The Friday mix: More of my favorite female artists
Today I’m going to continue making my way through some of my favorite female performers. I pulled 16 songs from the letters G through J in my iPod so I got artists both popular and obscure. I hope you like them.
- Goodness – Electricity, Electricity
I don’t actually know anything about Goodness nor do I have any other song by them. However, they contributed this winner to the “Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!” album. It’s an energetic (no pun intended) cover of the great cartoon song. Her delivery of the “Electricity Eeeeelectricity” lyric has this great liquid sheen that I love and since she sings it in every measure of the song, I love the song.
- Helium – The Revolution of Hearts
They were never a huge band, but there is an interesting story attached to their front woman Mary Lou Lord, if Wikipedia is to be believed. For my part, I just like their songwriting. Towering and complex guitar parts paired nicely with simple and pretty vocal lines.
- Holly Golightly & The Greenhornes – There Is an End
Holly Golightly pops up in some unexpected places. In addition to her own voluminous solo career, she has collaborated with acts like Rocket from the Crypt and The White Stripes. This is a collaboration with The Greenhornes that wound up on the Broken Flowers Soundtrack.
- Hope Sandoval & Warm Inventions – On the Low
Of course, I loved Hope Sandoval’s work with Mazzy Star, but this is a song you may not have heard by her. In addition to being drop dead gorgeous, she has great patient melodic sense and a smooth, smoky voice.
- Inara George – No Poem
OK. So this is cheating. I already wrote up Inara George as part of The Bird and Bee. But in addition to her work with them (with whom she still works), she has released some solo work. I really like this sweet, twisted love song. The gist is he is no poem when he opens his mouth, so she tells him, “If I were you I wouldn’t talk. I’d just keep on dancing.”
- Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am
I couldn’t decide between this song and ‘Die Alone.’ Ultimately, I picked this one because my daughter loves it. The simplicity of this song reminds me of Feist but it’s funnier than Feist.
- Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Saturday’s Gone
Cellist and singer Isobel Campbell used to be a member of Belle & Sebastian. I’ve got to say I’m glad because I like her solo stuff better than I like B&S and on this one she gets to work with Scream Trees founder Mark Lanegan. This is a pretty, dreamy song like you might expect from someone hip deep in the Indie scene but maybe not from someone with roots in the grunge scene.
- Janis Joplin – One Good Man
The one and only. I always really liked this one, perhaps because she was able to convey so much emotion with her voice. It was made for the Blues.
- Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers
Grace Slick is one-of-a-kind. Radio murdered most of their songs for me. This one never got as much airplay. The whole intergenerational tension thing seems silly to me now – perhaps because I wasn’t there – but the song rocks, make no mistake.
- Jem – They
Jem has a few songs I really like, but again I had to go with this one because it is one of my daughter’s favorite songs ever. It is quite possibly the best updating of a Bach song ever (Prelude in F from The Well Tempered Clavier).
- Jesca Hoop – Summertime
Born to strict Mormon parents, Jesca Hoop ran off to be a homesteader in the wilds of Northern California before becoming a nanny for Tom Waits’ kids. He describes her music as “going swimming in a lake at night.” This song makes me smile every single time I hear it.
- Jill Cunniff – NYC Boy
I love Jill Cunniff most for her brilliant worth with Luscious Jackson, whom I will be writing up next time. Since their breakup, though, she has done some solo work, which I also like. This is poppier than the LJ stuff of the past, but it’s still good.
- Jill Scott – It’s Love
I suppose I need to listen to more Jill Scott. This was the only song on “Who Is Jill Scott?” that I really liked, but what an unbelievable song. I also really like her collaboration with Lupe Fiasco, ‘Daydreamin’.’ I should check out the rest of her catalog.
- Joan Osborne – Right Hand Man
Joan Osborne is an amazing talent. I was always rooting for her to become huge. She has collaborated with everyone from The Dead to Michael Franti to The Funk Brothers. I’ve seen her perform on a few occasions and she has such a great voice and exudes such a powerful sexual energy. She is absolutely riveting. This song was from the same album as the unfortunate ‘One of Us’ but this song has sprit and soul and electricity.
- Jonatha Brooke – How Deep Is Your Love?
I’ve been a fan of Jonatha Brooke since her early days with The Story. Ms. Brooke is a fabulous songwriter. This song comes from my favorite record of hers, Steady Pull. Also check out the title track, a collaboration with the aforementioned Michael Franti.
- Julie Dexter – Ketch a Vibe
I don’t know who selected this clip, but it’s from the intro. Once this song gets going, it’s huge and energetic. You can get a sense of it from this live performance, but the sound sucks.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy with a bottle of some really good wine, because she’s worth it.
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