while this is actually nobody’s watching as well as nobody’s listening, it’s harder to capture and convey multimedia content.
but that aside, the nobody’s listening component is a live recording of a pernice brothers performance from 2004. it makes them sound far more like a rock band than their studio albums do. that’s not a good or bad thing, so much as it is an almost universally excellent rendering of songs that have very different characteristics in both forms.
the guitars are particularly more noticeable, because they aren’t over-edited. though there was undoubtedly post-production to clean them up a bit, some of the dirt still sticks, and it’s nourishing. i especially love the beat applied to working girls that reminds me of odelay-era beck. and the drumming on closer, flaming wreck, made it seem that much more urgent when combined with strong fuzz rhythm guitar overlaid with great lead guitar the likes of which i hadn’t really discerned in their music before.
joe’s voice live carries some fairly strong british inflections that belie his influences. this even extends to the music in the near cure-like version of sometimes i remember. these likenesses are beautifully evocative, rather than parodies. there may have been an underlying similarity that was somehow covered up in the originals. yet, when rearranged slightly and performed a certain way, simply lend themselves to a thematic interpretation. you still know it’s the pernice brothers’ song.
they come back a little more to where they’re from, in many ways, on the scud mountain boys song grudge fuck – as performed here, it feels not unlike the aura of the band listened to quite a few nights ago. it features as a fully melodic rock song; loud guitars, piano played feverishly and a stonking beat.
the result is an awesome capsule to revisit as one grows older and tries to remember what was so great about a band like this.