PO Box 820912
Memphis, TN 38182
I am a writer based in Memphis, TN. My first book, Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock (Voyageur Press, 2010) is in stores NOW.
I have contributed writing, editing, or general creative consultation (or all three) to Lost in the Grooves (Routledge, 2004), The Overrated Book (Last Gasp, 2006), The Rock Bible (Quirk, 2008), Mock Stars: Indie Comedy & the Dangerously Funny (Speck Press, 2008), Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time (Voyageur Press/MBI, 2008/2010 hardback/paperback), Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock (Voyageur Press/MBI, 2009), AC/DC: High Voltage Rock and Roll: An Illustrated History (Voyageur Press/MBI Publishing, 2010), and Rush: The Unauthorized Illustrated History (Voyageur Press/MBI Publishing, 2013).
MY WRITING FOR ONLINE AND PRINT PERIODICALS
My writing has appeared in (or “on” in the case of the online examples): Chunklet Magazine, Decibel Magazine, Devil In The Woods/(DIW) Magazine / Self-Titled Magazine, Dusted Magazine, Magnet Magazine, Memphis Magazine, Harp Magazine, The Onion A/V Club, Paste Magazine, Scram Magazine, Sound Collector, Spin Magazine, Still Single, The Baltimore City Paper, The Knoxville Voice, The Philadelphia City Paper, The Philadelphia Independent, The Philadelphia Weekly, Scion A/V Metal, The Washington City Paper, Verse Chorus Verse Magazine, Vice Magazine, WFMU’s LCD Magazine, WFMU’s Beware of the Blog, While You Were Sleeping Magazine, Econoculture.com, McSweeneys.net, Perfect Sound Forever and Pitchfork.
VARIOUS UPDATES AND POINTS OF INTEREST!
**On February 15th, 2013, I was interviewed on WNYC’s (NPR affiliate for the New York City listening market) “Soundcheck” program and the subject was my recently-published “Blame Nirvana” piece (Spin.com). You can listen to the interview by following THIS LINK.
**To kick off 2013 in the best of ways, I had a massive feature published on Spin.com, and it is titled “Blame Nirvana: 40 Weirdest Post Nevermind Major Label Albums” Check it out!
** Here’s some nonsense I wrote for Vice.com in the year 2013: “Vinyl & eBay: A Fascinating Relationship Volume Two”
** And if you liked that, here are the four features I wrote for Vice.com during the second half of 2012: A feature about eBay and vinyl records, a little bit of fan-fiction re: Steve Miller (of The Steve Miller Band), and my obligatory two-cents tossed towards the subject of Record Store Day. For more of my Vice (both print and online) writing, I have included a link(s) below….with the less topical fare.
** On May 15th, 2013, Martin Popoff’s Rush: An Unauthorized Illustrated History will be published by Voyageur Press/MBI Publishing, and I penned THREE essays in this massive mound of a book. These essays are on the albums 2112, Permanent Waves, and Snakes and Arrows, respectively.
** I wrote essays on the Garage Inc and Lulu albums, respectively, for Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History (primary narrative written by the great Martin Popoff)
** As per this Village Voice feature, my “Jay Reatard Remembered” piece made the list of 112 honorable mentions that is appended to Da Capo’s Best Music Writing 2011
Much of my writing in the above-listed publications/online-entities is archived on their respective sites, but I’ve made a short list of personal favorites that represent my writing nicely (in my opinion). In no way is it a complete list, and I also recommend the “My Writing on Metal and Such…” page on this site (for a collection of my writings on metal and heavy music in general).
I’ve written a book’s worth of content for Henry Owing’s magazine, but my favorite is this one:
Description: Here are two longer reviews I wrote for Dusted…I really like both of them…
Description: This is the “In Memoriam” oral history on Jay Reatard I wrote a year after his death…
The Memphis Flyer
My first and longest-running free-lance outlet. I’ve written 100+ pieces for Memphis’ alt-weekly, including food and travel writing.
Description: Cover story…
Description: My unique take on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra…
My first cover story for The Flyer. From 2004.
Description: Feature on The Smother’s Brothers that I happen to like a lot…
Description: Cover story on Goner Records…
Description: Feature on Matt Besser…
Description: Feature on a fly-fishing expo…
Description: Feature on a local boat show…
Description: Another feature on Neil Hamburger…
Description: Coverage of problem in Memphis, TN re: the booking of heavy bands/metal bands…still a problem today…
Description: One of my favorite Flyer pieces. This one is on AC/DC’s Black Ice album…
Description: This is my Jay Reatard obit. It may be one of the best things I’ve ever written…
Description: There is a Coheed and Cambria review hidden in this link…
Description: Page 80 has an article I wrote about the major-label feeding frenzy of the early-to-mid 90′s…
My most recent writing for Vice is also my best writing for Vice. As stated above, I approach the relationship between Record Store Day and eBay by examining the month after RSD 2012, as well as covering some other aspects of both entities.
Description: Online version of 25-page, 12K word-count pocket-sized book. Distributed @ SXSW 2009 + other unknown locations.
Description: Just like the sub-head reads, 21 interviews in two days, with the total work (transcribing and all) clocking in around four days, collectively. About halfway through, I came down with a very acute case of appendicitis. So, yes, a five-day hospital stay broke up that collective four days of work.
Description: Written in my 20-year-old voice, as per the “1994″ theme of the issue. This was surprisingly difficult due to many variables. The theme centers around my very real affection for the music of The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282.
The Baltimore City Paper
Description: Older piece on Unsane and Pig Destroyer for the BCP…
I hosted a discussion about my book at SXSW 2011 and here is a link to the event’s description and streaming audio:
For most browsers, the audio of the entire Q & A session will be at the bottom of the page.
On March 25th, I was interviewed on WREC TV’s (Memphis’ CBS affiliate) “Live @ 9″ program, an hour-long show that profiles local and visiting talent. Essentially, this was to promote my two-hour book signing and discussion the following day at Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Memphis’ best and biggest independent book store. http://www.daviskidd.com/Default.aspx
In December of 2010, I did two radio interviews about Husker Du: The Story… The first was with Minnesota Public Radio and the second with good friend and colleague Tom Scharpling for the December 21 airing of his Best Show on WFMU. The archive is here:
Because I do not want to highlight only positive press about my book, I encourage a google search for interested parties. A page dedicated to the book along with every review (and my response to each) is now in the works for this site.
On November 9th, 2011, I spoke at Temple University about my book and career as a writer. It was part of a writer’s series for the Fall of 2011, and was well-attended. As of this writing, there is not an audio or visual feed of the lecture online.
In December of 2011, I was interviewed via Skype for a Hootenanny webcast. You can watch/listen to it here:
EARLES AND JENSEN PRESENT: JUST FARR A LAUGH…VOL. 1 & 2 (THE GREATEST PRANK PHONE CALLS EVER!) (2CD/26-pg booklet) & EARLES AND JENSEN PRESENT: JUST FARR THE RECORD (LP-only)
On May 6th, 2008, Matador Records released “Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 (The Greatest Prank Phone Calls Ever!)” Packaged in a 2CD/25-page booklet format, it now stands as one of the, if not THE, worst-selling title in the history of the label. Nonetheless, it is a unique and epic project that will always be a source of great pride as a personal accomplishment, one that I carried out with Jeffrey Jensen, my partner in comedy since 2000. Here are some pertinent links:
Matador Records Earles and Jensen BIO (written by me) and ORDERING INFORMATION:
In May of 2009, Matador released Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr the Record, a vinyl-only document of “outtakes” and calls that didn’t make the cut for the 2CD/booklet released one year earlier. This LP was pressed in an edition of 324. As of this writing (April 2011), it remains in print and can be ordered from the Earles and Jensen section of the Matador online store.
It should be mentioned that the first disc in the JFAL Vol 1 & 2 set is a reissue of the original Just Farr a Laugh CD, created 2000/2001, and self-released by Jeff and myself in 2002. We pressed 1000, and they were eventually sold out by 2005. This release also contained an inordinate amount of liner notes, but nothing on the scale of the Matador release.
TOM SCHARPLING’S THE BEST SHOW ON WMFU
From 2001 until late 2006 and with great frequency, I performed radio bits on Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show on WFMU. As an extention of this, I have several bits on the Best of the Best of the Best of the Best of the Best Show on WFMU CD. For more info, visit the show’s archives. All in all, I called into The Best Show on WFMU as 30 or more (mostly repeated) characters of varying hilarity and quality. One day I’ll sit down with the archives and make a long list, then go back and transcribe every last word of dialogue.
THE CIMARRON WEEKEND
Yes, I bare-backed the predictable zine route into free-lancing. The Cimarron Weekend is the publication that I “founded” (“This guitar thing isn’t working out and putting out records has become a perpetual babysitting session”) in 1996 with a debut issue comprised of five stapled pages and absolutely no images or visual appeal. Four similarily-produced issues followed until colleague and long-time friend David Dunlap Jr. stepped into the co-editor/co-publisher seat and CW graduated to cover prices, real distribution, glossy covers for two issues, and a glossy FULL-COLOR cover for what became the CW’s swansong. That was 1998. The pre-Dunlap era (four issues that physically and thematically resembled the first) will probably never be exhumed for the ten remaining CW fans. Trying to get all of this into a format that can be enjoyed again.
RESORT THEORY ENTERTAINMENT (1995 – 1999)
As hinted at in the previous Cimarron Weekend description, I’ve tried my hand at releasing records. Twice. Active from 1995 until 1998, Resort Theory Entertainment was my initial micro-label/exercise-in-futility. Once again, Mr. Dunlap was involved. In fact, he is responsible for releasing what is perhaps the best-known Resort Theory title, the lone LP by The Clears, a band made up of Alicja Trout, Shelby Bryant, and Brad Pounders. Steve Shelley’s Smells Like Records did the CD. It was the final title to carry the Resort Theory name. The Resort Theory Entertainment discography contains six 7″s, a CD-only release, and the previously-mentioned full-length LP by The Clears.
FAILED PILOT PRODUCTIONS (2000 – 2008)
In the summer of 2000, I released a 7″ of “found” songs titled “Killed By Absurdity Vol 1″…this was the label name that appeared on the sleeve. Two years later, when I joined forces with Jeffrey Jensen to create and self-release the first Just Farr a Laugh CD, the FPP name was continued, and soon became the name of the website we had set up for the selling and promotion of the CD.
I am currently writing my second book, a narrative history of the major label feeding frenzy of the early-to-mid-90′s. This will be THE ONE!!!
This Is Why We Are Here Productions will be a joint effort between myself and my fiancee, Elizabeth Murphy. Our first release will be the ”Mindpants” b/w “Hole In The Wall” 7″ by NYC’s greatest leftfield pop band, Fly Ashtray. I promise that it will be released at some point in the future.
Want me to write something? Care to host one of my entertaining book-related presentations (monologue, Q&A, book signing)? Friends, fans, enemies, future employers and current colleagues should e-mail me at the address below.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to those who have supported my endeavors at any point and in any capacity since 1995. Every sentiment counts…don’t hold back: email@example.com