Coyle and Sharpe

Coyle and Sharpe

Audio Visionaries: Street Pranks & Put-Ons

Thirsty Ear

This is one of the funniest batch of secret recordings I’ve ever heard — funnier than the Jerky Boys, and not one single bad word. Coyle and Sharpe wandered the streets of ’60s San Francisco with a tape recorder in hand, setting up post-modern situations with hapless innocents. They offer to install a microphone in your head so they can record your thoughts and sell them at record stores. They have a job to offer that’s literally a living hell. They presage the demons of genetic engineering by trying to convince you to display their Zeb-eel in your shop, a sort of mix between a zebra and an eel, the perfect guard animal. And they’ll trade you a word — not just any word, but a pronoun — for that cake you’re carrying. Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe are so deadpan about their mind-games that their targets often find themselves participating seriously past the point of sanity. I haven’t laughed so hard since Monty Python’s Final Ripoff .

Thirsty Ear Recordings, 274 Madison Ave., Suite 804, New York, NY 10016; http://www.thirstyear.com

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