'Punk Black To-Go': Highlights for the Holidays

Von Phoenix of "Punk Black" talks about some of his favorite artists of color. (Aki Ikejiri)

On Punk Black To-Go, “City Lights” music contributor Von Phoenix brings us highlights from artists of color performing in various music and art arenas — many of which break stereotypes and expectations. Phoenix’s mission with Punk Black is to create a radically inclusive space for BIPOC artists, musicians and cosplayers, expanding the vocabulary of what it means to live in the punk world. This month’s edition serves up a selection of today’s can’t-miss radical creators on the edge of the BIPOC scene. 

This month, Von Phoenix took the seasonally-appropriate opportunity to share his gratitude. He thanked our listeners for their support, his family for their love and for helping prevent him from setting his house on fire, and his Punk Black community and all the friends, enemies, loves and lessons throughout the years. Lastly, Von Phoenix sent a shout-out to his mom’s unstoppable mac ‘n cheese.

November highlights:

 Plastique: A new band on the Atlanta scene. Von Phoenix identified what he considers the “two types of new bands on the scene.” To him, you’ve got entirely new musicians learning to handle instruments as they go; and veterans embarking on a brand new concept, to which category Plastique belongs. “You can hear the skill come through the music,” said Phoenix. Carving their path somewhere at the nexus of math rock, prog and post-punk, the four-piece anchors itself with the adept bass work by Noah Estrella, spotlit in the featured track “Grub.” “Whenever you see a bass player with a six-string, it’s always a sight to behold.” Plastique can be found on Instagram at @plastiqueatl

The Tissues:  Based out of Los Angeles, the Tissues are a favorite of Von Phoenix’s and are on his shortlist for Punk Black live acts next time the collective hits SoCal. A genre-hopping art-punk quartet, their featured track “Paint it Black” drives hard with headbanging staccato guitar and Kristine Nevrose’s lead vocals that drawl in a haze before snapping in fierce confrontation. They’re on Instagram at @thetissues.

Chidori: An Atlanta post-hardcore band for anime lovers. The name “Chidori” comes from the anime series “Naruto,” and refers to an attack technique using lightning. It’s an aptly chosen name, because the band’s track “Consider Us Human” electrifies with a furious, battering pre-chorus that sublimates into an alien auto-tune chorus melody. Chidoris is on Instagram at@chidori_music