Entries tagged with: X
LA Punk legends X, with the full original lineup, played their first of 3 nights at the Bowery Ballroom doing a 'greatest jukebox hits' TRL presentation of fan-voted favorites. X was and still is a great band who did something with punk that was well beyond the genre's narrow parameters. They combined rock-a-billy mutant guitar riffs, vocal hamonies, deceptively simple structures and poetic lyrics into a fully integrated and unique sound.
I knew this show would be interesting as 18 year-old punk-nouveaus and 50-something survivors filed into the venue side by side. A trio of youngins did something to draw the ire of the head bouncer who then served up some military justice demanding "Drop and give me 40" before allowing entry. "This sucks!" one of 'em griped before submitting to Drill Sergeant, who then made them jog through the line into the club- "Hustle! Hustle!"
Steve Soto (of Agent Orange and The Adolescents) and the Twisted Hearts opened the show with an energetic but generic set of country punk.
A gaggle of teens gathered behind this tired and wary photographer, one of them was heard to remark, "OMG there is a girl here with braces! ... maybe they are adult braces." Some highly devout fans were spotted with home-made X t-shirts, handfulls of ticket stubs from other shows and obsessively cribbed set lists. T-Bone watched from the back with photographer Terry Richardson.
X played songs that ranked high on their listener poll.
They opened with "Some Other Time" following up with "Los Angeles" (#2 Ranked). John Doe joked that the crowd had voted for nothing but slow ballads before kicking in to "Hot House". Other X gems included "The Have Nots" (a drinking song), "Nausea" (framed as 'the morning after song'), "We're Desperate", "Soul Kitchen" and "Breathless" (the Jerry Lee Lewis classic from the soundtrack of the 1983 Richard Gere film of the same name).
Billy Zoom occupied his own little world, with trademark frozen smile, winking eyes and ken-doll rockabilly looks. Exene just looked pissed and disapproving of the whole spectacle (as usual) pressing her hand to her ear to hear the harmonies. John Doe and DJ Bonebreak pushed the show on with sweaty, pounding energy.
A fervent mosh pit of both the young and not-young-anymore slammed into a steadfastly stationary wall of an equally mixed demographic. I was caught in the middle, being knocked into a very pissed 50- something who wasn't familiar with Newton's laws of physics and blamed it all on me. Later her equally grumpy lady-friend elbowed one of the dancers in the face. A punk kid with about 30 piercing in his ears and an X tattoo on his hand meticulously scribbled down the set list and took pics with a point-and-shoot.
X did three encores that included "White Girl", "The Worlds A Mess", "Blue Spark", and "Your Phone's Off The Hook". John and Exene did "I must not think bad thoughts" as a duo with acoustic guitar. It was a great show.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Drums - I Felt Stupid (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Drums - Instruct Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - Clever Girls Like Clever Boys More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - I Love You, You Imbecile (feat. Ida Maria) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - 1983 (Pelle & Sebastian) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - 51,3 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: I Was a King - Norman Bleik (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Rural Alberta Advantage - Don't Haunt This Place (MP3)
Those Dancing Days @ Spaceland in LA - 05/23/09 (Clap Your Mirror Say Yeah)
Those Dancing Days were in town this week and the Scandinavian invasion continues through the weekend. Stockholm resident Pelle Carlberg, fresh from playing San Francisco's Popfest, is here on Saturday (5/30) at Union Hall (tix). While his new album, The Lilac Time, isn't quite as strong as 2007's In a Nutshell, he's a great performer and wouldn't miss him for the world. If you like Belle & Sebastian type pop (even he acknowledges he sounds a bit like them, see the MP3 at the top of this post), funny stories, and suitcases used as drums, you shouldn't miss it either.
The other reason not to miss it is the second-ever show by NYC Popfest breakout stars The Drums. For a band who claimed to have had their first practice a mere two hours before the show, The Drums seemed to have it pretty together at Popfest, with a full band and backup singers. Their MySpace lists gloomy Manchester post punk as reference points - the main influence to me seems to be the beach. As in where the surf meets the sand. The music's a little twangy, with the most whistling heard since "Young Folks," and song titles include "The Saddest Summer," "Down by the Water" and "Let's Go Surfing." Perfect for Watusi-ing. They're a lot of fun. And they've got a June residency at the Annex and will be playing the Northside Festival if you can't make the show on Saturday.
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Also Saturday night, over at Mercury Lounge, are Norway's I Was a King playing their second of three NYC shows. Their first is earlier that day at Generation Records. I have friends who saw them in Chicago and said they were great so I'm really looking forward to catching them. As I wrote previously, if you like Teenage Fanclub-y, harmony-and-feedback style pop, definitely go see them. They also play Union Hall on Sunday (5/31).
The Saturday show (which is an early one) is with Canadian trio The Rural Alberta Advantage, who also headline tonight (5/29) at The Bell House. The band won over crowds at SXSW, including at least one Pitchfork writer:
The percussive, stripped down indie-folk trio plays acoustic everything, but there's nothing quiet about them. Frontman Nils Edenloff sings in a strained yelp and plays his guitar like he's mad at it. This is the kind of band you imagine would do just fine unplugged. And at the end of their set, they did just that, walking to the center of the room and making their voices do all the work...The band's excellent self-released 2008 debut, Hometowns, just got picked up by Saddle Creek who'll release it in July.
Edenloff held everything together, but multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole did more to make this band fun to watch. She's a totally winning stage presence, grinning huge and clapping along when she didn't have anything to play. And her xylophone dings and backing vocals added warmth and stillness to the driving songs. Every one of those songs, according to Edenloff, concerns the Canadian province that gave the band their name. And every one of those songs just goes for it, in a racing-toward-the-sun kind of way. This band could be huge.
And if you need more earnest Canadians, Rock Plaza Central are in town, at Cake Shop on Monday (6/1) and the Bell House on Tuesday (6/2).
A few short bits:
Two great alt-rock icons are in town: X are at Bowery Ballroom all weekend (playing what you asked them to play). Tonight (5/29) and Saturday are sold out, as is but there are still tickets for Sunday's show. And former Husker Du drummer/singer Grant Hart will play Cake Shop tonight (5/29) and the Bell House on Monday (6/1).
Au Revoir Simone kick of their summer tour tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. If you haven't heard their new, critically-acclaimed album Still Night, Still Light (which I still have to look up to make sure I'm getting the title correct), it really is very good. Also on the bill and on the tour is The Antlers.
Did you get tickets for Art Brut Week? At this point, everything except the Monday (6/1) show is sold out and it's likely to go soon. If you haven't heard Art Brut Vs. Satan, maybe it's time rediscover the brilliance of Eddie Argos.
Select tour dates and videos after the jump...
"In true honky tonk style, Country Club is the bastard child of a drunken promise. A post show hang-out between X & the Knitters' [John] Doe and The Sadies produced the idea to join forces to a make an album of country songs. Both rock n' roll and country music are littered with the ghosts of broken promises but this one was destined to become reality. Timeless sounds abound on Country Club, driven by Doe's gorgeous vocals, the dueling thousand pound chops of the guitar-wielding Good brothers and The Sadies' world class rhythm section of Mike Belitsky and Sean Dean. Here, the Countrypolitan sound of late 1960s Nashville is filtered through the telecaster-based tonk of Bakersfield, CA and the results are simply stunning." [Yep Roc]Country Club is out now on Yep Roc Records and streaming at Reverb Nation.
John Doe and The Sadies are playing several May dates as a combo. Those include a show at NYC's City Winery on Wednesday, May 6th. Tickets are on sale now. All dates below.
John Doe also has scattered tour dates with X from now till June. As part of their Total Request Live tour, which will feature set lists picked online by fans, X is playing three nights at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale for all three dates: May 29, May 30, May 31, and the three day pass
The Sadies are opening dates for Jenny Lewis from May 27th to June 4th. Lewis continues on tour without the Sadies through July 9th which is exactly a month after she plays Music Hall of Williamsburg with Deer Tick (sold out).
All John Doe & The Sadies tour dates below...
X have announced updated dates for their upcoming "Total Request Live!" tour, where the band will be allowing fans to pick the set list for each show. Voting is open now on the X's TRL tour website. As you can see above, "The Have Nots" is currently the most requested song for the band's first of three NYC shows at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale for all three: May 29, May 30, May 31, and the three day pass.
All of the bands playing the first night of the Pitchfork Festival this year are doing something similar. By the way, Flaming Lips was recently added to that festival, but not on the Choose Your Own Adventure night.
X is also putting two VIP/Meet & Greet passes for each gig up for auction on Ebay to raise money for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
All tour dates and some classic X videos below...
Their first four albums had a hard-driving sound that occasionally flirted with rockabilly and blues; one critic suggests that X "were not just one of the greatest punk bands, but one of the greatest live rock acts of all time." By the time of their fifth album, Ain't Love Grand!, the band had taken a more mainstream hard rock-oriented direction, and began to appear on shows such as American Bandstand. X, however, had previously appeared on television for a 1984 performance on Late Night with David Letterman. [Wikipedia]Last time members of legendary West Coast punk band X were in NYC town, it was just "Exene Cervenka and John Doe of X". They played shows at Joe's Pub and Music Hall of Williamsburg in January. Next time it will be the full band, at Bowery Ballroom, and for three nights in a row. Tickets for the May 29-31 shows go on sale Friday ($27 / $75 3 day ticket). All dates, and video from their recent appearance on Craig Ferguson, below...
DOWNLOAD: John Doe - Heartless (MP3)
X have three holiday shows lined up for the end of this year in California. According to a flyer for the LA show, it is once again the full original lineup and "All your favorite X & holiday tunes".
And though there aren't any future, full band, east coast dates on X's calendar, "acoustic duo" Exene Cervenka and John Doe have two shows lined up in NYC in January of 2009. The first is January 10th at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The show is seated, Justin Townes Earle is opening, and tickets are on sale at noon. The second is one day later at the much smaller Joe's Pub, but with no opener (and probably a drink minimum if you want a seat) - tickets are on sale now. All dates below...
X @ SXSW SPIN party - March 14, 2008
X played the SPIN day party at Stubb's during SXSW. I stopped by to check them out, but wasn't feeling it, so I left after a few songs. Somehow I missed the fact that Perry Farrell introduced them, though I did notice Perry and his girlfriend walking around the Playboy party the night before.
John Doe performing live in KUT's Studio1A. 7-11-07
* Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings for free
* The Lovely Sparrows from Austin are @ Pete's Candy Store
* Michael Showalter records two more shows @ Union Hall
* Wes' Undisputed Heavyweights continue a Joe's Pub residency
* Hippiefest is going on in Coney Island
* X frontman John Doe is at Mercury Lounge w/ Dead Rock West
What else? More John Doe dates below...