Save Music in Chinatown 14 recap with Lois, Selector Dub Narcotic, Phranc and Alice Bag as PHAG, Mike Watt & The Missingmen and roll call


During the general comments section of yesterday afternoon’s School Site Council meeting, I thanked the handful of staff and parents present who supported and attended Save Music in Chinatown 14, adding that it attracted our largest attendance ever (maybe 250?) and brought in the most dough for the Castelar Elementary’s music program in the project’s Grand Star era (almost $4,400!) in the five years that we have been organizing all-ages matinees inspired by the neighborhood’s old Hong Kong Cafe. More than that, the show was a lot of fun.


Another parent asked why it was so successful and my answer was that I didn’t know. Maybe it was because the packed lineup featured the beloved and respected member of the L.A. punk community Mike Watt & The Missingmen co-headlining with fellow first-generation punkers and longtime activists Phranc and Alice Bag playing a rare set as the Smothers Brothers-inspired duo PHAG, not to mention rare appearances by Selector Dub Narcotic and Lois representing the International Pop Underground all the way from Olympia, WA. (With in-between jams selected by Michelle from the beloved Jabberjaw club on top of all that!) But from my point of view, we have had countless special rosters like that. I’d like to think that like-minded people who appreciate old-school punk and underground music are finally catching on to what we’ve been doing in Chinatown. Of course, they’d want to stick up for public education, the art, immigrants, and inner city kids, too.


Along with our small-but-dedicated crew, so many old and new friends, teachers and families from Castelar, and fresh faces, I was grateful and stoked to see so many people who have played or helped out at previous shows. Without them, rookies like us would never have lasted this long. Nate may have done some sound in his past life, but Wendy and I had little experience in setting up shows or fund raising. Going into Kindergarten, Eloise hadn’t drawn posters, contributed to zines, gone on the radio to promote shows, or joined bands onstage yet. Dad had never hosted and after-show dinner at Golden Dragon!


So, props to everyone who played, helped out, and attended Sunday’s gig but respect to everyone who has ever played before, those who could attend the show and those who could not: Adam Bomb, Adolescents, Alice Bag, Alley Cats, Alpine Decline, Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Baja Bugs, The Bear & Little Nun, The Bicycle Thief, Birdstriking, Bitter Party, Bombón, California, Carsick Cars, Channel 3, Chuck Dukowski Sextet, Chui Wan, The Crowd, Deadly Cradle Death, Dengue Fever, Deradoorian, DJ Baby Tender Love, DJ Loud Panda, Evil Hearted You, The Florida Mistakes, Ford Madox Ford, FourEyedFour, The Gears, Bob Forrest, Rachel Haden, KCHUNG DJs, LA Fog, Lucky Dragons, Molotov Cocktail Hour DJs, Money Mark, My Revenge, Neptunas, Rikk Agnew Band, Rough Kids, Saccharine Trust, The Schizophonics, Zander Schloss, Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss, SISU, 16 Again, Steve Soto, Spokenest, Tabitha, Upset, Mike Watt & The Missingmen, Mike Watt & The Secondmen.


With support like that, who knows what the future and the next four shows will entail? Eloise only has a year-and-a-half left at Castelar, so let’s make each gig count. See you on May 30 for Save Music in Chinatown 15!




Author: martinkendallwong2014

Co-founder of Giant Robot magazine (RIP) and Save Music in Chinatown (since 2013)

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