Currently viewing the tag: "Exene Cervenka"

Official video of the night is X playing two killer songs on David Letterman in 1983. I love me some “Los Angeles” abrasive punk, but this is a little more rock and roll. Hell, clearly this band is my destiny, since they started off with rough punk, and then just turned into a country band after a while.

They play “Hot House” — *makes cat purring sound at John Doe*. Then Exene is in such kick-ass form on “Breathless,” which is a Jerry Lee Lewis song. (The “ironic” punk cover thing works when it’s just a good cover of a song, by the way.)

As I mentioned somewhere on the internet, when I saw these crazy kids, it was an awesome show, but I wasn’t in the mood for the show until it was over. Since this is Pittsburgh, that could be years and years. (This explains why I have a major California itch right now, too. Along with beloved cousin lives there, and my yearning to hang out with Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo.) The crowd itself was impressively horrible, except for two solid rows of people who couldn’t be happier to be there. That, kids, is why concerts are the thing. I run the gamut of emotions (“from A to B”) at them each time. Love for humans, love for their complete joy in being there, and just a homicidal loathing for all the jerks who should have drank beer in their own homes.

I was also vaguely thinking as I watched the Letterman performance about how John Doe is hot, and Exene is such a bad-ass chick. And I wonder if there are any straight men in the world who, say if they aren’t musicians themselves, ever watch rock and roll ladies and want to be like them. Do they just want to do them instead? Do men admire women? Sometimes I think they don’t. Or, they might admire them, but they never want to be them the way I want to be a rock and roll dude (or a certain writer, or whomever). John Doe is attractive with his weird hillbilly punk vibe, but I would be just as happy to be that cool guy playing the bass as to lust after him. I don’t think men react that way to watching Exene. If men want to be women ever, they hide it pretty damn well.

There are women I find aspirational and bad-ass in the world, but there are a lot more men. I hate that a little. I mostly listen to men, I mostly read men. I am the self-aware version of the Jezebel commenter’s slur that goes, those girls who say they don’t get along with girls are the worst. Most of the time, I am more comfortable with men, and I have more to say to them. Neither going to lady college, nor admitting that I like some cute shit and laughing at Lifetime movies, and that I hate football, changed this fact. Yet, I still think men really do have a shameful inability to identify with women. They are the default, we are the other. Tiresome college feminism things have a few points now and again. Maybe I am thinking about that because I lately feel so turned off by feminism. (And yet, conservatives’ views on gender are so not going to happen for me. Gross. Everyone is so wrong and reactionary on this issue. Just like on every other issue, to be fair.)

Sweet fancy Moses, I am treating this professional(ish) blog like the secret Tumblr of my heart. I just…thought about this while watching X. You don’t have to. Just enjoy the rock and roll. I’ll be here being distracted from the police being the worst again.

JohnExcene2Man, that guy is tall. We thought we were so sneaky approaching the stage from the side. But he’s just standing right in the corner. Literally everyone behind him is a foot and a half shorter. Oh well, he doesn’t seem like he’s actually a dick, just a tall guy who doesn’t realize he’s blocking eight people who he could see over anyway. But, like, how far does that tall person obligation go? He shouldn’t be sent to the way back of the room simply because he can see over 98 percent of the heads here. That wouldn’t be right.

Oh, hey, X. Yes, they’re old now, A. Old punks happen. Hey, Billy Zoom is like two feet away. He’s staring a lot at the crowd. Ugh…so…much…eye…contact. Doesn’t he know the rock star rule about not looking at anyone? This is funny, but also I don’t even look in my loved ones’ eyes, so I am going to look away. I hope A. can’t tell he sort of looks like her creepy ex. But he’s awesome, so that’s not fair.

BillyZoomOh, hey, there are a bunch of X albums in the middle I missed. Ugh, Billy Zoom is so good, that I feel guilty even liking that album that contains “Fourth of July” because he’s not even on it. I can’t hear vocals that well, maybe I should take this cotton out of my ears. Oh, never mind. Loud. Hey, vocals. Awesome. Still odd and wonderful, this clashing, cawing mixing of John Doe and Exene Cervenka’s voices.

Hey, it’s Scott Mervis from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, standing right behind me! Can he tell who I am? Maybe if I mouth the words “Scott Mervis” and “Steigerwald” he will get the idea. Hey, tall guy doesn’t seem to mind that I am kind of in front of him now. Damn, that punk couple could not be happier to be here. Neither could that older lady punk couple. So cute, the four of them. There are a lot more older people here than at any of the middle aged punk rock shows I have attended — this includes Jello Biafra, The Slits, and Stiff Little Fingers. I hate people who think it’s embarrassing that middle aged people play punk (or old people play rock and roll). I hate them. What a horrible way to live, thinking that way. Nobody should ever be embarrassed on someone else’s behalf. If I hadn’t already known that, I would have learned it from an endearing Rolling Stones article in Time a few years back. Rock until you drop dead, gentlemen. I salute you.

Hey, I kind of know this song. Hey, I don’t know this song, but God damn Billy Zoom is good at guitar. Hey, “Los Angeles”! Point of interest: Jello Biafra no longer sings “niggers” in “Holiday in Cambodia.” X keeps the word in “Los Angeles.” I had wondered.

JohnDoeMan, this crowd is so weak. Pittsburgh crowds mostly suck. I can’t believe Altar Bar actually had a no moshing sign. But then, if people really wanted to mosh, they would mosh right now — damn the man!

That movie where John Doe rides a motorcycle a lot is weird and okay, in a subpar Jim Jarmusch sort of way. That mediocre movie where Jewel played June Carter was definitely mediocre, but the casting choice of John Doe as AP Carter was inspired. I wish that was the entire movie.

Exene is a punk rock witch. I’m feeling her Rogue hair and her dress and boots. It’s all just enough, and not too much. I wish I could sit her down and explain to her that being a libertarian is awesome, but she shouldn’t believe in (baseless, Youtube-y) conspiracy theories. John Doe badly needs a haircut. If he had a bit more of a would-be rockabilly hair situation, I definitely wouldn’t be trying to gauge his handsomeness levels. (They would be clear.)

Their “Soul Kitchen” is way better than The Doors original. Man, X should totally tour with The Knitters. That would be so convenient, touring with themselves. I hope A. is having a good time. Man, maybe this is a weird bachelorette activity. At least I can constantly make the joke that if she and C. ever divorce, she can have Viggo Mortensen’s child afterwards. But look, divorced people in a band! It’s fine!

Oooh, “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene”! It is is so catchy, and is also like three times as disturbing live. But then, part of the disturbing quality is how hot John Doe is in this video:

Yeah, John Doe is now attractive because I am remembering this video. This is uncomfortable. Rape is not attractive. Not even fictional song rape. I think this song now makes him seem more attractive because he’s all sweaty and attractive in that video. He’s kind of sweaty now, too. I think that’s okay with me. Also, I think he’s now singing “no” at the end, as kind of a refrain. That’s new. Maybe that’s progress.

exceneI totally once read something about how John Doe brought flowers to his new wife and to Exene because they were both having babies in the same hospital at the same time. So, he’s probably nice in spite of the rape song.

“The last Paulene wouldn’t cooperate” is such a shoutable line, and so awful. So catchy. Fuck you, song. You’re great. (Also I gleefully sing “crushed little kids!” and “let’s lynch the landlord!” but that’s just, like, the Jello Biafra experience, man. This is more awkward for reasons.)

I don’t know a lot of these songs well, but they’re all short and rough and so good. Oh, it’s over. Oh, fuck you, Pittsburgh crowd. I have never had to work so hard to make an encore happen in my life. You paid 30 bucks for this. Enthuse, you fuckers. Enthuse.

I don’t know any of these songs, but they’re still good. Aw, John Doe leaned against Exene and it was adorable. Oh, it’s over. Damn, their songs are too short. I guess Los Angeles the album is only like half an hour long. I’ll stand aside and let the worthy people snag setlists. Man, even though there was no pit, I hope I don’t smell as terrible as I feel I do. No, I do.

Man, that was great. Let’s go again. See you in like four years, when you remember Pittsburgh exists again, X. Bands always do that: “Sorry we’ve been gone so long, Pittsburgh! This is such a great city, we’ll be back soon!” Lies.

God damn, everything just sounds good with that Billy Zoom guitar. I love punk rock. I love this controlled cacophony. I love how after a few listens, when it clicks — if it’s your music — you’ve cracked the code. It’s noise, and you can hear everything underneath it. Rock until you drop dead, fellows. Let nobody make you feel ashamed.JohnExcene