Posts Tagged ‘Alice Bag’

Punk legend Alice Bag has announced a new album and shared the lead single, which features Allison Wolfe (of Bratmobile and much more). Alicia Armendariz (aka Alice Bag) is a Los Angeles punk legend, not just for her ground breaking first band the Bags (featured in Penelope Spheeris’s Decline of Western Civilization), but for her outspokenness, activism, writings, and embodying the D.I.Y. ethic instilled in her by her mother.
When L.A. punk legend Alice Bag and I recently talked on the phone, she began the conversation by telling me her dog, Cinnamon, had died three weeks earlier. She said thinking about the Rainbow Bridge—a poem that has been adopted by the pet-loss grief community—has really helped her. Her voice is light and calm, and sounds like many flowers opening, undulating. It is melodic and sweet, like an extract of something very powerful, and philosophical. But when she sings, that extract explodes.

Since the mid-1970s, her voice has exploded on stage and on record with the Bags, which she co-founded as part of the first wave of L.A.’s punk bands. She described her tough childhood in East Los Angeles and her coming of age into the punk music scene in her powerful 2011 memoir .

Alice told me that “Punk rock is my therapy,” and singing has always just come naturally to her. The first money she ever earned was from singing. Miss Yonkers, her fifth-grade teacher in Los Angeles, asked her to sing on an educational bilingual cartoon, and Bag earned $100—more than the monthly rent her parents paid. Said Bag, “I thought, ‘maybe I could be a singer when I grow up’”. She is still singing at 62, having released a solo album, Alice Bag in 2016, Blueprint in 2018, and Sister Dynamite in 2020.

But she didn’t tell her dad about her dream of becoming a singer because he would tell her she should strive to own the record company instead. “I think he treated me the way some men of his generation would’ve treated their firstborn son,” she said. “That’s why he filled my head with dreams.”

In The Red, Bob Baker Marionette Theater and Pancake Mountain present: Breadcrumbs! The first single from the forthcoming record SISTER DYNAMITE out April 24th 2020 on In The Red Records.

Musicians: Alice Bag, David Jones, Rikki Watson, Sharif Dumani Special guest vocalists: Allison Wolfe and Lysa Flores

Alice Bag’s Blueprint album is a lesson in archetypes. In the 1970s, the Chicana L.A. punk pioneer of The Bags proclaimed herself a “Violence Girl”: a woman who, like certain chrome alloys, becomes only more unbreakable when tempered with fire. On Blueprint, Bag paints complex portraits of nameless (brown by default) individuals with characteristic pith and violence-girl riffs. On “Invisible,” a man who drinks too much holds himself together for his daughter and craves invisibility, a state many immigrants inhabit to survive, only to remain invisible to the American public eye. On “The Sparkling Path,” Bag alludes to escape by suicide, urging a message of survival beyond the kind of Maslow-diagnosed magical thinking for the oppressed who seek fulfillment beyond a lack of food, water and, most pressing of all, shelter. And on “77,” she enlists the help of Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) and Alison Wolfe (Bratmobile) to inhabit the working women of 9 to 5 and tie up their male boss.

In other songs, Bag is herself again, defending her blue hair against chismosas on “Se Cree Joven” or delivering the starkest gut punch against self-loathing in “Etched Deep”: “All that rubbing at the pages / Won’t make them white,” she says to us and to our history. There’s no performative Twitter-shock at the plight of brown people on this album. There’s only the solemn self-vindication of a woman too long kept in the dark by ostensibly radical punk. “White justice,” after all, “just isn’t just.” 

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Righteous, angry, punky, inspiring songs that evidence both vitality and deep wisdom & experience. Protest music in the best possible sense.

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Alice Bag—the L.A. punk singer, feminist activist, and author—has shared a new track called “Turn It Up.” It features backing vocals from Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill, the Julie Ruin), Allison Wolfe (of Sex Stains, Partyline, Bratmobile), and others. “Turn It Up” is taken from Bag’s new record titled “Blueprint”, which is out March 23rd via Don Giovanni Records. Along with Hanna and Wolfe, the 11-track album also features Teri Gender Bender, Francisca Valenzuela, and more.

Last year, Alice Bag released two songs with the Sissybears. She shared her self-titled solo debut in 2016.