Steve Albini praises Cribshitter

Albini heard the Madison band’s demented version of “Cocaine,” and has declared it “magnificent.”


Steve Albini performing with Shellac in 2010. Photo by Dani De La Cuesta on Flickr.

Steve Albini performing with Shellac in 2010. Photo by Dani De La Cuesta on Flickr.

Yeah yeah, the Internet has a way of freaking out any time Steve Albini has a thought about anything, but indulge us here. The recording engineer, Electrical Audio studio owner, Shellac guitarist, and guy who has been neglecting his cooking blog was in Madison on Friday to speak at the Wisconsin Library Association’s annual conference. While driving up to town on Thursday night, he apparently was fiddling with his radio dial and ran across Madison band Cribshitter‘s version of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” on WORT-FM. The cover, from the band’s recent album Acapulco, is basically a deliberate butchering of the song, full of disjointed rhythmic staggers and thin kerflappity guitar tones.

Apparently this inspired Albini to explore the rest of Cribshitter’s sick-minded, prankish, but strangely well-crafted pop discography. Cribshitter got an email from Albini on Friday morning and forwarded it to us. It’s legit—it comes from an Electrical Audio email address, and even comes from the IP address of the hotel where the conference is taking place. And a playlist from Thursday night shows that WORT did indeed play the song around 8:25 p.m. The email reads, in part:

…the radio went to fuzz so I dialed around and stumbled on your magnificent version of the song “Cocaine” on WORT. I kept listening in hope the announcer would tell me who you were. I made my way to your bandcamp and have cried real tears of laughter over your music. You are Einstein-level geniuses and you should never quit.

I love your band.

Steve Albini, people. Having thoughts about bands and saying them in emails. Right here in our town.

Help us publish more stories like this one.

Local art shows how people in Madison think and feel—how Madison looks, and how Madison looks at itself.



Will you help us raise $2,000 to shore up our budget for editorial art?



Will you help us raise $2,000 to hire more local artists?

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top