X – The Unheard Music – Review


The Unheard Music (Silver Anniversary Edition) (MVD)
By Mike Delano

X is pretty much the coolest band ever. From the twisted poetry of Exene and John Doe to the steely-eyed perpetual smile of Billy Zoom to a drummer named D.J. Bonebrake, I don’t think there’s any foursome out there that can compete with them in a my-favorite-band-is-cooler-than-your-favorite-band pissing contest. Not to mention that their punk/rock/country sound is still some of the best stuff ever committed to record. As with any band worth its salt, their legendary live shows are the best way to experience X’s music, but for the lazy among us, watching the classic documentary The Unheard Music is a close second (maybe tied with kicking back and listening to their first five albums while reading the excellent liner notes from Rhino’s remasters). This anniversary edition of the 1985 film adds a live outtake and a few other extras, the best of which is an interview feature with John and Exene giving their thoughts on the film 25 years later.

But, of course, there’s no improving on perfection, so this re-release is wisely content to simply polish it, offering a 5.1 surround mix for those with a worthy setup and a Blu-ray option. The original’s blend of live performances and interviews spliced with scenes and photos from an L.A. so decrepit that it seems otherworldly (the distillation of the punk scene into the two minutes of machine gun brakbrakbrak of “We’re Desperate” is legendary) is still unforgettable. Essential stuff.