Though other outlets, probably Pitchfork and definitely the Matador Records web site, will be announcing this over the next week and a half, Iâ€™m here to break the news that Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen have finally signed to Matador Records, under the artist moniker, â€œEarles and Jensen.â€
What this means:
Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 will be released February 19th on Matador Records. It will be the first comedy release for the legendary indie label; aÂ past and current home to Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, The Ponys, Interpol, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mission of Burma, and The Unsane. The double CD set constitutes the worldâ€™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. Itâ€™s a virtual whoâ€™s who that doesnâ€™t make a lot of sense, but nonetheless creates a wonderful companion to the recorded works.
Bleachy, absurd celebrity impersonations, pop-cultural clusterf**ks, total insanity â€“ the whole gang is hereâ€¦a 150-minute assault on your funny bone.
If you are a fan of Fleetwood Macâ€™s Tusk, Yesâ€™ Tales from Topographic Oceans, the Hampton Grease Bandâ€™s Music To Eat, The Mothers of Inventionâ€™s Freak Out, Husker Duâ€™s Zen Arcade, the Minutemenâ€™s Double Nickels on the Dime, TFUL 282â€™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, donâ€™t expect a burn or freebie.
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.
Donâ€™t know â€˜em? Look â€˜em up. Some of these people can be found on the Internet.
The entire list of writers that contributed forewords: 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: Akashicâ€™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. He has written or directedÂ 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 anyoneÂ lucky enough to have spentÂ 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, Paste, Magnet, Vice, Paste, Chunklet, and The Memphis Flyerâ€¦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 Scharplingâ€™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 Leoâ€™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.