This video from Texas, USA shows a El Paso, Lower Valley area band. Mid-1990’s.

After the first panel of the Punk Scholars Network Canada and United States conference on 18 November 2022, came the second panel.

Nico Rosario moderated it. The first presentation was by Tara Lopez – “Chucotown Soundtrack: 1990s El Paso Punk Rock”.

Tara Lopez’s publication on this is here.

Why is El Paso often called Chucotown? This majority Latinx city was the birthplace of the 1940 counterculture called pachuco (female equivalent: pachuca). Chuco is an abbreviation of pachuco.

Tara Lopez told me in a Zoom breakout room of the conference that pachucos and pachucas were the 1940s predecessors of later El Paso punks. ‘Both, the expression of silenced voices’. Especially in the Lower Valley area of the city, mainly working-class Mexican, punk bands like VBF originated in the 1990s.

Most young people in the Lower Valley area had no cars. There were no official concert halls for punk bands to play in. So, the Chucotown bands played in garages and backyards. Erica Ortegón played a key role for punk concerts, making it possible to perform in her mother’s backyard.

According to Tara Lopez, ‘the diverse, Chicanx-dominant El Paso punk scene’ had been so far overlooked by critics and scholars studying punk. Thus, contributing to a one-sided image of punk as a ‘white-boy-only-fad’. This is a recognisable situation for me in the Netherlands. Where writings on Dutch punk so far have neglected women, punks of colour, and LGBTQ punks.