Okay, so before I even begin I want to say: I’m gunshy about lists now. I love (most of) my readers, but some of y’all are BRUTAL. You can see for yourself the comments on the 25 Best Indie Rock Albums post, and that’s not even counting the e-mailed death threats (yeah, actual death threats) because “I” didn’t include Yo La Tengo/Mars Volta/whoeverthefuckthepersonliked. Listen, guys, I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, but this time I’ll do it with numbered paragraphs for improved readability:
1. My readers voted and these are the results, I didn’t pick these myself.
2. It’s music. If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, don’t.
3. This is not MY list.
4. This is not MY list.
5. This is all supposed to be fun, guys.
6. Just because you’re on the internet, doesn’t give you the right to be an anonymous shit. Pretend I’m in the room with you. If you wanna be rude, then pretend I’m in the room with you naked. Fucking your girlfriend.
7. This is not MY list.
8. Let’s keep it positive.
9. You all voted for these ladies, it’s not my list.
10. Got it?
All right. Even having said that, I’ll bet one of the first three comments I get on this tells me I’m dumb for not including Great Girl Who Is Better Than All Of These Girls Combined.
I got just under a hundred votes–far fewer than I got for my top 25 indie rock albums–so this is an even less representative sample. Here’s the results.
10. Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Hyperballad (Bjork cover) (live, acoustic version) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Kelly Clarkson vs. Karen O (Aggro mash up). This is perhaps my favorite mash up ever.
Maps (acoustic version)-Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9. PJ Harvey.
Sadly, all I own of Ms. Harvey is RIAA released material. But here’s Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talking about PJ Harvey.
8. Sleater Kinney.
Most of the votes for Sleater Kinney were for the band, by name, which consists of 3 gals, but Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein also got votes individually. The Washington power trio got started on Chainsaw Records but has since been signed to Sub Pop.
Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)-Pearl Jam and Sleater Kinney
7. Imogen Heap
I was surprised to see this grammy-nominated Essex-born singer/songwriter here on this list. First off, most of her work (solo and with Frou Frou) has been on major labels. Second, I just had no idea trip hop was so popular.
Have You Got It In You-Imogen Heap
6. Neko Case.
I’m a big fan of the The New Pornographers, and, of course, her solo and Sadies work is hot, too. She’s being sold at Starbucks now, but don’t hold that against her.
The Laws Have Changed-New Pornographers (video)
Furnace Room Lullaby-Neko Case (video)
Stay A Little Longer-Jon Langford and Neko Case
Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis (tom Waits cover)-Neko Case
5. Emily Haines (The Metric).
Emily Haines definitely made my top 10 list, based solely on her work with The Metric, but her new material with Soft Skeleton is pretty hot, too. Not to mention the fact that she’s a Broken Social Scene contributor.
Expecting to Fly-Emily Haines (Neil Young cover)
Pink-Emily Haines. From her rare, out-of-print solo album.
Combat Baby-Metric. One of the most perfect pop songs ever crafted.
4. Leslie Feist.
Yes, another Broken Social Scene member. But on her own, she’s so much more. She just released her major-label debut and guess what? It’s pretty lame. Her indie stuff is much better. Go buy some of it!
L’Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours-Feist
Major Label Debut (live version)-Feist (BSS)
3 and 2. Kim Deal and Cat Power/Chan Marshall. (tie)
Cat Power, real name Charlyn “Chan” Marshall, is a Georgia-born singer/songwriter who plays both piano and guitar. She’s been an indie fave for a long time, with her last release, The Greatest, topping “best of” lists for 2006. She’s on Matador.
Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)-Cat Power
Cross Bones Style-Cat Power (remix)
To tally the votes for Kim Deal, I included all votes for her various bands. And she’s been in a lot. She started out in The Pixies, before forming The Breeders with Tanya Donnelly (who also got quite a few votes, but not enough to crack this list). Her time with The Breeders led to a few alternative radio hits, like Cannonball and The Last Splash, as well as a great group of albums. She couldn’t stand success, though, it seems, so she quit and formed The Amps, whose “Pacer” album wasn’t too popular but was as good as anything she’d done with The Breeders. In 2002 the Breeders reformed, releasing Title TK. I don’t know what she’s been up to since then.
A few tracks from an ’03 Breeders show:
The Theme From Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Trouper (Iron Maiden cover) (sung by audience)
I Don’t Care About You (Fear cover)
Happiness is a Warm Gun (Beatles cover)
1. Kim Gordon.
Of Sonic Youth. One person wrote that Kim is clearly the “most influential” of all indie rock chicks. Again, depending on your definition of “Indie Rock” you might agree. I do.
Mary Christ-Sonic Youth (live)-Sonic Youth
Free City Rhymes theme-Sonic Youth
Dirty Boots (live)-Sonic Youth
Made in the U.S.A. (1986 outtake)-Sonic Youth
These folks got quite a few votes, but not enough . . .
Nico, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), Liz Phair, Patti Smith, Regina Spektor, Meg White . . .