Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix: Halfway through my favorite female artists

Today I think I’m going to return to my mixes of my favorite female artists. I’m going through my iPod from A to Z so if I missed an artist you love or think I would love, please drop a comment and turn me onto her work.

  1. Macy Gray – Hey Young World
    Macy Gray (from Canton, OH, thank you very much) is a great songwriter and a charismatic performer. Reportedly, she doesn’t like her own voice, but the rest of us do. This song is from her 2001 release, “The Id.” This album didn’t do well (maybe in part because it was released 1 week after the September 11 attacks) but I loved this album. I put this song on my daughter’s mix on my iPod and she loves it too.
  2. Madeline Peyroux – Don’t Wait Too Long
    Although she hates comparisons to Billie Holiday, her voice does sound like Billie’s and some of the songs she sings are in the American Songbook tradition. Others like this one have a more modern jazz sound. This is from the album “Careless Love,” which you should go out and get later today.
  3. Madonna – Beautiful Stranger
    I can count the Madonna songs I like on one hand, so I’m not sure she belongs on a list of MY favorites, but she has been a force in music throughout much of my life and has released some great music. I like this one from the Austin Powers soundtrack. Side note, this mash-up of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Beautiful Stranger’ is insanely brilliant.
  4. How about that Marilyn Manson? Isn’t she just the best?
  5. Meshell Ndegeocello – The Way
    This is from “Peace Beyond Passion” (1996) but I could have easily picked any song from “Bitter” or even her new one, “Devil’s Halo.” She is an amazing talent who has put out great album after great album since her debut in 1993.
  6. Missy Elliott – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
    Misdemeanor is such an incredible genius. You’ve got to love her. First off, she finds all these new things to do in hip-hop, you can’t look away from her when she performs, and as a bonus she comes with Timbaland. I went back to her 1997 debut, “Supa Dupa Fly,” for this one but only because this video is so great. She is still a vital force in music.
  7. Monique Ortiz – Black Feather Wings
    OK, so I don’t own any other Monique Ortiz with or without Bourbon Princess. This is such a cool song, though, that I wanted to include it.
  8. Najma – Ghoom charakhna
    Najma Akhtar was born in England and has a degree in chemical engineering, but somehow she wound up an Indian pop star. She works mainly in traditional Indian music, though she has turned up on a DJ Cheb I Sabbah album and worked with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, so she gets around a bit. Here she is collaborating with Tjinder Singh of Cornershop. If you want some traditional stuff, check out “Forbidden Kiss: The Music of S.D. Burman,” a collection of musical numbers from Indian cinema.
  9. 10,000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants
    I love Natalie Merchant’s voice. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s that is has a smoky quality but is still very liquid. Anyway, I’ve always liked this song.
  10. Neko Case – Deep Red Bells
    Case is a member of The New Pornographers and they rock but you can get more of sense of her work from this solo track. She is a great songwriter and I like the Texas country / folk space she plays in. She also has a great voice. I saw her perform at Bonnaroo last year and really enjoyed her show.
  11. Nellie McKay – David
    I saw McKay at MoeDown a few years back. She comes off as very smart and she is one hell of a piano player. She may have flown under your radar thus far, but check her out.
  12. Nikka Costa – Everybody Got Their Something
    So she isn’t doing anything ground breaking. She does a fantastic job with the whole funk / soul sound. This is the song by Costa you’ve probably heard. Listen to her take a page out of Stevie Wonder’s book.
  13. The Noisettes – Scratch Your Name
    These guys hit the scene in 2007 with their great, energetic debut, “What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?” Most of that energy seems to come from lead singer and bass player Shingai Shoniwa, who reminds me a bit of Grace Jones.
  14. Norah Jones – Chasing Pirates
    Of course, Norah blew the lid off with ‘Don’t Know Why’ and other mellow, torchy songs. On her new album she goes a little more poppy and upbeat, which I think is a great move. Check the new single, if you’ve somehow escaped it so far. Don’t get me wrong, I totally take her seriously as an artist, but God she’s adorable.

Well, that’s M and N, and that seems like a good place to stop. Enjoy this one with a Left Hand Breweries Milk Stout, because that is my wife’s favorite beer right now. Have a good weekend.

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January 15, 2010 - Posted by | Alt Country, Chillout, Classic Rock, Electronica, Folk, Hip Hop, Indie, Lounge, Mix CD, Popular, R&B, Rock, Soul, World Music

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