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Sing it, sister

I have this playlist that needs to be longer, and am therefore soliciting recommendations. I call it "Go Girl," because that amuses me, and it's probably best described as my "women are awesome" playlist, in the sense that some of us frequently discuss in fandom terms.

The purpose of it is motivational -- something to listen to in the car on the way to auditions, f'rinstance, or just when the mopes are threatening.

What makes the cut and what doesn't is reeeaaaallly subjective -- there are several tracks that I put on it and ending up pulling off because they just didn't quite fit. Meredith Brooks' "Bitch," f'rinstance, I love as pie, but after a few plays through with the first line being "I hate the world today," coupled with the whole thing being addressed to an individual SO, it became clear it just doesn't belong.

As near as I can come to articulating the criteria, they are (a) female artist (with one obvious exception at the end of the list; (b) generally positive message of the "I am awesome and so can you" variety; (c) energetic tone (doesn't have to be super-upbeat, just have some passion behind it); (d) larger focus than a one-on-one relationship; (e) engineering that fits in with the overall sound texture (i.e. in the general pop neighborhood, because it's just worked out that way).

The list as it currently stands:

One Girl Revolution - Saving Jane
I Stand - Idina Menzel
Work That - Mary J. Blige
Who I Am - Jessica Andrews
How Strange - Emilie Autumn
If I Fall - Tara MacLean
Buffy Theme - Nerf Herder

I'm actually on the fence about "How Strange," just because it's sort of addressed to one person. However, I've been constitutionally incapable of making a playlist with no Emilie for about a year and a half (lizbetann, this is ALL YOUR FAULT!), so for the moment it stays.

So, ladies, what'cha got? Don't fret if you think it might be something I already have that didn't make the cut -- like I said, it's super-subjective and some of it is just about what fits in overall to my ear. And if it's something new to me that doesn't fit the list, it'll probably still be something awesome that I'll be glad to know about!

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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
thanatos_kalos
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Just thinking at random...

KT Tunstall's 'Suddenly I See'
Nina Simone 'Feeling Good'
Scandal: 'Warrior'
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Ooh! The first two I don't know. Will investigate. And the last I haven't thought of in years. It might be a bit too hard-edged for this purpose, but man, did I love it in high school.
havocthecat
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
I should be able to help you with Suddenly I See.
thanatos_kalos
Feb. 12th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlU-1u1JC8 is Suddenly I See

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22kPiPILteQ is Feeling Good.

And I used to blare 'The Warrior' in my whenever I was feeling upset.
studiesinlight
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. On reflection, I think that all the "rally the troops" and "conquer the world songs" in my tiny album collection -- except Maria's "I Have Confidence" in The Sound of Music -- are sung by men. I had never thought of that before.

I don't think I'm familiar with any of the songs on your list (except of course the BtVS theme). I should look them up, yes?
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
And now that you mention it, I think that was probably the main song that served this purpose when I was little. :-D (Living my life to a soundtrack is nothing remotely resembling a new development.)

I certainly recommend all the songs.
havocthecat
Feb. 12th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
What about that version of How Soon Is Now by Snake River Conspiracy? (I think that's another lizbetann's fault one.) ETA: I like it better than the version that played over the opening of Charmed. Plus, sung by a woman.

Also, remind me to get you a copy of Not Done Yet, by Superchick, if you don't have it. I have no idea if you've got a copy of that or not, but I think it would fit quite well.

How about No Mermaid by Shaye?

Oh! Remind me to let you listen to some Natacha Atlas some time. Feen, by Natacha Atlas and Princess Julianna, is kind of borderline, but I think it might work.

Um. You plan on sharing when you finish, I hope? Or can I bribe you into it somehow?

Edited at 2009-02-12 05:10 pm (UTC)
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Or the TaTu [or however they spelled/capitalized it] version of "How Soon Is Now"?
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
I think they did all caps? Will look for that too, thanks!
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I know there were periods and mixed upper and lower case, but can never remember the order...
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, I forgot about that! And I seem to recall it being less...whiny isn't quite the right word, but somewhere in the ballpark... than either the Smiths original or the Charmed/The Craft cover. (I remain terribly amused that Charmed snurched the same cover version for its theme.)

"No Mermaid" is in the in-and-back-out category. Didn't quite jell, not sure why. Ditto "Beauty." Odd, because that whole album is one I've been known to listen to for the purpose I'm building this playlist for. Music brain is weird.

Don't know the other artists you mention, will definitely add to the "investigate" list.

I'm pondering the best way to share, but yes, it is in fact a necessity.
havocthecat
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
I find it hilarious that they used the same cover, so I'm glad I'm not the only one. I think I find the Snake River Conspiracy version to be a little more 'take me as I am' than the Charmed cover. If that makes sense as a description?

Hrm. For Shaye, I was actually pondering, other than 'No Mermaid' (and 'Guinevere,' but only because it just went onto my Arthurian playlist), possibly 'Happy Baby.'

I only have the one Superchick song, but I need to get more, since I love this one so much. I can enable that and the Natacha Atlas listening.
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Feb. 14th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Okay, I didn't find Not Done Yet on Amazon Downloads, but just downloaded the whole Rock What You Got album. Because dude, I have been MISSING OUT. :: smooch ::
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
These are the first ones that pop into my brain... And yes, I have copies if you need them...

"Saturn Girl" by Paula Cole
"I Believe in Love" by Paula Cole
"House of Hope" by Toni Childs

wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Oooh, thanks! Will check out.

I tried "This Fire" (that's the only album of hers I currently have) but it speaks too much desperation. Speaks it incredibly, bone-chillingly well, mind you, but doens't fit this particular playlist.
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, This Fire does tend toward desperation. Harbinger is my favorite of her 3 CDs, but Amen has some good stuff, too. And the 2 new tracks on her greatest hits CD are good, as well...

"Saturn Girl" is from Harbinger, and I can upload if you wanna listen...
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
That'd be great! Since I'm sure I'll wind up buying albums anyway. She's one of those artists who, I like what I have of theirs, but keep forgetting to check if there's more.

And you probably guessed I meant "Tiger" -- "this fire" being part of the lyrics...
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
*nods* There are good and bad songs on This Fire. I mean, it gave us "Hush, Hush, Hush", which SO doesn't work for what you're wanting, but is probably one of my favorite of all of her songs [the #1 being "Saturn Girl", which I'm listening to atm].

In fact, the greatest hits CD is here, if you'd like...
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, "Hush Hush Hush" is number one on the guaranteed-to-make-Val-cry list. Which also has its uses, and I keep meaning to make an actual playlist for it.
ariestess
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
*chuckles* yeah, the minute Peter Gabriel starts to sing, it's over for me...
sherron0
Feb. 12th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
I am completely unfamiliar with all your songs! I'm older than I thought! (One of my young friends, when I played Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" for her commented, "so this is what God listened to when He was young?" —snotty little brat.) So, since I'm obviously not up on pop, and I'm not sure of your rhythm, forgive if I'm not even close.

Just springing up unbidden, how about Gloria Gayner's "I Will Survive."

Then there's the Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine," though that's more of a 'I have learned and so can you' than 'conquer the world' sort, but very upbeat.

And of course, the one that defines your list, "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar" by Helen Reddy.

And just to prove to you that not all my music is 30 years old, how about "We Shall not Be Moved" by Mavis Staples. Not really about women, more about the civil rights movement, but VERY inspiring, and great beat/music.

The Pretenders, "Hymn to Her," of course, and "I'm a Mother" I hated 'Mother' the first time I heard it, but since we dinosaurs had to listen to whole CDs, I heard it several times, and fell in love with it as sort of a 'victory march'.
(I'm a mother, Treat me like a mother.
You want to suck on my breast, It's no surprise you do.
I'm the source and the force you owe your life to, brother.)

And Sara Groves, "When the Saints." —Not the song you think it is, but Christian based. But a fit, I think




wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Oooh, more unfamiliar names to check out! Not to mention some great classics.

"so this is what God listened to when He was young?"

He should be so lucky! I have no idea why I love Stevie Nicks' strange, strange voice so much.

I'm older than I thought!

My tastes also tend to be on the obscure side. I almost never listen to commercial radio -- "One Girl Revolution" is the only one on the list I discovered that way, and only because I forgot to take the car charger for my mp3 player when I went out to my class reunion last year, and hit it lucky while surfing Denver stations. "Work That" was used in a commercial a while back; I think it's the only one you'd have heard on top 40 radio. Although I think "Who I Am" charted for pop as well as country, around six years ago.

Hmmm. I went through all my Indigo Girls and nothing jumped out at me as fitting, but maybe I'll give that one another try. It's not all that far off from "I Stand." (I suspect IG fans would love the album for which that is the title track. I actually prefer her earlier one, Still I Can't Be Still, but it's more eclectic and eccentric.)

True Silly Fact: I cannot, no matter how I try, listen to "I Am Woman" without picturing Helen Reddy pigeon-toed. What happens when you put certain lyrics, a seven-year-old, and a strongly visual and occasionally rather literal imagination together. *g* It's actually kind of a fun mental image -- toes together, arms spread wide. But I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she would want to stand that way. I think I was 11 or 12 before the penny finally dropped.
havocthecat
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Oh! Vintage music! Maybe you can help? There's got to be a Janis Joplin song or two that fits the purpose of this album, right? But my Greatest Hits album is at home. I'm wracking my brain, and I can't remember any song that would work, but there has to be one.
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
As much awesome is likely to be found that way, I may end up with engineering dissonance from putting that sort of track next to the ones I have. (Which reminds me tangentially, I need to investigate Frances Ruffelle's solo albums and see if she has "Stranger to the Rain" on any of them. I tried using the version from the Paper Mill cast album, but the level and texture difference is too distracting. I really need to either digitize my London cast cassette, or find the darn thing on CD somewhere. It went out of print so darn fast. *sigh* But Frances charted the single, even though the show flopped in the West End, so there's a shot. Plus I like the "somewhere far from safety" bridge lyrics oodles better than the later "for the boy who's given me the sweetest love I've known." Which I'm sure shocks you terribly.)

Which in no way should be read as a reason not to recommend the awesome. I never used to be able to stand Joplin's voice, but I've mellowed on it to some degree in recent years.
grammarwoman
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...

"Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" by the Eurythmics (duet with Aretha Franklin)
"Big Time Sensuality" by Björk
"Kiss Them for Me" by Siouxsie and the Banshees
"Sisters of Avalon" by Cyndi Lauper
"Shirley", "Fast and Frightening" by L7
"One Way or Another" by Blondie

...I may have a thing for female singers. *grin*
wiliqueen
Feb. 12th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
:: makes note to check all these out ::

And this reminds me I've been meaning to update my Cyndiness for years.

...I may have a thing for female singers.

I have no idea what that could possibly be like. *nods gravely*

On that topic, if you don't know Idina Menzel's solo stuff, this should be fixed. I actually <3 it more than her musical theatre work.
ithildyn
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
My new current favourite is 'Little Toy Gun' by HoneyHoney, or really anything by them. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3YmaADISlo)

Let's see, I've been in a Celtic/American Folk mood lately, so let me think of pop type stuff...
Róisín Murphy - Ruby Blue
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On
Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin

Kate Havnevik
Brandi Carlile
Tegan and Sara
The Ditty Bops
KT Tunstall


Edited at 2009-02-12 07:42 pm (UTC)
wiliqueen
Feb. 14th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
Heee! Love that video. People so seldom make really fun videos anymore.

Off to check out the others, thanks!
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Feb. 14th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Oooh, both of those are songs I love and don't have! Thanks for the reminder.
swirling_poetry
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
"32 Flavors" Ani DiFranco. It is the ultimate awesome girl song.

The refrain goes like this:

Squint Your Eyes and Look Closer
I'm not in between you and your ambition
I'm a poster girl with no poster
I'm 32 flavors and then some

Also:

"Not a Pretty Girl" Ani DiFranco, fits with the awesome woman theme, though a little bitter
"Little Plastic Castle" Ani DiFranco, more about female friendship than female awesomeness, but female friendship is awesome
"Imperfection" Saving Jane
"Polyester Bride" Liz Phair
"Loose Lips" Kimya Dawson

I like the following, but I'm not sure they're right:

"Shame on You" Indigo Girls
"Go" Indigo Girls
"Driver Education" Amy Ray

swirling_poetry
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
Actually, now that I think on it, the narrative of "Polyester Bride" is about the singer complaining about bad dates, but the message of the refrain is "I am awesome and so can you." So not as sure on that one anymore.
finabair
Feb. 13th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
If country works, there's always "This One's For the Girls" by Martina McBride. (ETA: And "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" by Shania Twain.)

It probabaly doesn't fit with pop, especially since it's instrumental, but I always think "The Countess Cathleen/Woman Of The Sidhe" from Riverdance fits the theme. (I think on the vid version it was "Women of Ireland".) :-)



Edited at 2009-02-13 07:20 am (UTC)
wiliqueen
Feb. 14th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
If country works, there's always "This One's For the Girls" by Martina McBride

Oooh, never heard this one! :: gleeees at video :: (Although the shiny purple pants are kind of... um.)

Edited at 2009-02-14 03:04 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Feb. 13th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
Got it! (This is a public post, dunno if you meant to have that out there.)

Not only did you get me hooked, I've thoroughly infected at least two other people.
fuzzyspacekitty
Feb. 14th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Cheesy as it is, the first thing I thought of was Bette Midler doing 'I'm Beautiful, Damn it.'

I'm going to try to think of more. Just got a new laptop (*squeal!*) and there's no music on it yet for me to peruse.
hildy
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Have you seen this "Girl Power" mix? Lots of potential songs there, including a fair bit of country music. My favorites are Donna Summer's "Stamp your Feet" and Ana Johnson "Coz I can". Love the mix you have up already btw.
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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