lifeblood: listlogs: 2000v03n142-news

ig-news-digest       wednesday, august 16 2000       volume 03 : number 142

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] ig article - pgh post-gazette     [bonster <>]
  [ig-news] another pgh ig article            [bonster <>]


date: tue, 15 aug 2000 17:15:28 -0700
from: bonster <>
subject: [ig-news] ig article - pgh post-gazette

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

my apologies if this already has been posted

- -bon

music preview: indigos pack a hard-hitting message into their sweet

friday, august 11, 2000

by tracy collins, post-gazette staff writer

it's long been part of the package with the indigo girls: along with their
sweet harmonies and fetching melodies, you get some harder stuff -- in
their lyrics, their music and their politics.

so it is on this day with emily saliers, who is relaxing between legs of a
long tour that resumed this week and includes a show tonight at the
i.c. light amphitheatre.

it's a day when george w. bush is making the most important speech of his
life, to the republican national convention in philadelphia. dubya's
coronation culminates a week in which the grand old party is trying to
change its image to the grand old cuddly party.

but saliers isn't buying it.

"a lot of this is politics filled with hatred under the guise of a softer
language," she says matter-of-factly.

saliers and her musical partner, fellow georgian amy ray, first started
playing together when their state's most prominent politician, jimmy
carter, was in his last months as president and under assault for his
seeming unwillingness to kick butt on an international scale. today,
georgia's biggest political name is conservative hit man newt gingrich,
and when he boasts that bush is "on the same page" as venerable ol'
newtie, people like saliers cringe.

"there is no such thing as a kinder, more compassionate conservative when
their politics are ripping people apart," saliers says.

you go, indigo girl.

saliers believes inclusiveness and understanding have taken some hits
lately, though she's not necessarily surprised.

"it seems like after every four or five years of gain, you get a
backlash," she says.

she and ray know this firsthand. they have never been ashamed or secretive
of the fact they are gay, and it has clouded the reaction to their strong
sense of social consciousness.

troubled by funding cuts for the arts, the indigo girls planned a series
of free concerts in high school gymnasiums throughout the south in
1998. some of the shows in south carolina ended up being canceled over
sexual politics.

"some parents found out about us being gay and complained to some
principals who canceled the shows," she recalls. "but it worked out really
well, because we played those towns anyhow in different venues, and a lot
of the students came out to show their support. for a lot of them, it was
their first exposure to standing up for something that they believe in. so
it was really positive."

standing up for their beliefs is one of the things that makes the indigo
girls tick. it's been that way since they started out 20 years ago, and it
became even stronger when they started making hit records in 1987, at a
time that a rejuvenated folk movement was giving a strong push to them,
tracy chapman and suzanne vega.

whether the cause is gay rights or the rights of indigenous people, they
have spoken eloquently and melodically.

"activism is just part of me and amy as people," saliers says. "we're
involved in a lot of work that's important to both of us, which keeps our
spirits nourished.

"in the beginning, we were involved in groups like greenpeace. as we honed
our activism, we were more drawn to grass-roots, community-based groups,
drawn to those issues. we were drawn to indigenous leaders especially, who
have helped direct us in our own activism."

after working for social gains, that backlash now hurts. nowhere is it
more painful than at the top of the music charts, where eminem's songs of
hate have a ravenous audience.

"he represents a problem i have a lot with rap, hard-core rap
especially," saliers says. "i love rap music, and i love the rhythms and
love the rhymes, and i think he is one of the best ones out there as far
as those things are concerned. but his content is just despicable. he's
homophobic and he's hateful. i feel sorry for him.

"to have all of that stuff inside you, you must be living a miserable

"i don't buy his argument about him not being homophobic or
misogynist. you should ask the people you are offending if it's offensive,
not just decide for yourself that it's not. it's the same thing with team
mascots, like the atlanta braves. people say it's just a team name. but
you should ask an indian if they find it offensive or not before just
dismissing it."

it's at about this point that saliers realizes this is pretty heavy stuff
for a conversation that started out about the coming show and the many
years of success she and ray have enjoyed. so she tries to put it in
perspective for those planning to come to the show.

"we're a serious band, we have serious politics, but a lot of the songs
are just fun," she reminds us. "and they're fun to sing to. we have a good

that's especially true for this leg of the tour; when the band is left at
home, saliers and ray give an acoustic reading of their impressive catalog
of songs.

"it's an adjustment when you're used to the sounds of the drums and the
bass filling in," she says. "but we find the acoustic duo shows have an
intimacy that you don't have with a band. it's great to have a band, but
it's also neat for fans to hear the stripped-down versions. sometimes that
lets them connect more to the songs."

friendly support

another product of the atlanta singer-songwriter scene will be opening for
the indigo girls.

michelle malone, touring for her seventh album, the fine "home grown," is
one of those performers who has enjoyed more praise from fellow artists
than she has commercial success.

malone's music reflects blues, folk and r&b influences, though she's not
shy about rocking. the common thread is her voice, smoothly delivering her
fine lyrics.

don't be surprised to see malone being joined onstage by saliers
or ray, both of whom are close friends and longtime supporters of her

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date: tue, 15 aug 2000 17:16:36 -0700
from: bonster <>
subject: [ig-news] another pgh ig article

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

my apologies if this already has been posted (i don't think it was,

- -bon

concert review: indigo girls acoustics take off at ic light's 'airplane

by tracy collins, post-gazette staff writer

the indigo girls returned to the region last night for the first time
since dazzling lilith fair '97 with a rocking performance. and though it
was an acoustic set this time out, there was no shortage of electricity in
their powerful 100-minute set.

last night's show at i.c. light amphitheater at station square was heavy
on highlights from the indigo girls' latest release, "come on now
social," with plenty of memorable songs from a strong 20-year career.

"this is the way we learned to play the songs," explained amy ray early in
the show, "stripped down and bare, in sort of an airplane hangar thing. i
have to say, this is the most unusual locale we've played."

and true to its form, during some of the most poignant moments from ray
and partner emily saliers, the amphitheater provided its usual
highlight: a passing train, which brought chuckles from both.

"it's just one train, going back and forth all night," ray said. saliers
added: "it's that same damn train!"

but the train didn't overshadow a performance that not only added a sense
of intimacy to the proceedings, but also laid bare the beautiful harmonies
and great lyrics that are so much a part of the lure of the duo. an added
bonus was the fact that an unplugged set guaranteed better sound in the
sometimes shaky acoustics of the i.c. light "airplane hangar."

many of the duo's early hits obviously fared well in this setting, since
they were acoustic numbers to begin with. songs like "closer to
fine," "galileo" and "least complicated" not only received enthusiastic
greetings from the band's longtime fans, but ray and saliers were happy to
let the crowd sing entire verses.

even newer, more rocking songs like "go" and "shame on you" sounded
terrific unplugged.

saliers, the sweet-singing indigo out of the joni mitchell school of folk,
is a classically trained guitarist. her work on "faye tucker" and "shame
on you" was nothing short of dazzling. ray's voice is tougher and she has
a stronger rock/punk background. her writhing solo performance of "one bad
seed" -- on mandolin with an angry delivery worthy of woody guthrie -- was
a show-stopper.

at different points throughout the show, the indigo girls were joined
onstage by local attorney sandy garfinkel on harmonica. garfinkel, a
friend of saliers and ray from their days at emory university in atlanta,
is a frequent onstage guest when they play in the region, and he sometimes
joins them at other venues on the road. his music added a nice touch to
the set.

opening the night was another product of the atlanta folk scene of the
mid-80s, michelle malone, who later joined ray and saliers for a
half-dozen songs in the main show.

malone, whose terrific songwriting has garnered her much respect among her
peers -- even if it hasn't translated into wide commercial success -- was
in her best form on bluesy numbers where she could show off her soaring
voice, guitar chops and fine harmonica playing.

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end of ig-news-digest v3 #142

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