Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...So I Never Want to See You Again

OK, so what can I say? I worship Exene Cervanka. Ex-wife of both John Doe and Viggo Mortensen (yes, the Lord of the Rings guy), she remains hands down the single coolest musician I've ever seen (despite the fact that calling what she does "singing" is a bit generous) and the only poet I'd want to write my eulogy. And all of a sudden, she's everywhere.

DCKT co-owner Dennis Christie recently blogged about seeing the Knitters (the post-X grouping of John Doe, Exene, and D.J. Bonebrake, along with ex-Blasters guitarist Dave Alvin, and ex-Red Devils bassist Jonny Ray Bartel). I saw X three times and the Blasters twice back in the day, and I'm sure I made those Ed Sullivan audience girls at the Beatles' first showing look comatose in comparison (ahhh, the days when moshing was still called slam dancing).

And now, via artnet.com, we learn that The Santa Monica Museum of Art is exhibiting her drawings and journals:

"Exene Cervenka: America the Beautiful," Sept. 17-Nov. 26, 2005, features nine journals and a series of 20 collages made between 1974 and 2005 in a show that is guest-curated by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna. Cervenka has scheduled a free performance at the Bergamot Café at Bergamot Station on Nov. 3, 2005.
Exene was the soul of LA's "punk" scene for me (I put that in quotes in deference to a punker I knew who used to say, X were "punk" only to keep away the riff-raff). I decorated my room with X album covers and posters of her drawings. I even attended a poetry reading where Alvin, Exene and Doe were performing in West Hollywood once and surreptitiously touched her dress while she chatted with friends in the audience (way too shy to say anything back then). I'm sure she would have coldcocked me had she seen.

Click this image and navigate to see more of Exene's collages.

Reading the lyric sheets for X albums was one of the most totally satisfying aesthetic experiences of my youth. An explosion of heart, smarts, and f*ck you attitude I've yet to see duplicated. Please tell me this exhibition's heading east.


Anonymous Macallan said...

So I'm out on the eulogy?


8/17/2005 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Ahh...with sentiments like that at your fingertips, what was I thinking?

8/17/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Macallan said...

It's the angry poet in me...

8/17/2005 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger carol es said...

Exene Cervenka: one of few humans that moulded me and shellacked me into the culture that IS Los Angeles.

8/18/2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Velveteen said...

So, you don't think she can sing?
Some fan you are!
Countless bands are influenced by the unique pairing of voices that drove X. I do prefer the Exene-John combo, but one doesn't work without the other.

She sings way better than many folks who are in other bands and her voice is immediately recognizable. Not sure why you judge her this way.

10/31/2007 05:50:00 PM  

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