Love Jerks at Filoli Garden (all photos: Patric Carver)
The duo released their debut album Million Movies in 2018, and were on a steady climb to dominate the Bay Area rock scene until the pandemic hit. Their sound is a heart-and-soul rock sound that makes all songs sound anthemic. Combine equal parts pre-Private Audition Heart, DEVO, the Strokes, a dash of Rush (without such a Dungeons-and-Dragons focus), and a heaping spoonful of the Carpenters and you’re on your way to imagining the Jerks’ sound. It’s soul-filling.
The Jerks play shows that bleed with joy. In fact, just weeks before the closure of everything the Jerks played a show at DNA Lounge in which they gleefully shared pizza with audience members.
Musing on the changes that have occurred since then, Bryan nearly winces. “Looking back, I’m like, ‘How did we do that? How was it not a super-spreader event?'”
“Did you tell her about the pizza?!?” Rebecca calls out, making sure I got the full extent of the pre-pandemic event. “We were going through the audience, just handing out pizza,” she adds. “We were kissing people on the face!”
The pandemic life for them has also had other changes — they welcomed to the world their own little jerk about eighteen months ago.
There’s a Love Jerks tradition of marking all major life events with music — for example, their wedding was a rock opera. Celebrating the addition to their family was no different.
“I was taking a lot of classes. I probably took too many classes,” Rebecca said of her pregnancy. “I was in these classes with other pregnant people, and I was like, I want to be surrounded by pregnant people all the time.”
That, combined with research about dance party gatherings, is where the idea for A Pregnant People Prance Party was born. The event invited all pregnant people to come to a dance party at Oakland’s Fairyland in hopes of breaking the world record of most pregnant people in a music video.
The record was apparently broken, the babies have since been born, and the world still waits for dance parties to come back. Like the rest of us, the Jerks are perched on the edge waiting for the chance to get back out there and make some rock and roll.
To cut the anticipation, they are releasing a video of their new single, “Out of Body.” The video features footage from the dance party, where beautiful pregnant bodies are all dancing together. There’s also a pair of fantastic sperm and egg costumes featured prominently.
“We were going for a Isabella Rossellini Green Porno effect,” said Bryan. Mission accomplished. Just as it would be remiss to dismiss the science of Green Porno because of the cute puppets, “Out of Body” shouldn’t be seen as just a soundtrack to commemorate the gathering. It is a delightful song in its own right. Cheerful like Tom-Tom Club with a slight hint of the coolness for coolness’ sake of bands like Aztec Camera, the new wave / funk sound is perfect for experiencing the body — whether it’s appreciating your own body or admiring the ethereal magic of growing a new human.
I’m not much of a dancer, but I can’t wait to boogie with these Jerks again.