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THIS IS NOT A TEST - Books, music, movies, art, culture and truth with Los Angeles author and musician Michael Phillips.

THIS IS NOT A TEST - Books, music, movies, art, culture and truth with Los Angeles author and musician Michael Phillips.
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Los Angeles, CA


THIS IS NOT A TEST - Books, music, movies, art, culture and truth with Los Angeles author and musician Michael Phillips.






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...


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!


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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


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.


A hot night with PJ Harvey

I caught PJ Harvey's "The Hope Six Demolition Project" tour at the Greek Theater here in Los Angeles. Allow me to tell you about that, and about psychic space, outdoor music shows, croaking for dollars, staying relevant in the face of increasing waves of nostalgia, First Aid Kit and Fiona Apple, retiring from live shows, people putting on a groovy act, jalapeno nachos and spinach wraps, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, cannibalism, Cirque du Soleil, voicemails and chirping of...


A hot night with Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer: Blackheart man, soul rebel, ruler of dancehall, legend. Plus Garbage - the band, not the stuff out behind your house - pink hair, people looking old before their time, Madonna, orthopedic shoes and K-Mart t-shirts, The Wailers, avoiding night flights, Madison Square Garden, electronic reggae, that rapper that Prince used, the Electric Slide, obscure Japanese dub stores, David Bowie, Prince, Jehovah, leaves turning brown, trillions of photographs, tidal waves, Instagram, Bob...


It's a black and white thing

I know it's not time for the monthly episode yet, but I just wanted to pop in, say hi, and talk about white people and black people in America. Just a little light hearted chit chat about race. Don't be scared. We're all friends here.


Happiness is a warm gun

You have to wonder about things like guns, and June Gloom, the LGBLT community, preaching love, calling things "the worst in U.S. history," Wounded Knee, your high school history book, wars, genocide, subjugation, cupcakes, immigrants and queers, throwing rocks at politicians, gun control, unemployment checks, Kickstarter, the emperor's new clothes, swimming upstream, fluffing up your eggs, the NRA, Jesus Christ himself, your fellow citizens, Mexican hats, rumpus rooms, 7-11, Wyatt Earp,...


I wish I knew how to be happy about a three day weekend

Here we go with the three day weekend, vacation, the near-impossibility of relaxation, Richard Nixon, gadgets, machines and thing-a-ma-bobs, fainting couches, VARIDESK, regular desks, making things disappear, harboring a grudge, robots, brain surgeons and grocery baggers, lanyards, key cards, backstage passes, Royal Crown Cola, spaghetti, the Clash, broom closets, elaborate props, the Rolling Stones, Donald Trump, George Orwell, El Nino, body oil, incense and environmental records. Check.


Trying to describe my job, also, TMZ and celebrity tabloid trash culture

I'm going to talk about my job for a minute, just because, but we'll also talk about landlords, moving, the Mars rover, rejuvenating a 13 year old website, repetition and tedium, baby seals, crafting a lovely box, Cinderella, feeling ridiculous, magical thinking, talking goats, unicorns, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, TMZ, rat kings, big-gulps, incubators, Paisley Park, dignity, paparazzi, Howard Stern and Stuttering John, being thrown out of a club for being too drunk, Entertainment Tonight,...


Prince was not a genius. Or was he?

Was Prince a genius? Hmm, good question. Let's talk about having 50 albums worth of unreleased music in "the vault," and some of the crazy, before-its-time shit he did when he was alive. Giants walk among us. Or at least they used to. You might also hear me say words about things like the Ostrich Pillow®, having electricity in your house, classical composers, how signing a 100 million dollar recording contract can turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened to you, David Bowie,...


I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray

Let me tell you about bumping in to Prince on a Minneapolis street corner, but first we'll probably talk about, oh, I don't know, hair removal, P.J. Harvey, record reviews, taking a writer's word for something, Rock Steady, big mailboxes, Siskel and Ebert and where their thumbs have been, the Christgau Consumer Guide, artistic merit, Kansas vs. MC5, Brian Eno, a bunch of made-up metal band names and a little personal remembrance of Prince. Sometimes it snows in April, yo.


Why kids hate poetry and why you probably hate it too - THIS IS NOT A TEST #60

Maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but we'll also go to Space Mountain, talk about wasting time, the smart way to do things, Richie Havens, literary magazines, how long "forever" is on the Internet, the answer to some people's dreams, your AOL connection, The Knucklehead Chronicle, baby frogs, an uncaring universe, taking the small press world mainstream, playing "Stairway to Heaven" in 2016, the wisdom of the ages, cutting off your own head, ducks, rhyming children's poems, academic...


KISS, cassette tapes and the last time I mention Bernie Sanders - THIS IS NOT A TEST #59

When you listen to THIS IS NOT A TEST you are not "consuming content," 40 year old pictures, satin bell bottoms, Bob Ezrin, record stores, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, Pet Sounds, insufferable twats, music floating on the breeze, ticket scalpers, being easily entertained, cardboard boxes full of cassette tapes, Wham!, technology, a girl named Pearl, being an idiot, plastic spoons, what to bring when you visit my house, political discourse, fragging, the occupy...


A cashless society: believe it or not! THIS IS NOT A TEST #58

Are we sure we want a cashless society? Are we sure we want to hear about Victorian-era language, Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, delivering mail, buildings made from a single tree, Fiji Mermaids, Odditoriums, teenage vampire novels, working dogs from the UK, casinos, Taco Bell, the genius of credit card companies, above ground pools, iris scans, noisy metal boxes, poodle skirts, poop, Tony Soprano, corsets, coconuts, Wall Street douchebags, jasmine blossoms, conspiracy theories, one...


Unsolicited child rearing advice, and Bernie Sanders as savior - THIS IS NOT A TEST #57

In this episode I call your parenting into question, try to be dignified, compare myself to famous explorers, scratch my head over kids who wear costumes for no reason, call you into question for letting the kids wear costumes for no reason, change diapers, witness a spoiled prick playing Minecraft, call home schooling into question, wonder out loud whether leaving home and striking out on your own is even normal, insult Americans and Canadians and Europeans, call India and China...


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