Thursday, March 20, 2008

Playlist: Women in heavy rotation (Part I)

Some of you liked it when I shared my playlist of rebel music, so I thought, in honor of Women’s History Month, I would share some goodies on my iPod performed by female artists.

Bridget Gray is a kick-ass spoken word artist, check out her two albums on CD Baby. Her phenomenal poem “I Am a Woman” kicks off my World Weary Woman iPod playlist. Here is a partial performance of that poem:

Sharon Jones was singing with The Dap Kings before anyone ever knew Amy Winehouse’s name. Unfortunately, the music industry prefers the thinner, younger, more English version of classic soul. Nevertheless, Sharon knows how to rock the house. Song number two on my playlist is the awesome “How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?”

Here are Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings with “100 Days, 100 Nights.” By the way, don’t be fooled by the black-and-white photography and old-school funk, the group was formed in 2000.

Amy, you know I still love you. Maybe I prefer “the thinner, younger, more English version of classic soul” too, because Amy Winehouse has more songs on my most-played list than Sharon Jones. Both Frank and Back to Black are great albums with too many favorites on them to call out just one. But “Love is a Losing Game” is just quintessential Amy: soulful, smoky, passionate and a little f-ed up.

I loves me some country, folk-y, roots-y rock. I also like to hear female singers and musicians who aren’t taking the typical Beyonce/Britney, package it, sex it up, drop it like it’s hot and make it look like everyone else’s thing. I discovered Brandi Carlisle and The Be Good Tanyas while messing about in iTunes. Damn you iTunes! Because of you, I’ve blown more money on new music by people I’ve never heard of than I care to admit.

“Closer to You” is the song that made me a Brandi Carlisle fan:

For The Be Good Tanyas, it was “Scattered Leaves.” I love Franzey Ford’s voice; it reminds me of Karen Carpenter’s voice in its distinctness. When you hear that soulful warble, you know you are listening to Franzey.

In the early days of this blog, I wrote a post about Nina Simone and how I was lucky to see her perform on her last tour of the United States. Nina EMBODIED Bridget Gray’s “I Am a Woman” poem. Political activism…affairs with foreign dignitaries…a life as an expat aboard…and immense talent—Aw, yeah, Nina was a woman alright, some woman indeed.

I’ll let Nina close part one of this post with her version of “Here Comes the Sun.” Even The Beatles’ version pales in comparison.


Nicole said...

I did a post on Nina in my early blog days, too. That woman's voice cheers me up like no other...don't tell my mother that. She and Amy are two of my favorite companions on road trips.

ac said...

Ah yes, the incomparable Nina. I'd forgotten she covered that song and you're right - she owns it.

Amy W and Sharon are just about song for song on my iPod. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were the only bright spot in my foray into emusic as an attempt to find a solution to my mounting iTunes addiction. Sadly they just didn't have the depth that iTunes had and I had to come back with my tail between my legs.

On my return I found Alice Smith, For Lovers, Dreamers and Me. Heard it? Lovin' it. Try Desert song - she has some pipes.

Tami said...


I love Alice Smith. And yeah, it was iTunes where I found her. Look for her in part 2 of this post.


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