Quiz: Women Who Rock

How much do you know about some of these great female musicians? Careful—the questions get harder as you go.

1. Her video for “Love Is a Battlefield” was the first to include dialogue as well as the musical performance.

2. She worked at the Playboy Club before her band had its first U.S. hit with “Heart of Glass.”

3. Before this new-wave frontwoman formed her wildly successful band in 1978, she attended Ohio’s Kent State University—and was on campus during the 1970 Kent State shootings.

4. Rolling Stone magazine featured only two women on its 2003 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. This 1980s rocker was one of them. (Joni Mitchell was the other.)

5. Publications from Rolling Stone to the Village Voice heralded her band’s sophomore album—1994’s Live Through This—as a musical masterpiece. Time even called it one of the top 100 albums of all time.

6. Born in Scotland and the daughter of a big band singer, this rock star studied piano at the City of Edinburgh Music School before joining her first band at the age of 16…and that’s no “garbage.”

7. This gravelly voiced rocker was a member of her high-school glee club before hitting it big in the 1960s. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

8. She’s been called “punk’s poet laureate” and is one of America’s most influential singer-songwriters, yet she’s had only three Top 20 singles in her career—“Because the Night,” written with Bruce Springsteen, is the best known.

9. This influential punk and new wave groundbreaker changed her name in the 1970s because, she says, people would “stare at my surname and could not pronounce it.” She picked her new name as an homage to a Native American tribe because she “hated cowboys.”

10. This San Francisco rocker went to the same college as first daughter Tricia Nixon, and has been called the “Queen of the Summer of Love.” But she retired from music in the late 1980s and today works as a painter.

You can find the answers by clicking here.

Originally published in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music”. Translated from original text in English. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader books are currently printed in English only.

Our Interview with Lawson

“Songs are like girls, you’ll never get a ten, but you might get a 9…”, Lawson

The Mighty Lawson – we know they’re called Lawson but we really like calling them The Mighty Lawson – came to play in the Spotify office the other day (you’ll be able to hear the session here soon) and they turned out to be a very decent bunch of chaps indeed. Perhaps the greatest ever pop group to be named after a brain surgeon (David Lawson saved Andy’s life after the singer, songwriter and guitarist developed a brain tumour aged just 19), their first three singles all went Top Ten in the UK and their debut album, Chapman Square, went straight in at 4 in October. They had ten minutes spare between their last song finishing and their taxi leaving for the studio, so we barked a load of questions at them and hoped for the best.

Quick! Let’s get specific – who are the greatest pop groups of all time?
Andy Brown: The Beatles.
Joel Pleat (guitar): Of all time? That’s so hard!
Ryan Fletcher (bass): Oasis have to be in there. The Stones, maybe?
Adam Pitts (drums): Take That have to be there.
Joel: Stereophonics? Aerosmith? But not of all time? Foo Fighters? Think of Dave Grohl’s career.
Andy: My mum’s never heard of him.
Ryan: I’d say Bon Jovi. But they’re not the Beatles.
Andy: Woah! What about U2! How could we have put in Bon Jovi and left U2, that would have been horrific!

What makes a pop song different to a rock song?
Andy: Again, look at Dave Grohl – he has a rock voice and the difference between rock and pop is all in the sound. Foo Fighter’s songs are great pop songs, but the instrumentation and the voice is rock.

Does the perfect song exist?
R: Songs are like girls, you’ll never get a ten. You might get a 9.
Adam: Coldplay came close with Fix You.
J: (Eric) Clapton’s Tears In Heaven is near perfect. Everyone can listen to that and feel what he’s saying.
Andy: Yesterday and Let It Be are songs I go back to a lot. But a non-Beatle song that’s a definite 9 is Extreme’s More Than Words. As a songwriter you need a great concept to start with and it has that. Then it lays on a great melody and fantastic instrumentation. But you also need songs that are just as good, but in different ways.
J: Maroon 5 have Moves Like Jagger, but they also have She Will Be Loved which is totally different. In fact it’s like a totally different band.
Andy: The Beatles were like that, but for an artist it’s very hard to beat a big song. How could Carly Rae Jepsen beat Call Me Maybe after it’s been played so much? I just hope she does.
Ryan: For me it would have to be something rocky. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses is a heavyweight 9. That’s a proper worldwide tune.

What records would you elbow your way to the decks to play at a drunken party?
J: I kill parties! My favourite album of all time is John Mayer’s Room For Squares. When the party’s winding down I’ll wander in and stick him on.
Andy: When the party’s getting going I always stick on Will Smith. Anything from Summertime to Miami to Gettin’ Jiggy With It!
R: Then some Run-DMC and Aerosmith.
Andy: When I was 18 it was all about Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger. Now I’d play Ed Sheeran or Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers and bring everyone down a notch or two. We’re not the world’s best party-rockers, to be honest.
R: We’re more likely to get our guitars out and play awful drunken versions of our own songs.
Joel: Like the other night when Andy and I stayed up til 6am singing Adele’s Hometown Glory…

Does pop have it’s own language?
Andy: Well, when you tell a story in a song you tell it differently than if you were sat around a table. Something like Die For You is a very serious song, but I actually think a lot of our songs are extremely serious.
J: You have to speak in a language that people can relate to.
Andy: What about Call Me Maybe – you can’t relate to that?
Adam: I can relate to it! That’s all kids in school everywhere are saying.
Andy: But it’s not the same as we would relate to The Script. Little kids and little girls relate to Carly Rae Jepsen. And if it’s the Fast Food Rockers, then no one relates.

Surely millions of people related to that?
Andy: I suppose in a way they did. But it’s like Rebecca Black’s Friday – some kids can relate to that.
R: Some kids, “do” gotta get down on Friday. I know I do!

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?
Adam: The sound just before a band comes on stage in a huge venue when they try the kick-drum out and the whole arena shakes a bit. I love that.
J: I’m going to be boring and musical and say the pedal-steel guitar. We recorded a lot of the new album in America and we listened to a lot of country music. So that’s my favourite noise in the whole world.
R: I love the sound of the countryside hearing the birds singing. Or rain on a window at night. But I love a nice piano too. I can’t play it, but I’m only 22 so I guess there’s time to learn.
Andy: A great female voice like Norah Jones I can listen to over and over again. I also love the roar of a football stadium, but I wouldn’t listen to it on my headphones!

NME’s Best Albums of 2012

Well here’s something that’s a bit good. In fact, here are fifty things that are a bit good. NME have just released their 50 Best Albums Of 2012 issue – this is as comprehensive a list of the new music you really ought to be listening to right now as you will read anywhere.

Come for big hitters like xx, Jake Bugg and Frank Ocean, stick around for superstars in waiting like Mac Demarco, Howler, King Arthur’s Sandals and Pond (we made one of those up, can you tell which one?). And what’s Number One?

Read on and find out…

App of the week: PLAY GUETTA

The connection I get with my people is everything to me. I am really happy to be teaming up with Spotify on this app to share this amazing new access to my music.” David Guetta

Calling all Guetta fans! Check out the PLAY GUETTA Spotify App and join the permanent party.

With the PLAY GUETTA Spotify App you can:

• Enter the David Guetta Soundrop Room directly to chat and the ability to vote for songs to be played next.
• Share your own snapshot of the World EQ map.
• You can subscribe to a playlist of “Trending” party tracks.
• Check the entire David Guetta music catalogue!

Click here on your desktop and enjoy the PLAY GUETTA Spotify App.

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start fresh with a nice dose of electropop and the sound of Australian “Strange Talk”. “Cast Away” is the first single from their debut album which will be released in early 2013. I’m really looking forward to hear the whole album soon. We contiune with a dream punk trio from Roanoke Virginia called “Eternal Summers”. Their catchy song “Millions” is from their latest LP, “Correct Behavior” which was released this summer.

“Housse de Racket” are the French duo Pierre Leroux and Victor Le Masne. The next song “Roman” is from their second album “Alésia” released in August 2011. Yuksek (also known as Pierre-Alexandre Busson) is, as many of you know, a French electronic music producer, remixer, composer and DJ. The next song in our playlist this week is “Always On The Run” from his second album “Living on the Edge of Time” released last year.

The last song in our playlist this week is the dreamy “Blue Star” by American “Seapony”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

November Beats presented by @thursplay


Here’s what you’ll listen to on this November Beats by our friends at @thursplay :

“Disparate Youth” by American singer/songwriter/producer Santigold; “Downward Spiral” by The Helio Sequence, an American alternative rock duo from Oregon; English singer-songwriter Lucy Rose with “Night Bus” from her album “Like I Used to”; Danish indie Asbjørn debuting the great single “The Criminal” from album of same name.

Still on this playlist: Oscar & The Wolf with “Wash Your Face” from their latest album “Summer Skin”, How to Dress Well with the beautiful track “Struggle”, Swedish Saint Lou Lou with their debut song “Maybe You” and another 8 hand picked indie tracks for you to enjoy!

What were your favorite releases during November?
Share tham with us today on Twitter using the hashtag #thursplay.

Our interview with CAZZETTE

A fully soundproofed room feels sort of creepy…”, CAZZETTE

Seb Furrer and Alex Björklund met online while hanging out in a forum for DJs and producers. One night Seb logged out and began watching a string of Avicii videos online and that same night he decided to bite the bullet and email the producer’s manager. A few days later Seb got a reply and a request; could the two of them remix Sweet Dreams?

Well, it turned out they could – indeed, their Avicii – Sweet Dreams (Cazzette Meets at Night Mix) was a huge club hit around the world and now, some two years later, Seb and Alex are CAZZETTE, the first artists ever to partner with Spotify to launch their career exclusively on the service. They have now released the first of three sets taken from their debut album, “eject.” – and the first part kicks off with their debut single, Beam Me Up. In tribute to this moment we called them up and asked them what the hell was going on?

Hello CAZZETTE – how long have you been fooling around with Beam Me Up?
Alex: Oh, we wrote that quite early on. We recorded it in LA and we’ve been living with it for six months or so now.
Seb: It’s changed a lot in that time. It used to have a really hard drop, but it’s grown into this whole new thing. It’s the biggest CAZZETTE moment so far!

Why did you want to release it through Spotify?
Alex: It’s a new and different way of doing things and that really appeals to us as a band. We feel it works hand in hand with how we want to behave.
Seb: More than anything else we want to get our music out there. We want people to hear our music then come to a show and this is a great way for us to do that. I genuinely believe Spotify is the future of music and, being Swedish, we’ve loved it since the beginning!

What records couldn’t CAZZETTE exist without?
Alex: For me it would be Nas’ Get A Gun, Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up and Daft Punk’s Digital Love.
Seb: I’d go for Tiesto’s mix of Elements of Life, Coldplay’s Clocks, Skrillex’s mix of I Square’s Hey Sexy Lady.

You’re pioneering the “dub-house” sound – is that what your album will sound like?
Alex: Not all of it!
Seb: This is just the first era of CAZZETTE…

Finally, what’s your favourite noise?
Alex: A fully sound-proofed room. It’s sort of creepy sounding. I’m also a huge fan of the noise aeroplane wheels make when they pull lower just before you land somewhere new.
Seb: I really like the sound of a running engine. A petrol one. Preferably in a Porsche…

Our Interview with Skye Edwards

“I was so shy I signed up to singing classes just to meet people!”, Skye Edwards

Skye joined Morcheeba almost by accident, yet the three-piece’s groove-heavy mix of trip-hop, dub, rock, jazz and pop enjoyed huge success in the 1990s. Skye left the band in 2003, but returned to the band in 2010. She has also released three solo albums, most recently, the all kinds of wonderful, Back To Now.

Hello Syke, tell us, what music was playing in the house when you were growing up?
My mum played a lot of vinyl, mainly country music. We heard a lot of Glenn Campbell and Slim Whitman and that song, Lay A Blanket on the Ground. My dad liked Roy Orbison and classic country and western too.

What was the first record you fell in love with?
Sade’s Stronger Than Pride. I bought that on cassette and played it over and over and over again. I first heard her on the radio and her voice just got me immediately. I’d put it on, put my headphones on and just soak it all up.

Who made you want to make music?
(Morcheeba multi-instrumentalist) Ross Godfrey! I never thought I could do anything like that really. I had sung some backing vocals in a funk band, but I was a real loner, in fact I’d signed up to a singing class just to meet people! I met (Morcheeba DJ) Paul and Ross at a party and they convinced me to start singing with them. And I took a lot of convincing! The first song we ever did together was Trigger Hippie, our first single. The booker from Jools Holland’s show was at our second gig. It all happened very fast.

What five records couldn’t you exist without?
John Martyn’s Solid Air, Shirley Bassey’s The Singles, Bob Marley’s Exodus, Sade’s Stronger Than Pride and Blue Nile’s Hats. All five of them are vocally and lyrically really strong and, apart from the Bassey, they all deal with the idea of an album as a whole piece.

Does the perfect song exist?
There are a few of them. I think Summertime is one – you can actually visualise that day as it plays.

Finally, what’s your favourite noise?
Oh, that’s easy. My kid’s laughter!

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start a new week with a band from Cleveland, Ohio called “The Lighthouse and the Whaler”. The first song in our playlist this week is the catchy title track from their second full-length album, “This is an Adventure”

Next band in our playlist is a favorite indie electronic duo from Philadelphia. I love “Sun Airway” and their upbeat mash of dreamy electronic sound. The song “Oh, Naoko” is from their debut album called “Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier” released back in 2010.

We continue with a song called “Crawl” by the Rochester-based indie rock band “Bear Lake”. Crawl was the first track on their self-released album “Pierre On The Loose” released back in June.

“New Navy” is a band from a small beach side town south of Sydney. The last song in our playlist this week is song from their debut EP “Ulluwatu” released late 2011. Enjoy the tropical vibe from their song “Zimbabwe”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

The sounds of November courtesy of Sharemyplaylists.com

We present you the music selection that our friends from Sharemyplaylists have handpicked for this month.

Million Sellers Club

Mull of Kintyre, Barbie Girl and Unchained Melody (the savage Robson & Jerome version), We Found Love, My Heart Will Go On and Unchained Melody (the murderous Gareth Gates version) … People of the United Kingdom, you have a lot to answer for Ö Each of these singles, you see, has sold over a million copies in the UK. Scandalous. Redemption comes, however, in the shape of tracks by Donna Summer, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, New Order, Dexys Midnight Runners, Lou Reed and more, who have all also shifted over a million copies. All of these songs, good and evil, feature here.

MOOG Synthesizer

“I knew it was applicable to pop music,” Robert Moog once said of the synthesiser when he developed the instrument in the mid-60s, “but our first market was the experimental composers, and that’s not what you’d call the basis for a big business. Nobody believed there was any future in that sort of thing.” There was, of course, a very bright future for “that sort of thing” ñ as this playlist, “Music made with Moogs and mini-MOOGs,” created by SMP user hooligan, proves. Featured here: Kraftwerk, Donna Summer, Roxy Music, Metronomy, Radiohead, Devo, Gary Numan and more. We salute you, Mr Moog.

Movember – Salute the Stache!

Lemmy’s gives him the look of a wild and warty pirate. Prince’s is preened to perfection. Stevie Wonder’s is something of a soup strainer. As for Little Richard, he wears his pencil-thin Ö We’re talking, of course, about moustaches. It’s that time of year again, Movember, when men around the world grow their ‘taches to raise funds and awareness for menís health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. This playlist, created by Rev H-Bomb, showcases some of the finest examples of facial hair in music.

best of deep house 2012

It’s been a great year for house music. Some of our favourite tracks include: Technasia’s driving, techo-house banger Heart of Flesh, the indelible sound of Candi Staton on Hallelujah Anyway and Tiga & Subb-an’s jacking Pleasure from the Bass. But few tracks can compete with Julio Bashmore’s ubiquitous Au Seve ñ one of 2012’s biggest and best tunes. All of these tracks, and many, many more, feature on SMP user Kasper Langendoen’s best-of 2012 mixtape, dedicate to the finest deep house music from the past year. Great stuff.

Keep It Simple – Two Chord Songs

“Anyone who uses more than two chords is just showing off.” Woody Guthrie said that. They’re sentiments echoed by SMP user ardengard, who says: “Some say you need three chords to play rock ‘n’ roll. I say two chords is enough.” For proof, look no further than this mixtape, which features 32 tracks ñ spanning over three hours ñ that use just two chords. Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan: two chords. Joy Division, Black Sabbath, Nirvana: two chords. Talking Heads, the Flaming Lips, Spiritualized: two chords. Great mixtape.

New Releases USA

Want to keep abreast of the latest releases in the USA? Up to date with new music stateside? Au fait with, er, fresh American audio? … We’ve got just the ticket. This very mixtape, New Releases USA, is your one-stop shop for new music on Spotify in America. From rock and pop to hip-hop and R&B, if it’s new, we’ve got it covered. We’ll also be adding to this playlist weekly, so be sure to subscribe for regular updates.

So Dirty – The History of Fuzz

The sound of an orchestra in full flight is undeniably impressive, jazz collectives are not without their merits, and who could resist the beat of a big fat kickdrum. Still, there is no sound in music quite like that of a “filthy, dirty, fuzzy rock’n’roll” guitar … SMP user Mark Mason has created a playlist dedicated to just that. From Muddy Waters, the Stooges and Black Sabbath, to Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, this mixtape is full of tinnitus-inducing riffs swathed in fuzz and feedback. Turn it up to 11.

A Cowboy In The Wild West

It’s the sound of a match being struck on stubble. It’s the sound of a sweaty brow and gritted teeth. It’s the sound of a Stetson pulled down low over slitted eyes. It’s the sound of bandannas and buckskins, rifles and revolvers. It’s the sound of the good. It’s the sound of the bad. It’s the sound of the ugly. It’s the sound of a pistol duel. It’s the sound of two fingers of gutrot whiskey sliding down the bar in a lawless saloon. It’s the sound of the hero riding off into the sunset. Jokke Samen’s playlist is the sound of cowboys and the Wild West. And it sounds brilliant.

For Crying Out Loud

If Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt, one of the most heartbreaking swan songs in music history, doesn’t get you, then Mike Skinner’s ode to his late father, Never Went To Church, has to. If Nick Drake’s poignant and beautiful Black Eyed Dog doesn’t bring a lump to your throat, then surely heart-rending classic Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division must. If songs by Bright Eyes and Simon & Garfunkel, PJ Harvey and Neil Young, the Pogues and Ryan Adams, don’t reduce you a blubbering wreck, check your pulse … Or listen to Evanescence ñ enough to make even the stoutest soul cry. They all feature on this superb hoxsd1 creation.

4 More Years

“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests.” Barack Obama said, bringing his scintillating victory speech to a close after decisively winning a second term as US president. “We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.” SMP user Steven Marshall has created “a soulful R&B playlist” to celebrate Obama’s re-election. From Al Green, Bill Withers and Etta James, to Aaliyah, Macy Gray and Roots Manuva, this one’s a cracker.