Outside of the great Iris DeMent at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 9th, this week is a little light on notable touring acts. After Iris, the best bet by far is The Pernice Brothers at Young Avenue Deli Saturday, November 10th. Frontman Joe Pernice led the alt-country faves the Scud Mountain Boys a few years ago, but, joining brother Bob in the new band, he's set country aside in favor of pure pop that conjures half-remembered mid-'60s American acts like the Zombies and the Hollies, not to mention Big Star. The band's current release, The World Won't End, is a first-rate slice of depressive pop -- a batch of effortlessly catchy and pretty songs whose candy exterior obscures a darker center. Pernice starts off singing about "Working Girls" who are "contemplating suicide or a graduate degree" before moving on to his own romantic problems, but it's a winner either way. Nashville's decidedly less subtle Bare Jr. will be on hand to provide butt-rockin' counterpoint.
- Most interesting local show this week may be inspired piano man Jason D. Williams breaking in the new Isaac Hayes club in Peabody Place on Thursday, October 8th. One of the most compelling shows I've seen all year was Williams opening for folk icon Michael Hurley at the Hi-Tone Cafe. I'm sure his show at Isaac Hayes' club will be much less weird but, hopefully, no less wonderful.
- And for amusement, you might want to check out Bands on the Run also-ran Harlow (the VH-1 show's token chick band) at Newby's on Tuesday, November 13th. -- Chris Herrington