Check out my profile on Alice Bag for LA Weekly’s People Issue 2012, out today!

Photo: Kevin Scanlon

Never in my life would I have imagined the day where I wrote a 500 word profile on someone that I grew up listening to. A couple of years ago, I only knew Alice Bag through my brother’s milk crates filled with vinyl compilations where she was featured in, in particular Dangerhouse, Vol. 1., played over and over, and over again.

It is now with great honor that I present to all of you, my profile of her for this year’s LA Weekly People Issue!

Alice Bag: She Was a Punk Before You Were a Punk.

I would like to thank Nancy Marie Arteaga and Lalo Alcaraz for having me as a semi-regular guest on KPFK’s Pocho Hour of Power and making our friendship possible!

A Glutster double header Thursday: Health food in East L.A. for Zocalo Public Square and The Bouncing Souls for LA Weekly Music

(top image from

I woke up yesterday to find a couple of my stories published for two different publications.

East food city

One was a painstaking thousand worder on the up and coming East LA health food consciousness for Zocalo Public Square. It took a couple of weeks to research and finish, who knows how many homework-eating hours…

bouncing souls header

The other was a five hundred word quickie punk rock show review on The Bouncing Souls show for LA Weekly. Show reviews usually require me to stay up ’til 4:30 AM to finish, the latest has been 6:30 AM (deadline for show reviews are 8 AM the same day for most daily entertainment blogs). I had class at 11:30 AM the next morning.

This was the first time two of my stories were published on the same day — it was kind of a trip. To see the type of stuff I am writing now and the sheer amount of time I dedicate to them (regardless of the often insubstantial pay) and how it is so different than the simple stuff I started out with almost six years ago when I was sixteen.

It has made me realize that if I really do want to make it in this career and finish school anytime soon, I’m going to have to let go of my love for sleep and many coming of aging memory milestones usually associated with mindless youth (aka. getting too stoned/drunk, acting gay with the homiez, etc.) I already don’t sleep enough and don’t catch as many gay bluff’s with as I once did so it’s not that bad.

Like Henry Rollins, a dear role model and now fellow LA Weekly Music writer colleague said in his column, “sleep is the cousin of death.”

My review of Astrid Hadad and Hoppo’s Dia de Los Muertos show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on LA Weekly Music

This last Saturday I checked out the Dia de Los Muertos celebration that takes place atop Hollywood Forever cemetery every year. The headliners were Astrid Hadad and Hoppo (singer of Cafe Tacvba’s newish side project). My verdict?

Well…read my review on LA Weekly Music and pay especially close attention to my “Critical bias” confession at the end of the piece!

Click on any of the text underneath to read the whole thing on LA Weekly Music!)

Astrid Hadad
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Better than…Halloween!

Traffic along Santa Monica Boulevard was a hell of a lot more congested than usual on Saturday afternoon, as Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosted the 12th annual Dia de Los Muertos festival. The traditional Mexican holiday honoring dead loved ones gaining on the other American holidays, in terms of popularity. Angelenos and foreign tourists showed up by the thousands to the unique theme-park-like event taking place atop an, of course, actual cemetery.

This year’s headliners included Rubén Albarrán — the notorious singer for famed Mexico City rock en Español band, Café Tacvba — with his newish spiritual slanted side project, Hoppo. Also on the bill was Astrid Hadad, a Mexican performance artist known by millions for her eccentric and progressive sound.

This cemetery party was mad crackin’ yo. There must have been more than three thousand inside, easily. Altars to popular dead artists were set up along…

The Misfits! My review of their latest show on LA Weekly Music

This was the hardest review  I have had to write ever so far!  Never mind the epicness of The Misfits, I had literally flown in from Portland–sleepless–that same morning, had a full evening of school and then chugged a <i>Rogue</i> growler filled with JJ Hazelnut (their Hazelnut Brown Nectar aged for six months in their rum barrels!)

I actually knocked on while writing, overslept and turned in the piece after my 8 AM deadline! But anyways, here you go, enjoy my hard punk rock labor!

The Misfits and The Dickies
House of Blues

More than three decades in, The Misfits are still doing it, with or without Glenn Danzig. To the orthodox practitioner of punk rock, watching these guys play power chords is as big as watching Black Sabbath or Metallica. It’s something you’ll be able to brag about to your faux-hawked children one day.

To celebrate their first new album in ten years, The Devil’s Rain, the horror punk veterans played in Hollywood last night, to a house filled with loyal “fiend” fanatics from all walks of life. They were young and old, with their faces painted and wearing skeleton attire, some supporting Team Danzig, some supporting Team Jerry.

Read the rest of the review on LA Weekly Music!

Letters to The Glutster: A Punk Scholar in UC Berkeley Says Thank You

Email’s like these keep me going!
Hi Javier,

I’m writing to you to thank you for featuring brown punk rock kids from LA in your article published in this week’s LA Weekly. I myself was one of those kids when I was a teenager, and I fondly remember the missions and adventures my girlfriends and I would take on the bus/Metro from Koreatown all over LA county to go to backyard gigs and shows.

I only wish these kind of articles were being produced just a few years back since I attempted to write papers covering brown kids from LA in the punk/metal scene when I transferred to UC Berkeley and found little to no “published sources” to draw from.

Anyway, thanks a lot for getting your shit published and making visible a scene that is often made invisible and rarely/if ever included in the history of punk in the United States.

The five most underrated East L.A. backyard punk bands of all time (my follow up story for LA Weekly’s “Anarchy in East L.A.”)

Here is another bonus story for my “Anarchy in East L.A” piece that I wrote for West Coast Sound, the LA Weekly music blog.

Last week I wrote about movers and shakers on the current East L.A. backyard scene, but there’s a long line of great and influential bands that paved the way for the sub-culture. Don’t get me wrong, bands like The Brat and Los Illegals were pretty awesome, but their greatness is better documented, and, besides, I hear that backyards weren’t really their primary outlet.

Here, then, are five badass bands who haven’t gotten the recognition they deserve. This list includes significant groups from the ’80s up until the present. Most of them don’t really play shows anymore, but they’ll occasionally get together for old time’s sake. (Note: Thanks to East L.A. punk historian Jimmy Alvarado for his generous help putting this list together.)

Check out my actual hand picked list on their blog, complete with youtube videos!

The Five Best East L.A. Backyard Punk Bands: Bonus Story on LA Weekly Music!

Growing up in the East L.A., it seemed like everyone tried to form a punk band. Even I did. The scene goes through bands quickly, as kids graduate high school and get into metal, thrash or New York style hardcore. But there are a proud few that have evolved musically without forgetting their roots.

Here is my personal list of the top five East Los Angeles punk bands that play backyards. It wasn’t easy to compile; after all, lots of groups claim East L.A. for street cred, but aren’t even from the ‘hood! Disgusting right? So, I did my research. (On Monday look for my top five East L.A. punk bands of all time.)

To find out the bands, check out my bonus article on the LA Weekly Music Blog!