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  DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS w/ The Shiners  
  The Star Community Bar  
  Atlanta, GA  
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This show was an episode of All in the Family without Meathead. While you want to believe that viewers see the overbearing, even hit-you-on-the-head social critique that was Archie Bunker, you know, deep down, that many people in TV Land actually LIKE and RELATE to his stupidity and bigotry. This Drive-By Truckers show was filled with such spectators, listening to the "ironic" critique of slavery and isolationism while swilling PBR and pumping their fists. The all-too understated, if informed, lyrics and commentary onstage walked a thin line between praising Southern culture and revising plantation history. Indeed, the most poignant moment came in the form of a eulogy for a wounded Confederate soldier.

Musically, I found myself in a familial time warp of the Southern rock variety. The guitar-heavy, uninspired melodies were admitted copies of the Lynard Skynard my eldest brother inflicted on me for too many years (forcing me to turn to indie and punk rock -- now that's irony). Instead of progressive fusion, this music smacks of regressive rock. They even seemed to miss the fun rhythms of many neo-rockabilly bands like The Shiners, Truckers' opening act (though this band, too, had its share of Confederate sympathizers). Even with several drinks, I could not join the farm-boys-turned-fraternity-apes who cried "Freebird," during hour three of their anthems to bulldozers and dirt. Although I admire their attempt to view the South as Beautiful and Ugly, the Truckers need to clean the rose-color off their glasses and try again.

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