I’m pretty sure this list covers pretty much all of my top ten favorites. The top three (first three on the list) never change. The rest rarely change – though there are a few bands that could be interchangeable here. It was hard to leave off Joy Division, Blonde Redhead, Nick Drake, John Mellencamp, Current, Will Oldham, Nico and so many more favorites. Basically, after the first three the rest is all pretty much loved the same by me. However, I think the list that I came up with is pretty darn accurate.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is, and always will be, my favorite band of all time. Moss Icon had such a profound affect on me the first time I heard it. Here was a punk band playing something that ally didn’t resemble punk at all. And it was something I could still relate to and found beautiful and raw.
Grrrl Power in the purest form! The energy and positivity surrounding this band for me is so special. Also, the “private club” vibe they give off in their liner notes as well as in their performances totally attracted me to them. They were all about grrrl and youth power and I still love that to this day. My tattoo that says “<3=<3 action kid style” proves it! It was taken from two different Huggy Bear Albums and it’s still my favorite tattoo I have!
Man Is The Bastard
My deserted island band. I could listen to this forever and ever and never get bored or annoyed. It’s perfect and brutal and ambient. Oh and beard farmers are totally my thing. Yum.
Built To Spill
Doug Martsch is a genius. I simply can’t get enough of his guitar playing.
What haven’t I already said about Kris Kristofferson? I love the man and his music. He is the perfect song writer.
Belle & Sebastian
Along with director Wes Anderson, Belle & Sebastian paved the way for a total rethinking of my view on aesthetic beauty. It didn’t change what i viewed as beautiful but added to it. They helped add something sweet and subtle to the loud, brutal and sometimes scummy world I was/am attracted to. They made me want to take a shower.
I think I’ve seen Mos Def perform more than any other band/artist on this list. The grand total? 8 times. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen him (9 years) but I loved every single performance. The song/video below should aptly show what is so powerful about this performer. He is all-embracing, positive, emotional and thoughtful. All qualities I look for in good music.
Seriously the best vocalist of all time. I fell in love with The Staple Singers first with the song I’ll Take You There and acquired the Mavis Staples solo albums some time after. Her voice is velvety and heart breaking. Just beautiful.
I’m not familiar with all Cat Power albums, however the album I’m Free has had such a huge impact on me that I simply can’t leave Cat Power off of this list. The song Good Woman is pure perfection and the album in its entirety is a heart wrenching look at someone falling apart and trying to build themselves back up again.
I love all of these artists for different reasons but one thing is constant between them – emotion. All of these artists are able to stir up some pretty powerful emotions and angst in me. Maybe I’m still just an emotional teenager at heart!
What are your favorites? Do you have any suggestions based on what I like?