by Steve Bivans
I’m not from ‘round here.
Y’all probably know that already, but I thought I’d mention it again.
I’m from the South. I’m a transplant. Luckily, I’m a pretty hardy plant, otherwise I would wither away and die during the winters up here in Yankeeland, which I’ve railed against more than once. And it’s not the cold, or the snow, but the lack of SUNLIGHT that gets to me after awhile.
But once the snow melts, and the sun returns, my thoughts turn to things outdoors, namely, BBQ. As you might already know, I’m a huge BBQ guy, literally huge. I’m not small in other words. I’m pretty fuckin large. Some of that comes from eating my weight—ever increasingly difficult to do—in BBQ. If you eat your weight in BBQ, and do it frequently, you have to eat more and more each time, which is not a bad thing, unless you’re a cardiologist, but I’m not, so it’s ok.
I’m not gonna go into my philosophy on BBQ here. If you want that, and of course you DO, read my articles on BBQ Pulled Pork, and How to Make BBQ Ribs that Don’t Suck Ass, and my Pirate’s Cove BBQ Sauce. While yer at it, read the one on South Farthin Sweet Iced Tea too. Then you’ll have my philosophy down pat!
And you’ll be instantly smarter and sexier, which means that when your preferred mate, or style of mate is in the vicinity of your person, they will be inexorably drawn to your high BB-I-Q (barbecue intelligence quotient), and the new pheromone that you’ll exude: smoke. Not tobacco smoke, but BBQ smoke! It’s irresistible! Just ask my girlfriend, Patience.
So now you’re a sexy, smoky beast, thanks to the infusion of BB-I-Q and hickory smoke that you got reading my other articles. I’m glad you returned! Because just knowing how to make the world’s greatest BBQ isn’t enough to seal the deal with your new lady. Oh hell no. You have to set the right mood.
Turn off the lights. Yes, actually go flip the damned switch now. You didn’t do it did you? I’m waiting…
Ok, the lights are off. Now you’re sitting in the dark like an idiot. Hahahahaha. Ok, light a candle or two, and then what’s missing? Duhhhh! MUSIC!
If you’re gonna woo the new man in your life with BBQ and candles, you have to have the right tunes to set the mood, or otherwise, things will just fall apart, and I’m not talkin’ about the pork either. Luckily for you, there’s Spotify, and myself. If you don’t know about Spotify, then Google it as soon as you’re done reading this article, download it, and start listening. It’s free. Don’t freak out. I’m not trying to sell you anything. But Spotify alone isn’t enough. You also need me. Ok, that was a bit presumptuous, but hey, it’s my blog.
What are you going to listen to while eating BBQ and making out with your new lady? There’s really only one choice: Steve Bivans’ Pig Pickin Mix’ on Spotify, of course! Search for my name, follow me, and then check out my lists. I have a lot of them, and we’ll talk about some of those others later, but for now, just look for the Pig Pickin’ one, and crank that baby up!
“What the hell is a Pig Pickin’?” you ask.
Very good question, if yer a Yankee, or one of those West Coasters or something. Or if yer not from North Carolina. Where I’m from, good ole N.C., specifically Eastern N.C., when we make BBQ, it’s not ribs, or brisket, or even pork shoulder, hell naw. We believe that if you really want to make BBQ for a large party—and who the hell wants to throw a SMALL party—then you gotta GO BIG, OR STAY HOME. We BBQ the entire fuckin’ PIG!
Gut’im, clean’im, and throw the whole hog, right up on the pit! Now when I say pit, I don’t mean in a hole. That’s just too redneck. Ok, it’s hard to be more redneck than a N.C. Pig Pickin’–trust me on that one–but even WE have a limit. We don’t want dirt on our pork. We want it to be smoky, and crispy too! Not steamed. Don’t even get me started on that one. Steam is evil. It works wonders in choo choo trains, and tea pots—if you’re English and don’t know how to drink tea properly that is—but don’t you get that crap near my PORK!
No, in N.C. we toss the whole pig on a pit that’s pulled behind our cousin’s truck. It’s on a trailer, you know, like our houses. Cue Jeff Foxworthy, “If you call up yer cousin to come help you take the wheels off yer house…” Yep, we’re rednecks, but we cook our pork in a trailer, not in a hole in the ground. And when that awesome BBQ is done—after about 24 grueling hours or so—you serve it right there ON THE PIT.
Yep, that’s what I said. You stab a knife and fork in that baby, and then let the PICKIN’ COMMENCE! Some people, or restaurants, chop it all up together, or pull it together. But at parties (my parties anyway), we leave the different cuts of meat right where they are, and pick at it, all night long, while listenin’ to Skynyrd!
So, now that we know what a Pig Pickin’ is, let’s return to the subject of mood music, and my Spotify mix.
How did I come up with this mix?
I’m glad you asked. Well, years ago, after I moved up here to Yankeeland, I threw a Pig Pickin’ for my friends, neighbors, and fellow grad students one summer. Being the seasoned party-thrower that I am, I realized that I needed the right music. At the time, I don’t think Spotify had been invented, or at least I didn’t know about it. So I started an iTunes mix, which cost me a good deal of money. But YOU don’t need to spend a DIME. I’ve already done all the thinkin’ for you!
Oh, you want to know HOW I chose the songs I did? Ok, it’s real simple.
I have 3 basic rules for the tunes you find in this mix:
1. The song must be BY a Southern band/artist. Or…
2. The song is specifically ABOUT the South, or something Southern. Or…
3. The band SHOULD HAVE BEEN from the South.
Yeah, I know, the last one is kinda cheatin’. So what. Some bands, Creedence, for example, should have been from the South. Well, actually, I think Fogherty WAS, so there! The Eagles too. Oh yeah, Henley was too! Hey, we can’t help it if we just know how to sing! Anyway, I’m sure there’s a couple of artists that aren’t from the South—like First Aid Kit (they’re from Sweden)—but they sound Southern, so I put’em in the mix. Deal with it. Just think of it as General Lee invading Pennsylvania to grab some Yankee corn. No, wait a minute, that didn’t work out so well…so maybe not.
As of right now—and I add stuff occasionally—there are 196 songs of Southern, Smoky, Goodness in the mix! That’s over 11 HOURS of Southern Fried Music! Hell yeah!
So, crank up this mix, throw a Pig Pickin’, or at least do some ribs, or pulled pork. Oh yeah, you’re gonna need some beer, and some bourbon. I usually drink Jim Beam, or Evan Williams. You can drink those straight, with a couple of ice cubes, or mix up what I call Kentucky Tea! But that’s for next time… Until then, ‘Turn it UP!’ as Skynyrd said, and kiss that new lady right on the mouth, you sexy, BBQ, beastie!