Remember that time we asked Sylvana Joyce (of “…and the Moment”) ten weird questions, and she was totally cool about the whole thing like we weren’t weird? That made us think we had a chance with her for Valentine’s Day.
Ha ha ha! Foolishness, of course. But how politely she declined our advances, offering instead to make us a playlist. That’s right–you don’t even have to mix a thoughtful album for the girl you like; she already assembled one for herself. That’s the portrait of a low-maintenance girlfriend. And they’re all musicians who inspire her, meaning you get a rare double-header of Hidden Influences and Girl Crush.
If there’s a flaw in the list that follows, it’s the one song she didn’t include: Her own hit, “Trouble,” which we’re adding for ourselves, because no song makes us think of her more than…y’know, that song she wrote and sang. It’s a hip-swaying, heel-kicking, hellacious call to arms (and legs) for all you bad boys out there, who aren’t sitting around bothering her with weird questions. *sigh*…one day, we’ll buy that motorcycle. Then all the badassery will follow. But till that day, take it away, Sylvana!
This is a compilation of songs and women who influence my music, inspire me, and leave me in awe of their awesomeness.
Tori Amos, “Welcome to England”
Tori Amos in Victorian-inspired couture, wandering the streets of London. Need. I. Say. More.
Dresden Dolls, “Coin-Operated Boy”
Amanda Palmer deserves her expletive middle name. Her furious passion on-stage won her a rabid fanbase that would soon make Kickstarter
history, helping her raise over a million dollars to fund her new album and world tour. Dresden Dolls, her collaborative project with drummer Brian Viglione, is a punk cabaret dream. This woman is the epitome of steampunk royalty…nothing says drama like embellished eyebrows. Yowsa.
Nicole Atkins, “Maybe Tonight”
The lush of an orchestra combined with Nicole’s dulcet tones are a match made in heaven. Couple that with lyrics, “I know we’ll meet again…maybe tonight; just tell me where and when,” and you’ve got yourself an anthem you can fall in love with, and to. This Jersey girl has a special place in my heart. Represent. (I live in Jersey…can I say that?)
Gwen Stefani, “Cool”
I thought this woman couldn’t be any more badass when when she wore parachute pants, braces, and cotton candy hair…until she channeled Natalie Wood in this back-when-I-was-a-natural-brunette-and-dated-you video. My god, woman. You can do it all. Not to mention she still has one of the sexiest voices in Pop/Rock ever. No doubt.
Orianthi, “Heaven in This Hell”
This woman has managed to find herself as the lead guitarist toMichael Jackson’s last project and Alice Cooper’s live band. That’s how you know this girl CAN PLAY. This song is off her latest albumwith the same title, and as a fan of Clutch, I hear the Blues meetsMetal influence…I am absolutely smitten. There are ample shots of Orianthi wailing away in this video- you’re welcome.
Regina Spektor, “Fidelity”
Classically-trained pianist/songwriter Regina Spektor is also one of those women who seem to do it all and in their own way. Her songs are like a kaleidoscope, all pulling from different genres and influences, yet coming together to create a cohesive and fiercely original work ofart. She is my musical comrade, and I am in awe of her beauty and talent.
April Smith, “Terrible Things”
I think I might have a soft spot for the macabre – especially when packaged with a deceptively sweet siren such as April. I listened to this song and I was an instant fan. And then I saw the video and knew she’d easily rip my heart and serve it for dinner and I would still love her.
Grace Potter, “Ooh La La”
She’s got one of those punch-you-in-the-heart belts that make you believe, and even when it’s just her and a guitar (or piano as she plays both…jealous) she can command a stadium. And she has, many times. If you’re dreaming of becoming the ultimate female rock star, Grace Potter is the poster child.
Mariah Carey, “My All”
Okay. This is a throwback – but I know I speak for every single teenage boy in the 90’s when I say this video, right here, made them into men. It’s unfair, Mariah. You can’t sing seven octaves as beautifully and seductively as you do, AND be able to make out with a model on a lighthouse while wearing a negligee. It’s just not fair. I can’t compete with that. This video was done 17 years ago…and I still can’t compete with that. As so my boyfriend reminds me, when his eyes gloss over watching this video. So, yeah. Girl crush, but also…damn you, Mariah. ::shakes fist::
Janelle Monae, “Tightrope”
I think the sci-fi geek in me has found the perfect outlet – an artist whose music can be taken at face value, with a cyborg alternate-reality backstory for those who want the full creative experience. Janelle is a quadruple threat: Singer/Songwriter/Dancer/Intellectual.