Here Comes Summer…..

Sure,
every time this year,
as temps and spirits begin to rise
and the time gets right for doing
something in the street,

we could So easily get
laid back and lost within the usual grooves
of those Beach Boys,
Jan and/or Dean,
Fantastic Baggys (!!!)
or even Los Nooney Rickett Four.

but,
If you’re ready for a brand new beat instead
all this summer long,

May I suggest you tune on, log in,
turn up and hang at least 10dB
right over there at
Gary Pig Gold dot com,

thanx to our very hot pals
dba Zuzula, that is.

Listen !!

Simply Saucer

As stated before,

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada’s
one and only
Beefheart/Seeds/Floyd/Velvets-even
uber-amalgamation
(aka Simply Saucer)

have recently reformed, relaunched,
recorded and now actually released
their first “official” album in, oh,
say three-and-a-half-decades or so,
give or take.

and
Said sounds can now be streamed,
sampled,
purchased,
and/or experienced fully live

by any and all
willing to leave preconceptions,
not to mention pigeonholes,
firmly in the half past.

Just be sure to tell ‘em
Gary Pig sentcha….

 

Deadbeat Poets at SXSW

The Deadbeat Poets will be playing this year's SXSW
Festival at:
Lambert's Patio
401 W. 2nd St.
Austin, Texas

The band goes on at 9:00 pm Thursday, March 13th.
More info on the Deadbeat Poets at:
http://www.myspace.com/deadbeatpoets
http://www.popdetective.com

About The Deadbeat Poets

The Deadbeat Poets were formed in Youngstown, Ohio in
the summer of 2006. The band consists of veteran Ohio
musicians with eclectic credentials: Frank Secich
(Blue Ash, Club Wow, Stiv Bators Band), Terry Hartman
(Backdoor Men, Napoleon In Rags, Terry & The
Tornadoes), Pete Drivere (Infidels, Pretty Demons) and
John Koury (Infidels, Slackjaw). Their debut album
(which was recorded over the first few months of 2007
at Youngstown's Ampreon Recorder) is now available on
Pop Detective Records in America & in Japan on Vivid
Sound Records. Also, making guest appearances on the
album are Bill "Cupid" Bartolin on guitar and Chris
Leonardi on piano and organ.

10 You May Have Missed In 2007

They Came,
throughout 2007,

and I Heard,
as I do always try to.

but Just in case you haven’t,
or didn’t yet,

Here to hear are the ten discs
(listed strictly alphabetically of course)

that I most urge your ears immediately upon…

 

1. DEBRIS Static Disposal
(Anopheles Records)

2. THE DOUGHBOYS Is It Now?
(Ram Records)

3. THE FREDDIE STEADY 5 Tex Pop
(SteadyBoy Records)

4. THE LICKITY-SPLITS Another Taste
of the Lickity-Splits
(Lickity-Splits)

5. LOLAS Like The Sun
(Jam Recordings)

6. THE MODD COUPLE Daze Gone By
(Modd Couple)

7. JACK PEDLER Let’s Get Nervous!
(Race Records)

8. THE SPRAGUE BROTHERS
Best of the EssBee CD’s Vol. 2 (El Toro Records)

9. THE SQUIRES OF THE SUBTERRAIN & BIG BOY PETE Rock It Racket (Rocket Racket)

10. ROBIN STANLEY Chronic Empire
(Creative Artists)

 

…and,
For all of those
who like to read as they rawk,

Uncover even more
about 07’s Top Lost Grooves
Right HERE !!

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) !!!

 

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.

Rats

Earlier this month, I visited a friend in Prenzlauer Berg for dinner. As I approached the apartment, a rat scuttled across the pavement.

Now, many of you probably aren’t surprised by that; after all, Berlin is a big city, a dirty city, and that’s just where you find rats. But one of the most surprising things about Berlin is simply its lack of rats. Even in the most wretched apartments here, or at least the ones I’ve been to, you just don’t find them. The city is extra-diligent about cracking down on them, and on places where they could breed, and as a result, you’re far more likely to see a marten or a weasel (especially in cold weather) than a rat.

But, as you might guess from the way my luck runs, I’ve had experience with them. My last apartment, which I moved into a little over twelve years ago, was a nightmare. I took it over from a guy I knew whose wife had gotten a job in Hong Kong, and it was a huge, ground-floor place in a particularly depressing part of Wedding. It was in the back, not on the street, but it was just exactly what I didn’t want: two coal ovens, for one thing, each of which burned a different kind of coal, which, because the neighbors had destroyed the coal-cellar assigned to the apartment, I had to haul around 35kg of coal into just about every day. For another thing, there was nothing of interest in the neighborhood, or, as I discovered, for many, many blocks around. None of my friends wanted to go up there, but at least it was close to the U-Bahn.

Now, in the street-front was a shop which looked like it had been closed for a long time, given the dust on the windows, with a sign behind the grating indicating that it sold espresso machines wholesale. As the bitter winter, one of the coldest on record, faded into spring, there was activity there. Out went the espresso machines, and in went a bunch of burly guys, cleaning the place up. Soon, a sign appeared, saying that an Italian ice cream place would be opening. Certainly nothing too exciting about that; those places are omnipresent here, and, since I don’t eat ice cream, I don’t know if any of them are any good, although I suspect not many are. Finally the place opened, with a sign saying the ice cream was made on the premises, which I found surprising, since the shop was incredibly tiny and I couldn’t see where they made it, not even when the back door, which opened onto my and my neighbors’ living space, was open.

One problem that I had was that I was subletting this place illegally. I believe all sublets in Berlin are illegal, but some landlords are cooler with it than others. I was told that this place was owned by two sweet old ladies, one of whom had briefly taken English lessons from the guy who’d sublet it to me. At any rate, I never saw them. I paid rent to the guy I’d sublet from and he paid the landladies. My address was c/o him, as it had been at my previous sublets, and I never had any trouble getting my mail until one day we got a new postman. He was an ageing hippie, from the looks of him, John Lennon wire-framed glasses and a greying pony-tail. But looks can be deceptive. “I can’t deliver mail to you because your name isn’t on the post box,” he said. I told him that the name of the guy whose apartment it was was on the box, and that should clue him which box to put it in. “No,” he said, “you have to have your name on the box or I won’t deliver it.” I’d been warned not to do this, but it looked like I didn’t have any choice. So I wrote my name on a label and pasted it onto the box.

The days got warmer. Finally, in July, it got downright hot. A friend came to visit and when he got in the apartment he said “Man, those are some mellow rats out there. They didn’t even budge when I came walking by.” I looked out the window, and sure enough, there were a few grey lumps in the lawn. When he left, I watched him go, and he stamped his foot. The rats scurried a bit, then settled down after he was gone. This didn’t look good. That night, as I left for work, I noticed that there were a bunch of empty cans out back of the ice cream joint. The labels indicated they’d contained peaches in heavy syrup. No doubt that’s what had attracted the rats. The ice cream guys couldn’t be bothered to walk a few steps to the garbage cans and throw them in.

I got off work at about 11, and I’d go to Zoo Station to catch the subway back up to Wedding, and it was there, among some of the most unsavory residents of Berlin, that I noticed more rats. They were between the tracks, the same color as the pebbles, but unlike the pebbles, they moved. They’d run for the sides when trains approached, then come back out again, scavenging for who knows what. I guess I just hadn’t noticed before.

It started to cool off again, following the usual pattern of warm days but increasingly sharp nights. I was sitting, reading, one night when I heard a sound from the kitchen: eeeep eeeep. From my time on the Lower East Side in New York, I recognized that immediately. When I checked, I found a couple of turds. They were big enough that I knew the animal I was dealing with, and it wasn’t a mouse. I went to a hardware store the next day and bought a rat trap and baited it with peanut butter. Don’t mess around with cheese; go for the stuff they really like. That night I was awakened by a snap, some high shrieking, some rhythmic flopping, and then silence. I fell back to sleep.

The next morning, there was, as I’d expected, a large, dead rat in the middle of the kitchen floor. I picked it up and went outside to the garbage bins, which were overflowing with empty cans left by the ice cream guys. As I deposited the rat, there was the sound of scuffling inside the bins. I bought another couple of traps. It was getting colder. The ice cream guys would be closing down. They’d want in, somewhere.

A few days later, the doorbell rang. It was the hippie postman. In his hand was a bill from the electric company. “I’m not going to deliver this,” he said. “You shouldn’t be here.” And with that he walked off. Now what?

I bagged a few more rats. This was getting unpleasant.

Soon, a letter, registered mail, arrived for the guy I was subletting from. The word “Hausverwaltung” was in the return address. It was wrong, but I suspected I should take a look at it. After all, he was in Hong Kong. And it was what I’d feared: the bill the postman had refused to deliver had been sent back to the electric company as undeliverable. They, in turn, had alerted the landlady that Herr Ward had apparently skipped town. The landlady checked her records and saw there was no Herr Ward on her books. She checked the mailboxes and saw my label on the box. She terminated the lease.

I faxed Hong Kong. The guy filpped out. He told me to get out immediately and cursed me for losing him his big, cheap Berlin apartment. He announced he’d be back in a couple of weeks to close the apartment down. I had to be out by then.

I was hardly heartbroken, but the timing could have been better. I had a lot of work to do, and this was just complicating things. Still, it was time to look for a new place. And there were the rats.

In late September, the ice cream shop closed for the season. The cans were no longer being tossed out the back door, or in the garbage bin. I headed to Zoo Station at 8 one Saturday night to catch the first batch of Berliner Morgenposts to check the apartment listings. There weren’t many, but there was one from a woman in Mitte who needed someone to take over her lease. I wasn’t sure I wanted to live in the east, but things were, it’s true, cheaper over there. I called the next morning. It turned out that not only was she a journalist, not only did she speak English, but she recognized my name from the magazine. I looked the place over. It was fine. We set a date to meet with the landlord.

The furious guy from Hong Kong was still due, and the woman in Mitte was having trouble moving out. I moved some of my stuff in, and left some in Wedding. A friend had rented a place in Neukölln that he’d partially furnished but couldn’t yet move into, for some reason. He let me have it for a couple of days, just to sleep in, while things shook out. I’d go to Wedding, pack some, call a cab, and move it to Mitte. Finally the day came when a friend rented a truck to take everything, and I woke up early, and went to the apartment to start getting things together for the big move. When I got there, there was excitement in the courtyard. One of the garbage bins was on fire, and the neighbors had a bucket brigade going. I reflexively looked to see if I could help, but it appeared things were going well, so I went inside.

About twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang. I opened the door to see an old woman leaning on a cane, and a well-dressed younger man with her. The woman started shouting. “You started that fire! I’m calling the Kripo [Kriminalpolizei] and having you charged with arson!” And who, I asked the man, are you? “I’m her lawyer.” Do you speak English? “Yes.” Does she? “No.” Good, let’s speak English. I hope you’re being well-paid for this. “Not nearly enough,” he sighed. I told him I’d been asleep in Neukölln when the fire had started and only wanted to pack my stuff and leave that place for good. The guy who had the lease had missed his plane in Bombay, I think it was, and would now be a few days late, but she could deal with him when he got here. “You’ll really be gone this afternoon?” the lawyer asked. I promised him that as soon as he got the old bat out of my presence, I’d go back to packing and they’d never see me again. “Have a nice day,” he said, and steered her towards the courtyard.

So that’s how I found the place I’m leaving now. People are always surprised when I tell them that this — rats, coal heating, being informed on by my postman — happened in West Berlin instead of East Berlin, but someone recently theorized that the postman could well have been ex-Stasi, given a job where he could do no harm. Possibly. Another friend who’d been studying law and had dropped out to work in the Post Office later told me that the postman had broken something like eight federal laws. No doubt.

I hope there aren’t any rats in my next place. With four, three, or two legs.