Her new album has a duet with Iggy Pop!
I never really got Jemina Pearl or her short-lived band, Be Your Own Pet. A lot of people I like and respect, from Pitchfork's David Raposa to Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore (well, I don't really know Moore, so I shouldn't say I "like" him, but you know), really love Pearl and her Nashville punk band's high-energy antics, but I guess I'm not punk rock enough or something. The songs kind of rubbed me the wrong way, a little sophomoric maybe-- the omg sex/drugs/rock'n'roll shtick of "The Kelly Affair", off 2007's Get Awkward, for example-- which I guess makes sense, considering Pearl is only 22. But see her live, and everything comes together. I don't have the caffeine or the hyperbole today to do her whirligig stage presence justice-- another review I saw the other day described her as a "screaming dervish" of garage-punk-- but suffice it to say there was never a dull moment during her band's fast, furious set Friday night at the Vaudeville Mews in support of debut solo album Break It Up (also a great T-shirt FWIW). Her band members had the leather jackets and curly mops of sort of a mini-Strokes, and their set, despite a chosen genre that can lend itself to sloppiness, was just as precise and economical as those NYC forebears. No encore. Are you kidding? I talked to Pearl and the guitarist afterward, guess Pearl used to live a subway stop or two away from us in Brooklyn, and they're all based in Greenpoint now, not Nashville. Which is too bad, because if they were in the South I think they could do something really interesting in collaboration with another guy who loves Sonic Youth, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound; speaking of charismatic Nashvillian frontwomen, I'd love to see Pearl become the Hayley Williams or Taylor Swift of the avant-punk set.
As for the openers, eastern Iowa's Brooks Strause (of Old Scratch Revival Singers) did a sort of solo-acoustic take on the whole Tom Waits/Man Man/Gogol Bordello gravelly-voiced gypsy-boho-hobo thing, but was kinda drowned out by the crowd-- would love to hear him with a backing band. And I was very pleasantly surprised by locals the Jitz, whose Chuck Berry T-shirt and songs about rock'n'roll did not lie.
In other recent music action around here, I attended the Pentagram show at the Vaud not too long ago. Sabbath-style metal. A good time, but not really my thing, so I didn't have much to say.
Upcoming shows I may attend: Christopher the Conquered DVD release show at Ames Progressive Feb. 10, Aqui Estamos Landing Party at Vaudeville Mews Feb. 13, One for the Team with the Rugbies at Vaudeville Mews Feb. 15, Headlights w/ Hanwell at Vaudeville Mews Feb. 23, Poison Control Center at Vaudeville Mews Feb. 26, Charlie Hunter at Vaudeville Mews Feb. 28, A Sunny Day in Glasgow w/ Wolves in the Attic at Vaudeville Mews March 4, Heligoats at Vaudeville Mews March 5, We All Have Hooks for Hands w/ One for the Team at Vaudeville Mews March 8,Vivian Girls at Grinnell March 13, Hanwell's EP release show with Patrick Fleming and Ely Falls at Vaudeville Mews also March 13 (so I won't be at Vivian Girls, this means... but just FYI!), the fifth annual Gross Domestic Product at All Play March 27, Red Pony Clock w/ Zoos of Berlin and Child Bite at Vaudeville Mews March 28, Electric Six at Vaudeville Mews March 31, Love Is All at Vaudeville Mews April 8, Dum Dum Girls at Vaudeville Mews April 11, Brother Ali at Vaudeville Mews May 2