Thursday, April 23, 2020

Song of the Day: 'Alphabetland' by X

Wow, talk about a fun surprise! It's unclear to me how this came to be, but X has reunited to record its first album since 1993's "Hey Zeus" -- and first album with the original Billy Zoom lineup since 1985’s "Ain’t Love Grand!" Despite chronic health problems and personality disorders -- Zoom is in remission from bladder cancer and vocalist Exene Cervenka has both multiple sclerosis and an incurable case of Alex Jones disease -- the legendary L.A. punks sound like they haven't lost a beat on the rollicking 30-minute blast from the past. The album is on the indie label Fat Possum available via Bandcamp HERE. It's coming to other platforms soon. Enjoy!

Album notes:

(Via Bandcamp)

The Los Angeles Times reports:
In early March, the four original members of X sat in the mixing room of an Eagle Rock recording studio recounting the how and why of “Alphabetland,” their first studio album as a quartet in 35 years.

Arranged in a semicircle on a couch and in a few chairs, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake were taking a break from a long day of mixing and overdubbing the 11 hard, fast and distorted new rock ’n' roll songs — the kind that first ignited the city on X’s 1980 debut album, “Los Angeles.”

“Exene and I talked about writing some songs five to seven years ago together, but we weren't sure where it would go,” Doe, 67, said of collaborating with his ex-wife and longtime writing partner. (The two were married from 1980 to 1985.) “We were doing other creative stuff, and whatever creative force you have goes into whatever's in place, right? Whether it’s building a car, making a garden or writing a song.”

Now an Austinite, Doe was wearing cowboy boots, blue jeans, a Western-style button-up shirt and a bolo tie. “So Exene and I just kind of got busy and said, 'OK, we've got a place to put it.'”

When Doe finished speaking, Cervenka, 64, who was lounging on her side of the couch with her eyes half-shut, lifted her head: “Actually, I've been writing X songs for 10 years, and finally everybody decided to make a record. That's the real story.”

"Alphabetland” arrived out of the blue on Wednesday. Landing months sooner than the band had originally planned, it was recorded with producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck, Joyce Manor) during two sessions in the fall of 2018 and January 2020.

Doe's and Cervenka’s competing narratives on X's creative return mirror the call-and-response tension that has powered their work since “Los Angeles” came out. X was scheduled to play that Ray Manzarek-produced debut from start to finish for a 40th-anniversary celebration at the Wiltern on Saturday.

Instead, after teasing fans on their Facebook page with a photo of wrapped presents (wild gifts?), X surprise-released “Alphabetland” to Bandcamp through the indie label Fat Possum.

At just over 30 minutes long, its 11 hit-and-run songs are as driving, poetic and accomplished as anything X has ever done. The album will land on the other major music streaming platforms on May 1. The band hopes to tour behind the album in the fall.
Keep reading HERE.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Exene is a right-wing nut, tho, who supported (supports?) Trump.