Power-Pop Giants Peter Case and Paul Collins Are Playing Mercy Lounge April 19, and You Should Care


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First of all, yes. We know that this show was initially announced several weeks ago. And yes, there was some question regarding what venue would host the show — why in the world would Peter Case's website (among others) list the venue as "The High Watt"? As ticketed, it's definitely taking place at Mercy Lounge, and not in some as-yet-unannounced, still-gestating, fetal-stages baby venue. Where would you get that idea?

But here's the thing: If you heard the names Peter Case and Paul Collins, scratched your head and thought, "Eh, must be some random pair of old singer-songwriters," then you're doing it wrong. Extremely wrong. Collins and Case first collaborated in the short-lived but highly influential mid-'70s power-pop trio The Nerves, who released only one four-song, self-titled EP. The lead-off track, "Hanging on the Telephone" — a performance of which was captured in an in-store during SXSW 2007 (see above) — proved to be an enormous hit for Blondie. Puerto Rican garage-rock outfit Davila 666 also does a version that's a lot of fun to watch. But I'm getting sidetracked here.

Now, after The Nerves, Collins and Case again collaborated in The Breakaways, not to be confused with English girl group The Breakaways. There's not a lot of Breakaways tunes to be dug up online, but "Walking out on Love" is a highlight:

Then Case and Collins parted ways, with Case going on to front the influential Plimsouls, and their 1983 release Everywhere at Once is essential listening for the power-pop fan. "Shaky City" is my favorite on the LP, but "A Million Miles Away" is on YouTube, so we'll listen to that instead:

As Case did his Plimsouls thing, Collins went on to front the prolific The Beat, whose "Rock 'n' Roll Girl" is what we in the biz call "undeniable":

There's your cursory, mildly unimpressive, I'm-working-on-some-other-stuff-and-thus-have-to-leave-it-at-that crash course. There's plenty I left out, and I apologize. As a token of my regret, listen to "When You Find Out," as it is dope:

April 19 at Mercy Lounge. Tickets.


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