Guitar shredding used to be a males-only club. But Lauren Langner Larson, the blond pixie guitarist and vocalist of Ume, is doing her part (along with players like Marnie Stern and Oranthi) to change that. Langner Larson started playing in punk and thrash bands with thirty-second songs when she was fourteen. Bassist (and now husband) Eric Larson and drummer Jeff Barrera met her around the DIY punk scene in Houston and formed Ume in 2002. The band was something of a part-time activity for several years while Langner Larson was in graduate school, working on a Ph.D. in philosophy. But in early 2009, the act emerged in earnest, with a more hook-laden sound that drew comparisons to bands like Sonic Youth and Blonde Redhead. Today the bandmembers have developed a highly energetic stage show, and with several tours behind them, have also garnered a significant fan base around the country, partly thanks to Langner Larson's guitar play, which, like Stern's, features a rather fluid, unconventional technique.