Andrew Earles

Holdover post before Earles’ “2008: What The Fuck Was Going On?” blowout – Coming soon!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on December 27, 2008

Earles and Jensen Present…Just Farr A Laugh Vol 1 & 2 (The Greatest Prank Phone Calls Ever!) makes another year-end list!!

The title of the article says it all!!

Here’s the article!!

Check out my “Local Top Five of 2008″ (or something) for The Memphis Flyer. I live in Memphis.

Or read my poorly-formatted pasting below…

Andrew Earles:

1. Jay Reatard singles: Out of his Matador singles series, which had people acting like impoverished participants in a wartime bread/toilet paper line, I’d say that “See Saw,” “Always Wanting More,” “Hiding Hole,” and “You Were Sleeping” were the faves.


2. Black Cobra at the Hi-Tone: The latest two-piece noise band that “sounds like a lot more than just two guys” (always overheard at such performances). Not metal, not punk. Just really loud. Positioned in the middle of a three-band set headlined by instrumental “metal” band Pelican, Black Cobra momentarily made me forget about all other heavy bands.

3. Gonerfest highlights: Sic Alps live: I get it. Sic Alps on record: I don’t get it. The Ooga Boogas brought a serious punch — a visceral endurance test that (wonderfully) contrasted the power-pop and pub-rock that dominated their particular evening. No Comply was great during an afternoon set at Murphy’s, and whether or not you dig the band’s ’80s/’90s hardcore history lesson, it was more than worth it to see the head-scratching and, uh, “dancing” within the assembled crowd. I don’t even know how to describe the Intelligence — really, really unsophisticated Joy Division? — but they scratched the right spots. And AV Murder sounded amazing in the middle of the afternoon for some reason.

4. The Brothers Unconnected (2/3 of the Sun City Girls) at Odessa: A wonderful treat for a longtime Sun City Girls fan, accented by the fact that more than 10 people showed up to witness the two-and-a-half-hour set of purely bent entertainment and every possible genre of music that can be accomplished with two acoustic guitars and two mics (plus lots of comedic banter!).

5. Torche at the Hi-Tone: This band released what is likely to be my album of the year (Meanderthal). They’re also the closest I’ve ever come to enjoying the Foo Fighters, an influence that is lost to the blunt-force trauma of their live set. So loud that they caused the Hi-Tone’s support beams to vibrate, Torche’s Melvins-meets-Guided By Voices-meets-Motörhead recipe for greatness was so forceful live that I almost had a panic attack at the thought of possible heart palpitations. Not kidding around here.


Honorable Mentions: Box Elders at Murphy’s, Memphis Pops Fest at the Hi-Tone, Skeletonwitch at the Rally Point, Blood on the Wall at Odessa.

Coming Soon: “2008: What The Fuck Was Going On?”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on December 25, 2008

Being one of the 15,000 music writers chosen to chime in about 2008, I just turned in my Village Voice Pazz and Jop at the very last minute…I sure hope my efforts make a difference, thus causing the music media to, uh, HELLO!!! WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!! and start giving some attention to underrated & overlooked terminally-underground underdogs like The Gaslight Anthem, Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Of Montreal, David Byrne and Brian Eno, Metallica, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Kings of Leon, Black Kids, and Deerhunter. As per usual, the music press probably doesn’t have the balls to even touch this stuff. I also worry that my ballot might be dismissed by readers (or, shit, THE EDITORS!?!) on the grounds that my entries are “fake” or “too obscure.” We’ll see.  

Coming soon from this location: Read the title line.

Let’s Celebrate!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on December 23, 2008

I’ve finally made it!!

Album notes
The JUST FARR A LAUGH albums go far beyond the normal scope of the world of prank calls. Writers and humorists, Andrew Earles & Jeffrey Jensen inject a lifetime of pop culture obscure knowledge (spanning from the 1970s to the present) into the standard crank calls to the pompous and the unwitting. It’s no coincidence the collection’s released on Matador Records as there’s a definite musical tint to the proceedings. Fishbone and Primus are namedropped in one call, while an angry Christopher Cross rants about his three Grammys to a tour guide in another, and a Quincy Jones/Jermaine Stewart cover band attempts to get a booking on yet another. The collection is buoyed by extensive liner notes featuring the thoughts of Earles & Jensen, as well as a bevy of illustrations of all sorts, including drawings from indie pop stars Devendra Banhart and Adam Green.

70’s NFL / “That’s Incredible” geekdom phonetically confused with comedy geekdom…

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on December 20, 2008

Read this review here…

…or here:

Book Review: Mock Stars: Indie Comedy And The Dangerously Funny

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Written by Rev. Syung Myung Me, on 18-12-2008 14:58

Published in : Reviews, Book

[Purchase Book]This may come as a shock, but I’m a comedy geek. I think way too much about comedy, and I tend to get obsessive over comedians I like… much like the way I do about music… and just about everything else. John Wenzel is a comedy geek too and his new book profiles many of my favorite comedians, and a few that make me think I should check them out. (For example, I’ve never actually seen an episode of Human Giant; perhaps potentially of the anti-MTV backlash Wenzel mentions, but considering that never stopped me with Wonder Showzen or Andy Milonakis… so it’s more likely a function of just never knowing when it was on.)

It’s clear that Wenzel cares a lot about comedy and is very knowledgeable about the subject. He’s a great interviewer, and gets a lot of information from his subjects. For example, most David Cross fans know that before Mr. Show, he did a show called “Cross Comedy”, but until now, there hasn’t been much about what “Cross Comedy” actually was. Likewise, Wenzel gets Patton Oswalt to talk about his early career, including a stint at MadTV in the first season — which I didn’t know about. (For the record, Oswalt thought the show was terrible too, so that’s good.)

Sometimes Wenzel’s writing can try a little too hard to be edgy — he shoehorns a few mediocre jokes (for example, one about “the trickle of comedy at SXSW” growing to “a strong, golden stream”) into the text, seemingly to try to prove his indie cred, along with lots of band-namedropping — though considering his subjects ALSO do a lot of band-namedropping, he can’t really be faulted for wanting to join in. But overall, he’s a strong writer, and considering that he was able to give the history of Gregg Tarkington AS WELL AS Tarkington’s creation Neil Hamburger, that’s pretty impressive.

The book is very up-to-date, which almost makes it feel like a printed-and-bound blog post. He includes more recent comedy success stories like Tim & Eric (whom I adore), and has interesting, in-depth interviews with them. The book is a little US-centric, aside from a couple pages on The Mighty Boosh — I’d love to have seen more on British educational filmstrip parody Look Around You and Chris Morris‘ body of work — both plugged in an interview with Eric Wareheim, who’s a recent convert to the latter’s Jam (which makes sense in a way, considering both Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and particularly Tom Goes to the Mayor — not in style but in the collision between surreal horror and comedy; Morris’ work is something I would recommend to anyone, regardless of one’s Tim & Eric fandom).

Overall, Wenzel’s book is very well done. The title may cause some cringes — the title screams “written by someone who doesn’t get it!” — but rest assured that Wenzel does indeed get it. Even though it sounds like one of those painful magazine articles about how awesome and edgy Dane Cook is and how maybe some of these young up-and-comers like David Cross might be the next Cook, it’s NOT. (For one, Wenzel, rightfully, bashes Dane Cook quite often, something everyone should do. Dude’s terrible.) Oddly enough, I find myself recommending Wenzel’s bibliography — a well-cited list of both articles and comedy DVDs and albums — which looks to me as close to a shopping list as a source list. If you’re interested in comedy, this is definitely a good book to check out.

“Confused” not “mistaken for”…I realize that the surnames are “Tarkenton” and “Turkington”…respectively.


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