Tuesday, April 26, 2011

i wanna be instamatic, i wanna be a frozen pea

I know it's just a matter of time before every band I like is dead because I latched on to the sound of previous generations, but Poly Styrene, a half-Somali teenager with braces and a lot of snark who scared Johnny Rotten (though in fairness that doesn't seem hard to do), died of cancer this morning and had I known earlier I would have played a whole lot of X-Ray Spex and totally alienated all three of my listeners.

The X-Ray Spex were one of the first punk bands I got into, thanks to college radio and my friend Megan whose mom was one of my mom's roommates. At their every-so-often-reunion-gatherings, all of us kids would be turned loose while the parents reminisced, but since we were all pretty geeky, the younger ones would play video games and we would read each other's fantasy novels and watch The Simpsons when we weren't hopelessly losing in basketball to her older brother.

Despite her fear of crazy born again fundies, we got along well, graduating in culturation from an endless repeat of Billy Joel's Greatest Hits while making friendship bracelets when we were ten to listening to Elastica, the X-Ray Spex and other assorted Brit-rock, trading high school stories while trying to figure out what college would be like. I don't think either of us had any idea about what would be coming.

6 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Maybe if you'd stop playing The Boss™ and affiliated affiliates, we'd start listening again.

Anonymous said...

wouldn't wish infinite jest on anyone but if you did read it there was an entertaining college radio dj character lost under the rest of the ever mounting mess of dfw's mindset.
i'm going to give pale king a try so i'll let you know if he ever got it together on the page before he lost it.

thatgirl said...

@Randal,
Obviously I'm not being as true to my blue collar Parmastani roots as I should be.

@dmf,
I hope you've seen this:
http://peopleholdinginfinitejest.tumblr.com/

Anonymous said...

it's definitely a book that can put you to sleep, maybe you and RG can coauthor a children's book:
http://crookedhouse.typepad.com/crookedhouse/2011/04/go-the-fuck-to-sleep.html

Atlanta Roofing said...

Goodbye Poly Styrene and thanks for the good times, good music and great lyrics, which were nothing short of ahead of their time and are as apt today as ever. You may Rest in Peace.

Chef Cthulhu said...

I read about Poly's passing this morning and was saddened.

What Atlanta Roofing said.