Who’s old enough to remember making mix-tapes for the boy or girl you have a crush on? There’s a delicate art to it. You don’t want to be too obvious in your choices, but also not overly pretentious. You want the mix to be cool, yet sensitive. On Mondays, we’re going to relive those days by giving you a load of our favorite songs to start your week with. And we’re not doing it alone. We’re asking some of our regulars and people we admire to send in their lists.
When Julia walked into the Mezrab a few years ago to write an article about us for a local paper we knew we wanted her to stay. She had short hair, great tattoos and told us her Masters degree was in feminism in cult vampire films. Ever since she’s been a member of the team, making sure the website is updated, information is sent out and coming up with plans for new events. Currently she’s planning her second trip to the Philippines, where she will help exploited workers in the garment industry to tell their own stories.
This is my top 10 of youtube songs at the moment.
If youtube was even more expanded it might have looked a little different with for example Shirley Collin’s ‘Hares on the mountain’ or Elizabeth Cotton’s ‘Jesus lifted me’. All strong women making beautiful songs with a bite. Of course you’d have to place them in time since wearing worker’s pants as a woman in the 50’s was already quite daring and progressive.
Peggy Seeger – Gonna Be An Engineer
So let’s start with this song then. Peggy Seeger ( sister of Pete Seeger) was a American folk singer and activist from the 50’s. She was married to folk singer, activist and songwriter Ewan MacColl. She identifies as bisexual and written an essay about it (Voices of Bisexuals Around the World).Great, feminist song of a very special lady.
Elizabeth Cotten – Freight Train
She was an American blues and folk musician, singer and songwriter Her self-taught left-handed guitar style (holding a right-handed guitar upside down) become known as “Cotten picking”. Amazing woman played the guitar till she died..
Daniel Johnston – The Story Of An Artist
Very special person with a sad song, also a little funny at the same time and recognizable and cliché and…. If you have time watch this documentary about him: ‘The Devil and Daniel Johnston’
Diamanda Galas – Let My People Go
American musician, AIDS activist and philosopher. Listen to this amazing dark song based on and old American Negro Spiritual called ‘Go down Moses’. Now, Diamanda made it into something different: “ the eight legs of the devil now, are crawling up my spine”
Current 93 – A Gothic Love Song
To follow up the sudden darkness in this list; a gothic, sad and actually quite depressing song by the fanstastic Storytellers of Current 93.
Low – La La La Song
Now we’re into love songs anyway, so here’s another one. I think it’s the most intimate and daring lovesong I know to open to the world. Don’t think I could ever do that but happy to be able to listen to this one from Low.
Amanda Palmer – Vegemite (The Black Death)
Strong woman, good performer and so so funny!
The Secret Sisters – Why Dont You Love Me
These sisters are so cute and lovely. I missed them playing in Paradiso this year, such a shame
I love to sing this song and overdo it 😉
Yarah Bravo – Bluebird
This little lady started as a surprise act of underground hiphop master DJ Vadim but soon enough left her tracks in hiphop-land and blows you away from stage. Look at her! http://www.britishhiphop.co.uk/features/articles/yarah_bravo_-_biography.html
Wanda Jackson – Fujiama Mama
Last year I went to see this woman playing at Patronaat in Haarlem. She’s74(!) years old and I was blown away! She told the audience about her first tour after highschool together with Elvis. They were both ‘spoiled brats’ as she said and went on their first date together. Isn’t that great?! Listen to this very very cool song of this rockin momma: