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TRACKLIST

1. Trojan Horse [MP3]
2. Surface of the Sun
3. Somewhere Gone
4. Where do we go from here
5. Why is it so?
6. Insane Thing
7. The Willow Tree
8. Let go and be Sweet
9. Walk me Across the Night
10. Sound of Coming Down
11. Fevered Paper
12. Fine Familiar
13. Honest Mistake
14. Pinpoints

"Cervenka may be strumming sweet, unassuming melodies on an acoustic guitar, but even in a polar-opposite genre, her flinty, honest voice shoots into your head with cold truth, bitterness, and a touch of playful sarcasm." —Bust

"Spare and stripped-back, the album touches on gyspy-folk, coffeehouse twang and roots-rock. Each individual instrument — saloon piano, acoustic guitar, feathery percussion, ominous cellos — takes time in the spotlight, making Gone a delicate, graceful collection of songs." —Riverfront Times

Exene Cervenka Somewhere Gone

BS166 2009 $6.95
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"This is simply superb work." —Exclaim

"Somewhere Gone is a spare, honest gem. Like the loss of a loved one, it inspires fond memories of the good times while acknowledging that the world is full of less-than-good times, too." —PopMatters

"One of the most riveting stage presences of the past 30 years, the secret about Cervenka was always her total love of American roots music too, and the way her voice could curl the soul from a hundred yards away. Somewhere Gone lets that side shine with a mile-wide glow. These original songs are haunting and gorgeous at the same time. She has clearly done some heavy living, but there is a closeness of spirit that reminds us of the fragility of the heart inside everyone. Sadly, the inspired fiddler and singer Amy Farris died right before the album's release. The bright light of Farris' gifts comes through with a warmth that cannot be replaced. Inside us all is the knowledge that our time here is limited. Exene Cervenka offers her hand to make that time more complete, and the way she shares both her joy and despair allows us the feeling we need to enjoy the journey." —Sonic Boomers


The foundation of the best punk rock, the music that lasts and remains relevant, isn’t self-destructive anger or smash the state bravado, but a sense of alienation and dislocation. The longing of the outsider. No band epitomized the burst of creativity and energy in this essential awareness better than X and their singer and co-lyricist Exene Cervenka. And even though the expressions of fiery emotions and actions of youth fade or moderate, the search for a roadmap through the desolation persists, and it is why Exene’s distinctive lyricism still resonates.


Somewhere Gone, Exene’s first solo album since 1991, is a sometimes dreamy but always intimate, circuitous passage through folk and country; subdued, but no less edgy. Invoking other artists who travel easily between the worlds of words and music like Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith, Exene’s lyrics and immediately recognizable, simultaneously fragile and totemic vocals carry all the passion of X without all the loud.

Possessing the eye and heart of a poet, Exene subverts lyrical expectations to create an atmosphere of both strain and empathy, speaking to the isolated and forsaken romantic in all of us. Hers is a world of the natural and the elemental intermingling with our lives and loves. The gravityless drone of “Surface of the Sun” or swimming in the wind to escape the hurricanes of “Somewhere Gone” paint our struggles in an ethereal light.

Throughout, lines such as Be still my beating bat wings (“Where Do We Go From Here”), I’m trying to make an honest mistake/out of you (“Honest Mistake”) or You can have what’s left of my forever (“Fine Familiar”) cast a murky light on the sentimental. Simple poetic juxtapositions heighten the dislocation that haunt us. Glass full of empty (“Sound of Coming Down”), Blackness and limelight (“Somewhere Gone”) as well as the album title itself speak to this tension.

Sonically, Somewhere Gone, which was produced by Exene, is a sometimes sparse, sometimes exuberant blend of folk, deep country and wide-open spaces. Exene’s guitar playing (she plays on most of the songs) and the somber cello/viola of Amy Farris (Dave Alvin’s Guilty Women, Alejandro Escovedo, Kelly Willis) give the title track a sense of urgency, while the far-out west reverb and back pew organ of “Sound of Coming Down” are as liberating as a freefall. On the only song not written by Exene, an ancient ballad of the hills “The Willow Tree,” she duets with Amy and the chill and ache of the ages is in it; the hope that lies in the dirt. Also lending ample their handiwork is Joe Terry (Skeletons, Morells) on barrelhouse piano, Lou Whitney (Skeletons) on bass, Dex Romweber (Dex Romweber Duo, Flat Duo Jets) on keyboards, Cindy Wasserman (Dead Rock West) and Jason Edge on guitar.

"These are eerie folk songs—Exene's voice has that timeless, rural, conversational quality—although all but one song are originals. It's tempting to read intimations of morality into the record. But it's more a welcomed return than a valedictory." —Blurt

"Exene Cervenka helped invent what Los Angeles is now and helped save the best of what it used to be." —LA Record

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