My dearest friend:
First, please let me begin by thanking you for your patience. We realize that you’re a real live boy or girl, and that you might expect, by virtue of checking in at a band’s website, to get normal news of said band’s activities. You also might realize, if you’ve been here a while, “this ain’t that.”* We have LOTS of news – about real estate, elections, kitchen cabinetry, assisted living facilities, bikes, parenting, disappointment, loss, statistics, LDL, HDL, retroactive governance and anti-aging creams. But we don’t have a lot of news about Pernice music-related activities. There’s the rub. We have SOME news – enough that I feel compelled to write. But I fear many of you will leave unsatisfied. Nonetheless…
Joe is doing three solo shows. I am allowed to call this a world tour, as he is leaving his resident country to play two states in his home country and one show in a foreign country. As everyone knows, the rule is 1 socialist republic + 1 beach + 1 way to pay for getting oneself to a wedding overseas = a world tour.**
Friday July 20, 9 p.m., Grey Horse Tavern, Bayport, NY
I know there are many of you out there who will ask why London and not Ireland and/or Europe. All I can tell you is I was asked to get a London show on October 4, which is a couple of days before the London wedding of James Walbourne. So, I believe Joe was simply trying to get the company to pay his way to James’ wedding, in the same way that the recent Los Angeles show represented a ticket to a BMX bike show. I know this is all very interesting, but what you’re really wondering is – how is it that James Walbourne is old enough to marry? Where did the time go? He’s perpetually 19 as far as we’re concerned, and will be called “Kid” long past the time the name becomes ironic, which has apparently already happened.
As for other things I’ve overhead/had yelled at me/dreamed:
SCUD MOUNTAIN BOYS
The Scuds recorded, in New Hampshire, several months ago. There will be a record. I don’t know when. I think we’ll do a vinyl-only release available only through iTunes.*** I’m not sure. New Hampshire is a land north of normal (Massachusetts), where Live Free or Die is the state motto. It was also the birthplace of GG Allin, Mary Baker Eddy, and the guy who invented Tupperware. It has been home to J.D. Salinger, Carlton Fisk and my first crush, Lloyd the altar/alter**** boy from the church in Candia, down the road from my summer camp. I mention all of these things to give you an idea of how much I know about what the record will sound like.
There is talk of shows, but we all know that 1) talk is cheap and 2) I have very little patience for talk if I’m not the one doing it. If you’re a promoter with piles of money planning festivals, feel free to get it touch with me, and I promise***** your emails will be answered several times faster than the emails from people telling me this update was too long.
Joe recently played a show in Toronto with Norman Blake, who you of course remember from Teenage Fanclub. Norman has also moved from his native land to Toronto for love. Thanks to thoughtful fans Greg and Rachel (I think that’s right), we have some video on the youtube here, here and here. It’s shot from an unfortunate angle, but you’ll get the idea. Anyway, Joe and Norman are apparently in love as well******, and they’ve decided to call themselves The New Mendicants, and do a little touring and recording. This is all I know. You can ask me more, and I will attempt to tell you what you want to hear, but it will be nothing more than fabrication. This will lead to disappointment on your part and shame on mine. Please consider this before asking.
And of course, there’s still that Pernice Brothers record that’s in the can, but the can is packed in a box somewhere as we FINALLY prepare to move after 19 months of talking about it. Ashmonticello has been purchased and it being rebuilt to serve the purposes of one woman, one dog, one ornery indie rock artist and a semi-revolving cast of actual musicians and wannabe comedians. BUT, it does have something very, very important – two of my favorite words in the English language: separate entrance.
In closing, I’d like to share a little personal insight. My Aunt Theresa has dementia, and lives in a facility not far from where I live. One of the symptoms of her condition is that she can be pretty combative and complains a lot. The other day, she was talking about the staff at the place where she lives, and she paid them the loveliest compliment she could ever pay them. She said, “Well, I have to say, I don’t want to strangle any of them.” I just want you to know that we here at Ashmont Records and Tapes feel the same way about all of you.
Joyce from Dorchester
*Quoting Artie from the Larry Sanders show, the character on which I have based most of my career.
**I don’t make the rules, though I should.
***That’s a joke.
****He was an altar boy who I believe had a multiple personality disorder.
******With each other.