ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: X-TAL

X-tal was a San Francisco-based rock band that existed under various incarnations from 1983 until 1996. Greil Marcus of the Village Voice described them as a “small-time San Francisco combo that wears their defeated leftist politics on their sleeves and can open for the Mekons without letting you forget them when the headliners come on.”

The core members of X-tal were singer/guitarist/principal songwriter J Neo Marvin and drummer/vocalist Michael (Mick) Freeman, along with long-serving bassist/vocalist Allison Moseley, who joined in 1990, kicking off the band’s golden age. Rounding out the band were the guitars of, first, Jimmy Broustis, and later, Mark Zanandrea. Early bassists included Mitzi Waltz, Sel J. Hwahng, and Alan Korn. Every member contributed to the songwriting, keeping the sound fresh.

X-tal released seven albums during their lifespan, first on the California-based independent label Alias, and later on the German labels World Service/Rough Trade Deutschland and Return To Sender/Normal.

When some members of X-tal reconvened for some reunion shows in 2006, Ear Candle Productions put out the compilation album Who Owns Our Dreams? You can find the complete X-tal collection at our Bandcamp store.

When we were young:

When we were older: