Alice Bag is a Chicana Punk icon. Last year, after going back and forth on whether to do it, she launched a Kickstarter to crowdfund her very first album. As Jhoni Jackson wrote in her review of Bag’s self-titled album, the record felt like “a career-spanning canon unveiled. There are furious classic punk blasts, deeply affecting ballads (one in Spanish!), a 60s girl group pop ditty, some dark and danceable numbers — in style, it’s immensely scattered.” Yet impossibly seamless, bringing together all those different strands of Bag’s work into one lived-in whole.
If you’re a Bag fan (or someone already curious about her work), Amanda Silberling‘s latest short doc We’re Here, We’re Present: Women in Punk is for you. In case the title hasn’t clued you in, Silberling’s film is a look at the work of these pioneering queer women who continue to make their presences felt and keep the spirit of punk alive. As Bag puts it at the start while addressing a crowd in an intimate venue, “Okay you old-timers — I’ve heard people say it: punk is dead, punk is not like it was when I was younger. That’s up to us — to make it feel like it felt when we were young. We can do that right here, right now. And we can make it relevant, because there’s always shit that has to be addressed.”
Mixing interviews with Bag and Ohio-based indie punk band Leggy with live performances from their joint gigs as they promoted Alice Bag, this on-the-road slash behind-the-scenes documentary is as much a history lesson as a vibrant example of the power of radical music-making. Check out the full film below.