Monday, June 09, 2008


After finishing the last post, I zapped on the tube for a little relaxation, and flipped back and forth between a Pete Seeger biography on PBS and and rerun episode of The Shield.

What's funny is that X falls somewhere in the middle of all that - a legendary folk singer who's spent most of a century writing and singing about and organizing the underclass, and a contemporary television show about the gritty criminal underground of Los Angeles...

It seems like X is a product of all that... or should at least acknowledge its place in the whole schebang.

Here are a couple of loose threads that have been on my mind since the last post:
First is an absolutely spellbinding story about John Doe and his roots as a poet in Baltimore.
Next up is my own take on X's country counterpart band, The Knitters:
It’s true and good and right. And the punk shown through. The punk will always show through and always has. Until the 1970s, it simply went by different names and came from different places. It was Woody and the Carters, it was Charlie Mingus, it was boogie brothel piano and Robert Johnson’s devil guitar.

What X put on stage in Los Angeles in the early 1980s and what the Knitters put on the stage last night is proof it’s all the damn same. The Knitters did turns on Woody’s “Do Re Mi” and the Stanley Brothers “Rank Stranger,” as well as the X screamer “Burning House of Love” and the Knitters fave “Call of the Wreckin’ Ball.”

It’s the America that fell beneath the cracks and is better for it. It’s the America of Woody and Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. It’s the outlaws and the righteous, but more accurately and most importantly, it’s the America that denies and abhors the power structure. It’s the America that doesn’t want the Machine of oilmen and bankers and war-mongers. It’s the America of Hunter S. Thompson and Edward Abbey.
Damn. Feisty shite there. I kinda rule.

Dave Alvin - Fourth of July (live, 2007-10-07, Golden Gate Park, S.F.)

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