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Saturday, March 14, 2009

From The Dorks' Soundtrack: Yours, Mine, & Ours

Music from Episode #58

Artist: The Pernice Brothers

Album: Yours, Mine & Ours

Song: One Foot In The Grave

I think I first heard about The Pernice Brothers on one of my favorite sources for finding out about new music: NPR. For a talk radio station they sure have great music critics who have really educated views and conduct really interesting interviews with the artists whenever possible. I think it was probably on Fresh Air that I first heard about Joe Pernice and it was because he had both a novella and an album out at the same time that I thought it would be essential for me to check out his stuff, so I went out and bought his contribution to the 33 1/3 series all about The Smiths' Meat is Murder album and the Pernice Brothers record Yours, Mine & Ours the same day and then fell down the rabbit hole with Joe Pernice and his compatriots ... and I don't know if I have ever poked my head back out.

There was something wonderfully melancholic about the Pernice Brothers' lyrics and songs. That it was simultaneously scored to somewhat delightful instrumentation that made for a wonderful experience. There was also something about Joe's prose that made me simultaneously happy to read it and depressed by what I was reading. I had already had an appreciation for The Smiths but I was suddenly far more fascinated by them just from experiencing them through the thoughts and viewpoints as expressed by Joe Pernice. I've probably read his novella about 4 times now and it always makes me want to listen to The Smiths and it always makes me love The records of The Pernice Brothers even more. There is just something about the way that the story is told that also makes me remember what it was like to be in high school and the many wonders that I experienced there, falling in love for the first time, getting my heart broken for the first time, attempting suicide for the only time, finding a love for creative writing like I had never had before, losing my love for all things learning and beginning to understand that I loved only certain subjects. There was something magical and dark about my high school years and there was something about the way that Pernice talked about these possibly true experiences that made me immediately identify with them. It made me wish that I had discovered The Smiths and Morrissey in high school instead of college. And whenever I listen to Yours, Mine & Ours I am reminded of that book.

There is something about the music that I was discovering in and around the year 2003 that has changed my life in many ways. The music of The Pernice Brothers, Grant Lee Buffalo (and Grant Lee Phillips), Mojave 3, The Kings of Convenience, Low, Hayden ... sort of indie rock mixed with alt-country ideals and sadcore and ... Let's just say that 2003 was not the happiest year that I had ever experienced but it was a year that I changed a great deal. I first started taking anti-depressants (which was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can't thank the people who pushed me to make that decision enough). I found myself making whole circle of friends (a few actually). I moved into my own place for the first time (the place that I will finally be moving out of in May). I found out that I loved karaoke. I fell in love a few more times and each one of them was delightfully unspoken and unrealized.

So I guess this article and this song and this episode is all somehow dedicated to 2003.

The music of The Pernice Brothers is perhaps best described as intelligent, literary, accessible, emotional, genuine, guitar driven, melodic, austere in it's approach but lush in it's execution. It's a great song off of a great record from a great band and I hope you all love it.

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