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
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by John Richards, host of The Morning Show on KEXP, is “Nieve” by Tres Leches, a 2020 self-released single.
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by John Richards, host of The Morning Show on KEXP, is “Man Without a Soul” by Lucinda Williams, from the 2020 album Good ...
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by John Richards, host of The Morning Show on KEXP, is “Raleigh Days” by Archers of Loaf, a 2020 single on Merge Records.