The Universe and Me

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I kicked a boy

Blogcritics recently had a list of the most influential rock bands and I noticed no female fronted groups were on it. After a split second of wondering why, I realized the only group that could have made the list was Heart who probably didn’t due to fizzling into commercialism in the late 80s. To create a list of girl bands who have influenced me, I’ll have to add pop music, foreign bands and bands where both men and women share vocals. And that list would be:

  • Heart - The Wilson sisters and significant others. Zeppelin on estrogen.
  • Throwing Muses – Stepsisters Kristen Hersh and Tonya Donelly. Hersh is a musical genius. Scarily so.
  • The Sundays – Harriet Wheeler, her lovely smooth voice, and husband on guitar. I selfishly wish their children would hurry and grow up so they’d return to recording.
  • The Sugarcubes – Björk and her most successful band. And while discussing one Icelandic band, I’ll mention some others:
  • Unun – Heiða & the boys
  • Todmobile – Andrea G and her operatic voice
  • Kolrassa Krókríðandi (and its incarnations Bellatrix and Skandinavia) – Eliza G and her fiddle
  • Komboið – Ellen K’s combo. Her voice is similar to Wheeler’s and together they are probably the loveliest two in music. See also Borgardætur, Ellen’s jazz trio with Andrea and a third girl whose name I can never remember.
  • Stuðmenn – Ragga G sings lead on a third of the songs. Husky, powerful voice and I think she’s even older than me!
  • Jefferson Airplane – Grace Slick.
  • Fleetwood Mac – Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, complementing each other so well, with their boyfriends, husbands or other women’s husbands.
  • Blondie – Debbie Harrry. Huge influence on music since the late 70s.
  • B-52’s – Cindy & Kate. Phenomenal voices (and hair)
  • Manhattan Transfer – jazz quartet. Janis’s version of “Mystery” is one of my favourite songs ever.
  • Cowboy Junkies – Margo & Canucks. I used to call this “music for the comatose.” She has a whispery and seductive voice.
  • Gåte – Norwegian prog band who recorded their first EP when Gunnhild was only 13. If you’re a girl and want to be in a rock band and can’t sing like this, forget it. I suspect she is a valkyrie.
  • The Pretenders – Chrissie Hynde. I’ve never been a big fan of the band but her talent is undeniable.
  • The Roches – Three sisters in perfect harmony – on stage.
  • Eurythmics – Annie Lennox should be any singer’s heroine.
  • Abba – Mentioned for their influence on music.
  • 10,000 Maniacs – homegrown folk. I find Natalie’s solo work dull and repetitious without the band’s clever, zippy music.
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Marriage and motherhood took her too away from us. Hope her kids are as gifted as their parents.
  • Mamas & Papas – Michelle & Cass wailing. Not so much Michelle, but Mama Cass was one of the greatest voices in pop. Gone too soon.


  • At 7:35 AM, August 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Blogcritics had this to say about Kristin Hersh:

    "She veers from “slightly stressed girl-next-door” to “girl-next-door possessed by unspeakable demons” at the drop of a hat. I wonder if she uses the Scary Voice when disciplining her children."


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