Brian Oake talks about why the band X matter


The Current's Brian Oake talks about why he thinks Los Angeles band X are one of the most important rock bands of all time. (Minju Kim | MPR)

If you've listened at all, you know I'm very excited about the fact that the legendary Los Angeles band, X, is part of this year's lineup.

The very first band I ever saw in the First Avenue Mainroom was the band X. John Doe, Exene Cervenka, DJ Bonebrake and that wild, crazy rockabilly guitar weirdo, Billy Zoom, are four of the most important people in the history of American music, and I do not say that with hyperbole. I genuinely mean that.

This was a band that was forged in the same Los Angeles crucible that really was the home of American punk on the West Coast. However, they brought a melodicism and a songwriting acumen to that punk ethos and fury that had seldom been seen before — possibly had never been seen before.

X's first two records, Los Angeles and Wild Gift, are absolute masterpieces from the period when the 1970s sort of begrudgingly turned into the '80s. But for me, if you're going to start somewhere to get to know X, I refer you to their album Under the Big Black Sun — not only is it a definitive early '80s record, it's one of my top 10 '80s records of all time.

The fact that X will be coming to us for Rock the Garden is genuinely brilliant. Rock The Garden is a great lineup top to bottom, but I am so excited X will be here, and as it stands right now, tickets are still available.

Make sure you catch X this year at Rock the Garden.

External Link

X the band - official site

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2 Photos

  • X the band in 1981
    X photographed on a rooftop in Los Angeles in 1981. (Michael Hyatt)
  • X the band
    The Grammy Museum's exhibit "X: 40 years of Punk in Los Angeles" celebrates the 40th anniversary of the American punk-rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1977 by vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)