Monthly Archives: October 2012

Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Tracy Chapman

Who She Is: American singer/songwriter, 4-time Grammy Award winner (if that matters to you). Ridiculously talented, she plays guitar, harp, bouzouki, banjo, clarinet, keyboards, organ, harmonica, and percussion instruments. Her voice is like a warm blanket, carved wood.

Why I Love Her (and Why You Should Too): I first heard Tracy Chapman in the late’90s, not long after I first heard Alanis Morissette. I was 13, my family had just moved to Indiana after 8 years in Madison, WI, and I was so lonely I could have chewed off my own arm. I spent the summer before high school lying in a rectangle of light between the garage and the family room, drowning in songs like “One of Us” by Joan Osborne, and “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. For the longest time, I didn’t know who was responsible for this track that so perfectly captured the ache in my heart. For years, I actually thought the singer was a man; it took me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that Tracy Chapman is a black woman. (I know, I know. In retrospect, how could I have thought she was anything but?) “Fast Car” is one of many hits off her first, self-titled album, which came out in 1988 (I was 5 years old!!!!). Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman

Friday Mixtape: Alanis Morissette

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Alanis Morissette

Who She Is: Kickass Canadian, also American. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, flautist, pianist, harmonicaist. Wife, mother.

Why I Love Her (and Why You Should Too): Are you kidding?! Alanis has been a force of nature since she bellowed “You Oughta Know”—bolting us upright in 1995. We oughta and we did. Jagged Little Pill sold 33 million copies worldwide, making it the second highest selling album by a female artist (she should have been first, considering she was behind Shania Twain’s Come On Over—more like Come on!).

The ’90s were great for women: we had Natalie Merchant and Fiona Apple. Lauryn Hill and The Spice Girls. Joan Osborne and Paula Cole. Meredith Brooks—(that bitch!)—and Lisa Loeb. Tracy Chapman and Billie Meyers. Shawn Colvin and—(who could forget?)—Jewel. Later, there were others, like Dido. In 1997, Sarah McLachlan founded Lilith Fair, flicking off the myth that you couldn’t feature two consecutive female musicians. In many ways, this couldn’t have happened without Alanis. Her furor, her honesty, her angst, completely changed how America viewed women artists. Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Alanis Morissette

Friday Mixtape: Tegan & Sara + Against Me!

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the next installment of the Friday Mixtape. This week’s a twofer (I know, I know. We’re changing it up already). Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Tegan & Sara + Against Me!

Let me just say: It’s been a rough week. This song, a duet between Against Me! and Tegan of Tegan & Sara got me through. Both bands save me one note (and one day) at a time.

“Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart”:

I love the way this video is edited. Also, I never would have thought to put Laura and Tegan’s voices together; their music is so different! It’s that vocal contrast that makes this track.

Favorite lyric: “Anxiety, anxiety! You give me no mercy! Grind my teeth, smooth and flat, in my sleep.” Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Tegan & Sara + Against Me!