Tag Archives: John Doe

Live Two Nights Ago: X at the 9:30

X, with John Doe in a terrible shirt

The big, sad news out of Camp X last week — the great Los Angeles punkabilly band X, that is —was that singer Exene Cervenka, 53, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But there was neither sign nor mention of infirmity at the quartet’s typically rocket-powered gig at the 9:30 club Friday night, and not a lot of other chithat besides. The seminal foursome played just as they always have, and as every punk band should: Like they’ve got someplace else to be, five minutes ago.
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Live Two Nights Ago: John Doe & The Sadies at IOTA

Photo by Derek von Essen / courtesy Yep Roc Records

Photo by Derek von Essen / courtesy Yep Roc Records

The great Los Angeles punkabilly quartet known as X had already made their best albums by 1985, when three-fourths of its lineup joined guitarist Dave Alvin to form the country and western offshoot The Knitters. That band took 20 years to brew a follow-up, but X/Knitters co-frontman John Doe’s sand-polished voice instantly proved to be such a natural and expressive delivery system for old-timey C&W that you knew (or at least hoped) he’d eventually get around to cutting a record like “Country Club”— his month-old set of (primarily) Bakersfield-centric “countrypolitan” classics, recorded with Toronto-based roots eclecticians The Sadies.
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