Bitchtapes: Leading Ladies

Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

While I like Iggy and the Stooges, Huey Lewis and the News, and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, this week’s Bitchtapes mix is dedicated to the women who front bands not just musically but by name as well. From country to soul, and the sixties to today, here’s a pack of leading ladies to get your weekend going!

1. Neko Case & Her Boyfriends - Set Out Running
Before Neko Case sang with the New Pornographers and went onto a solo career that continues to be stunning, there was her country outfit that paired her powerful voice with honky-tonk.

2. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust
This goth-rock tune is super TGIF. Also I just learned that LCD Soundsystem was really influenced by Siouxsie.

3. Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers - Devils In Boston
Have you heard this song yet? It’s not new anymore but it’s still important that you hear this song! Cause it’s really good.

4. Diana Ross & the Supremes - Love Child
The day I stop wanting to listen to DR and the Supremes is not a day I ever want to come.

5. Janis Joplin & Big Brother and the Holding Company - Piece of My Heart
This live recording is six minutes long but I never seem to notice.

6. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - It’s Easy To Fall In Love (With A Guy Like You)
Again, great song and great to sing along to!

7. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - Crimson and Clover
You know how “Bad Reputation” seems to be in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE now? More precisely when a female character does anything remotely rebellious? From getting an eXtreme haircut to shooting lots of guns, like in Kick-Ass. It’s nice to be reminded that Joan Jett had way more going than that.

8. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - The New One
This acoustic Daytrotter session version of one of their latest albums is a great listen!

9. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings - How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?
Probably my favorite Sharon Jones song. Yep, no, definitely my favorite Sharon Jones song.

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7 Comments Have Been Posted

Ladies of Bitch Mag, I love

Ladies of Bitch Mag, I love these Bitch tapes, but cmon! Where is Kim Gordon? Patti Smith? Or the riot grrl clan?

Actually, it was kind of

Actually, it was kind of refreshing not to dredge up Riot Grrrl, which was largely music made by and for white women, in favor of some music from diverse artists.

Inclusion FTW.

Also, I'm on a Siouxsie kick these days. Loving <em>JuJu</em> to pieces.

"In real life as in Grand Opera, Arias only make hopeless situations worse." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Riot grrrls

Hi Carolyn,

We're glad you like Bitch Tapes! We have some past mixes that do feature riot grrrl tunes, though like Snarky said, riot grrrl isn't always the most inclusive of music (not that it isn't good music), and it's also kind of expected from us so we like to branch out (though we take turns making these mixes and I definitely can't speak for everyone). Still, you might want check out the "Grrrls and Guitars" Bitch Tapes: Some of the Punk mixes and the "Bitch Pride" mix also have songs you might like, as well as a few other tapes. Just click on the Bitch Tapes icon and you can find all sorts of jams to provide a feminist soundtrack to your weekend!

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

"Bad Reputation" will always

"Bad Reputation" will always be the <i>Freaks and Geeks</i> theme song to me, and that redeems it. Even if it was used, rather inexplicably, in the first Shrek movie.


I love this mix! a little bit of old and a little bit of new; it's very refreshing. Keep up the good mixes :D

To my knowledge, Kim Gordon

To my knowledge, Kim Gordon never had a band called Kim Gordon and the *insert name here*, and that is what this is about. Women that fronted a band with their name in the title, so it makes sense that she would be excluded here. Although Patti Smith did front the Patti Smith Group, and she was excluded too.

I find it ironic that you are trying not be cliche (as you said with the Joan Jett selection of Crimson and Clover instead of Bad Reputation) yet you pick Piece of My Heart as the song for Janis Joplin, which is the most obvious choice. She has a lot of other good songs as well, like Move Over and Me And My Bobby McGee, which would be two of my faves.

Thank you!

I love the mix tapes!

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