Al’s Bar

Located at the American Hotel, Al's Bar was a hotspot for downtown Los Angeles' art and music scenes. At the time of its closing in 2001, Al's Bar was known as Los Angeles' oldest punk club. Bands and singers that played there over the years included: Beck, DNA/Arto Lindsay, Ry Cooder, The Fall, Fear, Hole, Hüsker Dü, Imperial Butt Wizards, Los Lobos, Social Distortion, Mighty Joe Young, Nirvana, The Party Boys, The Residents, Sonic Youth, Urge Overkill, Wall of Voodoo, and Dwight Yoakam.  

Queercore originated in Toronto in the 80s with the creation of a zine called “J.D.s”. Founded by G. B. Jones and Bruce LaBruce, J.D.s was motivated by their personal experiences of adversity amidst the mainstream punk scene. Queercore, not exactly a subgenre of punk, but rather a divergent response to the sexism and homophobia of the punk scene, sought to not only dismantle these prejudices amidst the punk scene but also speak out against the growing conservatism of the gay and lesbian mainstream.   

Artists involved in the queercore scene in Los Angeles in the 90s include Best Revenge (Spitshine Records), IAMLoved, Nick Name and The Normals (aka Kent James), Vaginal Davis, Limp Wrist, Three Dollar Puta, and Sean DeLear.

While the heyday of queercore was the 1980s and 1990s, queer punk did not begin or end with queercore. Important predecessors to the queercore movement include Jayne County, punkster-turned-folkster Phranc, and the films of Divine and John Waters.

Likewise, today the spirit of queercore continues with its its post-punk, riot grrrl, and indiepop contemporaries including Shopping, Wolf Girl, G.L.O.S.S., Peaches, Martha, ONSIND, Gravy Train!!!!, Colour Me Wednesday, Guttfull, and PWR BTTM. Zines like Shotgun Seamstress and films like The Lollipop Generation (G.B. Jones, 2008) have also carried on the queercore torch of its predecessors Scutter and Spew2.