Release Date: Aug 4, 2009
Record label: Ashmont
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Singer-Songwriter
Throughout his long musical career, Joe Pernice has made music with witty and literate lyrics so it was no surprise that his entry in the 33 1/3 series of books that feature writers focusing on one album (in his case, the Smiths' Meat Is Murder) was one of the more lauded titles and led to him land a book deal of his own. In summer of 2009, the novel It Feels So Good When I Stop was published. The story revolves around the main character's coming of age and tentative (and often woefully inadequate) steps into adulthood.
Joe Pernice’s intoxicatingly melodic, A.M. radio-influenced pop music has always had a literary bent, and Pernice hinted at more literal literary ambitions when he broke rank and wrote a novella instead of an essay on The Smith’s Meat is Murder for the 33 1/3 series. So it comes as little surprise that Pernice, who received a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, has finally gone and written a proper novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop.
Joe Pernice is an immensely talented songwriter, but he's not necessarily one of our most literary, at least not as the word is most commonly invoked. Unlike writers such as Ray Davies or Elvis Costello, Pernice isn't known for his tricky wordplay, tight character studies, or flights of fancy. Rather, as an erstwhile solo artist and the leader of the Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquiddick Skyline, and, most prominently, the Pernice Brothers, he's focused on the big picture: the swoon of strings, the subtle interplay of chiming guitars, hook-enhancing harmonies, the whole slightly out-of-time chamber-pop package.
As a musician, Joe Pernice (of The Pernice Brothers) has a quiet respectability, whether for his work with Scud Mountain Boys, The Pernice Brothers, or solo, over the past decade-and-then-some. As an author, Pernice cut his teeth with a critically acclaimed response to The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder for the 33 1/3 series (…of writings about classic albums, FYI visiting aliens). It Feels So Good When I Stop, however, is his first novel-proper, paired with a (separately released) 'soundtrack' of covers and excerpts.