18 February 2014

A Grrrlz Mix for an Actual Girl

Last month, a friend of mine mentioned that his pre-school aged daughter was really into songs sung by a female vocalist. Of course I volunteered to make her the ultimate chick mix. It was only I after I created a short list of 150 songs that I realized I was in over my head.

First off, his daughter is barely kindergarden age. I know nothing about children. Furthermore, when I was her age, my favorite song was The Pointer Sisters Jump (For My Love).

The sort of sticky-sweet pop dropped out of my repertoire years ago. Should I go dig up Debbie Gibson and Brandy Carlisle from the musical graveyard? Seems a little wrong.

I confessed the issue to my friend. He said he hoped to spare his daughter from mindless girl pop, and he told me she was currently obsessed with Lorde. Confidence (somewhat) restored I went back to my song list...

...where I discovered most of the songs were totally unsuitable for a little kid. A lot of what I'd consider classic tunes had explicit lyrics and/or dealt with mature subjects such as gender roles, sex and death, and getting effed over by either a man or The Man.

I knew I had to dig deeper. My musical DNA was based in a lot of "dad rock" (Creedence, Croce and the like), so I went for songs that had a story. I also picked tunes with cryptic lyrics so long as they had tasty hooks.

In the end, Liz, Fiona, PJ, Tori, Joni, Stevie, Patti, Lauryn, Missy, Kristin and Tanya, Amy and Emily, Carrie Corin and Janet mostly got veto'd (but Wild Flag made the cut). Ella, Ani, Nina and the Wilson sisters are in, along with some international girl bands and a Madonna tune I expect most people have forgotten. The final tracklist is below.

I Love Grrrlz Mix

SHONEN KNIFE: Top of the World
BLONDIE: The Tide is High
GOSSIP: Hott Date
WILD FLAG: Racehorse
PINK MARTINI: Sympathique
THE KNIFE: Heartbeats
HEART: Barracuda
MADE IN HEIGHTS: All the Places
TLC: No Scrubs
THE BREEDERS: Drivin' on 9
ANI DIFRANCO: 32 Flavors (live)
MADONNA: Dear Jessie
NINA SIMONE: My Baby Just Cares for Me
BJORK: It's Oh So Quiet
DAR WILLIAMS: The Babysitter's Here

I'm definitely planning a part II, so if you have suggestions. Paste 'em below!