Jemina Pearl (also known as Jemina Pearl Abegg) is the daughter of Christian artist and photographer Jimmy Abegg, and the former singer of four-piece garage rock group Be Your Own Pet (often abbreviated to BYOP) from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The band formed in 2003 out of the ashes of The Sex, which was the project of drummer Jamin Orrall and his bassist brother Jake, eventually being joined by guitarist Jonas Stein - who was in another band on the Infinity Cat label, which Jamin and Jake ran at the time - and eventually Jemina Pearl herself.
The band formed in 2003 out of the ashes of The Sex, which was the project of drummer Jamin Orrall and his bassist brother Jake, eventually being joined by guitarist Jonas Stein - who was in another band on the Infinity Cat label, which Jamin and Jake ran at the time - and eventually Jemina Pearl herself.
On August 1st 2008, the band announced on their website that after finishing a small tour of England, they would be breaking up. Jemina signed off the bands last gig by saying "...thank you to you guys for coming to our show! It's been a fun time, it's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times, but most of the best of times though."
Most of the former members of Be Your Own Pet are now working on other projects, joined most recently by 21-year-old Pearl, the group's unequivocal centerpiece and go-to shit-kicker, who although no longer a member of side project Cheap Time, was until recently involved with band Rare Form, from Brooklyn, New York. Consisting of two friends credited only as Dani and Lauren, as well as Max from "The Trashers", they were - for a time - joined by Jemina, likening themselves to a "sloppy Weezer" and listing their influences as, "animals in sunglasses", "the woman eating a tub of ice cream on the bus" and, "when you open up a bar tab for karaoke, get trashed, forget to close the bar tab and leave your debit card at the bar, call your friend and tell them to close it for you, and it is only $7 'cos the bartender messed up so they just pay it for you 'cos the credit card minimum is $10." As of February 2009 however, their Myspace indicates that Jemina is no longer involved with the band.
Since BYOP's last show, Pearl's major or mainstream appearances have been limited namely to an appearance on American television teen drama "Gossip Girl", singing a version of Ramones' "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" which she recorded with Thurston Moore, best known as the guitarist of Sonic Youth, and for running Ecstatic Peace! records, with which Pearl is now affiliated.
Speaking recently, The Village Voice's Dan Weiss said of Pearl, "[Jemina] is one of the few world-class rock 'n rollers right now, especially if you factor in her age or breed -- that is, riot grrrls, or riot anyone, who want the world and have the confidence, wit and sound to execute all three. Comparable visionaries all took longer to emerge than Jemina's 21 years: there's Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz, Jack White, and the lady-men of Sleater-Kinney, who quit rocking for the most loathsome reason of all -- maturity. You could factor in the Hives' excellent Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, who's really a robot and someone only half-charged his battery last time out. Or Beth Ditto, who has the style, cred and outlandish goals to defrock American Idol-obsessed America if she only had even a single damn song to match."
She is currently working on music for her new, as yet unnamed band, which she has referred to only as "Jemina and the Somethings" following an interview with Pitchfork Media. When asked, "So is this new project an official Jemina Pearl solo thing or are you still trying to think of a new band name?" she responded to Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal saying, "I guess it goes by my name, but I think of it as a band. It's hard to come up with a band name. Every time I come up with one I like someone's already taken it. I like to think of us as something similar to Iggy and the Stooges... but right now it's just Jemina and the Somethings."
According to her personal blog, she has - along with John Eatherly, former BYOP drummer, with whom she had been writing songs while the band were still together - spent time in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, recording demos for their Myspace. According to Pearl, the demos sound, "quite righteous" and include new tracks such as "Kids Stuff", "D Is for Danger", "Heartbeat", "After Hours" and "I Hate People" (purportedly her first love song), with her suggesting that the new sound will be similar to that exhibited on BYOP's popular track Becky, which she and Eatherly co-wrote, and will not involve her, "sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar singing about [her] troubles". She did, however, go on to say, "I'm going to sing about my troubles but in an aggressive way; in my own way."
Along with Pearl and Eatherly (with whom she has been sharing an apartment, prompting questions as to whether they might be romantically involved, living together as friends, or purely for the purpose of working on new material), the final line-up for her the new band looks likely to include Turbo Fruits bassist Max Peebles (AKA Turbo Max), and Ryan Sawyer, drummer for Brooklyn country-folkers Tall Firs.
Continuing his interview, Ryan Dombal went on to ask what people can expect to hear, going forward, from Pearl and crew, to which she responded, "They can expect to hear the most awesome music ever! I'm really happy about it. It's going to be kind of similar to Be Your Own Pet; I mean, it's still my dumb voice and John. But he's playing guitar now instead of drums. Hopefully it's some kind of growth from Be Your Own Pet. It's hard to describe your own music... I'm sure I sound like a bumbling idiot right now."
Pearl played her first post-BYOP show opening for The Fluid on January 17th 2009 at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. She took to the stage with her new shorter, brown hair, leather pants and denim vest with huge Lou Reed pin, along with (as expected) John Eatherly on guitar, Turbo Fruit's Max Peebles on bass, and the Tall Firs' Ryan Sawyer on drums. According to recent interviews, it looks like "Jemina and the Somethings" are set to record their debut album in March 2009, with a view to playing regular gigs around New York and New Jersey in the run up to, and during, this period.
As of Monday 1st June 2009, three new tracks have been posted on Jemina's official Myspace. These are "Heartbeats", Ecstatic Appeal" and "Nashville Shores", all of which are available to stream now at http://www.myspace.com/jeminapearl.