Tag Archives: Exene Cervenka

Allison Wolfe Joins Me and Exene

The extremely good news is that Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile, Cold Cold Hearts, Cool Moms, Original Grrrrl) has been added to the Queens of Noise bill at the Los Angeles Public Library. The bad news: The event “sold out” within hours. Still, keep checking the site for standby tickets or come early that night and hope to grab a seat.

via AllisonWolfe.

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Queens of Noise ALOUD — Reserve Now!

You can now make your reservations to hear Exene Cervenka and I read at the Los Angeles Public Library January 9 at 7:15 p.m. The event is free but reservations are recommended. There will be a very special guest who we will be announcing shortly, so book your seat now!

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Exene, Me, and Special Guest!

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles’s winter schedule is now available online, so I can let you know the super news: I will be presenting alongside one of my all-time heroes, Exene Cervenka, at a special Queens of Noise night that kicks off the winter series. Plus, there will be another very special guest, TBA. X are one of my favorite bands; it was because of Exene that I got my first tattoo; her collection of poems Adulterers Anonymous (with Lydia Lunch) was my bible in college. I’m beyond stoked to be part of the prestigious ALOUD series, and to be with Exene is just the icing on the cake.

What’s more, the second night of the series is Richard Rodriguez presented by my esteemed colleague Ruben Martinez. Two scores for LMU. And later that month, Angelique Kidjo. It’s a great honor to be on this schedule.

[ALOUD] January Programs – Event – Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

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More Fun at the Lobster Festival

“That’s our production,” John Doe joked as the ginormous cruise ship that had just blasted him and Exene Cervenka into silence passed by the stage at the Lobster Festival in San Pedro Sunday. The ex (and now current again) X’ers who are also each other’s exes had been strumming and singing when the Royal Caribbean boat sounded its horn, rendering the musicians completely inaudible. Admirably, Doe and Cervenka stopped, saluted the decibel competitor, and lauded its hearty win — even while attempting to co-opt the ocean liner as a prop. It’s like that at the Lobster Festival; even musical semi-legends have to concede to the crazy, drunken commerce of life by the port.

The Lobster Festival is San Pedro’s county fair, an ode to dizzying rides, surly carnies, greasy food, and crustaceans. The latter cost $18, were surprisingly good for carnival food, and there were no long lines to buy them, as there were last year. This year, the festival also featured some good, local bands. On Saturday, Fitz and the Tantrums overcame sound problems to deliver their retro soul with sharkskin-suit style. Singers Fitz and Noelle Scaggs both have superb voices and an interesting dynamic; he’s all Bryan Ferry dapper, she’s all Tina Turner hot. The sexual and racial connotations of this pairing were a bit disturbing when, trying to affect some Southern soul man vibe, he called her “my girl.” But with songs as catchy and convincing as their KROQ hit “Moneygrabber,” I’m willing to risk political incorrectness and like FATT.

We could talk all night about the postcolonial ramifications of the Asian-pop-meets-indie-rock Dengue Fever, who followed FATT Saturday. All I’ll say here is that singer Chhom Nimol’s Cambodian diva wails were both sexy and heavenly, but the rest of the band weren’t keeping up.

I hadn’t seen John and Exene in many years; I was once a huge X fan. It was interesting to hear old punk songs like “Because I Do” and “In This House That I Call Home” stripped down, but even without the boat traffic, the acoustic guitars got a little lost in all that open air. Still, John and Exene have deep cultural history in LA; Cervenka, who was diagnosed with MS last year, saluted the region that has supported her art for 34 years.

Cole didn’t win any prizes at the water-gun balloon booth. But the weather was perfect, and when else can you see perfectly groovy hipsters wearing silly lobster hats.

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The World's a Mess

I’ve been singing the old X song “Los Angeles” in my head a lot lately, given my upcoming move. So I was particularly dismayed to hear that Exene Cervenka has MS. She’s always been an unapologetically feminist punk icon; I have a treasured battered copy of Adulterers Anonymous, her book of poems with Lydia Lunch. She led me to my first ink, in fact; first time I interviewed her, back at Brown, she had just gotten a tattoo in Providence, which, she informed me, was a city known for its skin artists. A couple years later, a guy named Rusty Needles put a tribal cat on my back.

As Exene blogs, she’s long been a supporter of Sweet Relief, the musicians’ health care organization founded by Victoria Williams, another gifted woman with MS. So hopefully, she’ll have some good karma in her own care.

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