Women Who Rock

Making Scenes :: Alice Bag

Alice Bag, née Alicia Armendariz

Alice Bag has made scenes and claimed the "write to rock" as a musician, performer, educator and author. Frontwoman of the Bags, Alice Bag was known in the late 1970s for her confrontational stage persona and piercing vocals. A daughter of Mexican immigrants, Bag drew upon the vocal stylings and performance gestures of women Mexican cancion ranchera singers she heard growing up to craft her own style and ultimately shape Hollywood punk aesthetics. She reflects upon these experiences in her memoir, Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story (Feral House, 2011) and her blog hosted at alicebag.com. Her experiences reframe and expand our understanding of the influence of women of color musicians and performers on the creation of punk scenes. This Women Who Rock Keynote Performer continues to write and make music, using each medium to critique social inequality and create new lyrical narratives of hope and possibility.

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Alice Bag was the lead singer of the Bags, a 1977 punk band that was at the forefront of the early west coast punk revolution. Her performances were documented in the film The Decline of Western Civilization. Alice has been involved in numerous musical projects, most of which have included other female musician and artists. She recently penned her first book, Violence Girl, From East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage - A Chicana Punk Story. Violence Girl chronicles the story of Alice's upbringing in East LA, her eventual migration to Hollywood and the euphoria and aftermath of the first punk wave. Violence Girl reveals how domestic abuse fueled her desire for female empowerment and sheds a new perspective on the origin of hardcore, a style most often associated with white suburban males.

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