The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

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Musical Memories: More Fun in the New World

Honest to goodness, the bars weren't open this morning
They must of been votin' for President or something

I love this album. I loved X before I saw them live, listening to White Girl and Los Angeles on KROQ while in high school. The harmonies in fifth, the sad resigned loud-ass music, the barre chords. What more could an O.C. punk want? They were L.A., and chaos, and soul, and everything I didn't have at Newport Harbor High School.

I went off to UCLA and promptly saw X at my own college, in Ackerman Grand Ballroom. They opened with "This was supposed to be the new world" at 1500 dB and loads of feedback. Exene was wearing a cowboy hat covered with spangles. I wanted to marry her and John Doe simultaneously.

From age 18 to 20 I listened to the first four X albums on repeat. Later on the peak of my music journalism career was interviewing them for Creem. Twenty years later miss_geek and I went to see them and they hadn't lost it.

Not sure why. Maybe it's because they were a stealth country blues band disguised as punk, or maybe they just were tough enough not to die or get lame from the lifestyle.

X never made it outside L.A. I remember John Doe saying that they shared that with Oingo Boingo: bands that were loved in L.A. and a few other cities and never got national success. And the weird thing, too: their lyrics look awful without the music, but with the music they're wonderful.

I remember that my dormitory floor at UCLA my freshman year was a musical fondue. My notable success was getting about ten people, including the diehard Springsteen fan and the guy who only liked ska, to become X fans. I bet they still are.

There's no nostalgia here. It's just good god-damned music, okay? It could have been made yesterday, or might be made tomorrow. They just had it. Someone has it now.
Tags: music
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