Any place can be a music venue.
A little over a week ago, on a Saturday, a punk show took place across the street from my apartment in the Los Angeles Latino stronghold of Boyle Heights. The venue was a strip mall that used to house a Domino’s Pizza and a laundromat, but burned down in an electrical fire back in January (which just so happen to precede the closure of the Sixth Street Bridge, which fed into the little business area, by a couple of weeks).
There's a show in an half burned down dominoes in Boyle Heights right now. pic.twitter.com/5i2vmqamd1
— Blue. (@_zeroxcool) September 5, 2016
A couple of hours into the makeshift show, the cops showed up and did what they do best: they shut down the fun and sent everyone home.
That this show took place was news to me, a non-Los Angeles native that only recently moved to Boyle Heights. But as soon I soon found out, DIY punk shows in East and South Central Los Angeles have been taking place since the late ’70s. Now, thanks to shoemaker Vans, this scene has gotten the recognition it deserves in the form of a documentary. “Los Punks: We Are All We Have” highlights the importance that these punk shows held in unconventional places like garages, backyards, and burned down buildings have for those that attend them.
It’s a really wonderful film that you should see largely because it challenges the conventional view of what Latino kids are supposed to be into, and it showcases how more often than not these chaotic shows tend to be lifesaving. The doc is currently streaming on Netflix. Go watch it now, and then go break some s**t.
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