Santa Pig sez…..

What really gets
none other than
the King of the Surf Guitar
truly hot this time of year ?

However has
that freedom-singing Pride of NashPop
come to link
Mel Torme to frosty Alex Chilton ??

Does no less than
the Once and Forever Female Elvis
actually dream of Snowbirds
this time every year ???

and What in the world
did the Killer’s Sister say
to squeeze the Scrooge clear out of Van the Man
one December 25th (or six) ago ??!

Come,
all ye Lost Groovers,

and roast your chestnuts
alongside all of my Yuletide Pig pals

right there in
Morty’s Cabin,

Ho Ho H(oink) !!!

 

Canned Hamm and Friends – Sincerely Christmas CD (Pro-Am)

And when they say friends, they don't just mean the same old reindeer and elves—the first guest is the somewhat unnerving Sssssssalty The Rattlesnake. Big and Lil Hamm promise to put the "X back in Xmas" and don't disappoint, sending all their love straight out to their audience of miserable shut ins with the sultry disco stylings of "Sexy Elf" and "Secret Santa." The ultrashrill Hamster Hamm drops by with a harangue about the mess the Hamms have made unwrapping their gifts, but he's barely annoying compared to stand up comic Neil Hamburger, who tries to cadge a place to sleep by comparing himself to the baby Jesus before agreeing to sing the cranky instant classic, "Office Christmas Party." The boys explore such high holiday concepts as the sin of gluttony, making snow angels, getting high on egg nog and meditating with the sugar plum fairies, and before they're finished, Lil Baby Jesus raps his way out of his diaper and Ivan Hrvatska turns in an entry in the happily miniscule genre of Christmas seduction songs. The Hamms even revamp their hit "Father and Son" into a holiday selection. Don't hit eject just yet: there's an almost special message from Santa himself for all good little boys and girls. If you must buy just one Canadian-made Christmas album by mustachioed men this year, make it Sincerely Christmas!

Best of 2007

Here are the highlights of my listening, watching, and reading year:

New Stuff:

• Southern Culture on the SkidsCountrypolitan Favorites: ‘Skids covers album, songs by Wanda Jackson, Kinks, CCR, et al

• Mitch EasterDynamico: Could be a new Let’s Active album, minus the female vocals and plus more power chords

• Mick HarveyTwo of Diamonds: Dark balladry by Bad Seeds member

• High LlamasCan Cladders: More Brian Wilson meets Bossa Nova – the ‘Llamas best since Hawaii

• Brant Bjork & the Bros.Somero Sol: Stoner rock from surfers

• Junior SeniorHey Hey My My Yo Yo: B52s meets 60s bubblegum meets contemporary dance; every track is a little party

• His Name is AliveXmmer: Left-of-center pop by longstanding indie rockers

• MumGo Go Smear the Poison Ivy: Boards of Canada with more hooks 

*Woodjen ShipsWoodjen Ships: Like early Deep Purple with Spacemen 3 sitting in. 

Reissues, Compilations, Etc

• Anne BriggsThe Time Has Come: Breathtaking folk from 1971

• The ShoesDouble Exposure: Demos from Shoes albums Present Tense and Tongue Twister; some of the best Power Pop ever made

• Dwight Twilley BandSincerely/Twilley Don’t Mind: More of the best Power Pop ever made; Twilley Band’s first two albums, plus 4 excellent bonus tracks

• The ZombiesInto the Afterlife: Recordings made by Zombies members shortly after Odyssey and Oracle – a must-have for Zombies fans

• Neil YoungLive at Massey Hall: Solo Neil, on guitar and piano

• True WestHollywood Holiday Revisited: Debut EP + first LP by Paisley Undergrounders – like Television from the West Coast

• PylonGyrate +: Surf guitar meets art rock meets the Athens sound

• Gene Clark with Carla OlsonLive in Concert: Original Byrd and granddaddy of alt.country Gene playing live, near the end of his career and life

• The BongosDrums Along the Hudson: The bonus material is stupid, but it’s great to have the main album on CD

• Gram ParsonsGP Archives, Volume 1: Flying Burrito Bros. playing live as the opening act for Grateful Dead over two nights in San Francisco, 1969

Best Music DVD:

• All My Loving: British-made documentary from late 60s which makes the argument that the day’s pop stars were changing the world for the better. A little heavy-handed, but great live clips and interview segments of Donovan, Who, Hendrix, et al

Best Music Book:

• Riot on Sunset Strip by Domenic Priore: Contends that the music that came out of LA in the mid-to-late 60s was actually much better than what came out of San Francisco during those years, contrary to what critics and SF snobs have always said. Really gives a lasting impression of the scene on the Strip during its Mod/psychedelic heyday.

Best Non-Music DVD(s)

• Cult Camp Classics, Vol 1-4 (Sci-Fi Thrillers, Women in Peril, Terrorized Travelers, Historical Epics): Great cinematic camp fun, spread over 4 box sets containing 3 movies each. Joan Crawford plays a scientist trying to housebreak a cave creature; Lana Turner’s stepdaughter’s boyfriend slips her a hit of acid; a nerve-wracked family gets terrorized on the highway by a group of delinquents; the movie being parodied by Airplane!

Best Non-Music Book(s)

• Hard Case Crime series by Dorchester Publishing: Ongoing series of high-quality pulp novels, some from the 40s-70s, others by current writers. 5% are no good, 70% are good reads if not memorable, 25% are outstanding.

Judee Sill – Live in London: The BBC Recordings, 1972-73 CD (Water)

In these intimate, revealing solo performances (just Judee with her piano or guitar) recorded over three sessions for a British audience, the mistress of L.A.’s Rosicrucian folk mysteries shares her exquisite, multi-layered compositions alongside memories of her musical influences and inspirations, and where the songs fit in her personal cosmography of romantic and spiritual loves. I imagine the disk will appeal to people who are already fans of her debut and “Heart Food,” but it’s strong enough to stand as the introduction it was to UK radio listeners. Sill describes how the Turtles found her living in a car with five other people and gave her a break when they recorded the lovely “Lady-O,” then turns in an effortless, stripped down take on that stunner. After hearing Sill talk about the UFO-as-savior symbolism of “Enchanted Sky Machines,” the ’50s R&B sources of “Down Where the Valleys Are Low” and how “The Donor” signifies a plea to god for a break she no longer feels she deserves, those songs will take on new layers of significance. This is a surprisingly warm and funny series of performances for so esoteric a songwriter, and well worth seeking out, though the multiple versions of five songs should be noted. Too, Michael Saltzman’s tender notes reveal the tragedies of Judee’s short life, from fears of madness, romantic obsession, drug abuse, injury and the ill-advised crack about David Geffen that scuttled her career, and explore the conflicts that pulled at the artist and finally pulled her down.

What’s Up, Sars Volta?!?!

Like to read? Good. Enjoy this action-packed post/bulletin/irritant of Earles and Jensen news and fun facts!

First, here’s a clip from the late-70’s made-for-TV mess, Death Drug. It pays off in the end.

Now…

**Take a look at our revamped MySpace profile!! Listen to the posted track!! (If you are not receiving this info from our MySpace profile, go here.

“Kurt Loder Has Lost His Mind” will be on Disc 2 of Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2.

What about those photos!?! We were afraid to post more, as those images will be part of the entire breathtaking package (see below), and we didn’t want to be held accountable when people’s brains began melting from their ears!!

**Take a look at this link!! Both of the photos, beautifully-taken by local Memphis photog Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury, will appear in the Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 booklet. The Arby’s photo was taken a mere seconds before we were dismissed from the premises. No shirt, no shoes, NO PROBLEM!! The golfing photo session was a little more laid back. I (Earles) had to train the 14-year-old kid on how to hold a cigarette in one’s mouth. We were going for sort of a Caddyshack “bad caddy” thing. If any reader can come forward with a story about a ne’er-do-well teenage caddy that listened (or listens) to Killdozer, well, I can’t really promise anything, so never mind.

Me: “Do you smoke? Have you ever smoked a cigarette?”

Teen made to wear Killdozer t-shirt: “Of course not.”

Further info: 
 

Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 will be released February 19th on Matador Records. It will be a double CD set of what currently 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. 

Bleachy, absurd celebrity impersonations, pop-cultural clusterf**ks, total insanity – the whole gang is here…a 150 minute assault on your funny bone.

Think about 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, Ross McElwee’s Sherman’s March, and imagine if there was a prank call/comedy version of these wonderfully indulgent, macro masterpieces. This will become a reality on February 19th, 2008.

A short list of artists that contributed drawings: Mike Aho, Archer Prewitt, Devendra Banhardt, Mark Henning, Ian Marshall, Gavin McInnes, Jake Oas, Aurel Schmidt, Matt Sweeney, and Megan Whitmarsh.

Don’t know ‘em? Look ‘em up. Some of these people can be found on the Internet.

When an early version of this press release was circulated on Mr. Earles’ blog (www.failedpilot.com), a reader commented that (grammatical errors left intact) “this thing sounds weirdly artsy for a comedy album… its weird how comedy ceedees are now adopting obtuse inde rock artwork. imagine if richard pryor albums had, like, a blurry pile of leaves on it. am i right?”

No sir, you are wrong. No square centimeter of the physical package or split second of the recorded works resembles anything that could be considered “abstract.” We’re talking pure entertainment from point A to point Z, people. Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol 1. and 2 will not enter your as a box full of useless cardboard, printed with neon scribbles in the name of “art.”

The entire list of writers that contributed forewords is as follows: Gregg Turkington (AKA Neil Hamburger, comedy genius, writer, Warm Voices Rearranged), Matador co-owner/co-founder 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).

All of the must-be-seen-to-be-believed photography is by Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury. Seriously, it will blow your mind.

Otherwise, the respective introductions and thousands upon thousands of words of track-by-track commentary are provided by Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen.

Who you are dealing with:

Along with writer Ian Christe and artist Steve Keene, Jeffrey Jensen founded modern day Brooklyn NYC around 1992, during the Dinkins administration. In March of 2007, he traversed Europe confounding the Arctic Monkeys (and their simpleminded fans) as “The Mooch,” the funniest character to ever grace the world of YouTube. The uninitiated can be floored by combining “The Mooch” and “Arctic Monkeys” in the site’s search engine. 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 that has spent over an hour in his presence. Jeffrey has played in many bands, including The Closet Case, The Jewish, and The Star Spangles. Earlier in this career, he served as the bass player for Homestead recording artists Smack Dab, a band that keeps some seats warm in the cutout bin. 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 based in Memphis, TN. His words regularly appear in The Onion A/V Club, Spin, Harp, Paste, 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.

The Passengers –Something About You (I don’t Like)

The Passengers –Something About You (I don’t Like)/Two Lovers –Private pressing (1979 UK)
I met these guys at the time outside the CBS building in Soho Square just as they were signing to Epic. They had pressed up this single privately in order to create a buzz and it worked as both tracks were later released on the faux-independent Blue Inc. and also on Epic proper. It looks like they were uncertain as to which song was to be the A side when they pressed it up, but in my book, there was no contest as Something About you is a powerful Punk/ Power Pop number of the highest caliber. To me it sounds like The Members infused with a top Pop tune and featuring a great rockin’ piano part such as Nicky Hopkins would lay down on those early Kinks sides.

Click on title for an edit of Something About You

As a dubious marketing exercise, I will also be listing this single on ebay http://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQsassZpurepop1uk this evening. It’s the last single I will be listing until January -Thanks!