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GURNETT: 'X' to rock Town Ballroom on Sunday

If you asked Los Angeles-based band X if they thought, back in 1977, they’d still be playing their infectious, melodic-based punk in 2017, their answer, according to the band, would be a resounding no. But here they are, 40 years later and on the road celebrating their big anniversary. In spite of mostly avoiding mainstream success, X has been wildly influential, cited as an influence by bands from Green Day to Wilco and gaining a spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Albums Ever for 1981’s Wild Gift. If the band’s lasting appeal was ever in doubt, their recent raising of $50,000 on Kickstarter in under 4 days for their next album puts that doubt to rest.
When X originally formed, they were a counterpoint to punk bands like Black Flag, adding more melody to the mix. While bands like Black Flag were inspired by metal, X’s own influences tended to be more contemporary. They took their cues from The Beatles and Bob Dylan, utilizing similar chord structures. X reminds me an awful lot of The Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers and is still a fixture on the shelves of musicians, vinyl collectors and disaffected youth. The original lineup remains intact with John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake backing up the howling, haunting vocals of Exene Cervenka.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, X did a month of touring in May and are hitting the road again in September, with a stop at the Town Ballroom coming up on Sunday, (Sept. 17). If you enjoyed them in the 80’s and 90’s, you’ll want to get to this concert. Drummer DJ Bonebrake claims the band “sounds better now than it did 30 years ago. We’re a tighter band because of all our experience, and we have a lot of energy. Exene’s a better singer than ever before and John sounds amazing. Billy’s in a really good place. Everyone’s in a positive mood, and you can hear it when we’re on stage.”

Ryan Gurnett has a B.S. in Music Industry from The College of St Rose. He has worked as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, producer and sound editor and has been a musician for 25 years. He is currently the bassist for The Lady, or the Tiger?. Email him at SirWilliamIdol@gmail.com or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

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