News / Blog

July 1, 2006

Inch By Bitter Inch

Inch by bitter inch. OK, that’s not exactly fair, because the making of this new record has been fairly stress-free. Inch by semisweet inch? Also historic, in that I was allowed into the studio with Joe for the first time since the heady days when I was a middleweight record company executive with a modest expense account and Joe was a South Shore kid with a dream and a guitar. Even Charlie Ashmont was in the studio this time, where he settled on his bed beside the mixing console with a big fat bone and became the “left speaker anomaly” during mixing. If you listen really close, perhaps there will be some bleed.

Anyway, let’s first address the lies I told you previously. My information is only as good as the person giving it to me, and it’s not my fault if he’s fickle and flighty. The title of the record is NOT “Ascending/Maintaining,” as has been previously written. It is “Live a Little.” “Ascending/Maintaining” will hereby become known as the great lost Pernice Brothers record. Only you and I will know that it does not exist. Ebayers beware. The release date of the real record is October 2006, but I do not know which of October’s two release dates we will actually make, because we are at the mercy of the schedule of the one and only Bill Inglott, at whose feet we scrape and bow, who will be mastering this one.

The lineup this time around included Peyton Pinkerton, James Walbourne, Patrick Berkery and Bob Pernice on their usual instruments, with Joe Pernice playing bass in addition to the stuff he usually does. Kara Pernice Coyne and Anne Pinkerton make vocal appearances. And Mike Deming did the string and horn arrangements. That’s right, strings. And horns. The record was produced by Mike Deming and Joe. It was a tearful reunion for Mike and the Pernice Brothers, who haven’t worked together since “Overcome By Happiness,” but they hugged it out, and once all the tears were dried, they rocked.

So here’s the deal. We’re all busy with the mechanics of record releasing – preparing the artwork, making room in the basement for all that inventory, um I mean art, dreaming big dreams. And people in England and Australia are doing the same, only in GBP and backwards. Joe has made and Chris is cleaning up a little video for a song called “Somerville,” and we hope to post that to the website this week (Chris – despite what you think, this is not me putting pressure on you to finish the damned thing now that you decided to trade the slacker lifestyle being at the beck and call of the Ashmont empire for the wussy security of a steady paycheck working for the man – please don’t mistake it for that). Also, we will be doing one of our famous “give us your money in advance and we’ll send you an excellent bonus homemade CD with outtakes and alternate versions.” It will be available with pre-orders, and in the interest of world peace, we are partnering with our international friends to make it available to the whole world this time. It’s a perfect situation. I can stop annoying people outside of the United States, and I STILL don’t have to deal with my deep aversion to customs forms. Ashmont Records: Building Bridges, Crossing Cultures. We’ll be sending out reams of instructions about this over the summer, so be paying attention! Tell your friends to join the mailing list now, because when they email me a week after the order deadline saying they heard from so-and-so and can’t I please make an exception, well, I think we all know what I am going to tell them.

And the record? Yeah, yeah, stakeholder, grain of salt, whatever – I think it’s really, really good. And I hope lots and lots of people will buy it so that we have enough money to give our employees a raise from the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour to the Massachusetts minimum wage of $6.75. And maybe, just maybe someday, we can increase pay to the proposed Massachusetts minimum wage of $8.25. Like a lot of the underdogs we tend

to champion – the dogs like Charlie Ashmont, neighborhoods like Dorchester – we hope that his record lives up to its potential but realize that any failure to do so is likely of our own making.

Joyce @ 7:12 pm