Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

The Knitters @ Safari Sam's, 12.29.06

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

We've been to quite a few shows lately at Safari Sam's, one of Hollywood's newest live music venues, but until Friday night's show had yet to see the man behind the scenes: Sam himself. Before the show began, Sam appeared on stage to tell the audience about how excited he was to have the Knitters play his venue; they (and X) have been one of his favorite bands for a very long time. Even before The Knitters began playing, it was obvious that if this was a big deal to Sam, it should be a pretty big deal to everyone.

The show opened with San Diego's Nathan James and Ben Hernandez, playing traditional blues like it was meant to be played; besides guitars, the duo dabbled around with a washtub bass, coffee can percussion, the kazoo, spoons and harmonica. The knee-slappin' blues mixed with gospel set the stage for the Americana theme of the night.

A rootin' tootin' country side project from essential Los Angeles punk band X, The Knitters consist of vocalist Exene Cervenka, singer/bassist John Doe, guitarist Dave Alvin, and drummer DJ Bonebrake. While the style is much more traditional rock and roll than punk rock, X's signature sound of John Doe's Elvis-like impersonation juxtaposed with Exene's bratty, cynical wailing is still alive and well. The members have been on a rough and rocky road since X's formation thirty years ago, but songs like "Poor Little Critter on the Road," "In This House That I Call Home," and "Burning House of Love" were shining examples of how much fun songs about political wrongdoings, ghosts, drinking, and dead people can be.