X, with the Detroit Cobras

X are celebrating their 31st year in show biz, and while 31 might seem like an odd number to mark an anniversary, it makes some sense when you consider the triskaidekaphiliac band's longtime fascination with and superstition of all things relating to the number 13. X's most recent album of original material, the uneven Hey Zeus!, came out back in 1993, and it's tempting to write them off now as an oldies band coasting on their past glories. Ironically, singer Exene Cervenka has been fairly creative in recent years, maintaining her punk credibility with such underrated bands as Auntie Christ and the Original Sinners, while singer-bassist John Doe's 2007 CD, A Year in the Wilderness, was his best solo album by far. Clearly, these two former denizens of the L.A. poetry workshops of the late '70s can still write a good song, and the band goes beyond cheap nostalgia, if only because they're still powered by the relentless pummeling of drummer D.J. Bonebrake and the serenely above-it-all, terminally grinning guitar machine Billy Zoom. They've always been better live than on record, so don't miss 'em on their lucky 31st birthday.


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