When singer-author Alice Bag and musician-writer Jimmy Alvarado convene for We Were There: A Discussion on the Early Waves of Punk in L.A. event, it’s going to run a lot deeper than a mere nostalgic gabfest. As two of the longest-serving participants in L.A.’s feverish Eastside punk movement, Bag’s (lead singer and author of the riveting, majestic memoir Violence Girl) and oral historian Alvarado’s firsthand experience in punk will provide a lurid trove of underworld insight. Setting music and politics aside to examine the movement’s sociocultural aspects makes it clear that punk played an intensely penetrating social role, one that instilled a liberation from stifling polyester ’70s uniformity just as profound as the prior decade’s Summer of Love. Where the hippie pathology largely focused on spiritual and personal gratification, punk was all about dissatisfaction, disorder and critical examination. Add to that mix the piquant wrinkle of the Chicano experience, and that pathology and experience broadens to reach even more fascinating psychic-artistic territory. This should be a highly entertaining and provocative afternoon, one served up with equal measures of reckless back-alley abandon and invaluable gutter-bred philosophizing. Vroman’s Hastings Ranch, 3729 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., Oct. 19, 2 p.m.; free; Bag’s book is $17.95. (626) 351-0828, vromans?bookstore.com. —Jonny Whiteside

Sun., Oct. 19, 2014
(Expired: 10/19/14)

LA Weekly