Dec 23, 2018

A New X-Men Soundtrack

Not all comics have an official soundtrack, which can be a shame, but we can enhance our reading experience putting a mix together, and with New X-Men we don't even need to rely on thematic or emotional similarity in the songs. The Grant Morrison NXM run is thick with allusions, quotation, and the presence of music and musicians. We can easily draw together an album that is mostly directly referenced within the comics.

A New X-Men Soundtrack
Travis Hedge Coke

In the pages of Morrison’s run, he and the artists brought in musical references from Beak’s Revolting Cocks shirt and his padlock necklace, to Dark Side of the Moon and dance club shoutouts.

Most famously, a mutant early in the comics is named for Monster Magnet's Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who has gone on to co-feature in the Deadpool movies.

Here's the thing: Negasonic Teenage Warhead does not mean what it sounds like it might mean, and that sets a tone for what we are reading. The song is a refutation of surrender to angst, surrender to ennui.

Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, Elton John and Billy Joel give us duets that echo and wreck the armor of our more pretentious youths and mock our elder statesmen, Fly and Angry Young Man respectively.

Jean-Jacques Perrey's super danceable E.V.A. is not only a reference to Fantomas/Diabolik's girlfriend and partner that shares the same acronym pun as the female body of dual-bodied Fantomex, from NXM but Perrey even occasionally brought out the approproate costumes for the reference.

It is dress-up music, as is the Anne Sofie von Otter performance of Che Puro Ciel from Orfeo ed Euridice that canceled opera Hank McCoy believes he attended and even sings from in the issue titled Shattered possibly after the Rolling Stones song.

New X-Men is dancehall queer, funk-heavy dress-up punk. We won’t know what Sentinel Bait and other fictional bands sound like, and Liquid Diamond Lipstick is both a “cool band name,” and part of a threat to turn a woman into furniture by a rich businessman being piloted by sentient and terrible nonhuman life.

Are Orpheus and Euridice in NXM Hank and Emma Frost, when he tries to put her body back together like a farce of Egyptian mythology, or Scott Summers and the born to die Jean Grey? Or, Jean and Logan, ill-fated Wolverine?

Scott is definitely feeling Delia Derbyshire's Firebird when he thinks of Jean. But, who probably isn't?

The Gymslips are the X-Men.

Liz Phair's Jealousy is not only Esme's teenage conflation, but that grand fuckup, Magneto in large. And, just another variation of what Firebird and Robin Spielberg’s theme to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie cover in their ways. Or, I Wish I Had an Evil Twin.

Magneto would look over the thing, and as Xorn, soundalike for no Chinese name ever, but homophone for German surname, Zorn, meaning "anger," and luckily belonging to a stylish composer who can echo rage gorgeously, and keeps provoking even as the canon wants him welcomed in, John Zorn.

The theme to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Here Comes Tomorrow, by the Monkees give us two other story titles. whitechocolatespaceegg, Even the Losers, and a very special Magnetic Fields tune lend themselves all over the run, from specific scenes to the backdrop of everything.

And, who could forget Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, harmonizing with himselves on Madonna's Justify My Love as his colleagues discuss his sex habits.

  1. I Wish I Had an Evil Twin - Magnetic Fields - i
  2. Jealousy - Liz Phair - Whip-Smart
  3. Germ Free Generation - X-Ray Spex - Obsessed With You Demos
  4. Negasonic Teenage Warhead - Monster Magnet - Dopes to Infinity
  5. E.V.A. - Jean-Jacques Perrey - Moog Indigo
  6. Miss Nunsweeta - Gymslips - Rockin With The Renees
  7. Justify My Love - Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
  8. Fly (Remix) - Nicki Minaj with Rihanna - The Nicki Minaj Project: Dubstep Remixes
  9. Theme to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Robin Spielberg - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  10. Here Comes Tomorrow - The Monkees - More of the Monkees
  11. Shattered - Rolling Stones - Some Girls
  12. Abidan - John Zorn - Masada String Trio – 50¹
  13. Firebird - Delia Derbyshire - An Electric Storm
  14. Angry Young Man - Billy Joel & Elton John - The Piano Men: Live in Tokyo
  15. Even the Losers - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedos
  16. Che Puro Ciel - Anne Sofie von Otter - Orfeo ed Euridice
  17. whitechocolatespaceegg - Liz Phair - whitechocolatespaceegg

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