lifeblood: listlogs: 1999v01n239-news

ig-news-digest       wednesday, january 5 2000       volume 02 : number 239

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] ig article ig optimistic...       [diane wong <>]


date: tue, 4 jan 2000 02:13:10 -0500
from: diane wong <>
subject: [ig-news] ig article ig optimistic...

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at]

as always, reproduced w/o permission:

published: sunday, january 2, 2000
pop music

indigo girls optimistic about future after enduring a year of sadness

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steve dollar cox news service
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when emily saliers and amy ray -- the atlanta folk-pop duo known as the
indigo girls -- played their last shows of 1999 last month in atlanta, it
was an occasion for reflection and celebration.
it has been the best of times and the worst for them. they've weathered the
sudden deaths of close friends and family but also made a breakthrough
concert trip to cuba, toured with the final installment of lilith fair and,
in ''come on now social'' (epic), released one of the strongest albums in
their 19-year career.
''in terms of loss this year was the worst year ever,'' says saliers, whose
29-year-old sister, carrie, was found dead in her los angeles apartment in
march. the los angeles county coroner's office ruled that she died from
natural causes.
the new album is dedicated to carrie, and to others close to the musicians,
including the atlanta songwriter/performer known as benjamin, and activists
ingrid washinawatock el-issa and marcia gomez, members of the indigenous
women's network, with which the indigos are involved.
''the message of (my sister's) spirit was something i absorbed and live by.
there was so much tragedy, but so much growth and inspiration,'' says
saliers, 36.
''our culture fights death tooth and nail,'' she continues. ''these were
reminders of being a natural part of the whole intricate web, and that's
been a good lesson for me, as many tears as i've shed. i am eternally
ray, 35, concurs. ''it was a hard year for us,'' she says, noting how the
death of a friend's grandmother inspired ''go,'' the fired-up opening track
on ''social,'' and the duo's plans to contribute a song to a tribute cd
dedicated to benjamin, who died in january at age 39.
if anything, the performers have responded to sad events by investing their
music with a sense of urgency. if it once was easy to typecast the indigos
as diary-dipping coffeehouse harmonizers, it is no more. ''social'' shows a
band that is musically complicated -- banjos coexist with theremins and beat
boxes -- and thrilled to be rocking out. ''i really, really love playing
electric guitar,'' saliers says.
vocalist kelly hogan, who lives in chicago and joined the group onstage
there recently, offers further testimony. ''they're so nice you don't think
they could survive in the wilds, but they're rocking now. shocking and
saliers and ray, whose nonmusical interests include social activism, running
an independent record label (ray's daemon) and launching a restaurant
(saliers' watershed, in decatur, ga.), thrive on surprises. though they've
been affiliated with lilith fair, they also took their own show on the road:
the 1998 ''suffragette sessions,'' which featured varied female artists.
''i like them because they support cross-pollination and worlds colliding at
all times,'' hogan says.
next up for the indigos? some time off. and then? more surprises.
''we make jokes about it,'' says saliers, who mentions that ray -- the
indigo's resident punk-rock fan -- is working on a solo album. ''she wants
to make a total acoustic album, and i want to go in and rock some more. we
could make a double album. it wouldn't sell, and our career might end! we
always start at opposite ends of the spectrum, and then it all comes

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1999 pioneerplanet / st. paul (minnesota) pioneer press - all rights
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end of ig-news-digest v2 #239

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