Holden has weighed in on some of his inspirations, so I'd like to provide some of mine. However, I just finished one of those huge writing memes so I don't really feel like expounding anymore. Still, this idea has followed me around for days so I think I will eventually get back up and write a full post on each. Meanwhile, I'm using this post as a placeholder.
Top 5 70s/80s [Female] Vocalists that Inspire Me:
1. Stevie Nicks - Obviously.
2. Ann Wilson - Face-meltingly awesome. More of a karaoke inspiration than a Nino Blankenship one, though.
3. Pat Benatar - Face-melting awesomeness with a strong classical foundation; like me, she is classically trained and eventually used it to rock out.
4. Kate Bush - Musically versatile, not afraid to sound weird. She embraces her weirdness, in fact.
5. Chaka Khan - For my funkier side. Also, "Through the Fire" is a litmus test for female (and sometimes even male) Filipino karaoke divas.
Top 5 Musical Inspirations:
1. Fleetwood Mac - Obviously.
2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - For their garagey sound. Also, for their collaborations with Stevie Nicks.
3. Aimee Mann - the sardonic, sarcastic, and yet sometimes sensitive singer-songwriter whom Holden & I have adored for a decade now. (I introduced him to her music, and I've created a monster.) Her snarky songwriting and Bacharach-meets-punk influences inspire us quite a lot.
4. Kazunari Ninomiya - the "Nino" in "Nino Blankenship." Like Aimee, he balances snark with sensitivity, although his acerbic wit tends to display itself more in his daily life than his music, which is full of beautiful ballads and perky pop hooks. Also, his entire career is based on doing things for the lulz - he can be incredibly silly on television. Plus, the reason he began writing is pretty awesome: he couldn't afford to buy CDs, so he wrote his own songs. And something has to be said about always writing your own solos when everything else in your life is hyper-controlled and factory-produced (he's a member of top Japanese boyband Arashi).
5. Self - a mostly-one-man band who produced an entire album, Gizmodgery, using children's toy instruments. Also, on that album he covered "What a Fool Believes," which is one of the best songs in the history of yacht rock (another genre Holden & I adore).
Top 5 Covers:
1. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty - The first time Holden and I ever performed publicly with a live band (we weren't playing instruments, but it was awesome)
2. Tusk - Fleetwood Mac - Probably our best piece centered around Holden. Also, I get a sweet drum solo.
3. American Girl - Tom Petty - Another good piece, and one of my favourite songs.
4. Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac - Sparsely arranged, musically mysterious, and perfect for our little group. Also, Manny sounds fantastic on cowbell.
5. Don't Go Breakin' My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee - Holden's and my go-to karaoke duet, besides #1 (it preceded #1). We're really all about the lulz, when it comes down to it.
5 More Inspirational Women in Music:
1. Janis Joplin - A misfit good girl turned rockstar. An adopted daughter of San Francisco who taught me, misfit good girl and adopted daughter of San Francisco, how to rock.
2. Lady Gaga - Fabulous performance artist. She's got a brilliant musical mind behind those crazy costumes and headline-grabbing antics- she was writing pop hits, Carole King-style, before she was thrust into the spotlight; she has solid roots in jazz, pop and rock; AND she was accepted into NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at age 17. She really brings all dimensions of performance and entertaining into her craft.
3. Lea Salonga - Every Filipino girl grew up wanting to be her. I am no exception.
4. Utada Hikaru - Asian-American phenomenon. She's done all sorts of genres, from R&B and hip-hop to experimental electronica to rock to dance to sweeping J-pop ballads.
5. Madonna - The queen of pop and constant reinvention. She came to New York, knowing no one and having no money, and in just a few years conquered the world. I could learn a thing or two from her.