Twins facing up 

One day before their [number redacted] birthday, the Wonder Twins got a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll with Langhorne Slim and Drive-By Truckers at St. Andrew's Hall.

Laura: I was looking forward to seeing Drive-By Truckers, since they're known for their live shows and put out a really great live album last year. The Drive-By Truckers are to me one of those quintessential American rock bands. Without a doubt one of the best today.

D'Anne: Agreed. I felt very patriotic at this show. Like in a Bruce Springsteen "Born in the U.S.A." way, not a John Ashcroft "Let the Eagle Soar" way.

Laura: The best American rock bands are champions of the underdog, the working class.

D'Anne: And share a fifth of Jack Daniels on stage between them. Nothing's more American than swapping spit.

Laura: Actually swapping spit doesn't seem that American. I think it's more French.

D'Anne: Whatever you say.

Laura: Langhorne Slim was an excellent fit opening for Drive-By Truckers. I've seen him once before, actually, at the Pike Room. He just puts on a really great live show.

D'Anne: He has a lot of energy. And he liked to shake his moneymaker on stage in his skinny jeans.

Laura: You're making him sound like Justin Bieber. I highly doubt Langhorne Slim has ever caused a teen riot to break out at a mall. Although there were two very young fans right in front singing along to every single one of his songs.

D'Anne: Yes, that was awesome. He had a lot of ardent fans there, actually. I saw a lot of people who knew every word.

Laura: That's because they love his missing tooth. And they love his guitar face.

D'Anne: I know I did. We were standing right by the speakers and the thump of the bass drum and the upright bass were making me cough.

Laura: You might want to mention that you had a cold.

D'Anne: I'm pretty sure it was tuberculosis, actually.

Laura: You shouldn't joke about that. They can arrest you for knowingly going out in public if you have tuberculosis.

D'Anne: Well, fine, I didn't. I just had a sinus infection. Brought on by bird flu. But the bass really did help loosen up my chest congestion.

Laura: And you were getting it from both ends.

D'Anne: Um, wow. Don't ever say that in reference to me again.

Laura: No, I just mean that toward the end of Langhorne Slim's set, the hip-hop show in the Shelter below us started up so there was booty bass from below and Langhorne Slim bass from above.

D'Anne: That was Brother Ali bringing the boomin' bass. It's always weird when there are two shows going on at the same time at the Shelter and St. Andrew's. I saw Rufus Wainwright years ago at St. Andrew's and there was some kind of booty bass show going on below freestyling over top of it. I'm pretty sure that was the same show where he announced that he'd had sex with Jack White.

Laura: Booty bass music can make a man feel confessional. By the time the lights went down for the Drive-By Truckers set, the place was packed. Mostly, the audience was white guys who, if it weren't for bands like Drive-By Truckers, would be listening to the quintessential shitty white-guy bands like Foreigner and Bad Company.

D'Anne: Hey. I like Foreigner. "Hot Blooded?" "Cold As Ice?" Those are great songs. Great.

Laura: I once saw a guy do a damn fine version of "Cold As Ice" at karaoke. He was wearing a T-shirt that read, "I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look."

D'Anne: OK. I see your point. Still, it would have been hilarious if he really was your gynecologist.

Laura: Shut up.

D'Anne: Drive-By Truckers played a lot of songs from their latest record, "The Big To-Do." "Drag the Lake Charlie" got a really enthusiastic reception. Patterson Hood introduced it by saying, "This next one's about a really, really, really, really, really nasty woman and the men who are terrified of her."

Laura: It seems like there's a Sarah Palin joke in there somewhere.

D'Anne: It's just too easy to make fun though. It takes the fun out of it.

Laura: True. Another new one they played was "Girls Who Smoke," the refrain of which went, "You know what they say about girls who smoke."

D'Anne: That they are more likely to get cervical cancer than non-smokers and that they increase their chances of heart disease if they're on the pill?

Laura: True, but I don't know that those stats are really catchy enough to put into a song.

D'Anne: I don't know, I think, "Your mouth smokes one, your crotch smokes four" is pretty catchy.

Laura: In between songs Brother Ali's bass was really thumping and some folks in the audience weren't very happy about that.

D'Anne: Yes, I loved when that man yelled during the intro to a quieter song, "They've got that damn hip-hop playing downstairs!" I have no doubt he uses that same tone when he yells at kids to get off his lawn.

Laura: Yes, but I'll bet he's a die-hard fan who has every record they've ever put out going back to the late '90s.

D'Anne: I think they have 11 albums, counting live albums and a B-sides and rarities compilation.

Laura: I thought the Truckers were really good live, though they're a band I'd like to make a "Laura's Favorite Drive-By Truckers Songs" mix and then that album would be great.

D'Anne: And that mix would definitely include "Sink Hole," one of their best and one of my favorites. The crowd's too, judging from their reaction. They also loved "This Fucking Job," from the new record. I think a lot of people in Michigan right now can relate to lyrics like, "Working this job is like a knife in the back. It ain't getting me farther than the dump I live in."

Laura: Sadly, yes. Which made it that much better when Patterson Hood said, "We're happy to be back in your beautiful town tonight. It's been fun." Because nobody ever says that about Detroit.

D'Anne: Yeah, they've probably seen worse judging from the people and places in Drive-By Truckers songs. Women with guns in their purses, daddies dying, girls with fucked-up teeth, circus people, kinky preacher men murdered by their wives. Put all of the characters from their songs in one place and you'd have the worst family reunion ever.

Laura: Or a meeting of the Republican National Committee.

D'Anne: Bingo.

Laura and D’Anne Witkowski are starring in the remake of Maximum Overdrive. Send comments to them at [email protected]

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