Peter Case of Plimsouls, Nerves ready to jolt Java Joe’s
by Bart Mendoza
Jul 25, 2012 | 5764 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Peter Case, a noted singer-songwriter with the likes of The Nerves and The Plimsouls, appears at Java Joe’s on Aug. 4. Case played at Java Joe’s about 10 years ago in a solo gig.                                     Courtesy photo by Dan Chusid
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Whether you’ve known him from his time in such notable groups as The Breakaways, The Nerves, The Plimsouls or his solo career, Peter Case is one of the most important artists to emerge from the U.S. music scene over the past four decades.

Currently in solo acoustic troubadour mode, three-time Grammy nominee Case performs Aug. 4 at Java Joe’s. Don’t expect an evening of introverted singer-songwriter tunes, but an evening of stories and songs, rock and blues, and music from throughout his career.

Case is no stranger to San Diego, first hitting town with The Plimsouls in 1979, even playing Java Joe’s in a solo gig in its previous OB incarnation.

“I love Java Joe’s,” said Case.” I played it back about 10 years ago,” Case said. “It’s a great environment for acoustic music. San Diego is a great community for that kind of thing.”

Case’s music has been going through a major upturn in recent years, with multiple reissues and vintage recordings from across his career that have surfaced on a variety of labels. Much of this show’s focus will be on music from his most recent Yep Roc Records release, “Wig,” but he plans to include choice tunes from his previous combos. He doesn’t mind when audiences request an old favorite.

“Maybe for a period a long time ago it bothered me, when I was coming out of that era,” Case said. “But I really I feel, for example, The Nerves have reached a new group of people around 20 years old. I’m really happy that happened, actually, because it’s kind of a validation of where we were at when we were 20 years old, so I’m glad about it.”

Case cites “When You Find Out” from the first Nerves EP as a favorite.

“I feel like they’re still good songs. It’s not like its any step down to play them,” he said. “They’re simple, but they’re kind of neat. I enjoy playing them still.”

Case’s best-known song is perhaps radio evergreen “A Million Miles Away,” introduced to each succeeding generation of young audiences via the classic 1983 teen romance “Valley Girl.”

“It was a really fun shoot,” Case recalled. “I think they got us into the film because Nicolas Cage and some of the other guys in the film were really into the band at the time. He came out to a few rehearsals. He was just a young kid and we were, too. It was a lot of fun, but for us it was just an afternoon’s shoot. It was during the period when The Plimsouls were really active, so I think we went right from there into the van and on to a gig somewhere.”

Upcoming plans include writing his third book and giving songwriting seminars, more touring and a new solo live album. After 40 years of touring, Case is just as enthusiastic as ever about his chosen career. “Maybe more, because I’m a lot better at music now than when I first began,” he said. “When I first began, I was trying to do things that I could barely get my head around. That was exciting and fun, but one of the great things about being around as long as I have is that you have this collection of songs to play from all these different records. It’s a great thing to have that kind of choice available for all the different moods.” He said performing is as crucial as ever to him.

“I just really enjoy being on stage the same as I ever did, except now I’ve got a lot more experience with it,” Case said. “I love playing for people, that’s my favorite thing. I make records every couple of years, but really, my favorite thing is playing live on stage and looking the audience in the eye. I still get the same kick out of it that I used to.”

• Peter Case performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Java Joe’s, 4976 Newport Ave. All ages. www.javajoessd.com

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