Early Los Angeles punk rock was derided — much like the city itself — as plastic and shallow, especially in comparison to the presumably more authentic scenes in London and New York. And yet when punk morphed into a leaner, meaner and more macho variation called hardcore, it was the SoCal bands that set the template for the sudden explosion of louder and faster groups around the planet. Despite (or perhaps because of) the area's sunny, Disneyland-style artifice, local punk rockers were angrier and more violent than their peers in other cities, and the hardcore sounds that came out of this long-simmering pressure cooker were astonishingly intense, brutally abrupt and sarcastically sacrilegious. It's no exaggeration that the Southland was ground zero for this radical new form of music, as echoed by the title of tonight's discussion — “Kids of the Black Hole: How L.A. Hardcore Changed the World” — featuring such panelists as Adolescents main man Tony Cadena, Circle Jerks howler Keith Morris, Frontier Records head Lisa Fancher and the venerable punk photographer Ed Colver (Blight at the End of the Funnel). Writer Steven Blush celebrates the release of the vastly expanded — including nearly a hundred pages of new interviews, art and photos — second edition of his ambitiously comprehensive tome American Hardcore: A Tribal History, which inspired the 2006 documentary. Rather than indulging in an “I-was-punker-than-you” nostalgia fest, Blush and his wrecking crew will examine the surprisingly diverse ways hardcore punk has infiltrated modern mainstream culture and continues to influence DIY efforts in a variety of media and art forms.
Thu., Feb. 3, 7 p.m., 2011
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