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4 Dec 2006

Some Pernices, a Perkins, and a Handful of Douchebags.

Written by sally @ 11:51 am — Section: sally

Whoo! All this posting every single day with no cheating is wearing me out!


Friday night we went to Oxford for the Pernice show.

There was an additional opening band before the real opening band, and they were made up of Muppety singers (one falsetto, one bass), terrible lyrics, and third-person commentary. The band was called [Boy Name Boy Name Alcohol Name]and between each song one of the Muppets would say “[Boy Name Boy Name Alcohol Name]’s comin’ atcha with another song now” or “[Boy Name Boy Name Alcohol Name] hoped you liked that one.” [Boy Name Boy Name Alcohol Name] sucked.

The actual opening band was Elvis Perkins, and while I had my doubts as I saw his band’s (his band is called Elvis Perkins in Dearland) bizarre grouping of instruments (stand-up bass, harmonium, trombone, marching band-esque wearable drum), he was completely amazing. They started playing and Larry and I both were sort of stunned. I would describe Elvis and his band as a pretty, folk version of Neutral Milk Hotel (but with no mention of semen or ovaries). Anyway, go buy his cd, Ash Wednesday. I did, and I can think of nothing lovelier to have stuck in my head on a Monday morning.

Ok, so the Pernice Brothers are my favorite band that’s still together, and I have been wanting to see them live for the ten years that I’ve been listening to all Pernice-related bands (Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquidick Skyline), and so I was very excited about the show. But Oxford was the absolutely wrong place for them to play: there weren’t many people there, and besides a whopping three other people I saw singing along, the rest of the people were drunk fraternity boys who did sitcom-worthy sarcastic clapping (clap…clap…clap) and talked the whole time. So I understand that Joe Pernice might’ve been in a bad mood because of them, and there was also the issue with the sound (he kept asking for adjustments between songs), but it was sort of notasawesome as I hoped it would be (but still awesome that they were playing in Mississippi at all!). They sounded great, they did great songs, but when I look at the forum on their website and see that lots and lots of other cities got more songs, plus encores (“Please Mister Please”!!), I feel robbed. And I feel dumb that Larry and Biz coerced me into going up to him after the show and saying something, and that as a response to my gushy “thanks so much for playing, blah blah,” Joe Pernice grunted at me. And, you know, while Elvis Perkins was playing I saw him sitting in a booth with his head down, so maybe he wasn’t feeling well, but still. GRUNTING. It’s not exactly my fault that the rest of the audience was made up of douchebags.


7 Responses to “Some Pernices, a Perkins, and a Handful of Douchebags.”

  1. gorjus said:

    I am officially going to punch Joe Pernice in his sissy tummy. I’ll never forget reading something Henry Rollins wrote in “Get in the Van”–some nights there’s not going to be five hundred people there. Some nights there’s just five, but to rip them off and not give your all diminishes the music, and — well — grunts in the face of your fans. Like Banksy says, you don’t make art to be famous — you make it because it’s art. Don’t think you’re King Awesome.

    I am also thinking of the Hold Steady roxxing it out Saturday night in New Orleans–to about fifty people. There weren’t a ton of us, but it was ON, with dancing and sermonizing and everybody dancing on the stage and it was basically a SHOW. Or: Beth Ditto hanging around after the show in Baton Rouge so she could talk to all the fans and sign autographs.

    (XYZ recently told me the Band of Horses show in Oxford was basically the same experience as yours).

    Sorry about Joe, but it’s awesome that you have a new favorite. I am officially now going to be an Elvis Perkins fan.

  2. Biz said:

    I am officially Elvis Perkins’ biggest fan. But after reading about how his mom was in one of the planes that flew into the WTC, I feel kind of bad about the “Maybe he looks more like his mom” comment when we thought the guy who turned out to be Elvis Perkins didn’t really look that much like Anthony Perkins. I emailed people I know who live in cities where Elvis Perkins and Pernice Brothers are playing and told them they had to go. No excuses, just go. I think the versions of the CD we have are self-released. I read he recently signed with XL.

    Oxford is not a good town for shows. People go out to get drunk and talk, not see a band. They even talked through Elvis Costello, for christ’s sake. During Nick Hornby/Marah, one of the guys in the band made several snide comments about the chattering. It’s damn annoying.

  3. xyz said:

    Sally, the exact same thing happened when we went to see Band of Horses a few months ago at Larry’s. They played to a unappreciative room full of drunken party dresses, stillettos (sp?), and fleece pull overs…shitty sound, no encore, etc. Was the show at Larry’s?

  4. biz said:

    It was at Larry’s. Larry’s and The Library (the bar, of course) are really the only places in town that host bigger-named acts. The other places usually have smaller or local acts. And it is always the same crowd — bad hair (boys and girls), Grove-wear, etc. They are all there to see and be seen.

  5. jaysus said:

    once, in london, i went to see a band at The Garage, and the band was named Modest Mouse, and it took me forever to figure out what the large letters on the wall behind the stage stood for: S.T.F.U.
    granted, a band like MM can drown out chatter well enough, but if i ever have my own acoustically-perfect music venue in the City With Soul, i’m gonna have those letters up. as an ominous, silent reminder to the jager -fueled daddymastercarders that they need to take the shrieking elsewhere.
    glad you got to see your band, though.
    i’m about to itune mr. perkins.

  6. Sara Leah said:

    -Joe and the boys played a show at the Bottletree in Birmingham with Elvis Perkins and John P. Strohm on Saturday. The majority of folks at the show were there to see John P. and his All Star Band (Bo from the Saturdays; Jody, Greg, and James from Through the Sparks; Shawn Avery of Wiseblood/The Ashes). But as the Pernice Brothers took the stage and the room thinned out a bit, I could see the Pernice fans, drink in one hand, edging closer and closer to the stage, looking at each other in anticipation, a nervous and excited smile thrown here and there. The set played was a quiet one and the John P. fans in the back of the room cackled and jabbered and jawed over their drinks until they noticed the turned heads and glaring eyes.

    I worked at the Moonlight Music Cafe in Vestavia for a long time. It was an all acoustic venue. Keith, the owner, would get up before every show and set out the expectations, that the Cafe was a listening room and to keep talk to an absolute minimum. I actually remember in the early days often having to walk over to customers and shush them. Behind the counter, we constantly would cringe as the cash register chinged, cups would clang, and cappuccino machine whistled. Sounds extreme, but the energy was easy, the sound incredible. For people like Andru Bemis, Vic Chesnutt, or Leslie Helpert to play in such an atmosphere, whether there were four people or a hundred, was always a great experience. I’ll miss that alot (the Moonlight closed in October).

    Perkins was pretty awesome by the way.

  7. gclark said:

    just saw this on the pernice brothers’ blog. apparently they just luuuuuv the locals in MS.