In its community-building efforts, Ladyfest connects bands that typically might not play shows together. There's a general focus on DIY punk and its offshoots, but the sounds range widely: from This Is My Fist, a melodic-pop punk band from Oakland; to the poignant introspective lyricism of ex-PS Eliot singer Katie Crutchfield, who now plays as Waxahatchee; to Western Mass hardcore heroes Ampere, and young Northampton noise-punks Big Nils. "Just because you're into straight-edge punk and I'm into indie pop doesn't mean we aren't on the same page about all of this other stuff," says Terry Cuozzo, a Ladyfest Boston organizer and singer for Foreign Objects, who play on Friday.
SOLIDARITY “Missing from feminism in general is that a lot of feminist groups exist, but they might not interact with each other,” says Amy Klein, of the band Hilly Eyes (here with bandmate Catherine Tung, right).
Defying genres in favor of feminist motivations is a tactic also used by Permanent Wave — the NYC arts-focused feminist collective who have been calling for "Revolution Lady-Style Now" at their shows and events around New York for over a year. At Ladyfest Boston, following the final performances at Sunday's show, the Cambridge YMCA will host the first open meeting for a new chapter: Permanent Wave Boston.
"Music scenes can be very tight-knit, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing," says Amy Klein, a Brooklyn-based feminist activist, writer, and former guitarist for Titus Andronicus, who launched Permanent Wave last year. Klein plays Ladyfest Boston on Sunday with her noisy two-piece rock duo Hilly Eye. One of the first shows she ever played was a Ladyfest in New York at age 19. "But for people looking for a place to meet new people immediately, engage with feminists, and participate in feminism, it's cool to have an open network as well," added Klein.
Permanent Wave books cohesive lineups, but — like Ladyfest — aims to draw from different music communities. "Missing from feminism in general is that a lot of feminist groups exist but they might not interact with each other," says Klein, who lived in Boston from 2003 to 2007 while studying English at Harvard. "Feminism is happening in a lot of different places, but we don't have a national unified movement right now. It would be amazing if that was something that would happen in the next two years."
With a number of Permanent Wave chapters set to establish in 2012 — chapters are organizing now in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area — Klein's wish doesn't seem too far off.
IT'S NOT JUST FOR LADIEZ
DIY ALL THE WAY The feminist theme will be reflected in workshops, the wares of vendors, and these iconographic Ladyfest Buttons.
A common misconception about Ladyfests everywhere is that they're for ladies only. But feminism is important for everyone, says Ladyfest Boston's organizers.
"One of the first things we talked about was that this was going to be inclusive," says Stern. "Why would you want to say no to a man who is a feminist?" asks Rizzo, who adds that Ladyfest Boston is inclusive of not just men and women but people of all gender identities.