X drummer DJ Bonebrake claims that his new turntable isn't the stuff of audiophiles' dreams ("It's just a cheapo thing, like something from the '60s"), but he's having a great time with it nonetheless. "I'm pulling out all my old records, all of these punk singles," he says. "You play one side and turn it over – ‘Oh, what’s on the other side? I forgot...’ And then you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah! I like that one too.’ It’s a lot of fun."
Bonebrake recalls that the notoriously short running time of most vintage punk songs had some of his radio DJ pals grumbling back in the day. “Punk singles drove radio people crazy," he says. "They could never take bathroom breaks if they were playing anything punk – the songs were only a minute or two apiece. It’s not like these big concept albums, where you can put them on and walk away; you come back and it’s like, ‘Is that thing still on? When will it end?’”
He laughs, then adds, "X never made very long albums. They weren't super-short, but they didn't wear out the welcome, either. They were just the right length."
Just right for performing live, as it turns out: This July, X will revisit their own musical past by playing each of their first four albums (Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under The Big Black Sun and More Fun In The New World) on four successive nights at the Roxy in Los Angeles. For more information, visit X's official website.
On the following pages, Bonebrake runs down his picks for 10 essential punk records. (Warning: Some audio clips are NSFW.)