|Southern California Scene Report by Jang Lee
|As of late, a lot of punk rock shows have been going on in places such as Long Beach, South Central, East Los
Angeles and Corona. This report is not going to be as comprehensive as it could be, so I apologise beforehand if
your scene isn't represented. It's not so easy for me to attend all the shows and know all the bands.
The most popular vegetarian grindcore band is Phobia, who will be releasing another new CD in the future.
Watching this band live is an intense experience. Their drummer alone, sounds like a machine.
Another similar sounding band, SABU, has been playing for some time now. If you fancy Phobia, I'm sure you would
appreciate SABU as well. Jimmy, formerly of Resist And Exist (RIP), has joined the Riverside band, Holokaust, as a
second guitarist. Their music combines Discharge with early 80's peace punk bands like Antisect.
Anarcho-punk band, Against Empire, have released their own LP/CD on Threat To Existence Records and they will
be going on tour this summer with Mala Sangre. Resistant Culture has video out that you can download at
www.myspace.com/ resistantculture Resistant Culture describes their music as "Tribal Grind." The drummer of the
band, Ben Axiom and his friend Emily run a space in Long Beach called the Gaian Mind. From what I've been told, a
lot of youth hang out at this place. They hold weekly vegetarian potlucks, workshops teaching youth how to garden,
A band that I highly respect is Seven Generations. They are a anarcho-, vegan, straight-edge band from Orange
County. I've booked them a show once, and they are really amazing on stage. The singer is very outspoken about
the bands lyrics and politics. The band that I've been managing (I do not sing for them), is called Autonomy. They
are an old Southern California Feminist, Peace-punk band that reformed. We recently did a benefit show for
Anarchy Journal Magazine in the Bay Area. Autonomy also played a couple shows in Mexico with Fallas Del Sistema.
A split with Battle of Disarm (Japan) is in theworks for the future.
One of my favorite bands right now is Aztlan Underground, whose singer used to play bass in the early 80's
peace-punk band The Iconoclast. I would describe their music as a mixture of different styles of alternative music
with an emphasis on their indigenous roots and culture. Their most popular song includes the line "We didn't cross
the border, the border crossed us!"
Another Destructive System have been playing some shows around the Southern California area. They are
planning to record an album with old and new songs. Anima Mundi plays in the peace-punk style. They got a lot of
responses recently due to their uncompromising beliefs against macho slam dancing at shows. Until this day, kids
still talk and debate about this issue. This band is heavily into animal rights. Anima Mundi is planning to self-release
a CD this year. Recently, veteran punk band Armisitice and Scarred For Life played great shows at the Showcase
Theater in Corona. Look out for upcoming releases and shows. Scarred For Life has a split EP with Disclose
(Japan) coming out on the Long Beach label, Despotic Records. So.Cal. Latino Hardcore band, Mugre, made up of
folks from bands like Harto, Knife Fight, Esperanza, etc. have been playing shows a lot lately. They sing and talk a
lot about issues of violence in the punk scene, immigration, resisting white supremacy, etc. They have two EPs
scheduled for release. One on Collapse Records and the other, a split with L.A. one person D-beat band, JUTRO.
It seems like there has been a drought in show spaces. But from what I've been told there are a lot of shows
happening in backyards and warehouses from Long Beach to Compton to East Los Angeles.
Punks and Activism:
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of younger punks attending rallies and marches against the war, against the racist
immigration bill in Los Angeles, and more. I'm glad to see young people getting more aware of social and political
issues, especially when young people are shut down and disrespected daily.
I have a lot of respect punks organizing punks like the example of the Gaian Mind space in Long Beach. A lot of the
older punks rarely spend time with the younger crowd, but I hope this changes.
This isn't a punk organization, although there are some younger punks involved: the Southern California Anarchist
Federation. The Orange County chapter has been putting on Anarchist cafe/picnic events in Tustin. The Los
Angeles chapter has a youth collective that is beggining to organize open mic events at the Youth Justice Coalition
Center. This open mic is open to all youth, especiallys kids into Hip-hop and punk. The L.A. chapter do a lot of great
|Resistance Culture video