So Now We All Need to Learn the Words


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph

    Slight lyric quibbles:

    Now fires and rockhouses and grape-flavored rat poison

    and at least on the one I have, instead of :

    Ah Homeboy… Isn’t that a Mexican name?

    John Doe sings:

    Hey girl, I wouldn’t trust you as far as I could throw youReport

  2. Avatar NewDealer

    There is a pretty big difference in the second example.

    I wonder how much Billy Zoom kicked himself about leaving X right before they got big. Well big for them anyway.

    I’ve been watching music videos of X for the past few days and it is interesting to see the changes. For White Girl and Hungry Wolf, Exene Cervenka seems to do this very hipster-bored poet/bohemian kind of performance. By Burning House of Love, she seems to have developed a slightly happier persona that involves smiling and dancing while performing.

    Bill Zoom seems like a fairly happy dude. He always seems to smile while playing guitar and can’t put on a tough guy actReport

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to NewDealer

      Isn’t X one of the obscure bands from the 1980s and not even late 1980s but early to mid-1980s? They were kind of like Sonic Youth but slightly older when they started or at least I thought as much. Are they still around?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to LeeEsq

        Your recollection is correct. Not really still around as a unit, though they have done occasional reunion shows now and again, and members have done solo stuff. This song came out in ’87.

        @ND – it is a big difference, which is why I noticed it. My *guess* as to why it’s different, is that even though I don’t think the printed (original?) lyric is actually anti-Mexican (I think the song’s narrator is actually attempting to draw a distinction, in his 1987 way, between a truly “Mexican” name which he’d presumably have no problem with, and a “gangbanger” nickname like “Homeboy”) it could be taken as anti-Mexican, which is why I wanted to point out that lyric isn’t the one on the album version.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph

          I think X are still around in the way that many of the early indie-rock/alternative rock acts are still around. They lacked success at the time because the form of music was too new but now they have a range of older fans (with more disposable income) and younger fans who were raised on this stuff thanks to Spin, 120 Minutes, and other sources.

          I might be dating myself by saying that Spin and 120 Minutes were my sources for new music during my formative years. And the fact that I can remember when Spin was the rebellious upstart to Rolling Stone. Also CMJ.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to LeeEsq

        They were an LA Punk band from the late 1970s to mid 80s but like Sonic Youth known for being intelligent and arty. They were critically well-respected but did not get much mainstream success and this frustrated them. I think they always wanted Mainstream success. You can find videos on youtube where they are performing on American Bandstand and really early David Letterman. They are possibly a bit younger than the people in Sonic Youth though.

        This song comes from their 5th album I think and has a more proto-adult alternative/ Their earlier albums were more punky loud. Compared and contrast:

        Hungry Wolf or Burning House of Love with the song above or 4th of July. The later songs are much less sonic and probably more palpable to a mainstream audience but still very good.Report

  3. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark

    It’s always a shock to me to read the lyrics of a song that I’ve loved half my lifetime (I’m more a music-person than a lyrics-person).

    So, I guess I’m glad we have a theme song now, but I’m feeling kinda depressed…Report

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