Oak Recommends: “The Great Despiser” by Joe Pug

Joe Pug.

I just love Joe Pug.

Joe Pug is one of those people I quietly wish was one of my long lost relatives.

To tell me that I could no longer listen to Joe Pug’s music would be more devastating than if you were to tell me I could no longer drink coffee! Please, take the coffee, take all the Mexican food, take my wallet, just don’t take Joe!

Joe was one of the first musicians who really taught me what poetry could be. His often biting social commentary, out of the box declarations and extraordinary, relentless heating and bending of the english language opened up the mind of my younger self to the possibilities on the point of my pen.

“And you’ve come to know me stubborn as a butcher, and you’ve come to know me thankless as a guest. But will you recognise my face, when God’s aweful grace, strips me of my jacket and my vest, and reveals all the treasure in my chest.” — Hymn 101, Joe Pug.

Whether it’s raw live performances or glossy full band studio recordings Joe’s words are like a wave; and what’s more intoxicating than the initial crash, is the draw as you’re pulled under, as the songs soak through to your skin, as the salt of his expressions linger with you ever after, haunting you with phrases like “It ain’t rare to hear the streetlights call themselves stars”,“I do my father’s drugs”,“If I see the mountains, they must see me”,“I was born into a circus, but I ran off to join a home”,“We’ve got two dollar soldiers & ten dollar words!” or “Every good idea, kills at least a thousand men”.

I’m recommending you start with The Great Despiser (Joe has a terrific flair for song titles, almost every one sounds like some great literary classic!) Great Despiser is a little less a barrage of words, as some of his other tracks can be, and a little more tender, perhaps more personal, beginning, “Hey little brother, did you hear I made it back to town? I’m getting sober, there’s some things I gotta figure out…” it’s a downright anthem & I hope you enjoy it!

The Great Despiser by Joe Pug

(Song recommendation by Oak Ayling)

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