Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On” by Old 97’s from the 2014 album Most Messed Up on ATO Records.
One of the pioneering bands in the mid-1990s alternative country movement, Old 97’s are still trucking along twenty one years after their formation, one bottle of whiskey of a time. Led by songwriter Rhett Miller, the Dallas, Texas quartet are quietly one of the genre’s most consistent bands, regularly releasing albums and touring, putting on a live show that’s rough around the edges in all the right ways. Their tenth album, this year’s Most Messed Up, is one of their messiest and most compelling, with Miller ditching his usual sense of drunken decorum for a tone that, in a move only the Old 97’s could pull off, both more crude and more affecting. (The album’s title is a semi-serious reference to Miller.) Like another recent Song of the Day with less-than-subtle themes, “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On” is an ode to inebriated fornication. Although Miller’s written more clever one-liners than could be mentioned here, he limits himself to one intentionally clunky one (“your eyes are the color of the earth/as seen from outer space”) before telling his lover (in a very catchy fashion) that 1) she’s pretty and 2) he’s horny. Is “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On” a particularly insightful song? Of course not. Old 97’s have plenty of those in their catalog already, so why not enter the third decade of their career with a song celebrating cheap booze and sex?
Old 97s are touring North America throughout the rest of the summer behind Most Messed Up, and although they’ve already made their Seattle stop on the current leg, keep an eye on their website and Facebook for any future tour announcements. Below, watch the band play “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On” live on KEXP last month.