When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.
 -- John Lennon
This Lennon quote immediately came to my mind after a very nice chat I had earlier in the week with Emily Nokes, lead singer of Seattle punkpop band Tacocat. We had been discussing the some of the triumphs and frustrations of navigating the world as women, how so many things have changed over her generation, my generation, and my young daughter's...and how some things may never change. How do we keep trying to build a world where all of us, men and women and every shade of gender ID in there, are safe, respected, and able to achieve everything we'd like? The most fun way to fight the good fight is, as Lennon knew, through music and humor. The three bands that played Chop Suey on Valentine's Day are perfect examples of how to create music can make you think, make you smile, and of course, make you dance around like a maniac. There was a candy-heart-themed photobooth, drink specials (I had a "Crimson Wave," which was a vodka cran named after a fantastic new Tacocat song/video about menstrual synchrony, hahah), and mylar balloons and happy faces everywhere.

This little humoranarchist began the evening with a frustrating fail, stuck in the long, long line of fans waiting to get in to the sold-out show while Pony Time was opening. There is hardly anything more anxiety-provoking for me than hearing the muffled beats of a band I want to see and photograph, and I AM OUTSIDE THE VENUE. We inched forward but their set was over as I made it to the club entrance. Pony Time, I apologize for this grievous error, and now will tell people (again) that they should purchase one of my faves of 2013, "Go Find Your Own," RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!

After downing said "Crimson Wave," I found a teeny view spot at the corner of the stage and got ready to groove on Slutever's righteous thang. Nicole Snyder and Rachel Gagliardi traded off guitar, drum, and vocal duties throughout their set, which was so fun to watch, and thrashed and crashed with aplomb, even with an ever-drifting bass drum to contend with. It brings great joy to my heart to see girls who just fearlessly grab the stage like they did, remembering people saying to me in my teen years, "Girls should only play acoustic guitar," and "Girls don't belong in the drum section; they distract the boys," and "People don't want to watch a bunch of girls play rock n' roll." OH, YES THEY DO. Especially lavender-haired Tacocat drummer Lelah Maupin, who simply could not contain her Slutever fan joy in the crowded front row. (As always, click on the photos to enlarge or click on the Flickr links to see more!)

Slutever, Chop Suey, Seattle 2/14/14 Flickr set

And then not too long afterward, YAY, TACOCAT! Not only was the night special for being V-Day, but this was also the record-release partay for Tacocat's delightful new LP, "NVM," available to you and yours on Hardly Art, shipping February 25th. I got my palindromic-band platter on bubblegum pink vinyl, and if you want one, I think you should hurry and get in virtual line. I didn't get any of the yummy candy that Emily tossed into the audience or a piece of unicorn piƱata, but I did get to watch her and Lelah and Bree and Eric play a great set, sweet-sour-silly-serious as ever. You people across the United States of Amurrica will be able to see Tacocat play live soon, too...if you get tickets to one of these shows (click that link and scroll down) in your hometown, vicinity, or vacation destination. DO EET!

Tacocat, Chop Suey, Seattle 2/14/14 Flickr set

Thank you Chop Suey, Kitty Page, and all the members of Pony Time, Slutever, and Tacocat for a super-swell night! I kinda think ol' Mr. Lennon woulda dug it all, I really do.