Andrew Earles

Hey, I’m getting a little better about this posting thing…

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on November 14, 2009

I’d like to switch gears (with this consistent online entity!) and give my “readers” a little variety.

First of all, I have a question. Please send an e-mail to or follow the contact link on this page with your examples of “monologue” records, or records released in which an individual did nothing but talk into a tape recorder without the response (or presence) of a live audience. Yes, that would be people talking about anything, probably in the privacy of their own homes, and making it into a record/CD. I didn’t say “releasing” because I suspect the majority would be vanity or private pressings. Please reference this request in the subject line of your e-mail, as there have been days when I’ve opened a cluttered and confusing  inbox only to have my girlfriend find me moments later in a stupor, naked and babbling about automobile journalism’s unfair treatment of the Chevrolet Aveo in 2004.

About that “variety” thing…



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On certain days…certain BAD days, it’s crucial to remember something like this…

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on November 11, 2009

It’s been one year and twelve days since I took over the Matablog for a day. I’m quite proud of this, as it truly qualifies as some of my better work. The blog became “Memphis Meateater” (the name was not my idea but who can say if I’d come up with a better one?).  [Notes: Some ‘punching-up’ has occurred.]

Archive for the ‘Memphis Meatear’ Category

Bob Welch in-store performance at Eat Records tomorrow!!


[Above: Bob Welch and his 34th wife narrowly escape a burning ski lodge.]

Brooklyn’s Eat Records will host former Fleetwood Mac guitarist/songwriter and chart-topping solo artist Bob Welch tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 1st) as he reads from his recently-published autobiography Blood on the Wicker: Bob Welch on Bob Welch. He will also perform covers of the rerecordings of “Sentimental Lady” and “Ebony Eyes.” Things will kick off promptly at noon.



The Wham City Collective The Wham City Collective

         That’s right!!! Fueled by their enigmatic and totally unpredictable nature, Bodymore’s own Wham City collective will crash Enid’s (do you really need directions??) tomorrow night (Nov. 1st) for a celebration of F. Murray Abraham’s birthday. What?!?! Memphis Meateater let Wham City daddy Dan Deacon explain the event:“The guy was the talking leaf in those Fruit of the Loom commercials I remember my older brother talking about!! I mean, he won a Grammy for Rock Me, Amadeus!! We have some special things planned, or should I say, ‘not planned!!!’” I’m going to wear a XXXXXL Smokey the Bear T-Shirt over Spongebob Squarepants pajama bottoms and a baseball cap that says ‘Is that a 3″ B&W Sony Watchman on your shelf, or are you just happy to see me?’ Molly from Ponytail is going to put up all of these hilarious Glamour Shots she had made last week….she’s an outfit made out of Commodore 64 parts and Gentle Giant album covers!! Beach House is going to cover Batdorf and Rodney’s ‘Life is You’ album and Club Lyfestile are going to host an actual aerobics class while that movie ‘Gymkata’ plays on a screen behind them. This is going to be unbelievable!!

BlackBook Media’s Inspiration Today! Festival: A Rundown

Though a tad befuddled when our free passes failed to materialize, Jeff and I nonetheless woke at the crack of dawn Saturday morning and made our way to Cooper Union. We have no problem financially supporting what must be the preeminent assault on innocuity [yes, that is a word…or ‘mediocrity’ but I use that word way too much]. Luckily, we ran into J.T. Leroy scalping passes and scored a pair for eight bux.It should come as no surprise that we were primarily interested in the “Mirth Will Save The Earth: Contemporary Comedy” discussion. Moderated by David Cross, the speakers were Zach Galifianakis (“Comedians of Comedy”) and Maria Bamford (“Comedians of Comedy”). I can’t think of a collective better suited to represent every nook and cranny of contemporary comedy. I heard rumors of Blackbook’s fear that the breadth of the panel might be too much for the Inspiration Today! audience, that they were going to keep the title/subject (“Mirth Will Save The Earth: Contemporary Comedy”) but cancel this lineup in favor of Eugene Mirman interviewing himself (via iMovie) about the wonders of clever wordplay.Maybe that would have been a good idea. We left the presentation confused and exhausted. After eating our pre-packed lunches in the stairwell, we made it back in time for the DJ Spooky-moderated “Illbient Celebrates 13 Years At The Forefront Of Experimental Music” discussion. DJ Olive had to cancel at the last moment, and his seat was filled by a stack of tattered, mid-90’s back issues of Wire. Instead of dialogue, Acoustyk aka Manny Oqeundo aka MegMan (one-time member of the Byzar collective) William Parker, Matthew Shipp, and David S. Ware silently engaged in a knitting circle which eventually produced a bootleg BodyGlove wetsuit for remaining participant, Vernon Reid (it was his birthday).
On Sunday, the two of us returned to catch the discussion between filmmaker Harmony Korine and skater/poetry-slammer, Mark Gonzales. We left out of boredom when Korine announced that he would next remake the 2002 Jennifer Lopez vehicle Maid in Manhattan and cast the film exclusively with terminally-ill, petting zoo ticket takers, adulterous shortwave radio enthusiasts, and members of various musical acts…Fuck, I’m Dead, Hafler Trio, Defecation, Supersilent, Panzerchrist, Growing, Beherit, and Sunburned Hand of the Man.


A note from Earles And Jensen:Due to a horrendous workload, we (Earles and Jensen) had to farm out an entry to Jeffrey’s mom, who generally cares more about word jumbles, grocery lists/clipping coupons, and the current price of hanging ferns than the comedy landscape, but the help was greatly needed.Hello internetters, Barbara Jensen here…Jeffrey’s mom. I’d like to thank my loving son for using his connections to get me my very first attempt at “blogging.” He said some people would actually read it! Plus, the ladies around the office keep asking me about my recent trip to visit Jeffrey, so I’ll just direct them here! Ok, let’s do this…You have no idea how excited I was. I’m used to the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, and that younger guy, Brian Regan. Quite frankly, I was getting a little bored with it all, and harbored a slight interest in these newer comedians that I always hear Jeffrey namedropping. So, I hit the bricks on my own last Wednesday night and attended something called “Sound of Young America” at a tavern named “The Knitting Room” or whatever. Hey contemporary comedy people! Give your venues names that an old lady can remember!A confession: This being leftfield comedy, I expected to feel 100% alienated by both the performance and the audience, but to my relief, I related to or at least understood some of what was going on around me. It was comforting to see that I had a lot in common with most of the patrons, and some of the performers that were milling about before and after the show. The middle-management, just-let-yourself-go, throw-on-whatever’s-clean fashion sense and grooming policy that I adopted at age fifty seems to be coming back in style, along with all forms of “mandals” (hey, it’s getting hot outside). But these kids don’t stop there…they add an edgy element to the look, one almost identical to the look preferred by the guys I always see smoking in front of Theatreworks, the hotspot for interpretive dance and dramatic stage productions that’s right across the street from my office. As for the entertainment tonight, I understood but can’t really remember most of the jokes. At least nothing seemed to really go over my head!! All in all…a great time!!



To celebrate her new solo album of accordion improvisations on Ecstatic Peace, Judy Tenuta will be joined onstage by Rhys Chatham, Thurston Moore, Moby, and Sunn o))). With this release, titled Impaled Lesbetarian Inquisition, Tenuta uses only vocals, the venerable accordion, and a table of effects to give the listener a brutal tour through her tortured mind. To satisfy older fans, the track “Blood Carpet” features a screamed (but verbatim) re-telling of her Women of the Night (HBO, 1988) set.

Clips of John Fox at Pianos October 28 and UBC NYC October 27


Following this hot performance 19 years ago, audiences have been clamoring for more of Greg Travis’ “David Sleaze” routine. Seems it’s struck a chord with the 80’s revivalist movement. Such is the impact that his distinctive “Fuck Yoooooooooou!!” can be heard every five seconds in certain Williamsburg haunts, and Travis has agreed to bring Sleaze to the Rififi stage to exclaim “Fuck Yooooooooooou!!!!!” to forces that seem to be putting the club in a continuous state of operational flux.


In very rare instances, a fashion statement or creative angle is so far ahead of the curve that the creators are rendered lone wolves, forging on in a vacuum of alienation, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. Our beloved Brett and Jermaine have been searching far and wide for, well, someone, anyone…that understands. What’s got everyone confused? Flight of the Conchords’ unique amalgamation of 80’s mainstream fashion (with a duel focus on “New Wave Backing Musician and General Fitness”) has put everyone in WTF?!? mode. Until now. Seymour Shoemaker, a 99-year-old former toymaker and current resident of the Okkervil River Retirement Home, recently sent (via paper, pen, envelope, and stamp) the band expressing an understanding and support of their fashion risks. To connect with the outside world, Seymour watches sporadic cable television (w/close captioning) and reads discarded issues (mostly from 1997) of AARP and Today’s Birdwatcher. When his great granddaughter accidentally left the April/May issue of Bust in his room, he was driven to write the following letter:


After my dearest Chloe left her Bust Magazine in my room, I was moved to write this letter of support. Don’t worry; it will only be a matter of time before lesser tastemakers comprehend the prescient nature of your clothing choices. If the fashion world knows what’s good for it, the tennis instructor/fitness fanatic/MTV’s-first-day-on-the-air look will one day be the talk of the town. Keep those chins up; there are others that share your vision! Right now, I may be the only one, but don’t give up. On a different note, I have been able to view several episodes of your show on HBO w/ close captioning. I seem to have noticed some female troubles written into your show’s agenda. I gather the playful little subplot works well with each character’s awkward, oblivious demeanor, but in reality, it makes little sense. I suspect this to be a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-to stunt, as you boys are clearly, if I may be frank, complete and total pussy magnets. If either of you were to walk down Bedford Avenue, the unbelievably hot tail would have to be beaten off with an axe handle. One or the other, sirs!Sincerely,Seynour Shoemaker
Room 309
The Okkervil River Retirement Home
Mobile, AL

A Tribute to the Innovators! Beck, Har Mar Superstar, Ian Sevonious, Greg Dulli w/Twilight Singers (+ reunited Afghan Whigs) perform Flight of the Conchords covers Monday night at Town Hall.

“The Conchord boys were breaking ground with the hyper-ironic, taste-making white guy Quiet Storm/R&B angle back in 2007. We didn’t get around to it until 1995. Then Beck came along in ’99 with ‘Debra,’” says A. Whigs/Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins main man Dulli, “I know Har Mar is a huge fan and basically owes his career to the Kiwi comedy duo. All of us just want to give credit where it is due.” David Cross and Bob Odenkirk were invited to reprise their “‘Ewww Girl Ewww’ by Three Times One Minus One” skit from 1996, but no word as of this writing….we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a surprise appearance.

Earles and Jensen + Manhattan Meateater are proud to announce the return of ROCK AND BTW!!!

If there’s one thing that my friends won’t shut up about, it’s Bob Zany’s recent string of music video cameos. Seems each time I find a new underground favorite, they find Zany or Zany finds them. I don’t care about logistics; I just want it to happen forever. It’s funny stuff – I spit my Yagerbomb across the room each time he popped up as a different character in that Deerhunter video – but I prefer seeing the man up close and in person. Don’t expect him to come out as the fat-suited, effeminate but asexual creep-a-thon that he played in the Ponytail video, this is Zany as Zany, giving a verbal middle finger to the Bush administration, slicing and dicing mainstream rock bands, making fun of fat corporate culture, and if we keep our fingers crossed, his untouchable Facebook routine.
Since that dark day in March of 2003, only one comic on the face of the planet has had the proverbial balls (sorry, Margaret!! you know what I mean!) to speak out against the War in Iraq, and her inclusion in this lineup is what we meant up there by “very special.” Currently banned from performing in 43 states (not NY, we’re not a bunch of close-minded hillbillies, duh!), Margaret’s notorious, eye-opening bits are packed with incendiary political and social observations that run the full spectrum of things you might infrequently think, but would never say out loud.That’s why we have Margaret Smith. From women’s rights to abortion issues to The War to racism to the hypocritical right wing bozos and everything in between, Smith’s has been known to lob comedy Molotov cocktails like the idea that the War was started to protect the oil interests of the Bush administration, that the news media (ESPECIALLY FOX NEWS) might actually be rigged to deliver misinformation to the public, and the decision to name a street after Ronald Reagan and not Noam Chomsky. A note: If an audience appears to be agreeing with (and occasionally laughing at, but these are no laughing matters) the routine, Smith has been known to dip into material from her legendary CD, Someone Disconnect The Battery Of The War Bulldozer Before It Drives Into My Vagina. The album is extremely rare, as no label expressed interest (they expressed FEAR!) in releasing it and Margaret’s limited efforts of self-distribution were thwarted when stores refused to stock what will perhaps one day be regarded as a trailblazing masterpiece. Fuck President Bush!! (sorry….just got a little worked up!)
Brett Butler has little use for our politically correct times. Having raised eyebrows with a evenings comprised entirely of racial epithets, names of bodily functions/fluids, the names of socially alienating diseases repeated ad infinitum, and crushing celebrity insults with little structure, her nervy routine has developed into one devoid of actual jokes or extraneous dialogue that doesn’t fit into the aforementioned categories. Her new book, 1,000 Uses For The Word “Dego” was just published by Feral House and is available at your favorite book or clothing store’s Books-For-People-That-Don’t-Read kiosk.
Taylor Negron’s nonsensical quips usually hang in the air for a few seconds before the audience catches up. Once they respond with riotous laughter, it proves what we expected all along: We comedy enthusiasts don’t settle for comedians that simply craft and labor over jokes before unleashing them to the public. Nope, these audiences like to be beaten over the head with quirkiness.……and what would the night be without the ‘Rock’ portion?  The absence of Rock and BTW has added some booking heft to its return, and we were able to nab some great acts that happened to be touring through NYC at the time. Try to stay seated after reading this lineup: The Black Lips, Daisy Chainsaw, Ponytail, The Iowa Beef Experience, Violent Bullshit, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Mexican Eighty-To-An-Apartment (hey, it’s cool, this dance-y post-punk unit is fronted by two Latino cousins) and Bathtub Shitter will perform in between the comedy sets.


Not ones to hold a grudge, Pianos lifted the once-indefinite ban on Larry Reeb. To refresh your memory, Reeb trashed the club’s comedy condo after his last performance. Typical stuff; alarm clock melted in the microwave oven, hidden food rotting under the couch, etc. The club owners were willing to let it slide until they walked into the bedroom and found “Here’s a little tip from your Uncle Lar!” scrawled in blood on each of the four walls.Larry Reeb’s historic, career-making performance.Reeb would like fans to know that this is not a hostage video.

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I’ve been writing a Husker Du biography since December 2007

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on November 10, 2009

The title of this post isn’t some attempt to goof on….anything. It’s a true statement.

There are many reasons why I have not been blogging about this. I’m going to start blogging about it. It was getting to be a bit of an elephant-in-the-room for me, personally, as I was trying to come up with meaningful posts while really wanting to write some careful entries about this dominating presence in my life.

I have made sure my comments section has been disabled. Want to participate in a Q & A? Show up to a reading. You have some time to plan that particular evening, bee tee double-u. How long? Will I turn in a first draft of the entire manuscript while it’s still cold outside? Yes.

My book will be published by Voyageur Press, a subsidiary of MBI Publishing. They are located in Minneapolis. I am located in Memphis, TN.

I did not see Husker Du perform live because I was not attending shows between the ages of seven and fourteen, a time-frame that matches the one in which Husker Du toured outside of Minneapolis, a city in which I’ve never been a resident.

Some of you may find this information troubling. Some of you are short-sighted and reactionary nimrods. Did Tosches run with Dean Martin? No, but Dino just so happens to be one of the greatest entertainment-based biographies ever written. It would be humorous of me to jokingly claim that I’m writing “the ‘Dino’ of 80’s proto-Indie/Underground/Hardcore/Post-Hardcore America”, but I’m not in the mood to joke around about my book. Plus, if I ever write “80’s proto-Indie/Underground/Hardcore/Post-Hardcore America” in earnest and rooted in something other than a necessity brought on by the limitations inherent to completing a 90,000-word (or more) long-form text, please treat me like a terminally-ill racehorse (no, dumbass, I do not want to live in a non-profit, specially-built shelter…I want two behind the ear). Have you read Dino? Yes? No? Regardless, I can’t write like that. Not that the example makes a bit of fucking sense in the first place, but on we go….

For the five or six readers aware of my audio discography and the part of my confusing free-lance portfolio that exists as what we’ll loosely term “comedy” or “humor” works, it should come as no surprise that this project has absolutely nothing in common with said works. While my sense of humor (regarding intangible output, tangible creation, AND the processing of other people’s humor) can misfire and fail miserably, it can just as easily cause convulsive laughter, make paying work appear out of nowhere, destroy a target’s long-term relationship, persuade someone to purchase unsolicited plane tickets to close geographical gaps, and generate laughter among the terminally-mute or comatose. There’s no question whether or not I’m unbelievably funny when the right internal and external variables line up, the point is this: My first book has nothing to do with any of that.

My Husker Du biography is…a Husker Du biography. I am not attempting weird angles or non-linear nonsense. I am not challenging the popular, working idea of a music biography…a notion so vomit-inducing in its pretentiousness that I can’t believe I’m going to let it through the gate for the world to read. And to close this installment of “I’ve been writing a Husker Du biography since December 2007″….

My book might disappoint those hoping to read incendiary, tabliod-ish, mud-slinging pick-apart exercises focusing on any of the negative hooks that anchor two decades of lazy Husker Du and Husker Du-related coverage. If a couple of the many supporting reasons are now needed, the optimist in me returns from a long vacation and hopes that people – especially those (young and old) unfamiliar with the band or nurturing a hunger to learn about this sort of thing – would want to read about what this band did for the future, for everyone’s record collection, for the next quarter-century of whatever you choose to call the alternately wonderful and infuriating mess in progress. There’s no overstating  (no matter what you’ve read or how familiar you are with the Husker Du) what was accomplished between, say, the songs “Everything Fall Apart” and “First of the Last Calls” or between “Pink Turns to Blue” and “Green Eyes” or between “Chartered Trips” and “I Don’t Want to Know if You are Lonely” and there’s no overstating, after almost two years of work on this project, what these clips do for me:


also 1985


Blank Dogs on Carson, Today’s Best Blog Blogging Award…

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on November 5, 2009

Though there are no early clips of the UNBELIEVABLE performance, it was good to see Dogs, Blank performing on last night’s episode of The Tonight Show. Oh well…they performed this brand new number.

Elsewhere (as in… “another planet”), THIS is the blog you should be reading.



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