The Women Who Rock Us

Without getting all sentimental, we wanted to celebrate Mother's Day 2012 in the best way we know how - to celebrate the Women in Contemporary Music that drive us crazy, that go wild, that make us appreciate Women and the craft of music just a little more. This is far from an complete list. Mothers or not - these ladies are responsible for making our hearts flit and sing - making life better through music.

Beth Ditto of Gossip

Editor & Writer Nick Parker selected Beth Ditto.

"Rock and roll rebellion is about difference, and there are very few women in music who assert that difference more uncompromisingly than Gossip's Beth Ditto. Standing on the shoulders of Riot Girl giants, Ditto has demanded our attention in so many area of popular culture (particularly in the UK) that is sometimes easy to forget that she has the voice as colossal as Aretha Franklin's, transported into stripped-down 21st century disco punk. Cross her at your peril."

Sarah Negahdari of The Happy Hollows

Photo by Zoe Ruth Erwin

Writer Julie Stoller selected Sarah Negahdari.

"Behold, Sarah Negahdari, crazed banshee vocalist and lead guitar shredder for Silver Lake-based trio The Happy Hollows. Don’t let her diminutive fairy tale princess look deceive you. Alternating with ethereal singing and fanciful drawings of flying horses is pummeling guitar fury that will throw you up against the nearest wall, and otherworldly shrieks that can shatter the space-time continuum. She’s expecting a brand new baby album later this year with Happy Hollows, and has a solo side project called Pisces."

Stephanie Briggs of Little Brave

Writer Chris Fullerton selected Stephanie Briggs.

"Stephanie Briggs, the driving force behind Austin’s Little Brave, has managed to defy all labels thrown at her music. She’s been tagged as a Texas Troubador, but her brand of folk-driven indie rock is hard to pin down in one category. A talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, she brings a girl-next-door-turned-rock-star sexuality to the stage that will make everyone in the audience leave with at least a little crush on her. Whether rocking out with a full band or stripping down for a solo acoustic show, Stephanie pulls every emotion from your soul, from bittersweet break-ups to songs about The X-Files. She’s currently working on a series of EPs and planning a trip to Toronto for the NXNE festival in June."

Amanda Palmer

Writer Cara Giamio selected Amanda Palmer.

"Sometimes I think Amanda Palmer might be more than one person. Bear with me for a second and think about it. Could one person have spent her formative days looming over Harvard Square as a living statue and her formative nights attacking pianos in underground clubs as half of legendary punk-cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls? Can one person direct the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart and cover Rebecca Black for Occupy Boston? Unbraid her soul into beautiful, slow-blooming blog posts AND fire off about sixty worthwhile tweets per minute? Build her own A.R.T. show, fake her own death, and invent her own music industry
model? And still have time to draw on her own eyebrows every morning? Probably only if that person’s from Boston. Lucky us. Amanda Palmer has a new record coming out - double lucky us."

Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara

Siouxsie Medley of Dead Sara

Photo Editor 5342 selected Dead Sara.

"Since catching them at SXSW, I've had a mild obsession with Dead Sara. Their self-titled release in April has been in regular rotation every since it came out. It is one of my top albums for 2012. While not an entirely female band, singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley have more than enough bad-assery to fill any room. Be sure to catch them."

Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards

Ryan Spaulding selected Erika Wennerstrom

"When we decided to put this piece together celebrating strong women in music I sincerely hoped no one else would pick Erika before me. To me, she's perhaps the most obvious choice in music today. There are few singers who have moved me so much the last six years since this web site's creation. She has endlessly toiled and has a massive catalog of remarkable music with her band Heartless Bastards. Having just featured the band in our 19-band lineup in Austin ( will always & forever be one of the most thrilling moments of my life. Erika's lyrics, her ferocity in presenting the songs on stage and the way she adds layers (both emotional and sincere) to her vocals gives me chills. I couldn't be happier for her or the band that Heartless Bastards have delivered the finest workd of their career in Arrow (2012) - my album of the year so far as we near the year's half way point. She's a very special musician and they are one hell of a band.. "


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