Alice Bag [1958- ]
The Bags featured the first Los Angeles-based punk woman lead singer -- Alice Bag, Alicia Armendariz's furious alter-ego. At the ramshackle underground club Masque -- ground zero for the collection of misfit artists, musicians, and fans that made the L.A. punk scene -- Amendariz's piercing primal shrieks helped define the genre. Punk music chronicler David Jones suggests that Amendariz's vocal style heavily influenced what was to become the West Coast hard-core punk sound.
Amendariz -- born to fashion-conscious Mexican parents of modest means who immigrated to working class East L.A. -- acknowledges that during the early years of her stage performances she unconsciously channeled physical elements of her parent's favorite music, the Mexican canción ranchera and the intractable emotional intensity of its estilo bravío, infusing her stage presence and the Hollywood punk scene with it. Said to be invented by Mexican singer Lucha Reyes, estilo bravio permitted women to vocalize in a bold, brash, unapologetic and rough style. Even renown Rock singer Linda Ronstadt has long admired estilo bravío interpreter Lola Beltran, asserting that Beltran's aesthetics shaped the sound of her own rock performances.
In the Bag's 1978 track Survive, co-written by Bags co-founders Armendariz and Pat "Bags" Morrison, Amendariz's intense vocals surged over distorted electric guitar and sped-up bass and drums to create a thick, dissonant texture, a trademark of the early punk sound, echoing the tension of life in L.A.