So Now We All Need to Learn the Words

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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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_%28American_band%29

        @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 says:

          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 says:

        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/proto-alt.country. 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 says:

    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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