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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

TacocaT to bring their fun, feminist message to Milwaukee


Songs about “riding the crimson wave,” fighting against street-harassment and quinceañeras. All in an album’s work for TacocaT, a Seattle-based band who describe themselves as “equal parts Kurt and Courtney.”

On “NVM,” their second full-length album, they sing about the good and bad parts of life all while managing to keep it fun with a surf-rock sound reminiscent of early ‘90s bands.

TacocaT is Lelah Maupin (drums and vocals), Emily Nokes (vocals and tambourine), Bree McKenna (bass and vocals) and Eric Randall (guitar and vocals).

The band members were friends before they started playing together. Eric Randall and Bree McKenna started “jamming out” together and, once they had a couple of songs, asked Lelah to join before looking for singers. Once they all started playing together, “it was magical” Lelah Maupin said.

On “NVM” you’ll find songs like “Hey Girl!” that’s about street harassment, yet has a humorous approach to calling out cat-callers. (“Oh, it helps my self-esteem/‘cause you finally noticed me.”)

“It’s important to integrate humor into everything. It’s the best attribute in humanity,” Lelah said when describing the song-writing process and inspiration behind the songs. 

“Considering some of the topics we tackle, it’s better,” Eric said. “For example ‘Hey, Girl!’ is a very satirical song. It’s easier than yelling at someone or being in your face; with humor and satire you get the message across without making someone embarrassed. We don’t want to embarrass someone for their idiotic beliefs or attitudes. This can be more effective.”

TacocaT brings their own brand of fun, feminist punk to what’s typically a scene dominated by white guys. The band has seen their fair share of sexism and being labeled a “girl” band, but note that the scene has been evolving and there’s more women playing in bands than there were years ago.

“At first nobody would like our band or the only reason why they did is because there ‘were cute girls in it.’ Every song is pretty much from experience and happens naturally,” Lelah said. “Women’s rights and equality have gone a long way, but in the music world it’s still not so modern.

Despite these challenges, the band strives to change stereotypes and challenge labels while partaking in something they love. The band plans to continue their tour across the U.S. in support of “NVM.”

“Our expectations are to have as much fun as possible and try to play the songs right. We do this because we’re best friends and we love it, we’re happy to be doing it and we wouldn’t want to do anything else,” said Eric.

As for the unique name, Eric notes that although “99% of band names are silly or dumb,” it took a while for them to come up with a name, but that once they found it, it just stuck. 

“Bree was really into palindromes and wrote down ‘TacocaT’ and we were bouncing them [the names] off people. One of our friends said ‘You can’t name your band TacocaT, that’s what an eight-year old would name it and we were just like, that’s it!,” he said.

TacocaT is playing in Milwaukee this Friday, April 4, at the Center Street Free Space along with Olives, No Bueno and Crotch Honey. They’re also playing a show at the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison on April 5 and at the Township in Chicago on April 6.



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