The Ladies of Sister Lip Turn Backhanded Compliments Around on Stage

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A full-band East Coast tour, that is -- Hilgers and drummer Ariel Monet hit the road in July, playing acoustic shows on a tour that briefly hopped over the border into Canada. But come next summer, after bassist Cheri French turns 18, the band envisions heading east together.

Plans aside, Sister Lip must fight more of an uphill battle than the average local band. Being an all-female group with an average age of 20 -- 23-year-old pianist Jenny Rebecca is the elder statesman -- is both a blessing and curse. It makes the act unique in the Phoenix scene, but it also occasions some passive aggression.

"I don't think we run into too much outward hostility from anyone," Rebecca says. "People just seem totally disinterested when we show up, sometimes. But then we play, and people who were kind of disinterested or mean at first just pretend they were never mean to you."

Rebecca isn't the only band member catching a glimpse of the more sexist side of the music scene. "It's just backhanded compliments: 'Oh, I thought you would suck. It's good that you don't,'" French says. "And I'm like, 'Thanks, don't talk to me.'"

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