lifeblood: listlogs: 2001v04n040-news


ig-news-digest         tuesday, march 6 2001         volume 04 : number 040

today's subjects:
-----------------
  [ig-news] ig oregon summer 2001 tour date  [cessa <cessa@sight-n-sound.com]
  [ig-news] borders.com amy interiew     [ryan simantel <rtsimantel@aol.com>]
  [ig-news] borders interview               [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]
  [ig-news] new amy article at wall of sound  [jason hare <hare@optonline.ne]
  [ig-news] technodyke article              [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]

----------------------------------------------------------------------

date: mon, 5 mar 2001 13:52:36 -0800
from: cessa <cessa@sight-n-sound.com>
subject: [ig-news] ig oregon summer 2001 tour date

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at netspace.org.  according to another
person on that list, the girls will be back at the newport folk
festival this year also...]

i haven't seen this mentioned yet, but it looks like there is an official
summer date for the girls! they'll be back again at the britt festival in
jacksonville, or, for those of you not familiar with the pnw it's in
southern oregon and it's a great festival! the official date is 7/21!! you
can find more details at www.brittfest.org - july can't get here fast
enough!!

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------------------------------

date: mon, 5 mar 2001 02:15:18 est
from: ryan simantel <rtsimantel@aol.com>
subject: [ig-news] borders.com amy interiew

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at netspace.org.  interview to follow in a
minute...]

i dont know if this has been mentioned but there is an amy interview at
borders.com
the url is....

http://go.borders.com/features/tpray.xcv

enjoy!
ryan

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------------------------------

date: tue, 6 mar 2001 09:55:24 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] borders interview

hey folks,

here's the interview from borders.com that ryan mentioned...

- -sherlyn

- ---begin article---
solo indigo

conducted by tim pulice, borders.com editorial coordinator

for the past 20 years, amy ray has teamed up with emily saliers
to make up the southern folk-rock favorites the indigo girls.
their spirited live performances and thought-provoking, feminist
lyrics have won the duo a devoted following. saliers is regarded
for a melodic style often compared to joni mitchell, while ray
is known for a more aggressive approach inspired by bands like
the pretenders and husker du. ray recently released her first
solo album, stag, for which she recruited joan jett, kate
schellenbach and the butchies, among others, to help shape her
energetic songs.

in this interview, ray talks about how the music on stag differs
from more typical indigo girls material, as well as some of the
artists she's most proud of from her label, daemon records.
lastly, she offers up some sage advice to aspiring songwriters.


how long have you been writing the songs on stag?

amy ray: some of them i wrote while making the record, some of
them i've been working on over a period of three or four years.
they were old songs i could never quite finish and didn't really
know what to do with. i would go back through my tapes and i'd
say, "ok. this is perfect for this," then i would just work on
it a little more.

why did you feel the songs wouldn't fit on an indigo girls
album?

ar: i hear an indigo girls song as being harmony, lots of
counter melodies and two distinct guitar parts. there's just a
certain duality to indigo girls. these songs felt more singular.
i felt like i wanted one voice to be strong rather than having
two strong voices.

how did emily feel about it?

ar: she was very supportive and realizes that i need to do this,
get it out of my system. in the end, it's going to make things
better for indigo girls. i've already started writing songs for
the next indigo record, and i just feel like i'm cleared out. i
don't have to throw the song out or make it not what it should
be because i'm trying to make it an indigo girls song. now i have
these two distinct places to put things.

were you nervous about not having emily to fall back on?

ar: yes, she's a great foil. that's exactly what we are to each
other in the studio. we need that person who says, "do it again,"
or, "can you try this instead?" she's a lot more technically
talented than me and has a gift for harmony and writing guitar
lines. i'm very slow at those things. i hear something a certain
way and can do that, but i can't expand and do it some other way.
so i was pretty worried about harmonies and guitar parts. but it
was good. i would write a lot of the harmonies myself and it made
me a better musician.

how did you select the musicians for stag?

ar: these are bands that are very influential to me and have
influenced my songwriting. i would take a band i was really
familiar with and wanted to play with and automatically know what
songs would be appropriate for them. i'd make a tape of the song,
send it to them and then practice with them for a couple of days.
it was pretty much what came natural to them. the trick was
sorting out who was going to sound the best on which songs. that's
something i really enjoy doing, something i have a knack for --
recognizing a band's strengths.

you're known as the more rocking indigo girl, but one of the songs
that really stands out is "lazyboy." i was hearing sean lennon,
elliott smith, simon and garfunkel. was that a conscious effort on
your part?

ar: definitely. i know elliott's recording style, and it was
something specific i wanted to do on that song. it was definitely
influenced by nick drake and elliott smith. i was tipping my hat
to their style.

emily's ballads are so strong that i end up not doing as many. and
when i'm doing something alone, the weight of trying to have
different styles falls on one person. it gives me a chance to
bring out something really different. that song is something i had
written and wasn't necessarily planning to put on the record -- i
was thinking about making it a hidden track. then it felt like it
had a place. i recorded it a specific way because i wanted to bring
out a certain aspect of the song -- you're singing really quietly
and turning it up really loud.

would it be fair to say that indigo girls' albums are spiritually
optimistic? do you think the same holds true for this album?

ar: i think this record is more spiritually rebellious. it's not
quite evolved into optimism yet. i haven't had time yet to decide
whether i'm optimistic or not on this record. i think the thing
that's optimistic about indigo girls is something other than just
the music. it's the idea that two people can sing together for 20
years, and we still like each other. that's inherent in what we
do. i think the longer we've stayed together, the more optimistic
we've gotten.

how has your relationship with emily evolved over the 20 years?

ar: we're like family. we've been through a lot of experiences --
people dying, people being born, relationships breaking up,
everything that happens in somebody's life. it's been shared with
emily because we're on the road all the time and constantly in
each other's faces. we don't see each other that much when we're
off the road. but that's probably good -- it gives us our own
lives.

why did you found daemon records? what are your goals for the
label?

ar: to create an infrastructure that's not dictated by profit and
corporate greed. it's modeled on a grassroots model. it's things
happening from the bottom up instead of from the top down. we look
at the impact on the community and try to be part of the community
in atlanta or in the greater community of independent musicians.
it was to give artists this place they could go, make music, be
free, work on some of their own projects and not feel the
pressure.

who are your proudest discoveries?

ar: i'm very proud of danielle howle. she was on my label in this
punk band called lay quiet awhile. i think she's amazing and has
influenced my songwriting. the rock*a*teens are another band that
i'm really proud of that put a couple of records out on our label.

i'm really proud of rose polenzani. rose is a songwriter out of
chicago who now lives in boston. she's amazing, sort of like p.j.
harvey combined with joni mitchell. it was a demo tape somebody
gave me -- i really pursued it because i felt like it was
something unusual that i hadn't heard in a long time.

did anybody similarly guide you and emily as young artists?

ar: we were part of a music scene in atlanta that was really open
- -- we had a few mentors. there was a woman named caroline aiken
who invited us to start playing during her breaks. and we were
playing in atlanta a lot, around 1985. kevn kinney in drivin n
cryin gave us a chance to open for them in athens. it gave us our
foot in the door. you just need one break sometimes. they made a
big difference to us.

how do you feel about napster and other file-sharing services?

ar: i don't have a problem with napster -- i haven't seen any
convincing evidence it hurts sales. i think there's some part of
music that you don't own. you have to give in a little bit. on
the other hand, people should keep in mind that some of the music
you're downloading for free came from somebody working five days
a week, going into the studio on the weekend and using all their
money to record that album.  it's cool to be able to download any
song you want -- i also think it's cool to buy records.

how are independent labels like yours doing in the midst of record
industry consolidation?

ar: at first it was very scary -- how are we going to sell our
records if we can't even get into record stores anymore? after
that initial shock, independent labels realized there was this
large space underneath that had expanded. you have to be really
creative.

did you release stag to coincide with national women's history
month?

ar: it was a happy accident. i'm a feminist activist, so i feel
really good about it.

what is the current state of feminism?

ar: i think there's exciting stuff happening. we've made a lot of
strides but there's still something you can't quite put your
finger on. you can't even quantify it, but there's still so much
sexism. there's not equal pay for women yet, abortion is not
protected the way it should be.  there are all these things we
still need to be working on, not to mention what's happening in
other countries. it's a very broad question. i'm a feminist, but
i know a lot of people that are feminist who don't call themselves
feminists. there's still a real need for a movement.

how do you feel about the marketing of women by the music industry?

ar: if you're 12 years old and you're into britney spears, i'm not
really sure what you're getting out of it. i really loved david
cassidy when i was young -- i'm sure it was sexual, but i didn't
recognize it.

it's more overt now.

ar: everything's more overt -- people are more savvy. record
companies will do anything to make a dollar. that's the bottom
line, and isn't going to change. i don't believe in censoring. if
you're a kid, you make your own way through life and figure things
out as you get older.  you know you've been taken advantage of, but
you got something out of it. it's ok.

if you're a parent with a 9-year-old that is really into britney
spears, you should go to the concert with them and ask what they
get out of it.  it might be something completely different from
what you think. we're imposing our own perspective about feminism
on this little kid.

you're known for your activist work with the honor the earth
foundation. what issues do you address?

ar: honor the earth is a group that emily and i started with
indian activists. it's basically an umbrella organization that
funds grassroots environmental work by native organizations all
over the americas. we have a board of indian activists that make
grant decisions. we go out every couple of years and raise money
by touring. playing in reservation communities and major cities,
trying to bridge the gap between indian and non-indian. we do a
lot of work for gay rights, pro choice and handgun control. honor
the earth is ongoing. we look at who's approaching us. we base it
on whether they're community based, grassroots, how they handle
their money.

i'm sure you and emily take great pride in your songwriting and
lyrics. it's a welcome relief because i think lyrical content in
music generally has become more superficial.

ar: some lyrics are going to the lowest common denominator. rather
than fighting, i feel like creating an alternative. people are
sick of radio and those stupid morning talk shows that are just as
dumb as some of the lyrics. they need an alternative. we need to
work on what that is and get it out there.

any advice to independent songwriters and musicians who want to
get into the business?

ar: i think touring is the most important thing to do. that could
mean you get a day job and can only go out on weekends, but you're
really consistent and work up to the point where you have a
following and can afford to work less in your day job. little by
little, small steps. i think putting out your own music is a good
thing because it's cheap to record and to make cds. you can sell
them and get the word out. as far as being a songwriter, i think
it's important to stand outside of your songs as much as you can.
pay attention as if you're listening and not the person that wrote
it. spend time editing. at first, you should just sing whatever and
make tapes of everything. then go back through them to figure out
where the little nuggets are that you want to keep.

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------------------------------

date: mon, 5 mar 2001 16:25:00 +0000
from: jason hare <hare@optonline.net>
subject: [ig-news] new amy article at wall of sound

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

i'm psyched at how much publicity amy is getting...

http://wallofsound.go.com/news/stories/amyray030501.html

jason

i'll try to post it here, but my mail program may mess it up:

amy ray unveils 'one voice' project

when amy ray, half of the alterna-folk group indigo girls, decided to record her solo album, stag, without her longtime partner, emily saliers, she quickly learned how difficult it could be making the switch from "we" to "me."
"at first it was weird," ray says of wading into creative waters without saliers by her side. "i [wanted] to call emily and ask her what she thinks of this [song!]"

ray knew what would happen, however, if she did invite saliers into the studio.

"i thought, if i ask her to play, i'm so used to working with her that it'll turn into an indigo girls song," amy recalls. "i decided if i do that, it's not going to be a solo project."

fans who have followed the indigo girls since the mid-'80s know that part of the band's magic comes from the way ray's hard-driving edge pushes against saliers's lilting acoustic leanings. considering this disparity in their individual styles, it's surprising that neither of them released a solo project sooner.

"i wish i would've done it a lot longer ago," ray laughs. "it takes me a long time to do things! but it was time to challenge myself."

she got the urge to do stag when she realized the tunes she was writing felt more like "one voice" songs.

"i kept being frustrated with having all these songs that i couldn't see as being duo kind of songs," she recalls. "i just started putting them in this other little basket, [thinking], 'oh, at some point i'll just release something on my own.' finally i got serious and started planning it."

time off between indigo girls albums and tours allowed ray to assemble songs and artists whose talents she felt would best interpret her musical vision. joan jett, former luscious jackson drummer kate schellenbach, and the butchies were all on her wish list.

"the whole point, when i picked all of these bands, was that i'm a real fan of all these people," she says of her choices.

the admiration, not surprisingly, is mutual.

"we love her, we love her music," says butchies guitarist kaia wilson, who adds that being asked was a surprising honor. "it was a moment in our musicianship where we realized that we'd gotten to a place where someone who we hold in high esteem, a musician such as amy ray, would want to work with us on her record."

the butchies will be going on the road with ray, serving as both backup band and opening act on stag's short national tour.

after her tour, ray promises an indigo girls release that will "get back to their roots" as folk artists.

"i hope there's no one that's going to feel put off by [stag]," ray says.

"people who haven't heard us since 'closer to fine' will probably be surprised," she concludes. "but people who have really followed our career are not going to be shocked, i think they'll be like, 'there goes amy again.'" ^w steve gdula

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------------------------------

date: tue, 6 mar 2001 10:18:04 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] technodyke article

hey folks,

here's the article from technodyke that was mentioned by
christy yesterday...

http://www.technodyke.com/features/amyraystag.asp?page=9

- -sherlyn

- ---begin article---

going stag with amy ray
by pam huwig

let me introduce you to a taste of some of the rawest, edgiest
music to hit the studio lately - and to pass through amy ray's
lips. the indigo girls are arguably one of the most contagious
bands around. lucky for us, their bond is strong enough to
accommodate and encourage creative solo endeavors. and since
the majority of indigo fans are deeply devoted to the duo known
as emily and amy, there is no doubt that amy's first record on
her own will be gobbled up by hungry fans - both established
and new. amy recently sat down with technodyke to discuss the
indigo girls, being on the road, and going stag.

how did you settle on the title?

i don't know, it just came to me one day before i even started
working on the music. i had the title in my head, of what it
would be to do a solo record. and i guess stag always conjures
up images of a stag party and gender kind of issues. going stag
[laughs].

how would you define stag?

i think punk is such a broad term. it's definitely punk in its
sentiment, in its approach in every way. but musically, it's
got songs that are rock, and some folk. but i would say it's in
the spirit of punk. that's what i'm drawing from more than
anything else on the record.

you handpicked some outstanding musicians to collaborate on
stag. how did you decide which musicians you wanted to
participate?

whenever i've thought about doing a solo record, you know, just
played around with it in my head, it was always, the seeds of
it came from wanting to play with these bands that i was really
into and record some of the stuff that we would create together.
so, when i started thinking of a solo record, i was just like,
'well, rather than getting just one band that i go out and find,
i'm already familiar with these bands and the way they play, so
it would be easy to fit them into what i'm doing.' when i'm
writing, i know i can hear my influences; i can tell that it's
definitely something the butchies or someone influenced.

does stag mark your solo career, or will we be hearing more from
indigo girls?

the indigo girls are still going strong. um, i think it just
marks another facet of what me and emily do. we do separate, and
we do stuff together, you know? stag is very separate from indigo
girls, but at the same time, my life is so, everything overlaps
so much that it doesn't really feel exclusive to anything. i
don't know if i'll make another solo record. if i have the songs
and the time, i will, i'm sure. but emily and i are going strong.

has emily heard the album yet?

yeah, she likes it. she was very into it and responsive to it and
had nothing but nice things to say about it.

well, that's not really a surprise.

right. emily is totally supportive of my endeavors.

you have a handsome range of music on stag - how did you come to
write "johnny rottentail"?

mm, yeah, well, it's in the tradition of appalachian murder
ballads and hanging ballads. there are a lot of songs from
appalachia that are stories about people getting hung [laughs].
i think i was thinking in a fit of anger. but i was also
thinking about what my own actions have to do with other people
being assholes. it was during the time of the columbine
shootings, and a lot of things going on with bad, bad kids, you
know? it always makes me think of what we all did to contribute to
that - what is our responsibility?

how about "hey castrator"?

i don't know really where it came from lyrically. i was addressing
a couple of different things - our own wrestling with the nature
that's inside of us. the stereotypical male kind of nature, and
what we attribute to that - like exploitation, possessiveness or
objectivity. but i also was talking about the high school side of
that - everything's always about sex [laughs]. it's my response to
that.

joan jett sings on this one, right?

right. i think joan sings, like joan sings this other part that
has nothing to do with anything [laughs] on the rest of the song.
except that the part she sings addresses the punky women's
movement, and the revolutionary impact it's had. that song also
asks questions about people becoming complacent.

so, we're all over the place in that song. musically, it was
contingent upon what the rhythm and the drums were doing and it
was very apropos for joan to come in and play rhythm guitar on it.
she's a killer guitar player. joan's part was something that i was
thinking about putting on the end of the song, but i wasn't really
sure about it. but because she agreed to sing on the song, i
wanted to have something showcased.

tell me a little about the other musicians who worked on the album.

kate [shellenbach] and josephine [wiggs] are two people i jam with
off an on when i'm in new york just for fun. they're great players.
i was really specific about choosing artists to participate. i
started to get to know the butchies a few years ago. kaia [wilson]
had gotten in touch with me about possibly working with daemon.
and even though they decided to put their first record out
themselves, we all kept in touch, and they've toured with the
indigo girls a lot in the past few years.

[the butchies] definitely surprised me, because a song like
"laramie" didn't seem to be their style. but they wanted to give
it a shot, and it was so good. melissa's drum part on that song is
really amazing. it's what i had in my mind. all i said to her about
what i was looking for was something that's got the neil young feel
but that still has a raggae thing happening-like something
different like how the clash would have done it. and then she just
automatically did it - it was great.

on "mts of glory" you sing "gonna miss being the boy, gonna miss
being the man..." do i even need to ask?

[laughs] well, you know, it's kind of, a lot of it when i'm talking
about gender issues is sort of my own wrestling with the part of me
that really heavily identifies with men. in a relationship, i feel
like the boy sometimes rather than the girl. we all wanna be both
[laughs] - nobody wants to just be one thing.

this was a specific breakup songs, where it's like what's the thing
i'm gonna miss most about the relationship, and it was kind of
ironic. i'm in it pretty heavily with irony because i think was
struggling with not wanting to feel like the boy all the time, but
when it was taken away from me, i was like, 'hey, wait a minute.'
it's supposed to be a sexy, punky, you know, fuck you sort of song.

how is the big, bad press machine reacting to stag?

we had one magazine get in touch with us last week. they got mad at
us for asking for a record review when we didn't take an ad out
with them.

well, fuck, some would say that's unethical.

yep. they said they couldn't believe we were asking for a review
when we couldn't afford to take out an ad. and i was just like,
'wow.' advertising is expensive and we support as many magazines
as we can through ad money. but we can't do a lot of it. but they
were pissed anyway.

what gives?

i think media and radio, and probably book publishing too, are
going through very parallel situations where it's consolidated to
a few owners and the advertisers are pouring in money
systematically in a certain way that the magazines or radio
responds to. so, in a sense the advertisers are running it. but,
not really, i mean, an editor or magazine publisher will say to
you 'well, we can't put this on the cover because the advertisers
say it doesn't sell and they won't fund us.' but i think there's
a big lack of courage somewhere to stand up and take a risk
sometimes - we have a lot of really bland music magazines because
they don't. the rolling stone, and spins that have sort of turned
into following the trends and responding to the charts.

as most everyone knows, you released stag on your self-founded
record label, daemon. how did you get daemon off the ground?

i started it myself. i had a lot of energy back then i guess.
everyday i'd wake up and make phone calls for about two hours -
the radio tracking, retail, trying to get press and stuff.

tell me about the daemon logo.

i drew that logo when i first started the label. it was supposed to
be like the opposite of what it usually is - you usually see a
human head and an animal legs. but, i thought daemon was really the
opposite of a lot of record labels. i wanted it to be more natural
and untamed. i wanted it to be the vehicle that was more human made.

one more thing: what do you think about good ol' george dubya?

oh, i think he's really terrible - very terrible.

do you think he's sober?

[laughs] some of my friends don't think so, but i think he just
slurs naturally. i think the only thing good about him is that he
speaks spanish [laughs].

what do you think is up with ricky martin playing at the white
house?

does ricky martin really like him? people that get asked to go play
at the white house and shit, they forget about their conscious. it's
weird, it's like they're thinking 'i got asked to go to the white
house, i don't care who's in office, i just want to go.' i love
ricky martin and when i heard he was doing that, i was just like,
'what an idiot.' maybe he just thinks it's good for his career
[sighs].

amy will be touring with the butchies in april. for dates and
information, see www.daemonrecords.com.

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