Bonnie Raitt - its not like I sit around and listen to her stuff all the time but the lady can play the guitar and she holds her own with the boys.
Joni Mitchell -Joni is my idol. A beautiful artist with a beautiful vision; guitar woman extraordinare. She tends to be bitter about not getting all the recognition she deserves. Joan Jett - she's not one of my favorite musicians but she was a pioneer for women. She showed that girls weren't all fluff; she would kick your ass if you pissed her off. Ann Wilson (of Heart) - anabsolute phenomenon vocalist - an 8 (count 'em, 8) octave range at her peak. An unbelievable talent who was forced to take a back seat because her bandmate sister was prettier. Liz Phair -Liz could have just as easily made the other list below. It depends on what Liz Phair we're talking about. Liz before 1997 is why she is on my respect list. I have a sneaky feeling that she is one of those many that take their orders from a behind-the-scenes guy. Whoever had the reins circa 1993 is who I respect. Linda Ronstadt -beautiful voice. A lot of girls looked up to Linda in the 1970's. Mary Timony - See blog entry on May 2
Sleater-Kinney - three girls that get the job done. They are good musicians and seriously devoted to being the best they can be. Guitarist Carrie Brownstein has a guitar style like I've never heard before either male or female. In my humble opinion, Janet Weiss (dammit, Janet!) is one of the best female drummers in rock. Fiona Apple - gorgeous throaty voice. She almost ruins it all though, by being so fucking weird.
Bjork - intense avant garde music chick. She almost ruins it all though, by wearing dead swans to movie award shows. Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes -an excellentmusician. Why don't we hear from her more often than we do? Kim Deal - talented "token band chick" breaks free from authoritative band leader and starts her own gig. She awes and inspires, but loses her steam to alcoholism. Eventually ends up back under authoritative band leader as a token band chick. But her awesome and inspiring time will forever earn her respect in my book. PJ Harvey - excellentfemale guitarist. Not afraid to experiment with different forms of music. I am not a fan of every single record she ever put out, but she gets major props for the chances she takes. Tanya Donnelly -pretty singer and competent guitarist. I always liked Throwing Muses and Belly, however she weighs heaviest on the respect scale with her appearance on the first Breeders album. Kristin Hersch -Tortured artist extraordinaire....Kristin's the real deal. Every song is a page ripped out of the book of her soul. Admirable guitarist. Miki Berenyi, Emma Anderson of Lush:These two girls formed their own vision of ethereal rock and then just got a couple of guys to keep the beat for them. Girl Power, indeed. Christine McVie - smartmusician with keyboard skills and song-writing prowess.
Women in rock I don't really care for:
Chrissie Hynde -I just never felt anything from Chrissie's music...it all kind of falls flat for me. Nancy Wilson (of Heart): -not the great musician she's cracked up to be. "Yeah, but..." - but nothing. She's a competent rhythm guitarist, nothing more. Yes, she plays the acoustic intro to "Crazy on You" in concert....but so could we all if we practiced doing it every single day of our lives. Juliana Hatfield -Not one of my favorites at all. File under "Tries too hard".....tries so hard to be an indie badass.....I bet she had a fit when Courtney showed up on the scene...Courtney was everything Juliana wanted to be. She has a weak warbling voice, too. Kelley Deal -likable twin sister of Kim....but has no business being on a stage or holding a guitar. She is not a musician, period. Janis Joplin -yeah, I know. And yes, she could sing. Very well. But its her voice that gets to me, folks. That over-emoting sand-papery screech. I respect where she was coming from....but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Courtney Love -I loved Courtney during her hey-day. She was funny, quotable, outrageous. Live Through This is a classic work of art. It wasn't until later records that I began to realize a lot of things about this woman, none of them flattering at all. I finally had to admit that Kurt probably wrote Live Through This. Brody Dalle - Brody seems serious about music and serious about improving her musicianship (which does need improving thus far) but the way she dumped Tim Armstrong and then had her tongue all in a knot with Josh Homme in Rolling Stone only a few weeks later.....well, it just didn't look good, folks. It came across as "Quick, gotta latch onto some guy that can help mefurther my career!"
Stevie Nicks -the "Ye Olde Goode White Witch" act went stale for me pretty quick. Her voice was like a tiny songbird tinkling in your ear, but she didn't know how to sing properly and blew her vocal cords out pretty early on....resulting in a nasally whining singing voice that makes you want to go out and kill people. Yoko Ono - oh boy. A legend in her own mind, about the only thing Yoko truly accomplished was helping John Lennon cross over from the eccentric to the absurd. There, I said it.