Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Articles [NAJP]

Book Publishing Made Easy, 144 Characters at a Time

It isn't very long: 80 pages, cover price $9.99 but free with the Pernice Brothers' Goodye, Killer, which will be available June 10-15, sez, "depending on where in this God-forsaken world you live." But it is a book: Pernice to Me, by Joyce Linehan and Joe Pernice, comprising the compiled and lightly annotated tweets of PB manager Linehan, which consist primarily of snide things chief PB Joe P has emailed, tweeted, voicemailed, or said to or in the presence of Linehan and Linehan has then tweeted for all his admirers to see because she was "fed up with the public perception of Pernice as some sort of gentle, fragile sad sack."

Pernice is a fairly witty guy who has a mouth on him, and also more of a writer writer than most songwriters--new record has one song that juxtaposes Ford Madox Ford to Jacqueline Susann, and last year he published a novel called It Feels So Good When I Stop. I got through it, too, which is more than I can say of Nick Cave's latest fictional venture. But I prefer Pernice to Me. Though it leaves stuff out--I just barely infer that Pernice is married and lives in Canada, though the band started in Massachusetts and Linehan continues to live there--it's one of those little glimpses into the highly unglamorous life of an indie-rock lifer. Pernice, who will be 43 in July, is a gifted songwriter whose music got a lot better when he adjusted concepts from the alt-countryish Scud Mountain Boys to the close-harmony pop-rock of the PB. And like so many similarly gifted guys, he just barely hangs in there, with his best chance of making a minor killing a lucky TV commercial or movie placement. This is the kind of life that can develop the mouth on you. And in Pernice to Me that dilemma is a lot more vivid than it'll ever be in the interviews he occasionally cranks out or the level of profile he's likely to inspire. Calling Pernice to Me arts journalism would be a stretch, I guess. But that's kind of the way it feels.

1 Comment

By dubiousraves on June 1, 2010 4:38 PM

Adult books, I don't understand. Jacqueline Susann meant it that way.

Articles, May 31, 2010

The Rockwrite Word Nauseating Is an Adjective