Monday, April 30, 2007

X Marks the Knitting Circle

Good bands may master one style of music. Great bands, on the other hand, have so much ADD flowing out of every orifice in their heads, even those small spaces in the corner of their eyes, that sticking to just one style is painfully impossible. The Beatles did this with a handful of their albums, and often mixed up the styles within some albums. I never get enough of flip-floppers like those guys. My favorite Bob Dylan album is Nashville Skyline, a stark departure from his traditional fare. My boy Beck regularly hops from folk, to rock, to electronica, to hip-hop and back again. The invention of quality music has no stylistic borders, no structure or audience to consider, only the pure intention of a delicious end.

Until recently, I had never heard of the L.A. punk band called X, but I probably should have. Formed in 1977 by songwriter and bassist John Doe, his future wife Exene Cervenka, rockabilly guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake (the name I would’ve been given if I had been a girl), this apparently “legendary” rock group was known for crossing musical boundaries. In 1985, the group (minus Zoom) with Dave Alvin and Johnny Ray Bartel, recorded the country-roots album Poor Little Critter on the Road under the moniker The Knitters. The album introduced a fresh mixture of punk rock and country to which the current alt-country scene owes a sincere debt of gratitude. After a twenty year hiatus, the brief flicker that was The Knitters came back in 2005 with The Modern Sounds of…The Knitters. Tonight they’ll be at World CafĂ© Live singing songs from Modern Sounds and hopefully selling a few CDs. Swing on by if you get a chance.

X – We’re Having Much More Fun
X – The New World
The Knitters – Walkin’ Cane
The Knitters – Rock Island Line (goofy cover of a classic Leadbelly song)
The Knitters – I’ll Go Down Swinging (off The Modern Sounds of… The Knitters)


-Benjy

1 comment:

Mug said...

Great stuff! Thanks!