Typical Girls: A Kick-Ass Lady’s Playlist

Unless a little girl is blessed with alternative-loving parents or an amazing big sister, there is a chance that she will go most of her young life with some pretty crappy female role models in music. Sure, the Spice Girls were fun, but in all seriousness, I think they may have damaged me from the get-go. And let’s be honest, if the Spice Girls helped turned girls into sexed up, bland teenagers, then just imagine the havoc wreaked by the likes of Ke$ha, or (shudder) the maniacs from Glee. So, in order to put an end to this right now, I present to you the most kick-ass women in music playlist. Enjoy it and try not to get too excited.

20. Exene Cervenka

As the co-head of the wicked awesome Los Angeles punk X, Exene added a level of grit and grime to the band that only a woman can. She kept up with the boys in the movie, The Decline of Western Civilization, and for a lot of women, she showed them how it was done. X- Los Angeles

19. The Go-Gos

The first all girl band to really make it HUGE. They were a New Wave band in the beginning, great pop at the end, and they have the fucking beat. The Go-Gos- We Got the Beat

18. The Runaways

Dakota Fanning and Twilight Girl have nothing on Cherri Curri and Joan Jett. They were absolutely uncompromisingly rock and roll, and made sure everyone knew it. The Runaway- Cherry Bomb

17. Sinead O’Connor

She ripped up a picture of the Pope on live TV. Can you say “role model”? Never shy away from your beliefs, girls and you too could be this cool. Sinead O’Connor- Black Boys on Mopeds

16. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth

What do you say about Kim Gordon? The last time I saw Sonic Youth live, she was wearing a silver dress and tearing up the stage like she was still 22. And the best part was, she pulled it off better than musicians whoare 22. Sonic Youth- My Friend Goo

15. Beth Ditto of The Gossip

She not only cultivates an image of an incredibly strong woman, but a woman with a healthy and new body image. She is a superior voice and showman with amazing style. Rock. The Gossip- Standing in the Way of Control

14. Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis started out as a child star, and ended up being an indie star. She is the goddess of all those girls who love skinny jeans and have a turntable- and on top of it, she is a fantastic songwriter. Rilo Kiley- You are What You Love

13. Loretta Lynn

She is the original kick-ass woman, a coal miner’s daughter from Kentucky who made her own damn way… and made it with some seriously great tulle. Loretta Lynn- Coal Miner’s Daughter

12. Nico

With her wild good looks and her ethereal voice, Nico took over Andy Warhol’s Factory and The Velvet Underground- an accomplishment for any woman. The Velvet Underground and Nico- All Tomorrow’s Partiesmar0

11. Dolly Parton

As Dolly once said, “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” It also takes a lot of smarts to get that famous.Dolly Parton- Jolene

10. Siouxie Sioux

She was one of the most followed and revered acts in New Wave and Post Punk, a genre which created some of the most avant guarde and artistic groups in the history of rock. Siouxie and the Banshees- Christine

9. Patti Smith

A poet of the likes of Rimbaud who made being uncool, really really cool. Patti Smith- Because the Night

8. Lucinda Williams

There is a cult of Americana stars that now religiously follow Lucinda to the ends of the earth and back. Somehow, she easily pens songs that are tinged with humor and yet, deep depression. Lucinda Williams- Drunken Angel

7. Sleater-Kinny

There is an entire movement that describes this band of females, and it’s called Riot Grrl. Um, awesome.Sleater-Kinny- Jumpers

6. Debbie Harry of Blondie

Debbie Harry is simultaneously, beautiful and hardcore. She helped bring the underground of New York to the mainstream in the early 80’s and is still going strong. Blondie- Hanging on the Telephone

5. P.J. Harvey

P.J. Harvey is the modern Patti Smith, writing poetic songs that fill you with rapture or pain depending on howyou feel. She works with everyone, and everyone wants to work with her. PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke- The Mess We’re In

4. Bjork

Bjork was Lady Gaga before Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga. She is a performance artist with the voice of an angel. Bjork- Arm of Me

3. Neko Case

First she was a punk, then a pop star with The New Pornographers, and now she is just brilliant. Neko Case- Hold On, Hold Ona2260neko-case

2. Xray Spex

This was the only all girl punk group in the beginning of the movement, and they created the rallying cry for punks and feminists everywhere- “some people think little girls should be seen and not heard. Hey bondage, up yours!” XRay Spex- Oh Bondage! Up Yours!

1. Ari Up

At the age of 14, Ari Up started the group The Slits. She was an inspiration to all females in music with her wild performance style and defiant lyrics. Ari Up was a true original and the definition of a role model for girls everywhere. She died on October 20th of this year, which was a great loss to the music community. She was not only a great female artist, but extraordinarily influential in punk and post punk- every rock group now owes her a debt of gratitude. She will be greatly missed. The Slits- Typical Girls