To call X a punk rock band doesn’t do the group justice, but neither does calling them a rock n’ roll band. It’s best to just call their work “amazing”. Poetic, political and balanced on the rumbling landscape of Los Angeles, California, the members of X have written a history that is consumed by artists now and will continue to be absorbed by music lovers forever.
On the eve of their Voodoo Experience performance, John Doe (vocals/bass), Exene Cervenka (vocals), Billy Zoom (guitar) and D.J. Bonebrake shared a night of history-in-music Vinyl Music Hall played host to “X: The Unheard Music” followed by the group performing their debut album “Los Angeles”.
Enlightening in scope, the documentary covered a great deal of the band’s earlier years and the climate of the music industry in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Fascinating to me was the diversity of music tastes that each member shared and how they blended the contrasts together. The live performances captured on film were absolutely driving and the studio footage proved engaging and insightful.
As for the live performance of the evening, the transition from past to present was just as powerful as it was beautiful. Age wasn’t even a factor in the group’s set as Doe fired lyrics into microphone, Cervenka twisted gracefully in flight and Zoom effortlessly articulated single-note attacks and chord bombs while Bonebrake surrounded it all with his hypnotically steady-tech drumming.
- Michael L. Smith