Girl in a Coma, Sick of Sarah, Hacienda, Neon Love Life at Radio Radio: A New Definition of Girl Power

Yes, women can do more than sing and play the bass. Historically in popular rock music, women have been denied the same right to rock that men have held for decades. Women couldn’t writhe shirtless on a sticky barroom floor, couldn’t tear the head off a living dove, couldn’t even blast through a searing metal solo without being lumped together as novelties, posers pretending to be real rock stars. Oh sure, women have been loved in their backing slots–show me any red blooded American male who’s never had a crush on Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and I’ll show you a liar–but most all girl bands were immediately discounted as somehow less authentic than their all male counterparts.

Music video for “Their Cell” by Girl in a Coma; Girl in a Coma will be playing in Indianapolis on September 11


Within the past decade or two, however, all that’s been changing. Today, all girl groups are still, sadly, far less common than all male outfits, but they’ve got a breadth of talent and scope of influences that even Kim Deal wouldn’t sniff at. If you want proof of the growing girl power revolution, head to Radio Radio on Saturday, September 11 to see three top notch all female acts tear up the classy Indianapolis music venue. Girl in a Coma, Hacienda, Sick of Sarah, and Indianapolis‘ own Neon Love Life will give Indianapolis music a woman’s touch next Saturday.

Video of Sick of Sarah performing “Kiss Me” live at Summerfest; Sick of Sarah will be playing with Girl in a Coma in Indianapolis


Headlining this Indianapolis event will be Texas based band Girl in a Coma, named after a song by The Smiths. Formed in high school, Girl in a Coma meshes a huge range of influences together into one cohesive, artfully executed package. The band combines hints of punk, rockabilly, jangly Tejano, art house rock, and scuzzy shoegaze to make their infectious, highly accessible sound. Part of Blackheart Records, a label owned by another pioneering female musician, Joan Jett, Girl in a Coma released their debut album, Both Before I’m Gone in 2007 to warm critical reception from Alternative Press, Bust, and L.A. Weekly. 2009’s Trio B.C., named after the Tejano band of drummer Phanie Diaz’s grandfather, further evolved Girl in a Coma’s sound with the Spanish language shoegaze cover “Van Cerca,” the Joan Jett backed “Joannie in the City,” and the country tinted pop punk of “Static Mind.”

Video of Girl in a Coma covering “Transmission” live; Girl in a Coma will be playing in Indianapolis September 11


The two other out of towners playing at Radio Radio on September 11 will be Sick of Sarah and Hacienda. Sick of Sarah is a Minneapolis based power pop band that’s released three EP’s (Los Angeles 2006, Bittersweet, and The Best Thing) and one full length, eponymous album; the second record is in progress. The band’s music is an upbeat blend of bright guitars, powerfully angsty vocals (think a younger Erica Wennerstrom), and punchy drums, perfect for kicking ass and taking names (on a sunny day, that is).

Music video for “Daisies” by Sick of Sarah; Sick of Sarah will be playing with Girl in a Coma in Indianapolis on September 11


Hacienda is another Texas based band that’s turning a few heads. The only band on Radio Radio’s Saturday lineup to feature male members, Hacienda plays honky tonk with an edge. Sure, the melodies and chord progressions have a recognizable twang, but the band’s crunchy guitars, thick drums, and Beach Boys harmonies belie the creative talent of a band on the rise. Mentored by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys (who just played with Kings of Leon and The Whigs at the Verizon Wireless Music Center last weekend), Hacienda is a band to watch and should be a perfect compliment to fellow Texans Girl in a Coma.

Video of Hacienda performing live; Hacienda will be playing in Indianapolis on September 11


Representing the Circle City in Saturday’s show will be Indy‘s favorite all girl band, Neon Love Life. Neon Love Life is the guitar toting punk vehicle of Indianapolis musicians Lindsay Manifred (a Kokomo, Indiana native), Sharon Rickson (who is also a go-go dancer for The Playboy Psychonauts), Tasha Blackman, and Ashley Plummer. While Girl in a Coma and Sick of Sarah certainly have their punk influences, Neon Love Life is firmly rooted in the power punk tradition of The Descendants, The Ettes, and The Gitmos. They’re a pretty common sight at the Melody Inn‘s Punk Rock Night, and they regularly play other Indianapolis bars. The coolest thing about Neon Love Life, however, isn’t their danceable breed of infectious punk, it’s their commitment to Indianapolis children and the Indianapolis community. The Indianapolis band runs Girls Rock Indy, an Indianapolis non-profit organization that sends girls to a week long rock and roll camp each year, teaching them to sling guitars and break sticks with the best of ’em. Now that’s empowerment.

Video of Neon Love Life performing “Tuesday Night” at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis


So if you’re in the mood to see a few of the different ways girls can rock, head to Radio Radio this Saturday, September 11 to see Girl in a Coma, Sick of Sarah, Hacienda, and Neon Love Life in action. Get your grungy Tejano rockabilly fix with Girl in a Coma, get swept up in the anthemic power pop of Sick of Sarah, take a little testosterone break for fuzzy boot stompin’ Texans Hacienda, then get out on the dance floor with Indy’s own Neon Love Life. The concert begins at 8:00 and runs until it’s done; tickets are just $10. This Indianapolis event promises to be loads of fun, no matter what gender you identify with.

Girl in a Coma, Sick of Sarah, Hacienda, Neon Love Life at Radio Radio
Saturday, September 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10

Radio Radio Music Lounge
1119 E Prospect St
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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