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goddamn I love this band. I know this isn't saying anything new but John Doe + Exene is like my favorite vocal harmony combo.

Oh god yes.

"Some people give me the creeps!"

collardio gelatinous, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:27 (five years ago) Permalink

It was better before, before they voted for whatshisname
This was supposed to be the new wooooooorld

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 24 March 2012 22:49 (five years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

listening to live at the Whiskey, falling in love with them all over again
so great

i have a renewed crush on DJ Bonebrake

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:16 (four years ago) Permalink

For me those first couple X albums make virtually the only rock music as good (or almost as good) as salsa for driving around to.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:27 (four years ago) Permalink

when I first met Mr Veg we roadtripped from SF to LA listening to the Whisky album and it still sounds like the grapevine on I-5 to me

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Seen this band so many times and in so many configurations I've lost count.

Anyway, you know what's a lot better than the Live At The Whisky album (which I basically disown on the basis that Billy Zoom isn't involved) is that FM broadcast of them playing in Boston with a two guitar lineup (Dave Alvin lead, Tony rhythm I think). Highlights include Exene dominating the meanest cover of Positively 4th Street you'll ever hear - forget the studio version happened - and a brilliant medley of Devil Doll and Long White Cadillac. And they take away all that hair metal sheen from the Ain't Love Grand songs.

As a complete X junkie, here's a few recommendations/preferences:
-Don't have the lineage, but an FM broadcast of a NY show from 83. My Father's Place maybe? Features a version of True Love Pt. 2 that is just beyond demented. The mix on that bootleg is perfect. Giant guitar and bass, and unlike some of the other FM stuff circulating from the era, Exene's very lucid and pissed off.

-Wild Gift has a horrid mix that makes everything sound like it's coming out of my grandpa's radio. Find bootlegs and live albums instead. Particularly Live In Los Angeles, from the reunion tour. Definitive versions of the Wild Gift-era songs.

-Go to dime or whatever and find the Winters 2009 bootleg of The Knitters. That band is its own thing live. Dave Alvin's way louder than on record and he's given a lot of leeway to take some mean solos. Very fond of how he's given about two minutes at the end of New World to turn it into the Battle Hymn of the Republic. And Walkin' Cane live is just something else. Highlight is their fantastic cover of "Wreck On The Highway," as yet unreleased.

-Also, seek out their medley of Wild Side of Life/Honky Tonk Angels and the fiddle demo of Someone Like You. Classic, straight-faced Bakersfield country that sound like lost 45s. No proof they were recorded in 85 at all.

-Solo stuff. Exene: Alone In Arizona, Already In Love, Dirty Snow, Lonesome War. John: Hwy 5, Golden State, Lean Out Yr Window, Pressing On, Cottage In The Dale. (He also does a killer version of Ballad of a Thin Man if you can find that.)

Everything You Like Sucks, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 02:51 (four years ago) Permalink

I clearly remember this being the coolest thing I had ever seen:

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 03:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Yup. Was a regular on MTV.

dan selzer, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:31 (four years ago) Permalink

pretty cool show this past saturday in santa ana, at a benefit for phil alvin: x and the knitters both on the bill, along with the blasters and los lobos. it was very very 1982, and i'm guessing a good number of people in the room were in fact there in 1982 if not earlier. lots of flannel shirts and white t-shirts. bummed that dave alvin didn't play with x. but he played with the blasters, which was much more important, obviously, and oh so great. knitters were endearingly sloppy (i've seen them a lot tighter) and jovial (and a bit too electric for my taste, which is to say dave alvin was really loud relative to everyone else). x stuck to the first four albums and avoided anything the knitters had just played. the knitters' "the new world" was about halfway between the knitters and x versions anyway. john and exene were hamming it up big-time. billy stood stage right, about 500 yards from the rest of the band. old people moshed. i thought exene sounded particuarly good, except when she joined the blasters for a duet of "jackson" and the soundman forgot to turn up her mic for the first half of the song. oops.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Also, seek out their medley of Wild Side of Life/Honky Tonk Angels

yes! it's on the excellent "radio tokyo tapes vol. 3" comp if you can find it.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:45 (four years ago) Permalink

Wild Gift has a horrid mix that makes everything sound like it's coming out of my grandpa's radio.
Really? I think it sounds great, like they're right in the room with you. Certainly an upgrade over Los Angeles.

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:37 (four years ago) Permalink

I just had an X revival a few weeks ago after reading We Got the Neutron Bomb. I hadn't really given them much of a spin in about 5 years. They're such a great band, I have no idea why I was ignoring them.

how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:33 (four years ago) Permalink

But it might have been Billy Zoom's hair.

how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:34 (four years ago) Permalink


Sorry guy, you can't come out of my speakers today.

how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:38 (four years ago) Permalink



that's real banjo bro (Hunt3r), Saturday, 2 February 2013 04:37 (four years ago) Permalink

I was thinking today that Billy Zoom is the perfect guitarist for X, because he's such a conventional guy. Here's John/Exene doing their Bukowski-goes-to-hell-and-look-at-all-these-Bakersfield-country-45s-we-bought thing, and then over in this corner is Billy Zoom, seemingly oblivious to it all. Christian, blond, seemingly unaware of any guitarists who came to prominence after the death of Eddie Cochran. It's hilarious. I can't get enough of it.

Also, when I've taken pics at X shows, he's always noticed, and mugged for every shot I take with that fake smile. I just love him to death. He's both batshit and completely devoid of pretension.

Everything You Like Sucks, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:31 (four years ago) Permalink

As for their other guitarists, well, Dave Alvin turns them into a roots-rock band that's not as ironic as you'd think, and Tony Gilkyson turns them into, well, an LA band in 1988.

Everything You Like Sucks, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:32 (four years ago) Permalink

i like X so that means they suck?

am0n, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:37 (four years ago) Permalink


I was always convinced he had to be deranged or kicked in the head. But he fucking rules up there with that guitar, goddamn

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:48 (four years ago) Permalink

How is Exene doing these days?

Wish they'd play the UK, the last time they were supposed to play in London was 5 years ago and it was cancelled. It looks like they did play the UK last year supporting Pearl Jam but only in Manchester?

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 2 February 2013 09:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Demo version of one of the great forgotten songs:


Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 3 February 2013 14:08 (four years ago) Permalink

five months pass...


Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 July 2013 12:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Hey baby, was just playing that.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 4 July 2013 14:22 (four years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Going to see X tonite! And Blondie (who are headlining), but still--X!

A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 27 September 2013 18:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Just saw that bill a week or so ago. X was very good, but Blondie only gave 'em 50 minutes so John Doe announced that they had little time and would do little chit-chat between songs and just play. Which they did. I could nitpick song choices but they sounded great. Exene did say how excited she was to be opening for Blondie, and Billy Zoom just did his creepy smile thing while effortlessly sounding great on guitar.

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 September 2013 18:42 (four years ago) Permalink

They were awesome! Despite time limitations, they delivered a nice balance of 'hits' and album stuff (we got "Year 1" and they closed with "Devil Doll"). All the comments upthread about Billy Zoom live are otm. So great that they are still around doing their thing.

A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 September 2013 21:53 (four years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Monday, 30 September 2013 14:08 (four years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Exene is having an estate sale.


nickn, Monday, 10 February 2014 02:16 (three years ago) Permalink

Uh oh. I know her health's been an issue, I wonder if this is to cover medical costs or worse?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 10 February 2014 16:57 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh, I hope not.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 February 2014 17:00 (three years ago) Permalink

betty crocker punk rockers! keep on, exene.

ad music for ad people (Hunt3r), Monday, 10 February 2014 17:48 (three years ago) Permalink

i went today. it was like being at a yard sale with a bunch of record fair people. i bought the vintage print at the upper right here...


...along with one of exene's dresses and some jewelry as gifts. she has some pretty great stuff. there were two particular original exene artworks i really wanted but those were long gone by the time i got there. apparently someone from ucla came super early and bought an X setlist, posters and other memorabilia for ucla's music school, which was really nice to hear.

the auctioneer posted this note about exene:

"She is downsizing and plans on relocating soon. This is a multi family sale but the vast majority of the items are from Exene's life long antique and vintage collection. Exene is alive and well and excited about recycling her treasures."

fact checking cuz, Friday, 14 February 2014 02:42 (three years ago) Permalink

Awww man, Exene has become a libertarian knucklehead and is moving to Texas


Explaining her potential move to Texas, Cervenka says, "I have tons of close friends in Austin, I love the music, I always have a magical time there." She continues, "The other reason I'm moving, if the creek don't rise, is that when I moved to California in 1976, Jerry Brown was governor. It was barefoot hippie girls, Hell's Angels on the Sunset Strip, East L.A. lowriders, the ocean and nature. It was this fabulous incredible place about freedom. Now when I think about California, I think of a liberal oppressive police state and regulations and taxes and fees. I'd rather go someplace and have my own little place out on the edge of town. I'm a country girl at heart. It makes me happy when I see people in Texas open-carrying. It makes me feel safe. I'm not even a gun owner, but I'd like to see a gun rack in every pickup truck, like my boyfriend had when I was fifteen years old in Florida. An armed society is a polite society."

curmudgeon, Friday, 14 February 2014 15:13 (three years ago) Permalink

Where is she seeing genuine open carry in Texas? Because it probably isn't Austin.

...out of that weakness, out of that envy, out of that fear.. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 14 February 2014 22:17 (three years ago) Permalink

She seems to have drunk the kool-aid that allows her to see such things.

"Now Jerry Brown's governor again. He's done some great things, like balancing the budget and libraries are open on Sundays. But things are getting to the point in this country where people are going to have to fight to survive and fight for their rights. I think not so much about where I want to live, but where I want to die."

curmudgeon, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:22 (three years ago) Permalink

"when I moved to California in 1976, Jerry Brown was governor."


akm, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:23 (three years ago) Permalink

oh didn't read the whole thing obv

akm, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:23 (three years ago) Permalink

jerry brown being governor has nothing to do with libraries being open on sundays, I don't think? are libraries open on sundays? I don't think ours are.

akm, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:24 (three years ago) Permalink

Only central branch libraries are open on Sunday in Texas.

...out of that weakness, out of that envy, out of that fear.. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 14 February 2014 22:25 (three years ago) Permalink

ahe's been readin' the rong adult books

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 February 2014 22:32 (three years ago) Permalink

x-p I don't understand.

She goes from specific good things (balanced budget, libraries open) to vague right-wing scare talk. Fight *who* to *survive* what? Which rights? Did California have open carry rights in 1976? (Answer: No.)

And the last part of the quote above sounds like she wants to die in a gunfight on main street.

nickn, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:34 (three years ago) Permalink

Is there a specific age at which you become afraid of everything? 'Cause I'm in my 40s already, so if it's creeping up on me I'd like to know.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 14 February 2014 22:48 (three years ago) Permalink

it was better before, before they voted for what's-his-name.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:58 (three years ago) Permalink

She had to leave...Los Angeles!

...out of that weakness, out of that envy, out of that fear.. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 14 February 2014 23:01 (three years ago) Permalink

when I was fifteen years old in Florida


waved my hands in the air (problems solved) (Hunt3r), Friday, 14 February 2014 23:05 (three years ago) Permalink

Aging X fans outraged at a x-punk expressing love for freedoms of various sorts.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 14 February 2014 23:05 (three years ago) Permalink

(No I'm not a libertarian but the erosion of liberties and rights I care about in the U.S. in general has me more than a little angry.)

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 14 February 2014 23:06 (three years ago) Permalink

Number of Deaths Due to Injury by Firearms per 100,000 Population:

California 7.7
Texas 11.0

welp, at least they die politely

waved my hands in the air (problems solved) (Hunt3r), Friday, 14 February 2014 23:13 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm 56 and still not afraid, but I understand the desire to left alone by the gov't and strangers in general.

nickn, Saturday, 15 February 2014 00:18 (three years ago) Permalink

x fans alarmed by exene's positions on certain matters had best avoid reading about billy zoom's positions on certain matters.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 15 February 2014 01:56 (three years ago) Permalink

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