The Joup Friday Album: “Dirty South” — Drive-By Truckers

DrivebytruckerIf you want an excellent, straightforward review of the Drive-By Truckers’ album, “Dirty South,” read contributor Stephen M. Deusner’s piece for Pitchfork. You’ll find no better deconstruction of what that album was about. You’ll discover, should you be patient and forgiving enough to truly research the history of Southern myths, there is much that exists in the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong, legal and illegal. Deusner’s words are well thought-out, well-considered and on point.

So what then, can one add to a discussion about this album? For that, we need to start in the Spring of 2014 and look at a connection between Texas and California that ran through Southern Ohio.

Endless Loop: I’m Broken

panteraHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“I’m Broken” by Pantera

I grew up in Texas. It was only a matter of time before I got around to Pantera.

Los Angeles to Austin: Austin to Los Angeles


I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, fresh out of my 20s and still basically a newlywed. I was coming from Chicago, where I’d met my husband, Shawn. He had lived his entire life in Chicago, specifically in the south suburbs. Meeting Shawn and his tight-knit group of friends was like being thrust into the pages of an Andrew Greeley novel. Irish, middle-class, witty, fatalistic … it was something I found hard to relate to at first, since my own experiences were so different. But Shawn was only informed by his past; he was also his future. So when I got an offer out here for a job, he put our persnickety feline, two computers and an aluminum softball bat “just in case we run into trouble,” into his car and we set off.

Los Angeles to Austin: The Follow Up


I think I am probably “wanted” in West Texas, although God knows where exactly.

The problem started east of El Paso.

  • The first 100 miles: This is so beautiful!! I’m so inspired! So spartan and gorgeous, and unique! I wish I could paint!
  • The second 100 miles: Hmm, interesting. A border control checkpoint. “Yes, sir, I’m a citizen of the USA.” I wonder about the effectiveness of this operation. It’s broad daylight on the main road. Do you think anyone ever says, “No, I am from Cartagena, and I have 50 kilos of coke in the trunk.”?