Wednesday, June 20, 2012

X - The Unheard Music

X were, of course, one of the premier bands of LA's first wave of punk and are always remembered as the band who truly conveyed what LA was all about through their songs - from the early punk days of partying, vandalism and random violence through the latter days of interpersonal stories, racial issues and much more. I've always thought that if you wanted to know what it was like to live in LA in those days, just about all you had to do was pull out the early X records.

This documentary was made while the band was still together in its original incarnation, so interviews are with  Exene, John Dow, DJ Bonebrake and Billy Zoom. Everyone is engaging, funny, artistic and truly talented. One of my favorite scenes is DJ showing how he created a poly-rhythmic beat while listening to his kitchen appliances! Exene is shown with her song/scrapbooks, John playing country songs on an acoustic guitar and Billy with his wife, cars and ever-present Gretsch.

Lots of songs are highlighted, with live footage from all over LA and imaginative music videos, showing just how talented these cats were. While I have yet to get it, this has been released as a DVD with bonus interview footage, which promises to add even more to the experience.

This is universally described as one of the best band documentaries ever! Essential for fans of the group and the early LA punk scene and practically a must see for any music-lover.