Pernice Brothers

edited December 2010 in Rock Pop
Fact: Joe Pernice is one of the greatest songwriters of his time.

Opinion: Most of the Pernice Brothers' CDs are on sale at their website.

Follow-up: Discuss the greatness of Joe Pernice here.

I'll start. The World Won't End is one of [del]my favorite[/del] the best albums of the past decade. "Working Girls (sunlight shines)" is such an achingly perfect pop song the music industry could have shut down after it was recorded and I'd still be satisfied.


  • he World Won't End is one of [del]my favorite[/del] the best albums of the past decade.


    The last album sucked.
  • I really wanted to like it. The first single had promise. But after, what, 4 great pop album he was due for a dud.
  • You're talking about Goodbye Killer...? That wasn't so bad - definitely not up to previous standards, and obviously it would be hard to top The World Won't End under any circumstances... but "sucked" and "dud" are just not appropriate. I really liked "The Great Depression" and "F*cking and Flowers," actually...

    Part of the problem with that album is that it doesn't sound finished - it's a clean sound, but it comes off as more like a bunch of demos. Whoever did the production was probably trying for "rawness" but it doesn't really work - that kind of material needs little keyboard flourishes, the occasional string section, bells and xylophones and things like that. It's too stripped down, at least in my opinion.
  • I've yet to hear Discover a Lovelier You, but that streak should include the one-off "Chappaquiddick Skyline".
  • Thanks for the tip on the CD sale, I just picked up a bunch of them. Goodbye Killer was the first one I've heard and I actually liked it a lot. If that one sucked, I can't wait to hear the others.
  • For the record, a dud by Pernice essentially means limited replay value not that I don't like it. When Live a Little came out it was playing on my computer and car stereo for weeks. Goodbye Killer kinda slipped through the cracks for me.

    I wish the Scud Mountain Boys and Chappaquiddick Skyline were on sale, too, since I've got all of the Pernice albums. I'll at least pick up the CD/DVD set.
  • It's a screaming deal. I picked up five CDs (including one CD/DVD set) for $22 shipped. Deals like that make me pretty sure I won't miss eMusic. Burned through my free month credits and quit yesterday.
  • The World Won't End was one of the first things I got on emu, IIRC, and certainly one of the first that was new music. At first I was just getting older music--Chuck Berry, delta blues, jazz, classical. I had given largely up on popular music because I suffered under the delusion, still common for people my age, that good popular music vanished forever around 1970, or maybe 1975. Things I found on emu, like TWWE, Beulah, and Saturday Looks Good to Me coaxed me out of that and I'm better off for it. I might buy some on that sale I already have just to send a little cash to Joe and the rest out of gratitude.
  • edited December 2010
    I find that their site also has streaming of several albums, including a few tracks on Goodbye, Killer.

    Edit: I just got the whole album and the 2010 Woven Hand from emu. I'll see if either has any impact on my list before I really publish it.
  • I suspect most Pernice Bros. fans know this, but the (lead?) guitarist for the Pernice Brothers is a guy named Peyton Pinkerton, which may or may not be his real name, and he's the front man for another band called New Radiant Storm King. Their albums are on a bunch of different labels but they're all still on eMu - for Pernice fans, I believe I can safely recommend The Steady Hand and probably also Drinking in the Moonlight. The earlier stuff is a bit too raw for my tastes, but not terrible or anything.


    I was listening to this just now... ridiculously underrated band, almost tragically so in fact.
  • @Scissorman - Didn't know about that. Thanks for the info. I would like to start exploring the other related bands. Seeing they have material on Darla, I might just go to the source.
  • That's sad: I don't even see Overcome by Happiness offered. The album has beautiful string arrangements.

    Luckily, Joe Pernice/Scud Mountain Boys/Pernice Bros. got their start out in Northampton, so they were a local band.
  • @BT - That was their only album on Sub Pop. Everything else is available under their Ashmont label. I was thinking of picking that one up now that it's on eMordac.
  • timtim
    edited December 2010
    Certainly agreed that "Working Girls" redeems almost the entire history of popular music that needs redeeming. (All is forgiven, Britney! Please come home!) Too bad it wasn't actually popular. Great video though - taking Death for pie. the Grim Reaper became a lot less grim.

    You know, I forgot until I wrote this - I bought the album on the strength of the video. Wow! Do you remember the days?

    One of the many reasons to have loved and to miss The Gilmore Girls was the cool music. In the last episode, they gave a lot of their favorites cameos as troubadours. The first and best was a spotlight for our boy Joe. Yo La Tengo, Kim Gordon and her daughter Coco, and Sam Phillips are others.
  • I remember Grant Lee Phillips occasionally popping up on Gilmore Girls, which was what first got my attention when my wife used to watch it. I ended up really enjoying that show.

    One of the best live shows I ever saw was Grant Lee Buffalo at the Center Stage theater in Atlanta.
  • Grant Lee Phillips played the role of the troubadour in 19 episodes. (I thought it was more until I just looked it up, but that still winds up being 3-4 times a season.) One of the running gags was how much the mayor hated him and tried to get rid of him. He eventually succeeded, and in that last episode, all these other people showed up to audition for the job.

    I'd only heard OF GLP before Gilmore Girls - the show was the first time I heard him, and wound up really enjoying him. But I suspect that that may be the last time anyone sees Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth or Joe Perniece on a network TV show. It was only the 5th network, but still.
  • Awesome videos. Never saw them before. Holy carp is the Sparks appearance hysterical.

    That video for "Working Girls" practically laid down the foundation (for better or worse) for so many of the the lo-fi, chillwave, indie vids the kids put out these days.
  • timtim
    edited December 2010
    I'd forgotten how impressed I was with the Yo La Tengo performance in that Gilmores clip. That may be my favorite. Three acoustic guitars pulling off that classic YLT drone. Although the mayor telling Kim G., "You there! Stop jumping! There's no jumping in the town square!" was great too.

    "Neil Young? Who's that?" "He's one of the Monkees."

    Agree about the PB video, though. It felt so retro at the time that you could feel that it was going to be ahead of its time for a long time. It still knocks me out.

    To get back to Joe, there are a couple of wonderful clips of his appearance on KEXP a while back. I'm a HUGE fan of Steve Wynn, the guy who epitomizes "indie" to me. (I'll save that conversation for another day.) Joe does a sweet little cover of Tell Me When It's Over, a tune Steve wrote while in The Dream Syndicate. The song was of course written for a feedback-drenched sledgehammer of sound, and while it doesn't have Joe's typically lyric lyrics, it's a Joe-esque sentiment, and he manages to make one of my all-time favorites sound an awful lot like his own. Go Sawx!

    You'll see the rest of the clips there, but I want to especially point you to Joe reading from his book, It Feels So Good When I Stop. Go Sawx!
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