Two of L.A.'s music legends return to the Grand Performances this evening for a program that celebrates a moment of cultural importance in Los Angeles’ early punk rock history. El Vez and Phranc were two of the small group of artists who defined what would ultimately become the seminal west coast punk movement. These two artists’ work evolved into their individual projects but the friendship forged in the late ‘70s has continued to this day.
El Vez, aka Robert Lopez, emerged upon the early L.A. punk scene with the band Zeros and then with Catholic Discipline (which also featured folk singer Phranc). El Vez graced the Grand Performances stage at least a half-dozen times in the early years of our programming. He combined his punk-influenced, politically subversive interpretations of the Elvis canon with stunning costumes, a razor-ship wit, and a phenomenal work ethic. This catapulted him to fame locally and globally. We are thrilled to welcome him back to what was his home venue for many years.
Phranc introduces herself as “the All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger” but her artistic output has always been expressed through both performance and visual work. As a teenager, Phranc attended The Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, where she focused on songwriting and silk-screening. In the late ‘70s, Phranc was a band member of Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline in the early L.A. punk rock scene. She has released five albums of original music on Rhino Records, Island Records, Kill Rock Stars, and her own label Phancy Records.
Phranc has toured internationally with many acclaimed and notorious artists including The Smiths, Violent Femmes, The Pogues, and Morrissey. Both Phranc’s music and visual work employ humor to raise consciousness, trigger response, and provoke discussion. Phranc is currently writing new music and gathering photos from throughout her career to be compiled in a forthcoming book. Phranc’s whip-smart lyrics, LGBTQ activism, surfing lifestyle, early “Phranc Talk” vlog (featuring Pickles,) unabashed kindness and empathy has made her one of Grand Performance’s favorite local artists. This evening is special for many reasons and we extend big thanks to Phranc for making the trip from the beach to DTLA!
Pierre Smith - Guitar
William Bongiovanni - Bass
Joe Berardi - Drums
This performance is funded in part by grants from The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Artist travel provided by United Airlines.
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