Besides being an awesome rock 'n' roll band, X was extremely influential to American popular music. They had a major impact on the underground Punk rock movement and also the Roots, folk, and Americana revival scenes. Just as importantly, they were the band that put independent labels on the map (selling 100,000 copies seemingly out of the blue). They stood head and shoulders above the rest of America's Punk bands of the late '70s and quickly came to national prominence with their combination of raw energy, beatnik-style lyrics, intertwining vocal harmonies, and buzzsaw guitar (courtesy of Rockabilly veteran Billy Zoom). That diversity and a never-ending supply of good songs via John Doe and Exene Cervenka were the keys to their success. They never lived up to major label expectations and lost focus after their first three (essential) albums but their entire output has merit. They parted ways in the late '80s but still get back together from time to time to play for a whole new generation of fans.
X Concert Films
The Unheard Music
Runtime: 1 hr 24 minX: The Unheard Music takes long, detailed, and often funny look at the LA music scene of the late 70s and 80s and focuses on the group that critics had singled out as the leader of the underground pack. The Unheard Music is a documentary that combines live footage of the band and interviews with the four members (as well as their friends and families) with surreal music videos and montages of newsreel footage and vintage television commercials which help to illustrate X's uphill struggle against the music industry. Their story rings true even today.
X Top Tracks
The Rise and Fall of the Clash
Runtime: 1 hr 37 minThe only up-close and personal film about the juggernaut band The Clash and their meteoric trajectory through rock ‘n roll history, The Rise and Fall of The Clash features previously unseen footage of the band at work and at play, as well as interviews with the individual band members and with those who knew them well. This is not a film that pulls any punches, but neither does it overlook the life-changing effect that The Clash brought to so many. The Rise and Fall of The Clash paints the fascinating inside story of rivalries, treachery, betrayal and the internal band dynamics and managerial interference that ultimately led “the biggest band in the world” to self-destruct.
Runtime: 1 hr 19 minMinor Threat played one of its last shows at Washington DC's 930 Club in June of 1983; they would only play once more in DC. Two years later, the tapes from the 930 show were edited together and Dischord Records released them as the Minor Threat Live VHS video in 1986. Along with the 40 minute 930 performance, the film includes a 35 minute video of a 1982 Minor Threat show in Camden, NJ, a 12 minute clip of Minor Threat's 2nd ever show at DC Space in December 1980, and excerpts from a 1983 interview with the vocalist, Ian MacKaye.
Live at the Roundhouse London
Runtime: 1 hr 6 minSeminal punk band X-ray Spex release a special live concert film recorded at 2008’s sell-out concert at the Roundhouse through new Future Noise Music imprint Year Zero. The first X-ray Spex live outing since 1979, this performance of their classic album Germ Free Adolescents saw singer Poly Styrene and bassist Paul Dean joined by friends Sid Truelove (anarcho-punk drummer with Rubella Ballet and Flux of Pink Indians), Mark Saxby (former guitarist with Arnold) and Flash (saxophone player, formerly with Rip Rig & Panic, Jah Wobble, Don Cherry and the Slits) at London’s Roundhouse on September 6th 2008 in front of 3,000 raucous fans. In 1976 X-ray Spex were formed by Poly Styrene placing an ad in NME and Melody Maker for "Young Punx Who Want To Stick It Together". For a generation sifting through the wreckage left by punk rock, X-ray Spex truly turned our world day-glo. The combination of tough, razor sharp riffs, kooky sax lines and Poly Styrene’s wonderful voice and incisive lyrics tearing into plastic consumerist society were perfect. Their 1978/79 stay was all too brief - a handful of memorable singles: debut Oh Bondage Up Yours! and the hits The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, Germ Free Adolescents and Highly Inflammable. Versions of all these songs are featured here, alongside previously unreleased new track Bloody War. X-ray Spex transcended punk, influencing a whole new scene of indie kids and post-Riot Grrrl rockers like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Gossip. The band’s innate genius and brilliant song writing makes them as relevant now as they were then. They are that rarest of things, a group that has never dated.
Color Me Obsessed
Runtime: 2 hr 3 minFor some aging music fans and kids with a passion for musical history, The Replacements are rock and roll defined. This Minneapolis quartet took a teenage-punk attitude, threw it in a blender with classic and pop rock, and then poured it into a Middle American pint glass. Over the band's 12-year existence, its live sets were magical, a total mess, or both-depending on your mood and the members' respective blood alcohol levels. Gorman Bechard's remarkable history of the 'Mats takes us from their first show as the Impediments to their 1991 onstage breakup in Chicago, and everywhere in between. Bechard bravely eschews including the band's music, photos, and live footage, instead relying solely on the fans: their well-kept memories, hilarious anecdotes, and differing points of views about the foursome's wildly varied discography and infamous antics. Bechard has recruited an impressive roster of influential fans: musicians such as Husker Du, Babes in Toyland, The Decemberists, The Hold Steady, Archers of Loaf, Titus Andronicus, and Goo Goo Dolls; writers such as Jack Rabid, Legs McNeil, Robert Christgau, Jim DeRogatis, and Greg Kot; and actors such as George Wendt, Tom Arnold, and Dave Foley. Sprinkled in among that esteemed group are the more mainstream fans, who often give the most insightful and heartfelt perspectives of all. Follower or not, after taking in COLOR ME OBSESSED, you'll be ready to run home, gather some 'Mats albums, and design a perfect soundtrack of your own.
Lookin' Fine On Television
New York Dolls
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minThe legendary and infamous New York Dolls at their best! Amazing rare live clips and interviews filmed by Bob Gruen and Nadya Beck in the heady days of the band's ascension in the 70s. Footage from early shows in NYC all the way to the TV studios, clubs and swimming pools of Los Angeles. Black and white film was never so colorful! Includes ripping versions of ""Personality Crisis,"" ""Who Are the Mystery Girls?"" ""Babylon"" and more. See the incredible early days of the band that influenced generations of punks and rockers.