Skip to content

X at Bowery Ballroom Saturday May 29th,, 2009: See How They Are

Have you ever known a person who seem perfectly nice and everybody thinks he is just wonderful but for some reason you just don’t get on? Well, this is me and X. I loved “Los Angeles” and “Wild Gift” and have enjoyed their punkbilly to a certain degree thru “See How We Are” all the way to their last album. But my dislike is not just because I argued nastily with vocalist Exene Cervenka during an interview for a radio syndicator in a hotel room in Atlantic City (about the class structure of the boardwalk: go figure) though I don’t know what it is and 25 years later I still don’t like them on a personal level. At a guess I’d say the way X attack the stage is cool and nasty: Billy feels arrogrant and Exene snotty and JD hot and cold at the same time. They are the epitome of too cool for their own good. Maybe they are too cool…

At the the Bowery Ballroom last night I loved the opening act Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts -a NoCal journeyman who used to play with Agent Orange back, back, back in the day and undoubtedly how he knows X. In town to push last years excellent “An Exercise In Blue” the band was tight and melodic,: a form of power pop where, like anything so reliant on timing, like Farce, the smallest mistake destroys the set (it drifts and settles instead of punching). I can’t find the opening number, a terrific song called I think “Westcoast Bound” but I did find “The End Of Summer” which is sorta like Tommy Keene meets John Hiatt in pop mode.

I did have one problem with the Twisted Hearts: they didn’t go on stage till 930p and since the doors opened at 8p (why 8p? what the hell? 7pm) that was half an hour late. X didn’t go on stage till 11pm. I’d been up at 530am, worked a full day, and was asleep on my feet by that time.

So that’s the first complaint with “X” and here is the second: on this tour fans were choosing the set list for the band on line by popular vote (“Johnny Hit And Run Pauline” won though I had left before they played it). As John doe noted, this ruined the song flow. But it wasn’t a deal killer and Billy was still cool at the edge of the stage and Exene still nasty and central John still sweating and twanging and DJ was still really, really good.

Anyway, any time you get to hear songs as good as “Some Other Time” (9% requested it … just 9% guys?) and “Adult Books” is gonna be a good set. the band, and much of the audience, me included, looked its age: but X looked it aggressively, unapologetically and won me over before the long day knocked me out and sent me home before the encore.

So I don’t want to have coffee with “X” I sure wouldn’t mind seeing em at the Beacon or somewhere and I am happy they are still around. I heard Exene and John are writing together agin. Good.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Going Steady: New Singles 9-24-21 – 9-30-21

By Iman Lababedi | September 28, 2021 |

an anthem for the ages and a thrilling version

US Top 10 Singles Dated October 2nd, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | September 28, 2021 |

The Kid Laroi leaves Scooter Braun for Britney Spears management company

Bob Dylan Announces His Never Ending Tour: It Will Last Till 2024!

By Alyson Camus | September 28, 2021 |

the tour is also billed as ‘world wide tour/2021-2024′

US Top 10 Albums Dated October 2nd, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | September 27, 2021 |

Drake remains in the penthouse for a third week.

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming Album Releases 10-1-21 – 10-7-21

By Iman Lababedi | September 27, 2021 |

if I can’t get the one I saw in 2014 I’ll take this

L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks: September 27th To October 3rd

By Alyson Camus | September 26, 2021 |

Japanese Breakfast play the Regent twice this week

Governors Ball 10th Anniversary At Citi Field, Saturday, September 25th, 2021: Latino Spoken Here

By Iman Lababedi | September 26, 2021 |

Frat like ill-mannered louts and late comers Latin-American

UK Top 10 Albums: 9-24-21 – 9-30-21

By Iman Lababedi | September 26, 2021 |

Drake beating out Lil Nas X

St Vincent At The Hollywood Bowl, Friday, September 24th 2021

By Alyson Camus | September 26, 2021 |

her style had many moods and her instrumental palette was wide

Governors Ball 10th Anniversary At Citi Field, Friday, September 24th, 2021: Gen Z Takeover

By Iman Lababedi | September 25, 2021 |

organization plus good luck

Scroll To Top