected enough lemonade bottle wrappers and sent them in you'd be put in the draw for a 3-week holiday there. I also want to see the Everglades after hearing the Kingston Trio song "Everglades" and growing up listening to Jim Stafford. I have been intending to come to the States for some time but have never had enough money to get there. There are quite a few really good underground bands in the US that have offered to set up tours with me and have offered accommodation, but the problem is getting to the US in the first place. I have considered stowing away on a freight ship. If I ever do get to the US I will tell them that's how I got there, unless it's true, in which case I'll tell them I got there legitimately. I would love to live in the US eventually, especially in the South, but that's a long-term plan.

Me: Also, I noticed that you have a few videos on youtube done by yourself and fans. You are very good to your fans, letting them make their own videos. Was that your idea? It's a very good one to say the least.

Elliot: Haha, thank you! Yes it was my idea but it came out of desperation. I simply don't have the means or the talent to make my own videos so if I were to get any videos made at all it had to be through other people. I'm very grateful for all the people who have made music videos for me and am surprised that most of them have come from countries other than New Zealand.

Me: So, Elliott, what is your next plan? Any new music coming out?

Elliot: I always have a backlog of songs I want to record but finding people to record me for free is not always easy. At the moment I'm trying to find some free recording hours to get as many songs recorded as I can. I don't have any plans for another album as yet though, but I'm sure it will happen within the year (assuming I get free recording time). I also play live country/traditional music with a few other young country music bands in the area (as well as performing original music). Here in NZ in one of our cities called Christchurch (in the South Island) has recently had an earthquake so there will be a lot of reconstruction work going on down there over the next year or so. I might jump on that wagon and save up some money. I hear they like country music down there which suits me. At the moment I am a busker (which means I play guitar out on the street with the hope that people will throw coins into the hat).

Me: Like I said I love your album "Delirium Tremens" and I cannot wait to hear more music from you. Go ahead and plug your website if you want and anything else. When you come to the States you are welcomed back to the Phile.

Elliot: Well, most of my new music gets posted on either youtube ( and and also I have a website which some kind Americans have set up for me which has a heap of stuff on there, please check it out! Incidentally I have recently discovered that some kind person has made a Wikipedia page for me which has some good links on it.

Me: Thanks for taking part and continued sucess.

Elliot: Thank you very much for the interview! When I'm in Florida we will have to have some corn whiskey and cider!

Corn whiskey and cider? Yuck. I'd rather just have a beer. Anyway, thanks to Elliot for a really good interview. The Phile will be back next week with another New Zealander I think... recording artist Carrie Wade. Then the week after that it's Peverett Phile Book Club author Patricia Cox. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Thanks for reading, bye love you bye.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pheaturing Alumni John Bentley From Squeeze

And get this, I'm here to rescue you from the miner's coverage. Welcome to the Peverett Phile, thanks for stopping by. If I had a dime for everytime my son Logan says "And get this..." before a sentence I would have ten dollars in m,y pocket right now. Today is the 23rd anniversary of when the Peverett's moved from England to Florida. And I still haven't been deported. The Waldorf Astoria in New York is the latest place to be infested with bedbugs. The bedbugs at the Waldorf Astoria are fancy. When they bite you, they lift up their pinkies. Bedbugs were also found in government buildings in Washington D.C. I can’t believe they have to deal with those blood-sucking pests. Poor bedbugs. Did you see the movie Secretariat? That's a horrible name for a movie, it's so hard to remember or say. Why couldn't they make a movie about a horse that's easier to say? Seabisquit was easy to say. Fliker is easy to say... Anyway, Secretariat is directed by the writer of the movie Braveheart, so he has experience working with animals. Secretariat actually got his own postage stamp in 1999. And coincidentally, he was also the glue on the back of it. So, did everybody have a good Columbus Day? For those readers not in America, Columbus Day is the day we pay tribute to Ohio’s most exciting city. Columbus had lots of stuff named after him. The only thing I have named after me is this crappy blog. And I named it myself. A man was arrested for streaking at President Obama’s rally in Philadelphia. Thankfully, the police were able to restrain and clothe Joe Biden. Someone actually threw a book at the president. When Obama saw something fly by, he said, “Christine O’Donnell on a broom!” Brett Favre has an elbow injury. The worst part is, it’s his texting elbow. Direct marketing now uses text messages to excite people about their wares. Kind of like Brett Favre. Hey girl's, Justin Bieber’s auto-biography came out. Did anyone know that, for three years, he was a radical Muslim cleric? For every copy sold, the Bieber family is donating $1 to “Bowl Cuts for Tots.” The trapped miners in Chile are finally free. One miner has a wife and mistress that found each other at the site. He’s asked to be rescued last. The Chilean miners were 2,000 feet below the earth. They were so far down, they saw the devil preparing for Justin Bieber. Chile is long and thin and South American. It’s the supermodel of countries. Christine O’Donnell is trailing in the polls. She’ll need a miracle to win. Or a very good spell. Did you see he debate moderated by Wolf Blitzer? It got very heated. At one point, O’Donnell turned him into an actual wolf. I just mentioned the Chilean miners, right? Well, they are planning on making a movie based on them, but the folks at Nintendo already jumped the gun and created a new video game. And here on the Phile I have a screen grab from it.

I am surprised that they released inspirational posters for the miners. Take a look at this one.

And now for some sad news...

Solomon Burke
March 21, 1940 - October 10, 2010
Album names: "We're Almost Home", "Back to My Roots", "Lord I Need a Miracle Right Now", "Take Me Shake Me", "A Change is Gonna Come", "Don't Give up on Me", "Hold On Tight". Take your pick.

And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, NY, here is this week's...

Top Ten Christine O'Donnell Senate Campaign Slogans
10. "I'm Going To Washington And You're Going To Hell!"
9. "I'm Proof There's No Evolution."
8. "A Chicken In Every Cauldron."
7. "Looks Like I'm In Way Over My Head Here. Can I Just Host 'Saturday Night Live' Instead?"
6. "Let's Clean Up Washington. I'll Bring The Broom."
5. "Don't Make Me Release The Flying Monkeys!"
4. "I Am Not Related To Rosie."
3. "I'll Beat Those Democrats And Their Little Dogs Too."
2. "Pull My Lever. Pulling Your Own Is A Sin."
And the number one Christine O'Donnell Senate campaign slogan is...
1. "Who Cares? It's Delaware."

It's back! It's been a few months but there's a 10th book in the P.P.B.C. and it's...

It's a collection of short stories, most of which were originally written for competition in The Amazing Instant Novelist on many years ago. The book is available at and the author will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a Peverett Phile Alumni who last was on the Phile on March 7th '09. He is the bass player for one of my all time favorite bands of all time: Squeeze. Squeeze recently released "Spot The Difference", an album of newly recorded versions of older material. The album contains classic Squeeze songs painstakingly reproduced in such a fashion that fans are invited to 'spot the difference' from the original versions. You can see Squeeze next in concert on November 14th at Bournemouth Opera House in Bournemouth, England. Please welcome back to the Phile... John Bentley.

Me: Hello, John, welcome back to the Phile. So, how have you been?

John: Pretty good apart from the leprosy!

Me: It's been just over a year since you were on the Phile last and you are still with Squeeze. Things must be going well, right?

John: Yep, we're still here - bang-banging away!!

Me: I flew up to New York from Orlando just to see Squeeze play at Radio City Music Hall with Cheap Trick. How did that tour come about with both bands playing together?

John: Double the bands and double your money!

Me: Did the bands have turns opening the shows? Do you prefer being the second band on or the first?

John: I prefer going on first. That way I can go into the main bands dressing room while they're on stage and steal all their M&M's.

Me: Were you and are you a fan of Cheap Trick and did you get to know them personally?

John: I was and I am a fan. Getting to know Cheap Trick personally is not recommended... they're weird!!

Me: Last time I interviewed you you said you played at Radio City and sold it out. Was this show with Cheap Trick the second time you played at that venue?

John: Cheap Trick opened for us this time and we sold it out... twice!!

Me: You also did the Jimmy Fallon show right before the concert. Was that a last minute booking?

John: It was totally spontaneous. Kelis who were booked for the show had to pull out and we were asked to fill in for them at the eleventh hour! We literally ran over to NBC TV studios with our guitars and recorded the show in front of a live TV audience.

Me: I am glad to see Squeeze doing American TV appearances. First on Regis and Kelly and then on the Fallon show. That def has to be helping with the big comeback.

John: Playing to a TV audience of millions is not something I do every day. But I suppose when the opportunity arises somebody's got to do it so it might as well be me.

Me: Any plans on doing any more TV show appearances?

John: Yes, I am trying to get one "One Man And His Dog".

Me: Let's talk about the new Squeeze album called "Spot the Difference". It's an album of re-recordings of a bunch of Squeeze songs, right? Whose idea was that, and did you all get to choose what songs to do?

John: The album was recorded so that Glenn and Chris could start to receive some royalties from the songs. The rights to the originals were naively signed away years ago. However the album turned out to be a 'labour of love'.

Me: Do you hope to do a Squeeze album with all new songs?

John: Only if the other members of Squeeze are there!

Me: What's your favorite Squeeze song anyway?

John: "Lady In Red" (?)

Me: I read that you played with Sting, and Paul Young in the past. That must of been call to play with Sting who is an excellent bass player as well. And you played with Garth Brooks? How did that come about?

John: Before Garth (or Gar as I call him) was famous he came over to the U.K. to play some TV shows and had a 'pick up' band while he was over here. I was playing in a country group called The Tender Mercies with BJ Cole and BJ arranged the gig for us. I have a video (it was before DVD) of me singing on TV with Garth. We played "I've Got Friends In Low Places".
Big time... isn't everybody?

Me: John, thanks so much for coming back onto the Phile for another interview. You are welcomed back anytime, sir. Tell Chris and Glenn they are as well and they can contact me at if they are interested. Go ahead and mention your website, sir.

John: I would like to mention my website... hmmmm? I haven't got one! I do have a Myspace though... John Bentley Official... but it's crap. I just can't work out how to update it, Myspace keeps changing the format. leave it alone, will ya?!

Me: So, any chance Squeeze will be coming down to Florida to play?

John: It's too hot! But if there are lots of fans! (?)

Me: Take care, and keep rocking. Squeeze is my all time favorite band.

John: Me too!!

Well, there you have it, that was an interesting interview. Thanks to John's lovely wife Sara for setting it up. Check out John's blog at I cannot believe he didn't plug it. Anyway, the Phile will be back next Thursday with New Zealand recording artist Elliott Ulysess Brown. Spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pheaturing Alumni Crissi Cochrane

Hey there, welcome to another entry of the Phile. So, who saw "Cougar Town" last night? They formed a jam band and played "Slow Ride". I guess that's my new favorite show. LOL. Research shows that the No. 1 place you can pick up infections from is a doorknob. That’s why I always lick doorknobs clean before using them. One of the reasons it’s so hard to get rid of the rhinovirus is that it’s constantly evolving. Picture a germy Lady Gaga. The best way to prevent a cold is to cover your mouth when you sneeze. I think that’s why the Tyrannosaurus Rex went extinct. Because its arms were very short. So, do you kids follow the Nobel Prize? The Nobel Prize is given out by a mysterious group called “Scandinavians.” They give a prize for medicine, for physics, and for comedy variety. The Nobel Peace Prize is like the Oscar for Best Picture. The prize for science is like the Oscar for sound editing. Christine O’Donnell released a commercial in which she says, "I’m not a witch." That’s pretty good, though not as effective as her opponent's slogan, "I'm not Christine O'Donnell." Last Friday we went on a field trip with Logan's home school group to the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. It was amazing, especially when an actual Holocaust survivor named Eva spoke to the class. We were the first group she has ever spoken to, and the reason she spoke to us was because Logan's generation is the last to find out what really happened from survivors. Logan's kids would never be able to meet a survivor. Anyway, walking around the museum there was lots of stuff about Germany, but nothing about Japan. Japan wasn't mentioned once. I thought they were part of World War 2, I mean, they made a movie about it called "Pearl Harbor". There was a really odd poster there to buy in the gift shop that pretty much says it all on who won the War. Take a look...

So, after the museum we went to the St. Pete beach and I couldn't believe they were selling some kind of inspirational posters there. I cracked up when I saw this one, if I don't say so myself.

And now for the sad news...

Norman Wisdom
February 4, 1915 - October 4, 2010
He was an English comedian. And you know how funny THEY are.
Tony Curtis
June 3, 1925 - September 29, 2010
The Sweet Smell of Success for hundreds of death pool lists.

And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, NY, here is this week's...

Top Ten Signs You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook
10. You have crossed eyes and a chapped ass.
9. You're hit with 130 million restraining orders.
8. You post pictures on Facebook of you posting pictures on Facebook.
7. Your relationship status: Pathetic.
6. You can count your friends on 15,286 fingers.
5. No number five -- I'm checking my status on Facebook.
4. When mom calls to ask how you're feeling, you check your status to find out.
3. You just found out on Facebook that your wife is divorcing you.
2. You think the U.S. should "defriend" Iran.
And the number one sign you spend too much time on Facebook...
1. Constantly poking yourself.

Today's guest is another returning Alumni who was first on the Phile January 31st of this year. Since then she has a brand new album out called "Darling, Darling" and she will be hosting the Phog Lounge Open Mic on October 18th in Windsor, Ontario. Phog Lounge... that sounds like something I would have. Anyway, please welcome back to the Phile... Crissi Cochrane.

Me: Hello, Crissi, welcome back to the Phile. So, how have you been?

Crissi: Thanks for inviting me back! I've been good. Keeping busy!

Me: When I last interviewed you went by the stage name Save September, but now you are back to your original real name? What made you change it?

Crissi: I first started playing music under the name "Save September" back in 2004, when I was in the 10th grade. As a person, I feel that I've changed at least five times over since then, and obviously, my music has changed as well. I felt that there should be a distinction between what I was, and what I am now. Performing under my actual name also makes a lot more sense for me as a solo act. It feels much more personal and mature.

Me: I listened to some of the songs on your new album "Darling, Darling" and really liked it. Right now it's not available on iTunes, but will it be in the future?

Crissi: "Darling, Darling" may be on iTunes eventually, but it will always be available online at I've been casually looking into iTunes, but it isn't the easiest thing to set up as an independent artist.

Me: Your last release that I interviewed you about you recorded in the bathroom, right? Where was this new album recorded?

Crissi: Actually, I've had two releases since the "Bathroom EP". In the spring of 2009, I put out a three-song Sampler disc of some tunes recorded at a local college (they had studios on campus for a recording arts program). My newest album "Darling, Darling" far outshines the other two! It was recorded in December of 2009 at Soma Studios in Chicago over the course of seven days. The record features a backing band, and beautiful string quartet arrangements performed by Drew Jurecka (who most notably performs with Canadian songstress Jill Barber). My all-time hero Mike Kinsella (of American Football, and his solo project Owen) lives in Chicago, and I was lucky enough to have him play percussion on the album. All together, I'm very pleased and proud of the record.

Me: You're from Halifax, right? Do you still live there?

Crissi: I actually grew up an hour outside of Halifax, in the beautiful rural Annapolis Valley. I lived in Halifax for three years after high school, but I've since moved to Windsor, Ontario. I made the move in August on the train with my two cats, and have settled into a lovely flat. It's nice to be closer to Toronto, and to experience living in a new city.

Me: And you graduated from high school since we last spoke. Do you or are you planning on going to college?

Crissi: Silly you! I was actually two years out of high school. I had just finished a one-year Music Business program at the Nova Scotia Community College. Further post-secondary seems like a "plan B" in my mind, and I'm not done with my "plan A" yet, which is to get settled here in Ontario, focus on writing and recording some new material over the winter, and hopefully start touring in the spring.

Me: Your parents must be proud of you with your new album? What was their reaction when they first heard it?

Crissi: They were definitely pleased. After so much low-fi and low budget recording, it feels really satisfying to be able to put together a professional studio album. They were saying, "we should have done this years ago!"

Me: You have been playing quite a few shows, Crissi. Do you perform with a band? Is it the same band you recorded with?

Crissi: Haha, I wish I could fly Mike and Drew in for shows! That was a pretty killer line-up on the record, but all those folks are professional musicians who all live far away. I'm still performing solo, but I did have some musicians in Halifax back me up to perform the songs from the record at the CD release. I do hope to find some backing musicians here in Ontario in the long run.

Me: On your EP you recorded a song called "Mexico", and it's on your new album. What made you redo that song? You must really like it.

Crissi: "Mexico" is one of the few older songs that have remained pretty constant in my repertoire, and it's sort of become a fan favorite. I've recorded that song about four or five times before "Darling, Darling", and I was never satisfied with the end result of any of those versions. "Mexico" on "Darling, Darling" finally does the song justice - that is the way that it should sound.

Q: The last time I interviewed you you mentioned some people you like musically and you mentioned Meaghan Smith who I am a big fan of. I got to interview her for the Phile, did you see that?

Crissi: I did! Good job.

Me: So, any shows planned for the States yet?

Crissi: Not just yet, although it's literally right next door - when I walk downtown in Windsor, I can see the American flags flying atop buildings in Detroit. It's beautiful. I'm hoping to visit Chicago this winter - last year I was so busy with recording that I barely saw the city at all. I turned 21 this year, so I might investigate setting up a show or two if I can make the trip!

Me: You are doing a weekly variety show, is that right? Tell the Phile readers about it where can they see it? Any chance you'd be recording these shows?

Crissi: My friend Jackie Robitaille and I are putting on a weekly Variety Show every Sunday at the FM Lounge (156 Chatham Street W) here in Windsor. Every week will be different, with featured guests, open mics, and baked goods. We won't be recording them, so Windsorites will have to come down to witness it! It's free, and so are the delicious baked treats.

Me: I love the video you did for "Coming Home". Was it fun to do? I noticed you have a piece of metal on your face. Ow! When did you get that done? Also, is that a tat I see on your back?

Crissi: The video shoot was incredible, we had such a wonderful team of people. And yes, I've had my side lip pierced for five years now. My tattoo on my back is four hearts, one for each member of my family. It was my mother's idea - someday, when our family "grows", we'll add on new hearts.

Me: Okay, Crissi, what is next for you? A live album perhaps?

Crissi: I'll hopefully be spending the winter working on new material, but some high-quality live videos might not be too far off either!

Me: Thanks for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your websites. You are also on Twitter, right? I tried to do Twitter but Facebook is enough. What do you like best?

Crissi: You can listen to and order "Darling, Darling" at - only $15 to anywhere in Canada, and $17 to the US! I'm pretty addicted to Twitter - I'm always tweeting about adapting in Windsor, drunk dudes trying to hit on me, and the music I love. You can follow me at

Me: Best wishes, continued success and you are going to have a bright future, my dear. Come back to the Phile soon, okay?

Crissi: Thank you for having me!

Well, that's it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Crissi for a really good interview. She's always welcomed back to the Phile. The Phile will be back next Thursday with another Alumni, bass player from my all-time favorite band in the world (except for Foghat)... Squeeze. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.