Head Cheese

Erudite pop for white guys? That's part of it. But Joe Pernice's intimate tales of woe, booze and love have sustained their greatness through Scud Mountain Boys, solo records and the Pernice Brothers, his current band. The new Live a Little blends lush arrangements and a sturdy '70s pop with turns of lyric like "She's not innocent/Tongue in her cheek/She said 'Soldier boy, I kept my conscience clean.'" Here, Pernice espouses on baseball, the bible and Gilmore Girls while driving through Northampton, Mass.

5. Bless our boys: Hey, I'm from Boston. Be proud. The Tigers were still playing [this season] when everyone else was watching. And that's from a baseball fan who's been through a lot of heartbreaking shit.

4. Pedal to the metal? I think in the past the tendency was to drive songs through the roof, which we're not doing this time. Live a Little isn't as mellow as some of the older records; we're going to keep the tempos the same, do the songs as accurately as possible.

3. The un-printable thumb: You have to be fingerprinted for a visa, but they won't do it if your digits have cuts. It would've been a real punch in the trunk if my English piano player was restricted U.S. entry because he'd sliced his finger cutting a freaking potato.

2. True troubadours: "The creators of Gilmore Girls are fans, and they wanted to have some of their heroes be on the show. I was in the opening shot of the Troubadours episode, playing a song in the town square.

1. Literary wisdom: "The Bible is bad reading because the hero dies halfway through."


Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668. With Elvis Perkins.

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