It takes a lot for me to like female singers. I’m know I’m not the only one who feels this way. With the abundance of good, solid male musicians leading bands the girls still have a hard time holding their own. However, there are only a handful of bands who have a female play an essential role of musician, not just a singer. Still, there are some female music artists who are okay to like.
Band: The White Stripes
Cool points: Part of the best American band of my time (imho).
While Ms. White maybe isn’t the talented Mr. White, she still is quite, quite cool. She was chosen for a reason and you can’t help but admire her for that. Just too bad that they broke up this year. I’m really going to miss seeing her.
Cool points: Part of a couple of very cool bands, edgy look/music, funky lyrics
While “VV” isn’t playing an instrument most of the time, I give her credit for being a funky singer with the ability to hold her own among very good rock musicians.
Band: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Cool points: edgy lyrics, funky outfits, unique voice
While Karen O has allowed her music to be on the horrible teenage musical television show which shall not be named, and she did music for a horrible movie, Where The Wild Things Are, her music with the band is awesome.
No, this is not the best singer or band or even celebrity to listen to. However, given the grand scope of grunge music in the day and her desire to be famous and do whatever it took to get into the ring, I give her credit. Ugly plastic surgery and insane stupidity aside, she’s still on my iPod.
Cool points: amazing band, unique voice, trendsetting music, plus every hip female who wears back with too much eyeliner can thank Siouxsie for their look
Siouxsie doesn’t have to play an instrument for us to like her. We look at her and think she’s amazing and cool. She is in a category all her own.
Bands: solo artist
Cool points: plays piano, writes her own music, unique, completely wacky (as are all of the above)
While I lost interest in Tori Amos a long time ago, I still appreciate what she does and her talent.
Bands: solo artist
Cool points: plays the guitar, writes her own songs
Now remember, this is Liz Phair before her horrible “Why Can’t I?” radio friendly music. In the 90s she was the grunge girl for everyone to appreciate. We’ll just remember her that way. She doesn’t have a strong voice or the most innovative lyrics but that’s what makes her interesting.
Cool points: awesome wardrobe, awesome voice, awesome music
What else do you need to know about Bjork? Iceland has brought us one of the best female musicians of our generation. Not all of her music is spot-on but when she gets it right, man, is it good. Surely she is the inspiration for Karen O’s look and style as well.
Bands: solo artist
Cool points: plays piano, writes her own music, developed lyrics
I do like Fiona Apple a lot and her antics are mild compared to a lot of female musicians. I’m not a fan of the washed-out anorexic look or her dramatic speeches but she’s a good artist. The overly emotional lyrics get to me after a while but all in all I like what she has to say.
With the above big-name ladies that needed mentioning, I have to include to the list: Beth Gibbons of Portishead (awesome), Alison Goldfrapp of Goldfrapp (new stuff is awful but the Black Cherry and Supernature stuff is amazing), Emily Haines of Metric (good stuff, just wish they weren’t on the Twilight bandwagon), Beth Ditto of The Gossip (girl’s gotta voice on her), Tegan and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara (hip, cute songs – good enough for White Stripes to cover). Plus Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, and last but not least our First Lady of Female Singers: Janis Joplin.
Anyone I’ve missed is unintentional. Or is it?