Start It Up

Joe Pernice is a god to the people who love Nick Hornby novels — mainly dorky boys who are as likely to name-drop their record collections as get to second base. So it’s not surprising that the Western Massachusetts–born singer/songwriter has written a novel with a jacket quote by the British author (“now it turns out he can write fiction too”) or that his slanted and disenchanted protagonist's life is intertwined with his musical tastes. (In one of the better moments, he decides never to listen to any of Todd Rundgren's songs again — including those by bands Rundgren produced, which pretty much precludes a large swath of '80s alt-rock — because they are tied to the moment he realizes a relationship is over.) Pernice's debut novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop, follows an indie-rock fan as he decamps to Cape Cod to figure out what went wrong with his marriage, opine about Hitler mustaches, and discuss loads and loads of music. So much music, in fact, that Pernice decided to release a collection of tunes mentioned in Feels So Good. On the soundtrack, the author shows off his impeccable taste, connecting the angsty indie-rock of Sebadoh's “Soul and Fire” to the sweet soul of Dan Penn and Linden Oldham's “I'm Your Puppet” to the elegant '60s pop of Del Shannon's “I Go to Pieces.” For the show Joe Pernice: Music and Stories from It Feels So Good When I Stop, Pernice reads excerpts from the novel and plays numbers from the soundtrack. Hopefully, he'll also take requests for his own catalog, which combines the well-detailed humor of his book with the swoony pop of his music.

John Cunningham opens.
Fri., Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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