Women of Inspiration or Woohoo! My List of “Hotties”!

I read someone elses blog about ‘hotties’ and it got me thinking: what AM I looking for? What qualities do I look for? On a visual level? Emotional? Intellectual? ANd no matter how much I thought about it, no matter how much I tried to pinpoint one type or look, I could not find it. I seem to be all over the map with my tastes and my preferences. The only way I could think to define and illustrate this was to make up catagories and find someone that really defined that category in my mind.

NOTE: This little blog may seem biased towards musicians so tried to pepper it up with some choices outside of the world of music.


Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite authors. I have read every one of her books, I immediately turn up the radio when she comes on NPR and have seen her do readings in Boston. I even loved hearing her voice in The Incredibles (she voiced Violet, the daughter with invisibility powers).  In her writing, you can feel her passion for history and her details of family interactions are so true to life. She loves my favorite band (They Might Be Giants) and is a self confessed geek. Despite playing this for humorous effect, her writing hits me deeply and I always feel like I’ve learned something after reading one of her stories. And she is so cute!! Her pictures do her no justice whatsoever. I’m not sure what happens with the camera, but she looks so different in person. *sighs*


Madeline Kahn. I grew up watching her in the comedies of Mel Brooks and every time, she plays the over the top scenery chewing, comedic center of attention and I love every minute of it. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and even Clue, she shines in an ensemble cast where a lesser actress could easily fall into the background. One of her famous quotes: “There are no small parts, only small actors”. She was so right.


Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek….do I even have to explain? Didn’t think so…let’s move on.


Lady Kier from Deee-Lite. I have never owned very many so-called ‘dance’ albums, but their first album was incredible and you cannot tell me that your ass doesn’t start moving when “Groove is in the heart” comes pumping out the speakers! The video for that song was incredible and damn this woman can dance. We were at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston and this video started playing in the restaurant. For a few minutes I was lost in that technicolor goodness….


Shirley Manson from Garbage. Working in radio had it’s perks and one of them was having the opportunity to meet musicians. When their first album was released, I weaseled my way to one of their shows and got a chance to interview Miss Manson. I was reduced to a giggly little fanboy in about 30 seconds. The eyes, the voice, the attitude, this woman has a way of cutting right through the pop/rock posturing and creating amazing pieces of writing and music. She challenges you with her lyrics while making your ass move with the beat….


Bjork, strange, quirky, silly, shows up to awards shows dressed as a swan, throws a mean right hook if a papparazzi takes too many pics of her kids. Loved her unique voice when she was in the Sugarcabes but she really came into her own when she struck out as a solo artist.


Tanya Donnelly, formerly of Throwing Muses and Belly. Yeah, our little world of college radio in the 80’s and early 90’s didn’t have alot of women as headlining artists. There were a few who were more than inspiring (Kate Bush, Kim Gordon, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey and of course, Tori Amos, more on her later) but Tanya Donnelly was just downright sexxy. Last year, she and Kristin Hersh, the other half of Throwing Muses got together for a show at the Brattle Theater that I heard about, but ultimately missed due to the suck that is my job…missed an opportunity to relive a little piece of my youth.


Natalie Merchant. I was re-reading this and I totally forgot to mention the amazing Miss Merchant. Formerly of 10000 Maniacs, she has since broken out on her own and produced some of the most soulfull music of the last decade or so. But when she was with the Maniacs, she stole my heart, spinning and singing on stage, her voice soaring above the music. “These Are Days” is one of those songs that will always be with me and will always make me smile and my heart to swoon a little.


Jennifer Arroyo from Kittie and Suicide City. I can’t say enough nice things about this woman. Met her through my friends in other bands and she is a total rockstar: super sweet, always so positive, tosses her bass around like a baton, amazing stage presence and covered in some really sick ink.


Janeane Garofalo, I first saw her do stand up comedy on the very short lived Dennis Miller talk show and had a little crush on her ever since. The punk attitude, the glasses (not pictured) she epitomizes what I would chase after in the 90’s: frumpy post punk nerdy girl goodness! 🙂 Lately, she has been the voice of the ‘radical left’, which, truly is a bunch of bullshit. You want radical left wing looniness? Go talk to Jello Biafra sometime and get back to me how ‘lefty looney’ you think Janeane is then. I heard she is returning to acting this coming season on 24! I’m so excited!


Allyson Hannigan…and pretty much every woman on that show! I think this show was the ultimate nerdy culture wet dream! A group of amazing and dead sexxy woman fighting the supernatural evils of the world…with a couple guys thrown in there too… But Allyson Hannigan truly won my heart with her shy portrayal of the computer nerd who slowly but surely finds herself and her confidence as the show went along…


Giada and Rachael Ray….there is a reason why males 18-45 are watching their shows! Giada is truly a wonderful chef and she is great at showing technique and truly creating some amazing recipes. She is a traditionalist, formerly trained and experienced with cooking and creating restaurant ready recipes for the home. Rachael Ray is not. She is perky and happy and way way overexposed but her appeal is simple: she is the everyperson who can create a great dish in the kitchen that may not be ‘formerly’ or ‘technically’ correct, but still great food. She is more accessible than Giada, perhaps. But both are damn cute, but Giada wins, hands down in just sheer luminescance. She absolutely glows when she is talking about something she is truly passionate about. Rachael giggles, which is cute…but no Giada… 🙂


Robin Meade, the only reason I watch Headline News on CNN. I know nothing about her other than the camera loves her and she can read the news….


Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls. She just rocks my little world. Been to about 12 shows for the Dresden Dolls over the years and have been truly amazed at how far they have come, how the punk cabaret scene has grown and grown and Miss Palmer just matures more and more as artist. My friend M said it best: she just seems like this force of nature and I can’t help but be drawn in by her words and her voice.



Tori Amos is just incredible. An amazing talent, incredible writer and performer and capable of reducing me to a blubbering puddle of goo. Her words inspire me, her voice sends chills down my spine and seeing her perform, well, definitely one of the best shows I have ever been to. When I was living in England, I had the opportunity to meet her and I completely froze up. I had bullshitted my way backstage with the “I work for an American Radio Station” which worked more often than not for some reason. I met the guitarist and we were chatting when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and there was Tori Amos. I completely froze. The world went into slow motion as I introduced myself and tried to talk. I don’t remember what we talked about, but at the end, she said “enjoy the show” and leaned in and gave me a little hug. I watched her walk away and the guitarist got my attention again. He was laughing. And I was beet beet red….. He looked at me and said: “DOn’t worry, shes used to that…” One of my favorite lyrics: “Just because you can make me cum, doesn’t make you Jesus Christ”. Love her…