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Pernice Brothers

Yours, Mine & Ours

    Like a lot of people during the aftermath of 9/11, Pernice Brothers’ band leader / pop songwriting genius Joe Pernice found himself contemplating a drastic life change. The self-reflection pointed to a need to rediscover the joy in things and hold on to them for dear life. This all led to Pernice rounding up his dependable array of rock ’n’ roll cohorts (Thom Monahan, Peyton Pinkerton, Mike Belitsky, Laura Stein, Bob Pernice) and recording a new album.

    Written and conceived in the summer and fall of 2002, Yours, Mine & Ours, the third Pernice Brothers album, may have been a joy to record, but it’s hardly a musical exercise in uplift. To quote the original 2003 press release, “The record may share its title with a breezy, feelgood Doris Day motion picture, but to quote the colossal talent that is Rip Torn, ‘This ain’t that.’”

    Including modern power-pop classics such as “The Weakest Shade of Blue,” “Baby in Two” and “One Foot in the Grave,” Yours, Mine & Ours received near-universal acclaim from critics with stellar notices from both Pitchfork and The A.V. Club. The album also ranked #22 on The Village Voice’s 2003 Pazz and Jop poll.

    This exclusive American Dust pressing is the first ever vinyl edition. Limited to 500 copies on “fireworks” splatter vinyl, it features completely new, exclusive artwork by acclaimed artist Nathaniel Russell.

    The return of classic, progressive pop heralded by The Shins, Beulah, Ted Leo, and the Pernice Brothers has produced many followers. But too often today's young, literate power-pop groups simply meet the expectations of their genre without exceeding them. A great guitar-pop band needs to add something special to the canon; the line must be straddled where a song remains universal, while offering inspired innovations from within. The Bye Bye Blackbirds are a great guitar-pop band. On their debut full-length, the band creates a powerful testament to pop music's capacity for depth, beauty, and expressiveness. Boasting multiple songwriters, each with his own style, the group draws easy comparisons to Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, and Buffalo Springfield.

    Matt Baldwin

    Paths Of Ignition

    One of the more unexpected - if worthwhile - by products of the 21st-century underground American folk revival is a renewed interest in solo acoustic guitar music. Spare, haunting, pastoral sounds have struck a new chord, and the names John Fahey and Takoma are hip again. Matt Baldwin, raised in California's rustic Pacific Grove, educated in the alternative mecca of Berkeley, sits in the center of this quiet, swirling scene. He is the visionary wildcard of today's solo guitar music, the ambitious fever dreamer, the serpent in the grass. Unlike many of his peers, he looks beyond the traditions of Fahey (whom he calls 'a teacher', not a god), bringing portentous and progressive elements into his music, alongside a dreamy country lilt. He covers krautrock legends Neu! ("Weissensee") and metal Vikings Judas Priest ("Winter"), and culls inspiration from prog heroes yes on the closing epic "Rainbow". His music comes on like a creeping moss, verdant but threatening, comforting yet unsettling.

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