Thursday, August 26, 2010

X -- "Nausea" (1980)


Today you're gonna be sick, so sick
You'll prop your forehead on the sink
Say oh Christ, oh Jesus Christ . . .

I've been thinking for months that I should do a post on a song from X's first album, Los Angeles (released in 1980), but I just couldn't decide which song to choose. (I take decisions like that very seriously, you know.) But given the events of the past week, the choice had to be "Nausea."

We arrived at my mother-in-law's Cape Cod house for our annual family vacation a week ago Saturday. Sunday morning, my wife woke up with terrible stomach pains and uncontrollable vomiting, and we took her to the emergency room.  The doctor diagnosed her problem as diverticulitis and sent her home with antibiotics, an anti-nausea medication, and Vicodin. 

But she was no better Monday night -- if anything, her nausea was worse -- so we went back to the emergency room. She was admitted to the hospital that night and wasn't released until Thursday, after a few days of an intravenous anti-nausea cocktail had worked well enough for her to be able to tolerate solid food.

They have cool barf bags at hospitals these days.  My wife went through quite a few of them:


X's original members were Exene Cervenka (vocals), John Doe (bass/vocals), Billy Zoom (guitar), and DJ Bonebrake (drums). I have a funny feeling none of those names appear on official birth certificates.  Cervenka and Doe were married from 1980 until 1985, and later she married and then divorced actor Viggo Mortensen.

X was a great punk band, but didn't want to be just a punk band -- they wanted to be a commercial success as well, and their music suffered a bit as a result.  I think their first two records were their best.

Along with Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and several other bands, X was featured in Penelope Spheeris's documentary about the Los Angeles punk scene, The Decline of Western Civilization, which was released in 1981 but shot in 1979 and 1980. I saw this startling and very compelling movie when I was living in San Francisco.  I would guess that all or most of those bands played at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, but I never went there -- one more dumb mistake I made.

Here's "Nausea":




Here's X performing the song in The Decline of Western Civilization:




Here's a link to iTunes if you'd like to buy "Nausea":



Here's a link to Amazon for "Nausea":

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