Monday, May 29, 2017

Pheaturing Marc Morello From Exist Among

Hey kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday... Happy Memorial Day. I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend... I personally did nothing. Barenaked Ladies played in Tampa on Saturday... I didn't go, MegaCon was this past weekend... I didn't go. I was invited to the the beach... I didn't go.  A great way to avoid Memorial Day weekend traffic is to avoid leaving the house.
If you're in Northern California and considering your water park options for the summer, you may want to think twice about The Wave, which just opened in the city of Dublin for Memorial Day weekend. Although the park cost a whopping $43 million, it's not clear that their rides are entirely safe. Dramatic video, in fact, shows a 10-year-old boy being thrown from a water slide called the Emerald Plunge just an hour and half after the ride had officially opened. He comes out toward the end and skids along the concrete. The "East Bay Times" reports that he was "just shaken up," with a scratch on his shoulder... but both that slide and the one next to it were shut down for reevaluation.
Scary stuff, but thank goodness he's okay. And if he's anything like I was as a 10-year-old, he was probably disappointed he couldn't ride that slide again.
Piers Morgan, professional big mouth with a foot in it, has decided to share his thoughts on what he thinks Ariana Grande should have done in the days since the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester, England on Monday night. According to TMZ, Grande was "in hysterics" after learning of the bomb that went off at the end of her show, killing 22 people and leaving many others injured. That night, the distraught singer tweeted out this message to the victims and their loved ones...

Then on Tuesday, she canceled the rest of her tour in the wake of the tragedy and was pictured arriving home in Boca Raton, Florida. I can imagine she was probably traumatized and wanted to be home. And yet Piers Morgan, who no one asked for his thoughts on the subject, tweeted that he thinks Ariana Grande should have stayed in England and visited the victims in the hospital. Because this is what the Queen (who lives in England and also this is part of her job) did. Why would Piers Morgan use the Queen's empathy as a reason to attack Ariana Grande, who is already having a pretty rough week? Oh, because he's Piers Morgan. Most people by now would take a moment, realize they had tweeted in error, and pressed that handy "delete" button. Piers Morgan is not most people. Instead, he just keeps doubling down. The Internet is NOT having it and Twitter is shredding Piers Morgan over his comments. This guy's message was the most succinct...

Hopefully Ariana Grande hasn't read Morgan's tweets. We do, however, hope she has read the wonderful letter from a dad in Georgia, which has gone massively viral on Twitter. He ends by writing, "Take care of you first. Your fans aren't going anywhere." Love wins. Piers Morgan should try it sometime.
Hey, remember last week when I wrote about that weird, creepy listing for a house for sale in Columbia, South Carolina? The one where no one was allowed to see the upstairs, where a mysterious tenant lived and would not be paying rent? And I speculated that a ghost or demon might be living upstairs in this obviously haunted house? Well, turns out that the ghost is alive! And according to the "News & Observer," he's actually a 70-year-old artist named Randall McKissick. He's not even evil! The "News & Observer" interviewed McKissick, the divorced father of two and grandfather of one, who was once a world-renowned artist but has since fallen on hard times. His work has been shown internationally in Paris, Johannesburg and St. Thomas, as well as an abundance of places within the U.S. But with the advent of computer graphics, McKissick found himself struggling. On top of that, he dealt with divorce, eviction, and an ongoing battle with anxiety. Randall McKissick has been friends with the owner of the house, Michael Schumpert Sr., since they were children. For about the last decade, his friend has allowed him to live rent-free in the upstairs apartment, with his three cats. But in December, Schumpert was in a car accident resulting in a broken back. (He apparently couldn't be reached for comment by the "News & Observer"). It was Schumpert's son, Michael Jr., who wrote the ad for the house. He told the "News & Observer," “We don’t really have much choice but to sell the house; my parents need to sell it. But it’s been in the family for so long, we don’t really want to. And we want Randy to be able to stay there.” Michael Schumpert, Jr. has taken down the ad and the house is, for now, off the market. He's not sure what the next step will be. McKissick’s daughter, Amber Albert, said their family is looking into other housing for McKissick, a place with room for a studio that will let him keep his cats. But money is an issue in their family, as well. And then there's Randall McKissick's anxiety, which apparently makes it difficult for him to travel or deal with changes. But, he told the "News & Observer," if he has to move, he will. He said, “I just want to paint again. I just want to find that spark.”
When the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced plans to hold a women-only screening of Wonder Woman, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, you knew men were going to freak out. And they sure did. It's almost like sexist trolls are incredibly easy to provoke? But the theater itself, to its great credit, couldn't give a toss about these whiny dudes.

Wow! Controversy really sells tickets. In fact, the guys complaining about the screening seem to have given Alamo enough press to keep adding women-only showings of the one superhero film to ever feature a female lead. Morgan Hendrix, Alamo Drafthouse's creative manager, told the "Washington Post" that "providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right," and as a result, "we will be expanding this program across the country and inviting women everywhere to join us as we celebrate this iconic superheroine in our theaters." So, male nerds, do you still think tweeting your outrage about this was a good idea? Apparently so, because you're still going.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, after repeatedly kowtowing to an unhinged President Trump and championing a healthcare bill that would cause millions to lose their insurance, is so politically toxic that even 8th graders won't pose with him. The kids were on a Washington, D.C. field trip from South Orange Middle School in South Orange, New Jersey, and on Friday they had the opportunity to pose for a photo with Ryan during their tour of the Capitol. About half the class, or some 100 students, refused... and stood in a parking lot across the way. Which helps to explain this awkward result...

According to local news source "The Village Green," the SOMS students had pointedly political reasons for the snub. "I think that taking the picture represents that you agree with the same political views and I don’t agree with his political views so I chose not to be in it," said Wendy Weeks, while Louisa Maynard-Parisi explained, "I didn’t want to be in [the picture] because he believes in most of what Trump believes in." Meanwhile, the comments on the actual Instagram post are a hoot, with at least one student claiming that the kids who stayed for the photo were just there to make fun of Ryan, whom they think of as a "walking talking meme." Truly, the children are our future.
So, it's Memorial Day and I have to show you something cool...

That's my great grandfather who died in World War I leaving behind his wife and children, including my grandmother when she was just 6-years-old. For some people Memorial Day means this...

But for other people it's this...

So, recently I saw this picture...

And it reminded me of something. And then it hit me...

Ha! I have not actually seen any of this Austin Powers movies. And I wanna keep it that way. Speaking of movies though, I can't wait to see the new Transformers movie, even though judging by this screen shot it doesn't look as good as the others...

Most of you know I pretty much just wear shorts and a t-shirt, but if this was the 70s I might be wearing something like this...

Hahaha. Someone needs to explain to the man in the red pants that he will never look tough in that outfit, no matter how hard he stares. You know what I love? Geeks that protest, especially when they have signs like this one...

This sign says all you really need to know about President Trump's popularity. So, I thought this was fitting for today... Sanders should be president just for this poster alone...

Hahaha. Alright, so, in a few weeks I am gonna be taking an Amtrak train down to Hollywood, Florida and as it's quite a few hours trip I thought it'll be fun to post a Phile entry from the train, and when I come back. I have no idea what the trip will be like, and I wonder if it'll e as amazing as the Tunnel of Love...

The Tunnel of Love is a beautiful spot in Klevan, Ukraine. A three kilometer railway section leads to the fibreboard factory. The train runs three times a day and delivers wood to the factory. However, the trees make a green corridor, which attracts many couples, as well as photographers, for its eye catching avenue. It is said that if you and your beloved come to the Tunnel of Love and sincerely make a wish, it will come true. I wonder if there's anything like it between Orlando and Miami. I doubt it. So, some people have such good luck they beat the odds... which in a way pisses me off. I thought about this and decided to start a new pheature simply called...

The award goes to Maeve Lindell, a high school sophomore in Texas, scored an extra seven points for an on point rendering of the latest Spongebob meme, Mocking Spongebob. Frustrated with exponential equations because who won't be (BeCaUsE wHo WoUlDn'T bE?), Lindell drew up a Spongebob to mock the question and it actually boosted her grade!

So, kids, the most important equation is as follows: Math test + memes = extra credit. And now to...

Hahaha. Okay, so, as you know by now I live in Florida and there's doe crazy stuff that happens in Florida that happens no where else in the Universe. So, here once again is a pheature I like to call...

TMZ reports that director James Cameron is being sued for $300 million by Florida man Stephen Cummings for allegedly stealing his stories to create Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Titanic. Oh, and he also thinks that Cameron stole the story of the Titanic sinking from him, too. Court documents show that the complaint is arguing that Cameron got the idea for the gorgeous American rapscallion Jack Dawson after overhearing a conversation Cummings, a former "yacht master," was having with his friends in 1988. TMZ adds that Cummings insists that Cameron overheard him telling friends about relatives who were aboard the doomed ship, and just like in the movie, the husband died while the wife survived. One-thousand-five-hundred-and-seventeen people died on that cold night in 1912, so Cummings's tale isn't a particularly original take. Cummings is asking for $300 million, plus 1 percent of royalties. This lawsuit seems like a long shot. I believe that Cameron's heart will go on. BTW Pocahontas is also lawyering up to sue him for Avatar.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. If you don't spot it there's something wrong with you. Okay, so, it's Memorial Day and a lot of people get Veterans Day and Memorial Day confused, so I thought I'd invite someone to the Phile who can explain the differences very simply. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is...

Dear Dumbasses... Memorial Day... a day to remember those who lost their lives during service. Veterans Day... a day to honor living soldiers who served. Kindly learn the difference. I feel like doing something selfless, today... something for the greater good of society, as a whole. So today I've decided to bitch-slap every man I see who is guilty of any of the following crimes against society... wearing a romper, sporting a man-bun, vaping, playing with a fidget, wearing skinny jeans, wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a "Duck Dynasty" beard, wearing spray on tanner, wearing a speedo and/or yoga pants, wearing pajama bottoms in public, listening to (and singing along with) any Adele song, posting about how they're looking forward to the big Air Supply Summer Tour. You're welcome.

Gregg Allman 
December 8th, 1947 — May 27th, 2017
Laid back. WAY back.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
March 28th, 1928 — May 26th, 2017
Three Z's in your name? No. That's just wrong.

Jim Bunning 
October 23rd, 1931 — May 26th, 2017
The honorable gentleman from Kentucky yields the floor.

Donald Trump infamously accused Hillary Clinton of lacking the "stamina" to be president, but now, on his first foreign trip in the role, Trump is the one who's apparently "exhausted." And at no point has that been more obvious than when when he got together with G7 heads of state from the U.K., Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and Canada in Taormina, Sicily. According to the "Times," all the leaders walked "700 yards" from a group photo op to another spot in town... except for Trump, who apparently needed a ride in an electric golf cart to cover that ground. Lazy president, or laziest president? Imagine how disappointed he was to find out there was no actual golf course.

Pandora is an Internet radio website that allows uses to listen to everything but the song they actually want to hear. 

The 60th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Author and Phile Alum Wesley Stace will be on the Phile a week from today.

Today's pheatured guest the lead singer for the Long Island based heavy metal band Exist Among whose latest self-titled album is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Marc Morello.

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

Marc: Doin' well, Jason. Thanks.

Me: You're from Long Island! That's so cool. What part, sir?

Marc: I'm originally from Queens, New York and moved to Sayville like 15-years-ago.

Me: I grew up in Port Jeff... I am sure you have been there a few times, am I right?

Marc: I didn't know you grew up in Port Jeff. Very cool town. I play acoustic shows there from time to time.

Me: You are in the band Exist Among and you play solo gigs... both of those are completely different, am I right?

Marc: Jekyll and Hyde different. LOL.

Me: Which one do you prefer?

Marc: I need them both. The solo acoustic thing allows me to really keep mastering the skill of simultaneously playing guitar and singing which is what I do with the band only 100 decibels louder. LOL.

Me: I read you know about 200 songs by heart... that's fucking cool. I barely know three. Hahaha. Are all those songs in the same genre?

Marc: I know more like 600 songs but not by heart. I gotta have the lyrics and some chord notations when I play but in reality as soon as I start it all clicks in. What's cool with acoustic is you can really change the mood of a tune simply by setting a different rhythm approach and voice inflection. I've done acoustic Slayer and you'd think it was blues. LOL. Acoustic isn't really a show. It's just adding to the vibe in the restaurant or bar.

Me: So, do you play any Foghat songs?

Marc: Every now and then I do "Third Time Lucky" and of course I'll do "Slow Ride." I want to do "Stay With Me" from "Stone Blue" but the magic of that tune is Lonesome Dave's voice which was from another dimension. Be tough to recreate. LOL.

Me: How long have you been p;aging guitar, Marc?

Marc: I've been playing guitar since I'm 13.

Me: Do you remember what the first song you learnt was?

Marc: I believe it was "Show Me the Way" by Frampton. Either that or "Paranoid."

Me: Were in bands when you were in high school?

Marc: Yeah, but they were fucking awful. I was fucking awful. LOL. It wasn't until I was 17 or so that I got obsessed with getting better on guitar.

Me: So, what kinda music did you listen to growing up?

Marc: I consider myself pretty lucky for the musical era I grew up in. I caught the tale end of the 70s going into the 80s. And I was a fuckin' sponge absorbing and listening to everything. In Queens my house was attached on both sides so if your neighbor flushed the toilet you heard it. LOL. My neighbor who was a kid 3 years older than me would always blast his stereo in his room. My bedroom was on the other side of the wall. Albums he blasted were Thin Lizzy "Live and Dangerous,"  Black Sabbath "Masters of Reality," Judas Priest "Stained Class" and of course Foghat "Live" among others coming in nice and clear in my wall. LOL. I got into Sabbath, Yes, Queen, Floyd, Tull, Rainbow, Kiss, Aerosmith, Priest etc. right into the 80s with Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Angel Witch, Sabbath The Rods, Megadeth etc. and into the 90s with Morbid Angel, Pantera, Tool, Soundgarden, Sabbath, death metal etc. I loved discovering new music. Still do. Did I mention Sabbath? LOL.

Me: No, I don't think you did. Hahaha. Let's talk about your band Exist Among. Exist among what? Where did the band get its name from?

Marc: I can be pretty fuckin' negative. It's a mental state I'm in at times. All the bad shit around me from personal demons, to family dysfunction, and just the way of the world today. I felt like I was just not living much at times. Existing. Exist among. People think its got to do with zombies cause I'm a huge "Walking Dead" and horror movie buff. Might be some truth there too. LOL. The music is kind of old school doom mixed with whatever. 

Me: Are you the founder of the band, Marc?

Marc: Yeah.

Me: So, who is in the band with you?

Marc: We've had some different line-ups over the last few years (mostly bassists). My drummer Tom (Mojo) McCrone has been with the band for 3 years and Scott (The Antagonyst) Casey is the newest member and I think the final piece. He fits what we do perfectly.

Me: Did you write the songs for the self-titled album?

Marc: Yeah, for the most part. I write the lyrics and on some tunes we collaborated musically which is thankfully becoming more of a songwriting ritual now, I want everybody to put their stamp on a tune. I might be the seer but in the end everybody has to be satisfied.

Me: I like the song "World of Shit." What is that song about?

Marc: Standard doom topic. Self absorbed/fucked up world not aware that the Bringer of Doom and Death has arrived and is planning on exterminating humanity. In the end once the deed is done signs of life begin to rise signifying rebirth. You'll never get a happy tune from us.

Me: Most of your songs are pretty long... is that planned?

Marc: Not at all. They don't seem long to us. You want a tune to have whatever it needs for it to come across.

Me: So, what kinda music would you say Exist Among plays? Heavy metal?

Marc: Heavy rock, heavy metal... ehh, whatever you wanna call it.

Me: Who are your influences, Marc?

Marc: As a guitarist Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads, Paul Kossoff, Jimmy Page are the ones that stick the most. For vocals I'm a huge Dio fan as well as Bon Scott, Dave Mustaine and of course Lonesome Dave Peverett.

Me: Cool. In the band you all have nicknames... and yours is Kaiser. Where did that come from?

Marc: Just a moronic nickname from a previous band that stuck cause I was a big fan of the movie Slingblade. You know the scene in the movie where he says, "Some people call it a Kaiser blade but I call it a sling blade." So I was Kaiser Blade. Then Kaiser. Kaiser Roll sometimes when I don't get to the fuckin' gym. LOL.

Me: Does Exist Among do many shows, Marc?

Marc: Not as many as we'd like to. Maybe one show every two months on Long Island. There are a handful of places on Long Island that we play that have live original bands. They support it. Metal and heavy rock isn't exactly drawing mass amounts of people as it once did here. Plus some of the venues push that pay to play bullshit. Basically your band wants to open for a major act the venue wants your band to sell maybe 30 tickets at 10 bucks apiece, then surrender the money to the venue before your band plays like a 25 minute set on the same stage as the major act. To be in an original band today you gotta be in it for the love of it. If it catches on that's great. If not... whatever.

Me: Is this new self-titled release your first release?

Marc: Actually its the second. We did an album three years ago with myself and a different drummer and bassist. It was okay but I wasn't happy with the performances. The drums especially. I didn't release it but there are some good tunes on it. One is this tune called "Dead Soon" which we will play live, and another is a tune called "Time To Die." Maybe on our next release I'll just throw them on as bonuses. I think on the website you can check them out, but don't say I didn't warn you. The drumming on those recordings is shit.

Me: Where was this new CD recorded, Marc?

Marc: Brocks Studios in Hicksville. My friend Rob Broccolo is owner and is a good friend among being an excellent bassist and recording engineer. Check out his Facebook page at

Me: I have to ask you about the album cover... it's very creepy. Who painted it?

Marc: Jason Noto at Morning Breath Inc in Brooklyn. He's ridiculously talented.

Me: So, what's next for the band, Marc?

Marc: We are currently working on new material which will be a bit different from this latest release. Heavy as always but some different rhythm styles. Try some different vocal approaches as well. I'd be lying if I said we'll have something released by end of summer but hopefully by end of the year.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Will you come back again in the future when the next project comes out?

Marc: Fuck yeah...  and thanks much, Jason, for allowing me to blab about Exist Among on your blog.

Me: Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you lots of luck. Keep rocking, man.

Marc: Thanks, man. So if you'd like to download our album its available at most Internet music stores such as Amazon, iTunes, etc. You can also purchase a hard copy CD or t-shirt as well as a download at Give us a like at

Me: Great job, take care.

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Marc Morello. The Phile will be back next Sunday with actor Wally Wingert. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Have a great rest of the holiday weekend.

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Pheaturing Julio Duran From Polar Waves

Hello, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. So... I guess Manchester united has a whole different meaning now. In case you have been living under a rock this last week and don't know, twenty-two people were killed and 59 were injured in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England last Monday. As residents of the English city were left reeling in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, the people of Manchester are coming together to help one another. And there was an outpouring of compassion and love on social media for the victims and for all of Manchester. Of course, there were others who began condemning Muslims in general, which is ignorant, hateful, and unhelpful. A woman who goes by @hannawwh on Twitter witnessed the terrorist attack, and tweeted, "I can't believe it, I'm heartbroken, I'm so sorry to all the families who have lost loved ones and to all those injured." Someone else, clearly Islamophobic, referenced her tweet, writing, "This is what happens when you let muslims in your country." The tweet has since been deleted. The woman's response to him has now gone viral, garnering almost 9,000 retweets and 20,000 likes. She wrote, "It was a Muslim who pulled up in his taxi and drove us home to safety. A very compassionate man who was also terrified yet helped others." Twitter is great for letting people share thoughts and ideas, but it's also such a perfect tool for spreading hate and ignorance. Fortunately, the hateful bigots usually seem to be outnumbered.
Over a weekend in May, the Internet blew up over a frightful video of a girl getting snatched by a sea lion and dragged into the water off a dock in Canada. Now, reports of a "hazardous infection" called "seal finger" are making the collective heart of the Internet skip another beat. As initial news that everyone walked away from the incident uninjured reached Twitter, most of the Internet felt comfortable making light-hearted jokes and memes out of the striking incident. "Harambe," "this is so me," and "United Airlines LOL" took over for the day. But not everyone was joking about it. According to the BBC, a staff member at the Vancouver Aquarium gave an interview regarding the sea lion attack, urging the family to get in touch so they could treat the little girl for a condition known as "seal finger." Apparently, seals and sea lions carry harmful bacteria in their mouths. It can cause an infection if the animal breaks the skin, which the BBC describes as a "painful and potentially serious condition" that causes cellulitis and joint inflammation. If untreated, according to ABC News, it can even lead to the "loss of fingers or limbs." This isn't so funny anymore, right? Fortunately for everyone who's now feeling bad about laughing at the incident, the family got in touch with the Vancouver Aquarium after hearing from their staff in interviews, and is now getting treatment, according to NBC News. BBC reports that the girl indeed suffered a four inch wound from the sea lion's bite. The little girl's father also spoke out in an interview with the CBC, praising her grandfather for jumping so quickly to the rescue. "We didn't expect the video to go viral," he added, saying the family is "quite disturbed by it." In the end though, the Vancouver family is just glad that their little girl is safe... and getting the necessary medical attention. "I could have gone organizing a funeral by now rather than doing interview."
Every year, the best and brightest students across the country distinguish themselves with crafty ways to sneak NSFW, violent, or otherwise uncouth quotes into the yearbook. Going viral today is one crafty senior, who used "The Office" to make her feelings about school unequivocally known.

Amber's quote was a timestamp, pointing to an episode of "The Office" called "Garage Sale." The school censors either had a great sense of humor or no one would let them borrow a Netflix password to find the quote. "Should have burned this place down when I had a chance." The full quote, in context, "No, I am not going to be proposed to in the break room. That is not going to be our story. Should have burned this place down when I had a chance." Not that the context is important at all, but it's a good show. And a better quote. Congrats to all you crafty grads.
An honors student at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina won't be allowed to walk at her upcoming graduation, and all because of a shirt she wore to school last week. Yes, folks, we've got another crazy dress code story. (This one really seems like an overreaction, if you ask me.)
According to NBC Charlotte, the student, named Summer, wore a green off-the-shoulder top to school last Wednesday, that showed some of her shoulders and back. According to Summer, the school's principal came up to her while she was eating lunch and asked her if she had a jacket. Summer told the principal that she thought her shirt was "fine," but she borrowed a jacket from a friend anyway. Summer told NBC Charlotte that even after she put on and "zipped up" the jacket, the principal requested that she go to the school's control room and change her clothes entirely. The shirt in question...

Summer said that she and the principal have had their fair share of issues over the years, and recently, her mother requested that the school call her before any disciplinary action is taken against her daughter. So, when the principal asked Summer to go to the control room and change she said, "I apologize, I can't go anywhere with you unless my mom is called." After neither Summer or the principal could get her mom on the phone, the situation really got out of hand. Summer says the period ended, so she went off to a school assembly. The principal came in and ordered everyone but her to leave. And she had a school security guard with her. Summer told NBC Charlotte that the principal said to her, "I'm gonna give you an ultimatum. We have tried to call your mother. You either come with me to the control room to change your shirt or we will arrest you." Arrest her?! Over a shirt?! Summer says the security guard was about to handcuff her when her mom called back. She ended up going to the control room with school administrators, where she was informed that she was being suspended from school for 10 days and barred from all senior activities, including graduation. Seems a little harsh for a top that showed her shoulders, no? "It's just sad because I worked so hard for four years to walk across that stage," Summer told NBC Charlotte. "We have drug dealers walking across that stage, we have sex offenders walking across that stage and then the 4.4 student who showed her shoulders can't." Summer has also received a full scholarship to a major university, and now worries that may be in jeopardy. Let's hope Summer and her school can get this all sorted out soon.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump met with Pope Francis... while Sean Spicer fumed that he didn't get an invitation, according to CNN. "Spicer assumed he would be on the list," according to an unnamed "administration official," who said the Catholic Spicer has a "bucket list" of things he wants to do as press secretary. On that list? Meeting the Pope. Not on that list? Being mocked mercilessly for wearing the wrong tie. Guess which one he's checked off so far? At the papal meeting—attended by Melania, Ivanka, Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster—water turned to memes as the world laughed and laughed at some tremendously awkward photo ops.But imagine how much more hilarious Spicer would have made it.

Picture Spicer on the right... bumbling about the Young Pope. Said a White House source to CNN,  "Wow. That's all he wanted." The fact that Spicer didn't get to see the Pope should "very much" reflect on the president's view of him. This might be the only time that liberals/anyone has ever felt bad for Sean Spicer. Maybe next time, Spicy.
It's very odd that the White House released an inspirational poster with that pic by the way.

Not many people are talking about the other people that joined the group photo after that one was taken.

Fantastic. When I saw this by the way...

It reminded me of something. And then it hit me...

Actually, no it didn't. Hahahaha. Hey, did you see Trump grabbed another pussy?

It is not all bad news for Trump on his European tour... someone has a crush on him I think.

I wish someone would look at me like she is looking at him. Okay, enough about Trump... for a few minutes. Did you guys see Disney's movie Moana? I haven't, but I did find this interesting... the character Maui that the Rock plays was supposed to look like this originally...

Hahaha. I thought it was funny. So, you kids like Starbucks? If I was the CEO of Starbucks I would change the look of the siren on the logo to this...

You know what I think is cool... when geeks protest. Check it out...

Resistance may be futile when you're going up against the Borg, but against Trump, it can be very, very powerful. Most of you know that I pretty much just wear shorts and t-shirts every day but if tis was the 70s I would be wearing this...

This is also a reminder that people used to think badminton was cool enough that it should be part of an underwear ad. Alright, so, I don't know if you know but in a few weeks I will be posting two Phile entries from an Amtrak train. I am gonna ride the train down to Hollywood, Florida and I thought it'll be fun to post from there... don't ask me why. Anyway, I don't know what the trip would be like but I hope it's not like this Tren a las Nubes, which means Train to the Clouds in Argentina.

The Tren a las Nubes is a touristic train service in Salta Province, Argentina. The service runs along the eastern part of the C-14 line of the Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano, connecting the Argentine Northwest with the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range. At over 4,220 meters (13,850 ft) above mean sea level, it's the third highest railway in the world. Originally built for economic and social reasons, it is now primarily a tourist attraction as a heritage railway. The railway line has 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 spirals, and 2 zigzags. Because of the design decision not to use a rack-and-pinion system for traction, the route had to be designed to avoid steep grades. The zigzags allow the train to climb, traveling back and forth parallel to the slope of the mountain. No fucking way. Alright, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard At Trump's Meeting With Pope Francis
5. I can bring my attorney into the confessional, right?
4. I'm telling you... Trump-branded communion wafers would be the greatest thing to hit Catholicism in 2,000 years!
3. So after I got Miss Universe alone, I... but why am I telling you? You know how it is, you're famous, they don't stop you...
2. Love the Sistine Chapel... it's like a smaller version of my New York apartment!
And the number one thing overheard at Trump's meeting with Pope Francis was...
1. I'm glad you replaced that Pope Benedict... he was crazy, a real nut job, am I right?

Hahahahaha. That is so funny. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, being funny is not the easiest thing to do. There's this comedian who is trying to be funny but doesn't always hit the mark. I honestly don't think he knows what a joke is. Anyway, I have invited him a few times on the Phile to help him hone his skills and thought I should be nice and invite him back again and give him another chance. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

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

Ollie: I'm pretty good, Jason.

Me: Okay, so, tell us your jokes and I hope you are funny.

Ollie: What is the biggest lie in the entire universe?

Me: Biggest lie in the entire universe? I have so many answers I can say. What is it?

Ollie: I have read and agree to the Terms of Service.

Me: Huh? I kinda get it. Not that funny, Ollie. Try again.

Ollie: What did the boy with no arms and no legs get for Christmas?

Me: Hmmm. I don't know. What?

Ollie: Cancer.

Me: Fuck, Ollie. That is really bad. You can tell one more joke, and that is it.

Ollie: Why was six afraid of seven?

Me: Ha! I know this one... Barenaked Ladies wrote a song about it. Because seven ate nine.

Ollie: No. It wasn't. Numbers are not sentient and thus incapable of feeling fear.

Me: Ugh! Ollie, get outta here! Ollie Tabooger, the guy who doesn't know how to tell a joke, everyone. And now for some sad news...

Roger Moore 
October 14th, 1927 — May 23rd, 2017
Moore is less.

Adult man Head of State President Donald Trump is at the NATO Leader's summit, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is one of the most crucial military alliances of the post-war order. Trump is having so much fun with his new friends he feels comfortable enough to shove one out of the way so he can be the star of the photo opp.

It's even more damning in a screen shot. Look at his jaw clench and his self-satisfied grin once he achieved his goal. It's not just anyone he shoved, it's Duško Marković, the Prime Minster of Montenegro, the newest NATO member. Look at the shove-ee's face as the tiny hand approacheth... we wouldn't be surprised if Trump slapped him on the ass on his way through.

This is the kindergartener who never learned to share and will be the line leader after recess at all costs.Alec Baldwin really does an impeccable impression of him... in The Boss Baby.

The 60th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the band Polar Waves whose new CD "No One Needs Help Anymore" pheaturing the hit single "Stoner" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Julio Duran.

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

Julio: Doing good! Thanks for having me.

Me: So, anybody ever call you Julio Duran Duran?

Julio: You bet. By the way, “Duran, as in the band” is what I tell bartenders when I’m closing my tab. Works every time.

Me: Haha. Anyway, I have to say I love your band and the album "No One Needs Help Anymore." You must be proud of it, right?

Julio: Thank you! Absolutely, extremely pleased that we had the chance to make a great record.

Me: Julio, you're from Chile, right? What part?

Julio: Yes! Chilean AF. Born and raised in The Big Grape, Santiago, Chile. I think I just coined that term.

Me: Where do you live now?

Julio: I’m lucky to say I live in gorgeous Athens, Georgia.

Me: So, how did you get from Chile to Georgia?

Julio: I moved to L.A. about 10 years ago and did a little studying at UCLA (Go Bruins). Then, moved to mighty South Jersey and lived between there and Philadelphia for a few years. Then, packed up and made northern California my home for the next 4 years. It was unbelievably inspiring, but I was bleeding money and made the move to Athens to make a record called "No One Needs Help Anymore."

Me: Why Georgia of all places?

Julio: I’ve always been curious about the south and its culture, food and arts. I love the people here. 

Me: Are you a Falcons fan, Julio?

Julio: Nope. I’m a 49ers guy. Jim Harbaugh is one of my biggest sports idols. I did root for the dirty birds in the Superbowl though. It was, as you may know, heartbreaking.

Me: Oh, I know. Trust me. How long have you been here in the states?

Julio: It’ll be 10 years in September.

Me: Do you get to back to Chile often?

Julio: I try to take to make it out there once a year, but I was fortunate enough to spend 6 weeks back in Dec/Jan. Visiting Chile is one of my favorite things in life.

Me: So, what made you decide to move, Julio?

Julio: Why do we move, as people, though? Curiosity. Opportunity. Love.

Me: So, how old were you when you started to play guitar?

Julio: In 4th grade. Still remember as if it was yesterday.

Me: What were your influences, Julio? I am guessing you listened to a lot of classic rock. Any Foghat?

Julio: "Slow Ride," man. My childhood was basically me listening to all the rock available from 1967 to 1972. Beach Boys, Doors, Hendrix, CCR, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. Also a lot of jazz, 80s metal and Nirvana. Kravitz. Too many to name. But there’s also a lot of contemporary rock bands I look up to.

Me: Did you want to be a singer or a musician for a long time?

Julio: Yes, I always had so much fun playing the guitar in my room at my parents’ house. Then, jamming with friends, going to shows, writing songs. It’s my thing. Tried the whole office job thing, but never truly felt right.

Me: Alright, I have to ask, where did the band name Polar Waves come from?

Julio: Me and my buddies were having a bunch of drinks one cold Santiago night, maybe a few years ago. I think there was a polar vortex underway. As the night went by, we opened the windows to smoke cigarettes and started playing a few of my old tunes and jamming a little bit. I called that music night the Polar Wave Sessions, which later morphed into Polar Waves.

Me: Did you have any other name picked out?

Julio: Not really, Polar Waves sounded like a natural fit.

Me: Who else is in the band, Julio?

Julio: We’re going through a few lineup changes right now. We want to make sure we hit the road with the best personnel possible. More to come.

Me: I love the single "Stoner" from the album. So, are you a stoner? You don't have to answer that. Haha.

Julio: Glad you like it! You bet. I’m a proud 21st Century stoner. The song talks about self-discovery and finding your place in today’s world. I think that’s pretty stony, right?

Me: Yeah, I guess. Like I said I love the album "No One Needs Help Anymore." That's not true... I need help. where did that title come from?

Julio: Ha! Well, I’ve always felt that some of the solutions we have developed to face certain problems or limitations are kind of backfiring a bit. For example, I’m glad I can stay in touch with friends and family through my phone. Or send a quick joke to my buddy in Santa Monica. But people are getting way too comfortable with this amazing technological advancement... people are getting out of touch with their true feelings. Technology has empowered us, making us more independent, but vulnerable.

Me: You have a song on the album called "Philadelphia Downtown Club." What was the inspiration about that song?

Julio: Philadelphia is a town I hold in my heart. I lived off Rittenhouse Square in a gorgeous brownstone. My cousin was getting married one freezing February night at the Philadelphia Down Town Club, and at the time, I was going through a sticky patch. But even though I had a lot of bad stuff happening to me, that night was one of the best nights of my life. That song honors the feelings of celebration, optimism and burying the hatchet. I think making peace is one of the most underrated and overlooked actions, ever.

Me: And there's a song called "Adventureland." Is that song about the land at Disney World? Ever been to Disney?

Julio: I love Disney! But "Adventureland" is just another word for our planet.

Me: Did you write all the songs on the album?

Julio: I wrote all the lyrics and most of the music, but my buddy Ben (who plays bass and lead guitars on the record) and I collaborate on a few tunes of his.

Me: Does songwriting come easy for you?

Julio: I probably have 2 to 3 song ideas pop in my mind every day. It could go from a chord progression, to a vocal line, from a verse to a song concept. Unfinished, raw material. I try to write them down so I can work on them later, when I feel ready to have a sit down. Most of them turn to smoke, but the ones that stick are the ones I try my hardest to turn into full-blown songs.

Me: Where did you meet the other guys in the band?

Julio: I was so lucky to have Ben fly in from Chile to lay down the bass and lead guitar tracks. We’ve known each other since high school. Then, I was lucky to find Andrew (drummer) through a UGA pal. These guys are talented musicians, and good people.

Me: They are not from Georgia?

Julio: Ben’s born and raised in Chile. Andrew is a Missouri transplant. Midwestern kid.

Me: What does your family think of your music?

Julio: I can feel how everyone is proud to support good sounding music that comes from the heart. Everyone is a Polar Waves fan.

Me: Do you guys play a lot of shows?

Julio: So far, we’ve had one show, and it was at the legendary 40 Watt in Athens. Had a blast! We look forward to hitting the road this year, and playing as many shows as humanly possible.

Me: Do you think you'll be playing in Florida?

Julio: I was literally in Panama City Beach these last month, pre-Spring Breaking. I’d love to have the band play in Florida. Fort Lauderdale, St Petes/Tampa, Orlando, love the scene down there.

Me: What kinda guitar do you play?

Julio: I own a ’96 Fender Jagstang, a ’98 Gibson Flyin’ V, my childhood Yamaha Strat and a couple acoustics.

Me: I have to mention the album was produced by John Keane who has produced REM and Widespread Panic. How did you get so lucky in getting him, Julio?

Julio: We were indeed very lucky and fortunate to have John agree to work with us. Credit to us, we did try hard to convince him of our project. The night before our arranged meeting, we recorded an acoustic set at my house. We wanted to make sure he understood our vision and our goals. And from our very first meeting, there was good chemistry between him and us. He’s extremely dedicated, a true perfectionist without being neurotic, and we had the energy, discipline and drive to make a great sounding record.

Me: Did he have any good stories?

Julio: I’m positive that he has the craziest stories of him with Stipe, Buck, Mills and Berry, but we never really wanted to open that door. Everyone was very professional and focused on making the best record possible. One night, though, he had to cut the session short because he was gonna play with Widespread Panic at the Classic Center in a few hours. No big deal.

Me: That's cool. Okay, I have to tell you that one of my favorite things about having this blog is meeting bands and hearing new music; your album and band are one of my favorites. Will you come back on the Phile again soon?

Julio: Heck yes! Thanks for the shout out!

Me: Go ahead and mention your website and anything you want to and I wish you continued success. All the best. I hope this was fun.

Julio: It’s been fun! The record dropped on 3/3. You can find it on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. You can also order a physical copy through the website ( Happy shopping!

Me: Great job, Julio.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Julio for a great interview. I love that album. The Phile will be back on Monday with Marc Morello from Exist Among. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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