Getting The Spins: Old 97’s – Drag It Up

(New West Records, 2004)

Shit’s crazy out there, and I just needed some comfort food. My beloved Old 97’s always deliver the feel-goods. Plus I’ve been thinking about the band lately. Partly because I’ll be interviewing the band’s frontman Rhett Miller on Monday (stay tuned for the interview right here!) about their new record and other topical stuff. I also got into a Twitter discussion with a friend today about which album was their worst. Honestly, they haven’t put out a truly bad record, although Drag It Up seems to come up in those types of discussions by fans and the band alike. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed when it was released in 2004 (later reissued on vinyl in 2012), coming off the big-production power pop album Satellite Rides. Comparatively, this one is far more raw and subdued, but over the years it’s become one of my favorites by the band. “Valium Waltz” and “In the Satellite Rides a Star” (the latter of which was accompanied by one of the best videos ever made) are fantastically somber and doesn’t sound like anything the band has done. In fact, the entire record doesn’t sound like anything they’ve done, from the mid-fi production to the diversity and overall dark weirdness of the songs. Definitely a cult classic…or a sleeper hit in waiting–at least in my feeble mind.