Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Posts Tagged ‘kristine mckenna’

14 June 2005: An Afternoon with Kristine McKenna – Scene Chronicler and Interviewer the Great

Posted by Christina on March 1, 2009


An Afternoon with Kristine McKenna – Scene Chronicler and Interviewer the Great

Like Botticelli’s Venus on a half shell, X arrived fully formed and perfect. I had one good fortune to be around during their earliest days as a gigging band, and I never saw them give a bad show. They were on fire from the very start-and then they astonished us by getting better and better. Each new song was a fabulous unveiling, every show was a blazing event.

What made them so sensational? For starters, there was the visual component. It’s one of myriad cruelties of nature, but a rock ‘n’ roll band has to be thrilling to look at, and X was. Most bands are lucky to have one charismatic member, but X had four, and each of them brought something completely different to the mix.

– Kristine McKenna, liner notes from 2001’s re-release of Los Angeles

A regular Southern California afternoon in the depths of Santa Monica is nothing special to look at for your average city native, but anyone from even a few cities over is in for a real spectacle of the most delicious eye-candy ever witnessed. Not a dull street in sight and no corner busy with anything shy of a bustling crowd, Santa Monica, California has been the Mecca for patrons of the music and art scenes since before Los Angeles had made a name for itself. These people open up record stores and art galleries as businesses to cater to the growing demand of Los Angeles culture and in turn, those who are heavily involved with shaping that culture have taken great advantage of it all.

This is where the punk kids from the 1970’s came to thrive in their need for expression and the scene gave it to them. Small clubs like The Mask opened their doors to gigging bands and punk became the scene du jour. “Punk rock made that do-it-yourself thing acceptable, and you didn’t have to be a great player or singer to be in a band,” Exene Cervenka, leading vocalist of X had said in an interview with Kristine McKenna. “Punk valued substance over form, and that was a new thing. With punk, what you had to say was more important than having a polished voice.”

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