nymeth: (Default)
nymeth ([personal profile] nymeth) wrote in [community profile] ladybusiness2011-03-14 07:09 pm

Ladies in Music: Show & Tell

I have to confess that I have occasional moments of anguish when looking at my Last.fm charts. For all my (flawed but at least existent) attempts to diversify my reading and balance it gender-wise, I have achieved pretty much nothing when it comes to music. Part of me wants to say, “It’s hard! There just aren’t as many ladies in bands!”, but without concrete stats, I’m just not going to. I know I’ve seen people make the exact same argument when it comes to books, or worse yet, when it comes to the number of women writing “quality literature”, which just… wha? The one thing I do know is that we are not exposed to as many women artists. The world is not a level playing field, which is exactly why we make these corrective efforts to begin with. What this post is about, though, is spreading the love of ten of my favourite ladies in music. We all love a good list, right? There will be songs and videos ahead! Behold:
  • First things first: it’s only with great difficulty that I can recall what Life Before Emmy the Great was even like. She’s an excellent songwriter and lyricist, and believe me, you want her in your life.
  • Allo Darlin never fail to put a smile on my face – which isn’t to say all their songs are happy-bouncy (though yeah, most are. Which is a good thing, right?). I swear, I will not rest until I have converted at least 60% of my friends to them. BEWARE. I love the whole We Are Armed With References To Pop Culture And We’re Not Afraid To Use Them thing they have going.
  • Joanna Newsom: I’m trying to avoid too obvious choices along the lines of Tori Amos, Regina Skeptor, Fiona Apple, Laura Marling or Björk (much as I love them), but I just couldn’t leave Joanna out. She’s one of my absolute favourite writers, and there will be future posts about gender and her lyrics. Be forewarned! (There will likely also be future posts about Emmy *cough*).

  • Azure Ray – not one, but two awesome ladies! Who have also released great music separately! I’m particularly fond of Maria Taylor. <3

  • Neko Case – Definitely one of my biggest musical crushes. <3 I love her solo stuff pretty much as much as The New Pornographers, and that’s saying a lot. Also, this is one of my favourite music videos ever.
  • Mary Timony has an album called Mountains whose lyrics are full of unapologetic references to fantasy novels, including Ursula Le Guin. Need I say more?

  • St Vincent – I kind of fell in love with her when I saw her open for The National in 2007. True story.

  • Amiina are an Icelandic band who I saw open for Sigur Rós no less than 3 times. Their songs are instrumental and absolutely gorgeous.

  • Lisa Germano writes some of the most subdued but saddest songs I've ever come across. "From A Shell", the one I linked to, just kills me.

  • Beth Orton: Weird Mental connection time: Central Reservation, my favourite Beth Orton album, strongly reminds me of Michael Cunningham's The Hours. This is because I first got and obsessively played it when I was reading the novel for the first time. How much this affects what I see in her music I'll never really know.
bookgazing: (Default)

[personal profile] bookgazing 2011-03-14 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
You are doing way better than me in diversifying your music lists, nearly my whole mp3 is full of boys with guitars, it is kind of ridiculous.

So I loved a bunch of these. Emmy the Great was especially umm Great (I am cheesy). The way she is so deadpan throughout that video is just cool and oh strains of Halleluiah in there that make that song and her song better not all awful (I am looking at you X Factor). The Neko vid is so cool, people who can draw like that are just wow (does the tiger remind anyone else of The Tiger That Came To Tea childrens book?). Would you believe that is my first time hearing Beth Orton even though so many people talk about her?

Joanna Newsom's voice reminds me a little of Angus and Julia Stone (who I love) but taken slightly further, more...I dunno, um, stretched out to create a kind of deliberately disturbing effect? It's the kind of voice that chills me a little bit and makes me really sharp focus on the lyrics, the way she's using sound.

Thanks so much for sharing *beams*, enthusiastic music gilr over here in case you didn't know :)

[identity profile] dastevens.blogspot.com 2011-03-14 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Soooooo happy right now---there's a couple ladies here you haven't previously introduced me to. (Because yes, you really did introduce me to *all* of the rest previously. :D )
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)

[personal profile] renay 2011-03-29 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
The last time I looked at my iTunes for diversity I winced and ran away. I don't know, I am so BAD at music. I don't engage with music like the rest of the world, it seems. That makes me sad sometimes, but I can't really multitask music. I can't write and listen or read and listen. I actually have to make time to sit down and be silent and quiet and really LISTEN. The only thing I could do is work and listen but of course at work we're not allowed to listen to music anymore. :(

But I will look up some of these artists, for sure. ♥