Philly singer Martha Stuckey, has launched a local concert series created by womxn, performed by womxn and celebrating womxn musicians.
Called “The Thank You Next Show,” the May 18 concert is billed as an “all womxn single release and tribute” and will feature performances by Stuckey, Sophie Coran and out performer MG Vasio from The Lez Wedding Band.
Stuckey said she was inspired to produce the concert series after witnessing a fair amount of sexist attitudes in the music scene while she was with her last band.
“I had this band that had been around for the last six years called Red 40 and the Last Groovement, and in the time that I was gigging and recording an album — being in the world — I experienced a lot of misogyny and microaggressions, and sometimes macroaggressions,” she said.
When the band was recording their album someone on the “technical end of things” was in the room.
“We recorded that song and some people in the band thought that the song was too fast. Some people in the band thought it was too slow. After about ten minutes of hemming and hawing, I was just like, let’s record it two more times, one time faster and one time slower,” Stuckey said.
Inevitably, it was the voice in the back of the room that upset Stuckey. The aforementioned technical member said, “Whoa! Hillary!”
This comment came before the election, so it took on a different tone, according to Stuckey.
“I gave him this look like, ‘What did you just say to me?’ What baggage do you have where a woman making a declarative and pragmatic statement makes you uncomfortable where you have to invoke something like that?”
She went on to praise Hillary Clinton, saying she was an “incredibly talented, smart, accredited figure.”
It was this situation that propelled Stuckey to consider an event that focused on womxn and the experiences of womxn, along with “what it means to be femme.”
Stuckey said the experiences she has had collaborating with womxn have felt supportive.
“Everybody is taking care of themselves and offering care. There’s inequality in the music industry, just like any other industry. So it seems like if I write experiences from a place where my feminist politics come from, then I should put my money where my mouth is so to speak, and include it in my production process as well.”
Because of her interactions with artists across the spectrum of the Philly music community, Stuckey said that it was important for her to include queer artists in the vision she had for this concert series.
“I have been in the theater niche in Philly, which has been really good to me. Once I started meeting people, I knew there was a wealth of womxn and other queer performers.
“MG Vasio, we were working on a show at William Way and it was the last gig that Groovement was doing, and I was thinking about a new venture and what direction I was going to go in. MG was the sound person and you never see non-males working sound at gigs. We got to talking and she said she plays drums and produces tracks, which is another rarity unfortunately.”
Stuckey said her all-womxn concert series is going to be a regular occurrence — but not one that happens so often that it becomes “a grind.”
“I’m thinking it will be every six weeks. I definitely suffered from burnout in Red 40 when we were going. We were eating and sleeping gigs and there was one day when I was leaving to go to something, and my partner was like, ‘Can you give me a kiss?’ And I was like, ‘Don’t give me one more thing to do!’ And I realized I was going too hard. As part of self-care and being thoughtful about how I can sustain a series like this, I’m going to be intuitive about setting dates.”
Martha Stuckey presents “The Thank You Next Show” 7:30 p.m. May 18 at the Crane Arts Building’s Studio 1, 1417 N. Second St. For more information or tickets, visit marthastuckey.com.