Half of us will never know what it’s like to be a woman. Most of us will never know what it means to be punk, either. It’s only a precious few people who live the experience of being a woman in punk, and tonight at the Creative Alliance some of the most prominent of those women will come together to share that experience with the rest of us.
From the Back of the Room was produced over a four year period from 2007-2011. The film spans almost the entire history of punk (’cause, you know, women have been a part of it all along) and features interviews with more than two dozen women from all over the country, and from all the niches, ebbs, and flows in American punk. Rather than taking the easy way out and focusing entirely on “grrrl-bands,” DC based director Amy Oden concentrates in the main on bands whose members take femininity as merely a starting point, not a raison d’etre and be-all end-all. In other words, bands like Look Back and Laugh, Kylesa, Submission Hold, and Blatz. Pretty fucking hardcore.
Oden will also be in attendance tonight for a brief director’s talk and Q-and-A session immediately following the screening.
One of the women profiled in the film is Baltimore’s own Michelle Northam, whose band Sick Fix will be performing live after the film ends.
Sick Fix is pretty fucking hardcore in their own right, playing old-school straightedge tracks about how much heroin sucks that all clock in right around the two minute mark. Now that Ian MacKaye is 50 it’s harder than ever to find decent edge bands. Sick Fix probably could have taken over the world if they had started at 16, but as a band that formed well into adulthood they don’t play as often as some of their younger counterparts. When they do play, unfortunately, it’s usually in DC.
So come check out one of their all-too-rare Baltimore appearances, if for no other reason than to see the giant X’ed up hands Michelle rocks on stage.
Creative Alliance is located at 3134 Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown. Doors open at 6 pm with a DIY craft show. Film starts at 7. All ages, $10 for the general public, $5 for Students and CA members.