1. X- Girlfriend — Bush
Well, what else was I going to put in the letter X? After counting to four in German, this song is less than a minute long and contains one line repeated over a punk riff: “You only call me when you’re down.” Whenever I see writing exercises that ask you to tell a story in one sentence, I think of this song. I’ve heard an alternate version that adds at the end, “You only call me cos I’m rich, You only call me cos you’re a....” and then the guitar riff winds down into one final drumbeat, filling in the obvious blank. My only complaint is that the song is a bit of a jarring close to the album, after the six and a half minute “Alien,” but maybe they felt they needed to go out on the note they arrived.
2. Xmas Cake — Rilo Kiley
Honestly, it’s not one of my favorite Rilo Kiley songs, but how many other songs can you think of that start with the Letter X? My need for evenness made me want a second song under the Letter X because the Letter Z will have two as well. The song is sort of the anti-Christmas song, where everything has gone wrong, everything is an obligation and “The cold war is on between you and me.” Jenny Lewis sings slow and with melancholy until one last thrash closes the whole thing. It’s a New Yorker short story contained within five and a half minutes.