Arts Desk

The Story of Pearl and the Beard

The best storytellers live in the moment, weaving together memories from the past with the surroundings of the present. But Pearl and the Beard are one step ahead of that, and they know that the stories they tell through song are always developing.  Same goes for the music: The folky Brooklyn three-piece played Red Door last winter and is playing Red Palace tonight, but their songs have morphed significantly in the time since.

Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price, and Jeremy Styles met by chance at open-mic nights—which can often be hit-or-miss affairs. But when they hit, they hit, and through that energy and sense of urgency the three say they found each other.

The members are so comfortable with each other that they'ved rock a three-person, custom-made sweater in photo shoots. (But they don't perform in it; that's just a myth.) However, when they do wear it, Styles is sandwiched in the middle. Why? "I had a dream that Jeremy was multiplied together by threes!" Mackenzie says.

"Basically, Jocelyn is insane," Styles adds.

"I woke up and said, 'OMG' and just started knitting," Mackenzie says. "When I was done with the sweater, I went up to Jeremy and said, 'Where's your two other friends?' Turns out he had them already—Emily and me!"

One of the trio's interests is dream music—melodies and sounds that float around in the subconscious and can fade as soon as we wake up. There's a way to capture them, though, at least to hear Mackenzie tell it. "If you want to remember a song that's in your dream, wake up slowly and ease into it. Don't think, 'I've got to remember this!' Just start singing it slowly. It's be there as a memory."

The band performs tonight at Red Palace.


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