Through @ 2 With M. Women: BFFs, Cream Pies, and Why 21-Plus Is Really a Minus

The situation On a recent Wednesday evening, I'm at a crowded Stumbling Monk drinking Hale's with Andrew McKibben, Schanen Ryan, and Carrie Schaff, three self-proclaimed BFFs (and roommates) who make up the lo-fi, scuzzy punk trio M. Women. The band name is memorable because it's strange--it used to be Medieval Women until they shortened it two years ago.

"It had too many connotations," says McKibben. "People would think we were baroque music."

"Like weird orchestral-vocal-opera shit," says Schaff.

How They Got Here Schaff holds down two jobs, one at Everyday Music and the other as a personal assistant at a property management company.

Ryan's a Vivace barista, but not the snooty kind--"I'm not studying the science of coffee and going to competitions," she says, "and I don't take pictures of my lattes."

McKibben's also got two jobs, one at the Fish Fry and one at the recently opened High 5. He highly recommends the peanut-butter-and-jelly cream pie.

Shop Talk M. Women's all about the all-ages scene--going to all-ages shows at places like the Vera Project is how they all met. They've never even played a 21-plus show.

"Being in an environment that's non-exclusive and not agist is really valuable," says Ryan. "Going to shows and meeting people in bands and having role models when I was younger was really positive. If we're going to play music and people are interested in it who aren't 21, then why should we be playing 21-plus shows?"

Their songs are relatable to all ages as well, although they come directly from personal experiences. "It's always about some weird shit that happens," says Schaff, "like something happened with someone's family, or someone fell off their bike, or someone had some weird rat infestation."

"Basically anything that knocks you off your rocker," says Ryan.

Last summer, M. Women recorded a CD-R of a few songs called Sea Dee Are which quickly sold out at their shows; they're shooting for this fall to release their first full-length.

BTW McKibben and Ryan are a couple, and have been for five years, but Schaff assures me that she never feels like the third wheel.

"Couples have this separate dynamic, and couples are operating on this different wavelength, and couples are speaking in these undertones towards each other, whether they're making digs or making cute remarks," she says. "But honestly, I feel like Schanen and Andrew are equally my best friends, and I never--I'm not just saying this to flatter them--I never, ever feel like the third to a couple."

"We're not very couply," says Ryan.

M. Women will open for Abe Vigoda and Wild Nothing this Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Vera Project. The show is $12, starts at 8 p.m., and is, natch, all-ages.

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