Thursday, May 5th, 2005
It probably sounds a little ungracious to wish that Joe Pernice had done more solo acoustic shows in Toronto, as he did last night, since he moved here last Fall. But I guess he was here to concentrate on writing the new Pernice Brothers album Discover A Lovelier You (out June 14) and growing out a mighty mountain man beard, so we had to settle for comprising one-third of his one-man world tour (Boston and New York were the other dates). Hey Joe, the Sox won the World Series. You can shave the playoff beard now.
Looking a bit like a cross between Dennis Miller and Jerry Garcia, Joe shuffled onstage at 11pm and took a seat, and proceeded to play a wonderfully intimate set of really old and really new material. The really old was a surprising number of Scud Mountain Boys numbers which unsurprisngly worked really well in solo presentation. There were also a couple of covers, a number of selections from his the Big Tobacco album released under his own name and a couple of Pernice Brothers tunes. No Chappaquiddick material, however, otherwise he ran the gamut of all his musical personas. The bulk of the set was comprised of material from the forthcoming album. New songs like “My So-Called Celibate Life” and “Amazing Glow” sounded great, and it’ll be quite interesting to hear how they sound all gussied up with the band on the album.
Joe was chatty, gracious and unassuming throughout, cracking jokes and thanking the modest-sized crowd profusely. I thought it was a really nice and different sort of experience seeing an artist perform without being on tour or even necessarily having anything to promote. He was just up there playing songs and shooting the shit, the vibe felt more like a private party than a concert. If it had been a proper Pernice Brothers show, there’s little chance that Scuds material would have seen the light of day. I figure he’ll be back here in full band mode before too long, which will surely also be great, but this show was an extra-special treat.
Not too much in the way of photos from last night. A guy on a chair with an acoustic guitar doesn’t offer much variety in the way of shots. But dim lighting = arty black and white! Oooh.
Continuing the “guy with a guitar” theme, the criminally underrated Richard Thompson will be releasing an acoustic album, Front Parlour Ballads, on August 9. Thompson is one of the most amazing guitarist/singer/songwriters on the face of the Earth and new music from him is always cause for celebration. Billboard has details about the new record and info on a box set due out in the Fall, an Austin City Limits live CD/DVD coming out this month and his 1000 Years of Popular Music live set coming out in the Fall. JAM! talks to RT about briefly about that one and his cover of Britney’s “Oops I Did It Again”.
The next artist featured in Largehearted Boy’s “Note Books” feature is producer extraordinaire (and fine solo artist in his own right), John Vanderslice, sharing some thoughts on books and literature.
John Vanderslice also features prominently in A Good Band Is Easy To Kill, the long-promised DVD chronicling Beulah’s final tour in 2003 for which Vanderslice was the opener. The DVD is out August 2 and the trailer should be up on the Further Down website by the end of this week.
Also boo-ums – Spoon’s June 5 show has moved from Lee’s Palace to the Opera House.
Chart previews this weekend’s Over The Top Festival taking place at various venues around town. eye is featuring one of the OTTFest performers, Chad Van Gaalen, who I’d probably be going to see at the Poor Alex tonight if I wasn’t already going to see Matt Pond PA at Sneaky Dee’s. I’ll also be hitting Amy Millan’s show at the Poor Alex tomorrow night.
np – The Mountain Goats / The Sunset Tree