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Credits to the title go to my punny boyfriend, who is just as crazy about this band as I am.

I’ve got to say that I am disappointed in myself for being a week late with this post. Yes, I wrote about Kimbra, my audio fixation for the past couple of months, but my allegiance is always to Pearl and the Beard, an indie band stemming from Brooklyn. Jeremy Stiles and Jocelyn Mackenzie met at an open mic night and joined forces to make Pearl and the Beard (hence pearl being Jocelyn and Jeremy being the beard, since his beard is luscious and powerful), but they always wanted to add on new people. Enter stage left, Emily Hope Price, wonderful songstress and, oh I don’t know, Carnegie-Mellon trained cellist performer who composes for movies (see Unicorn City.) Here is their greater-than-average description taking from their greater-than-average website (where you can get merch! Yay merch!):

Pearl and the Beard is three voices, one cello, one guitar, one glockenspiel, one melodica, several drums, one accordion, ninety-six teeth, and one soul.
Former strangers Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price, and Jeremy Styles were united in the great city of New York. Each had migrated there from a far corner of the nation with naught but food in their pockets and money in their bellies. Each had the same true love. Since then, the three have nested, and their unique brand of brightly melodic songcraft continues to blossom of its own accord…
Pearl and the Beard loves you the way you’ve always been… and it’s quickly becoming clear that wherever they go, the feeling is mutual.

Their music is lyrically and emotionally dense. Everything is a masterpiece with a classical feel and the feeling that everyone is putting their heart and soul into every note. Here is an unreleased song and an example of the lyrics:

“Devil’s Head Down” Lyrics

Keep my head down
Burn underneath the sun
Caked in coarse ground
Skin leather baking brown

You better roll with it.
Bury the guilt, underneath the sun.
Keep my head down
Shovel beyond the throes

Devil’s whistlin’ now
We be the only,
Only what even knows.

But you better roll with it,
Bury the guilt
Underneath the sun.

This moment ain’t got nothin’ on me and it don’t even prove my sum.
Loose lips cut tight, won’t sink it right, my prize underneath a ton.
Percussion of my fists and pounding chest renders heartbeats to an all time low.
And the man I see ain’t the man I be, or at least not the one I know.

You better roll with it,
Bury the guilt underneath the sun.

Keep my head down
Oh, underneath the sun.
You better roll with it
Bury the guilt, underneath the sun.

Here’s a little taste of their music and the descriptions given by the band themselves!

“Douglas Douglass” (Jocelyn)
This song is about a tree named Douglas Douglass who is hot for a bunch of other trees. The only thing is, he can’t get to the other trees due to his whole being rooted to the ground thing, so he’s a bit pent up. Since he’s a tree he also can’t really tell which of them are boys and which are girls and which are gay and which are straight, so there’s a bit of cross-referencing gender-wise and orientation-wise. But that doesn’t matter, because they’re trees.

“The Lament of Coronado Brown” (Emily)
The lyrics to this song were largely written by Jeremy, though I feel I can lay claim to the first line sung, “They don’t know that I love you.” (I came up with it while floating in a lake. Jeremy was on the shore, and I shouted, “They don’t know that I love you. That has to be in there somewhere.” Perhaps it was my high school self wrestling with my water wings…) The rest is a mystery in my mind now, though we all had a hand in finishing this song’s bits and pieces. This that took a long time to compose. All the pieces had to fit perfectly together in order for each of us to feel completely comfortable with its release into the world. We each feel the meaning of this song very differently. For Jeremy it means this, “A person has just traversed across land and sea in order to find his/her lover’s bones, dig them up, and place them somewhere properly. However, upon near-completion of this task, said lover is discovered by nearby neighbors, the police are called, and this (to an outside observer) seemingly disrespectful act is ended quickly in gunfire.” For me it’s more this: Being too frightened to be able to tell someone you’re in love with them. It will be different for everyone, however, and this ambiguity is what we like about our work. It will never be the same for each person, which is why music is so powerful: it molds itself to the listener, fashioning itself into a need to complete a whole.

“Sweetness” (Jeremy)
I feel like we don’t have too many straight forward “I freakin’ love you” songs, so we wrote one. I’m a bartender and I think about drankin’ pretty regularly. I work weird hours, and always on the weekend which is usually when people are off. I thought of this idea where I’m getting home just as a love of mine is waking up for work. That’s what the third verse is about where it says “We see the exact same sunrise, on different sides of the morn.” Being in love definitely clouds your judgement, much like a drink does.

So, when you are looking for something relaxing to listen to or want to get a leg up on the music scene, take the time to listen to Pearl and the Beard, my personal favorite band and, in my personal opinion, should be everyone else’s favorite band, too!

(And hey, check it out, they are coming to Boston pretty soon! They are on tour with Ani Defranco, who is also just as snazzy.)

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. [...] more about Pearl and the Beard here. Pearl and the Beard will always be number one in my heart, though 40k definitely deserves this [...]

    Reply
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About dalewholivesatbu

Hey everyone! My name is Dale, I am currently a freshman at Boston University studying Film and Television Production in the College of Communications and I am proud to work to BU Central. I love to write and hope to go into screenwriting. At BU Central, you'll either see me working on homework, writing something up, or playing games with everyone else. I love people and hanging out, and I also like to think I am somewhat funny so hey, keep me around! I am open to almost every type of music, though my favorites are Indie and Rock. You'll be hearing a lot of songs you've never heard before with me around! Feel free to request whatever you would like, though, because I always like to hear songs I've never heard of before, too. We have a lot of great stuff coming this year, so make sure you follow us on twitter and Facebook, as well as check out our blog every now and again! P.S. Pro tips by Dale: My username is Dale Who Lives At BU, much similar to Jeff Who Lives At Home. Many people think I look like Jason Segal, which is a blessing... and a curse. It is still a lot of fun to fantasize about becoming Marvin Wait For It Eriksen.

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