Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ten Questions with Joe Pug

I love me a good singer-songwriter, but I'm the first one to admit that sometimes all of those "next-Dylans" start to blur together. Everybody has good lyrics, everybody's got a good-bad voice, and everybody strums their acoustic guitar with their heart on their flannel sleeve.

However, Joe Pug is different. He is not just a good singer-songwriter, he is a great singer-songwriter, and easily the best I've heard in a long, long time. A few years ago, Pug left the University of North Carolina, where he was studying to be a playwright, and drove to Chicago to pursue a music career. His experience as a writer first is very apparent through the weary, earnest lyrics found on his EP, "Nation of Heat." The best thing about Pug's music, in my opinion, is his world-worn voice, which drifts effortlessly from strained despair to smooth, fluid intensity.

On "Hymn #101," my favorite track off the EP, Pug is accompanied only by a finger-picked acoustic guitar. However, this does not keep him from matching the emotional resonance of the most epic anthem.

I had a chance to ask Joe Pug a few questions, so I sent him one of my favorite question sets- James Lipton's from "Inside The Actor's Studio."

1. What is your favorite word? Fortune.

2. What is your least favorite word? Organic.

3. What turns you on? Thighs.

4. What turns you off? Speaking without thinking.

5. What is your favorite curse word? Whore.

6. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of fresh bills being counted.

7. What sound or noise do you hate? Police sirens.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Point guard in the NBA developmental league.

9. What profession would you not like to attempt? Cold-call sales.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Bravo!"

Thanks Joe!

For more on Joe Pug, check out his:
catch him on tour (for DC folks, he'll be at the Black Cat on May 14!)

Hymn 101- Joe Pug

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