She's the dagger-sharp, dynamic, die-hard outcome of a brutal childhood, and brought her astounding energies to Los Angeles punk rock just when Hollywood needed a jolt of the real. Alice Armendariz, aka Alice Bag, of The Bags and Castration Squad, has just put out her mesmerizing memoir Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage: A Chicana Punk Story through Pacific NW powerhouse publisher Feral House, and it is the read of the year for fans of SoCal punk, strong women doing vivacious art, and excellent autobio. She's hitting Seattle for several appearances (!), including this Friday night (Nov. 4) at audacious downtown art gallery Roq La Rue (2312 2nd Avenue) at 7 p.m., and then at the Elliott Bay Bookstore the next night (Saturday, November 5) at 5 p.m. (1521 10th Avenue). Her project Sadgirl (with El Vez!) will be playing the Pony after the Elliott Bay signing/reading! (Later on at 10 p.m., located at 1221 E. Madison).
Alice Bag's work is in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition "American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music." I am a big fan of her website (alicebag.com) for its fascinating portrayals of punk women living their lives beyond their youth culture years, forging a whole new, invigorating mutant society of their own. If you love comics like Love & Rockets, and have dug the wild memoirs about the L.A. punk scene that have already come out, Violence Girl gives an even more personal, on pins and needles narrative about those spitting, sparking, pre-hardcore years.
In the book Bag writes deliciously about her roots in Chicana culture, of dealing with abuse as a child, and transforming its bitter days into her participation in the Masque-era L.A. punk scene. Further deets, from the Feral House bio: "Lead singer with the Bags and the Alice Bag Band, she was featured in the punk documentary, The Decline of Western Civilization, and performed with Las Tres, Castration Squad, and other bands before becoming a teacher, activist, and writer. Her interviews documenting women in L.A. punk can be found at www.alicebag.com.