Drive-By Truckers - Thoughts and Prayers

Song of the Day
Hosted by Cheryl Waters
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Cheryl Waters, host of The Midday Show on KEXP, is “Thoughts and Prayers” by Drive-By Truckers, from the 2020 album The Unraveling on ATO Records.
photo by Andy Tennille
written by Janice Headley

Back in 2018, CNN reported on the "semantic satiation" of the phrase "thoughts and prayers," a coupling that often reaches "trending topic" status on social media after a mass shooting and has since devolved into dark meme-level comedy. As veteran rockers Drive-By Truckers put it so succinctly in today's featured track: "Stick it up your ass with your useless thoughts and prayers."

Frontman Patterson Hood has never shied away from the political, as evidenced on their previous release, 2016's American Band. With their latest LP The Unraveling, they continue to examine the state of the nation, with Hood's mostly-biting turns of phrase. "I figured we would follow [American Band] up with something pretty different," he admitted to Billboard.com. "That's generally how we operate. We didn't want to repeat ourselves and keep saying the same shit. But I don't think it occurred to us that things would take the turn they have taken nationally and politically, and shit kept happening that kept inspiring us to write those kinds of songs — even just for our own sanity's sake."

Today's Song of the Day was inspired by an incident that hit a little too close to home for Hood. "There was an incident in my daughter's playground. Fortunately the guy wasn't armed with a gun, but he was armed with something." He adds, "So it's almost like a daily thing now, and I don't know what to do. I don't have any answers, but at least by writing about it … Well, it doesn't even make me feel better. That was a weird thing coming to terms with this record, too: Generally I've written songs from a place of if something's bothering me I’ll write about it and at least I'll feel better about it in some way, but I can't say this made me feel better, and that made me second guess everything about it as we were doing it. It becomes a vicious cycle of darkness, and I don't want to live like that. But this is what I had to say, and I had to trust that."

Drive-By Truckers are in the middle of an extensive North American tour, including a March 18th stop at The Showbox. See the complete schedule below, and watch a lyric video for today's Song of the Day, directed by Jason Shevchuk. 

Drive-By Truckers 2020 Tour Dates:
Feb 27, 2020    Philadelphia, PA    Union Transfer    w/ Buffalo Nichols    
Feb 28, 2020    Washington, DC    9:30 Club    w/ Buffalo Nichols    
Feb 29, 2020    Washington, DC    9:30 Club    w/ Buffalo Nichols    SOLD OUT
Mar 12, 2020    Indianapolis, IN    The Vogue    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 13, 2020    Chicago, IL    Metro    w/ Kelsey Waldon    SOLD OUT
Mar 14, 2020    St Paul, MN    Palace Theatre    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 17, 2020    Vancouver, BC    Commodore Ballroom    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 18, 2020    Seattle, WA    The Showbox    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 20, 2020    Portland, OR    Wonder Ballroom    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 21, 2020    Portland, OR    Wonder Ballroom    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 22, 2020    Arcata, CA    Van Duzer Theatre    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 24, 2020    Petaluma, CA    Mystic Theatre    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 26, 2020    San Francisco, CA    The Fillmore    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 27, 2020    Los Angeles, CA    The Regent Theater    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 28, 2020    Phoenix, AZ    The Van Buren    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Mar 31, 2020    Albuquerque, NM    El Rey Theater    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Apr 2, 2020    Dallas, TX    Granada Theater    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Apr 3, 2020    Austin, TX    Scoot Inn    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Apr 4, 2020    Austin, TX    Scoot Inn    w/ Kelsey Waldon    
Apr 16, 2020    Asheville, NC    The Orange Peel    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 17, 2020    Asheville, NC    The Orange Peel    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 18, 2020    Charleston, SC    High Water Festival        
Apr 21, 2020    Winston-Salem, NC    The Ramkat    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 23, 2020    Lexington, KY    Manchester Music Hall    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 24, 2020    St Louis, MO    The Pageant    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 25, 2020    Nashville, TN    Ryman Auditorium    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 27, 2020    Pensacola, FL    Vinyl Music Hall    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 28, 2020    Orlando, FL    The Plaza Live    w/ Ryley Walker    
Apr 29, 2020    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL    Ponte Vedra Concert Hall    w/ Ryley Walker    
May 1, 2020    Birmingham, AL    Iron City    w/ Ryley Walker    
May 2, 2020    Atlanta, GA    Shaky Knees        
June 1, 2020    Raalte, Netherlands    Ribs & Blues        
June 3, 2020    Dublin, Ireland    Vicar Street    Jerry Joseph    
June 4, 2020    Leeds, UK    Leeds University Stylus    Jerry Joseph    
June 6, 2020    London, UK    O2 Forum    Jerry Joseph    
June 7, 2020    Amsterdam, Netherlands    Paradiso    Jerry Joseph    
June 8, 2020    Antwerp, Belgium    De Roma    Jerry Joseph    
June 9, 2020    Koln, Germany    Kantine    Jerry Joseph    
June 11, 2020    Berlin, Germany    Kesselhaus    Jerry Joseph    
June 12, 2020    Copenhagen, Denmark    Amager Bio    Jerry Joseph    
June 13, 2020    Stockholm, Sweden    Sthlm Americana        
June 14, 2020    Oslo, Norway    Rockefeller    Jerry Joseph    
June 15, 2020    Aarhus, Denmark    Train    Jerry Joseph    
June 19-20, 2020    Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pais Vasco, Spain    Azkena Rock Festival        
June 26, 2020    Evanston, IL    Out of Space at Temperance Beer Co    

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