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June 10, 2014

Ferndale resident organizes women-only concert at Henry Ford

By Joshua Gordon
C & G Staff Writer

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Ferndale residents Stacey Macleod, left, and Samantha Linn, who make up the band Dear Darkness, will perform as part of an all-women concert July 26 and 27 during Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford Museum. Macleod was instrumental in setting up the concert, which features four women bands.

FERNDALE — Stacey Macleod had been looking for a way to highlight a few of the metro Detroit all-women bands in the near future, but she just wasn’t sure how to plan a concert-level event with limited funds.

Then Macleod, a Ferndale resident, heard about an exhibit this summer at The Henry Ford Museum called “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power,” which celebrates women who have been successful in the rock ‘n’ roll genre.

Macleod contacted the museum and pitched her idea of having an all-women concert to coincide with the exhibit. On July 26 and 27, in correlation with the exhibit and 2014 Maker Faire Detroit, Macleod and her rock duo, Dear Darkness, will be one of four bands performing during the event, all of which feature only women.

“I know it sounds cliché, but people always debate about feminism, and I still feel like an outsider when I come into a venue to play a show and a bunch of men are standing around, and it is still a boys club,” Macleod, 39, said. “Maybe it is just me because I am almost 40, and most artists are pretty cool and open-minded, but we are still the minority and it has nothing to do with sexism; we just are. I feel weird, like I don’t belong, so we take any opportunity to bring women together and give them a sense that we are not a minority, but the majority, for a day.”

Dear Darkness consists of Macleod on vocals and guitar, and Ferndale resident Samantha Linn on drums. Macleod and Linn have been playing together for awhile, including in two other bands.

The two met while working at Whole Foods Market, and while the two have gone their separate ways career-wise — Macleod teaches writing at Macomb Community College and Linn is a baker — they have always returned to their passion of music.

“Since I was 18 years old with everyone into Nirvana, and all that music came out, I have always been into music one way or another, so I got a guitar and started writing music,” Macleod said. “I lived in Nashville then, and when I moved to Detroit, I kept playing, and this is my third band in Detroit. When the last band Sam and I were in broke up, I had 10 songs I had written just sitting there, so we started up Dear Darkness.”

Shauna Wilson, senior manager for national events with The Henry Ford Museum, said the “Women Who Rock” exhibit will feature memorabilia from early rock ‘n’ roll, like Wanda Jackson, to more contemporary artists like Lady Gaga.

“Anyone who grew up in the MTV generation will recognize the clothing seen in videos or concerts, and some of the other stuff is really cool, like an outfit with a headdress that was worn by Cher,” Wilson said. “Adding some women who rock to perform at Maker Faire Detroit, Stacey has played a big role in connecting us with some up and coming performers to lend their time and talent that weekend.”

Dear Darkness will open the concert at 11 a.m. July 26 and be followed by Emily Rose, of Hazel Park, at 2:30 p.m. On July 27, two bands from Ypsilanti will entertain the crowd, with Juniper Baby playing at 12:30 p.m. and Child Sleep closing things out at 3 p.m.

Wilson said the museum was happy to help Macleod in her quest to put together such a concert.

“We want women who rock because of the exhibit,” she said. “We love that it is during Maker Faire, as we try to get a few shows each day and we have been able to confirm several women’s performers to tie in with the exhibit, so it will be a pretty crazy weekend.”

For Macleod, finally being able to put together a concert exclusively featuring women performers is a step in the right direction for trying to grow the number of rock ‘n’ roll women bands.

“It really makes me feel needing money to do something is just an excuse,” she said. “Just put in your head what you want to do and then open your eyes to the opportunity.”

For more information on The Henry Ford Museum’s “Women Who Rock” exhibit or Maker Faire Detroit, visit www.thehenryford.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Joshua Gordon at jgordon@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1077.