Saturday, July 3, 2010

X - "4th of July" from the CD See How We Are

I wanted to write about the live version of "Pressman" last week: great song and all, noir as fuck is what I was thinking, but nothing coherent ever came to me. Can't post if you can't write.

Don't feel effervescent with ideas tonight, either, but there is Sunday's American holiday, and there is this wonderful track from X, the playing of which on Independence Day having become something of a personal tradition for me.

Thr punk rock that X had become known for is for the most part absent from "4th of July," as is their original guitarist Billy Zoom, who'd left the band after the unrequited sellout that was Ain't Love Grand. In Zoom's place on the song is roots-rock champion Dave Alvin, and it is Alvin, on closer inspection, who wrote the song.

And it's beautiful, too, landscaped with Alvin's gorgeous reverb, and with some of Exene and John's finest harmonies. There is a conflict between the duo's soaring vocal harmonies and Alvin's lyrics--ambivalent in the best light--which tell of a short truce called on a hot night.

You wouldn't think that an accident of the calendar could make much difference to me, to you, to some couple falling out of love, but, maybe, even if only briefly, it does. It's a holiday from crushing reality, reds whites and blues in the sky, and the smell of barbeque and gunpowder, the Fourth of July for 24 delicious hours before we like failed lovers are called back again to the drudgery and the bullshit.

My advice: Enjoy the holiday hours as you have them, and crank the tune we have here at every opportunity. It's worth getting excited about. The Fourth of July only comes once a year, you know.

X - See How We Are - 4th of July.mp3

File under: Roots rock

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