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X: The Unheard Music (1986)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | March 1986 (USA)
This film is a documentary about the personalities in, and the music of, the early 1980's Los Angeles punk band X. There are studio and live performances by the band and interviews with ... See full summary »

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Billy Zoom ...
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D.J. Bonebrake ...
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Brendan Mullen ...
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Frank Gargani ...
Johny
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Pauline
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Diana Bonebrake ...
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Storyline

This film is a documentary about the personalities in, and the music of, the early 1980's Los Angeles punk band X. There are studio and live performances by the band and interviews with band members; all nicely interspersed with footage of area DJs, record stores, old TV shows and commercials. Written by Fred Goodridge

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Documentary | Music

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Not Rated
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March 1986 (USA)  »

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The Unheard Music  »

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Billy Zoom: I have read a review of the Ramones in some trade paper, I think it was Rolling Stones or something like that, and they trashed them, said they were awful, the guy really hated them, he said they were dumb, they played these... He said all their songs were too fast, too short, only had three chords, no guitar solos, the lyrics were dumb, and it just all sounded like real positive things to me.
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Crazy Credits

"To The Lonesome & The Twosome & Whoever Still Has Ears For The Unheard Of..." See more »

Connections

Features Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Real Child of Hell
Written by Written by John Doe and Exene Cervenka
Performed by X
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User Reviews

 
unique and exciting punk doc
10 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen an unholy amount of punk documentary and biopics; maybe even more than that. For whatever reason every band that half filled a bar has a film about their career/supposed influence. Once Arab On Radar got their own film you knew things had gone too far. Those quickie fan films can be exciting, and occasionally interesting...and sometimes you even find yourself half drunk and screaming in the background. But they rarely achieve the status as film, really just home videos for the die hards.

The Unheard Music is the exception that proves the rule. Maybe due to being produced when the market/distribution plan would have been nebulous at best, this comes across as an independent and brilliant piece of art, which just happens to feature one of the first wave LA's best punk bands. Unheard Music is constructed like a collage, like one of those bootleg video mixtapes that were floating around the underground back in the day. Your basic interview, performance, rehearsal sequences are intercut with found footage and various Exene based weirdness.

The true greatness of the film is the illustration of how X could never possibly find themselves in any subsection of the mainstream. For a band that is so informed by the classic sounds of American rock and roll, for a band that would have had dance hits in 1957, it is disheartening to listen to sleazy label suits babble about how the entire country would not "get" X. It's obnoxious at best to think those weasels are making value judgments about my taste based on geography. But then maybe that does explain Nickelback.

This is a fresh an exciting film about not just X, but what a statement it once was to say you were into punk. It took a certain amount of effort since the powers that be actively kept you from hearing this music. Wasn't on the radio, TV, or in suburban record stores. Makes you really understand how much of an uphill battle artist-musicians have.


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