Returning to City Winery this Sunday, May 6, where they last performed in 2015, seminal Los Angeles punk group X, who are out in support of their 40th anniversary as a band, bring their genre-bending style and legendary live show back to the intimate local space, along with essential, young punk up and comers Skating Polly. While X seem to be back for good, after becoming increasingly more active over the last decade, we still recommend catching them any and every chance that you get, as their influence is immeasurable and remarkably underrated. Another selling point this weekend: guitarist Billy Zoom is back in the mix, after temporarily taking medical leave throughout the last tour that brought them to Nashville.
Tickets are available here, and you can find out much more about this incredible lineup below! And, for Music City fans that can’t get enough X, be sure to catch documentaries Urgh! A Music War on May 8 and X: The Unheard Music on May 15, both at The Belcourt!
Formed in 1977 in Los Angeles, seminal rockers X are lauded as one of the most important acts in the first wave of American punk, with their debut album, 1980’s Los Angeles, and legendary followup, 1981’s Wild Gift, frequently counted among the best records of all time. The later, in fact, was praised as album of the year by many influential outlets at the time of its release, despite X never breaking through to ubiquitous mainstream recognition (their influence, however, remains indisputable). Founded by vocalist/bassist John Doe and guitarist Billy Zoom, the band really found its voice when it added poet/vocalist Exene Cervenka, who married Doe in the early ’80s (the couple have since divorced), and solidified its original lineup with drummer DJ Bonebrake. The foursome would go on to release several groundbreaking albums, rooted in punk but always harboring an affinity for rockabilly, country, folk, and roots music, which would transform their sound as time progressed (and would further inform offshoot project The Knitters). X saw the departure of Zoom and some rotating new members in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before effectively slowing down their output and entering on again off again periods of hiatus. Thankfully, for the past decade or so, X have gotten back to touring, once again joined by Zoom, and have been embraced for their legacy, especially for their early contributions to punk (and, perhaps wisely, have not attempted to force new music; their last LP was 24 years ago). One of the best, most important bands in history, and certainly one of the most criminally underrated, X’s genre-defying, poetic, unparalleled sound is something we’re especially lucky we can still catch live; don’t miss this opportunity celebrate a milestone anniversary for some American legends!
Oklahoma City’s Skating Polly formed in 2009, sparked by an impromptu jam session between precocious, punk-loving stepsisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse, who, at the time, were just 9 and 14 years old. By 2011 debut album, Taking Over the World, which they recorded in their living room and released through local indie label Nice People Records, the girls, largely self-taught multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, had begun to attract national attention, capturing the eye of X’s Exene Cervenka after meeting her at a solo show in 2010. Cervenka produced the band’s sophomore effort, Lost Wonderfuls, which was mixed by former Flaming Lips drummer and ardent Skating Polly supporter Kliph Scurlock, and, following its release, the group earned fans in the likes of Sean Lennon, Ty Segall, and even actor Viggo Mortensen, and tours with the big names like The Flaming Lips, Deerhoof, Band of Horses, and Babes in Toyland. Further honing their mix of riot grrrl-inspired punk, alternative folk, indie pop, and grunge, the prolific band have released two more albums, 2014’s Fuzz Steilacoom and last year’s The Big Fit, and, earlier this year, added brother Kurtis Mayo to their lineup, as they continue to tour the world and earn praise from press, fans, and big-name artists alike, inevitably heading down the path they alluded to with album one: world domination.
X and Skating Polly will perform Sunday, May 7 at City Winery. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available for $30-40.