Jul. 15th, 2009

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Spurred on by the astonishing lack of female artists represented in the JJJ (Australian public 'youth/alternative' radio station) hottest 100 of all time countdown Girliejones has started Female Appreciation Month and, being an opinionated sort of person I have decided to tag along and list a months worth of my favourites too. What follows, in no particular order, is a random collection of lists and links of artists and specific songs that have had a profound impact on my life, or, you know, that I just really like :)

1.
Madonna
The amazing thing for me about Madonna is that, because of her fantastic, changing, reinventing attitude, her music has always been relevant and apposite to my life. I have loved her from her very first chart appearances, there is something about her music--it may not be the most sophisticated, or the most technically proficient, or any other readily identifiable characteristic of "great" music, but it just *works*. It is like magic. And the magic doesn't just stop with the music. I decided to start my list with Madonna because despite not giving me much rock cred the honest truth is that no one musician/artist/celebrity has come close to having as much impact on the shaping of the person I am today than Madonna. Her feisty, fearless, can-do-anything-and-just-watch-me attitude significantly shaped my emerging jr feminist self, not to mention inspiring an opp-shop obsession that has lasted a lifetime. It is not so much that I saw Madonna and suddenly became outspoken, I was already strong willed, it was more like I saw this person and saw that it was okay--even desirable--to be all these things.



Above is a 1985 recording of 'Into the Grove', performed at Live Aid. This is footage I have seen many times since we were early adopters of technology in our household and had already had a video recorder for several years. My mother diligently taped *the entire broadcast* of Live Aid and encouraged us to stay up and watch as much of it live as we could. The concert was performed not long after Madonna had been shamed by the media with the release of naked photos from her modeling/life-drawing work. She responded at the concert by stating [paraphrased] "It's getting really hot up here, but there's no way I'm taking off my jacket because you might hold it against me 10 years from now". Of course this was all overshadowed a few years later by the 'Sex' book and the 'Erotica' album, but at the time it was presented as extremely controversial.

Much of Madonna's later work is accompanied by awesome video clips--a lot of the music around the bedtime stories/ray of light period has a very strong SF influence which may interest some of my SF lovin buddies :) Below is 'Bedtime Story' which also has the bonus of being written by Bjork another outspoken, feisty, female musician of awesomeness.



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