For whatever reason, rock has always been a man’s game. But women have done plenty for the music scene, and there are a few rock heroines for every generation.
For this decade, I nominate Karen O (née Orzolek) and Allison Mosshart.
Karen O is best known for fronting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Allison Mosshart came on the scene as one half of the Kills alongside Jamie Hince.
Karen O at Lolla 2007
Karen O is flamboyant, Allison’s gritty. They both have a large body of work, killer style, and great hair. They set trends. They outshine the boys. They don’t disappoint live. They’re both to-the-bone rock stars.
So who’s the best rock goddess? Karen O has better pipes, but Allison would win in a fight. Allison Mosshart is multitasking with Jack White, Karen O created a soundtrack for Spike Jonze. Does it really matter who’s better? Point is, they both flippin’ rock.
For your viewing pleasure, U.R.A. Fever by the Kills.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing at the Monolith Festival Fall 2009.
I realize the songs featured are not the most recent work put out by these ladies. And that the second video is not professionally shot and in no way official. BUT these vids do exemplify everything I adore about these women, and show their artistic styles pretty clearly.
Here’s to all the ladies who rock.
Love the Way You Lie is the kind of video that just begs for controversy. I mean really, all the bases are covered. One of the decade’s biggest pop icons that just happens to be the accidental face of domestic violence? Check. Famously violent trailer-dwelling white rapper? Check. Ridiculously hot starlet that everyone loves to hate? Of course. Oh, and that guy from Lost.
Which sort of makes the whole scandal about whether or not the vid dramatizes domestic violence sort of laughable. Rihanna + Eminem = instant chart-topper. Any music baby these two produce would inevitably be airwave gold, no matter what the subject matter. (Remember the impossible-to-stop pop phenomenon about an umbrella?) So when they cut a track about domestic violence, the guarantee was pretty much an immediate hit whose dissection by bloggers (hi!) and the music industry at large would have absolutely no effect on it’s commercial success.
Point is, saying this track trivializes domestic violence is like saying Katy Perry’s “California Girls” ripped off the Beach Boys. It really doesn’t make any difference.
And I have to admit, I kinda dig it. Sure, it’s overproduced and overdramatic (dancing in cornfields? digital fire? uncalled for). But it’s a video by two of the biggest no-last-name-needed faces in music, that’s sort of expected. I was more surprised that my first thought was “damn, Rihanna can really sing.” I don’t mean she has the best pipes since Babs Streisand, I mean the girl’s got some real emotion pouring out. And to cut that track when most of the planet knows your ex-boyfriend hit you takes some cojones. This ain’t some subtly veiled empowerment ballad like “Hard,” showing how to overcome with a skyrocketing career and a fantastic haircut. This is a song about violent, dysfunctional love by someone who’s lived it. And I can respect that.