Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I TOOK LAST THURSDAY OFF to see the Pernice Brothers at a D.C. club called the Black Cat.

Awesome -- the club, the band, the show, the evening. The Black Cat has been around for a decade or so, but I had never been there. Joe Pernice has been making music under a variety of band names -- the Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquiddick Skyline, "Joe Pernice," the Pernice Brothers -- since the mid-'90s. But I hadn't heard of him until a year or so ago, when my online friend Craig Lancaster mentioned "Yours, Mine & Ours" as one of two recent albums I had to have. (The other was Guster's "Keep It Together," and it's great as well.)

Jacqueline and I were amused that the guys hanging out at the downstairs bar ended up being the roadies -- who ended up being the band. Joe himself wasn't in the bar but was one of the guys setting up. I didn't really know what any of them looked like, so I had no idea. Here's a guy who does great modern mellow alternative pop but looks like a not-necessarily-cool working stiff. (Jacqueline isn't as obsessed as I am but had heard and liked the new album and was expecting a "shoe-gazer.")

Here's a guy who wrote a book about how "Meat Is Murder" changed his life in high school. And wrote a song called "The Ballad of Bjorn Borg." And sometimes does the Pretenders' "Talk of the Town" as an encore. He didn't this time -- just as well, Jacqueline said, to keep me from turning into a full-fledged stalker.

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