Each week, Lizzy Goodman guides you through the dirty streets of rock and roll.
Perhaps Catherine and Allison Pierce, who have been on tour in the U.K. for the last year or so with their gothic folk rock band The Pierces, decided to import some new blood into the cute-guy scene back in New York. Their ’welcome home’ show held last night at the Mercury Lounge was filled with an assortment of heretofore unseen tweeded-out cherubic-boys who could have come straight off the Yorkshire moors and into a Christopher Bailey for Burberry ad.
“Perhaps because of the girls’ inherent sunniness — the harmonies around which their songs are built, their spunky effervescent personalities — I always associate seeing them live with really shitty weather.”
One of the things I’ve always loved about the Pierces is the diversity of the crowd they draw. Inside, androgynous bleach blonde punks with pore-less skin chatted with Ryan Adams lookalikes – disheveled bed-headed boys in western shirts — and jovial moms and dads in dorky fleece vests and practical footwear.
The whipsmart, bawdy, and inhumanely gorgeous Catherine and Allison Pierce were raised by artsy parents in Alabama but they’ve been warming up the sometimes-austere and socially forbidding NYC rock scene with their blend of bohemian artist sensibilities and Southern communal goodwill since they first showed up here 10 years ago. Perhaps because of the girls’ inherent sunniness — the harmonies around which their songs are built, their spunky effervescent personalities — I always associate seeing them live with really shitty weather. This is the band you want to hear on a cold dark night.
Which is not to say they sing happy tunes. “If the weekend starts on Wednesday and it lasts till Monday night, when Tuesday comes around you better treat your body right,” Catherine purred as a warning to a crowd forgoing beer and mixed drinks in favor of Jack Daniel’s neat. “If you’re looking for a lover and you find someone you hate, if you stay with them forever, then I guess you’ve found your fate.”
Feeling a bit chastened, I decided to skip the inevitable post-show reunion gathering, which comes with a cocktail or five and according to Catherine, a new boyfriend I’ll end up hating. Instead I headed over to my friend Sarah’s house to watch Top Chef and eat pizza. “Jordan said I have to try Papa John’s,” she said, greeting me at the door in pajamas, holding a pizza box, and sporting a new hot pink hairdo.
I was a second grade school teacher when I met Sarah and she totally corrupted me. We’ve snuck into the VMAs together, stalked rock stars in London, tore around on Kelly Osbourne’s golf cart at Coachella, and once I watched her attempt to make out with a British dude in a bucket hat at the hotel bar at the Sunset Marquis in L.A. because she was drunk enough to think he was Liam Gallagher. (He was not.)
As we snuggled on the couch debating the merits of various pizza crusts, the new season of Downton Abbey, and Ewan McGregor (always a popular topic for us) I thought about the promising array of Brit boys that I’d seen earlier in the evening. But even they weren’t enough to tempt me away from my first loves: Pajamas, reality tv, and New York pizza.