News / Blog

May 2, 2010

Pernice to Me; Goodbye, Killer; John Cunningham

Oh. My. God. I’ve missed you guys. Well, some of you. Others of you are like voices in my head these days: with me all the time, talking to me about indie rock like I care, telling me what you had for lunch via a status update. But the rest of you, those with actual lives, are probably wondering what’s up with Pernice, and I am glad to report that I have news of the new record, details of our customary extra-special pre-order deal, and an announcement about an Ashmont release by an artist whose name is NOT Pernice. (David: I’m sorry. This WILL be long-winded. If I have time, later, I’ll break it down into a succinct power point presentation for you, so you don’t get annoyed and email me. Also, have a little respect for your elders.)


Pernice Brothers Goodbye, Killer, the first Pernice Brothers record since 2006, will be released on June 15, 2010 in North America (Ashmont), June 14 in the rest of the world (One Little Indian), and God knows when in Australia (Spunk). (Are you listening Aaron? For God’s sake, what’s your release date?). It’s a rock band record. It has 10 great Pernice originals. Also, curse words. It features Joe and Bob (now known as “Other Pernice”), with James Walbourne and Ric Menck. It was recorded in the attic here at Ashmont HQ, over the course of a couple of years, (mostly) off and on. Chief is working on getting the website (using the new AP Style Guide spelling there) up and running to stream the songs, but he apparently thinks the fact that he’s gone and knocked up Mrs. Chief is a good excuse for moving slowly. When we “discover” these people they’re social malcontents incapable of talking to girls. Then, once they’ve been around us a while they grow up and get a real life and don’t have time for us. It’s not fair. Anyway, we hope to be streaming some of the music fairly soon.

But, while we’re all sitting around and waiting for Chief, you can download “Jacqueline Susann,” a free MP3 from the forthcoming release:


Those of you who have been with us since around the time Monica Lewinsky thought Linda Tripp was actually her friend, already know that we always do a special pre-order offer for you, Pernice’s treasured fans. Here’s how it works this time.

If you pre-order the new CD directly from us, you will also receive an autographed copy of Joe’s and my new book Pernice to Me, a chronicle of close to two years’ worth of petulant banter between the two of us, most of which has appeared on Twitter. I have to say, it’s funny stuff. (Funnier than “Sh*t My Dad Says,” anyway.) We’ve all been laughing out loud as we’ve been assembling it, especially when Menck puts in an appearance. Some of you have seen parts of it on the Pernice Facebook page as well, but cross-posting is not my strong suit. I start on Twitter and then something shiny catches my eye, and I just never get to it. The perfect bound, paperback book will be 80-something pages. It features an introduction by Joe, in which he tries, unsuccessfully, to distance himself from the material that came out of his own mouth.

A few samples:

Pernice to me: unless you’re planning to stand on stage behind me with a flashlight, you better buy me some of those little reading lights.

Date: Tue Jul 28 16:56:04 2009

Pernice from stage: Joyce, how much time left? Me: 5 minutes P: mumble mumble bitch. Me: Did you just call me a bitch? P: It’s medley time!

Date: Sun Aug 09 06:10:10 2009

Pernice: I’m done with music. Opening a balloon delivery service, called Here Are Your Fucking Balloons.

Date: Wed Sep 23 17:18:40 2009

Pernice: If that goes well, I’m going to open a second one in Hamilton called Here’s Some More Fucking Balloons.

Date: Wed Sep 23 17:19:19 2009

Pernice to me: I’m a busy guy. I don’t have time to brush my teeth AND hair.

Date: Tue Nov 24 19:48:20 2009

Menck to me: I feel so good today that I think there’s something wrong with me.

Date: Sun Nov 29 16:06:27 2009

Yup, that’s 80-something pages of comedy gold, a $10 value (according to experts), yours, free, for pre-ordering Goodbye, Killer. The book will be autographed by him and me, provided we can stand being in the same room long enough. Before you get all bummed out at me for exposing Pernice as the curmudgeon he is, remember that Thomas Jefferson was a dick too, but he was very talented.


Pre-order offer expires June 1, 2010 at midnight EDT. All pre-orders will be shipped to arrive no later than the “street date” (that’s music biz lingo) of the CD, which is June 15 in the United States. This is provided, of course, the post office doesn’t betray me, as they have in the past. International orders will be shipped around the same time, but I make no claim as to their arrival day, because you just never know when an Icelandic volcanic ash cloud is going to ruin your day.

To place an order, please click on this link:

Feel free to forward this to all your friends, except those who will be offended by Joe’s R-rated lyrics and our curse-laden tweets.


We’re doing a non-Pernice record, also on June 15. We have the honor of releasing two of John Cunningham’s criminally overlooked albums – Homeless House and Happy-go-unlucky on one CD. It also contains an extra, unreleased track. You can order that record from our web store as well, and if you pre-order it from us, I will send you a link to a great live version of Joe Pernice and John Cunningham performing the latter’s “Imitation Time.” It was recorded by Steven Kray at Oregon Public Radio ( in the fall of 2009.

Here’s what Joe has to say about releasing John’s record:

I first met John Cunningham in London in May of 1999. I was in crappy mood. My old American label (Sub Pop) and my old European label at the time (Ryko) had been in a pissing match over who was going to pay for the Pernice Brothers’ European tour. Well, they called it draw, meaning neither of them paid, and the majority of the tour was called off hours before we were supposed to leave. I think we played London and a few dates in Ireland.

Anyway, I had just walked back into The Garage in London for soundcheck, after doing a photo shoot in a playground for a magazine. (I don’t like photo shoots in general, but that one sent me into an existential tailspin that had more to do with my own hang ups than with the photographer’s seemingly benign request: “Do you think you guys could sit on the swings, or maybe a couple of you swing while the others stand?” It was like I’d found my first gray pubic hair. I refused—with more than venom than necessary—to go anywhere near the swings.) And there was Cunningham. He was extremely polite. He apologized for interrupting me, and he gave me a copy of Homeless House. I did my best to seem gracious, but was thinking, Fuck me. Another one.

Back home in Massachusetts, I finally got around to listening to the record at some point in July. Thom Monahan and I were living in the same apartment at the time. He was there, so he’ll corroborate. When the tune “Public Information Song” kicked in we looked at each other the same way we looked at each other when we first heard “Needle in the Hay” by Elliott Smith. And we kept looking at each other and said, “Holy shit” countless times while Homeless House played. When I heard the lyric, “And everyone is getting young” from “Imitation Time” I knew I had found a musical soulmate. It was “one of those musical moments” for me, as powerful as any I’ve experienced. I simply couldn’t believe how good the songs were. I wrote to Cunningham at once, and we’ve been friends ever since.

At some point in 2000, I was in London again, and John and I met up. His good friend was managing a club in which Calexico was playing that night. Just prior to the opener’s set, we were sitting upstairs in the office. Ever the Englishman, John asked me if I’d like to hear the rough mixes from his upcoming album Happy-go-unlucky. Once again, a few bars into the first number “Losing Myself Too” and I was dumbfounded. We listened to the whole album, some songs a few times because I kept asking him to cue it up again. I think I embarrassed him. No dig at Calexico (a band I admire quite a bit), but I missed their show. I was sure after hearing Happy-go-unlucky that night that John Cunningham was an extraordinary talent. He had it, and not many people do. It’s that simple.

That I get to be historically linked to these great albums is an honor, and I know my business partner Joyce feels the same way. Ashmont Records was never meant to release anything not a Pernice project of some kind. I honestly cannot think of a better way to buck that trend. Ladies and gentlemen, John Cunningham has entered the building.

-Joe Pernice, April, 2010

That’s all I have to say for now, except that we’re weighing some touring options for September. You know I will keep you posted.

Thanks for sticking with us. We appreciate it more than you know, and I’m not being sarcastic just this once.

Yours truly,

Joyce Linehan

Dorchester, Mass.

Joyce @ 4:14 pm