THIS IS NOT A TEST
THIS IS NOT A TEST is Joshua Tree, California author and musician Michael Jerome Phillips talking about books, music, movies, art, culture, and truth.
info_outline Boys Names That Start With the Letter M 06/07/2020
Boys Names That Start With the Letter M What's in a name? Everything, apparently. Let's talk about names. And maybe accidentally touch on Google, bread lines, band flyers, getting married and losing your identity, inventing names, self-fulfilling prophecies, a heart surgeon named Becky, serial killers, recording studios, videos, Led Zeppelin, Dynasty hairdos, Target smocks, Devo, subversion, eating on $2 a day, cages, Sonny and Cher, and dog bites.
info_outline Dropping Propaganda From My Helicopter in the Sky 05/04/2020
Dropping Propaganda From My Helicopter in the Sky Spring brings the Western Tanager, Earth Day, The Flintstones, Vietnam, food from the future, whales, protest, unenlightenment, the tools of oppression, laws, tribes, DNA, COVID, the great Liberal machine, foxes, lizards, cocktails, misdirection, the CDC, guano, mankind, newspuppets, the solution to everything, Girl Scout cookies, the pendulum, chipmunks, pretty shoes, Questlove, Santana, the Monkees, and coyotes.
info_outline I Got No Friends 'Cause They Read the Papers 04/05/2020
I Got No Friends 'Cause They Read the Papers It's springtime, so let's talk about...COVID? That discussion is unavoidable, yes, but don't forget about jackrabbits, owls, coyotes, hazmat, malaria medicine, sensitivity, self-fulfilling prophesy, mascara, gourds, bunkers, Coven, Bob Marley, Aussie twats, an abundance of caution, social distancing, paid vacations, ramen noodles, toilet paper, Instagram, water, karaoke, skin, national parks, desert tortoises, ravens, garbage, grapes, Los Angeles, the death of ideological conservatism, Quaking Aspen, selling your soul, The Day The Earth Stood Still, bullets, President Clinton the second, wigs, and one love.
info_outline SCIENTISTS VERIFY THAT WORLDWIDE CORONAVIRUS HYSTERIA IS COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED! ALL WILL DIE! REPEAT: ALL WILL DIE! LISTEN NOW TO LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE! 03/09/2020
SCIENTISTS VERIFY THAT WORLDWIDE CORONAVIRUS HYSTERIA IS COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED! ALL WILL DIE! REPEAT: ALL WILL DIE! LISTEN NOW TO LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE! Terrified of catching a cold? Don't be, I've got you covered. Calm yourself by listening to my reassuring voice lulling you into an alpha wave-rich state of near catatonia by talking about hawks, burritos, cruise ships, toilet paper, Ira Glass, Portlandia, the death of half of the human race, super Tuesday, civil war, collapsed roofs, machines in the garage, politics and humanity, idiots, SEO, more idiots, writing for an audience of noodles, rules, rules, and more rules, some more idiots, removing the hair from around your nipples - wait, I didn't talk about that, I was just thinking about it - college professors, Google, content, deplorables, cookies, complaining, cereal boxes, and a public service announcement.
info_outline Go Fly a Kite and Other Mild Insults 02/01/2020
Go Fly a Kite and Other Mild Insults Hi, remember me? I thought you might like to talk about dogs, jobs, moms, flying kites and Jolly Rogers, sleeping on pool tables, corn, Mai Tais with Buddha, white Christmas, metadata, Showtime at The Apollo, which Sex in the City character are you?, getting old, Christmas music, Van Morrison, The Wailers, fistfights, puppetheads, Joe Strummer, particles, white people, Survivor, Trevy, patois, Rastafari, appreciation vs. appropriation, Cross Colours jackets, why you should stop telling people you're a DJ, and propane in the membrane.
info_outline Come Fly With Me 09/07/2019
Come Fly With Me Let's talk about air travel, airplanes, and people, and maybe also the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, Palm Springs in the summer, LAX, a deep, hacking, ugly cough, Pringles, pretzels, vodka, pasta salad, La-Z-Boys, Mountain Dew, nuns, flowy peasant blouses, iPods, Tunis Air, half-price fajita night, tuberculosis, and the joys of a good mani/pedi.
info_outline Life Must Be Somewhere to Be Found 08/04/2019
Life Must Be Somewhere to Be Found Allow me to regale you with more tales of packing up and moving, the Kingdom of Nye, the end of the road, Los Angeles, the high desert, America's Next Top Model, the 60 freeway, LAX, the Milky Way, leaf blowers, Bedouins, mountain biking, Germans, landlords, cucumber water, and how Instagram is destroying the National Parks. If that's not enough, I don't know what to tell you.
info_outline You Can't Always Get What You Want 06/02/2019
You Can't Always Get What You Want Hi. I've always been honest with you, except when I'm lying, so I have to say that I recorded this episode and put it on the shelf because I didn't think it was good enough. "Good enough" being a subjective term, of course. But as it happens, I'm packing to move (again), which means there's no time to come up with a replacement. So rather than leave a month-long hole in the schedule, I present you with this not-good-enough episode, where I talk about the death of Google Plus, shortwave radio, and rare books. When I emerge from the move and come up for air, I'll let you know where I am in the world, and I'll hit you with a top-notch, super-interesting, A-1 professional episode. Or just more of the same, that remains to be seen.
info_outline How a Jacket Changed My Life 05/04/2019
How a Jacket Changed My Life This episode starts with a bang and just keeps bangin' 'till the cows come home. LOL! LOL! We will discuss Jah Himself, hippies, Mahtomedi Minnesota, aliens, beaver, curry, secret handshakes, Toughskins, ski jackets, the birth of the puffy jacket and its victims, living in your cousin's basement, the leather store, the perfection of the Schott Perfecto, molesting outerwear, getting the shit kicked out of you, feeling invincible, being invincible, magic, romance, chaos, Sonny Vincent, being twins with your girlfriend, what is cool? osmosis, chaos and upheaval, writing the story that no one else will write.
info_outline Interview with Carol Es: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley 04/06/2019
Interview with Carol Es: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley In this ear-crushing aural assault on the senses, artist and author Carol Es talks to us on the day her debut memoir Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is published. Okay, it's not really an "ear-crushing aural assault on the senses," it's just an interview, but lend a crushed ear to hear about Carol's adventures in writing and publishing a book, as well as her take on how Scientology ultimately affected her approach to the book (probably not in the way you might think), how her friends and family have reacted (before even reading the book), about her upcoming book launch/art show at the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, and how ultimately the truth will always set you free.
info_outline Some Book Reviews and Also the History of the Earth 03/03/2019
Some Book Reviews and Also the History of the Earth Let's talk about the earth, humanity, science and yes, maybe also work in 20 book reviews somehow: "Scar Tissue" by Anthony Kiedis, "Hit So Hard" by Patty Schemel, "Gold Dust Woman" by Stephen Davis, "There's No Bones in Ice Cream" by Sylvain Sylvain, "The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince" by Mayte Garcia, "Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984" by Cyn Collins, "The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll" by Ian Port, "Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet" by Claire Evans, "How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone" by Brian McCullough, "How to Write an Autobiographical Novel," by Alexander Chee, "Choose Your Own Disaster" by Dana Schwartz, "A Farewell to Walmart" by Carly J. Hallman, "The First Bad Man" by Miranda July, "Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons" by George Pendle, "Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address" by Stephen Birmingham, "World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made" by Irving Howe, "Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail" by Ben Montgomery, "On Drinking" by Charles Bukowski, "In Pieces" by Sally Field, and "Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy" by Savannah Knoop. Now take a breath.
info_outline Who sneezed in my arpeggio? 02/03/2019
Who sneezed in my arpeggio? Let's get right to it, shall we? Or rather, let's not get right to it, let's start this one with a poem. Then let's talk about mixtapes, sliders, memories, smells, silence that isn't really silence, limitations, your mother's shoes, tweens, soccer moms, Young Adult fiction, the Sundance film festival, veal, Hindu gods, Springsteen on Broadway, the working man, Sons Of Anarchy, U100, snow globes, Dr. Seuss, SWAT teams, and insurrection.
info_outline Mixed Nuts 01/05/2019
Mixed Nuts Happy new year, here are some mixed nuts. And, since a balanced diet is important, have a little helping of 9/11, Black Lives Matter, trolling the aisles of CVS, the mathematics of grocery shopping, human history, deadly peanut allergies, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Che, Celiac disease, The New England Journal of Medicine, the most kick-ass 70 year old the world has ever seen, unemployment insurance, working at McDonald's, Corrine Burns, and lunatics.
info_outline Rain, Coffee, Facebook, and Conspiracy, Coming Straight at You in Startling New Sensurround 12/02/2018
Rain, Coffee, Facebook, and Conspiracy, Coming Straight at You in Startling New Sensurround It's raining in Los Angeles, so we may as well talk about formative years, Bangladesh, mittens, waterlogged La-Z-Boys, Blue Mountain coffee, English muffins, Bordeaux, procrastination, what it means to be human, Facebook and other modern afflictions, Alex Jones, conspiracy, shirtless weeping, the Roman Empire, truth and science, Jesus himself, Nixon himself, Woodrow Wilson, selling candles door to door, and pear trees.
info_outline You Know, That Stuff Will Kill You 11/03/2018
You Know, That Stuff Will Kill You What is it about beer, or any alcohol, really, that makes us so...I don't know, wonderful? Okay, it doesn't make all of us wonderful, I'll give you that. Some people shouldn't be allowed to drink. I certainly shouldn't have been allowed to drink when I was a young man, but no one stopped me, so some things happened, as they will. Here is the story of one (or two) of those things. Also, don't forget to vote! I'm supposed to say that, right?
info_outline My Bike Trip Across America 10/06/2018
My Bike Trip Across America Join me, won't you, on an action-packed cross country bicycle trip that I undertook a few short decades ago, in the America of the late 1980s. Weren't those glorious times? What with the Cold War, the Reagan presidency gracefully pirouetting into the Bush presidency, Iran-Contra, Oliver North, revered statesman Dan Quayle, precious baby Jessica falling into that darn well, the "War on Drugs," Exxon Valdez, Lyle and Erik Menendez, that kooky Berlin Wall. We'll talk about none of that, but perhaps we'll see what we're made of, all of us. Or, you know, not. Anything can happen.
info_outline Fear and Loathing Beneath a Tranquil Malibu Sunset 09/01/2018
Fear and Loathing Beneath a Tranquil Malibu Sunset And a one and a two and a here we go, off into the wild blue yonder of the Malibu coastline, with wine, exes, freeway traffic, sophistication, $10 couches, real money, dog catchers, Thomas Brothers maps, helicopters, Elizabeth Shue in a leather skirt, bacterial infections, hard boiled eggs, sweat, darkness, garbage, shrubbery, pregnancy, hospitality, Cheech and Chong, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, pop life, and a friendly admonition to keep on truckin'.
info_outline Festering Pools Of Indignation And Blurry Righteousness 08/04/2018
Festering Pools Of Indignation And Blurry Righteousness Okay, this one is all over the place, but that has its own charm, doesn't it? I mean, don't you want to talk about dogs, crushing heat, megastorms, science (and the ignorance thereof), Gwyneth Paltrow, Jesus, geniuses, the home schooled, Lil Wayne, AA meetings, limp escapism, rock stars, resistance, complacency, Sam Kinnison, Roseanne, Woody Allen, Ariana Grande and GG Allin, marching, Anubis, Siddhartha, John Updike, James Baldwin, Frank Herbert, printing presses and Walmart? Sure you do.
info_outline Interview with artist and writer Carol Es 07/07/2018
Interview with artist and writer Carol Es Tune in to our interview with artist and author Carol Es and hear what she has to say about her recently completed memoir, "Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley," and turn on to a strongbox full of gold, Yahweh Ben Yahweh, the Kardashians, hyphens and en dashes, the evils of Scientology, bad luck and stupid mistakes, survival, triumph and getting the first slice of the pie.
info_outline Love is at the root of our resistance 06/02/2018
Love is at the root of our resistance What the hell, let's take a chainsaw to royalty, the desert, aliens with oversized heads, crazy glue, usenet, Airstream trailers, diplomas, fat and lazy cover bands, crushing and demoralizing your enemy, pig flesh, pigskin, loving it or leaving it, Amnesty International, smokescreens and the rise of the machines. We'll talk about 14 of those 15 things, see if you can guess which ones.
info_outline Let us rave today, about things that are raveworthy 05/05/2018
Let us rave today, about things that are raveworthy Here, how about some Jade Bird, some signs of life, some Bob Dylan, some...country music? No. Some Shakespeare, Jimmy Fallon, Arrow de Wilde, cesspools, how art and culture are really life itself, Stephen Hines' "the late season" book, undercurrents and undercutting, Jackson Pollock, Prince, 5 Hour Energy Drink, Western society, Victorian days, Leaving Las Vegas, Oxycodone and Fentanyl lollipops, the devil and the lord, Joe Strummer, male groupies, reminiscing, and sky cars.
info_outline How to hypnotize a lizard 04/07/2018
How to hypnotize a lizard In which and wherein I proceed to speak on subjects as confounding and diverse as particles, time, unemployment, maximizing one's potential, training chickens, meaning and purpose, milk trucks, the pervasive mystery of Atlassian Confluence, rhythm, mojo, management philosophies, buying and selling, Joe Strummer, Lake Woebegone and the End of the Road in Homer Alaska, Craigslist, fear and loathing in the grocery store, yard sales, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, the dark apocalypse, seven-and-a-half billion handbags, and Hootie and the Blowfish.
info_outline What could possibly go wrong? 03/03/2018
What could possibly go wrong? This one may sound a little weird because it's the first episode recorded in the new studio (a.k.a. the spare bedroom of the house we just moved in to). Try to ignore the echo and instead just revel in the hilarity of bronchitis, 768 Kbps Internet, rain on cardboard boxes, hustlers and con artists, Sylvester Stallone and Ariana Grande, landlines, landlords, lunatics, putting an 'i' or an 'e' in front of every name or service in the 90s, Pringles, silence, power outages, gorillas, roller coasters and getting fired from your job.
info_outline You can make a statement, but keep it brief 02/03/2018
You can make a statement, but keep it brief Oh Canada, the San Gabriel Valley, LSD, white bread, the Oscar race (pretty sure he's white - har har), the wonderful and marvelous (and now dead) Joe Frank, the proximity effect, Craigslist again because apparently I'm a masochist, and last but not least on this abbreviated episode for an abbreviated month: how I became a Bitcoin millionaire!
info_outline Walk through Paisley Park, and keep on movin' 01/08/2018
Walk through Paisley Park, and keep on movin' This episode is two days late for reasons which may reveal themselves when you listen. And who wouldn't want to listen to a scintillating discussion about deviled ham, touring Prince's home and recording studio Paisley Park - a cotton candy Barbie dream condo if ever there was one, landlords, looking for a new job, minimalism, money, security as a trap, pots and pans and music, and remaining civilized.
info_outline A Trip to Bukowski’s House 12/02/2017
A Trip to Bukowski’s House Over the river and through the woods, to Bukowski's house we go. This is just me talking about what it was like there, and how I wound up there. It's a brief tale that I thought you'd like to hear. But don't let it inspire you to go to Bukowski's house uninvited. That wouldn't be cool. Don't be that person. In California you can shoot someone through your front door and never see the inside of a police station for doing it, keep that in mind as you go about your day. It's probably a good thing to keep in mind in general, as a rule for a happy life.
info_outline A restless wind inside a letter box 11/04/2017
A restless wind inside a letter box Getting an email from Gene Simmons, why young boys must rock, spending fifty thousand dollars on a collection of outtakes, getting onto a cruise ship with really old rock stars, spending $250 on a collection that is basically The Beatles dicking around for 80 hours while being filmed, Ektachrome 500, the miracle of HAP (again), metadata, When The Saints Go Marching In, tediously listing things like some kind of idiot, Beatle harmonies, the Wailers, little record stores in little lake towns, and a few thousand other words or debatable wisdom.
info_outline If I had a hammer 10/08/2017
If I had a hammer I come fully prepared to talk about supper clubs, The Hat Pack, the futility of it all, professional locksmiths, unprofessional landlords, professional "contractors," ladders, distinctive tape measures, flashlights and sticky fingers, flying buttresses, Appalachia, apes painting window trim, you and your stereo and how great you are, whether or not it's socially acceptable to call someone a mental case, red plastic shopping bags, what a $250,000 house in Los Angeles looks like, shoes dropping, best case scenarios, water water everywhere, Puerto Rico, Dominica, and what the hell is a U.S. territory anyway?
info_outline Everywhere is war 09/02/2017
Everywhere is war We may as well talk about modern day lynch mobs and public shaming, that Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Twitter, getting "good PR" by piggybacking on a tragedy, censorship, Godwin's law, Trump bulldozing people into mass graves, remembering the days of the free exchange of ideas with no governing body, Nazis having trouble finding online homes, riding in shopping carts, the price of freedom, the fact that Scientology is a dangerous and toxic mind control cult, Xenu and body thetans, cute Aryan chicks, realizing that everything you're doing is wrong, squishy dead brain tissue, the Westboro Baptist Church, Jewliciousness, the veins in your forehead bursting, the Civil War solution, Bob Marley, David Letterman and Peter Tosh, war and peace.
info_outline Memoirs, overturned food carts and new stereo gear 08/05/2017
Memoirs, overturned food carts and new stereo gear Amble down the path with me, if you will, toward finishing the writing of books, promoting and getting reviewers to read said books, plastic and metal, pushing birds out of nests, motors with moxie, selling window fans, oral histories, Roger Steffens and Bob Marley, faulty and fragile memories, tipping over a street vendor's cart because you're an asshole, Slash, doxing, lynching and the Sony HAP S1/B as lord and savior.