“I am inspired by any woman who braves the world doing what she loves with confidence, especially in the world of music,” said Sunny Gicz, who, as part of Dapzam, is one of the headliners of this Saturday’s all-female LAVA Minifest.
“There’s just so many dudes and it can be challenging at times.”
So. Many. Dudes.
One thing we know about dudes is that they like to reduce women to their value as figments of sexual desire — with talent a secondary concern, if a concern at all. So to succeed as a female musician in what is still, regretfully, largely a dude-dominated world, a woman has to not just be good, but has to also either fit the role of idealized rock babe…. or head down No Fucks Given Lane, playing however she wants, and looking how she wants, dudes be damned.
“It’s hard not to feel small in a room filled with respected musicians when only one or two of them are women,” said Kelsie McNair, performing as Pyrrhic Whim. “It’s hard not to feel disrespected when sound engineers always walk up to your male co-performer before ever coming up to you.”
The music industry is no different than most industries in America; we have a ways to go before all sexes, genders, and identities are treated with respect based on their talents, and basic humanity. That’s one reason why evenings like this Mini-fest can play a small, but pivotal, role in advancing our cultural community. No man must grace the stage for the festival to rock.
The quality of the music is what proves the point, no additional words needed than those sung from the stage at Toast.
It’s not about what category these artists fit into — it’s about what categories they’re in the midst of creating.
“Being compared to other artists is so tricky because something meant as a compliment can end up feeling icky or vice versa,” said Skye Zentz, also performing. “I think I actually prefer when people have a hard time placing who I remind them of.”
Gicz has found musical role models beyond gender lines.
“I don’t mind Kurt Cobain,” she responded, when asked who she likes to be compared to. “I also love when music I’m involved in gets compared to Outkast.”
Along with the super talented and inspired local acts quoted above, and others, there will be high quality talent coming in from out of town. Carly Taich comes to us via Asheville. These days she’s inspired by the likes of Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine), Laura Mvula, Brandi Carlile, and Kate Tempest. Here is a taste of Carly:
Doll Baby comes to us from Richmond.
“I’ve heard we sound a little like The Pixies, The Smashing Pumkins and the Cranberries, which is flattering!” said Julie from Doll Baby. “I like all of those bands…”
Check them out for yourself:
We’ll leave you with some Lena, who will be playing some early evening sets.
Doing what they love, with confidence. As Sunny said, it’s inspiring.
LAVA MiniFest — Girls Rock takes place this Saturday, September 2nd. For more info, click here.