If there were an exhaustive step-by-step guide on how to be a rock star, Kevin Peroni would have started at the back cover and worked his way through to the first page.

選 did a lot of it backwards compared to other people. Other people dive into it and try to be a rock star from the beginning,' laughs Peroni, 36. 選 wanted to get my job and be able to afford to promote myself and make albums and buy the right instruments. I kind of flip-flopped it. I was always kind of practical in that I knew I couldn't live off of music.'

All that pragmatism and prudence may lead you to expect that Peroni, who released his self-titled debut EP under the name Wiretree in 2005, at the age of 31, would craft music overbearing in its restraint. But Wiretree is locally synonymous with affecting, emotional pop, sweetly thoughtful nuggets of charm anchored by Peroni's whisper-thin, Elliott Smith-evoking voice and subtly endearing keys.

The band hold things down at the Ghost Room on Saturday night, playing songs off last year's 銑uck,' nine tracks of Britpop, George Harrison and Sparklehorse-descended pop pleasure.

Wiretree's trajectory reads a little differently than most pop bands. Peroni started pursuing music with the trumpet, which guided his middle and high school experiences. He logged time in school bands in his hometown of Corpus Christi and threw down in University Interscholastic League contests.

選t started with my sister playing the trumpet. She's like 8 years older than I am, and you know the whole thing where if you have a brother or sister you try to do whatever they do, only better,' says Peroni. 全o I got that craze and followed her footsteps.'

Until the age of 16, he concerned himself primarily with classical music. Popular music was an unfamiliar sea until some insistent friends shoved the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan into his hands. Peroni's mind was blown, and he soon exchanged a set of weights for a keyboard, picking up the chops he employs with Wiretree today.

選'd make mixtapes for the car and listen to the White Album over and over, thousands of times,' Peroni says. 全ometimes if you're really young and you're introduced to these things you might not think too much of it. But I think being introduced to it at 16 I really got into it. I was trying to find more and more and more, every rare recording or b-side, really digging into it.'

Not that Peroni ditched the trumpet entirely. He attended Del Mar, a Corpus Christi community college, on a trumpet scholarship. But that gradually morphed into a computer science degree Peroni works in the computer lab at Seton Medical Center these days with music as a minor. Peroni worked in a music store and took the opportunity to experiment with the guitar. The trumpet gradually faded away,

選t takes a whole lot of practice to keep your chops up on the trumpet. It's like working out. If you take a week off of working out your muscles do something weird,' says Peroni. 選t's kind of like that with your mouth. If you're not up on it all of the sudden you can't hit your high Cs. The guitar's a little more forgiving. Sure you have calluses. But they'll still be there after two weeks.'

He briefly moved into a cinder block apartment, a stone box from which no sound could escape. Free to be as loud as he needed, he began to write and record his own songs.

選 bought a cheap drum set and a cheap acoustic guitar and I bought an old four-track from a pawn shop and just kind of learned what it's like to build a song, no matter how crappy it was,' Peroni says. 選've probably written 100 really crappy songs, and you kind of learn from that.'

In 1999, work brought him to Austin, where he soaked up the scene and found the confidence to release his own material, at first entirely self-recorded. In 2006, he finally put a band together, playing keys, guitar and singing for the live incarnation of Wiretree, a quartet that included his wife, Rachel, on bass.

Peroni may have arrived at pop, performance and recording a little late, but he isn't self-conscious.

銑uckily my drummer is 24 and my guitarist is 26. We have an average of 30,' says Peroni. 全o they act a little older and we act a little younger, and it kind of balances us out.'

Wiretree

with Stereo Is a Lie, the Pons and Search for Signal

When: 10:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Ghost Room, 304 W. Fourth St.

Cost: $6

Information: www.theghostroom.com

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