Tuesday, August 11, 2015


This juxtaposition was just, I don't know, too striking, comically so, to not post. These were two consecutive postings on a social media feed. Two versions of punk rock, one a band from Canada, the Queers, playing in San Diego sometime in the last week. The other, X Ray Spex, on a TV show in 1978. Admittedly, the difference in eras makes this an apples and oranges comparison, but what kills me is how the Queers clip is exactly what X Ray Spex weren't. The Queers bassist, who appears to be a little tilted, starts purposely knocking down the drummer's cymbals. After the guitarist tries to get him to cool it, a few measures later he's knocking into him. The guitarist shoves him to the ground. All this during the song "Kicked Out of the Webelos". For those of you who don't know, Webelos was an intermediate scouting group, between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. These are grown men. Oh brother.

Let's go peagreens, crowd in here. If you want to have a well rounded knowledge about early punk rock, you must include X Ray Spex. They didn't sound like everybody else, they didn't dress like everybody else, and they didn't act like everybody else. Plus they had sax. And a mighty singer and lyricist in Poly Styrene. There wasn't any of this tough guy bullshit. No fake danger. Their lyrics were commentaries on rampant consumerism, conformity and submissiveness. Not getting kicked out of the scouts. Starting to sink in? I really don't feel like going into it much more in depth than that tonight. Read their Wiki page or something. But take it from me, X Ray Spex are far more important that most of that stuff in your punk pile. And they are still relevant, perhaps more today than in 1978.

Compare and contrast:
The Queers - Four Songs at YouTube The full clip, live, San Diego, Aug, 9, 2015
The Queers - Squabble segment at YouTube
X Ray Spex - Oh Bondage Up Yours at YouTube 1978
X Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours mp3 at Quit Mumbling
X Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Dayglo mp3
at ATumblr (?)
X Ray Spex - I'm A Cliché mp3
at Killed By Death
X Ray Spex - Warrior In Woolworths mp3
at Music Like Dirt
X Ray Spex - I Live Off You mp3
at Keith Lea (?)
X Ray Spex - Obsessed With You mp3
at ATumblr (?)
X Ray Spex - I'm A Poseur mp3 at BZH Rock (?)
X Ray Spex - Peel Sessions (!!)
at Mustard Relics Seven songs, scroll to bottom of post.
X Ray Spex - Tons of stuff
at YouTube

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