My dearest friend:
I bring news from the frigid north (Dorchester) and the frigid further north (Toronto). When last we corresponded, we had just canceled a bunch of November dates, and the band was making plans for some November/December recording in Charlie’s house. The November dates are still canceled, and the recording plans seem to have solidified, judging by my deepening relationship with the UPS guy, who brings a new package presumably containing more recording gear, most every day. He and I are spending so much time together, that I am thinking of clearing out a drawer for him. Also, that dinner invitation I promised you some time ago? Not going to happen this year, since what used to be my dining room is now a forest of corrugated cardboard and cautious promise. And I keep catching Charlie on the phone with Menck, making plans for the latter’s visit, when I will once again be faced with utter humiliation when my dog would rather sleep with another man than me. The degree to which I am willing to take one for the team is tragic.
So, we’ll all be spending (American) Thanksgiving together here at Ashmont HQ. We won’t celebrate it though, since we don’t want to offend James, who is British, by celebrating what was essentially a big thumbing of the nose to his people, no matter how much they deserved it, as they oppressed our people, who really weren’t our people at all, since we’re all children of immigrants. But for just the one day, we’ll embrace our teabaggery. It’s complicated. Also, there’s no way I’m cooking a turkey for those turkeys.
We have lined up our version of a world tour, which will undoubtedly offend some. These will be Joe solo dates. In the U.S. he’ll be doing a different version of the reading/music show he’s been doing, and in Spain, England and Scotland it’ll be a full music show, since the book has not been released domestically over there. The dates:
Jan. 14 Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA
Jan. 15 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
Jan. 16 Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA
Jan. 17 Iota, Arlington, VA
Jan. 26 The Union Chapel, Islington, London
Jan. 27 Oran Mor (Celtic Connections Festival), Glasgow
Jan. 29 OR 30 Tanned Tin Festival, Castellon, Spain
(Note to the Dublin contingent: I don’t know. It doesn’t look likely. It doesn’t mean I love you any less than I don’t love the others. How much is a plane ticket to London anyway?)
We have a winner in our “tweet a Joe Pernice book review contest.” Congratulations to @chidorio, for this sparkling gem:
“I thought Joe Pernice’s ‘It Feels So Good When I Stop’ was a Chuck Mangione biography. Brother, was I wrong.”
For writing the winning entry, @chidorio wins a Kindle, pre-loaded with ten of Joe’s favorite books, which I have listed below for those of you who read, in case you and @chidorio want to start a Twitter book club or something.
- Albert Angelo By B.S. Johnson
- What a Carve Up by Jonathan Coe
- Soul Circus by George Pelecanos
- Selected Poems by James Tate
- Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
- The Incognito Lounge and Other Poems by Denis Johnson
- Election by Tom Perrotta
- The Pugilist at Rest: Stories by Thom Jones
- The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
- Kill Your Friends by John Niven
The worldwide judging process was fierce. I removed all of the personal identifiers, and then Joe’s fancy New York people (his editor and literary agent) narrowed the field to 10. Joe then picked the winner, and I only had to ask him 27 times. I was not allowed to judge because of the special “relationship” I have with some tweeples. In fact, if @chidorio is who I think he is, I believe he was a member of the late, great teen pop sensation Zumpano, and I once left him on the side of a road in Bouctouche, New Brunswick because he and one of the members of The Hardship Post wouldn’t stop fighting over whether “giv’er” was a word while engaged in a heated game of travel scrabble on a particularly grueling tour of the Canadian Maritime Provinces. So, we have “history,” as it were, though since it’s Canadian history, no one knows about it.
Speaking of twitter, several followers of the new hit show “Pernice To Me” recently asked me if Joe is really as big a jerk as I make him out to be. Let me be clear about this. Joe is exactly as much of a jerk as you believe he is. Or perhaps more accurately, Joe is exactly as much of a jerk as I want you to believe he is. This should answer all of your questions. But if you have more questions, you know where to find me.
I can sell you all kinds of stuff you probably already have, at www.joepernice.com/store.
We don’t say it enough – you guy are the best. Thanks for sticking it out with us.
Your humble servant,
JTL in Dorchester