I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy last night (remember; I spent the summer in the woods, a good hour’s drive from any movie theater). It’s a solid little family film, with a smart script, funny characters, sublimely ridiculous sci-fi special effects and shoot-’em-up action, and of course, a rocking soundtrack. A mix tape given by a dying mother to her son drives the narrative and the beat; I wonder how many parents had to explain to their children what a Walkman and a cassette tape are.
The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” provides the soundtrack for one pivotal scene in the movie, the song earning its rightful place as a savior of the universe. I hope songwriters Kim Fowley and Joan Jett are getting some nice payout on this product placement — and that a new generation of kids find themselves dancing to the Queens of Noise.
Allison Wolfe and Alice Bag. Photo by Tim Maxeiner.
There’s nothing like seeing two of your heroes on stage together to get you back into city living. On Saturday, August 16, original LA punk Alice Bag joined original grrrl Allison Wolfe and her band Sex Stains for a tear through the Bags song “We Will Bury You” at the Echo Park Rising festival. After watching a number of sui generis alt-rock bands plod through their Arcade Fire and Pixies routines, it was so refreshing to see two front women whose kinetic energy lifted them off the stage. Note that only one foot out of four is on the ground in this great photograph by Tim Maxeiner.
Sex Stains. Photo by Tim Maxeiner
It’s been way too many years since I’d seen Allison perform in a band, though she has spoken to my students at LMU a few times — she’s an inspiration to a new generation of fearless musicians. Wearing a paper shark dress that I think she told me Kathleen Hanna gave her, the erstwhile Bratmobiler still pogos with that manic cheerleader energy, ponytail flying. She has a fascinating foil in androgynous co-singer Mecca Vazie Andrews. Sex Stains reminded me a lot of the Slits, and made me miss dear Ari all over again.
It was a great way to get back in my groove, after two months of being off the grid in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Sorry for my radio silence. Stay tuned.