Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Roadkill

By Greg Beets

AUGUST 18, 1997:  Auntie Christ
Emo's Sunday, August 17

In two decades of ground-breaking punk rock luminescence in X and as a solo artist, Exene Cervenkova has carefully intertwined seething social criticism and post-romantic abandon with machete wit. The relentless attack of Auntie Christ's Life Could Be a Dream (Lookout) is at once a return to punk roots and a sharpening of the blade.

"At this point in my career, it makes total sense," Cervenkova says. "At this point in musical history, it makes no sense, which is the way I do things."

Vocalist cum guitarist, Cervenkova, along with former X drummer D.J. Bonebrake and Rancid/Operation Ivy bassist Matt Freeman, deliver a piss-and-vinegar indictment of the status quo that is proudly out-of-step with the self-absorbed nihilism that's passed off as rebellion these days. Songs like "The Nothing Generation" and "The Future Is a War" are well-placed thorns in the side of a culture suspended in commodified complacency.

"They're not reacting with rage," says Cervenkova, lambasting today's youth. "They're turning the rage inward and becoming really immobile. Drinking lots of coffee, doing lots of drugs, and just kind of giving in, as opposed to healthy rage against the system, against their parents, against me."

If her lament sounds a bit like motherly concern, perhaps that's because it is. "My kid is nine and he's not going to grow up to be one of those people," Cervenkova says. "He's going to be a fighter and he's going to be a good person. I don't want this little Nike-wearing zombie running around my house."

Joining Auntie Christ on their six-week campaign to encourage the ineffectual to "wreck some wicked thing -- not you" is San Francisco's Stone Fox. In fact, Stone Fox's Janis Tanaka will be playing bass for Auntie Christ on the tour because of Freeman's conflicting duties in Rancid.

"The shows we've done with her have been really good because she sings with me, so there's this added element of harmony and sing-a-long that I like a lot," says Cervenkova. "We want to keep things changing so it's not too predictable. Hopefully we can do that and not mess up."

-- Greg Beets

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