By Megan G. Razzetti
The Collective Revolutionary Association of Students in Solidarity (CRASS) celebrated the release of their latest zine April 30 at the Foyer Theater.
Included was a performance by special guest, Chicana punk rocker, author, and educator Alice Bag.
Sporting a head of electric blue hair, the author was enthusiastic as she was approached by fans not only students but also members of the surrounding community.
As Bag entered the theater, the room applauded her even though she was not yet up to perform.
“I’m really excited that the kids are writing,” Bag said as she shared her thoughts on CRASS collectively putting together their latest zine.
“My book started as a blog,” Bag said, “ I had no idea it would become a book.”
The zine is a collaborative effort by not just the members of CRASS but also students from other schools such as California State University, at Humboldt.
The theme included addressing the question of “What is American culture?”
Alan Bacarnal, one of the founding members of CRASS, discussed a few of the details in planning the event, which included some difficulties.
“The idea came around last semester,” Bacarnel said.
“Originally we wanted Alice to come last semester, but there was some difficulties like a really bad car accident I got into that prevented that.”
The event kicked off with the band Little T and the Swigs, playing a set of original songs to the styles of reggae and punk. Band members included CRASS member Jose Camacho.
Also in the group, Ehecatl Negrete on the viola alongside Tanya Flores on violin,giving a twist to the traditional version of a punk band.
The upbeat music which included a cover of Rancid’s hit “Timebomb” gave the attendees the momentum to get up and dance.
Once the band finished playing, Bag and her companion Angie Skull, began to gather their things to set up for Bag’s set.
Bag urged audience members to sit closer to her as she started.
The wide and spacious room became a more intimate atmosphere.
Bag opened her set with an introduction of her book “Violence Girl from East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage: a Chicana Punk Story.”
She touched on her childhood and her experiences with witnessing domestic violence involving her parents.
Although, Bag talked of the abuse she witnessed, she played a song her father dedicated to her. The ranchera style song played along with a mariachi band, “Monedita de Oro (Little Gold Coin)” Bag made it her own by calling her version a “punkchera.”
Bag then read another excerpt of her book. The section which was called “Audiophilia,” talked of her failed attempt of becoming a groupie.
She discussed how women were only seen as groupies in the scene and there were few females to look up to in the world of rock.
“I don’t want to be a groupie, I want to be the rockstar,” Bag said as she ended the reading.
Bag played another song which was David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.”
Ending her performance with a song she used to perform with her own band The Bags “Babylonian Gorgon,” the crowd got up dance once more.
Through out the entire event, CRASS members such as Dario Serrano and Camacho made sure everyone was having a good time. They both passed bottle water and interacted with the audience.
The diversity of the people who attended also contributed to the event.
Parents with young children danced along to the music and also enjoyed some of the food that had been provided.
Some students who came to support their classmates were involved with this event.
“I came out to support Jose from Little T and the Swigs, but, I also think Alice’s music is interesting so I thought it would be good to stick around after,” Alexandria Cardenas said.