April 15, 2009

i’ve come to test the timbre of my heart


I cannot get this song or this artist out of my head. Joe Pug is a young man from Chicago, with a mop of curly hair and songwriting that injects fire and ache into my veins.

Hymn #101 – Joe Pug

His whole name is only six letters, pops off the tongue quickly. This 24-year-old carpenter crafts folk songs steeped in stories that stop me in my tracks, and laden with lyrics that feel weightier than your standard fare: “The more I buy the more I’m bought, and the more I’m bought, the less I cost.”

nation-of-heat-coverPug cites a love of stark authors like Whitman and Steinbeck, and that rugged depth cracks out of his music as well.

I want to listen to his Nation Of Heat EP over and over, because I keep getting something new out of it each time I listen.

UPDATE: My interview with Joe Pug is here.

Also check out his videos on My Old Kentucky Blog’s rad Laundromatinee project. Pug plans to release his debut full length record in 2009.

* with M Ward
# with Horse Feathers

Apr 18 – Hope College Holland, Michigan
Apr 27 – The Phoenix Toronto *
Apr 28 – Le National Montreal *
Apr 29 – 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN #
Apr 30 – Univ of Madison, Der Rathskeller Madison, WI #
May 1 – Schubas Tavern Chicago, IL#
May 2 – Schubas Tavern Chicago, IL#
May 3 – Canopy Club Champaign, IL#
May 4 – Rumba Cafe Columbus, OH#
May 5 – Mohawk Buffalo, NY #
May 6 – Bug Jar Rochester, NY #
May 7 – TT’s Boston, MA#
May 9 – The Bellhouse Brooklyn, NY #
May 12 – Joe’s Pub New York, NY #
May 13 – World Cafe Live Upstairs Philadelphia, PA #
May 14 – The Black Cat Washington DC #
May 15 – Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC #
May 16 – Drunken Unicorn Atlanta, GA #
May 17 – The Basement Nashville, TN #
May 19 – The Bottleneck Lawrence, KS #
May 20 – Bluebird Denver, CO #
May 21 – B-Side Lounge Boulder, CO #
May 23 – Summer Camp Festival Chillicothe, IL
Jun 13 – Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
Jul 4 – Bukta Tromso Open Air Festival, Norway Tromso
Jul 9-12 – Winnipeg Folk Festival Winnipeg, Manitoba
Jul 14-15 – Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival Ottawa, Ontario
Jul 18 – Mile High Music Festival Denver, CO
Jul 25 – 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN
Aug 1 – Pickathon Portland, OR

[photo from SXSW by Lizz Kannenberg]

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  • I can’t stop listening to that EP… it’s one of the best I’ve heard in a long time…

    Nicholas Altobelli — April 15, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  • Joe Pug is the real deal. Can’t wait for the full-length.

    Matt — April 15, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

  • Joe Pug’s music paints pictures in me of things like from old Audubon field guides and old hardbound novels. 1 guy. 1 guitar. Amen.

    Todd Roeth — April 16, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  • Going to echo all you and the commentors said here – Pug is amazing. I had the pleasure of catching him in Indiana, opening for Justin Townes Earle this past fall. It was breathtaking, the power and grace that man has on stage. He played some new material, not on the EP, and it was fantastic! I too eagerly await the full-length release!

    Dusty — April 16, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  • Wow, thank you so much for this song and download. This guy is amazing!! As Todd said above, one guy, one guitar, amen. There’s also something to be said about lyrical depth.

    He’s coming to my hometown, along with Horse Feathers, on May 7th. Think I’ll try to catch him.

    Linda T — April 17, 2009 @ 7:27 am

  • Pug is amazing – I went to high school with him. He’s brilliant and he wowed me then! Pay close attention to this one – he’s got a lot of what’s inside to share!

    Jill — May 3, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  • “The more that I learn the more that I cheat” more summarizes the world in 2009 than any line I’ve heard in years. Unfortunately.

    Mark — May 3, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  • [...] how I feel about you so I won’t say it.   I like this song, listen to it if you want to. I’ve Come to test the Timbre of My Heart.   Interesting article on preachy-fiction.    I am eager to read this. Because Eric Peters’ [...]

    In Honor of Them “Finding” the Missing Link: A bunch of links, found, proving things… | S.D. Smith — May 22, 2009 @ 6:04 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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