X are a band with a collective persona so perfect it's like they stepped out of a novel: There's the blank and scary name, the high-velocity romanticism built out of junk-shop rockabilly and left-coast hardcore. There's Exene and John Doe's mournful indifference to formal harmony, and the carefully sketched California gothic, all sun-baked twang and monochrome desperate glamour (see, they're easy to write about). Since the white-hot '80s, X's members have been involved in a number of variously roots-y projects, but they still gather intermittently to tour, and here they are, red in tooth and claw, at Minneapolis's crunchy Cabooze. It makes perfect sense: X helped reattach punk's severed limb back onto the corpus of American rock. And of course, for all the deadly gloominess, the beating heart of the initial run of X albums is love, married love: maddening, sustaining, enervating, enduring...for a while, anyway. With Skybombers.
Sat., March 22, 8 p.m., 2008

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