Exene Cervenka, the legendary singer of X, performed at Amoeba Berkeley this past Saturday in support of her new solo record Somewhere Gone (out now on Bloodshot Records)! While the instrumentation of her latest LP is closer to that of her other X side project, The Knitters, the melodies and darker lyrical content still shine through on the new folksy record. Somewhere Gone features the late Amy Farris on strings as well as Cindy Wasserman and David Carpenter, from the band Dead Rock West on backing vocals and bass, respectively. The album also features a cameo from Flat Duo Jets' Dexter Romwebber, though Wasserman and Carpenter were only transfers from the record to the live performance.
Exene and her band played a 45 minute set of songs, mainly from the new album, though they did sprinkle in some unrecorded material throughout. Unlike solo sets from Frank Black or Paul McCartney, there were no rearranged X songs. Rather, the in-store focused on the material Exene had written over the past 4 years while living in rural Missouri.
Also while in Missouri, Exene has focused on her visual art, which has been showcased recently in galleries in Southern California, where she now resides. The album cover for Somewhere Gone is one example of the collage style art that Exene produces.
After the performance, Exene did a signing where she greeted the countless fans who packed into the Berkeley jazz room. The crowd was just as diverse as Exene's musical career, from young punks with bright pink hair, to older Silvertails who remember seeing her "back in their day."
I also had the pleasure of interviewing Exene after the signing. We talked about everything from musical influences to crazy jobs she's had in the past and how the process of writing and recording the new record was. That interview will be up in the Amoeba video section once we edit out all of my "Ums" and "Likes!" More pics from the show are right here on our website!
If you missed the instore and are in the LA area, Exene will be appearing at our Hollywood Store on 11/18! More info right here!