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Women Who Can Shred

Lauren Larson is the frontwoman from the Austin-based band Ume.

Above: Lauren Larson is the frontwoman from the Austin-based band Ume.

I know it's sexist, but I love seeing females in rock bands. With the advent of punk, it became more frequent and less notable, but still totally cool. I saw Patti Smith numerous times with her all male band. I remember seeing Sara Lee playing bass with Gang of Four at the Adams Avenue Theatre and falling madly in love. I loved Melissa Auf der Maur striking classic rock star poses on the last Smashing Pumpkins tour at the Open Air Amphitheatre.

Yet how many shredding female guitarists have there been in rock since punk hit? Very few. I can think of a handful that made a lot of noise during the riot grrrl period: Corrine Tucker, Bikini Kill, the ladies in L7 ( a memorable performance here at Lollapalooza in '94). But shredding? Rarer still is the female who is fronting her own version of a power trio.

Ume (pronounced ooo-may) have been making a lot of noise on the indie circuit due to the intense guitar and thrashing performance of leader Lauren Larson. The stuff I've heard sounds like a strange mix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and My Bloody Valentine. They've also opened for The Fall which is worth about a thousand points in my book. And yes, she's easy on the eyes, as they say. I told you it was sexist!

It should be an intense live show this Saturday at Bar Pink. The Raw Moans (very clever) headline.

Who are the female rock musicians you admire? Have you seen a show where a female guitarist or rock musician just blew you away? Tell us in the comments section below.

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