Where the girls are

As her bandmates busily set up equipment in their practice space, Nillah bassist Elisabeth Eickhoff admits, "We have a busy month ahead of us."

Indeed. In addition to playing the Locals Only Stage at Music Midtown Sunday, Nillah also is the featured artist for this month's Star Bar Wednesday-night residency. Initially, the band pitched the club on hosting a show featuring female-centered bands, says guitarist Greg Gentry (Eickhoff's partner in Nillah and husband), but Star Bar booker Heather Ratliff loved the idea so much she offered them a whole month to explore the concept. "We get a bonus night, because May has five Wednesdays," Eickhoff notes.

Every show will be different, promises Gentry, adding that Nillah will preview songs from their forthcoming album and have learned a selection of tunes popularized by female artists.

Eickhoff says Nillah's main objective for the month is fun. The band often champions feminist causes and was inspired by a visit to the Rockrgrl Conference in Seattle. But, she says, "There's no big agenda for these shows. We're just featuring a lot of our favorite bands." The diverse lineup includes Alastor, Birmingham's 1945, Faith Kleppinger, Weaklazyliar, Posh Digs, the Stimulants, Salome's Wish and STB.

When the all-male Indicators asked if they could they play during Nillah's residency, Gentry explained the concept and jokingly told them they could only play if they were in drag. They hastily agreed.

"Hey, chicks rock, and don't you forget it," says Eickhoff. "Even guys dressed as chicks."

Nillah's Girl Power residency continues every Wednesday in May at the Star Bar. Nillah also plays Music Midtown on the 99X Locals Only stage at 2 p.m. Sun., May 6.??