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Author Archive: "Joe Pernice"

Don’t Bother. They’re Here.

Clowns are okay. I don't have a problem with them, though plenty of people do. Clowns and I don't intersect all that much until I go on tour.

One of my guitar players is terrified of clowns. He's a grown man, my guitar player. Though I cannot believe it, he says his fear of clowns sprung from a singular experience....


I Need to Sleep. Why Won’t You Let Me?

I don't sleep much. I'd like to, but I can't. It has to do with being a parent. Before I had a kid, I would sleep all day if I had the chance. In graduate school especially, I liked to sleep until late into the afternoon. Sometimes I'd get up, eat dinner, take a shower, and go back to bed for the night. Ah, that in general was a fun time of life; one I wouldn't want to relive for any amount of money. I wouldn't mind a little of that old time sleep, but anyway...

So I couldn't sleep the other night, so I went to the living room and turned on the TV. They say watching television will actually make it harder for one to fall asleep. I don't know about that. I've tried a lot of things, and I've found the TV distracts an active imagination like mine; keeps it from drifting into dark thoughts that tend to make sleep impossible.

So I turned the TV on and Michael Phelps was blowing the doors off that dude (I forget his name) who was talking smack in the ...


There’s No Place Like Home

I'm about to board a plane. I bet a lot of people who write for this blog write entries from airport gates. I'm going to Boston where I will kick off my book and reading tour. Tonight I'm going to stay at my parents' house, the house I lived in from birth until when I went to college. This visit ought to be something else. My parents are great people. I love them to death, but they're a little bit nuts. I know, they all are. Actually, since I now have a kid, I should say, "We all are." (Today is my son's birthday and my wedding anniversary. And I'm going out on the road. Good timing, huh? Happy Birthday, Sonny Boy. Happy Anniversary, Darling.)

Anyway, back to my parents being a little crazy. I called them today so my mother could bless me in absentia. She carries a small bottle of holy water with her all the time. She has six kids and numerous grandkids and she blesses all of us. When the small bottle of holy water gets low, she fills it from the two ...


Every Day’s an Endless Dream of Cigarettes and Magazines

Today I leave for the first leg of my reading and music tour. I've done plenty of music tours over the past decade with my band The Pernice Brothers, and I've done a little reading here and there, but this is the first time I'll be combining the two in one show. Most of the tunes I'll be playing (solo) will be off my new album It Feels So Good When I Stop (Novel Soundtrack), which is a record of cover songs mentioned in my book It Feels So Good When I Stop. Anyway, my business partner and my book editor and my agent will all kill me for saying this, but I didn't come here to shamelessly plug my stuff. That's what getting up on a stage is for.

The last time I performed was in late 2007 in the big room at Carnegie Hall. For real. That simply was the thrill of a lifetime. I tried to have one of my bandmates snap a couple photos of me backstage during soundcheck, but the stage manager told me photos ...


There Is Power in a Union… and on the Other Side

I just survived what I am pretty sure was my first garbage strike. And I don't mean the non-workings of a stoned roommate or pissed-off spouse. I'm talking about a full-on, citywide work stoppage by garbage collectors and street cleaners, as well as other non-garbage related workers whose jobs fall under the umbrella of whatever union it was that struck. Striked? Struck? Whatever. It's over, thank god.

I think it lasted about a month and some change. I should know more of the facts involved in what's going on around me, but hey, I was away on vacation in Cape Cod (where it rained nine out of ten days, by the way) when the strike began. Plus, I am an American living in Toronto, and it's taking me a while to adjust to being here. Sure, I've been here for a few years, but I'm only now starting to feel like this is my home. What can I say, I am a change-resistant strain. I'm just getting my head around the new faces in the current U.S. Congress. Learning the ins and outs of the Canadian Parliament is going ...


33 1/3: Digital Mumbo Jumbo

[Editor's Note: In honor of our 33 1/3 salebuy two new (not used or sale) books from Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series, featuring critical writing on seminal albums, and get a third free — we're pleased to feature blog posts from some of the people behind the 33 1/3 series.]

The other night William Gibson was in town reading from his book Spook Country. About ten years ago, he and I interviewed each other for a magazine in Canada called Dolomite. The guy who set up the interview was named Chuckie the Skunk. The Skunk had heard William on CBC Radio talking about how he was a fan of my old band Scud Mountain Boys; the record Pine Box in particular. It struck me as a little odd that William would be into that album because it's about as spare as three people playing instruments can get. Like a boob, I assumed he'd be into nothing but Faust and Eno's weirder stuff. I asked a buddy of mine if he thought it was odd, and he said, "Necromancer is a messed-up movie, but I can see why ...


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