Published on September 11th, 2013 | by Katy Evans


I am very excited about you, La Luz, Margy Pepper, and Tender Forever.

SQSQ 2013

I’ve been attending live, independent music shows for more than 17 years. Supporting musicians and participating with music has been one of the most important constants in my life, defining in large part my community and my relationship to my city.

As a lady and former member of a band, I’ve seen my fair share of the complications that can happen within the factions and cliques of independent music scenes.

Subcultures are regularly defined not only by musical genre but also by specific tenets and beliefs, but even if you fall within the creed of a specific scene, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel welcome. And it can be so much more than just feeling unwelcome – unless you’re engaging with a subculture that very loudly defines itself as feminist, music scenes are not reliably safe places for women.

These scenes inevitably create environments where women and others who face regular discrimination find themselves experiencing difficult, charged moments that can leave scars.

Now in my dotage, I find I have a lot more of a voice and can much more effectively work to find and support music scenes that include and celebrate women. But frankly, it’s obnoxious to have to continue to make this a personal (and community) precedent.

It would be great to not have to keep feminism forefront in my decision making and this is why events like Squeak and Squawk are hugely important to me.

I didn’t have to put my feminist foot forward when deciding to attend SQSQ; I’m happy to tell you that not only is this Tacoma festival a safe place, but the organizers have already made those inclusive decisions for me (and you, and everyone), AND it’s a rad party.

So I am a little out of my mind with excitement over the September 14th all-ages Squeak and Squawk show.

Although I love being a feminist, I do hate having to say I’m most excited about this show because it features all women. But I am. Because this is exciting and outside of Lilith Fair or whatever, it’s not like all-women line ups happen with even semi-regularity in independent rock music.

Now that we’ve addressed the lady-positive aspect of the show, lets talk about the music (since really, that should be the most important thing about this show).

The Squeak and Squawk show on the 14th features Tender Forever, a solo act from France; Margy Pepper, a three piece from Olympia; and La Luz, a Seattle band growing quickly in popularity.

Tender Forever

Subversively vulnerable, French-born Melanie Valera has blurred the lines between music-making, performance, and activism through Tender Forever since 2003.

Tender Forever by Julien Perez

A Tender Forever performance is a must see; Melanie is unafraid as she manifests her emotive, melodic pop songs, inviting audiences to “close the gaps between countries, ideologies and ultimately hearts” with tenacious abandon, humor, and guts.

Margy Pepper

Nora, Erica, and Ruth met at the Evergreen State College dorms and have been playing music together as Margy Pepper for more than three years.

Margy Pepper from

Margy Pepper’s music oscillates through joy, aggression, and introspection, presenting a chaotic yet united front that both tempers and furthers Olympia’s grand punk traditions. Through all that, fun defines their approach and encourages audiences to reciprocate.

La Luz

Vintage girl-group swagger and west coast surf rock infuse the gorgeous harmonies of La Luz, a Seattle band on the rise.

Still from La Luz video Brainwash

Shana Cleveland, Marian Li Pino, Abbey Blackwell, and Alice Sandahl have only been La Luz since 2012 but thanks to their expertly constructed and beautifully rendered songs, easy confidence, and unshakable heritage rock and roll foundation, it’s easy to see why La Luz has been so quickly embraced by the northwest and beyond.

Although every Squeak and Squawk show is impeccably curated with strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, this Saturday show is the one I’m most excited about, and I can’t wait to experience it with all of you. (#GIRLPOWER)

Find the details on the Squeak and Squawk website or at the door:

Saturday, September 14th, 6 pm:

Tender Forever, Margy Pepper, La Luz

All Ages, $7

Sanford & Sons Library (downstairs) 743 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 (map)


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About the Author

Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Follow her @katynicoud.

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