Before we flew home we stopped at Hershey's Chocolate World and they were selling an inspirational poster. I was so excited. Here it is, kids.
That's a picture that I took in Philly. I couldn't figure out how to get in. By the way, I have to show you this before I continue. Take a look at the bus name in Philly.
I took it from the car so it's a little hard to see, but the name of the bus transportation is Phlash. I loved it they used Ph to start instead of an F. I am not the only idiot that does that. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...
Top Ten Slogans for the Occupy Wall Street Movement
10. "Hell No! Something, Something, Something!"
9. "Down With The Corporations!" -- Tweeted from my iPhone.
8. "Just Like Woodstock, But Without The Music!"
7. "Will Stop Protesting For A Job!"
6. "Why Should Libya, Egypt And Syria Have All The Fun?"
5. "Just Like The Tea Party, Only Younger, Less Grouchy And We Don't Vote!"
4. "Give Us A Hundred Each And We'll Go Home."
3. "We Aren't Just Occupying Wall Street, We're Also In Line For The New iPhone. Multitasking."
2. "Who Better To Tell Us How To Run Our Country Than Those With So Few Personal Responsibilities That They Can Sleep In A Park For A Month?"
And the number one slogan for the Occupy Wall Street Movement...
1. "What Do We Want? We Don't Know! When Do We Want It? Now!"
The sixth artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Jasmine Becket-Griffith and this is one of her pieces of art.
Okay, today's guest is the lead singer for the great band Bravo. Max! whose great new CD "Dog's Light" is now available on iTunes and Amazon. They'll be next appearing at Prophet Bar in Dallas, Texas on November 11th. Please welcome to the Phile... Johnny Beauford.
Johnny: Good, and yourself?
Me: Not bad, even though it's raining. There's no one in the band named Max, am I right? Who is Max, and what did he do to get a bravo?
Johnny: Max is a character in the movie Rushmore by Wes Anderson. We, as a band, love his movie's especially the one with Max in it. Bravo, Max! was inscribed on a typewriter the character used to write plays on in the film. You should watch the movie if you haven't yet. And any by Anderson, for that matter.
Me: I love his movie The Royal Tenenbaum's. Who is in the band, Johnny?
Johnny: Me, my cousin Ben, our producer friend JJ, and the newly weds Bob and Ellie.
Me: Have you known each other for long? You're a very talented bunch of musicians, you know that, right?
Johnny: Some longer than others, but we've been hanging out and playing music for a few years now.
Me: Is there any of you that's in charge of the band, writing the songs and everything, or do you all do equal parts?
Johnny: I write the songs, and then pass them off to cousin Ben to produce a full sound around the frame's I've built.
Me: Let's talk about your fantastic album, "Dog's Light". What does dog's light mean?
Johnny: Dog's Light is like a porch light. The song is about moving on in life while leaving your best wishes behind for the person you are leaving. The dog's light is just the setting for one person leaving a house where the other person must stay behind there.
Me: How did that song get to be the album title?
Johnny: The song turned out to be the kind of song that we re-invented 100 times. Re-working the vibe of the whole thing so many times that we nearly lost faith in what it was in the first place. Eventually, it turned into a song that highlighted every member of the band in a way that we each grew to like very much. As a group, it became our favorite, without question.
Me: Are there any covers on the album? I don't think so, are there?
Johnny: No shout outs on the album, you're right. We thought about adding this tune, "Pump It Up" by Costello, we've played it live for a while now, but we had plenty of originals to pick from in the end, so it wasn't even recorded the week we were in Cotati.
Me: Your music has been described as a few things, like indie folk, country, pop, Americana. But one description I have to ask you about... pirate ship rock. What the hell is pirate ship rock? And who called you that? You are not pirates, right?
Johnny: We are pirates.
Me: Oh, I didn't think pirates had rock bands. How would you guys describe your music?
Johnny: I think of us as fans of music first, so my description always eludes to the people I like the most. My favorite band is Sun Kil Moon, and although you could argue, we sound nothing like Mark Kozlelek, I think his vibe is mixed in with our music for sure. Mellow-dramatic fantasy is a good way to describe his songs, and I just try to live up as a writer to him and some of my other favorite writers.
Me: "Dog's Light" is your debut album, right? Is it your first release or did you have an EP or something out before?
Johnny: We released an EP called "German Chocolate Cake", produced by our drummer and in house producer JJ Jackson. It's got 3 tracks that are also on the album, so we don't push it on people very often, due to repetition.
Me: I am impressed by who you also have as producer. Oz Fritz, who produced Tom Waits and one of my personal favorites, Elvis Costello who you emntioned. How did you get him to produce the album? Did you approach him?
Johnny: We were hooked up with Oz by our then manager Scott Herbert, who had worked with him several times on other projects. He lives within a couple of hours of Cotati, and considers Prairie Sun his home studio, so it all fell into place pretty quickly once we nailed both of those variables down, the studio and producer that is.
Me: How long did the album take to record?
Johnny: We spent 6 days at Prairie Sun, but only 3 of those were used for recording, and really the first half of day one was spent trying to find some 2" tape that hadn't been used. They had their entire staff scrambling to find tape that one of the assistants was supposed to have bought the week before we got there. Oz was pissed.
Me: Is that how Oz usually works? Recording an album real fast?
Johnny: Oz has been in the business for 20 years now, and has worked on so many different projects, I couldn't tell you what his normal routine is at this point. I'd say, in general, it was one of the faster full length albums he's ever helped put together.
Me: The album sounds like it was recorded live, am I right?
Johnny: All tracks were done live, and then some were over dubbed as needed. You can imagine though with less than 30 hours to work with, we didn't spend too much time over working anything.
Me: You guys remind me a little of The Decemberists. Are you fans of said band?
Johnny: Yeah, I've loved them ever since I saw them play ACL back in 2005, I think. The band definitely loves them, we all like "The King is Dead", but I also really like their older stuff on "Picaresque".
Me: Who are your influences?
Johnny: Got to say, I've been digging this band The Greenhorns a lot. I also love Dr. Dog. At the same time I'm always listening to older stuff like Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, etc.
Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Johnny, and I hope you can come back real soon again. Is there a website you wanna plug? Facebook, Twitter?
Johnny: All of our news and show dates are up on our website dogslight.com, would love to have your readers visit and get a copy themselves.
Me: Continued success, you guys are gonna be huge an I hope you will come back to the Phile when your next album comes out. Will you?
Johnny: Would love to, Jason, thanks for having us!
Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Johnny Beauford for a great interview. Bravo, Max! is a really good band, and I really want to hear their version of "Pump It Up" now. The Phile will be back tomorrow, yes, tomorrow with musician Chris Nelson. And then Jasmine Becket-Griffith will be a guest next Tuesday on the Phile. I will be on vacation from work so I will be posting a whole week's worth of entries next week. More on that tomorrow. We were going to Legoland today but with the weather so shitty, I think we'll stay in doors. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.