Less Envy, More Fanmail: JEFFREY BROWN

on music, favorite flavors of ice cream, and dreams where teeth fall out

I first came across Jeffrey Brown’s work in a volume of McSweeney’s that was devoted entirely to comics. Between pages and pages of neat lines and heavily conceptualized artwork by Chris Ware, Tomine, and David Heatley (other really awesome guys you should check out if you’re into graphic novels) were a few excerpts from Minisulk in Brown’s crude signature style and I instantly fell in love. This was around three years ago, I think. Since then I’ve accumulated most of his work and sent him fanmail twice (because I’m a dork that way).

After the jump is his reply from the second time.

Jeffrey Brown: Lately I’ve been really into Nate Denver’s Neck. I don’t know why I’m so into his music right now, especially since I only have one CD to listen to.

I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of him, I think he’s a little bit on the fringe. I first hear about him through a filmmaker friend, who sent me a few tracks a few years ago. For whatever reason I never really got into them and didn’t really listen to them, even though my friend was telling me he though I’d totally get into it. But a little while ago he posted another Nate Denver song on hi website, and I listened to it and it all clicked. It was the song “Coughing”, and it totally hooked me so I tried to find those other tracks but apparently I deleted them from my itunes and I have no idea where they went. So I bought Nate Denver’s book, “Wait, You’re Not A Centaur” which comes with a CD, and that’s what I’ve been listening to. The book’s really great and funny too. Anyway, his music has a lot of humor narrative in it, and occasionally breaks out of acoustic folk pop hip hop into heavy metal power chords. I’d recommend checking out his myspace and listening to his tribute to the music of Slayer, ” 4 Horsemen”.
My favorite ice cream is probably peanut butter chocolate. Or banana, or mocha. I’m not so particular.
The teeth falling out has to do with a lack of confidence, from what I’ve read, so it’d be hard for me to interpret that differently. It’s been a while since I’ve had a teeth-falling-out dream, actually.

Me: Listening to songs like “Cough” and “Lunatic of God’s creation” testify to where the bizarre (but not twisted) sense of humor behind a lot of your stuff was coming from. Thanks for the heads up on Nate Denver’s Neck. It’s good silly fun and I liked it.

When I was 14, I couldn’t get enough of this band called Your Mother. I was going through this punk phase and streamed a lot of their songs alongside a whole lot of other good “serious” punk stuff like Propagandhi and Operation Ivy. There are pretty stark differences between the kind of music Your Mother put out and the other bands I was listening to. For starters, Your Mother unlike Propagandhi wasn’t out to start any revolutions. They didn’t have the blog peppered with political and social commentary. They made music that wasn’t particularly mind-blowing, yet I can still remember their stupid 2-minute songs word-for-word in spite of not having heard them for almost a decade; which is more than I can say for Op Ivy and the other guys with heavy handed messages about changing the system.

It’s just weird how the things you’re sure you’ll outgrow in no time just stay with you.

JB: It’s also weird how you outgrow stuff you think you never will – amongst my favorites to listen to in high school were Metallica, Megadeath, Misfits… I still like them in a way, but never really listen to them. Sometimes I sing Misfits songs in my head still.

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