Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pheaturing Linda Lambert From August 83

Hey there, welcome to the Peverett Phile, I am your host, Jason Peverett, star of the movie Gullible's Travels. This is the last entry of 2010, which is no surprise I am sure considering tomorrow is the last day of the year. How has your week been? Mine has been crazy. I am back at Epcot where I belong. For 20 plus years I worked at Epcot, then decided to go to the Magic Kingdom. Twenty plus days later, I am back at Epcot. Enough about me. I will save all that for next week's entry. Madame Tussauds’ wax museum in Washington, D.C. will open a new gallery next year featuring all 44 presidents. The Obama statue is very lifelike. In fact, Biden spent an hour telling it about his weekend. A new study found that there are only 786 mountain gorillas left in the world, and that number could go down even further after the premier of the new show, “Sarah Palin’s Congo.” Do you know how many packages were handled by the Post Office this year? This is scientifically accurate: Fifty-three gazillion. With that many packages, they’re bound to lose a couple hundred. Keep that in mind, my friends and family. It’s important to appreciate postal workers this time of year. That’s why I always greet them with a warm smile and an open robe. President Obama said he walks his dog Bo on the White House lawn, but sometimes he has to scoop up Bo’s poop. They probably should find someone else to do that. If there’s one thing Obama’s not good at, it’s cleaning up a mess that was left for him.
London’s Heathrow Airport was closed because of snow and ice. In fact, Heathrow canceled so many flights, it changed its name to “LaGuardia.” Levi Johnston reportedly has a new girlfriend in Alaska named Sunny Oglesby. Which raises an interesting question: Is there anyone in Alaska with a normal human name? Singapore has a new campaign to clean up 70 percent of its public toilets by the year 2013. Or in much grosser news, Singapore has admitted that 30 percent of its public toilets will not be cleaned for three years. So, in a few days it's gonna be 2011. It better be a good one because we're all gonna die in 2012 apparently. Anyway, did you see the new "Grand Theft Auto" game that is coming out some time in 2011?

I went out looking for a New Year's inspired inspirational poster and I think I found one.

And now for sad news...

Agathe Von Trapp
March 12, 1913 - December 28, 2010
Raindrops on tombstones and flowers on caskets, Sad sobbing mourners and corpses in baskets, Stuffed in a hole as a sad church bell rings, These are a few of our favorite things.
Teena Marie
March 5, 1956 - December 26, 2010
More peaceful than wild now.

With two movie reviews!

Backing up a bit for newcomers, in the original Tron Jeff Bridges was a software engineer/game designer who finds himself trapped inside "the grid" of a computer, his digitized self battling a tyrannical power structure bent on dominating all of life as we know it. Nearly 30 years later, that alterna-Bridges has "perfected" itself and trapped the flesh-and-bones Bridges back in The Grid. It's up to his long-abandoned adult son to right all wrongs and hurl all those glowy information disc thingies at the bad people so they shatter into tiny shards of glass-like code-crumbles and fall into the black oblivion. when you see it, look at all the money is on the screen. They took their 200 million bucks or however much this cost and they made a dark ride that's more thrilling and coldly beautiful to look at than anything else you've seen at the movies this year. Can't follow the plot because of all the made-up jargon? No worries, just think good people vs. bad people (you'll follow who that is unless you're asleep) and prepare to have your senses pounded by a wickedly loud, bass-heavy laser show. Best of all it's not cheeky; it doesn't wink at you. It takes itself as seriously as the original, as seriously as you want it to, giving new audiences a way in and old-school Tron-heads plenty of insider love. (For example, check out the bartender at the End of Line Club. You may recognize him). Anyway, about that jargon. They throw it at you and don't really explain it. If you're really attentive you'll figure it out. And even if you're following along you'll be smirking from time to time at the gobbledygook-ishness of it all, especially when Jeff Bridges gets all free-jazz with his philosophizing and optimistic futurism, talking about "isomorphic algorithms" for a better tomorrow. There's also Michael Sheen's weirdly fey Joel Grey-in-Cabaret-like character. He purses his lips a lot and there doesn't seem to be a reason why. But other than that stuff, it's all thumping sound and spectacle, a candy rave for your eyes. "Young" Jeff Bridges... it's an unsettling, freak-like motion capture performance. Is so disconcerting to look at that his non-humanity actually enhances his character's badness. They are this close to making digital people look real in movies, but still about a million years away in terms of how that image makes you feel about the "person" you're viewing. Creepy. Enjoy. From 1 to 10 it gets a 10 and yes, when it comes out I am buying it!

Yogi and Boo Boo live at Jellystone Park and steal picnic baskets. They invent elaborate contraptions, including flying machines, to steal those picnic baskets. The ranger doesn't like it when they steal picnic baskets. He gets mad when they steal picnic baskets. Then come evil corporate land developers who want to chop down all the trees. They don't care about picnic baskets. They care about money. Then along comes Anna Faris. She also doesn't care about picnic baskets, but she does care about the ranger and talking bears who wear neckties. ("Those are so rare," she says, in that Anna Faris way that makes you laugh.) Then they all band together to save Jellystone Park from the bad people. They do this via a picnic basket-based defense strategy and Boo Boo's bow-tie-surveillance-cam. Sorry if I just spoiled the plot for you. The internet has been really angry about this movie, almost since it was announced, but more so in recent months as trailers and weirdly clueless ad campaigns made it ripe for mockery and derision. But guess what? This movie isn't for you guys. It's for four-year-olds. And on that level it's perfectly, adequately mediocre. The jokes are about Yogi's butt being paddled by railway posts and about farting and about accidentally setting off fireworks in the pursuit of good bear times. And that's the kind of stuff that very little kids love. And the reason they love it is because they've never seen it in a movie before. And the reason they've never seen it in a movie before is because most of them have never seen a movie before. Adult chaperone who drew the short straw? You can settle in for an 82 minute nap. Sounds good, right? I liked it any time Anna Faris is on screen being goofy... and she's always goofy and thank goodness for that, the forgettable script turns on its lights for a second. And then there's the moment when Yogi and Boo Boo shake their CGI buttocks to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." I'm not making up that part. It happens. And while it may sound horrible, I somehow still laughed out loud. One major beef: It seems lazy that Yogi is rarely shown enjoying the spoils of his picnic basket-stealing victories. Does it take more effort to animate a bear eating a pie? I expected a long roll call of foods consumed. But mostly he just compulsively steals like a person with an anxiety disorder instead of indulging in the sensual delights of actual snacks. From 1 to 10, it gets a 6 so I will not be buying it. I don't think Logan would want it on DVD either.

Okay, now it is time for the announcement of the 13th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club.

The heroes, villains, and monsters portrayed in such popular science fiction TV series as "Heroes", "Lost", "Battlestar Galactica", "Caprica", "Doctor Who", and "Torchwood", as well as Joss Whedon's many series, illustrate a shift from traditional, clearly defined characterizations toward much murkier definitions. In these series, traditional heroes give way to "gray" heroes who must become more like the villains or monsters that they face if they are going to successfully save society. This book examines these somewhat ambiguous heroes and villains, focusing on these characters' different perspectives on morality and their roles within society. One appendix includes production details for each series, descriptions and summaries of pivotal episodes, and a list of selected texts for classroom use. Lynnette Porter will be a guest on the Phil sometime in January and her book is available right now on

Okay, the last guest of the year is the lead singer for the Texas based band August 83 whose new album "Music For Bedrooms" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Linda Lambert.

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

Linda: Hi, Jason, thanks for the invterview. I'm doing great, feeling really happy and accomplished with our CD.

Me: Tish Meeks from 3 Kisses introduced me to you. How long have you know Tish? Have you guys ever did a gig together?

Linda: We've known Tish almost three years and we've played several shows together. We met through GoGirlsMusic and have played several showcases together. We have a blast. Tish is great and very inspirational.

Me: I purchased August 83's new album off from iTunes and like it, especially the cover of The Pretender's "Brass In Pocket". I always loved that song. What made you record that one cover?

Linda: We've been performing "Brass in Pocket" live for about 10 years and we've always recevied a great reception for the song. It was one of my favorites and it has a timeless quality. I think it translates well to today's pop music.

Me: Have you heard back from Chrissie Hynde about it? You need to send her a copy.

Linda: We haven't heard from Chrissie. Of course we obtained permission to record and distribute the song and wondered if should would like our take on it. She's an awesome musician and has had a great career. We'd love to send her a copy.

Me: August 83 started off as a cover band, right? When did you start to write your own music and songs?

Linda: Our cover band is called Spare Parts and we've been playing cover music for over 15 years. We got involved in a networking group for independent musicians called in 2008 and quickly noticed we were one of the few members without original songs. We got busy and started writing, and found that the audience for our covers was equally receptive to the originals we were writing. That gave us the inspiration to complete the project and start playing showcases. We felt like we needed to use a diffferent name for our original music so August 83 was born.

Me: You covered some good musicians and bands. Elton John, Sheryl Crow, The Pretenders... but Toto? Whose choice was that?! Toto?! LOL. What about covering Foghat?

Linda: (Laughing) Don’t be hatin’ Toto. My husband Mike is a huge Steve Lukather/Toto fan, so his writing style is influenced by their music. BTW, he's also a huge Foghat fan. He plays in another cover band and they do a great cover of "I Just Wanna Make Love To You". "Fool for The City" or “Third Time Lucky” would be a great Foghat songs for us to cover. We should probably put them on our list of songs to learn.

Me: Let's talk about the band, Linda. Tell the Phile readers what the meaning of the band name is. I think it's cool how you guys came up with it. If my wife and I had a band and used the same date it'll be October 97.

Linda: August 83 is the month and year Mike and I were married. We wanted a name that would mean something to us and would be unique. Mike and I met in high school and fell in love in choir. August 83 was the beginning of our married journey in life together and music has been a big part of that journey. The guys in the band liked the name too.

Me: Apart from your husband, who else is in the band with you guys?

Linda: Marco Yepez plays bass for us and has been in the band for 11 years. Dale Bankston, drums and Dan Carpenter (Sax) have been with the band for 2.5 years and Jeff Ball, Keyboards joined the band in June. We have great musical chemistry and are all friends.

Me: Like I said, I purchased the album "Music From Bedroom" off from iTunes. What does the title of the album mean? And who did the album cover? I kinda like it. I was surprised you didn't put a picture of the band on the front cover, Linda.

Linda: We wrote, practiced and recorded our rough demo tracks in extra bedrooms so jokingly we started calling it that and it just stuck also alot happens in the bedroom in real life and our songs reflect life so it was fitting. The cover art work was painted by a good friend of ours, artist, musician and worship leader Kevin Gallemore. The cover painting looks out of a window to a mural on a wall outside, the inside sleeve shows the band standing in front of the mural so if you buy the physical CD, you'll get our picture.

Me: Linda, you took part in something called Houston Pride Idol. What was that and how well did you do? Are you an "American Idol" fan?

Linda: Houston Pride Idol is a singing competition sponsored by Pride Houston. Hundreds of people audition every year and I was selected as a top 10 finalist. It was alot of fun and a great experience even though I didn't win. I am a huge fan of "American Idol" and it was great to be a finalist and see what the judges had to say. "American idol" has an age limit so it was a fun way for me to live out my "American Idol" fantasy.

Me: And I like it you sing for the CyFair Christian Church. Have you done that for a while?

Linda: Mike and I joined CFCC in 2007 and it felt like home. We have a great music ministry and we became a part of the worship team in 2008. Dale and Jeff also play with the music ministry. Our song "Lovin' Things" was actually inspired by a sermon that taked about how life can become so materialistic and how we love things and use people when we should use things and love people. It really hit home and the song was born.

Me: Okay, what's next for the band? Any videos or new music you are working on? Are you planning on touring? If so, come to Florida.

Linda: Yes, we are working on new music and hopefully a video for "Lovin' Things" will be coming soon. Everyone has day jobs so if we tour, it would be weekend jaunts and if the opportunity presented itself, Florida would be awesome. We have a few new songs that are in various stages of completion, including one in a "Kashmir"-like vein - very Moroccan and ethereal. We want to get these tunes finished to debut at SXSW in mid-march 2011

Me: Linda, I wish you a lot of luck with everything. You are welcome back to the Phile when your next project comes out. Go ahead and mention your website, Linda. I have one last question... TOTO?!

Linda: How can you not like "Rosanna"? Thanks, Jason, it was an honor to be interviewed by you! Hopefully this will be the first of many more original projects. Our website is

Well, that about does it for another entry and for another great year of the Phile. The Phile will be back next Thursday with a special Phith Anniversary Entry which will have a new look and and a brand new logo. There will be tons of guests as some of my favorite and your favorite past guests will get to ask me a question. I will also have a special Top ten List and a few other things. Thanks to Linda Lambert for a great interview this week, and to you, the phaithful reader. Like I said, the Phile will have a special entry next Thursday. Until then, have a safe new year's, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Peverett Phile Christmas 2 Pheaturing Peace Ike From The Peace Project

Hello, happy holidays, season's greetings, welcome to A Peverett Phile Christmas 2. How are you? Christmas is only 4 days away, but there’s still time for last minute shopping. Four days isn’t really “last minute.” Not as many companies are having holiday parties this year. A lot of companies can’t afford enough toner for employees to drunkenly Xerox their butts. My new area at Disney World is not having a Christmas party. That does it, I am going back to Epcot. It’s perfectly fine to get a co-worker a gift certificate for a full-body massage. It’s not OK to start giving them one. Ninety-nine percent of the eggnog purchased all year is purchased during the week before Christmas. And 99 percent of that eggnog is poured down the drain during the week after Christmas. Nog is short for No One is Going to drink it. In Abu Dhabi, there’s an $11 million Christmas tree. The prime minister of Abu Dhabi said he hoped the tree would be a symbol that Abu Dhabi has a lot more money than us. And that we’re paying far too much for gas. The Obamas had their dog, Bo, sign their Christmas card this year with a paw print. But Bo only agreed to do it after Obama agreed to extend the Bush-era treats policy. Several TSA officers have formed a holiday choir at the Los Angeles International Airport. Which, of course, answers the question: How can going through airport security possibly get any worse? Last Saturday we had our Peverett Christmas party at the house and I couldn't believe who one of the guests we had was. Check it out.

I was like, "Whoa, who is the new chick?" I have to apologize about something. Last week at the end of the entry as always I posted a drawing. It was of Santa holding his belly and it said "Don't Stop Believin'". Well, apparently in last year's Peverett Phile Christmas entry I posted the same picture. I went back through the archives and checked it out. I did. So, here is the picture I should of posted last week.

There, you happy now, eagle eye reader? Readers of the Phile know I love inspirational posters, right? Well, I looked every where for a Christmas themed one and finally found it.

I was out shopping the other day and I noticed a few fails while I was out. Just in time for the Christmas entry. Take a look, kids.

And if you think that's bad?

Someone is happy that it's Christmas. Okay, let's take a break from this Christmasy type stuff. It's time for...

Captain Beefheart
January 15, 1941 - December 17, 2010
He authored legendary titles like "Making Love to a Vampire" with a "Monkey on My Knee", "'81' Poop Hatch" and "When I See Mommy I Feel Like a Mummy". I miss him already.
Blake Edwards
July 26, 1922 - December 16, 2010
Bearded Walks. Bakers Dawdle. A Braked Welds. Sometimes when I can't think of anything funny to say, I just come up with anagrams for the dead guys name. Bad Walks Deer. Dead Bark Slew. This is one of those times.

And now, from the home office in the North Pole. That's really stupid. There's no home office in the North Pole. Anyway, here is...

Top Ten Little-Known Facts About Santa Claus
10. Real name: Saul Claustein.
9. Has over 1,000 arrests for breaking and entering.
8. Thinks it's funny to answer misdirected fan mail for Carlos Santana.
7. Moved to the North Pole when he got a low draft number.
6. This year, not down the chimney... it's out of the closet!
5. His guilty pleasure: reindeer burgers.
4. Met Mrs. Claus when she was a North Pole dancer.
3. Skips Alaska, for fear of Sarah Palin shooting his reindeer.
2. Naughty and nice list provided by Julian Assange.
And the number one little-known fact about Santa...
1. Money's tight; that's actually him at the mall.

Today's guest is the lead singer from the Pittsburgh based band The Peace Project whose new album "The Peace Project" is now available on iTunes. She is also a sister to the Phile Alumni Joy Ike. Please welcome to the Phile... Peace Ike.

Me: Hello, Peace, welcome to the Phile. So, did your sister say anything good about me?

Peace: Haha, well... she made me swear not to tell!

Me: Your sister Joy has been on the Phile twice, Peace. I think it's so cool that your names are Peace and Joy. Your parents are cool to name you kids that. Are there anymore siblings?

Peace: Yup, we have a brother named Victor.

Me: Man, Victor got screwed when it came to the name thing.

Peace: Hehe, yea people think he got the short end of the "cool name" stick. But in actuality, his name holds the same significance as the word "Victory", which I think is just as cool.

Me: Your sister is a solo act, but you chose to have a band... The Peace Project, which is a great name. what made you go the band route instead of the solo route?

Peace: I actually started off as a solo performer, but I just wasn’t able to do my music justice. My music demands a bigger sound than I can deliver alone on the keys. The full band really fills it out.

Me: Speaking of your band, who is in it with you?

Peace: Well, I just relocated to Philadelphia, so right now I’m rebuilding the band from the ground up. But while I was still living in Pittsburgh my saxophonist was Langston Kelly, my bass player was Tony Thomas, my guitarist rotated between Jason Rafalak and James Graff, and my drummer rotated between Peter Jackson and Eric Downs. I still play with these guys when I come home to Pittsburgh

Me: Do you and Joy ever write together or have you two ever performed together?

Peace: No, we never write together. In fact, we have such different writing and playing styles that I’m not so sure it would work. But being that I drummed for joy for many years, we’ve performed together many times.

Me: You two must really support each other, but do you ever criticize each other's work?
Haha, all the time. I’m probably a little guiltier of this than Joy. But I think we’re helpful to each other’s creative process. It’s nice to know that you have someone who will always be 100% honest with you.

Peace: You two have so much talent, you are like the Pa. music version of the Williams' sisters. Has anybody ever compared you two?

Me: Back in the day, there used to be a local hot dog vendor who would call us Venus and Serena. I used to ignore him.

Me: Let's talk about your self-titled album "The Peace Project" which I purchased from iTunes. It's really good and very soulful. How long did it take to record and did you write all the songs?

Peace: Thank you! I finished the project in about 4 months, which isn’t long for a short-length album. Looking back, I think I would have taken a little longer and made a few changes. But I’m still happy with it. And yes, I wrote all of the songs on the album.

Me: Are you planning a follow up?

Peace: For sure, but only time will tell.

Me: Okay, Peace, Joy introduced me to Tiffany Thompson. You have to recommend who I can interview. Any ideas?

Peace: I highly suggest that you chat with my friend and talented MC, Marcus Hill a.k.a. MH the Verb. He’s a Pittsburgh native who recently relocated to Philadelphia as well, and he’s got a passion for reaching people through his creative lyric.

Me: Peace, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want to.

Peace: Thanks, Jason. Definitely. People can visit my website,, if they’d like more information. Also, if people have not yet secured the new album, they can do so at

Me: I wish you all the luck in the world and tell Joy hello. Take care, peace, and thanks again. Merry Christmas.

Peace: Thank you, Jason. You too!

There, that about does it for this Christmas themed entry. Thanks to Peace Ike for a wonderful interview, and for you to read the blog. I don't know what my days off are going to be next week, but let's plan for Thursday for the next entry. It'll be the last entry of the year obviously and I will announce the 13th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club as well have two movie reviews: Tron: Legacy and Yogi Bear. Oh, and next week's guest will be Linda Lambert, lead singer of the band August 83. And then the following week is the special 5th anniversary entry of the Phile. More on that later. Have a great Christmas, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pheaturing Jon Tiven

I really can't stay, (but baby it's cold outside), I've got to go away, (but baby it's cold outside). Hey there, welcome to the Peverett Phile, I am your host, Jason 'True Git' Peverett. How are you? I am freezing, thanks for asking. Have you guys seen the new Pirates movie trailer yet? I won't be in it. Speaking of movies, yesterday we went to see the new Narnia movie and the whole time I am waiting for this chick name Dawn Treader to be in it, and Dawn Treader turns out to be a boat. Don't I feel stupid. Johnny Depp recently said he’s very anti-Hollywood. He said it from his trailer on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean 4. A video has surfaced of Miley Cyrus smoking out of a bong. She’s no longer Hannah Montana. She’s now known as “Hannah Marijuana.” When Miley Cyrus’ dad, Billy Ray, found out that his daughter was taking drugs, he kicked her out of the house — until he realized she owns it. A lot of people are upset, but she only had one hit — just like her dad. She was smoking salvia, which can cause hallucinations, such as thinking the girl videotaping you is your friend. Man, those Disney children... Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have broken up. Where do you go after dating such a pretty girl? That’s a question Vanessa Hudgens will have to answer. A new food bill has been signed into law. It’s part of our war against donuts. If we’re not vigilant, the donuts will win. After signing the law, President Obama said our government shows it is serious about setting a good example for children’s health. Then he went outside to smoke a cigarette. Hey, sports fans, The Vikings-Giants game was moved because the Metrodome’s roof caved in under the weight of snow. It’s not very often that you see weather affect a game that’s inside a dome. That’s why mom always said not to build your stadium roof out of plastic wrap. The Golden Globe nominations were just announced. It’s the best award money can buy. The Golden Globes are voted on by foreign journalists. In a spectacular display of understanding the business, they have nominated the movie The Tourist for best musical or comedy. Slight technical problem: It’s not a musical or a comedy. The new Michael Jackson album is out in the record stores. When I heard that, I said, “There are still record stores?” I’m not exposed to much music these days because I don’t listen to the radio while driving. It distracts me from texting. Like I said, it is so cold here in Florida right now. How cold is it? well, our house turned into ice. Take a look.

By the way, that's myself standing in front of it. LOL. The cold almost turned our grass into blue carpet apparently. And blacked out everything else. Did you guys see who won TIME's person of the year? I didn't until I saw this poster.

I look forward every year to see what holiday season Coca-Cola ad will be released. I was very surprised to see this year's ad.

And now for some really sad news.

Bob Feller
November 3, 1918 - December 15, 2010
One dead feller.
Elizabeth Edwards
July 3, 1949 - December 7, 2010
Pretty sure she wouldn't have lasted this long without the support of her husband.

The older Pevensie siblings are busy with less fantastical pursuits this time around, so it's up to the younger Lucy and Edmund to go adventuring through Narnia with their obnoxious cousin Eustace. They meet up with Caspian, now the King, on his ship The Dawn Treader and they travel from island to island on a quest to rid Narnia of a curse coming from the "Dark Isle." And for the record, all comparisons to Homer's Odyssey with the added features of a can-do talking mouse and a Jesus-figure lion have already been made. And if you haven't seen the last two movies you have to go back to the beginning before buying a ticket to this one or you won't know what they're all going on about. So, Disney should have really held out for this third installment. It's their own fault Prince Caspian was mostly dull anyway. Of course, they might have made this one boring, too, so maybe it's a good thing in the long run that they abandoned ship. Anyway, this is the shortest (just under two hours long) and the fastest-moving of the franchise so far. And that's good news for people who want to like these movies more than they do but can't quite get over how the period details also seem to sometimes dictate a thick, starchy, pudding-like quality to the storytelling. Maybe it's the heavy moral that always seems to be lying in wait. Maybe it's just that these kids aren't as cool and modern or as magical as the Potter tribe. Whatever it is, it's what's probably going to make the difference between a movie that's loved for generations by millions and one that's just going generate millions of dollars of "like well enough" feeling on opening weekend. Will Poulter, from Son of Rambow, plays the kind of horrible child that you love to hate in movies but would never want to be near in real life, and he goes for it in a completely unselfconscious way that's in contrast to the quickly-growing-up Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes, both of whom have entered that part of adolescence where you second-guess everything you do. It shows here a little too much, but they'll grow out of it. I've been taken to task lately by cool people for liking Aslan so much. But I do. I like it when he shows up. I like it when the movie comes to a thudding halt as he Liam Neeson-voices his moralistic wisdom. I like that he's supposed to be Jesus. Because when else do you get the nice gentle Jesus in movies? He's either being brutalized by Mel Gibson or ironically goofed on or used as some sort of twisted exorcism trick everywhere else. This is straight up be-brave-and-good Jesus. What's to dislike? Oh yeah, and SWINTON. She's always perfect, too. From 1 to 10, it gets a 10, and yes, I will be buying it.

Okay, today's guest is a composer, guitarist and record producer. He has produced albums by Wilson Pickett, Frank Black and Don Covay as well as a series of tribute albums paying tribute to the songwriting of Don Covay, Arthur Alexander, Otis Blackwell, Curtis Mayfield, Van Morrison and Graham parker. He was also a really good friend of my dad's so it's a pleasure to welcome to the Phile... Jon Tiven.

Me: Hello, Jon, welcome to the Phile. How are you? And how is your wife Sally?

Jon: We're good thanks, a little chilly...

Me: Thanks for taking part with this, sir. I have to ask you about my dad before I ask you anything else. When did you first meet him, when was the last time you got to speak to him and where were you when you found out he passed away?

Jon: We first met in London at Trident studios when they were recording "Rock & Roll"----the song "Home In My Heart" actually. We last spoke when I lived in NYC, and I think I was in Nashville when I heard.

Me: Jon, where do you live now, and where are you from originally?

Jon: I live in Nashville, but for many years I was in NY (1975-2002). Before that, Conn. & Memphis inbetween.

Me: You have worked on many tribute albums, right? One for Arthur Alexander and one for Otis Blackwell that I know of. How do you go about and getting the bands to perform on those albums? Do you pick what they'll perform or do you?

Jon: I just put together my want list and see who comes. I also did ones for Don Covay, Curtis Mayfield, Phil Spector, Van Morrison and Graham Parker.

Me: Maybe one day we can work on a Lonesome Dave tribute album?

Jon: If you put it together I'll help, but I'm trying to stay out of the tribute business.

Me: What did you start doing first, writing, performing or producing? You used to write for Rolling Stone magazine I think.

Jon: I was a musician first, when I was 11 I started writing for sci-fi fanzines, then at 12 I started my own rock fanzine and by the time I was 15-16 most of the current pro zines wanted me to write for them. When I was 20 I started to make records, but I had been demoing for many years.

Me: You mostly play guitar, but do you play any other instruments? What was the first you learnt?

Jon: First piano, then drums, then sax. At age 15 I got hit in the mouth with a baseball bat (I was catcher) and became a guitarist.

Me: Who was the first artist you produced?

Jon: Alex Chilton, 1975.

Me: And how was that?

Jon: Painful.

Me: Where did you learn to produce?

Jon: I learned by trial and error, then by watching Andrew Loog Oldham.

Me: I vaguely remember my dad said you were in a movie with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, but don't think it was The Blues Brothers? Do I have my facts screwed up?

Jon: Yes, I was in One More Saturday Night and the exec producer was Dan. I was John's guitar teacher as well.

Me: You have written a lot of songs for other artists, Jon. What was your favorite song you wrote that someone else recorded? I know you wrote a song called "Inside Information" for my dad which we will one day release, but did you write any other songs you tried shopping to him?

Jon: I'm pretty partial to "He Don't Know" recorded by Huey Lewis & the News, Robert Cray, Otis Clay, and my own band. But all of my songs that have been recorded are my children, I can't show preference.

Me: Going through your discography, I am guessing you are a big fan of Stax records. Am I right?

Jon: Yes, and I was signed to their publishing company in 1975.

Me: Let's talk about The Jon Tiven Group. Is that outfit still together and who was in it with you? Sally played bass, right?

Jon: It's a defunct unit, we had a singer and a drummer as well. I still have my working units, but we don't go out under my name.

Me: There's an actor named Creed Bratton from "The Office" who I am trying to interview, but I think he has a CD that you produced... am I getting my info screwed up again?

Jon: No, you are correct, Creed is great and the record we did is awesome.

Me: What are the latest projects you are working on?

Jon: I have written three OPeras, I'm just finishing producing the first one, I SOLD OUT right now.

Me: Tell me about Jon Tiven & The Nashville Aces. Is that another band that you put together? Who does it involve?

Jon: That was sort of a coming together of my greatest demos and new tracks that I cut. It's not a real band, per se.

Me: Jon, can you think of any of your friends in the business who might be interested in being interviewed for the Phile?

Jon: Not offhand, but I'll give it a think. Kim Simmonds, maybe.

Me: Is there anything you are working on, or have worked on, that you wanna plug? Is there a website or two a Phile reader can check out?


Me: My dad always talked highly of you, sir, and it is a pleasure to interview you. Hope we can meet one day, and maybe work together. All the best, sir. And thanks again.

Jon: My pleasure, thanks.

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. The Phile will be back next Tuesday I think with A Peverett Phile Christmas 2 and the guest will be Peace Ike from band The Peace Project. Thanks for reading. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pheaturing Jonathan Bender

Hello, how are you? Welcome to the Phile, I am your host, Captain Jackass. So many people (let's pretend) asked me where I am going to be working at the Magic Kingdom but Disney doesn't want me to say. So, are you ready for a Swashbuckling ride through the Spanish Main? Hey, it’s a great day of you’re a nutcase loner. The Unabomber’s house in Lincoln, Montana is up for sale. How's the weather where you are? It's cold here in Florida. It’s so cold in that travelers are requesting seconds on TSA pat-downs just to stay warm. Cold weather can cause fights over control of the thermostat. I like to keep the house cool, at 65 degrees, but my wife likes to keep it at 70 degrees. So we compromise — and keep it at 70 degrees. Oprah made her final book club selection before her show ends. After this year, she’s sworn never to read again. Me, I have a book club but I never read the books. Just kidding, Jonathan Bender.
Oprah was honored at the Kennedy Center, along with Paul McCartney. McCartney brought us Sgt. Pepper, and Oprah brought us Dr. Phil. So, I was thinking about Sarah Palin the other day. Between the made-up words and wildly shooting at anything with four legs, Sarah Palin is turning into Elmer Fudd. Speaking of Palin, I posted an interview request on her Facebook asking if she would want to be interviewed for the Phile. So, I recommend everybody post on her page that she should be interviewed here. WikiLeaks head Julian Assange says that if arrested, he will release secret documents, including information on UFOs. Arrest him, I want to see those documents. Oh, I just read he was arrested. He said he’s going to release damaging files on BP and Guantanamo Bay if his website is shut down. Excuse me? No one besmirches the good names of BP and Guantanamo Bay. Here's some news from a Nation of Shopkeepers: A scientist in the U.K. has figured out that April 11, 1954 was the most boring day in history. Which is why I’ve started calling “Skating With The Stars” the “April 11, 1954 of TV shows.” Apple is working on new 3-D technology that can be seen without special glasses. But it’s not ready yet, so if you want to experience 3-D without having to wear 3-D glasses, go outside and look at something. A new study found that good-looking people are more likely to have daughters than sons. And ugly people are more likely to have cats. Okay, today's guest you might know has written a book about LEGO's. Logan and myself are really into LEGO's so we are always out looking for new LEGO sets. And I can't help to think there's more and more original sets coming out. Take a look at this set.

And I couldn't believe it when I found a LEGO inspirational poster.

Don Meredith
April 10, 1938 - December 5, 2010
Turn out the lights.

Ron Santo
February 25, 1940 - December 3, 2010
A baseball player, not in the Hall of Fame, with no scandals who had both his legs amputated thanks to diabetes, THIS is why someone ELSE should make up the Obits.

Today's guest is a freelance writer who writes features for newspapers and magazines. His first book, "LEGO: A Love Story", is the 11th Peverett Phile Book Club Book to be pheatured. Please welcome to the Phile... Jonathan Bender.

Me: Hello, Jonathan, welcome to the Phile. Thanks for letting your book "LEGO: A Love Story" to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. It is the 11th book to be pheatured. So, how are you?

Jonathan: I'm doing great. Still busy with book promotion and wishing I had more time to build with LEGO bricks.

Me: Did you know there's a basketball player with the same name as you? I wonder if he likes LEGO's.

Jonathan: I do. He was entering the NBA draft when I was graduating from college. I thought about submitting my name in the hopes that I'd get called to the stage at Madison Square Garden. There's just not much call for a 5'3'' point guard these days.

Me: When did you start to write the book, Jonathan, and what made you want to write it? Is it something you have thought of doing for a long time?

Jonathan: I began researching the book in February of 2008. I had dreamed of being a LEGO Master Model Builder when I was a kid, so the idea of immersing myself in the world of talented builders as an adult journalist allowed me to return to that childhood dream.

Me: How old were you when you first got your first LEGO set and what was the last set you bought? I loved LEGO's when I was a kid and my son Logan is a LEGO nut! Do you have any kids who are into LEGO's as well?

Jonathan: I got my first LEGO set at the age of six -- it was just a box of blue and red assorted bricks and slopes. The last set I bought was Robo Attack [], I'm saving my money for a Christmas binge. I'm glad that you and your son can share a love of LEGO, I'm working on my 14-month-old daughter. She's just starting to get into DUPLO.

Me: Back when we were kids they didn't have themed sets like they do now. Now there's Toy Story, Spongebob, Star Wars and others created by LEGO. Do you like the new themed ones or the generic type when you can build what you create.

Jonathan: I like both. I think the minifigures are great in the new licensed sets. The bricks all ends up in a great big box no matter which sets you buy, so I don't believe it limits your creativity.

Me: Logan is into Bionicle, but I don't consider them to be real LEGO's. What is your take?

Jonathan: Bionicle is a product made by LEGO. It's a different building system, but you can find really interesting uses for the parts. It's definitely "real LEGO."

Me: He is also into customizing his figures, which I don't like. Do you do a lot of customizing yourself?

Jonathan: I've only customized one minifig and I still feel a little guilty (and proud). I'd like to do more customizing, I'm just not sure I'm artistic enough to pull it off without destroying a bunch of innocent minifigs.

Me: You've been to LEGOland in California, right? We went there a few years ago and really liked it. We are excited they are building one here in Central Florida. I have worked for Disney for 22 years and I am thinking of going to Legoland to work. What do you think of the park in California, and what do you know of this new park?

Jonathan: I think the park in California is great fun. Miniland is easily my favorite part of the park, I literally spent hours there admiring the scale buildings and looking at all of the tiny jokes hidden among the city scenes. As for the park in Florida, I know it's expected to open next year and I suspect I'll have to engineer a family vacation there.

Me: Have you seen the new LEGO store in New York City?

Jonathan: Not in person, but I should be in New York City next month and it's tops on my list.

Me: Let's go back to your book. I noticed it first when I saw the cover, which is very cool. Did you come up with the concept and design it yourself?

Jonathan: My publisher, John Wiley & Sons, worked with LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya to design the concept. I was really happy with what they created. I think it's a wonderful representation of how anything is possible with LEGO bricks. Nathan is really talented and I was glad that he was able to work on the cover.

Me: In your book you tell of how you went to the LEGO headquarters. Where was that and tell the readers of the Phile how you were invited. Did you get to take anything home with you?

Jonathan: The headquarters are located in Billund, Denmark. I actually sent a request to LEGO to visit after meeting one of their community relations team at an adult fan convention in Chicago. Thankfully, they said yes. I got a minifig fresh off the factory floor and a Castle set.

Me: I have been to various comic book conventions and saw some LEGO displays here in Orlando. You do a lot of conventions, right? Ever been to MegaCon?

Jonathan: I've been to a number of LEGO conventions and each has an incredible variety of LEGO sculptures, art and buildings. I haven't been to MegaCon, but I do think it would be fun.

Me: What is the largest and smallest thing you have ever built?

Jonathan: The smallest thing I've built is a series of tiny cars, each are probably eight to 10 bricks total. Tiny dump trucks and pick-ups. The largest is a black and white mosaic of my wife and I that is 96 x 96 studs wide and high.

Me: Why do you think lego is still popular after all these years? Do you think it's because of the video games and such LEGO has put out? It's crazy, they just don't make bricks anymore.

Jonathan: I think they've done a good job of straddling the digital divide, appealing to a new generation of kids while still remaining true to the principles of creativity and imagination that have always defined the company.

Me: That LEGO Rock Band game is cool, isn't it?

Jonathan: It certainly is cool. Minifigs are just fun to manipulate.

Me: Jonathan, you are a freelance journalist and you have your own blogspot, right? How did you get to become a freelance journalist? That's what I wanted to be when I grew up. Where can a Phile reader read your work?

Jonathan: Correct on both accounts. I began freelancing for a newspaper just outside Boston. After that, I was hired on as a staff writer. Two moves later (Brooklyn and Kansas City), I've built up a network of editorial contacts of people that I can pitch stories. The easiest place you can find my work online is the food blogging I do for an alt weekly here in Kansas City:

Me: Jonathan, thanks for doing this interview, sir. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want. All the best, and let's go to LEGOland when it opens. Whatcha say?

Jonathan: Well, I hope people enjoy the book. My writing Web site is I have a blog for the book at As for LEGOland in Florida, it's a play date.

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jonathan for a terrific interview. Go buy his book. The Phile will be back next Thursday (thanks to my training schedule) with producer, songwriter, musician, Jon Tiven. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Post on Sarah Palin's wall she needs to be on the Phile. Bye, love you, bye.