Tag Archives: Lollapalooza

Joe Pug: Musical Gem of 2010

Joe Pug is a singer/songwriter who originally hails from Maryland but began his unique musical career in Chicago.  He has toured at length since 2008, has opened for Steve Earle, M. Ward, and Josh Ritter and has also played the New Port Folk Festival and Lollapalooza.  Nothing in the short career of Joe Pug has followed the normal trajectory of a musician. 

His path to music was not as direct as other artists; he began playing guitar in grade school and formed a band in the 6th grade.   Firmly believing the mark of a band was original writing, he began writing songs. This was coupled with early ambitions of being a playwright. He left home and attended the University of North Carolina for several years and abruptly left to continue his pursuit of music.  His ideas for a play ultimately were flushed out in his first EP “Nation of Heat”.  The songs were surreptitiously recorded in a Chicago studio with the aid of a friend who permitted him late night access to the cancelled studio sessions of other musicians.

His first headlining show in Chicago’s hallowed venue, Schuba’s Tavern, was sold out which further established the praise that was surrounding the EP “Nation of Heat” and the artist. 

Early on, he struck upon the idea of giving his music to his fans free of charge.  In his mind, his fans already dig him and they have friends who would likely dig him too.  They just needed the chance to hear him.  The offer is posted on his web site www.joepugmusic.com. To date, he has sent out over 15,000 copies of his poignant tunes to all 50 states and 14 countries.  He covers all of the cost associated with this magnanimous offer. 

Joe Pug Discography:

  • Nation of Heat (EP)
  • In the Meantime (EP)
  • The Messenger

In 2010 he released his full length debut “The Messenger” which consists of ten tracks of guitar driven tunes with the occasional backing of harmonica.  This is one of those albums that can be enjoyed from start to finish and leaves you wanting more.  His modest approach allows you to breath in the beauty of his lyrics and the connectivity of his voice.

His amazingly beautiful lyrics are wrapped in poetry and grace that confound the listener and belie his age.  Oh, and did I mention that Joe is in his early twenties?  How does someone so young find the muse of years and experiences he has not lived?  Is it possible to have lived the wearied tales of love and loss, the eternal quest of belonging, and channel the emotional depth of the musical greats before him like Dylan and Guthrie at such a young age? 

I don’t know the answer to the questions asked but if you listen to him for any length, you too will hear the detailed stories being told.  You too will be struck by how well they connect.  You too will become a fan of Joe Pug.  More importantly, you have nothing to lose by trying.  Joe has taken out the roadblocks to becoming a fan.  He is giving you the window of opportunity, at his cost, to listen, learn, and love his music.

Check out Joe Pug at www.joepugmusic.com

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhAwD_DSgZQ&feature=related

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0hArN7ngtk&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The National

The National is the indie band of brothers (seriously, it is two sets of brothers and a lead singer) strengthened by the unique baritone of lead singer Matt Berninger.  Formed in Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, The National released their self titled debut in 2001. 

Their sophomore release, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, was well received and paired them with producer Peter Katis who would remain at the helm for their next two critically acclaimed albums Alligator and Boxer.

The National Discography:

  • The National (2001)
  • Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003)
  • The Cherry Tree EP (2004)
  • Alligator (2005)
  • Boxer (2007)
  • The Virginia EP (2008)
  • High Violet (2010

Upon forming, most members kept their days jobs and performed locally on the weekends.  As their fan base grew, they began to tour regularly and eventually hit the U.S. festival circuit with sets at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, and All Points West.  They were also able to add a little European flavor to their festival resume with sets at Glastonbury, Haldern, and Lowlands.

Top 5 The National Songs:

  1. Fake Empire (Boxer)
  2. Anyone’s Ghost (High Violet)
  3. All the Wine (Alligator)
  4. Mistaken for Strangers (Boxer)
  5. Bloodbuzz Ohio (High Violet)

For those of you who take occasion to watch some television, you might have caught The National on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, or perhaps The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  If you are more of a series kind of TV watcher, you might have heard the band on shows such as:

  • Chuck
  • Gossip Girls
  • One Tree Hill
  • Southland
  • Defying Gravity

Their sound is dark and a bit despondent due in large part to the brooding vocal inflections of Berninger.  While dark, their music is also reassuringly real.  Their lyrics deal with banality of daily living.  They are writing and singing about the things we are living. 

Check out The National at www.americanmary.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBujZr20O6M

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_5FJe6lJI8&feature=related

Great music awaits!


2010 Music Festivals (a partial list)!

Spring has sprung and the concert season is nigh upon us!  SXSW kicked of the festivals and the summer concert series is just weeks away.  Here is a list of the music fests that will draw a litany of artists and hordes of people.  This list highlights the main( in my humbly superior opinion) music festivals that take place in the continental U.S.  Most festivals are three days long and I’ve highlighted some of the featured (great) artists.

Festival Date Partial Line Up
Coachellawww.coachella.com Apr. 16-18
  • Jay Z
  • Them Crooked Vultures
  • Gorillaz
  • Pavement
  • Thom Yorke
  • MGMT
New Orleans Jazzwww.nojazzfest.com Apr. 23-25
  • Lionel Richie
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Black Crowes
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Jonny Lang
  • Darius Rucker
New Orleans Jazz Week 2www.nojazzfest.com Apr. 29-May 2
  • Pearl Jam
  • Aretha Franklin
  • B.B. King
  • Van Morrison
  • The Dead Weather
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Summer Campwww.summercampfestival.com May 28-30
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Avett Brothers
  • ALO
  • Yonder Mountain String Band
  • Umphrey’s McGee
Sasquatchwww.sasquatchfestival.com May 29-31
  • Band of Horses
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The National
  • Public Enemy
  • She & Him
  • Massive Attack
Wakarusawww.wakarusa.com June 3-6
  • The Black Keys
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Widespread Panic
  • John Butler Trio
  • Blues Traveler
  • State Radio
Bonnaroowww.bonnaroo.com June 10-13
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Kings of Leon
  • Jay Z
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Nora Jones
  • The Flaming Lips
Lollapaloozawww.lollapalooza.com Aug. 6-8 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup
Austin City Limitswww.aclfestival.com Oct. 8-10 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup

 The cool thing about the festivals is that if one takes place geographically close to you, you might catch some really good shows on both sides of the festival dates.

If you have attended any of the above or one not listed, let me know what was great about it and who you saw.

As mentioned in previous blogs I am a ACL acolyte and would strongly recommend that if you have the time and disposable income, you need to check itout.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Raconteurs!

The Raconteurs are supplementary proof of Jack White’s (The White Stripes, Dead Weather) musical brilliance, greatness, importance, etc…Formed in Detroit, Michigan (picture my surprised face) and featuring members of assorted other bands such as Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes, Blanche), Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes), and Brendan Benson.  The group actually began as a duo (Jack and Brendan) recording one song and then morphed into a four piece band and an album worth of material.

Their debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was released in 2006 and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals for “Steady as She Goes”.  In 2008 they released their follow up Consolers of the Lonely.

Due in large part to Jack’s already impressive musical profile, they quickly hit the festival scene and played, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.  They also opened for Bob Dylan on part of his U.S. tour. 

The Raconteurs Discography:

  • Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Consolers of the Lonely

Top 5 Songs by The Raconteurs:

  1. Steady As She Goes (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  2. Broken Boy Solider (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  3. Salute Your Solutions (Consolers of the Lonely)
  4. Many Shades of Black (Consolers of the Lonely)
  5. Hands (Broken Boy Soldiers)

I was fortunate enough to catch them in Austin in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I’ve seen them twice and also caught Jack White’s other love child The Dead Weather as well.  I’m beginning to think that Jack cannot focus on one thing for too long.  And for that, Jack, I thank you!

Check out The Raconteurs at www.theraconteurs.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7npSXQkxE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm4_htUbgrU

Great music awaits!