Exene is full of good cheer 

If you missed the two rollicking 'X-Mas With X' shows at Slim's this week, you'd be well advised to bend over like Artie Fufkin from "Spinal Tap" and beg anyone within earshot to kick you. HARD. But we caught up with band co-vocalist Exene Cervenka after the exhausting, Ray Manzarek-assisted sets to hear all the good news she had to report. She has a new solo album coming on March 8th -- "The Excitement Of Maybe" on Bloodshot Records -- featuring an SF-inspired track called "Love And Haight" plus cool cameos from high-profile pals like Dave Alvin, Christian McBride and labelmate Maggie Bjorklund, with whom she'll be touring this spring (expect a local date in late April or May, she promises).

"I don't know how it even happened, but lately I've just been getting these incredible opportunities," Cervenka marvels. "This summer I was invited to sing with the Blind Boys of Alabama at Lincoln Center, and we did Lou Reed's "Jesus," Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," and Hazel Dickens' "Will Jesus Wash The Blood Stains From Your Hands." It was one of the greatest night of my career." She's also triumphing in her battle against MS, she adds. Key reasons are an L.A. specialist she sees, a healthy change of diet, and her new pet min-pin. "She's named Minnie the Pinscher, and I get out and take long walks with her at least five times a day. She's totally changed my life!" For more, visit www.bloodshotrecords.com/artist/exene-cervenka.

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Tom Lanham

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