Exene Cervenka at the Hi-Tone Café 

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As part of the tag-team front line for the great early-'80s Los Angeles country-punk band X (her other half, John Doe, will be at the Hi-Tone on April 14th), Exene Cervenka is sort of the godmother of the alt-country scene. Fitting then that she now records for Chicago's Bloodshot Records, a venerable alt-country label that X probably helped make possible. These days, Cervenka isn't quite as confrontational as she was during the early X days, when she wailed through classics such as "We're Desperate" and "Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not." Cervenka's latest album, The Excitement of Maybe, which was released on March 8th, is a softer, more contented affair, driven by front-porch acoustic guitars, Western steel, and soul horns more than revved-up rockabilly riffs. Call it aging gracefully. Exene Cervenka plays the Hi-Tone Café Saturday, April 2nd, with Kevin Seconds (of fellow '80s punks 7 Seconds). Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $12. — Chris Herrington

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