I try to pretend like I am not an elitist prick where music is concerned. Don’t believe it. I am. And I have enjoyed the hell out of being in on one of music’s best-kept secrets: Joe Pernice. He has recorded under at least 231 monikers during his career. He has made incredible records under each of them. I have listened to all of them while the rest of the poor masses have been served teeming piles of Destiny’s Child and the godawful Rob Thomas. The sun shines on a dog’s ass somedays.
And make no mistake… it is sunshine shining on my big ass. Joe Pernice writes and records perfect, sunny pop records. At least that is what you think until you read the lyrics. Then you find out things are not quite so sunny in Camp Pernice. Then you play the CD again and your head feels like it is being sucked in by a straw because no one should make pessimism and depression sound that damn good (only the late Elliott Smith rivaled Pernice in this department).
Why the long preamble? Because it is entertaining me. And because I want it known that I drank the Pernice Kool-Aid in 1999 when I first heard his Chappaquiddick Skyline album. The first line of on that album: “I hate my life.” That will get your attention. It got mine and I was hooked. How is it possible to sing that line and sound that good? The Joe Pernice Paradox: he makes torment seem kind of inviting. No, you probably would not want to go out of your way to find it but if it happens to find you… how bad can it be? Every Pernice-related album I have ever bought has an amazing first song. Each album has been a love at first listen affair.