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***Poke it with a Stick—the only record by Louisville legends YOUR FOOD—is a sui generis gem of the American underground, now faithfully reissued for the first time by Drag City. Recorded in 1983 by four scarecrows from Kentucky subsisting largely on cheap beer and baked beans, the album is a burbling burgoo of hypnotic rhythm, uncoiling tension, and sharp invective—a proud bastard of post-punk royalty. In the fall of 1981, the residents of 1069, Louisville’s original punk house, began to spy three teenagers lurking outside the decrepit environs. Eventually the teens grew bold enough to approach, and soon two, JOHN BAILEY amd WOLF KNAPP were learning guitar and bass in the trashed rehearsal space within. CHARLES SCHULTZ had been the drummer for Louisville’s recently defunct DICKBRAINS, a band described by the Village Voice as freaky weirdos who couldn’t fit in if they tried. He started playing with John and Wolf. DOUGLAS MAXSON, the Dickbrains male singer, was lured back from New York with the promise of beer and cigarettes, and soon Your Food was playing weekly shows at the local Beat Club, mostly for free beer. Financed by a Pell Grant and what little cash the band could scrounge, the album was cut largely live in the studio by a guy who usually recorded church groups, and self-released on the band’s own Screaming Whoredog label. Your Food managed three short tours and earned the admiration of the few who heard them. But they were sonically out of step with the then-dominant hardcore scene, where speed and aggression alone were valued. It all came to a spectacularly bitter end on the side of some frozen, forlorn highway in West Virginia. The tour van broke down three times in four days. First the clutch went out, then the transmission. John’s dad drove eight hours to tow the van and band back to Louisville. The money for the planned second album went to repairs and the band, beaten and broken, called it quits.