More Fun

by X-tal

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about

The second archival X-tal compilation put out by Ear Candle Productions in 2010. Bringing together more rarities from singles and German-only releases, MORE FUN is now augmented with a few additional tracks to complete the X-tal catalog.

credits

released May 16, 2010

Compiled by J Neo Marvin for Ear Candle Productions
Cover art by Davis Jones.

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all rights reserved

about

X-tal San Francisco, California

Here, for the first time, the entire recorded output of X-tal in one place.

X-tal (1983-1996) were a San Francisco post-punk band fronted by J Neo Marvin. Greil Marcus of the Village Voice described them as a “small-time San Francisco combo that wears their defeated leftist politics on their sleeves and can open for the Mekons without letting you forget them when the headliners come on.” ... more

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Track Name: Kansas Song (For Michael Johnstone)
In a small town in the Midwest
They’ve mounted speakers on the streetlights
All day they broadcast Muzak
Up and down the lane
The air is filled with Percy Faith
It penetrates your brain

Outside the town there is a river
The water is a peculiar color
The company it dumps its waste
And the river carries it away
Floating past the little town
That survives on company pay

Farmer looks down, scratches his head
Oh it sure has been one hell of a summer
All the cows are growing lumps
And the chickens roll over and die
He feels more dizzy every day
And he just can’t figure why

Sunday afternoon church social
Baptize children in the glowing river
All the people clap and sing
And the sunset burns so red
Junior doesn’t feel too good
So they tuck him into bed.
Track Name: Daddy Auction
Come on down, come on down
The orphans gathering all around
Come on down, come on down
The Daddy Auction’s back in town.

He’s six foot tall with thick gray hair
He wants us all to know he cares
He’ll buy us candy and make us glad
Spank us just right when we’re bad

He’ll wave at cameras and work all day
He’ll make the monsters go away
Watch his grace as he straddles the fence
I’m so filled with confidence

Come on down, come on down
Children gathering all around
Come on down, come on down
The Daddy Auction’s back in town.

Smiling dads lined up and down the hall
Running gauntlets, watch them fall
Who’s got the hardest, handsomest shell
The shiny surface that reflects our distorted selves?

So punch the hole for one of two
Who do you want to take care of you?
Pray the king your soul to keep
Make your free choice and go back to sleep.
Track Name: Encore
Well, you killed off your dad and you burned down the school
And you blew up the jail and tore up all the rules
Well, that’s cool. Yeah, that’s cool.

You were a teenage rebel with a lot to say
You took the propaganda and you threw it away
Well hooray…yeah, that’s OK.

What you gonna do for an encore
Now that you’re not so young anymore?

Well you spent your life looking for an alternative
What you really need now is some way to live.
Yeah, you broke away and you set yourself free
You’re only starting to learn now just how hard life can be
And you have all my sympathy.

What you gonna do for an encore
Now that you’re not so young anymore?
Track Name: More Fun In The New World Order
Patriots glare
Bombs bursting in hot air
Important men in uniforms and suits
To tell us why we’re there
Dots on a screen
The world is their private arcade
The men look so happy
They haven’t had this much fun since God knows when!

Words thrown around
Are weapons of manipulation
United, standing strong
Freedom and democracy
Do what you’re told
To fight against dictatorship
You’re really patriotic
When you torch the corner deli!

These are the times
That make you proud to be American
We march on in
Like raging bulls in the china shop
We won the war
Try not to think about the implications
Tie a yellow ribbon
Round the throats of future generations

We’ve been through the desert
In a force with no shame
It felt good to be part of the game.
Track Name: A Lemon Song
I’m in the corner, sucking on a lemon
Trying to put a curse on the marching band
The trumpet players’ lips get stuck
The drums implode and the flags curl up
I’m in the corner, sucking on a lemon.

A salamander slithers into the spotlight
A creature slimy enough to thrive in hellfire
He’s come to save us from ourselves
I can’t wait to see my cell
All aboard for the tent city in the desert

Suddenly all we see is you
Philosopher king of the evening news
The channel changes when you wave your wand
This land is your land, we just work here!

Human social nature abhors a vaccuum
Vote for Satan, at least he stands for something
I can see the future: a 500 foot high marquee
It flashes one single word over and over:
COLLAPSE COLLAPSE COLLAPSE COLLAPSE

The wind is insane tonight, just hear it roar
Hurling fat tree limbs into my front door
But the rain falls so gently in the midst of it all
And neither one cares a bit what you or I think.

Rage is all the rage, in the ’90s rage is money
The righteous fury of a baby who won’t share his toys
It’s so easy to climb those charts
It’s so easy to win those votes
Selling pointless phony blind cheap stupid powerless anger
(And while we’re on the subject…)

Everybody digs it when you’re angry
After all, anger is a vital component of rock and roll
But dare to tie that anger
To something that actually matters
And Americans will hate you and tell you you’re too preachy

We’re so cute, we’re so cute when we’re angry
We’re so cute, we’re so cute when we’re angry
And by itself that’s nothing, absoluely nothing
We’re so cute, we’re so cute when we’re angry.
Track Name: The Humboldt Desert
When the last tree falls in California
Will anyone hear it crash
Or will it be drowned out by the registers
Ringing up that cold hard cash?
Clear cut an entire redwood forest
To pay off your old junk bond debts
A fantasy-based economy
Makes you foul your mama’s nest

Another family for the timber industry
The signs on the houses read
You just don’t know how utterly moved I am
By your well-planned lives and your needs
Man, your boss is in a frenzy
He acts like a man on a terminal cocaine run
So what exactly do you plan to do for a living
When your renewable resources are gone?

Oh pity the poor buffalo hunter
Who just can’t hunt no more
Oh pity the poor whaler
Deprived of his rightful public support
And pity the poor logger of the future
With nothing left top cut down
Sawing telephone poles with a chainsaw
While the timber company clears out of town
Bye bye, next stop Siberia.

Oh the Humboldt Desert will be a wonder
The tourists will come to stare
You’d think they might have spared just a couple of the big ones
But no, they didn’t really care.
But it’s all right, we’ve planned for the future
The redwoods will grow back eventually
We’re all gearing up for a big logging boom
In the thirtieth century.
Chop it. Chop it good.
Track Name: Protest Star
How does it feel to be the one
They’re always talking about?
To be the name on everybody’s lips?
And all your slogans are suddenly hip?

How does it feel to be so green
And so closely observed?
They know your routine before your voice is heard
How does it feel to be a household word?

This is the arena where we work out all our traumas
Where we cut ourselves open and make fools of ourselves
Over and over again.

How does it feel to be the next flavor of the month?
A confrontational caricature?
Someone that anyone can sum up?

How would it feel to hear people say they knew you when
Before your image went to your head?
They’ll call you on everything you’ve said.

How will it feel when your ideals have become an act?
A parody of the scars on your heart?
You’re set in stone before you even start.

This is the arena where we foist our primal agony on the public
But you shouldn’t act so arrogant
Because the papers love to make you look stupid
How does it feel?
Track Name: I Was A Teenage Christian
Picture the spring of ’72
Fourteen and a half and friendless
I was a target from day one
I liked the idea of a universe with justice
Eating lunch alone as usual
Two fairly cute girls come up to me
Would I like to go to a meeting on the hill
I was so bored, I said OK

In a circle sitting on logs
A crowd of friendly hip young people
Seemingly unbound by the social rules
Open hearts and big bright smiles
I was greeted with warm affection
They understood my disillusionment
With the church and the human race
They had a better way

Hark the herald angels sing, hello misfits of the world
Just how far will you go to end your loneliness?
What odious club will you join? What ideals will you espouse
Just so you could have someone to talk to?

I was no stranger to spirits
I did not belive that death was the end
Once I heard the cool, calm voice of God
When I was hyperventilating
I was not a sucker for dogma
But Jesus Christ, my soul was starving
And these people all seemed to nice
And their ecstatic joy was contagious

So I got picked up at home in the evening
And whisked away to a plain downtown building
They served spaghetti and we sang and prayed
Insisting all the while that they were not a church
A man got up and said that he’d seen great things
Great changes brought about by Jesus
He’d seen hippies who’d cut off all their hair
He’d seen surfers throw away their boards

Hark the herald angels sing, hello misfits of the world
Just how far will you go to end your loneliness?
What odious club will you join? What ideals will you espouse
Just so you could have something to belong to?

(Secret evil backmasking:)
“Yad yb yad ylraen erom eeht wollof dna
Ylraed erom eeth evol, ylraelc erom eeth ees ot
Yarp I sghiht eerht, Drol raed ho
Yad yb yad, yad yb yad.”

I prayed every night for God to impress me
I couldn’t let down my great new friends
I prayed for Jesus to come and convince me
That he played by these people’s rules
This went on for about a month
As a war raged on inside me
Striving to improve and purify myself
While a screaming inner voice grew louder.

How could I be saved if I had not sinned yet?
How could I judge a life I had not lived yet?
I read the fine print and the void burst open
The ball and chain at the end of the rainbow
I turned my back on the gates of Eden
I expelled myself from paradise
I took my chances with the lake of ire
It’s my party and I’ll burn in Hell if I want to!

Hark the herald angels sing, hello misfits of the world
Just how far will you go to end your loneliness?
What odious club will you join? What ideals will you espouse
Just so you could have something to live for?
Track Name: What Now?
All of the medicine that used to nurture and sustain you
When did it turn into the poison that burns out and drains you?
Confront yourself at night, you lie in bed awake alone
What do you really want to be? Man, you’re not even close.
What now?

You played your party trick
Pulled out the rug and left me standing
So I’ll shake your hand one last time
As I slip into the quicksand
What now?
Track Name: 29 Lakewood
One green shoe, one black boot, on respective feet
Enough to confuse, amuse everyone I meet, everyone I meet
I know they're debating, on the corner they're all praying
Me, I'm content just to breathe, just to breathe

No friendly face for a walk down the street
Got to be smiley for those neighbors you may meet, neighbors you may meet
I know the expectations, deep down they're all praying
That I'll go back to the sewer from which I came, one fine day

Dozen plus six cars on the block, Norton idling at three o'clock
Breaking pallets everywhere, any hour day or night, we don't care
About your expectations, can't you see we're all changing
Spying on us behind thin shades...one fine day

Three cats that only shit next door
Skirted mechanics screaming Patti Smith folklore
Folks, I think you're going insane
I mean to say I think you've had your day
And we're rearranging, the neighborhood you're reclaiming
We're going on back from whence we came...one fine day.
Track Name: Soiled Princess
Ashen hands
Flashing crystal doll
Popping pills
Silver metallic cabaret singer
Soiled princess
Little girl
Flashing crystal doll
Silver metallic cabaret singer
Pumped full of pills each time she opens her legs

Skinny little girl, pumped full of pills
Speeding away, up and down
And gradually forgets that pretty soon no one will want her anymore

Soiled princess forgot to bathe
Skinny little girl, crumpled doll
When all the use is taken from her, she's thrown away
On to fresh flesh, on to fresh blood
Just try to go to sleep, I can't, it hurts too much.
Track Name: Damp In The Trenches (Xmas Carol)
There's a fast quick command
Ripping through my skull
The origin of it
You don't care to think to know
Bush pushing us back
Firmly and not slow
Bodies sinking, riches melting
Riches melting in the snow
And I forgot it once, but I heard it twice
Another Christ-kissed day of delight
Voiced at day, voices at night
Women's bodies, males decide

Damp in the trenches
Ain't got the enemy right
Let's go now, you and me
Rich power structure elite
Born upon Babylon
Puffy face, blood dries
Nothing accomplished
It ain't black and white
It's just the blackened hands on newsprint
TV eyes glare blind
Sell the tension
Click the deadbolt tight

And go out and buy everything
Everything you don't need
You're buying, buying everything
An open-ended greed

Meanwhile in Union Square
Shoppers knocking their ass off
Frantically grabbing the scents
Of the animals we kill and oppress
Romantically shopping for the finest tree
It comes without roots
Steal it please!

You're buying, buying everything
Everything you don't need
You're buying, buying everything
An open-ended greed

Down at the clinic
Fools yell and scream
Morals and Christian sin
Oppression to no end
Women as containers
To gobble up sperm and breed breed breed
More soldiers please!
Poor soldiers bleed...
Track Name: Fall Again
Here I fall again, I don't want to think. Don't want to think about where I'm going to

We're on the pier. It's late and I'm lost, and the boats are drifting on the shore so far away. You're telling me your problems and I listen, I listen too damn much. Watch the boats, they're leaving but I'm not.

Here I fall again, fall again. Out on the sand it's shifting, never staying where I want to be. Whatever, I always fall again. I always fall again.

Lines moving, shapes shifting, I can't find my map. A voice calls me, "come this way", just like that. A voice calls me and I obey. Even knowing the end of the story won't save me now.

Here I fall again. Taking my tiny steps in your footsteps, watching your every mood for a cue. In proper form as always, fall again. I always fall.

Speaking that other language, it's not so obscure. It's the one that I was taught so long ago. I try to explain, I try but it won't leave me alone. Leave me alone!

Here I fall again, fall again, here I fall again, over and over, down the stairs. It's dark down here but it's a place that I know well. I hope you're entertained watching me fall.