John Wesley Harding with Moody and Pernice at the Stage Door Theater tonight (3/31/12)

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JOHN WESLEY HARDING, RICK MOODY AND JOE PERNICE Strange combo, this, since Mr. Moody is better known as the author of The Ice Storm and other fine novels. He's also a crack essayist, though, and his latest, On Celestial Music, takes on everybody from Otis Redding to Arvo Pärt. Harding is the dude who pinched his name from a Dylan LP, which tells you about his literary pretensions; he's always been a bit "big hat, no cattle" to me. The real music candy here is Pernice, one of America's best and most underappreciated songwriters. Over 13 releases his miserablist miniatures have been drawn with as sharp a pen as vintage Morrissey - who, it turns out, was a key figure in Pernice's wastrel youth, as the latter's Continuum 33⅓ book on the Smiths' Meat Is Murder makes plain. $25. Stage Door Theater.


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