lifeblood: listlogs: 1998v01n129-news

ig-news-digest         saturday, july 11 1998         volume 01 : number 129

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] indigo girls             []
  [ig-news] goldmine artice (very long)  [mr rodney s wicker <rucr57a@prodig]
  [ig-news] more on suffragette sessions    [sherlyn koo <>]
  [ig-news] article from mtv online         [sherlyn koo <>]


date: fri, 10 jul 1998 11:51:28 -0400 (edt)
subject: [ig-news] indigo girls

[sherlyn's note: this is the latest epic records indigo girls
newsletter.  (and yes, they did mis-spell emily's surname...)]

are you ready to rock?  well you better be because the
indigo girls have announced their "suffragette sessions
tour"!  their hitting the road in this august and not
resting until september.  this tour is bound to be one of
the best! the tour includes:

        amy ray of indigo girls
        emily sailor of indigo girls
        gail ann dorsey
        lisa germano
        lourdes perez
        kate schellenbach of louscious jackson
        jane siberry
        jean smith of mecca normal
        josephine wiggs of the breeders
        thalla zedek of come

wednesday  8/19 portland, me    state theater
thursday   8/20 burlington, vt  memorial auditorium
saturday   8/21 cleveland, oh   agora
monday     8/24 detroit, mi             state theater
tuesday    8/25 chicago, il             riviera
wednesday  8/26 chicago, il             riviera
thursday   8/27 milwaukee, wi   rave
friday     8/28 minneapolis, mn first ave.
sunday     8/30 cincinnati, oh  bogart's
tuesday    9/01 norfolk, va     boathouse
wednesday  9/02 philadelphia    electric factory        


check out the indigo girl's latest release "get out the map"!
in real audio:
in a wav file:


buy indigo girls cds online @ thestore


indigo info:


interested in receiving info on more great epic/550 records
artists? go to:
and sign up for the epiccenter e-mail list.


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date: thu, 9 jul 1998 03:51:23 -0500
from: mr rodney s wicker <>
subject: [ig-news] goldmine artice (very long)

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at  sorry it took so long for
me to forward it, i had a few mail hiccups...]

in the july 17th issue of goldmine, russell hall wrote a very
good and very long ig article.  here it is:

no one knows better than the indigo girls that publicity can
sometimes come in strange guises.  during two weeks in may of
this year, it was virtually impossible for anyone living in the
south to pick up a newspaper without seeing the names of amy
ray and emily saliers splashed prominently across the pages.
given the duo's reputation for outspokenness on issues such as
enviromentalism, corporate greed, and abortion rights, on first
blush one might've assumed the furor had been stirred by some
political stance taken by the folk-pop duo, but that wasn't the
case.  instead, it was of all things their sexual orientation
that was at issue.  in a manifestation of what jim sonefeld of
hootie and the blowfish termed a "socially medieval" attitude,
the powers-that-be in three southern cities -- knoxville,
tenn.; germantown, tenn.; and columbia, s.c. -- cancelled free
shows which were to take place in high schools in each of those
towns.  implicitly or explicitly, the reason the performances
were disallowed was clearly because ray and saliers are gay.

"this was the first time we had tried  to do anything in a
public school forum," says ray, "where there's a bureaucracy,
and people who can cancel things.  it's as if schools have a
weird immunity from free speech or something, which seems
bizarre, to me.  we wanted to play high schools and talk about
the arts, and about being a musician, and about how to do what
you want to do and be creative.  our feeling is that kids today
aren't given enough support for extracurricular activities, or
for things that have to do with the arts.  everyone is so
worried about shootings and drugs and gangs, that these things
just get overlooked.  so we did this pilot thing, where five
schools agreed to have us come and perform.  they read our
lyrics, and they knew everything about us.  but then the parents
started calling in."

in spite of the uproar, everything ended well, as in each instance
ray and saliers simply moved the setting for the concerts to an
alternate venue.  high school students turned out in droves, many
of them wielding placards proclaiming support for the indigo
girls.  as an incidental benefit, the publicity generated by the
controversy probably increased album sales, although it's doubtful
that that was on the minds of ray and saliers.  intolerance and
discrimination are twin evils the indigo girls have fought for
years, whether the injustice has been directed at them or others.

the indigo girls' story begins in atlanta, where ray and saliers
were schoolmates in the early '80's.  the daughter of a physician
and a homemaker, ray was born in 1964, the third of four children.
by the time she reached second grade she was writing plays, and by
age twelve she had taken up the flute.  known for her exuberance
and her sense of leadership, she was elected president of her
tenth and eleventh grade classes, and she also ran track and sang
in the school choir.

the second of four children, emily saliers was born in connecticut,
where she lived until her family moved to atlanta when emily was in
the sixth grade.  her father was a professor of theology at emory
university, while her mother supervised the children's section at
one of atlanta's public libraries.  quiet and introspective,
saliers began studying classical guitar while still a grade school
student, and like ray, she sang in the school choir.  the two girls
know one another and were friendly during this time, but several
years would pass before they attempted to create music together.

"we both played guitar," ray explains, "but we didn't start playing
together until we reached high school.  i was in the tenth grade,
and emily was in the eleventh.  we were in the chorus together, and
we sort of messed around with music a bit then.  but it wasn't until
the following year, when emily became a senior, that we really
started playing a lot together, and kind of cemented our
relationship.  that's when we started performing in the classroom a
lot, and doing open mic nights at a local bar."

once they began collaborating, the muscial chemistry between ray and
saliers developed only gradually, and indeed the differences in
their tastes were apparent from the start.  from an early age,
saliers steered toward folk artists and vocal groups -- the kingston
trio and peter, paul, and mary were particular favorites -- and she
also gravitated toward the jazz and classical music in her parents'
record collection.  saliers was also drawn to soul and rhythm 'n'
blues, and in fact the first record she ever bought was an album by
the jackson five.  then, in her late teens, she stumbled upon the
work of joni mitchell and bob dylan, as well as that of folk-pop
songwriters such as jane siberry and the roches.  these would be the
artists who would help to shape her own sensibilities as a

"musically, amy and i are very different," says saliers, "and our
influences are different as well.  amy has more of a post-punk
influence, and her music tends to be rawer and more edgy.  she also
has a deeper, more rock 'n' roll type of voice.  on the other hand,
my music tends to fall into more of the singer-songwriter vein, and
i have a higher voice.  these things are a bit indicative of our
personalities as well.  amy is more driven and motivated, and more
passionate and fiery.  we also like to do different things with our
time.  fortunately, these differences have complemented one another,
and they've worked to our advantage.  it's kind of like having two
musical lives."

like saliers, ray grew up listening to music passed down from
family members -- in her case, the album collection of an older
sister.  at first she preferred late sixties psychedelic music by
such bands as the jefferson airplane and the strawberry alarm clock,
though she soon moved on to folk rockers like james taylor and neil
young.  then, in the early '80's, she began discovering groups with
a harder edge, bands that would tug her music in directions
different from the fare served up by singer-songwriter types.  ray
agrees with saliers that the gap between their influences is key to
understanding the chemistry of the indigo girls.

"at a certain point," says ray, "i heard patti smith, the
replacements, lloyd cole and the commotions, aztec camera, the
clash, and the sex pistols.  and when i heard those types of bands,
everything turned inside out for me in a way that was really good.
it was a feeling of, 'oh, this is what i've been waiting for.'  the
post-punk bands really liberated me, in a sense.  whenever i go back
to things i listened to before then, i just can't even relate to it.
there are a few exceptions, like james taylor and neil young, who i
can still relate to as a writer, but as emily and i started doing
more original music, that's when the differences in our influences
started to become more obvious."

although ray and saliers performed occasionally in public while
they were still in high school, it wasn't until they began attending
emory university that a career in music began to seem viable.  by the
time the two graduated, they were appearing regularly as featured
performers (under the name saliers and ray) at several local clubs --
most notably the little five points pub, where they were considered
the unoffical house band.  after changing their name to the indigo
girls, in 1985, the duo released a single called "crazy game," which
was soon followed by a self-titled ep.  in 1987 they recorded their
first full-length album, titled strange fire, and issued it on their
own indigo label.  the lp sold 5,000 copies, a substantial figure by
self-release standards.  as further evidence of their astute judgment
when it came to directing their career, the indigo girls deliberately
focused on performing in alternative clubs rather than in folk

"we were loud, even back then," ray explains.  "we were kind of
raucous, and we liked to jam and turn our guitars up.  back then, the
tradition in folk was that your voice was always louder than your
guitar, but we liked the idea of mixing the guitar up as loud as the
voice.  there were a lot of things about us that didn't fit in with
coffeehouses very well.

"we wanted to play rock clubs," she continues, "or places that were
once punk venues which had become alternative clubs.  that's also
where the college students were, and where our friends hung out, and
where the bands we liked tended to play.  i would call up these places
and tell them we would play a couple of shows for free, if they would
just give a chance.  the [owners] would say things like, 'well, i
don't know about acoustic stuff,' but they would usually give in and
let us try.  it almost always worked out."

as driven as the indigo girls were, one might surmise that it was
through their own ambition that they snagged a major label deal, but
that wasn't the case.  as ray tells it, a representative from epic
records visited atlanta in 1988, in part to see a performance by one
of the label's bands, but also to investigate whether epic should
throw its hat in the ring with several labels vying to sign rem.  as
chance would have it, the scout for epic wandered into the little
five points pub, where the indigo girls were performing.  duly
impressed, the representative left atlanta and returned a few weeks
later -- this time with an epic vice president in tow -- to see the
indigo girls open a show for nancy griffith.  in a matter of days a
contract had been worked out, with the details of the deal handled
by the duo's longtime friend and manager, russell carter.  though
the signing was certainly a high point in the indigo girls' career,
for several weeks afterward ray found herself fending off a cloud of

"it was a situation where we had this thing going," she says "where
we were managing ourselves and booking ourselves, and when we let go
of that we were excited at first, because we had been working so
hard.  we were tired, and we thought, 'oh good, someone's going to
share the load.' but then we took a step back and thought, 'oh sh*t,
did we just give up something we shouldn't have -- our control, our
independence, our autonomy?'  but the reality is that epic has been
very supportive of us all along, in both our political agenda and our
creative freedom.  it's been an asset to have them, and it's really
freed us up to do other things with our time.  it's kind of a
give-and-take thing."

saliers concurs:  "from the very beginning we made it clear to the
company that, in our case, what you see is what you get.  it was
understood that we weren't into 'image,' and we weren't going to be
told what songs to record.  we were going to do our own songs, and
they would be produced the way we wanted them produced.  amy and i
were able to say these things because we weren't h*llbent on getting
a major label deal.  we approached everything with a kind of relaxed
attitude, and we had no real expectations about what might happen, or
how many records we would sell.  basically, the most important thing
to us was to protect the integrity we brought to what we were doing
musically and that's exactly what we did."

ray's misgivings soon passed, and later that year she and saliers
went to l.a. to record their debut album for epic.  released in 1989,
the eponomously-titled indigo girls peaked at #22 on the billboard
charts, and the single, "closer to fine," reached #52.  the album
garnered ray and saliers a grammy nomination that winter for best new
artist (the grammy was won by milli vanilli), and even more
impressive, the grammy committee honored indigo girls with the award
for best contemporary folk recording of that year.  to support the
album, the indigo girls spent a large portion of that year on tour --
sometimes as headliners, other times as the opening act for neil young
or rem.  indeed, rem's role in the duo's early success was especially
significant, as members of the band not only championed ray and
saliers in the press, but also contributed instrumentally to two
tracks on the epic debut.  rem's appearance was just the first
instance in what would soon become a regular occurring motif, as
stellar backers began to appear regularly on the indigo girls's
recordings.  when asked about the duo's ability to persuade some of the
country's finest musicians to contribute to their songs, ray as a
simple explanation.

"we just ask them," she says with a laugh.  "i think they agree because
they know we love playing music.  whenever we ask someone to play with
us, it's because we want them to do their thing, and not because we
want to dictate what they're going to do.  and i think people
appreciate that.  but i also think people just like to play.  if we
know someone in a town we're playing in. we'll always ask them to join
us onstage.  it's a tradition with us, and i think people really enjoy
that, because it's not something that happens a lot any more.  most of
these people have a certain approach to music -- a certain
open-mindedness -- that makes them more inclined to sit in with people.
steve earle is a good example of that.  he's someone who loves music,
and who loves participating and engaging with people."

like ray, saliers stresses that the musicians who accompany them are
given an unusual amount of freedom and autonomy during the recordings:
"a lot of times, when we get ready to record, we'll make a wish list
of people we want to play on the album.  and sometimes people are
recommended to us by producers, or by other musicians, or through word
of mouth.  it's really just a matter asking people if they'll do it,
and we've been fortunate in that most of the people we've asked have

"bascially," she continues, "we like for people to come in and do
their own thing.  for instance, lisa germano came up with a really
wacky mandolin part of 'least complicated,' which ended up being one
of the main hooks in the song.  no one except her could have come up
with that, at that moment, and that's the sort of thing we celebrate
and encourage.  we don't bring musicians in and try to get them to do
something that we would do ourselves.  we bring them in because we like
what they do."

building upon the critical accolades and commercial success that
greeted their debut, the indigo girls entered the '90's in high gear.
nomads*indians*saints was released in the fall of 1990, and the
following year epic issued an eight-song live ep, titled back on the
bus, y'all, which earned the duo their fourth grammy nomination.  by
the time their 1992 album, rites of passage, was released, ray and
saliers had garnered a reputation not just as impeccable songwriters,
but also as two of the music industry's most socially conscious and
polically active artists.  in addition to integrating their beliefs
into their songs, time and again the indigo girls used their burgeoning
popularity to champion causes like hand gun control, habitat for
humanity, and voters for choice (a reproductive rights organization).
as time passed, the duo became deeply involved with the issues of
indigenous people, and in 1993 they organized the first of several
shows in the midwest to raise money for "honor the earth," an
enviromental movement sponsored by the indigenous women's network.

as ray explains, the indigo girls' charitable efforts have been aimed
primarily at providing assistance to activists functioning at a
grassroots level.

"we work with a lot of activists," she says, "and it has mostly to do
with disenfranchised communities, or with issues that have come about
because of the corporate structure of the united states.  the fact that
multinational corporations are in charge of things at this point is
pretty scary; [after all], they have more money than the government.
the global economy is killing us - nafta, gatt - and we're all fighting
the same enemy, since manifest destiny created all this
disenfranchisement.  therefore, a lot of the things we do stem from a
attitude of trying to spread out and help communities.  most
importantly, we don't go into someone's movement and tell them how to
run things.  instead, we try to support what they're already doing.
that's the nature of grass roots activism -- to support and give voice
to people who are trying to change things in their own communities."

saliers agrees:  "for the sake of being as effective as possible,
given the amount of time we have, we've sort of honed our interests in
on indigenous people's issues.  they're the true enviromentalists,
[since] it really runs through their blood.  they don't think of
themselves as enviromentalists; it's just that their way of living
takes into account future generations and protection of our resources.
for traditional people, it's like breathing, and amy and i feel we can
learn a lot from that way of thinking.  we live in a society that's so
driven by money, and consumerism, and multi-national corporations...
there's little respect for any sense of balance.  that's why we've
become so heavily involved with indigenous people's issues, and [native
american] rights, and land protection issues."

with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, the indigo girls
continued their busy ways throughout the mid-90's, dividing their time
between album work, concert tours, social activism, and contributions
to various soundtrack compilations.  in 1994 the duo's services were
solicited in the making of two films, philadelphia, and boys on the
side.  for philadelphia, the indigo girls contributed their
interpretation of a crazy horse song titled "i don't want to talk about
it," while boys on the side saw them sharing screen time with the likes
of drew barrymore and whoopi goldberg.  in addition, the duo's fourth
full-length album, swamp ophelia, was released on may 10 of that year
(true to form, the album was nominated by the grammy committee for best
contemporary folk album), and in 1995 the indigo girls released a 2-cd
collection of live material, titled 1200 curfews.

it's important to note that, throughout this time, the indigo girls not
only to broaden the scope of their activism, they also honed their
skills as songwriters.  as they had from the beginning of their career,
ray and saliers continued to compose separately, and only rarely did
either of them seek advice from the other about a particular song.  (in
general, every indigo girls album has split the songwriting credits
evenly, with the track sequence usually alternating between ray-penned
and saliers-penned material).  given that the two women do not
collaborate, one can't help wondering if they have ever contemplated
recording solo albums.

"i think we both think about doing solo projects," says ray, "not as a
major release, or anything like that, but kind of just for fun.  both of
us jam with other people, and we enjoy sitting in with other musicians.
neither of us has a sense of being threatened by what the other does,
and we do have a kind of freedom to come and go.  i think the reason for
that is because our musical relationship is so intact, and because we
both feel that the sum of that relationship is better than the parts."

ray and saliers may prefer solitude when they're writing, but when it
comes to live performance, their knack for bringing artists together
on-stage is well known.  as a case in point is what occurred during last
year's lilith fair tour.  as festival organizer sarah mclachlan noted in
a number of interviews, many of the artists participating were tentative
about performing with one another until the indigo girls came on board.
not ones to abide such preciousness, ray and saliers went around
knocking on doors and encouraged everyone to come out and jam.  soon the
dynamic of the festival changed, and what had previously seemed a rather
stilted affair took on a bit of the flavor of a family gathering.

"amy and i are like a couple of kids in a candy store when we get around
other musicians," notes saliers.  "just to stand there and watch emmylou
harris, and sheryl crow, and jewel, and sarah -- all these great people
singing their sets -- it just seemed like a great opportunity for
everyone to get together and jam.  that's the school of thinking that
amy and i come from.  when we were growing up in atlanta, everybody
jammed together and everybody supported one another.  there were very
few problems with competition, or with ego stuff.  and that's the way
amy and i like to experience music.  if we're involved in a festival
situation, we're going to go knocking on doors, saying 'please come sing
with us.'"

adds ray:  "when you're on a tour like that, you just feel that at some
point people will get bored with themselves, and that they will evolve
and start playing with each other.  that tends to happen naturally,
whether we're there to instigate it or not.  but in another way, that is
what we do.  we're instigators.  we go into a festival enviroment and
try to get people to play together, because that's what we feel should
be happening.  of course, that sort of attitude can rub some people the
wrong way.  most people like it, though, and we're not trying to be
pushy.  we're just saying, 'look, guys.  there's a wealth of talent
here.  let's share, and play together.'

"i also think emily and i tend to be irreverent about that sort of
thing," ray continues.  "we're not afraid to make mistakes on-stage, and
we don't worry that our set is going to be messed up or anything.  we're
not precious, and i think that sense of of looseness is what brought
people [on lilith] out of their shells.  with a tour like lilith, it's
hard because it's so big.  when you look at the number of people there,
and consider what it could do for your career... you might tend to get
nervous, and not be willing to take risks.  but for us, it's not worth
playing if you're not going to take risks."

with yet another grammy nomination added to their list of credits (this
time, for their 1997 album, shaming of the sun), this summer the indigo
girls will again get a chance to work their magic during the lilith fair
festivities.  boasting a lineup that's larger in number and more
stylistically expansive than that featured last year, the tour will
likely present a greater challenge when it comes to fostering a sense of
unity and camaraderie.  ray and saliers agree that, in the ten years
they've been recording for a major label, the status of women in the
industry has evolved, although they see room for greater improvement.
and though the notion probably doesn't occur to them, the indigo girls
deserve a large chunk of the credit for the way attitudes toward women
in music have changed, and for furthering a sense of repsect for the
contributions of women to rock 'n' roll.

"i do think things are better [for women]," says saliers, "and i hope
that's not just a temporary trend.  the business has been
male-dominated for a long time, just like most other facets of our
society.  and there's been prejudice, in the sense that radio
programmers wouldn't put a lot of women artists together in their
line-ups, and promoters didn't want to feature shows with more than one
woman act on the bill.  there have been problems like that, and i think
a festival like lilith points up the existence of that type of
ignorance.  but things seem to be changing, and that's really a good

"women are getting more air play," ray concurs. "and lots of women [in
music] are really popular.  but there's still something that gets to
me, something that i can't quite put my finger on.  it's sort of a
ghettoization that goes on.  it's as if women in music are always
looked upon as this surprising trend -- it's never just accepted for
what it is.

"and also, i think the terms that success is based upon are still
"male" terms.  and i don't think that's the fault of women.  i don't
think all of these women are selling out.  women should have the
freedom to do whatever they want -- to dress how they want, and to
sing about whatever they want to sing about.  but the parameters of
success are still dictated by a male sensibility, and by what a male
wants to see in a female.  i don't think that's changed, although i do
think women have more opportunities now.  things are evolving."

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date: sat, 11 jul 1998 13:09:42 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] more on suffragette sessions

hey folks,

i found this on rocktropolis (
you can also read it online at

- -sherlyn

indigo girls launch suffragette sessions tour
aug. 19

the controversy-prone indigo girls are launching a two-week
tour with eight other female artists, modeled after bob
dylan's rolling thunder revue of the 1970s. the tour, labeled
the suffragette sessions tour, will be hitting clubs in 12
cities between aug. 19 and sept. 3.  in addition to indigo
girls' amy ray and emily saliers, the tour will feature
luscious jackson's kate schellenbach, gail ann dorsey, jane
siberry, lourdes perez, lisa germano, mecca normal's jean
smith, come's thalia zedek, and josephine wiggs, formerly of
the breeders.

it is unlikely that there will be any solo performances on
the tour, which will instead focus on various combinations
of artists onstage together, according to indigo girls'
manager russell carter of atlanta-based carter management.
other artists have expressed interest in joining the tour,
but it is doubtful that changes will be made to the current

carter maintains that the tour is not "a big moneymaking
thing, just a fun musical experience." and, if all goes well,
the suffragette sessions tour could turn into an annual event.
but don't expect help from the likes of jeans makers or
gourmet coffee chains: the indigo girls would never allow
corporate sponsorship, says carter. "they are opposed to

- -- mike magnuson

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please send feedback, questions etc to
submissions are welcome - please send these to


date: sat, 11 jul 1998 13:23:42 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] article from mtv online

hey folks,

the following article is from mtv online
(  it's a bit old...

- -sherlyn

6.30.98 12:00 edt
popper plays lilith and lives to write about it

john popper obviously couldn't wait for blues traveler to
kick off this year's h.o.r.d.e. festival on july 10 in east
troy, wisconsin, and decided to pay a little visit to the
lilith fair when it rolled into pasadena, california, last

during the concert, the blues traveler frontman was invited
onstage by the indigo girls' emily saliers, whom had
originally asked popper to play with the duo during a chance
meeting at a hotel lobby. popper obliged and laid harmonica
licks into the girls' "power of two."

popper and the indigo girls were then joined by lilith-mates
k's choice and shawn colvin for a cover of neil young's
"rockin' in the free world," before the ensemble grew to
include tour founder sarah mclachlan and comedian ellen
degeneres for the girls' anthemic "closer to fine."

as we previously reported (see "joan osborne readies new
magazine, album") popper writes about first meeting saliers
and his entire lilith experience in an article for a new
magazine, "womanly hips."

the lilith fair, which features mclachlan, natalie merchant,
the indigo girls, sinead o'connor and me'shell ndegeocello
on-board for this leg, will roll into oklahoma city on july

=-= sherlyn koo - =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= a+e=ig
"and when it matters most and i can't be found,
you just climb up to the top and you will find me hanging around
with people who think they can..."     - the waifs

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end of ig-news-digest v1 #129

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