Every time I read an article in any music magazine about the greatest rock stars, it’s usually about the same guys. I think this sucks since there are so many female musicians who freakin rock and they are always overlooked.
I got to see Hole when I was fourteen, and the plastic hair-clips, bleached hair, babydoll dress wearing, red lipstick smudged, wife and mother, amazing guitarist, batshit crazy Courtney Love was totally, totally inspiring to me. She made me want to be in a rock band too (and now I am! Woo!). She made me realise that girls can rock just as much as the boys do. I think it was her who said she wanted to inspire girls to ‘be a rock star’ and not just ‘fuck a rock star’.
1. Hole – She Walks On Me
Since she inspired my fourteen year old self, I have to put Courtney Love’s band Hole at the beginning of this list. I love this song! It’s so angry and fun to sing along to, plus it has this amazing drifty floaty middle eight section smack in the middle of it. Courtney has become more famous for her ramblings on Twitter and her arguments with other celebrities and her plastic surgery addiction and what everyone is forgetting is what an amazing musician she is. When she plays live, she hands girls guitars. Her lyrics are clever and self-referencial and funny and feminist. I love Hole! Their best album is ‘Live Through This’ – way better than her hubby’s much hyper ‘Nevermind’.
2. L7 – Lackey
It was so hard to choose just one song by L7. They were one of my favourite ever, ever bands! L7 were wild, fun and ridiculous. The lead singer, Donita Sparks, pulled out her bloody tampon and threw it into the restless Reading Festival crowd who were yelling at the band to play more songs. Krist Novostelic, Nirvana’s bass player, made a film about L7. Their music was in the film ‘Tank Girl’ and in ‘Natural Born Killers’. They wore green and black striped tights and had wild hair. They were the ultimate rebel girls, and total rockers.
As for the song, I finally settled on ‘Lackey’ – a fun song from their final album which is about how much they want a male slave. I love this song, especially when she’s like ‘Rock with me’ after the first chorus.
3. Babes in Toyland – Sweet 69
Holy fucking moly, this is such an amazing song. Kat Bjelland has the most incredible voice! Plus, she had the riot grrrl fashion down. It’s said that she started the babydoll dresses trend. Just amazing. I will never not totally love this song.
4. The Breeders – Huffer
I love the Breeders. Looooooove the Breeders. There are tons of songs that they’ve done that I really love, including their break-out hit ‘Cannonball’. Kim Deal has the most amazing voice ever. And she is in the Pixies, too! And these girls can play their guitars so amazingly well, it makes me wish I had time to practice more.
5. Elastica – Stutter
This is my favourite ever Elastica song, which I admit is pretty easy for me to say since I didn’t like a lot of their other songs. This is about a guy who is terrible in bed. The chorus sounds amazing every time I hear it! I don’t know why it’s not their most famous song.
6. PJ Harvey – Good Fortune
I love Peej, I think she is beautiful and interesting and always making brilliant music and then turning around and making something completley different musically, but also, always brilliant. I have chosen her most happy song ‘Good Fortune’ because it reminds me of when it came out, and I too was an English girl, running around New York City – hungover in Chinatown, walking through Little Italy. I was in the same place as the continually changing PJ Harvey! That felt good. I was very tempted to post her earlier stuff, like ‘Dry’ but I just couldn’t resist hearing this song again.
7. Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
I love Joan Jett! You know those born again Christians who wear wristbands with WWJD (What Would Jewsus Do?) emblazed on them? You can buy What Would Joan Jett Do? ones! And pink t-shirts! – http://www.bustboobtique.com/product_info.php?products_id=265 She has been called the Queen of Punk and the Original Riot Grrrl for a reason. We’re not worthy!
8. Sleater-Kinney – I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
It was really sad when Sleater-Kinney broke up. I had seen them live about a million times, and every time they were great. Their songs had no bass and often had two different melodies, sung by Carrie and Corin, weaving in and out of each other. They were uncompromising and hardcore and they knew how to have fun. I loved them. They were so inspiring to me! This song is from their first album, and it’s a love song.
9. The Slits – Typical Girls
RIP Ari Up. You rocked, and inspired me, and I still love to listen to the Slits!
10. Bikini Kill – Suck My Left One
I really wish I’d been able to see Bikini Kill live. Their shows sounded so amazing. Bikini Kill were in the Riot Grrrl scene, where girls could go to see bands without being hassled in the pit, and girls could stand on stage and rock out and not get yelled at ‘Show me your tits’ and other sexist bullshit. I have seen Le Tigre live and they are always really good, and love to get the crowd going, and the crowd tend to be pretty cool, but I bet it’s nothing like the shows of the early 1990s.