Great show at Harlow’s

I saw one heckuva great band last night at Harlow’s. The funny thing is, this band has been together for slightly more than 30 years, yet they outrock bands half their age.

I speak, of course, of X, one of the best bands to come out of the LA punk scene, back in 1977. However, X is about far more than punk rock, although that is certainly integral to who they are. But they also bring in many other influences to their sound, such as country, rockabilly, old time rock n’ roll (a la Chuck Berry), even hints of jazz and funk. And there’s no denying that singers Exene Cervenka and John Doe are two of the most talented lyricists ever in the rock world.

Last night they rocked a capacity crowd at Harlow’s – overcoming a mediocre, indifferent sound mix – to thrill the people who came to see them, many of whom probably grew up listening to the band. Indeed, there were a number of grayhairs moshing it up on the dance floor and probably regretting it today, realizing that while they can still dig the music, they are probably a little to old for that particular action any more.

It’s inspiring, in a way, to watch X rock out so hard after all these years. If they can maintain the motivation to go out on stage and give it everything they’ve got after all this time and mileage, then why are some younger bands unable to play with the same verve? I don’t know, but I do know I was very happy I saw X.

8 thoughts on “Great show at Harlow’s”

  1. Worth a mention was the opening act, Filthy Thieving Bastards featuring Spider Stacy of the Pogues. That would go a long way towards explaining the weatlh of Pogues covers. Great show start to finish.


  2. I notice that grayhairs were made fun of in post yet X themselves if original members are all in their mid-fifties and unless they color their hair it would be gray too especially Exene. Substitute gay or lesbian or ethnic slurs and everybody would be up in arms but it is all right to bash grayhairs. Ray Manzarek of the Door’s produced X’s first album and was gray-haired back in 1978 when he popularized the band. It is time for grayhair anarchy to destroy the ipod zombies and trash-talking ho’s.


  3. Actually, I still feel comfortably talking smack about Ray Manzarek’s production job on “Los Angeles,” because he saw fit to add his godawful keyboard track to “Nausea,” making a great song just about unlistenable. It’s enough to make you want to pound your forehead on the sink.


  4. I was there, it was about my 12th or 13th X show–the great thing about being in SoCal during the late 70’s and early 80’s wasn’t the smog but the music. Great band indeed.

    I wondered and should have paid more attention to the Filthy Thieving Bastards as I kept thinking who is this Pogues cover band?


  5. Method13 – Having gray hair on my own head pretty much makes it OK for me to comment on the people who are in my own age group, as far as I’m concerned. If you’d been at the show you might have had the same thoughts I did, that although I may have ventured into a few pits back in the day, nowadays the bumps and bruises would be much harder to shake off the next morning. Just a fact of life, not age bashing.

    Hecubus – I didn’t know the opener had a dude from The Pogues. But that definitely explains their sound. Thanks for the info!


  6. Damn, I can’t believe I missed this. Last time I saw X, Exene was way pregnant. The kid is probably old enough to have his/her own band now.

    And now, thanks to the comments, I’m gonna have the chanting, rhythmic lyrics to Nausea circulating through my head for the rest of the day. That should go well with the background hum of the office…


  7. Hey Fargo, I think that kid goes to Columbia University now. Kind of ironic to have the old anti-establishment punk rockers’ progeny attending a very established university, eh?


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