In the spirit (hopefully!) of PhDork’s earlier Friday fun thread, I thought I’d open up the comment boxes for our dear readers to share their picks for those women singers/songwriters/musicians who always seem to strike the right chord when you listen to them. (It’s Friday; I’m allowed to make bad puns.) About 90% of the 700 songs stored on my computer are performed by women. I’ll confess that I’m not exactly sure why my taste in music is so centered around women singers. Maybe it arose out of a frustration that the only really popular rock-type music I heard on the radio was all by male-only bands when I first started my music collection in the early nineties, and so it was infinitely refreshing to discover Hole and L7 and Babes in Toyland — I could listen to women singing about their anger in a way that never made it into the bland, mass-marketed pop songs that surfaced on New York’s behemoth station Z100.
15 years after I started listening to Courtney Love & Co. (Live Through This is still one of my favorite albums), my collection now features a lot of Kim Gordon, Exene Cervenka, Fiona Apple, Ani DiFranco, Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Beth Orton, Sinead O’Connor, Veruca Salt, Kim and Kelley Deal, Jill Sobule, and Liz Phair. I’ll add a special mention for a terrific and unfortunately defunct Canadian band called Cub, that introduced me to the notion that pop songs could handle lesbian romances with humor and pathos — and not in a Katy Perry way. Sure, my collection features the odd track by Iggy Pop and Lou Reed and Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell and Tchaikovsky and The Lord of the Rings soundtrack thrown in the mix, but they’re anomalies. The women hold the majority, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
So, it’s your turn. Who are the women who make music that you love listening to over and over? (Or do you rarely listen to women musicians, just as I rarely listen to men?) Share whatever thoughts you might have in the comments, and Happy Friday to all!