Stop by any of the music venues in Bloomington, Indiana on a Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll probably catch a listen to at least one local band. There are rock bands, ska bands, rappers, folk singers, electronic bands, you name it. Some groups are lucky enough to develop a local following and maybe even put out an album or two.
We’ll be profiling one such local band on Artworks today – I met them at the recording studio as they were putting the finishing touches on their first album. This group has garnered some attention from local venues for being a bit different, they’ve got the raucous fan base, they’ve linked themselves with organizations on campus and in the larger Bloomington community…
And oh yeah… they’re all girls. They’re The Ladyquakes!
While some all-girl bands try to distance themselves from being labeled according to their sex, The Ladyquakes! have chosen to embrace it. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still fight stereotypes. “It’s the shock that I find most annoying,” said Jada B, the group’s lead singer. “They hear us and then say, ‘Wow, you guys are good!’ And it’s like, ‘Well, yeah we are.’”
It’s not just the personnel that makes the group unique on the Bloomington, Indiana music scene… it’s the music, too. Their unique brand of blues/funk/jam band rock has made it somewhat difficult for promoters to fit them onto a bill with other local bands. But, as Jada B said, “when people hear us, they want to book us because we don’t sound like everything else that’s in town. But we have had to crack open the egg a little bit for ourselves.”
Cracking open the egg has meant connecting themselves with groups around the IU campus and the larger Bloomington community as well. Guitarist Anna Saraceno mentioned that they have played a number of benefit concerts, one of which was part of World AIDS Day. It’s a way for the band to support groups and causes that are important to them, and “it brings us closer to the community.”
They’re still a young band, having only played together for one year, but they already have a solid reputation for playing blistering live shows. Getting that same energy and excitement in a studio recording is the current task for The Ladyquakes! But for Saraceno, it all comes back to connecting with the fans. “I want our music to be accessible. I want people to feel like they were part of the show and to go home wanting to listen to the music more.”