Vic Chesnutt’s 1996 album About to Choke, the late Georgia singer-songwriter’s first and only major label release (and fifth album overall), will be reissued through Plain Recordings on compact disc, 180-gram vinyl and via digital-music retailers on June 15th. Chesnutt, who was confined to a wheelchair after a car crash at age 18, passed away on December 25th, 2009, two days after lapsing into a coma following an overdose of muscle relaxers. Over the course of 13 albums, Chesnutt developed a cult following that included fans like R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, who produced Chesnutt’s first two albums, and Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum.
About to Choke arrived just months after Chesnutt gained national attention when his songs were covered by Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M. and Garbage on the Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation compilation, which raised money for musicians in need of health care. About to Choke‘s 12 songs are perhaps the most accessible in Vic’s catalog, encapsulating Chesnutt’s darkly comic lyrics while taking a stab at the commercial success that previously eluded him.
“I guess the very emotional nature of my songs attracts emotional people, and they become quite, um, emotional,” Chesnutt told Rolling Stone in 1998. “They come up to me after the shows, and I don’t know what to say to them. I don’t want to be an asshole or anything, but I think I do my best communicating alone in my room, when I’m writing songs. But I do appreciate them very much. If it wasn’t for them, I would’ve killed myself a long time ago.”
About to Choke :
2. “New Town”
6. “(It’s No Secret) Satisfaction”
7. “Little Vacation”
9. “Hot Seat”
10. “Giant Sands”
12. “See You Around”