To look in the "Blues" section of most record stores, you'd think it was only men who had troubles worth singing about. This week it is my pleasure to prove this assumption SPECTACULARLY WRONG, with a glimpse at some of the women who have howled, growled, whimpered and moaned their way through the Blues.
Each month in our nifty newsletter (sign up on the homepage if you haven't already), we'll be polling Bitch staffers and readers on their top five in different categories and posting the polls and results on the Bitch blog. This month, it's frontwomen whose talents we wish we possessed. So c'mon, give us five!
I did some of my growing up on the island of Maui, Hawai'i, but somehow only came to pick up the ukulele seriously when I was 23 and living in Los Angeles. I'm back in Hawai'i for a little while, and am taking every opportunity I can to sit on the beach and strum my uke while my brother the professional chef sears some mahi mahi for dinner. It's raining here, and is supposed to for upwards of a week, but this little instrument brings sunshine and aloha spirit wherever it goes. In looking for new songs to play (ps if you have ideas, leave them in the comments and I'll IOU a Youtube video when I learn it!), I realized that EVERYONE AND THEIR DAD is now playing the ukulele, and Youtube is basically used at this point exclusively for cat videos and people playing ukulele versions of Regina Spektor songs. So I thought this week, in the spirit of these islands I love, I would do a sampling of the best the uke has had to offer in what seems to be a full-blown Ukulele Revolution.
Iceland has been called the most female-friendly country in the world, and Scandinavia is world-renowned for producing perfectpopacts, so it was only a matter of time before my obsession radar brought me to female Icelandic musicians. Here are a very few of my favorites, some new to me (Ólöf) and some newly re-visited (Björk, dear Björk).
Mmm...books! Autumn and books just seem to go hand in hand. This week's BitchTapes is a mix of musicians celebrating books in their songs or group names. Best enjoyed while stepping on crunchy leaves on the way to your local independent bookstore. Track list after the jump!
It's no surprise weather patterns appear so often in music. They, like music, can shape and reflect our moods at any given time. More importantly, they're good for a seemingly infinite number of metaphors. They can change from minute to minute. Just like your aching heart. They can rain on your parade. Just like, you know... rain. They can brighten up the ENTIRE PLANET! Just like EVERYTHING ELSE can, when you're having one of those days when everything is golden and drenched in sunshine and "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" is your own personal theme song. It all starts in the sky. With that, global warming, and the constantly-changing weather of autumn all in mind, this week's BitchTapes is a big ol' shout out to Mother Nature.
Side note: It was incredibly hard for me not to put "Mr. Sun" by Raffi on this list. The things I do for hipster cred... Forgive me, Raffi. You are #1 in the playlist of my heart.