Thursday, 20 June 2013

A rant-free, politics-free blog entry. No, really!

Afternoon, gentle readers. I've had a ridiculously busy day. I've seen students who failed their essays to advise them on resits. I've seen students collecting their work (hint: the ones who do well are the ones who collect their essays whatever grade they achieved) and I've been to a long long meeting to discuss how the union can help a hard-working, undervalued group of colleagues. So I'm tired, but I'm feeling like I've been helpful.

Once back from the meeting, I bumped into a colleague who observed that there are 'no female guitarists' or lead singers.

Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdear. Where to start? So instead of my usually sterile dry political moaning, I thought I'd collect some of my favourite female musicians from across the musical genres. The only ones I'm excluding are the ones you should all know about and adore already: Baez, Mitchell, Kate Bush, Blondie, PJ and so on. It's quite interesting going to Youtube for these: I've never had music TV and not seen all these bands live, so it's fascinating seeing what they actually look like. Also in honour of Kim Deal, now ex-of Pixies but still presiding genius of The Breeders.

In no particular order:

The world's greatest bass hook ever: The Breeders' 'Cannonball'. The soundtrack to every indie night I went to for about 15 years.

Shoutiest feminist riot grrl thrill: Bikini Kill's 'Rebel Girl'. And yes the drum intro does sound a bit like the Stone Roses.

Heart-breaking cover of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle' by Australians Frente:

Some late, jazzy, Madder Rose:

Here's an ethereal snatch of Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man. She's in Portishead. He isn't. They made what I reckon is one of the Great Lost Albums.

I don't know much about Rose Elinor Dougall or Nancy Elizabeth except that I like them:

Back to ethereal 90s indie? Some Mazzy Star then (sorry about the ad):

More upbeat? Anjali's your woman:

Astonishing wordy surrealism? I prescribe some Kimya Dawson, 'The Beer':

Country heartbreak? Laura Cantrell's 'Bees' and (tongue in cheek), Amy LaVere's 'Killing Him Didn't Make The Love Go Away':

If you ever wished Pale Fountains had a female singer, then Camera Obscura are the band for you. Here's a cut from their latest album:

Though of course the queens of female-fronted indie were Lush:

Better than Salad, anyway. But not as good as the Delgados and Catchers.

Bubbling under? St. Vincent are new to me. Like David Lynch got hold of some perfectly good pop music:

She's a bit like an American Melys:

Breathy French catchy pop? Camille's 'Ta Douleur': unlike what I know of most French pop culture, she puts on her clothes as the video progresses.

Then – because I like it – a Julianna Barwick track. Depending on your tastes, this is either the most shoegazey Sonic Cathedral there is, or the wettest track ever:

I was going to give you Heavenly's 'Sperm Meets Egg, So What?', but I love their cover of 'Nous ne sommes pas des anges', so here's that instead:

Sleazy lounge music? 'Come On Over (Turn Me On)' by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan:

Widescreen rock: The Joy Formidable.

Part of my ongoing mission to collect every New Order-related track ever, here's 'Selfish' by The Other Two, aka Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order.

And there I think I'll leave it, point massively proven. Whatever it was. Though there's plenty more where that came from…

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