I’ve been watching with disgust the ludicrous farce that was the JJJ Hot 100 and the ignorant excuses that the J’s and commenter’s came up with, to prove that the magical disappearance of women’s contribution to music was ‘natural’. See the Hoydenista’s discuss the complexities;
Look, I never listened all that much to JJJ. Back when JJJ was a radio station i might have listened to, before it went national, I was unable to pick up reception in the suburb i lived. I did spend a year or so being a regular listener when, years later, i lived down in Kiama, and i had a bit of an addiction to Angela Catterns on the morning show and Sarah Mcdonald. But mostly I’ve been a community radio or other ABC station listener; if i listen to the radio at all. I LOVE music though and have a vast collection, both stolen and bought. Going to see live music is one of my small joys.
Anyways, I wanted to list my own fave women muso’s and songs, that in the past and now, have been the soundtrack of my life.
1. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me.
Lick my Legs I’m on fire
Lick my legs of desire
Lick my Legs I’m on fire
Lick my legs of desire
How could anyone not think that Rid of Me is not one of the most life changing songs EVER! The woman is singing about cunnilingus for cripes sake; and not in some oh please, sorry, do you mind? Sorry about the smell kinda way – She’s singing it in a LICK MY LEGS – I’M ON FIRE kinda way. Did that not change everyone’s life? I was hanging out in a shabby, cold and sparse Queenslander in Lismore when I first heard that song (yikes I think it might have been on a tape) – smoking way to many rollies when that song screamed its way into my world with all its sordid moral depravity filling my ears with glory. I had my first orgasm around that time. I mean Yeesh.
2. Adelita Srsen (Magic Dirt)
I had a big crush on Adelita and vaguely remember worshipping her almighty arms. I used to drive around the dirt-road bends at Broken Head, practicing recovering control of a slide out, listening to Magic Dirt.
3. Johnette Napolitano – Concrete Blonde
I once drove from Byron Bay to Sydney to go and see Concrete Blonde live. YES, I was dedicated. My car got a flat tire at about 2am in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, one of the life lessons my dad taught me was – to change a tire – I got out of the car and had a VERY hard time loosening the wheel nuts. I ended up standing on the wrench and jumping up and down on it to get the wheel nuts loose. After i changed the tire, i thought I’d better not do the wheel nuts up too tight in case i ever had to take the tire off again. I drove a couple of Km’s down the road and pulled into a servo and asked a skeezy truck driver to check that I’d done it right. In disbelief, he told me that if i had of kept driving my wheel would have flown off down the road. He then asked me if i wanted to go into the back of the truck with him. I said no but spent the rest of the night fearing that every truck behind me was either him or one of his crony trucker buddies that he’d called on his CB and told to chase me down the road.
I’ve been at parties, screaming my lungs out to Vampire Song, I’ve danced in my lounge room to True and Still in Hollywood, I adored the Andie Prieboy and Johnette version of Tomorrow Wendy and I’ve hooned around to God is a Bullet and Run Run Run. I’ve sung along to Little Conversations. I Love Love Love Johnette.
4. Chan Marshall – Cat Power.
I first heard Cat Power, when i was living in Kiama, after I’d gotten back from a Surf trip to Mexico. The album was What Would The Community Think – i listened to it non-stop for a couple of years. I bought every album that i could. I saw her live a few times. The second time that i saw her she had one of her stage meltdowns that her live shows were notorious for. I had nightmares and couldn’t listen to her again. It was only recently years later that i have been able to listen to her again and went to see her play.
4. Courtney Love – Hole
I played air guitar by the side of my car to Violet. I can do the full layback and windmill to this song. Live Through This is an awesome album
5. Joanna Newsom
I had the name of Joanna Newsom and her album The Milk Eyed Mender saved in a message in my mobile phone for a couple of years before i finally bought her album. I took it home and listened to it and thought… Hmmm? My flat mates girlfriend came out and went ‘what the fuck?’. I left it for another 6 months or so and then i just fell in love. Her voice is SO unusual and really takes some getting used to. She sounds like an old woman on a verandah, on a farm, on helium. I bloody absolutely love her and that album is delicious.
6. Laura Veirs
I first heard Laura Veirs on my local community radio station, whilst i was working briefly as a short-order cook in a cafe. I rang the radio station immediately to find out who it was. The Trials and Travails of Orphan Mae has many danceable tracks.
7. Liz Phair
I wanna be mesmerizing too. I first heard Liz Phair travelling in Mexico. My 2 mates were music aficionados and one had the Exile in Guyville tape and the other fucking hated it.
My Google-fu is failing me with finding images of Tulipan. This band were a Brisbane band that blew my mind. They had a Hurdy-Gurdy, Zither, Hammered Dulcimer, Keyboards,Violin, Saxophone, Piano, Percussion, Drums. I used to watch them at the Railway Hotel in Byron and my flat mate John and I used to dance to them in our lounge room. I think their first CD was called Red Moon and their 2nd is Manic Celeste. Glass Sunset rocks hard.
Spirit of the Winter Tree.I had a hard time finding much Tiddas stuff on the net too. I’ve seen Tiddas live a couple of times and the first was in an intensely skeezy ‘nightclub’ in Byron. My cousin and I used to sing Tiddas songs walking around the Northern Beaches of Sydney, kidding ourselves that we could sing as beautifully as them.
10. Beth Orton
I first heard Beth in Mexico too.
11. Indigo Girls
Who bloody didn’t have a crush on the Indigo Girls at some stage. I remember the first time i heard them was when a mate played ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to me post-surf in her shabby beach-front unit in Suffolk. I was riveted. The passion that they had held me in awe. They’re soooo cool.
12. Kavisha Mazzella
Kavisha always makes me feel as though I’m dancing in a dusty road in Spain.
13. Neko Case
I saw Neko on the hottest night on earth at the Fly By Night Club in Fremantle.
Unglued: I’m coming to getcha comin to getcha HUR!
The year after i left high-school, i became a nanny to a young boy who i used to drop off and pick up from school. We’d drive along listening to Clouds and singing along to Hieronymous, listening to a 7year old sing along to Hieronymous is the awesome of the awesomer. Lovely.
An old Sydney band i think. Have you ever heard the sound of the last unicorn?
17. Abbe May
Abbe May is from Perth. I used to work at a cafe where we put up an image of a broody Abbe May making some snarky comment about the bane of dealing with customers. Abbe May is like a seething, howling spitfire. She’s really really fucking awesome.
18. Holly Throsby
I’ve heard people make nark about Holly ‘cause she sings love songs about men and she’s all sweet and shit. Sometimes this annoys me about some women performers too. Then i remember that I’m sweet and lovey and men obsessed sometimes too and that I have a multiplicity of ways of being and Holly expresses one of those aspects. I’ve seen her live at a gig at Mojo’s and she fucking cool.
19. Claire Bowditch and Libby Chow
I went and saw Clare Bowditch at Mojos a couple of years ago, she hadn’t been able to afford to bring her whole band and so it was just her and Libby Chow. Libby Chow played the French Horn. The gig was mesmerising. It was one of those gigs where you are shocked and awestruck by the beauty of music. I don’t think that i breathed, the whole gig. It was wonderful.
wtf? I don’t know what happened to the layout, formatting and font of this post. I don’t know how to fix it. I got sick of trying. sorry.
Update – Go here now for the Hottest 100 Women!
“A poll for the all-time hottest 100 songs by female artists, in response to Australian radio station JJJ’s poll of 2009 which had almost no female artists in the final results” compiled by Naomi Eve, from 1000’s of twittered votes.