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Musician Spotlight: Janis Joplin

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Janis Joplin

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I don’t want to end this year without attempting to get some people my age hooked on late sixties singer Janis Joplin.

I decided to give her music a try a few months ago when I found myself looking for more soulful singers to listen to. I can’t remember the first Janis Joplin song I enjoyed. After listening to almost all her albums, it felt like all the emotion in her voice had blended into one howling note.

Her voice is raspy yet extremely powerful and soulful. While I didn’t like all of her songs, I admired the fact that Joplin could sing rock, blues, funk, soul, and country. Most of her live performances are great and some are better than the album version.

Combined together with the lyrics, her voice is deeply moving. While Joplin didn’t write all of the songs, her voice makes it sound like she did.

At the same time, songs that Joplin did write are touching because of how honest her voice and lyrics are. Some of my favorite songs are “Turtle Blues“, “Kosmic Blues” “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” and “Cry Baby“.

Besides Joplin’s voice and lyrics, I related to who she was as a person.

According to a documentary on Joplin, she had a tough time during and after high school. At school, she was bullied for being overweight and she was considered an outcast for being artsy and liking black people.

Things didn’t seem to get better, even when she became famous. Not only was she insecure because of high school and numerous rejections, but she had to deal with the pressure that came from being a woman in rock n’ roll.

By the time she was about to create what would be her final album Pearl, she had created an alter-ego of the same name to go with it. I really liked her as Pearl; her outfit on the album’s cover looked cool.  Yet, Joplin seemed to smile only on the outside.

After learning that she passed away at the age of 27, I felt as sad as I did when I became a fan of Amy Winehouse. Just like with Winehouse’s music, I wished Joplin could have put out more albums before she passed.

I love Janis Joplin’s music just as much as I love Amy Winehouse’s music. I admire Joplin pouring  her heart and soul into her music and for showing that women without the ideal image can be successful.

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Written by Serena Zola

December 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Why P!nk Is One Of The Most Underrated Female Musicians

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Pink (singer)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Authoress Note: I’m aware that I’ve already done a spotlight on P!nk. However, since P!nk now has a new album and tour, I’d thought I’d do an updated spotlight on her. 

On December 10th 2013, pop-rock singer Pink will be honored as Billboard’s Woman of The Year.  While Pink has received huge amounts of praise and numerous awards, she has rarely received them here in the United States. With all the superficial music out there, Pink is a rare gem for many reasons.

1.  She can sing more than one genre.

Pop- “The Great Escape” from the The Truth About Love (2012)

Rock- “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin Cover)” from Funhouse Tour: Live in Australia (2009)

Blues- “Misery” (feat. Steven Tyler)” from Misundazstood (2001)

R &B- “Most Girls” from Can’t Take Me Home (2000)

2, She can sing live while doing acrobatics and dancing.

“Try” (Live from The Truth About Love Tour 2013)

“So What” (Live from The Truth About Love Tour 2013)

“R&B Medley” (Live from The Truth About Love Tour 2013)

3.  She empowers women with her songs and music videos by showing you can be assertive,  emotionally vulnerable, and that you can express your gender however you want.

“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”– music video from The Truth About Love (2013)

“Perfect”– music video from Greatest Hits… So Far!! (2010)

“Stupid Girls”-music video from I’m Not Dead (2006)

“Don’t Let Me, Get Me”-song from Misundazstood (2001)

4.  Many of her lyrics are honest, reflecting on things that have happened to her or around her

“Run” from The Truth About Love (2013) – this song is for her daughter, Willow

“I Don’t Believe You” from Funhouse (2008)- this song is about how Pink wanted to reconcile with her husband Carey Hart

“Dear Mr. President” from I’m Not Dead (2006)- this song was about then president George W. Bush

“Family Portrait” from Misundazstood (2001)- this song is about how Pink felt when her parents got divorced

5.  With P!nk, what you see is what you get. She’s being herself not only in her music, but in her interviews and rare candid moments.

Marie Claire Magazine Interview (August 2013)- Warning: mild profanity

Pink Stops Concert for Crying Girl (March 2013)

Ultimately, P!nk’s honesty as a person and a musician makes her an inspiration for anyone who doesn’t fit the mold.

 

Written by Serena Zola

October 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

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