The world needs more comedy recordings like Chuck Scarborough needs another hole in the head. But the world needs more rock’n’roll records like Chuck needs two more holes in the head, so let’s leave the genre prejudice aside for a moment, shall we? I can honestly say the original release of Andrew Earles & Jeffrey Jensen’s ‘Just Farr A Laugh’ is the single most played compact disc in my household, automobile, yacht, etc. over the past 3 years. The rich, fully formed universe they’ve created with their mind-blowing phone calls (ok, billed as “pranks” but oh, so much more) has to this listener’s ears, transcended the mere comedy / spoken schtick bin and puts the duo in much more rarified territory. Rowan & Martin. Martin & Lewis. Oswald & Ruby. Peterson & Kekich. That’s the kind of company I’m talking about.
We’ll be releasing Earles & Jensen Present : Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 on the popular compact disc format February 19, 2008. Since my hands are so very tired, Andrew and Jeff have kindly composed a far more appropriate screed on this subject.
If you are a fan of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Yes’ Tales from Topographic Oceans, the Hampton Grease Band’s Music To Eat, The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out, Husker Du’s Zen Arcade, the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime, TFUL 282’s Mother of All Saints, and wish there was a prank call/comedy version of these wonderfully indulgent, macro masterpieces, well, it looks like February 19th is going to be your lucky day. That last sentence is a thinly-veiled way to say that unless you are promotionally serviced by Matador Records or rank amongst the contributors, don’t expect a burn or freebie.
The double CD set constitutes the world’s greatest collection of prank phone calls. Included in the package will be a book (not booklet) of drawings, photographs, and writing, all courtesy of multiple contributors. It’s a virtual who’s who that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but nonetheless creates a wonderful companion to the recorded works.
A short list of artists that contributed drawings: Mike Aho, Archer Prewitt, Devendra Banhart, Mark Henning, Ian Marshall, Gavin McInnes, Jake Oas, Aurel Schmidt, Matt Sweeney, and Megan Whitmarsh.
The entire list of writers that contributed forewords: Gregg Turkington (AKA Neil Hamburger, comedy genius, writer, Warm Voices Rearranged), Matador’s Gerard Cosloy, David Dunlap Jr. (writer, Washington City Paper, Memphis Flyer, funny guy), and master humorist/writer Neil Pollack (books: Alternadad, The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, Never Mind The Pollacks: A Rock and Roll Novel, editor/contributor: Akashic’s Chicago Noir).
Along with writer Ian Christe and artist Steve Keene, Jeffrey Jensen founded modern day Brooklyn NYC around 1992, during the Dinkins administration. He has written or directed the films The Low Down Dirty D.A.W.G.S. (1999), Street Boogie (2001, shelved), and Graceland Too: The Movie (still in production). An accomplished artist, Jeff is known for his puppet shows, intricate nightlight dioramas, and evenings of vast entertainment, as well as anything else you could possibly think of. With his incredibly magnetic personality, Mr. Jensen has left a lasting mental imprint on anyone lucky enough to have spent over an hour in his presence. Jeffrey has played in many bands, including The Closet Case, The Jewish, The Star Spangles, plus he was the bass player for Homestead Records recording artists Smack Dab. He drives a 1982 Chrysler Lebaron, contributes regularly to Vice Magazine, and was accidentally shot with a .22 rifle when he was 13-years-old.
Andrew Earles is a writer and loosely-defined humorist that lives in Memphis, TN. His words regularly appear in The Onion A/V Club, Spin, Harp, Magnet, Vice, Paste, Chunklet, and The Memphis Flyer…among others. He founded The Cimarron Weekend in 1997, co-publishing and co-editing said argument-starter with David Dunlap Jr. until 2001. Four or five people like to claim that it was a great zine. From 2001 until late 2006, Andrew was a regular contributor to Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show on WFMU. As far as books go, his essays have appeared in the now out-of-print Lost In The Grooves (Routledge) and remainder table favorite, The Overrated Book (Last Gasp). He is a core contributor to The Rock Bible, to be published by Quirk in 2008. Most of his attempts at live comedy have failed miserably. Andrew is a proud Southerner and amateur, wanna-be outdoorsman that loves to fish, act like he knows a lot about animals, and walk around in the woods. He sometimes has a smart mouth, yet against all logic, has yet to receive that long-overdue ass-whomping (not an invitation). This is his blog: www.failedpilot.com
Jeffrey Joe Jensen and Andrew Scott Earles are Leo’s, reliably carrying all of the negative and positive baggage of that particular sign. Amazingly, and unknown to the duo until several years ago, they share the exact same birthday of August 15th.
“Bedroom ETA: A Jermaine Stewart Cover Band” (mp3)
“My Friends Call Me Ditchweed. Don’t Ask. OK, Go Ahead and Ask” (mp3)