Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Girls! Girls! Girls! but not Motley Crue style.

Sorry.  I don't know the keyboard shortcut to make an ummlot - or however you spell it.  I also disappoint my father because I can't speak a lick of German.

Anyway.  I should be getting work done for work work, but seeing as my vacation is coming to an end, I am instead looking at pretty pictures of fun crafts and pink things.  Because I am a girl.

Or rather, I fall into the stereotype of being a girl.  In that I love being a girl, and I enjoy spending time with other girls.  Hence I joined a sorority in college.  What! 

And I love girl music.  All girl music.  Well, maybe not all girl music.  But a lot of it.  And today, I found myself in a Beyonce mood.  What!

But sweetheart, Beyonce is no role model for young girls!!  Hmm.  Actually I beg to differ.

First of all, she and her husband, Jay-Z, topped last year's list of high earning celebrity couples - by a lot.  Like, they blew away Brangelina, by tens of millions of dollars.  And Harrison Ford and that woman who has needed a sandwich since 1998.

Secondly, although Destiny's Child was sort of a brainchild of her father, much like those damn Simpson sisters, she's made alright for herself.  For more than the last decade.  Why is that?  Oh yeah, because she's actually really talented.  She might have been overshadowed by Jennifer Hudson in that movie with Eddie Murphy, but she can still sing.  No auto-tune necessary.

Thirdly, she's not a stick figure, and I appreciate that.  When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to berate the Oscars together.  Now, we call each other when they're on and say, "Did you see that!?"  A notable memory from the '09 awards was Beyonce's performance, when my mom said, "Man, she's got some thighs on her!"  Yeah, she does, and so do I!  Hey clothing manufacturers!  You want to tell supermodel Beyonce that she's plus-sized because she's got a little junk in the trunk?  I thought not!

Fourthly, something that is freakishly awesome, is that she hired an all-female backup band.  Apparently, it was a few years ago, maybe it's still going on, but it's freaking awesome and you can't deny the impact of little girls seeing Beyonce onstage and saying, "Well, I don't know that I can sing like that, but I sure do wanna drum like that!"

And (not to sound too much like a celebrity gossiper) she was pretty classy through that whole Kanye-gate last year to Ms. Swift.   I have my own opinions on Taylor Swift, but I'll keep them to myself for today.

So, in honor of musical female empowerment, my Beyonce mood has extended into an all-girl mood for music.  So I hastily put together a mix from some of my favorite female artists.  Many of who make excellent role models for young girls out there who want to play music.  Here's my list, in three parts.

1. "Hyper-ballad"  Bjork
Regardless of your opinion of her, or whether or not you can sit and listen to Medulla (I can't), she certainly broke boundaries, especially in the boy's club of experimental music. 

2. "Time After Time" Cyndi Lauper
I don't know what else to say about her, except that she freaking rules.

3. "Hot n Cold" Katy Perry
Okay, maybe she doesn't totally belong all up in the company of many of these other chicks, but this song is just too damn catchy.  Call it a serious - and I dare say harmless - guilty pleasure.

4. "My Only Offer"  Mates of State
The band is 50% female, and you don't even need that to be on the Lilith Fair roster.  I love almost everything about this band, especially their blog, Band on the Diaper Run.  And their use of glock-type bells in this song.  Parenting while rock and rolling FTW!

5. "Never Say Never" that dog
Could be THE quintessential chick-rock band of the 90s?  I dare say so.  Excellent pop songwriting by Ms. Anna Waronker, and the worship worthy Haden sisters.  Have you heard some of the projects that followed, particularly Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out?  (Or heard how much Pete Townshend geeks out about it?)  I really dislike acapella music, as I really love instruments, but oh my god.  It's unreal.  Rather than pitch-perfect and quite frankly, boring, harmonies, she becomes a literal one-woman band and the results are unbelievable.  She is my hero(ine).  And that dog is one of my favorite 90s bands, period.

6. "Redondo Beach"  Patti Smith
All Hail the First Lady of Punk.  End of story.
She was also married to Fred "Sonic" Smith of the MC5.  Why all the obsession with who these girls married, Magpie?  I consider myself the marryin' type, and I love it when musicians, particularly women, prove they can have it all: husband, kids, and be a rock legend.  :)

7. "The Big Guns" Jenny Lewis 
She's damaged, and she's got a steel guitar.  And that's okay with me.  Although others were doing it before she was, she made country cool again, and I'm okay with that, too.

8. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Bonnie Tyler
Yeah I'm all over the map.  But this song is sort of pop legend.  And the video is bonkers!  (As is the literal one!)

9. "Sweet Jane" Cowboy Junkies
I cannot get it out of my head that Pitchfork calls this one of the best albums of the 80s.  I don't argue with it, and the list-makers surely share my enthusiasm for Sonic Youth, but man.  I don't know why that strikes me as being so weird.  However, Margo Timmins's voice might have been the best of the 80s?  And this is one of the best covers, ever.

10. "Sleep to Dream" Fiona Apple
She's so young!  And so angry!  And 13-14 years after her debut album, all I can see in her face is a very very upset Rory Gilmore!  But I really looked up to her when I was in high school.  And I think this video is cooler than the "Criminal" one.

Stay tuned for more!

And if you want to hate on Katy Perry, that's fine by me too.  Mocking her is fun as well!


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