Exurb Kids Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

Yeah most of these exurb kids don’t know what they don’t know, line up for the noon show of the latest Orlando preteens. Raised beneath the beige big boxes, the tan Olive Gardens, the faux-brick Verizons, content in mediocrity.

A few move to the city for hair or art school. Drawn in by the bright lights and maybe something magical. But I’m a bit uncomfortable with a version so God-soaked and mystical.

Cause most of them just stay in place. They don’t know what know what they don’t know and they’re happy to stay that way. They’ve got all they need. They’re probably better off than you and me.

They’re not cursed by our thirst. They don’t know what they don’t know. Nothing hurts when you don’t learn to yearn.

Imagine This Before Irony

There’s nothing left for us to say or do. Our battles are mostly writ small. Walking soft in the shadow of the Greatest Generation’s kids. So lame.

Cause we’ve always known the future’s written in stone. Woodstock didn’t end war and punk rock didn’t bring down any sort of monarchy.

Imagine this before irony, if you can. Imagine this before history, if you can. This song would feel so pregnant with all of the grand possibilities. So if you can, picture this with substance. And imagine there’s no Altamont, if you please.

Our heroes all tried in vain to act with some semblance of gravity. London in the 70s, the Bronx in the 80s and Seattle in the 90s. But then I think it stopped.

The only error we made was being born after the end of history. The cruel hands of time turned all those wide-eyed kids into mortgagees.

Cause we’ve always known the future’s written in stone. Woodstock didn’t end war and grunge didn’t tear down Pacific Northwest ennui.

Imagine this before irony, if you can. Imagine this before history, if you can. These drums would sound important and so full of complex gravity. So if can please drop all your judgments and give this some of your sympathy.

Oh well. Pull back. Finish up strong. The Boomer’s failures carrying on. If they only hadn’t ruined this song.

Oh well. Pull back. Finish up strong. The X’ers failures carrying on. If they only hadn’t ruined this song.

Loose Crowns

Watch these Apple Valley girls. Dancing on table tops. All glitter and gloss and screaming loud along to some Euro-tinged bass drops. Oh wait.

They do this for their souls. They just know they do this to be bold. For their souls.

Watch these Hersham Boys. Studs jammed everywhere. Yeah I’ll agree the Cockney kids are innocent but please let’s exclude their hair. It’s dyed till it stains.

They do this for their souls. They just know they do this to be bold. For their souls.

Their pants are hanging off the backs of their ass now. Their hats are cocked off to the side like some loose crowns. Their shirts are open at the navel but they’re buttoned up so tight at the neck. They do this all for respect. This East LA respect. Yeah, this Soto Street respect. No regrets.

Watch these Rockist Dads. Chucks and Vans, plain and square. Finger-waggin’ at those synthy kids, pining for the way things used to be. Oh wait that’s me.

They do this for their souls. They just know they do this to be bold. For their souls.

Cincinnati Shuffle

No one’s ever fallen in love with Cincinnati. Remarkably unremarkable. Just floating along. Medium-sized and plain. Strangely devoid of the strange.

No one’s ever uttered the phrase “Man, I really dig that Cincinnati Sound.” There really ain’t one that exists in this town. These bedhead buzz bands pass right through. I heard Cincy bought a lot of Microsoft Zunes and thought they were cool.

At the end of the day, we can’t all have MFAs. I don’t know. They don’t complain, pine for fortune or fame. Seems like all of us could use someone vanilla.

We can’t all shine like stars. Flirt in glass rooftop bars. I don’t know. They don’t complain, pine for fortune or fame. Cause someone’s gotta dig all of our ditches, son. They take it on and leave us the fun. They’re heroes, these Cincy ones.

Cause yeah don’t you know we can’t all be freelancers artfully slumming in Williamsburg? This world would probably cease to turn.

Sutured Youths

When we were young we sang about youth, all brightness, fury and flame. Told all the kids to be truer and purer and fight in fervor’s name.

Got bathed in ripe booze and cheap smoke, wide eyed and huddled up close. It takes a special kind of righteous to think that nothing will ever change.

Cause we were. Confident in our confidence and certainly broke. Negligent in our negligence and certainly stoked.

Cause you want it, cause you need it and cause you’d do anything to get it. That perfect chorus, yes, I hear it breathing. That distant thunderclap is the drums.

Now we’re old and half dead, but these truths seem to last. Things spark and magic’s not fake. And our old bones can shimmy in place. Still coming on strong and hoping for the perfect song. But there’s a truth that we just can’t shake. One nothing ever could hope to replace.

Cause we were. Confident in our confidence and certainly broke. Negligent in our negligence and certainly stoked.

Cause you want it, cause you need it and cause you’d do anything to get it. That perfect chorus, yes, I hear it screaming. That distant thunderclap is the drums.

Now we’re old and half dead. Sutured youths overhead. Art really ain’t that heroic and neither is this little band. They’re just the things we do to push away this desparate feeling that we have. But there’s a truth that we just can’t shake. One nothing ever could hope to replace.

27 Million

We never think when we grow up that we’ll push paper around or meekly bow down. No kids ever daydream of underwriting loans or answering phones all day long.

Seems like their oughta be a million centerfielders, a billion firefighers, a trillion genius writers. Feels like most square jobs oughta have a shortage, suits begging from the floor while we ruthlessly ignore all their pleas.

So what went so wrong? How’d we lose out? Why are there 27 million kids lined up to sell out? Yeah I’ll accept that nobody wants to starve, but I just thought a couple more of us would choose to hold out.

Now all that’s left is to push on. A strike in the name of teenage dreams is just a hard thing to land. We prep to bankroll the next generation so they don’t just repeat the same mistakes all again.