(click flyer above for more images)

There’s been lots of buzz about the upcoming show, Vexing: Female Voices from East L.A. Punk at The Claremont Museum of Art. Much like the misconceptions of the skateboarding scene, there’s many who don’t realize the involvement and contributions of Eastside folks to the history of Los Angeles punk. From the early days of The Bags and The Brat to current groups like Union 13 and Resistant Culture, punk is alive and well in the streets East of the River.

One of the best magazines to read about the current punk scene today is Highland Park’s own Razorcake. Check out the recent article with The Brat by Jimmy Alvarado and his excellent piece on the East LA punk scene. A documentary is also in the works, here’s a clip:

From The Vexing site:

The burgeoning punk rock music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s in East Los Angeles provided an electrically charged, creative climate. This scene created an atmosphere where performance mixed with poetry, and visual culture was defined by an aesthetic and an attitude. Artists and musicians interfaced and blurred the lines of actions, documentation, photography, sound and style.

Taking its name from the all-ages music club The Vex, once housed within East Los Angeles’ Self Help Graphics and Art, Vexing is an historical investigation of the women who were at the forefront of this movement of experimentation in music, art, culture and politics, while exploring their lasting legacies and contemporary practices. This documentary style exhibition will include photo, video and audio archives of the era as well as studio work encompassing painting, installation, writings and performance.

Live performances on MAY 17th at the Claremont Museum of Art by:




9 thoughts on “Vexing

  1. More history showing that the So Cal punk scene was much bigger, and way more interesting than the “Decline of Western Civilization” version. I can’t wait to see this show.

  2. ah, the dustbowl. fond memories of that place abound —

    -coughing up dirt for three days after a gig;

    -having my noggin split with my own guitar during a gig that degenerated into a full-on a melee;

    -seeing some of the greatest local punk bands that never released more than one or two demo tapes.

    boo-boo’s house on bird and cornwell was always a great place, as were joe’s pit, first and velasco and, of course flipper’s pad in the 90s.

  3. I was a regular at VEX. Along with other musicians/singers, I did see Angela and Teresa perform regularly. I don’t recall ever seeing Lysa Flores at VEX. Pretty sure she was a young child at the time.

    Alice, however, was indeed a Chicana punk but performed mainly in Hollywood and downtown L.A. By her own admission Alice wasn’t a part of VEX or the East LA scene. It would have been nice if other musicians/singers who actually performed there would have been included.

  4. Lysa Flores?? Nah. Just a biter in calzones. I agree that those who were in it ought to be acknowledged now, not feature the coatail kids. Lysa was a mocosa at the time. How vexing!

  5. Juana, now I’m curious! Would love to hear more about your stories at The Vex. Unfortunately, I was too young to ever catch shows at The Vex but I know my dad got to see The Brat perform at Madame Wong’s (I think that was the name) and gave me The Brat’s EP which I treasure to this day. There was another album released that had a bunch of Eastside punkish bands, I think it was called Con Safos? Can’t remember, it’s somewhere in my collection.
    By the time I got around to going to gigs, I was seeing bands at The Olympic, Fender’s and the street scene. 😉 When a car was available we’d trek up to Oxnard and Ventura for some “Nardcore.”
    Even though I spent lots of time in Boyle Heights, I missed out on the infamous Eastside backyard gigs, too bad!

  6. you’re thinking of “los angelinos,” chimatli. it featured the brat, the plugz, odd squad, felix and the katz, con safos, los perros del pueblo and a few others.

    “coatail kids?” nice to know that punk rock’s infamous elitism is alive and well. for the record, some of us “kids” were contemporaries of the vex’s more celebrated group of bands and making our own noise independent of that scene’s influence, and continued to do so long after that scene’s periphery of fans had sold their brat EPs and moved on to more “sophisticated” fare outside of punk rock.

    this also says nothing of the stuff that was coming out of highland park, the west san gabriel valley and elsewhere at the same time that had nothing whatsoever to do with the vex scene.

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