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‘In My Room’ With X’s John Doe

Punk legend delivers barebones takes on “Burning House of Love,” “Cyrano De Berger’s Back” and “The New World”

John Doe ventured out to the hill country outside of Austin, Texas to perform stripped-down versions of three X tracks for the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s In My Room series.

The musician filmed the set on the scenic patio of a house belonging to his friend Kevin Smith, who accompanied Doe on the upright bass. While Doe lamented the absence of his bandmates Exene Cervenka and Billy Zoom (both of whom are based in California), there was still plenty of ramshackle energy in the barebones arrangements he and Smith came up with.

The pair opened the set with a rendition of the classic 1985 X track, “Burning House of Love,” followed by a selection off their new record, Alphabetland, “Cyrano DeBerger’s Back,” which Doe said he always “envisioned as a Velvet Underground song, but it’s coming the same era, the Fifties.”

Doe closed out the performance with a rendition of another old X favorite, 1983’s “The New World.” Before launching into the performance, though, Doe dedicated it to those fighting racial injustice as part of the latest wave of Black Lives Matter protests. “And here’s to all the protestors,” he said. “Let’s hope that our government, we can have some sort of honesty and reconciliation.”

Doe’s appearance on In My Room follows recent performances by Charlie Puth, Boy George, Trixie Mattel, Warren Haynes, Haim, Sting, Joan Jett, Lucinda Williams, Waxahatchee and others. To support musicians undergoing financial hardship, please consider giving to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund or MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund.

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