There’s a common thread to stories about the Rio Grande Valley. Oftentimes, they involve someone without extensive experience in the region dropping in, getting a quick glimpse of the cultural/political/social scene, and trying to frame one of the more idiosyncratic parts of Texas (and the U.S.) for people who aren’t familiar with it. 

Two of the region’s native sons—Charlie Vela and Ronnie Garza—have taken it upon themselves to bring one significant part of the Valley’s heritage to the world: the underground rock community that’s thrived in the region from the mid-sixties until today. 

The trailer for Vela and Garza’s documentary film, As I Walk Through the Valley, gives a first glimpse of that story. The history, from the Playboys of Edinburg and ? and the Mysterians to latter-day punk bands such as Inkbag and Yoink, is told through the people who where there. (Disclosure: I make a brief talking-head appearance in the trailer.) It’s a captivating glimpse of a scene from a part of Texas whose subcultures rarely get much airplay. The trailer does a fine job of whetting appetites for the final product, which is due in 2016. 

(Photo by Donner Maldonado)