Friday, June 28, 2013

Random Thoughts: It Has TEETH: On Being Bitten

So we have a dog. An adorable, playful, most of the time great dog named Charlie. He's a bit quirky, as cocker spaniels are wont to be, but he's a good fit for the household. He does tricks and he's house-trained trained and he's kind of hilariawesome. Most of his quirks are a source of amusement.

This week, for the first time ever, I was bitten by a dog, and it was him. It was shocking and scary. There's this sense of betrayal, and anger, and sadness and a whole bunch of other complicated human emotions surrounding the aftermath of the bite. But he's not a person, he's a dog. (This point is important later, I swear.)

There have been dogs in the family since I was a child. I've been around dogs with issues, and I've even handled Charlie during some of his less than stellar moments. We've had him for three years and its a thing you deal with as a person with pets. He's gotten rough with play, but has never broken skin and most of the time he stops when I give him the right signals.

But this was different.

So, I suppose I should get into the story of what happened. Please note that the time of day at which this epic saga begins is 4:45pm.

He was outside on the lead, and I was with him. There was a damaged water pump on the ground, dredged from a small man-made pond in the backyard. It was there waiting to be fixed.

For a reason known only to Charlie and the Deities of Doggy Logic, the water pump completely freaked him out. He started barking at it and would not stop. I thought, "Okay, clearly this thing is bugging him. I shall put him inside, move the thing and then bring him back out. Issue resolved."

I unhooked the lead, grabbed his collar, and said, "Charlie, come on."

All pretty normal in the course of a day with the dog, except for the barking at the water pump.

And the teeth he sank into my hand.

Time slowed. It probably all happened within about three seconds, but something about things like this triggers the brain to perceive it differently. Probably it's some sort of survival instinct, like an automatic switch, that allows hyper-focus and decision making to happen in a very brief period. Certain details pop while others fade into obscurity. The brain only parses the immediately relevant information, excluding all else to enable decision and action. (There is work by Malcolm Gladwell that explores and unpacks research on this.)

There are three thoughts I remember distinctly about the few seconds in which the bite took place.


"The neighbor's kids are outside."


"I cannot let go of this dog."

My decision, basically, was to hold firm. He was off the lead and if I had let go while he was in that state of doggy panic things could have gone much worse very quickly. None of that was a conscious thought at the time, but somehow, I think my brain made the right connections. I don't really remember it being a struggle to restrain him, but it must have been, because the unbitten hand has all kinds of crazy bruising on it and the shoulder on that arm really hurts as I'm typing this.

When the dog let go, I watched blood pool rapidly in my palm and drip on the walk for about a half second before I called out to Mom, who, luckily was in the house. She was at the back door with a leash by the time I called out, having heard the dog make horrible, space-monster noises when he was doing the biting. It wasn't until she had a hold of him that I let go. He let go, too. (And what I mean is that he peed at our feet.)

My hand was numb and I dripped blood everywhere. Great big splatters of the stuff hit the outside sidewalk like paint. Here's where my recollection starts to get a little fuzzy, but I somehow ended up in the kitchen with the anti-bacterial soap and paper towels. I know this because there was a gruesome looking trail leading from the scene of the crime to the sink. My memory gets clear after I had clumsily wrapped my hand in half a roll of paper towels. Mom wrapped a more substantial dishtowel around that.

There was so much blood all over the place that I was sure that my hand would turn out to be mangled beyond recognition.

It wasn't until after I knew the dog was inside and Mom had snapped into hero mode that I lost my sh*t. There was a mad dash in search of my insurance card, which I could not find. Still totally freaked out, and not having seen the wound yet, we drove off to a place only three minutes away and thought, problem on it's way to being solved. I thought the card had to be floating around in the bottom of my purse somewhere.

So we reach the office, explain the situation, and Mom helps look for the cards by digging around in my purse while the staff snaps into action.

A nurse comes out to clean off my hand right away. I was surprised and relieved to finally see that I had a single, neat little puncture wound about the size of the nib of a pen. We are asked again for the health insurance, and it turns out they were truly not in my purse. But it's okay, the wound is not what I thought it was, we can spare the six minutes it will take to get the card and return because my continued existence on the planet is affirmed.

I single-handedly (see what I did there?) tear apart my bedroom until I find the insurance card, which is wedged underneath the sound board which my dad uses for music stuff and I use to record voice projects. I don't even know what made me look there.

I'm still numb, but shaky and nauseous as we return to the car and then, the nearby health facility. Proudly presenting my insurance card and braced for some uncomfortable prophylaxis against infection, we are told, apologetically, that they do not accept the insurance and therefore cannot treat me.

Can I get a collective *facepalm* everybody?

The kicker is that this facility is two doors down from my employer who provides this insurance.

*vitriolic rant deleted in favor of forward motion*

At least the intake nurses are extremely helpful and provide us with a phone number to the nearest place that DOES accept my insurance, which is roughly a half an hour away. Back to the car, hand a-throbbing, we drive.

We get lost.

We stop for directions.

We get lost again.

And then we find it. By this time, though, we are giggling, relieved to know that all will soon be Handled and Done.

Adrenalin and nervousness has me babbling like an idiot to the poor intake person with no choice but to endure my inane observations and rapid fire questions. "Do you get a lot of dog bites in here?" and "What happens now?" and "Have you ever been bitten by a dog?" As I am doing this she is clearly struggling to make out the information on the back of my insurance card which I believe is printed in a special font meant to convey secret messages to the Littles.

Mom and I plop ourselves down in front of the large screen television in the waiting room. There are maybe three people in there with us, so we figure it won't be a long wait.

We figured wrong.

The upside is that Mom finally watched a show I thought she would like. It took a visit to urgent care to convince her to view it. (I was right, by the way, she really liked it.)

So, like, there wasn't a lot of urgency in the urgent care waiting room. Except for the urgent reminder over the speaker system that, "It is now the designated quiet time. Wait  McWaitforever Hospital asks that you be quiet during this time." 

*redundancy not exaggerated*

*name totally fake*

*yes, I know you probably didn't need that last piece of clarification*

This announcement had the opposite of the desired effect on us.

We burst into tear-producing, squeal-yielding laughter, which was then made worse when they called the next urgent care patient's name for initial exam and the nurse (who really was awesome) asked the limping, pain-stricken person in the URGENT CARE WAITING ROOM, "How are you?" and then proceeded to ask the same question to the next four patients who were being examined in URGENT CARE.

What does one say to that? "Oh, I'm pretty sure one of my internal organs just imploded but I am AWESOME! And you?"

By the time they called my name, we had exhausted ourselves with inappropriate laughter.

Presented with the promise of receiving the care I so urgently needed, after waiting for about 3 hours, with renewed energy, I LEAPT off of the couch. I think this startled the nurse out of asking the usual "How are you?"

Unless she'd heard us joking about what a terrible question that is to ask a punctured person, such as myself.

I followed her back to the first examination room I was to visit, where they do the vitals sign thing. Therein, my right bicep was squeezed into submission by the blood-pressure machine. She was efficient and really nice and I was sent off to the second examination room where I waited some more.

I admit it, I played with the model heart in that room. Like a little kid.

Shut up. I know.

The nurse returned, cleaned my wound, which ripped open the barely congealed scab. She left and I waited for the doctor. That wait was long enough for me to read all of the literature in the room about drug trials for conditions that have nothing to do with me and then, of course, return to fiddling with the heart model, which actually kind of grossed me out.

The scab had begun to reform by the time the doctor rolled in. She started poking and prodding at the wound, which started the geyser again.

She left to figure out which drugs to prescribe.

There was not enough time to return to playing with the model heart, which both fascinated and repelled me. A different nurse arrived with a needle which she poked into my recently tenderized bicep. She left and was replaced by the first nurse who set upon my bite wound with the BETADINE SOAKED SCRUB BRUSH OF DOOM! It is basically a sponge soaked in betadine with a spiny side which debrides the wound, getting rid of flapping dead skin and making sure that antiseptic thoroughly disinfects.

This was probably the most painful part of the whole experience of being bitten. It is not what the dog did to me that hurt the worst, its all the necessary procedure that come after the dog bite. It's the aftermath.

By the time we returned home, it was 11:30pm.

Charlie knew that something was up. He kind of slunk around, looking at Mom and I hopefully. I was too tired to react to him at all by this time. The following morning I had a really long shift at Ye Olde Daye Job. So, there wasn't a lot of interaction with the canine in question.

But the distance from the dog and the incident gave me an opportunity to process what had happened.

I think I figured out where it really went wrong.

I forgot that Charlie is an animal in possession of teeth. Remember how I mentioned that he responds to my signals? Yeah. I kind of failed to respond to his. He's like a member of the family and as such I totally took it for granted that he would understand what I was doing by trying to take him away from the threatening thing. (Which would be the inert water pump.)

If I had removed the threatening thing first instead of approaching him while he was obviously distressed, the bite would probably not have happened.

Also, betrayal, anger, sadness and all those complicated human emotions that rode my psyche like a roller coaster on a cocktail of steroids and cocaine for about 24 hours?

Totally not his issue.

Because he's a dog. He's an animal with teeth, no matter how cuddly. And he did warn me with his behavior. The thing that's weird is that when it comes to folks outside of the household I'm pretty conscious of the fact that we have a moody dog.

The next time I was around long enough for an interaction, he was his usual, happy, ear-scratch mongering self. I'm the one who is a little bit different.

We still got him checked out at the vet, though. I'm happy to report that all signs point to normal and healthy for a cocker spaniel.

Sure, everybody was mad at him, but we still love him. How could you not?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WRKC: The Not-So-Hectic-Eclectic Playlist 6/26/13

This week was heavy on Americana, Roots Rock and singer/songwriter music with multiple tracks from Marah, who I donned the squeepants for earlier this week....

Also, I should let you guys know that July 3rd I won't be on-air... sometimes, life intervenes. But I WILL be back the following week, hopefully with some new stuff from Everywhere Danger!

Rock on...

Hour 1

Marah - Faraway You
Dawn Kinnard- Father Couldn't Break It To You
Vampire Weekend- Step
Cornershop- Brimful of Asha
Ted Mccloskey-The Last of the Pin-up Girls
Eleanor Friedburger- She's a Mirror
Charles Ramsey- Odelia
The Incredible Moses Leroy- the 4a
The Eels- Accident Prone
Kris Kehr- Dear Stephanie
*Daft Punk- Get Lucky
Marah- Angels on a Passing Train
Tarnation with Joe Gore - Leaving On A Jet Plane
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes- Wooden Indian
Neko Case- Man
Ani Difranco- Gravel
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-Wail

Hour 2
Widowspeak- Locusts
Lucie Gamelon- Good Advice
Of Monsters and Men- Little Talks
Hefner- The Hymn For the Cigarettes
Marah- Life is a Problem
Eilen Jewel- Warning Signs
The Replacements- Busted Up
Tom Waits- Jockey Full of Bourbon
Dandy Warhols- We Used to be Friends
Beta Band- Round the Bend
Jake Bugg- Two Fingers
Meryn Cadell- The Sweater
Jonathan Fireeater- No Love Like That
Luscious Jackson- Naked Eye
Scott Walker- Jackie
Marah- Point Breeze

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reggie's Round Up: Things That BLEW MY FRIGGIN MIND the week ending 6/23/13

Adam Christopher's Empire State

What It Is: A book! Fedora-wearing, coffee and moonshine fixated detective Rad Bradley bemoans his lack of coffee and funds while recovering in his office from a confusing attack by two men in gas masks asking about something called 1950 when a woman in a red dress approaches him with promises of payment for helping to find a missing person.

(*breathes deeply after all of that running on...)

Meanwhile, in New York City, a bootlegger named Rex witnesses a battle between two superheroes turned outlaw, Skyguard and the Science Pirate. Thinking to get an in with the mayor and expand his territory under Prohibition, Rex follows the victor, the Science Pirate and kills her.

And then things get really crazy. Like, theoretical physics crazy.

Why It Is Awesome: A clash between superheroes turned villain, speak-easies, fedoras, a parallel universe, doppelgangers, murder, mystery, mayhem, kidnapping and quadruple-crossings and world-ending possibilities and mad science and cyborgy creations of dubious ethical origin and airships and ... and... and.... MIND BLOWN, OKAY?

It seriously is going to take me some time to parse all of the awesome contained in this book, the intertwined themes are huge. Author Adam Christopher takes elements of multiple subgenres that fall under the umbrella of sci-fi and weaves them intricately, yet cleanly, resulting in a picaresque noir novel.

It's really hard to imagine this is someone's debut work, and yet it is.

So, the question is, how does one pull this off?

I think the answer is that the writer first has to start by anchoring the reader in the world, which Mr. Christopher accomplishes with attention to detail. He makes the reader feel that we understand and recognize the place we are in the fiction and SHAZAM! HOLY COMPLICATIONS THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT OUTSIDE OF THIS NOVEL MIGHT NOT EVEN BE REAL!

*shakes fist at theoretical physics

...seconds pass...

*apologizes to theoretical physics and gives it a theoretical hug.

*whispers, "I didn't mean it Theoretical Physics. You just confuse me sometimes."


Back to my point.

My point is that Adam Christopher builds his fictional world meticulously which makes the plot complications and world-instability issues contained therein all the more effective.

Here's the part of a review where I get a bit confused about what to say next because I get worried about spoilers, so for further investigation I will suggest that a) you read it or b) at least learn a little more about it, then decide. You can do that here.


What It Is:  A band from Pennsyltucky! Rock'n'roll! Dude! Listen!


Why It Is Awesome:  Well, first off, an old co-worker, Chris Rattie is working with Marah on a project called Mountain Minstrelsy, which you can find more about at the band's website.  Chris also has an Americana album coming out sometime this fall (details to come...) In the course of doing my due diligence and looking for Rattie related works, I started digging into Marah again.

It's one of those moments of rediscovery when a person (okay, me) says, "Okay, so when did I stop listening to them? Like, how did that actually even happen?" There are probably a million different answers to that question, but in revisiting Marah's music I still can't fathom how it is possible that I haven't been paying attention, because here's the thing, if you are looking for what rock n roll is all about, Marah is the band to pay attention to.

They present the sort of musical storytelling that comes to mind when you think of the best singer/songwriters with a big, full bodied sound full of blues and country influence with that driving rhythm we know so well. The sound is pure rock'n'roll. Even when a particular song might come from despair there is a constant, underlying current of hope and joy for the unlucky earthbound.

But, enough from me, let's hear something from them.

Their story is one of incredible resilience and when you listen to them or see them live, you understand why and how they keep going. They have to. Music lovers need them.

I've seen them play live several times and a more solid rock show is really hard to find. There's an argument that pops up every once in while about music, about rock in particular, that it's a dying form, or even a dying industry. Marah is one of those bands that reminds us that music merely changes, that what keeps it going is the need for people to gather, have a good time, listen to some music and maybe keep dreaming those dreams, if only for a little while.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Volunteering at WRKC: Reggie's Not-So-Hectic-Eclectic: 6/19/13

So, some of you guys reading this already know that for the summer of 2013 I've decided to donate some of my time and energy to volunteering at a local college radio station, WRKC. I am doing a show called The Not-So-Hectic-Eclectic on Wednesdays from 1-3pm.

If you followed the link, you probably noticed that the college is affiliated with a religious institution.

Um. Yeah... about that...

Here, it is probably a good idea to place the usual disclaimer, which is to say that the views and opinions expressed here on the Spotty Blog in no way reflect or are associated with WRKC or King's College.

The disclaimer has dutifully been proclaimed!

So back to stuff about the show...

The idea is to play a pretty even mix of music from the beforetimes (the 90's and early ots being kind of my wheelhouse since that's where the radio skills I'm currently in the process of dusting off come from) and new stuff.

After poking around on the internet for a bit, checking out more of the new music scene in the internet age, it looks like it might be a good idea to start posting my playlists so that anyone out there listening can find the things they like.


It has always been true that there is so much out there. I used to be sooo on top of that. (You know, in the beforetimes.) Now, not so much. I rely on word of mouth. I'll listen to anything at least once and just like with books, my tastes are kind of all over the place. (Which explains the title, although the selection, it turns out, is sometimes more hectic than not, so that's a thing I might have to rethink.)

Often I'm exploring as much as anyone listening to the show might be. So, in the interests of helping to map out the musical terrain for myself as well as anyone else who might be interested, I'm posting my playlists on ye olde Spotty Blog.



Hour 1

Bjork - Joga
Pixies- Ed Is Dead
Bettie Serveert - Sugar the Pill
Dawn Kinnard - Father Couldn't Break It To You
Cat Power - American Flag
*Smiths - Shoplifters of the World Unite
Fiona Apple- Hot Knife
Charles Ramsey- Odelia
Pavement - Stereo
Vampire Weekend - Step
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Rainbow Connection
Ted McCloskey - The Last of the Pin Up Girls
Ani DiFranco - Shameless
Devotchka - How It Ends
Kris Kehr and Stone Poets - Dear Stephanie
Eilen Jewel - Queen of the Minor Key

Hour 2

She & Him - I've Got Your Number, Son
Foals - Bad Habit
Foxygen- In The Darkness
Cakelike - Lucky One
Fine Young Cannibals - Love For Sale
Southern Culture on the Skids - Camel Walk
Lucinda Williams - This Old Guitar
Moxy Fruvous - The Present Tense Tureen
T. Rex - Cadillac
They Might Be Giants - Cowtown
Peter Gabriel - Growing Up
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - One Love To Another
Dawn Kinnard - Death Is A Shark
Luscious Jackson - Under Your Skin
Elastica - Car Song
Jessca Hoop - Whispering Light
Ted McCloskey - Little Beat Sweetner

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reggie's Round Up: In Which Some Books Contain A Lot of Blood

Stephen Blackmoore's Dead Things

What It Is: Necromancer Eric Carter has been away from his hometown of L.A for fifteen years believing that his absence makes everything safer for those he loves. When his younger sister is brutally murdered, he is compelled to return in order to find out why. Maybe draw a little blood himself... not his. Someone else's. Preferably the party and/or parties responsible for the death of his sibling.

Why It Is Awesome:  Within this book there are about a bajillion twists and turns and whiplash action. (Okay, not, like painful whiplash. The gentle kind. Maybe, like, your ponytail whips into your face and stings your eye. I mean, this isn't a fast moving car, it's you in a chair reading an awesomely fun book. So not, like, literally whiplash.) Did I mention it's a fun, pacey read? 'Cuz, it kinda is. It's noir with elements of horror and fantasy. (I am thinking of all the blood and magic.) There are very few moments in this novel where the plot rests so that the reader can sort of take a breath and catch up, yet Blackmoore manages to establish and advance relationships between characters in a substantial way, lending greater weight and tension to the action. So even as we (okay, me) are wildly entertained by the nonstop forward momentum of plot, Stephen Blackmoore makes the reader care about what happens to the folks carrying all of that momentum.

I mentioned in the plot description that the main character Eric Carter had been away from home for fifteen years. In that span of time, people and their circumstances have a tendency to change. So, not only does he have confront a bunch of angry ghosts and demi-gods and magicians upon his return, he also has to face the afore-mentioned changes and how his leaving impacted those closest to him. What it means for the reader is that we get the rare treat of wicked action plus character growth.

Let us review.

Wicked action


Character growth



Meg Cabot's Insatiable

What It Is: Soap Opera dialogue writer Meena Harper has some serious issues with vampire stories, the main on being that vampires, even as a trend, just won't die. The network running the soap Meena Harper writes for wants them and in the interests of job-havery, she decides to go along. She has enough problems getting through her day to day with being able to foretell the death of every human being she meets. Then one night, she reluctantly accepts a party invitation by her neighbor where she is told she will meet a Romanian Prince, Lucien Antonescu. It's her equal reluctance to write about vampires that prompts her to go. Turns out that Lucien is the only person's death she can't foretell which holds more than a little appeal. Until it turns out that she can't see his death because he's a... wait for it... vampire!

Why It Is Awesome: Fun. Funfunfunfunfun. Insatiable carries that cute quirky humor that readers know Meg Cabot for in other work, for example, The Princess Diaries. It also really does an excellent job of talking about a popular fictional monster while making fun of it and pointing out how use of the vampire in fiction has some pretty worrisome trappings, while at the same time she uses the very trappings that the main character is critical of in order to make the story work.


It's sooo meta.

While there is much in this vampirical tale that the reader will find traditional in terms of stories about blood-sucking humans, there are some real questions about desire, agency and choices that underlay the novel.

And it's a pretty entertaining read.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Few Words about A Screenplay In Progress

So, on social media I’ve been talking about one of my writing projects without actually mentioning the content. In the event that you’re curious, I’ll tell you a little about it. (I’m staying away from specifics since it’s unfinished.)

The tentative title is F___ Sh__ Up, and yep, my co-author Bob Warke and I are aware that we’ll probably have to change that if we want to sell it.

It is about the punk/poetry scene in Wilkes-Barre in the 90s from a riot grrl and queer perspective. This is a story that has not been told in the form of filmed fiction. There are not too many movies focusing on the 90s scene. We are still awash in 80s nostalgia. 90s nostalgia is something that is overdue, imho.

There are a thousand things about the era we hope to capture, the sea change in music, awareness of social inequities as they affect teenagers who were interested in art and music. How as teens we struggled to express ourselves and make those expressions heard. Homophobia, sexism, DIY, drug abuse, sexuality, conflict between camps of musical fandom, punks versus “melodics.” What it meant to be a teenager trying figure out your thoughts about those subjects are when you are actually facing them, all while simmering in this stew of hormones.

Bob and I are doing our best to write a fictional account that captures the flavor of that time and place while being honest about it. A lot of the complexities I just mentioned have simply emerged from the writing. We want to tell a story that hasn’t been told. This is not, necessarily, a message movie. It is an attempt unearth some things that aren’t often discussed in this medium. In a sense, riot grrl was a movement about learning how to be loud about things that teens are often dismissed about, that they are encouraged to be silent about. Riot Grrl was a wild and hopeful thing that I think gave something to us mumblesomething year olds that we don't fully understand, yet.

The language is rough, the topics and themes difficult. My personal hope is that we tell a solid, engaging story that highlights the humanity of each character without glossing over flaws.

It isn’t finished. I have no idea if it will be picked up. I hope the end result is good enough to move to the next level. I think it is. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far. It's dark, and, we think, funny. 

Some of the absolutely worst stuff that can happen to a person in their lives can happen during the teen years. One of the best coping mechanisms that we have against the dark is humor. But we also have music, we have art, these are sometimes the means of expression when discussion fails. It is, I think, one of the many reasons that in the 90s you couldn’t spit without hitting someone who was in a band.

It is probably one of the many reasons I’m a writer.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Excavation of Pop Culture from the Beforetimes: Southern Culture On The Skids

So, my recent retread into radio has got me thinking about a question that I used to get asked a lot in the beforetimes. “What music do you think we’ll remember in twenty years?”

I am betting that my answer to what I actually do remember and what I thought American pop culture would remember are wildly different than it was at the time. I’m also guessing that there are a ton of lists out there on ye olde interweb that proclaim to know the best arbitrarily chosen number of albums from the 90s. Actually, now that I’m playing music on the air again, I should probably look those up. But for me, it is time to do a little excavation.

So, let us examine Southern Culture on the Skids and the album Dirt Track Date which was released in 1995 by Geffen Records. There is the popular single Camel Walk of course. This song has been circulating in my brain for several months now. When I talked to a few people much younger than I about this song, the reacted like they didn't believe such a song exists. The lyrics are playful, a bit weird, hilarious and imho, brilliant. It verges on the bizarre in its fetishism of Little Debbie snack cakes, a confection which, at very low cost, has sustained many a college student’s sweet tooth just as Ramen continues to satisfy carb cravings. And it works. It’s fun and unique, and in the 90s music fans were constantly in search of the unique.

The band’s schtick is to take quirks and stereotypes about folks who live in the Southern United States, amplify and play with them. But it also challenges us to think about how we view people who might, from the outside, be called white trash, a derogatory term often applied to white folks who live in a low income bracket, in an agrarian mode or are employed in blue-collar work. The song White Trash addresses this directly with the standout oft-repeated lyric “White Trash/don’t call me that.” I live in the northeastern United States and while I have friends who are from the south, I don’t really have a clue what it’s like to live there or much about the prevalence of ideas surrounding that term. (Here is a starting point if you are interested. Also, there is this book by Annalee Newitz)It is bandied about up here, but with much less frequency. In this sense, what Southern Culture on the Skids have done with their music is raise a kind of awareness about it. For northerners, it’s a revelation, for those in the south I imagine there’s a kind of recognition. The true genius of it is that when you listen to it, you don’t feel like you’re being beaten over the head with a message. More than anything, it is a celebration of life in the South.

So, yeah, there is a sense of novelty about them, but the music is solid. These folks know what they’re about and they are crazy fun. Dirt Track Date’s collection of songs reveal brilliant, swampy guitar, banging bass and colorful lyrics. It’s like they’ve taken all the sounds that we think of as southern and produced this really fun and insightful-in-a-sneaky-way piece of audio art.

It’s impossible not to just get caught up in the sound. While subsequent albums may not have gained the commercial popularity of Dirt Track Date, they do continue to offer quality ear candy.

And let’s not forget about how awesome Mary Huff is…

More here about Southern Culture on the Skids, including current tour dates.