The semester has been pretty busy at Reclaim Hosting, so much so we needed to roll out a third shared-hosting server last week. This one was named after the early LA punk band X. X marks the server in this case: x.reclaimhosting.com. X is a band I got turned on to during my seven-year stay in LA during the early 90s. X reminds me of seedy one-room apartments on Sepulveda Blvd, taking the bus (which was always hairy in LA), and the layer of filth left over from the 70s and 80s that was just beneath the surface of America’s big cities. Albums like Los Angeles and Under the Big Black Sun became staple listening more than 10 years after their release, and Penelope Spheeris‘s 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization sealed their allure in my imagination as the epitome of punk, in part thanks to the following scene wherein they sing “We’re Desperate”:
“Give ’em a flea bath, quick.”
But what I love about X is how fresh their music still sounds 35 years later. The duet between John Doe and Exene Cervenka never gets old for me, and songs like “The Worlds a Mess, It’s in My Kiss” seem more appropriate then ever, sadly. Billy Zoom’s guitar grounds the band’s sound in 50s rockabilly that works remarkably well with the crooning about poverty, drug overdoses, perverse sex, etc. It’s punk on the sun-baked edges of civilization; a solipsistic struggle with the quotidian realities of sordid abjection—so much so that it seems to forbid political anthems, which in the end may be one of their greatest assets as a band.