Editors' pick

Joe Pernice

Singer-Songwriters
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Editorial Review

Recently, there has been an epidemic of novels and short-story collections by singer-songwriters. Joe Pernice keeps the streak alive with his new novel, "It Feels So Good When I Stop," about a slacker who runs from a two-day-old marriage.

Pernice has released an album to go with the novel. It begins with him reading a brief excerpt from the book about the couple arguing over Plush's indie-rock underground hit, "Found a Little Baby." That's followed by Pernice singing that song in a lilting warble over an acoustic guitar. He reads two more excerpts from the book and sings nine more songs mentioned in the story, including the ultra-hip "Soul and Fire" by Sebadoh and the ultra-non-hip "Chevy Van" by Sammy Johns.

The record works best when Pernice enlists his Pernice Brothers bandmates to exploit the harmonic possibilities of such pop-rock gems as Dell Shannon's "I Go to Pieces" and the Dream Syndicate's "Tell Me When It's Over." The album also includes an instrumental version of the charming song "Black Smoke (No Pope)," which the book's protagonist records with his fictional band, the Young Accuser, and which has been released as part of a three-track single of the same name.

-- Geoffrey Himes, Weekend (Aug. 2009)