Joseph Peragine: Low Budget Superhero

- (Lexi Kahn of

Have you ever been in bed, halfway between awake and asleep, when the most disturbing thought comes sidling into your mind, unbidden? Or it doesn’t even need to be when you’re falling asleep; ever be driving your car and calmly ponder how easy it would be to just hit the gas and veer off a bridge? What’s stopping you? When these sinister thoughts flit through your consciousness it’s as though a grey cerebral curtain fluttered in some morbid mental breeze and for just a nanosecond you’d caught a fleeting glimpse of your nightmares. The curtain is sanity, judgment, control. What hell it would be if there was no curtain and you lived every day in the nightmare. Joseph A. Peragine (pronounced pair-ah-genie) is a walking, talking, singing personification of such an existence. He‘s a Cincinnati based solo artist whose muse is pain, whose motivation is survival and whose lifelines are guitars, drums, samples and spoken word. As of this date he‘s released two records, 2005’s The Acoustic Diaries and a follow-up, Self-Medication…Poems of Alienation. The latter is a downward spiral of despair and rage, punctuated with spoken word, samples, crunching guitar riffs, real and electronic drums. It’s multi-layered, dynamic and compelling, often poetic, and in any other artist’s hands this music would be called theatrical and macabre, except this isn’t a show. It’s clear that Peragine wields his music like a double-edged sword — his work serves as both a representation of, and purging of, the demons he’s been battling since he first exhibited the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. I’d like to hear more from this enthralling individual, and so should you. Hit the website and order a CD.