X was the first band that made me realize women could be punks.
In the nineties I lived in train town usa. Punk and grunge were big there, so were cowboys. By the time we were in seventh grade we were dressing in our father’s old clothes, buying cheap funk from thrift stores and going to all-ages punk shows in downtown churches. I learned to question mainstream society and wear studs. Caring for the earth got me ostracized, but the punks were used to being outcasts and welcomed me in.
We were into hanging around the record store, and got into bands like the Misfits, the Clash, Ramones, Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols, plus locals like Boycott and Moral Crux; lots of these groups sing about the need for political change and have gothic-noir story lyrics.
It occurred to me early on that there weren’t many women in punk rock, and I was saddened. Then I learned about X, and got the tape More Fun in the New World.
I had a little boombox next to my bed and listened to that X tape night after night as I fell asleep above the bridge. Lead singer Exene became my dream maker and godmother.
Punk rock gives an important platform for calling out the crooked ways of the world and expressing emotion in raw, fearlessly radical, ironic and avant-garde ways. X trained our veins and their beat will always motivate us; we owe some strength of our roots to Exene’s righteous croon.
These days we like to transform our anger by not letting the mess get into our kiss. We try to focus on the ways we are united, and on the ones who tell the truth. Turning things around keeps our sights holy, our minds kind, and our spirits high.