Southern Culture on the Skids
After a year and a half of touring behind our last Geffen release, Dirt Track Date, visions of leisure danced in our heads. We took a little breather and then settled back into our metal-flake vinyl recliner (shown on the cover) for a couple of months and ended up with Plastic Seat Sweat, our new record. It is so named for that recliner and the perspiration it inspires.
Slippery, smooth and in the groove. Working again with Mark Williams down in the big gospel room at Reflection Sound Studios in Charlotte, we came up with a record that picks up where Dirt Track Date left off and then heads on down a little bit different road. The performances are looser and the groove is deeper, partly because we used noise reduction that allowed us to record at a slower tape speed. That means the bottom end can jump out and smother you. It sounds like chocolate ice cream. We used all the old tube mics, with lots of natural room sounds, and laid it all down on two-inch tape. It’s warm and fuzzy, but it bites like an alligator in pajamas.
Rick still has the reverb on 10 and the tremolo throbbing. Mary and Dave are still locked in like two squirrels fighting over the same nut. This time out, however, you’re gonna hear some added instrumentation – Hammond organ, electric sitar, a little banjo, a few horns and a 12-gauge shotgun. Yep, there’s a lot more to listen to this time around – 12 songs in all – including three instrumentals and nine with vocals. They run the gamut from a belly dancing workout to a hard-rockin’ ride with a deranged tow truck driver, from exotic, beatific lounge to swamp noir. Plastic Seat Sweat (released Sept. 23, 1997) is much more diverse than Dirt Track Date, but it’s still pure Southern Culture on the Skids. No matter what your taste in music and culture, SCOTS chews it all up and belches it back at you.
Now here’s a little somethin’ about each and every tune on the album just to get you in the proper listenin’ mood:
“Shotgun”: A rockin’ update on the “shotgun wedding” theme where the woman – not her daddy – comes a-hunting for the loser that sowed the seed and won’t own up.
“Earthmover”: Yet another true-life drama. This one about how SCOTS lost their funky old house to another condo-strip-mall-mini-village. You’ll be sobbing in your Slurpee.
“Dance for Me”: An instrumental for belly dancing. Check out the Tex-Mex middle eight!
“Banana Puddin'”: A tremolo-driven tune about a southern dessert best served day-old and bold.
“40 Miles to Vegas”: The true story of SCOTS broken down on the highway and getting picked up by a crack-crazed tow truck driver. We all thought it was our last ride.
“Love-a-Rama”: Mary steps out on this rockabilly rave-up. Dave’s arm fell off on the tambourine solo – listen up, you can hear it hit the floor!
“Deja Varoom”: Enoch Light astro-sounds 2000 for the double-swagger electric trip with a fuzz bass to put the glisten on your lip.
“Country Funk”: Halter-top pop – the best way to beat a broken heart. Lacquer thinner, shag carpet, mobile homes, older women and dirty magazines.
“Strangest Ways”: Did you ever wonder what happens when you call a number scratched into a bathroom stall? Complete with hillbilly spy guitar.
“Theme From ‘The Cheaters'”: The title track to a movie that never existed. A stripper beat and a walking bass to escort you down Sin Alley.
“House of Bamboo”: An old Earl Grant tune about Soho Joe and his espresso. Featuring Mary on Hammond B-3 and smoky vocal. Stereo drums and electric sitar – hi-fi exotica!
“Carve That Possum”: An old Uncle Dave Macon tune about the gourmet joys of everybody’s favorite road kill.
Remember – this album is intended to make you shake your ass! Rock ‘n’ roll, Plastic Seat Sweat – it’s a Naugahyde boogie machine. If you need more tutorin’ on the subject, come on out and see us live when we come through your town!
– Rick, Mary and Dave
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