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THIS IS NOT A TEST - books, music, movies, art, culture and truth

THIS IS NOT A TEST is Los Angeles author and musician Michael Phillips talking about books, music, movies, art, culture and truth.
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THIS IS NOT A TEST - books, music, movies, art, culture and truth
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 19, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year, right? So let's talk about Christmas, the fine family of Unilever companies, year end lists, crying kids and sweaty dads, nostalgia, shoveling brains, the disco 70s, the characters on Mad Men, the old man sitting in the corner, prisons, carnies, dead Blue Whales, paying an extra dime to go behind the curtain, Trilby hats and Presidential bids.

Dec 12, 2015

Let's talk about when it's time to give up. And while we're at it we may as well talk about professional hand models, deep tissue massage, the counterculture, Oprah, the rising tide that raises all boats, how lazy poets are, sure fire money-making schemes, a better way to store sweaters, Sumi-e painting, Japanese hammers, bible class, how GOD HATES FAGS, monkeys disassembling atomic bombs, lord Vishnu, doing nothing, the circle of life, shedding hair, tattoo parlors and even a Chirpwatch update for old time's sake. Now how much would you pay?

Dec 5, 2015

Including thrilling tales of riding bikes up the side of mountains, financing the Napoleonic Wars, "monetizing" every human, sending the nanny to CVS in a chauffeur driven Bentley, Mork from Ork, the last can of beans in Pasadena, mental illness, speaking to the unborn, sashaying in the halls of Congress, marking the passage of time, Pizza Hut, Steely Dan and United States Savings Bonds.

Nov 28, 2015

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Okay, but what do I need to eat to keep the insurance company away? Also, maps, taking a shower, Richie Havens, rabbit holes, incompetent doctors, the condition known as "Heisenblatt shoulder," living on the high side of normal, treadmills, torturing people and measuring how their bodies react, colonoscopies, forgetting how to walk, insurance, insurance and more insurance, magic mathematics, good insurance vs. bad insurance, half a car, the safe in my closet, La-Z-Boy recliners, puritans, Vulcans, Mr. Rogers and Carol Burnett.

Nov 21, 2015

Art vs. commerce - as Bukowski wrote in Barfly, "Ah, the eternal question! The eternal answer? I don't know." But not knowing the answer to a question has never prevented me from doing this before. I'll talk about a lot of other things I don't have any answers for too, like terrorism in Paris, forcing creativity, making things difficult on yourself, compromise, naivete, smog, humans, reading fees, business being business, art galleries, balloon animals, trying not to look foolish, hammer and nails, auction houses, a hundred hipsters sweating, self-preservation, racism, peace, love and more Bukowski.

Nov 14, 2015

We've all done it, bought a song - or an entire album - that we already have. Do you blame technology or marketing? While we ponder that we'll also ponder getting your arm chopped off in big piece of farm equipment, chance, luck, chaos, the Pope, opinions, monkey meat, The Beatles, The Monkees, Victrolas, 8-tracks, leaving your cassettes in a hot car, cynical attempts to separate you from your money, remastering, plastic apples, Blink 182, 180 gram vinyl, Thanksgiving dinner at your parents house, skinny jeans and the shithole that is Stitcher.

Nov 7, 2015

Self-publishing - what is it? Why should you care? Well I don't know, why should you care about anything? But if it doesn't interest you, we also have renovations, elevators and what people write in them, pissing, the possibility of executing certain types of people (not you), housewives and uneducated dandies, being deemed worthy, Thomas Edison, the mimeograph, X-acto knives, The Nincompoop Quarterly, exposure for artists, Kinkos, anarchy, Achilles, amateurs, cream, burritos, lipstick, Amazon (not the river), pundits, gain, loss, Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn, Saturday Night Live and humanity as a whole.

Oct 31, 2015

Rock and roll, who's game is it? I can tell you. And what about Halloween? What's up with that? Plus a love letter to Sonny Vincent, hate mail to prog rock, the joys of mindlessness, paternity suits, being the captain of your own pirate ship, walking a cat on a leash, interesting hats, true believers, flannel shirts, tar kettles, hallucinations, and Twitter. And yes, that is indeed a picture of Sonny wearing his Beatle boots with pajamas. As if to illustrate a point or something.

Oct 24, 2015

The title is a quote from Homer Simpson, but don't we find our truth in our comedy? While we talk about work we'll also gossip about commuting, the skyway system in St. Paul, Bob Marley, counting songs, Greek philosophers, Martin Luther, farming, disease and death, Indians, craftsmen, the rise of the machines, factories, labor unions, computers, small printing shops, accountants, Walmart, pig farms, being a millionaire, meteors, getting a text during dinner, alien invasions, 16 weeks of vacation and stock options, gold watches and bite plates.

Oct 17, 2015

On tap today: collecting things, completism, Catcher in the Rye, TV Guide magazine, bottle caps, cat-eye sunglasses, Circus, CREEM and Rock Scene magazines, box rattlers, sealing things in hard plastic, View-Master, King Tut, silver dollars, binding sniffers, Mantle rookie cards, Electro Harmonix pedals, The Wormwood Review, The Wailers, Elvis tie racks, being no-nonsense and domesticating wolves.

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