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Punk Rock

September 9, 2010
Though many equate punk rock with the Ramones and CBGB, Los Angeles boasted its own vibrant scene in the late 1970s and early '80s, as is documented in "The Beautiful & the Damned. " This new exhibition of photographs by Ann Summa includes portraits of such bands as the Germs, the Screamers and the Cramps. Exene Cervenka, of the legendary L.A. punk band X, will perform an acoustic set and join Summa for a book signing at a special reception Saturday evening. Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.
September 9, 2010 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
On Nov. 20, 1980, Ari Up, the 18-year-old lead singer of the influential punk band the Slits curled up on the scuzzy AstroTurf that bordered the pool of the now-gone Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, her skirt clumped above her knees and a large dog with its paw over her wrist. Photographer Ann Summa, then in her late 20s, snapped a photo of the moment with her clunky Nikon camera. Suddenly Up opened her eyes, looked at Summa — a dedicated punk rock fan who had been faithfully documenting the scene — and told her where to go, in terms both certain and unpublishable.
August 5, 2010 | By Oliver Gettell, Los Angeles Times
Punk rock. Families sprawling on blankets. Shakespeare. It's just another day in the park for the Actors' Gang. The Culver City-based theater troupe is performing "Katie the Curst," a family-friendly adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," through August at Media Park . Director Lisa Wolpe's lively interpretation gives Shakespeare's Padua a 1970s-inspired rock 'n' roll makeover and keeps the excitement high with energetic...
July 25, 2010 | By Ben Schwartz, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the early 1980s, comics were as much a part of Los Angeles alternative culture scene as independent film and punk rock. That's gone now, but here, comics historian Ben Schwartz takes a look back. None of them knew each other. They saw one another's comics in 'zines, weeklies and punk newspapers. "Yeah, there were a number of us," remembers Matt Groening, 30 years after his strip "Life in Hell" debuted in the Los Angeles Reader. "I don't think we even considered it a 'scene.
April 9, 2010 | By Reed Johnson and Geoff Boucher
Malcolm McLaren, the London-born impresario whose cheeky intelligence, P.T. Barnum-esque flair for self-promotion and Dadaist sense of the artist as a wily agent-provocateur helped make him a godfather to the punk-rock and alternative music scenes of the late 1970s and early '80s, including a raucous stint as manager of the iconic British punk band the Sex Pistols, has died. He was 64. McLaren died Thursday in a Swiss hospital after a struggle with cancer. In managing and advising numerous musicians, running clothing boutiques on Chelsea's ultra-hip King's Road and writing music for TV ads, McLaren displayed a gift for always seeming to stay a step or two ahead of wherever fickle transatlantic youth culture was headed next.
March 14, 2010 | By Melissa Magsaysay, Los Angeles Times
The men of rock 'n' roll started many major style trends throughout the '60s and '70s — think Beatles and mop tops, Sex Pistols and spikes, KISS and face paint. But women are represented on that list as well: among them, the members of the Runaways, who showed the pop culture universe of the 1970s how strong, smoky eyes and a feathered mullet could rock just as hard as the guys. In the film "The Runaways," which is scheduled to open Friday, lead makeup artist Robin Mathews went for a mix of punk and glam-rock for Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, who portray Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, the best-known members of the all-girl band.
February 26, 2010 | By Mark Sachs
Joe Sib lives in a lovely 1927 Spanish-style house in Glendale with wife Karen and their two kids. Who'd figure that inside Joe beats the heart of a punk? The onetime sporter of a multicolored mohawk, Sib is co-owner of SideOneDummy Records, fronts the band Wax and hosts the "Complete Control" radio show Saturday nights from 10 till midnight on KYSR-FM (98.7), spinning the best in old and new punk rock. He'll be returning to Largo at the Coronet on March 10 with "California Calling," a personal story of growing up punk in the Golden State, with guest star Audra Mae. Meanwhile, here's a story about his weekends.
February 7, 2010 | By Jeff Weiss >>>
It's the night after New Year's Eve and hundreds of kids are crammed into the Smell, the downtown DIY tabernacle of the Los Angeles avant-garde. A sweating mass of art students, skate punks and subterranean scene staples ecstatically moshes to a blistering set from Mika Miko, an (almost) all-girl punk rock quintet celebrating its dissolution the only way the group knows how: with a farewell performance heavy on serrated guitars, funky bass lines and one of the band's singers, Jennifer Clavin, screeching lyrics about turkey sandwiches into a Soviet-style red telephone doubling as a mike.
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