Archive for May, 2013

Questions for Double Take

May 6, 2013


NEW TIMES: Do you think that your song deserves the criticism it has received by the Internet? Why or why not?

LAUREN WILLEY: I don’t think a lot of things deserve the criticism they receive on the internet, but they do, and our song did. I think people can say and think what they want, it doesn’t bother us.

NEW TIMES: Your video and song are often compared to Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Do you think this is accurate, and what is your opinion of “Friday?”

DREW GARRETT: We weren’t really too familiar with “Friday” when we made our song. I guess the reason they’re compared is because it went viral the same way Rebecca Black’s song did, and we aren’t the best singers.

NEW TIMES: Do you have plans to release more singles in the future?

WILLEY: Besides the other ones we have already released, “Like a Princess” and “The Stalking Song,” we aren’t really sure!

NEW TIMES: Do you really agree with the message of your song “Hot Problems,” in that “hot girls have problems too?”

GARRETT: Of course!


Questions for Josh Hillinger, Comedian

May 6, 2013

NEW TIMES: What kinds of acting have you done in your career?

HILLINGER: I have the most experience as a stage actor, though I am taking steps toward becoming in film and television. I performed in the off-Broadway production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding in San Francisco for two years and I am currently cast in the Hollywood production as well. Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding will be coming to SLO in late December. I host improv, sketch comedy, and variety shows around Los Angeles and will be hosting the web-series Challenge LA about restaurants around the LA area. I’m in a movie about war and a Discovery channel special about zombies.


NEW TIMES: I understand that you have had the opportunity to work with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of the cult [adult swim] TV series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as well as former SLO resident “Weird Al” Yankovic. What were your experiences working with them?

HILLINGER: I got to work with them all with SF Sketchfest. Tim and Eric put on a great show, yet very bizarre – as expected. I like them a lot, but I wish they were nicer to the other performers on the show. David Liebe Hart wasn’t even allowed into the same green room as them. Weird Al was especially nice and friendly, and very quick. You know who’s really nice also? Tim Heidecker’s wife. She knows where all the best macaroni and cheese is in the city.


NEW TIMES: Could you please explain who David Liebe Hart is, for the vast majority of people who don’t?

HILLINGER: David Liebe Hart is a ventriloquist singer who performs on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and travels with their company. I don’t think he knows why people enjoy him as much as they do. I own a signed copy of his Christian Science rock album.


NEW TIMES: Tell us more about that upcoming movie you’re appearing in.

HILLINGER: It’s a “political thriller” with a lot of helicopter stuff and missiles. Its working title is “Hella America.” ∆

Questions for Pismo the Clown

May 6, 2013

NEW TIMES: What are your responsibilities as a clown?

PISMO: My vision is to bring love, smiles, and good will toward everyone.

NEW TIMES: Who are some clowns (whether well-known or not) who have inspired you?

PISMO: I have been inspired by my brother, the famous Jokey the Clown and my wife, Avila Beach the Clown.

NEW TIMES: Why do you think some kids (and adults) are afraid of clowns?

PISMO: In the old days everyone loved clowns. Back then, clowns were on TV, in parades, at parties and special events. I’ve found that older adults and little kids still love clowns. However, I’ve also found some of the 30-year old folks with tattoos are afraid of clowns. Perhaps they are afraid because of scary movies that put clowns in a bad light?

NEW TIMES: Why did you choose the name “Pismo the Clown?”
PISMO: I came up with the name “Pismo the Clown” as a promotion to the city of Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo County. I’m in most of Pismo Beach’s parades. My goal as Pismo the Clown is to promote tourism to SLO and to some day become a mascot and sell T-shirts of myself holding a surfboard with a caption saying “Clowning Around in Pismo Beach.” I’m also Grove the Clown of Grover Beach and I’m also known as the health care clown because I visit sick folks in the hospital and cheer them up.

NEW TIMES: Have you ever thought of having your TV show?

PISMO: Jokey and I are trying to get a big TV network like A&E to give us our own reality weekly TV show where a camera crew follows us around at parades, parties and events. We would also write our own skits for the show.

NEW TIMES: What is your favorite joke?

PISMO: Why are football stadiums always so cold? Because of all the FANS!

Questions for Circus of Nero’s Nathan LaMontagne

May 6, 2013

NEW TIMES: How would you describe the genre of music that is Circus of Nero?

LAMONTAGNE: Alternative? I don’t think there is really one set sound for Circus of Nero. It can range anywhere from loud, aggressive guitar-based songs to songs heavy on electronics and synthesizer to something as simple as just one piano. The whole project is a victim of influence.


NEW TIMES: What’s the story behind the name?

LAMONTAGNE: The name is based off of the Circus of Nero, an actual place in Rome, named after the Roman Emperor Nero. Both the band and the place were originally named Circus of Caligula (after another infamous Roman emperor).


NEW TIMES: Was the Emperor Nero himself significant in the decision?

LAMONTAGNE: I’ve always been rather interested in Emperor Nero. Filled with mania and immense power, he really left his mark on history. Maybe by using the name, I’ll get a bit of that mentality, but is that a good thing? It is widely accepted by many Biblical scholars that the first Beast in the Book of Revelation was supposed to be Nero.


NEW TIMES: Are you playing any gigs in SLO County anytime soon?

LAMONTAGNE: Yes, there will be concerts coming up in SLO relatively soon. I’ve had a couple offers, but seeing as Circus of Nero is a solo project, I am currently getting a live band together and ready. A solo project is a lot of responsibility to say the least.


NEW TIMES: Can you recommend any other local bands?

LAMONTAGNE: If there is one live band I’ve actually enjoyed seeing, it would be the Sad Dads. They bring a lot of that old DIY 1970s glam rock back with a nice punk twist and do so very effectively. Their attire is rather New York Dolls meets Divine [from John Waters’ films]. ∆

Questions for the Chess Club’s Mark Keller

May 6, 2013

NEW TIMES: What is the San Luis Obispo Chess Club?  

KELLER: It’s a group of local people that enjoy chess, organized by myself and Barbara McCaleb of SLO.

NEW TIMES: Where does the SLO Chess Club meet?

KELLER: On Thursday night (6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.) we meet at Carl’s Jr. on Santa Rosa near Foothill Blvd. in San Luis Obispo and on Saturdays (10 a.m. -2 p.m.) in Morro Bay at the big board on the Embarcadero below Dorn’s.

NEW TIMES: How many members does the SLO Chess Club currently have?

KELLER: About 20, but we are looking for more! Cal Poly and Cuesta students are completely welcome to join!

NEW TIMES: I understand that you host tournaments and events all over the Central Coast including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Atascadero, and Paso Robles. Do you have any upcoming tournaments or events?

KELLER: We just had the county championship in November.  The next one will probably be in May.

NEW TIMES: What are ways to improve your chess skills?  

KELLER: Play, play, play…and study with also has a number of great features to keep in touch with the local chess community and is appropriate for adults and older children.

NEW TIMES: Who is your favorite historical chess grandmaster?

KELLER: Bobby Fischer.

NEW TIMES: Which chess piece do you identify with the most?

KELLER: I’ve been married a long time, so it would be the pawn.

A Letter to the Parents Television Council

May 6, 2013

I think it’s extremely disgusting that you didn’t make the recent Family Guy episode “Turban Cowboy” the Worst Show of the Week. You are so quick to criticize every single joke on the show directed at Christians and Jews or containing sexual content, but an entire episode devoted to Islamophobia went by and you turned a blind eye. Here’s the basic summary: Peter Griffin befriends a Muslim man who he gets along with really well (Peter even considers becoming a Muslim himself) until it turns out that his new friend is a terrorist. No lessons learned about tolerance like in The Simpsons’ “Mypods and Broomsticks,” just the kind of base bigotry which have caused all Muslims in this country to remain in fear for 11-12 years. I am not Muslim. I am Jewish and I support Israel. However, I do not support your religious favoritism when criticizing Family Guy.

Considerately yours,

Popeye Squirm