Hey folks, want a lil’ present? Lord knows we all deserve one.
From now on, expect a mix every Friday, especially engineered for those of you who graciously tune in, but never write me what troubles you.
Please feel free to write in with your thematic choices. For this time around, kitten, it’s Ladies’ Choice.
Top Ten Women Artists Not Getting Enough of Your Attention or Hard-Earned Money
Just like those really smart, cool girls in high school that were all brains and dark humor, but had yet to grow into their looks, these women are putting out (no pun intended) some of the most sonorous, and at times, original music today, but are not receiving their due because they opted for college educations and music lessons over breast implants and misogynistic stylists.
Give them a listen, and even better, download their stuff (Ms. Mix & BItch will soon be able to offer you all such delectible downloadable treats, so stay tuned):
10. Tina Dico
Yes, I know, she’s a stunner. Born and raised in Denmark, Tina’s been a major success in her native country since her late teens, but to her credit realizing that wasn’t too trying of a task, she emerged to the rest of us when she teams up with Zero 7 on their release, When It Falls. Since then, Ms. Tina has release an EP entitled Far, and subsequebt full length achievements such as In the Red. Her latest CD, Count to Ten admittedly didn’t grab me as much as the last one, but I saw her live at Jammin’ Java here in Vienna, Virginia, and let’s just say we all just fell in love with her. Her lyrical arrangements are what gets me the most, with some of my favorite tracks being “When You’re Away,” and “My Mirror.”
9. Tie Between Sarah Dashew and Sara Bareilles
Both Sara and Sarah have been making music in Los Angeles for years, but of course we all know Ms. Barseilles from her hit single, “Love Song.” I honestly think that song doesn’t do her justice, and for the life of me I don’t understand how the rest of the CD – especially the track, “City” isn’t the buzz-buzz. As for Ms. Dashew, that’s another one that blows my mind because this gal had to finance her own recording. I think both are leading the way for the singer-songwriting genre of this decade, so let’s give them the respect they so aptly deserve.
8. Polly Paulusma
She kills me. She just kills me. Polly’s been bouncing around her native England for a while, and touring Europe with her husband for years. On her website, she candidly writes about how they were desperately trying to have a baby, but suffered through a series of miscarriages – to which her family responded it was God’s way of punishing her for the lifestyle she had chosen for herself.
I know what you’re thinking: with parents like these, who needs child abusers.
Anyway, the fertility gods finally smiled down upon our girl and they now have a son, I think. Her last release, This One, I Made for You was written during her pregnancy, and if you pay attention, you’ll understand it’s a pledge to her baby and not just your typical whiny lovesong. I get misty just thinking about it.
7. Jonatha Brooke
I have a lot of amazing friends who live in New York City, and one of the perks is finding out about musical artists I would otherwise not have a clue about…case in point, Ms. Jonatha.
Jonatha Brooke is one of the few originals out there today, and for the life of me, I don’t know why she’s never broken into the mainstream. She’s certainly good enough, and better than a lot of the other shit out there. But alas, she remains more of a local City treasure than on the national soundtrack. Maybe it’s a Karma thing, ’cause it sure ain’t for a lack of talent.
She’s been touring Europe like crazy, and I’m still waiting for her to come to the DC area. Anyone give me a holler when she comes around, o.k?
6. Johnette Napolitano
If you all don’t know who this Dark Goddess is, then just light up a cigarette and start burning yourselves right away, because it’ll hurt less than after you hear her voice and realize what you’ve been missing all these years. Johnette is the real thing, folks, with a voice and sound that soothes your nerves yet spikes your adrenelin at the same time. Really.
Hailing from the seedier section of Hollywood, CA, Johnette fronted the band, Concrete Blonde, for over a decade. While living in Miami, I saw her and the boys at the Miami Arena opening up for an act I swear I can’t remember who (goes to show how utterly unimpressive they were, right?)…they were touring to promote their “Bloodletting” release…and her rendition of “Joey” (about an alcoholic lover on his last legs) literally got me choked up. It was that good. I even saw some lame-ass goth boyz get misty – but maybe that wasn’t such a challenge, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, that was then and now Johnette is solo these days…check out her CD “Scarred” and her cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” A case when the cover is way better than the original.
Born and raised in Canada, Esthero (birth name: Jen-Bea Englishman) has been dancing along the edges for a long time…she’s had some success with club singles such as “O.G. Bitch” and has collaborated with the likes of Black-Eyed Peas, Sean Lennon (we forgive you for that one), and Cee-Lo. I’m not usually one for the dance tracks, but she’s a lot more than that. While officially classified as pop, and known through the club circuit, if I had my druthers, I’d classify her sound as neo-jazz-influenced-dance-fusion (I know – huh?).
That’s what happens when you’ve had too much schooling people. You can’t just leave well enough alone.
Anyway, the next time you feel like wallowing in your own misery, in style, check out her “Wikked Lil’ Girls” CD, and the track, “Melancholy Melody.” One of my favorites.
4. A Fine Frenzy
I know, I know…she’s so beautiful that it hurts.
Her story is even better.
Born in Seattle and raised in Los Angeles, Alison Sudol didn’t even discover her musical abilities until her late teens after being inspired by her love for the music of Keane and Coldplay (so much for real taste, but that’s anothe blog for another day). She learned the piano in a skinny minute, and then her and her mother scraped enough dinero for a demo and sent it to Capitol Records. They actually came to her house to hear her play and signed her on the spot.
Don’t we all love stories like that?
She’s young, she’s talented and gorgeous – and literate as well – choosing to use the moniker “A Fine Frenzy” (taken from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”) instead of her own name.
I can’t wait to see what she does…
3. Girl in a Coma
Here’s another rock-n-roll fairy tale for you…
Two kids in a San Antonio high school bond over their obsession with Nirvana and The Smiths and learn how to play the bass and drums. In homage to The Smiths, they name their band after the song “Girlfriend in a Coma,” and proceed to go through frontmen and women like stanky panties.
That is, until drummer Phanie Diaz discovers that lil’ sis, Nina (only 12 at the time) can actually sing and play guitar. For the next five years, they hone their talents and get up enough nerve to send a demo to Boz Boorer, the musical puppet master behind Morrissey. He loves it so much that he flies them all to London to make a proper demo, and gets their career started.
However the real moment comes when they play some TV gig highlighting Latina rock outfits, when Joan Jett herself comes up to them afterwards and offers them a record deal with her label Blackheart Records right on the spot. The result is the CD “Both Before I’m Gone.” Great story – even better album :-)
2. Kimya Dawson
Alright, I realize that Kimya doesn’t need me in the slightest to promote her groove (although I may have a comb laying around here somewhere). Born and raised in Bedford Hills, NY, her and record store clerk pal, Adam Green, became known as The Moldy Peaches, but Kimya exploded onto the national stage when generously featured on the Juno soundtrack. The music is as stripped down as it gets, both lyrically and otherwise, but that’s why we love her. Kimya’s sound is like simple comfort food in an industry overladden with those trying to disguise dog food as fois gras.
Although I was raised in South Florida, I was born in northern California and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a large chunk of my adult life. Simply said, I consider myself a San Franciscan through and through, and I would be remise if I didn’t highlight one of the best local outfits to my spiritual hometown, Loquat.
Kylee Swenson and her friend/guitarist Earl Otsuka were making music together as early as 1996, and seemed content to play together in anonymity forever until bassist Anthony Greene got them all revved up and help them form the rest of their musical outfit. Since then, they have several releases and renowned local fame, but alas – no widespread recognition. I’m tempted to write a screenplay just so I can feature Kylee and crew throughout the movie. Maybe then, the rest of the world will wake up to this sound often featured as electronic pop, but harbors more thought and intelligence than that genre usually allows for…
Until next time….