lifeblood: listlogs: 2000v03n027-news

ig-news-digest       thursday, february 24 2000       volume 03 : number 027

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] ig on dvd                      [garian <>]
  [ig-news] ig in girlfriends   [amy swenson <>]
  [ig-news] re: list meet at f & m: i found a spot!  [timlynlist <timlynlist]
  [ig-news] the girlfriends interview!   [anna banana <>]


date: wed, 23 feb 2000 15:04:33 -0700 (mst)
from: garian <>
subject: [ig-news] ig on dvd

i got a scoop that the nov. 20 denver fillmore concert will be released on
dvd later this year by epic.  no word if there will also be a vhs version
for the majority of us who do not have a dvd player...


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date: tue, 22 feb 2000 15:17:28 -0500
from: amy swenson <>
subject: [ig-news] ig in girlfriends

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

not sure if this has been posted here yet or not, but i think it was
mentioned that the girls are on the cover of this month's girlfriends
magazine. there's a decent interview in there, as well as a review of

i have a few problems, as usual, with the review. first of all, the
writer couldn't seem to get the song titles right. she mentioned singing
the chorus from "closer i am to fine" and she called it "soon to be
nothing", which i know is a common mistake, but you'd think that if
you're reviewing the cd, you have it right in front of you...

she gave the album a b, which was pretty good considering, but i just
wish she would have gotten her facts straight. as a writer, those sort
of things bug me, especially when they are pretty easy things to double

i don't have the article in front of me, but maybe someone else has it
if anyone hasn't seen it yet.

happy day-after-president's-day,

ps - i'm still looking for a boot of the minneapolis show this past
december... *hint, hint*

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date: wed, 23 feb 2000 09:22:29 -0500
from: timlynlist <>
subject: [ig-news] re: list meet at f & m: i found a spot!

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

  ok, for anyone that is interested i've decided on "doc holliday's"(931
harrisburg pike, lancaster pa...717-397-3811) which is a restaurant directly
across the street from the arena the girls will be playing in. i called a
lady at the college and she said you can park in the arena lot and walk
across the street to the restaurant. they have
steaks/ribs/wings/salads...sounds like a real varied menu. so, jordan and i
will be there as close to 5pm as we can, maybe even earlier depending on
traffic. i'll tell the hostess to direct anyone asking for "listmeet" to our
table. i hope to meet some fellow fans!!!!

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date: wed, 23 feb 2000 22:00:36 -0500
from: anna banana <>
subject: [ig-news] the girlfriends interview!

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

here's the girlfriends ig interview. . .
(any mistakes are mine in the process of transcribing)
- -anna

girlfriends:  you signed an eight-album deal with epic in 1988, and you've
got two albums to go.  what happens after that?

amy:  we don't know yet.  we might decide not to be on a label after that.
me and emily might just feel like we're ready to scale back a little bit;
that it's okay to sell less records and play slightly smaller rooms.

g:  emily, your songs have more political references than they have had in
the past.  i'm used to hearing politics from amy, but not from you.  is this
how you intend your songs to be interpreted?

emily:  i think when we started working with indigenous activists like
winona laduke and others and the honor the earth crowd, it just really
changed my life and started infiltrating my songwriting.  very early on i
was writing sort of general political songs, like antinuclear songs.  and
then i got really fascinated by interpersonal relationships and love and my
whole coming out process.  and still it is probably my favorite subject to
think about: how people interact with each other.  but once i met some of
those mentors, it just became part of my thinking in a way that it hadn't
before.  i decided it's all right to come out and say something straight
about gay people being oppressed.

g:  you weren't always okay with that, though.

emily:  early on, i didn't want to talk about our sexuality in the press.
one, i was afraid, and two, i just didn't want us to be pigeon-holed as a
lesbian band.

g:  has that happened to anyone?

emily:  well i'm sure it does.  gay artists are afraid to come out, when
they come out it's a big deal.  i mean there's us and there's melissa
etheridge as far as women, you know, and there's not room for the both of
us, really.

g:  do you think melissa is identified mostly as a lesbian rocker?

emily:  hell yeah.  i believe it's people's first thought about her.

g:  but she gets a lot more radio play than you guys do, so does it really
hurt her?

amy:  it's not a cut-and-dried thing like "melissa gets played and you guys
don't."  she's much more commercial than we are, she's also much more
willing to do a lot of promotional things that we wouldn't do.  she's much
more willing to be part of the industry and to present an image that will

g:  but isn't it good that she's fully out and saying, "i am a lesbian, i am
playing this music that you people like."  this is important to the gay
community, no?

emily:  yeah, it's great.  but it is still a male-dominated industry, and
when you play by their rules, you have to project the typical gender roles
as far as your image.  tough women or women who are unpretentious, who don't
project the ideals of beauty and
sexuality don't get as much exposure.

g:  but don't tell me that you guys don't project some kind of sexuality.

amy:  it depends on who you're talking to.  if you're talking to a straight
man, in general, no.  we don't fit into a "male-gaze" demographic, of what
the male wants to see.  and that's fine.  there's always going to be someone
who breaks through that.  melissa
breaks through it, but there's not room on rock radio for melissa and us to
break through, because the programmers are like, "we're already playing
melissa, we can't play the indigo girls, too."  and it's not just sexuality,
it's also our politics.  about 50 percent of what we do is activism, and the
other half is music, and that's really not something that radio is
interested in.

g:  what about the time that lesbian separatists raised hell when you
wouldn't bar men from you concerts?

amy:  that was 15 years ago, and i was very naive.  politically, i thought
we should be past that point, and that the real way to achieve equality and
recognition was for everybody to be able to deal with each other.  i didn't
understand the reality of needing a
safe space.  i didn't understand that when you have a meeting and there's 20
women and one man, that man runs the meeting.  but there were moments when
the separatists were like, "you're part of our community and you're not
supporting us," and it felt very possessive to me.  just because you're gay
doesn't mean you agree; it doesn't mean you think the same, it doesn't mean
you're a democrat automatically, although god knows i don't know how you can
be a republican.  i feel like i made some mistakes out of naiveté early on.
i mean, i had a girlfriend my senior year in high school, but i didn't even
know what it meant to be gay.  i had never heard the word before.  it was
all, i'm in love with this woman; it all happened naturally, so i never had
a political context for it.

g:  but didn't you sense you needed to hide it?

amy:  kind of, but i wouldn't have realized that if my girlfriend hadn't
freaked out so much.  my mother came to me and said, "people are saying
this," and i was like, "well, i am in love with kelly, but i don't know what
being gay is because we haven't slept together or anything."  after there
was a context for it, i did struggle with it, but that was a very brief
time.  and then it was just the residual self-esteem issues over time that
we all struggle with.  every now and then we go, "is something wrong with
me?  was my father weird?"  you know, those things we always ask ourselves
and i think we always

g:  how much of being supportive of the community is just being out and open
about it? would you say it's a responsibility?

emily:  i think it's a large part of it, but it's a personal journey.  i
don't believe in outing people.  i can only base it on my own experience,
but you shouldn't be made to come out until you're ready.  you would wish
for courage for the people who are on the fence to make the decision to come
out rather than to stay in the closet.

g:  amy, you've made noises about doing some solo work, and album of punk
and country songs.

amy:  but they're supported by emily, i have to make it clear.   people
always think if you say solo project, you're breaking up your band.  i'm
going to make a solo record this year.  i've been wanting to for a long time
and if i don't stop talking about it and just do
it it's never going to happen.  i'm 35 years old, i gotta get the damn thing
outta my system.

g:  you've both complained about the fact the mainstream rock press ignores
you.  but rolling stone loves your new album; they wrote positively about
it.  [me: yeah, they liked it so much they got the title wrong in the

emily:  they should write an article about us.

g:  but they're coming around, aren't they?  they put political rockers rage
against the machine on the cover.

amy:  they're a rock'n'roll boy band.  the reason rage is covered is not
because of their politics.  rolling stone has just never ever, ever given us
the support that they've given other bands, and we've had a career that's
spanned a long time, we've had a lot of success, and they just haven't paid
any attention to it.

g:  what if you got on the cover?

amy:  i don't know if i would do it.  they're sexist and homophobic.

emily:  we rub them the wrong way.  it's a male-dominated business across
the board.

g:  both of you have been quoted in the past saying you have problems with
the gay movement, that it's too insular.

emily:  i think amy and i really identify with the whole grassroots part of
the gay movement, like the ngltf or youth pride or pflag rather than certain
groups that have very high overhead and black-tie affairs.  like the human
rights campaign does great work, but there's a lot of stuff i can't relate
to with them just on a social level.

amy:  we don't do that shit.

g:  but if you don't have a black tie in washington, d.c. you don't have
power.  don't you think the hrc has a lot more political leverage than the

amy:  what does it matter if they have leverage if they're supporting
candidates that are antichoice and antiwoman?  [the hrc endorsed
conservative alfonse d'amato in the 1998 ny senate race]  i just don't agree
with them.  i think they really screwed up.

g:  so is the ideal of a gay movement with common goals a myth?

amy:  i think having gay people be accepted should be the common goal of the

emily:  it should just be to pass legislation that protects gay people,
allows them to marry, to share all the rights under the law that other
citizens who aren't gay have, and then to promote equality.  ultimately it's
about equality and the way that we all view and love and respect and accept
each other.  those are the goals.  i like other groups that have raised
money for aids.  the wealthy contingent of gay males supported things like
project open hand when they had people who were getting sick.  now a lot of
groups have lost a lot of their funding because the aids demographic has
shifted to more latino and african american, and they're losing the support
they had when the wealthier white, gay male community supported them.

g:  we've also got medications like protease inhibitors that make these guys
feel like they're not sick anymore.

amy:  those are the ones that have the money to buy them.

emily:  but the question is, where does you love come from?  where does your
money come from?  what's your motivation?  and amy and i, we're just
grassroots activists, and those are the people we feel the kinship with.

amy:  it's the grassroots stuff that touches the rural areas, the areas that
don't have as much exposure, or as much money.  it's a class issue, to me.
it's a race issue.  it's a sexism issue.  and sexism is a part of
homophobia.  and classism and racism should not
exist within the ranks of gay rights groups.  given the choice, we would
just align ourselves with someone who's a little more radical.  i mean, we
don't like those black tie affairs and those money-raising things in d.c.
where it's high dollars.  we're not glamorous lesbians.  our visibility has
been low at times because of that.

emily:  but clearly, the hrc does important work.  i wanna be clear about

g:  don't worry, i'm not going to slam hrc in your name.

amy:  you can slam them in my name, i don't care.  i'm so mad at them about
that candidate issues in ny.

emily:  well don't slam them in my name.  the gay community gets so feisty
about that.  "you said this about us."  it's just bullshit.

amy:  but you have to criticize groups you think don't live up to the goals
of the community.  it only helps the hrc when you say "you can't be
supporting candidates that are antiwoman."  and if you want to do it, i'm
not going to support you.  that's it.  it's nothing personal.  it's not a
gossipy gay issue.

g:  emily, didn't you have your mid-life crisis at 30?

amy:  that was a saturn return.

emily:  what is a saturn return?

amy:  i don't know.  that what everybody calls that thing that happens.

emily:  i went through a huge change around 29 or 30.  now i can't even
remember what kind of change it was because i feel i've changed more over
the past year or so.  i can feel myself grow and there are parts that are in
conflict with other parts.  i'm an activist,
but i'm also a hedonist.  i want to be productive, but i really at times
like to do nothing at all.  i can tell i have a lot more growing to do.  but
i feel in a very good place in my life
right now.  because i'm learning and i'm just beginning to see the way
things work together and the outline of the picture of where i need to go.
hopefully i'll get there.  there's no one else to hold me back except

g:  so what happens when you feel like you've figured it out?

emily:  that'll never happen!

g:  you're in you forties and the indigo girls are on the lite rock station.

emily:  my songs are already on the lite rock station.  poor amy has had to
suffer through it.

amy:  naw, it's the only radio play we can get!

g:  do either of you have plans for family?

amy:  i gotta do my solo record first.  get the solo record out of the way
and then i can decide whether or not to have a baby.  i don't think you
should have a baby before you're 40.  i have baby fever.  i don't know how
i'm going to do it because there's so much else i want to do.  it's a big
thing, and i don't take it lightly.  my sister had two kids in the last two
years, and so did my brother.  my sister is gay and has a partner and they
thought about it for a long time and they have done it right.  but i have
that super confidence that
i don't have to change my life very much.  i'm home a lot anyway, i do all
my work from home except when i'm on the road.  so i'll stay off the road
awhile and it'll be great.  i know that's so idealistic.  my sister just
laughs at me.  but i have a lot of energy.  when i decide i want to do
something, i've thought a lot about it.  i'm not compulsive about things
like that.

emily:  i don't really have a pull to have kids.  i can't handle as much as
amy can.  i freak out if i have too much going on.

amy:  she's gonna take care of my kids!

g:  will you be a single mom?

amy:  well, i have a girlfriend.  we don't live together because we have a
long-distance relationship, but she is very supportive.  if i want to have a
family and work out a way, we can somehow coparent.  i'm in a position where
it's easy to think about.  in two years,
i may just be, "you were such an idiot amy.  you cannot give a good life to
this child."  but i do want to be a foster parent and try to work with
troubled kids.  and maybe when we retire, be a high school teacher.  i love
kids, and i especially love troubled kids; i have
empathy for them.

g:  but you didn't have a troubled childhood.

amy:  i'm a troubled person with a very good family.  i had a lot of
problems growing up.  i have a really good family, but i have a lot of stuff
going on in my head.
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end of ig-news-digest v3 #27

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