The Pernice Brothers

It's been a long time since a new record really blew me away. I've probably bought about 40 new releases this year and, until recently, I couldn't think of one that should top my year end list. Centro-matic maybe? Cat Power? Good records, but not great records.

I fell in love with The Perince Brothers before they were The Pernice Brothers. It was the summer of 1995 and the Scud Mountain Boys were opening for Wilco and Blue Mountain at Tramps in New York City. Joe Pernice and two others sat around a candlelit table and strummed through some of the prettiest songs I'd ever heard. I really dug "Massachusetts". Then came The Pernice Brothers and the brilliant "Overcome By Happiness". "The World Won't End" followed and was nearly as good. Then came a step back with "Yours, Mine & Ours". Then I lost interest.

A few months ago a colleague from the D.C. area was raving about their new one "Live a Little". I hated to admit it, but my time was up with Pernice. Then a friend sent me the track "PCH One". I liked it. But not enough. At the end of that month I had just enough tracks remaining in my eMusic montly to pick up the record. I hesitated, but I bought it.

Now two months later this record's a strong contender for record of the year. It's Pernice's best output since 1998. It's everything Joe Pernice was set to do in music. Beautiful vocals, moving lyrics and a solid backing band. Right now I'm listening to "Somerville" and it reminds me of that June night back in 1995. That was when music was my life. I guess it still is. It sure feels that way right now.


kareneatsberries said...

Possible record of the year? Hmm... I'll have to check it out. All I have is "The World Won't End" album -- wasn't impressed by it so never went back to this band. Maybe worth exploring again.