Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Things Are Better in the East

And now for the grand unveiling of my Top Ten Favorite Female Singers...
1. Grace Slick: No one gets any cooler than Grace Slick. Spanning all the way from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship to Starship, Slick stuck around. Her voice is so distinctive and I love to listen to her any time of day. She was never trained to be a singer but she is one of the most definitive voices of rock 'n roll. If I advocated the hedonistic lifestyle, I'd wish to live hers... the San Francisco psychedelic/acid rock Haight Ashbury scene, Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, hanging with Keith Moon, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia... I think she was so gorgeous.

2. Jenny Lewis: If Grace Slick had never existed, Jenny Lewis would be the coolest female of all time. I thought I loved her when I heard Rilo Kiley. I thought I had a serious woman crush on her when I heard "Acid Tongue." But then I discovered her first solo album "Rabbit Fur Coat" and I flipped. I love her voice and I seriously recommend "Rabbit Fur Coat." It's one of my most favorite albums of all time.

3. Taylor Swift: At first I wasn't truly convinced of the Swift's greatness. But two years ago, I gave her a try and discovered that she felt all of the things I did growing up along with many of the feelings I wished to feel. "You said the way my blue eyes shined put those Georgia stars to shame that night. I said, 'That's a lie...'" Taylor Swift's world to me was worn out jeans, little black dresses, driving around in a pick-up truck, living the life. I feel like I relate a lot more to her "Fearless" album and the song "The Best Day" sometimes makes me tear up. Like Julie and I agree, if Taylor Swift wasn't famous, we would want to be her friends. (We'd be her friends while she's famous too!)

4. Regina Spektor: The first time I really started to like Regina Spektor was in concert last November. I hadn't really listened to her but my boyfriend and friends told me I would like her. I had a concert review to write for my History of Rock 'n Roll class so it seemed like a good idea. Regina is so soft spoken, quirky, and cute. A couple of times she messed up and followed with a swear word much to the audience's delight. Her voice and talent are so unique and each song feels like it belongs to a different genre. She's in my head a lot.

5. Alison Krauss: I've loved Alison Krauss ever since I was a little girl and she was singing primarily with Union Station. The first song of hers I remember is "When You Say Nothing at All." Through the years she just keeps producing outstanding bluegrass music. I especially love the album "New Favorite" with Union Station. I was even more ecstatic when she contributed to the "O Brother Where Art Thou" and "Cold Mountain" soundtracks. Her voice is so timeless, angelic, and distinctive.

6. Ella Fitzgerald: There is something about Ella Fitzgerald's music that instantly makes me feel classy. She inspires me to fall back into the days when elbow-length silk gloves were customary. I want to go to a swanky coffee shop just thinking about her.

7. Aretha Franklin: I am a huge lover of 60's soul music. Aretha Franklin is probably the definitive example of the 60's soul female. Her voice is so strong and can never be imitated; she is all her own. Her gospel roots only enhance her conviction to her music and those high notes! "I love you, I love you, I love you, baby I love you..."8. Billie Holiday: Every time I hear Billie Holiday I start to swoon. She is so fantastic. Like Ella, she makes me forget which era I am from for just a few wonderful minutes. There are many days I wish I could be from the 40's, dressed up in girly shoes and sweaters, dancing slowly to Billie Holiday, never wanting the night to end.

9. Judy Garland: Judy Garland almost got the shaft in 1939 when Shirley Temple was nearly given her role of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz." Thank goodness order was restored in time. "The Wizard of Oz" wouldn't have quite been the same without her. As she grew older, her songs reached the same status as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Those are my ultimate 40's-era triad of female singers.

10. Kim Deal: Kim Deal was a member of the Pixies and later branched out with new material for The Breeders. I totally like her most for The Breeders. As my friend Ruth said, "Kim Deal is awesome because she can just scream in the middle of a song." Right on.

1 comment:

  1. Kim Deal is also awesome because she is a biochemist. heck yes. also, your taste in music is exquisite.