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December 11, 2008 |

By TK Burton | Music | December 11, 2008 |

Let me set the record straight first before I plunge in here: I do not have a penchant for Southern culture. I lived in New Orleans for several years, and while I tried my best to groove on mint juleps, crawfish boils, and phrases like “that’ll learn ya” and “let’s go make groceries,” the culture just never fit right. I thought the fact that the Confederate flag was still flying around was sublimely ridiculous. I found no nostalgic, Gone-With-the-Wind charm in seeing black college students dressed as slaves for those plantation home tours, and I could never understand how the state had drinking-and-driving laws yet it still allowed drive-thru daiquiri shacks on every other corner just outside of town.


Actually, that last one was kinda great.

Southern logic is an oxymoronic wonderland more head-scratchingly bizarre than anything that pervy Lewis Carroll came up with for Alice. That said, the South has its pluses: Jazz is alive and well, the food is outrageously delicious, and I must admit, I just adore Southern rock.

Of course, Greg Allman, of The Allman Brothers, said calling their kind of music Southern rock is like calling it “rock, rock.” And it’s true that Southern rock — with its fusion of blues and rock — is one of the only originally American inventions we have (the other being jazz). And I know that for many, Southern rock represents all that is ignorant and small about the South. I also realize that writing a piece about Southern rock at the helm of winter is another form of weirdness within myself I should embrace (for Southern rock is a quintessentially summer-time, liquor it up by the lake, delicacy). I know all this, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn, because when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” or .38 Special’s “Caught Up in You” comes on the radio, I’m immediately singing at the top of my lungs and sliding into the home plate of good moods. It also helps me get through my cardio better than anything else around.


Which makes sense because Southern rock is nothing if not a testosterone-pumped, endorphin release of a genre. It’s Jack Daniel’s whiskey and car races on abandoned dirt roads. It’s getting too drunk with your friends and ending up with a stupid tattoo on your ass. It’s everything ridiculous and ephemeral and quixotic about adolescence. It’s the “I don’t give a fuck” of rock music, without the baggage of political correctness or modern-day civility.

(If Southern rock were a cartoon character, it would be Cartman from South Park.)

So yeah, this usually lo-fi-loving, alternative music aficionado loves Southern rock. Gotta problem with that, Tex? Then let’s take it outside…

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Sweet Home Alabama”
2. Molly Hatchet — “Blackfoot Train Train”
3. Wet Willie — “Keep On Smiling”
4. .38 Special — “Hold On Loosely”
5. Little Feat — “Dixie Chicken”
6. ZZ Top — “La Grange”
7. The Allman Brothers Band — “Midnight Rider”
8. Shooter Jennings — “Fourth of July”
9. The Allman Brothers Band — “Desdemona”
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Freebird”

Ms. Mix & Bitch offers free advice and kick-ass music mixes to match your miseries at Mix Tape Therapy. Outside of cyberspace, she uses her superpowers to give good talk to other dysfunctional bloggers and to parents of really annoying children.

Pajiba Music

Yer Wont Sum Grizzle wit' Yer Grits

A Smart-Ass Yankee Defends Southern Rock / Ms. Mix & Bitch

Music | December 11, 2008 |

TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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