It's an interesting time to be a woman in America. As Saturday Night Live skillfully depicted last weekend, gender equality, sexual harassment and the state of women's rights are at the forefront of everyday conversation like never before -- and yet, somehow, it still feels like women rarely get the mic to themselves.
Which is part of why music shows featuring all-female lineups, still an embarrassingly rare occurrence in the progressive Bay Area in the year 2017, are such a breath of determined, fresh air. This is our room, they say. We are physically going to take up this entire stage tonight, all night, with our bodies and our voices and our ideas.
The Great American Music Hall, once a storied burlesque club and brothel -- a kind of, ah, permanent ladies' night of a different variety? -- hosts just such a lineup on Thursday, March 16, with a benefit show for the Bay Area Women and Children's Center. Headlined by the folk/rock/bossa nova-flecked stylings of Kendra McKinley, the bill also includes the funky collective Rainbow Girls (who in 2015 headlined the first all-female bill at the Fillmore, 50 years after Bill Graham started booking shows there), and beachy indie-folk four-piece Vanwave.
Putting together an all-female bill just felt right for a benefit show supporting women and children, says organizer Brittany Powers, a San Francisco musician who currently sings with a band called The Fell Swoop.