Uncle Tupelo – I Got Drunk


“I took me a fifth and poured me a shot/and thought about all the things I haven’t got” opens this, the first non-album release from Uncle Tupelo. Recorded in 1990, right after the release of No Depression, this is Farrar, Tweedy, and Heidorn at their most defeated, smoldering, and uncompromising. In “I Got Drunk,” drinking hasn’t yet acquired the pathos and sense of alienation that it would on Still Feel Gone, and there’s still something redemptive, adolescent, and political about the pleasures of self-destructive consumption. But the lyrics, the opening one especially, have a descriptive poignancy that escapes listeners now. Finding the world wanting and drinking to forget described a state of feeling and a response to a set of conditions, neither of which exist any longer. In 1990, white youth were growing up in a post-Marxian cultural and economic malaise that emerged out of the new century’s consumer society where politics and art live on in suspended animation, where the world is never found wanting because it no longer makes sense to ask it for anything, and “all the things I haven’t got” is a turn of phrase that lilts strangely on the ear — almost foreign, most archaic. Backing up “I Got Drunk” is an excellent down-tempo version of the Gram Parson’s classic “Sin City.”


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