An early springtime Deep Southern Gen X sampler, from “the lists”

The section in level:deepsouth called “the lists” is for collecting and sharing articles, sound files, videos, and images from Generation X’s early years in the Deep South and from today. Below is a sampler.

A History of the Swimming Pool Qs 

The band, which was formed in 1978, was on the forefront of New Wave in the Deep South. The Qs opened for The Police and were praised by The Village Voice and MTV’s Kurt Loder.

“Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites, from their self-titled 1986 album

This was the band’s only major hit, though a few other songs did break the Top 100 in the late ’80s. This one went all the way to #2 on the charts in 1987. 

What Haunts Us (documentary, 2018)

This latter-day documentary explores the suicides of six members of the Porter-Gaud School’s class of 1979. The film makes connections among the suicides, the elite school in Charleston, South Carolina,  and one charismatic faculty member who had been sexually abusing students. 


To find out how to contribute to “the lists,” check out the submit page.

One Whole Year

Today, level:deepsouth marks its first full year online. I started the project early in 2020 and got the site online on March 1. The first submission, “Camp Earl Wallace” by Elena Vale Wahl, was published in the summer. Since then, the anthology has added thirteen long form works, three shorter pieces, four book reviews, and a variety of images.

level:deepsouth is a project that I considered for years before getting off my butt and starting on it. As a writer and editor who grew up in the 1980s and ’90s in Alabama, I had seen no forum or venue or publication dedicated to Generation X in the Deep South. For all of the stuff on the internet – the obviously great, the truly wonderful, the simply terrible, the totally offensive – why was there no hub devoted to this set of experiences?

Sure, there are Southern writers now in their 40s and 50s who are working and publishing – some of them making sure we know how Southern they are – but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I am talking about is an effort to collect and document an eclectic group of experiences that are difficult and confusing and don’t necessarily make sense together. Unlike other Southern-focused publications and websites, level:deepsouth is only concerned with Deep Southern, Generation X experiences from the last three decades of the twentieth century. And the project does not mix its content with commentaries on obscure old blues records, features about out-of-the-way restaurants, and ads for block-lettered graphic tees. level:deepsouth is about one thing: the formative years of my generation in the region where I grew up. That’s all. Being young in the weird, mixed-up, and constantly changing 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in the the heart of the old Confederacy, the heart of the Bible Belt, the heart of Dixie.

In addition to the twenty works that are already in the anthology and available to read, the call for submissions remains wide open in year two. There is no deadline to submit, and works will be considered year-round. If you grew up in this place and during that time, consider adding your story to the project. There’s no way that this anthology could ever be diverse enough.

A mid-winter Deep Southern Gen X sampler, from “the lists”

The section in level:deepsouth called “the lists” is for collecting and sharing articles, sound files, videos, and images from Generation X’s early years in the Deep South and from today. Below is a sampler.

The Moreland Hometown Heritage Museum in Moreland, Georgia

This site is a tribute to the hornery and peculiar Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard, whose distinctly Southern commentary and humor was loved by some and offensive to others. Grizzard died of a heart attack in 1994. 

“Tie a Rope to the Back of the Bus” by Superchunk, from No Pocky for Kitty (1991)

Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk was staple of indie music in the 1990s. This video for a song on their second album shows them both goofing off and playing live.

South of Haunted Dreams: A Ride through Slavery’s Old Backyard by Eddy L. Harris (1993)

Eddy Harris was relatively well-known from his 1988 book Mississippi Solo and 1992’s Native Stranger when he published this book about driving a BMW motorcycle across the South to figure out what it meant to him as a black man.