Girls Rock Dallas' Spring Fling Has Real Punk Attitude

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This year's Girls Rock Dallas' annual Spring Fling festival will be held on Sunday at Sue Ellen's bar in Oak Lawn. Although recently listed as one of the "Douchiest Bars in Dallas" by some local blog, this venue offers the perfect environment to channel a metal feel with a less chauvinistic touch.

The three bands selected to help raise money are all fronted by female powerhouses like Jessie Riot of Langton Drive and Serina of Virgin Gun Club, but none channel the same heft as Rocio del Carmen Herrera Aranda of Immigrant Punk and Rip the System, a Rage Against the Machine tribute band.

"They were looking for a headliner fronted by a female who was out of the box and in your face," says Aranda, "and we qualified."

Aranda will be headlining the show with her tribute band and bringing her unique spin on Zack de la Rocha's lyrical bombshells like "Bulls on Parade," "Guerrilla Radio" and "Down Rodeo" to Dallas.

All the money raised will help support Girls Rock Dallas' summer camp. This year's week-long camp will be held on Monday, July 14, at Dallas Lutheran School. The cost is $325, but financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Aranda joined the Rage Against the Machine tribute band to play shows for fundraisers and events that backed some kind of cause. She's always been a fan of de la Rocha's music, and found channeling his music as way to improve her own vocal style and performing live.

But it's with her band Immigrant Punk - Randy Lincoln, bass, and Marie Cox, drums - that Aranda is pushing herself lyrically and the boundaries separating musical genres by incorporating music inspired by Primus, Rage Against the Machine and jazz into her music. She says it's where the band is feeling the energy at the moment.

"It's like we're 18 years old again but with all the wisdom behind it," she says. "I've always enjoyed mixed anything, and it felt like something that fit my personality, my style of everything."

Aranda is total punk. For her, it's more than just a stage presence. It's a lifestyle. Part of this attitude comes from traveling back and forth between Mexico and Texas as a child. Her father worked in the U.S. but constantly took Aranda and her siblings across the border to care for family from Gudalope Victoria, a small village that rarely appears on the maps. "They're not cool enough to have a Facebook page yet," she says.

It was on these trips that she feel in love with lyrics that had purpose and meaning. She discovered Primus and then Rage Against the Machine. But it wasn't until she met Nathan Fenoglio of Wrought of Obsidian, a death metal band in Denton, that she would discover a key piece of musical wisdom.

"Fenoglio opened my mind up to looking at music as its own language without lyrics," Aranda says.

Immigrant Punk is making their third appearance at this year's Denton Arts & Jazz Festival at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, at the Celebration Stage in Quakertown Park. They'll be playing new originals like "Living Dead," a song about letting go of the past and accepting the rebirth of the future, as well as songs off their first record with an electronic beat/rock 'n' roll feel to the music.

Be sure to catch her tribute band Rip the System on Sunday, April 13, at Sue Ellen's in Oak Lawn.

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