lifeblood: listlogs: 2001v04n043-news


ig-news-digest          friday, march 9 2001          volume 04 : number 043

today's subjects:
-----------------
  [ig-news] another stag review  [sarah pinsker <reinventing1@mindspring.com]
  [ig-news] amy ray article in the atlanta journal constitution online  [dia]
  [ig-news] stomp and stammer article       [ron mcbay <usul@mindspring.com>]
  [ig-news] autographed stag in nyc          ["neil :o)" <neil@andineil.com>]
  [ig-news] mini review of amy @ charis books, atlanta 3/7/01  [memememi@aol]
  [ig-news] amy on cover of ln                [bonster <bonster@drizzle.com>]
  [ig-news] amy in rockrgrl                   [lisa richards <harley@oz.net>]
  [ig-news] amy                                             [accoats@aol.com]
  [ig-news] lesbian news article excerpt    [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]
  [ig-news] southern voice article          [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]
  [ig-news] rockrgrl article excerpt        [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]
  [ig-news] amazon review of stag                            [kalisf@aol.com]
  [ig-news] re: autographed stag in nyc  [diane weidenkopf <dweiden@ix.netco]
  [ig-news] special email from amazon       [heidi smith <indigokat@aol.com>]

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

date: wed, 7 mar 2001 19:51:27 -0500
from: sarah pinsker <reinventing1@mindspring.com>
subject: [ig-news] another stag review

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


http://www.nerve.com/regulars/viewsreviews/

southern discomfort

a soft-bellied, hummable investigation into going solo, being butch and
feeling an outlaw kind of desire, amy ray's stag isn't restricted to men;
it's got nothing to do with horses or deer or pornography. but it is, in its
way, a stag party. ray, who's been performing as the dark-haired, throaty
half of the indigo girls for the past thirteen years, shows up on this album
unaccompanied, in a manner of speaking, by the ladies - emily saliers, epic
records - she's been taking to the dance all these years. and, having
assembled a new collection of rebellious musicians (southerners, punk
rockers, dykes) she throws herself a giddy, badass party. no music business
executives and no straight girls allowed in the studio, thanks.
     released on ray's own eleven-year-old indie label (georgia-based daemon
records), the album features a mini-who's who of the queer girl music
scene - icons joan jett and kate schellenbach (formerly of luscious jackson)
play backup on a couple of songs, and members of underground bands
rock*a*teens and three finger cowboy join in on one or two others. but,
poetically enough, it's the butchies - a north carolina punk trio
distributed by an outfit called mr. lady records - that accompanies ray
through the emotional and musical core of the album. the butchies, for
instance, join ray on what presents itself as the album's signature tune,
"lucy stoners." a smart aleck&150;y, flowing, electric guitar-based track,
"lucy stoners" combines a feminist critique of the music industry with
transcendent, rebellious harmony. "we were talking ticket slump," she sings,
"trying to put our finger on it./ quantify the undoing/ of each little
step - its just a lack of press." indigo girl-like, she and the butchies
strum their guitars while ray's playful disses - of blowjob-obsessed
musicians, the music industry's marketing strategies and the popularity of
"faggot-bashing" songs - crescendo. by the time the sing-song-y, teasing
chorus comes around ("janny wenner, janny wenner, rolling stone's most
fearless leader/ gave the boys what they deserve but with the girls he lost
his nerve") she and her pals are happily yowling with anti-corporate, queer
girl solidarity. as the track ends, they repeat the chorus over and over,
deliriously, as if gathered around somebody's hairbrush at a pajama party.
"lucy stoners don't need boners," they howl. (lucy stoners: girls who take
after nineteenth-century feminist lucy stone, the first married woman to
keep her name? girls who smoke pot? stone butches? take your pick.)
     but ray's collaborations with the butchies don't just feature
tough-mouthed activist passion. the butchies also play backup to ray's
considerations of how it feels to have her butch heart broken. on "mtns of
glory" - the most divulgent track on the cd - they amp it up as ray spins
her version of "heartbreak hotel." "i'm gonna miss being the boy," she
sings, "i'm gonna miss being the man . . . hey baby don't you want to feel/
mountains of glory, mountains of glory?" layered, subtle and rhythmic, these
lines are about as revealing as ray ever gets about her personal life;
despite the pornographic promise of the name of the album, it delivers
almost nothing that's expressly erotic. there are no juicy details about
ray's past or present love life, and only the barest, most cryptic
references to the very idea of her sexual desire. "hey castrator" (which
features, instead of the butchies, joan jett, kate schellenbach and the
breeders' josephine wiggs), an open-ended, sinister ditty about a sexually
frustrated teenager who can't get a date, hints at something personal. "i
hate myself for turning on," ray intones darkly at the end of the song.
"take this strong out of me." but because the song is told through an
ambiguous series of short poem-lines, its impossible to tell whether the
teenager in question is meant to be ray as a young, lonely, self-hating
queer girl or as a teenaged rapist.
     and so the onus is on the politics to give this stag party its energy.
the language about her personal life may be cloaked, but ray keeps nothing
back when crooning about, say, homophobia or misogyny in the music
industry - to mixed effect. at its best, stag combines plucky political
passion with the joys of melody; once in a while, though, her activist
anthems devolve into limp slogan-songs. "laramie," her tribute to matthew
shepard, for example, drives a politically decent impulse into a musical
heap of rehashed, leaflet-y political argument. despite a few satisfyingly
angry lines ("those rednecks are just doing/ what the classy fucker's
thinking") and its noble intentions, the song is mostly uncharacteristically
flavorless and rigid: "what we need is a little addition/ an ounce of
prevention/ and the weight of the law," ray sings, as if on a hate crimes
lobby trip. "hey coalition," she adds (referring to the christian
coalition), "lay down your mission." the song rhymes, and it wants the right
things; but it could use a little of that poetic subtlety ray manages so
well when it comes to treating the contours of her personal life.
     still, it's easy to forgive her for these excesses. ray is so obviously
riding a post-lilith fair/all-girl collaboration high that it makes you feel
ungenerous to hold a grudge. and anyway, as she writes in the liner notes,
"the heart of this record is . . . in that southern punk ethic -
subversiveness with a smile." as everyone knows, butch girls with a southern
punk ethic are hard to resist.

for more rachel mattson, read:
boygirl, boygirl
drive: a suburban mystery
the sum of the parts: showtime's "sex in the twentieth century"
views & reviews

)2000 rachel mattson and nerve.com, inc.


sarah
reinventing1@mindspring.com
http://www.sarahpinsker.com
http://www.mp3.com/sarahpinsker
http://www.cdbaby.com/pinsker

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 04:39:30 est
from: diane gagnon <dispdmg@fastdial.net>
subject: [ig-news] amy ray article in the atlanta journal constitution online

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


an excerpt from this article is in today's weekend section of the burlington
free press, burlington vermont. the link to the complete article at the atlanta
journal constitution is at

http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/newsatlanta/0305amyray.html

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 06:30:34 -0500
from: ron mcbay <usul@mindspring.com>
subject: [ig-news] stomp and stammer article

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


hey all,

  the march issue of stomp and stammer (local atlanta free monthly music mag) is
out.  amy's on the cover and there's a nice interview with her plus a separate,
shorter interview of the butchies.  the website ( www.stompandstammer.com )
still has info for february on it.

ron
- --
ron mcbay                | go tell that lonesome liar,
usul@mindspring.com      | go tell that midnight rider,
www.mindspring.com/~usul | tell the gamblin', ramblin' backslider,
       /hoops/           | tell him god almighty gonna cut him down.
       /billy-bragg.html | you might run on for a long time . . .
       /view.html        | -- "run on", bill landford (moby)

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 08:43:14 -0500
from: "neil :o)" <neil@andineil.com>
subject: [ig-news] autographed stag in nyc

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


i saw this on the aimee mann list, and thought it may be of interest:

"alert for any indigo girls fans in new york city:

i went to hmv in times square today and bought amy ray's new solo cd,
"stag".  then i walked over to the virgin megastore and saw that they had
the same cd for the same price... only virgin's copies were autographed.  i
returned the copy i had already purchased and bought one of the autographed
ones.  i've only listened to a couple of tracks so far.  they're good but
not as good as her stuff with emily."

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 11:09:44 est
from: memememi@aol.com
subject: [ig-news] mini review of amy @ charis books, atlanta 3/7/01

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


amy did a small instore performance at charis books, in atlanta last night
for about 80 people.  she performed late bloom and lucy stoners, with an
acoustic guitar, sitting down, and it was totally amazing.  after that, she
took questions from the audience and then proceeded to sign copies of stag
for everyone.   she was quite generous in donating her time, as well 50
copies of the cd to the bookstore (which is an independent feminist
bookstore, totally run on donations by its patrons, i believe), so that all
proceeds went directly to the store.

the questions were all intelligent, and she seemed to be in quite a good
mood.  she revealed that the collaboration between indigo girls and the
atlanta ballet is back on, and that we can look forward to that in october.
she said that the ballet is picking some of their songs (although she made a
joke as to how she didn't understand how they were going to do it - maybe
interpretive dancing to chickenman?!?), and that it will be her and emily and
their band in the orchestra pit, playing the live music for the dancers.  it
should be quite interesting!

she also mentioned that they will be working more high school shows into
their schedule in the future.  not so much as planning a big high school tour
that raises alarms, but just casual "drop bys".   so, they haven't given up
on that either.

she said that she will be touring with the butchies for her solo tour, and
then again with emily in july - so that will be the summer tour that is
mentioned on their webpage.  and she is definitely playing the michigan fest
without emily, but she will be with the butchies.

there was more, but i can't remember it all................  was anyone else
there that would like to share?

=)
lisa

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 11:14:35 -0800
from: bonster <bonster@drizzle.com>
subject: [ig-news] amy on cover of ln

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at netspace.org.  there's an excerpt of the
article on the site, i'll send that along in a minute...]

i don't think i saw this mentioned on the list yet:

amy is on the cover of the march 2001 issue of the lesbian news. looks
like there are a few snazzy photos inside.

http://www.lesbiannews.com/index2.html

http://www.lesbiannews.com/pages/feature/feature.html

- --bon

- --
************************************************************************
"those who cast the votes decide nothing.
those who count the votes decide everything." -joseph stalin

people appreciate non-invasive art.
                   -betsy bertiaux

the book list has been updated! go to: http://www.bonster.com/
************************************************************************

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 12:36:24 -0800 (pst)
from: lisa richards <harley@oz.net>
subject: [ig-news] amy in rockrgrl

the new issue of rockrgrl is out featuring covergrl amy ray!!
cheers!
- -harley

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

date: thu, 8 mar 2001 15:06:52 est
from: accoats@aol.com
subject: [ig-news] amy

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at netspace.org.  articles to come (if i can
find them on the sites)...]

hi there! i wantd to let y'all know that amy is featured in souther voice
<www.sovo.com> and a small publication called etc <www.etcmag.com> have a
great day! take care-- ashley

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

date: fri, 9 mar 2001 10:02:20 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] lesbian news article excerpt

hey folks,

here's the excerpt from the lesbian news article that bonster
mentioned (http://www.lesbiannews.com/index2.html)...

- -sherlyn

- ---begin article---

amy ray late bloomer

after 20 years in the music business, amy ray continues to grow
as a musician and an artist
by t.a. gilmartin

just over a decade ago, fresh on the heels of her major label
breakthrough as one-half of the indigo girls, amy ray started
daemon, an independent record label. the crux of ray's mission
with daemon was to offer exposure to groups ray herself found
inspiring and innovative.

"i watched while so many musicians that had inspired and
influenced my fortunate career went unrecognized. as an indigo
girl, i enjoyed being part of the indie scene and i wanted to
remain supportive and open to the underground. i decided to
stop complaining about the evils of the music business and do
my part to support the arts. the next thing i knew, i was up
to my ears in work, fulfilling all the basic functions of my
own indie label," ray said.

in the eleven years since its inception, the label has released
work from groups as diverse as the now defunct rock band ellen
james society to the currently traveling balladeer rose
polenzani. its goal is building a community-based
infrastructure for musicians to distribute their work and learn
the business...

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

date: fri, 9 mar 2001 10:09:18 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] southern voice article

hey folks,

here's the article from southern voice that ashley
mentioned... it's online at
http://www.southernvoice.com/southernvoice/news/record.html?record=13443

- -sherlyn

- ---begin article---
amy ray goes 'stag'
by laura brown

thursday, 1 march 2001

"stag." it means going it alone, without a date, or in the
context of a "stag party" or "stag movie," something intended
for men only.

amy ray's new album, released march 6 with an album release
party in atlanta on march 29, encompasses all the meanings of
its title.

the openly gay native atlantan is on her own, without indigo
girls' partner emily saliers; on her own independent record
label, daemon records; and open to exploring both the
positives and negatives of her own masculine side.

it is, as ray describes it, entrenched in the "southern punk
ethic-subversiveness with a smile."

but "stag" isn't all smiles, and it isn't just indigo girls
minus saliers.

alone, ray is edgier, angrier and not afraid to move beyond
the folky style that made the indigo girls famous-although
she is quick to say she isn't moving away from the duo.

"there is a certain pointedness lyrically that i didn't feel
would be as effective with two very strong voices singing,"
ray says of the songs on "stag." "i think indigo girls are at
their best when we are singing counter melodies... so i think
it would be almost a waste of us to do something with more
like a singular voice."

as with her indigo girls recordings, all of the songs on
"stag" were penned by ray.  "having a home for each song
helps me be true to it," she says.

solo projects often signal a band's imminent demise, but ray
is quick to calm fears that her solo project is anything more
than just branching out.

"i think indigo girls are different from most bands, and this
actually makes us stronger," rays says. "it doesn't feel on
the verge of breaking up, it feels like moving full steam
ahead. this should be a natural evolution for every band."

the project also put ray on the other side of the microphone
from her usual duties at daemon, performing with artists from
the label including the rock*a*teens, 1945 (formerly three
finger cowboy) and danielle howle, as well as the infamous
joan jett and the independent north carolina-based queer
punk band, the butchies.

"it was cool, and it totally made me more familiar with how
they work in the studio," she says.

only the album's first track, "johnny rottentail," features ray
alone, accompanying herself on mandolin-an instrument
familiar from ray's recent indigo girls tunes like "gone again,"
but without the sing-along feel.

>from there, "stag" is a journey of rock and mostly punk,
taking listeners from "laramie," the town where gay wyoming
college student matthew shepard was killed in what may be
the country's best known anti-gay hate crime, to the call to
"put away your hate" that closes the cd's final track, "on
your honor."

before recording "laramie," ray visited the town, and says
she was struck by the energy. "standing in the bar where he
was, knowing the field [where shepard was left tied to a
fence to die] is that direction-the vision you have of any
hate crime that is covered so extensively."

but the message of "laramie" is that the town, and the
crime, weren't unique-and the blame reaches much deeper in
society than just the two thugs convicted of murdering
shepard.

"poor man do the bidding for the rich man/those rednecks
are just doing what the classy fuckers' thinking," ray sings.
"and tolerance it ain't acceptance/i know you wanted it to
be/when you're out in laramie."

>from "laramie," the cd explodes into outright anger on
"lucystoners," named for the 19th century american
suffragist.

in fact, the different format of "stag" may give some indigo
girls fans pause. but the rawer lyrics and punk sound offer
both insight into the artist and plenty to keep cd players
spinning.

still, you probably won't hear it on the radio or read about it
in rolling stone-a fact ray acknowledges in no uncertain
terms.

in "lucystoners," she takes sure aim at a music industry she
says has refused to give indigo girls and other women
musicians their due, personified by rolling stone's jann
wenner.

"janny wenner, janny wenner, rolling stone's most fearless
leader," ray taunts, with the butchies providing additional
vocals, guitar, bass and percussion. "gave the boys what
they deserve, but with girls he lost his nerve."

the song, ray says, is about the entire music industry, not
just its most famous magazine.

"they believe they are focusing on their main demographics,
and that men don't want to read about women musicians
unless they have a bikini on...

"i don't think they sit in board meetings and say, 'let's diss
all female musicians.' it's much more institutionalized than
that," she says.

but the fact that wenner is openly gay and seems unable to
view women outside of feminine stereotypes strikes ray as
particularly ironic.

"i think sexism and homophobia are really tied together, and i
think for him to be gay and still be sexist is amazing," she
says. "he doesn't see the connection between someone who
looks down on a gay man because he acts like a woman, and
how that is sexist-it's saying that being like a woman means
being less."

but ray's gender politics, which permeate "stag," aren't just
directed outward.

in songs like "hey castrator," "measure of me" and "mtns of
glory," she explores the masculine side that many women are
taught to hate or hide-and that some lesbians in
relationships with more feminine partners feel is all they are
allowed to express.

"i see you licking your lips/at the slope of her hips," ray sings
in "hey castrator," joined by guest vocalist joan jett. "i got
disgusted with my own ownership. ^e take it out of me."

"measure of me" puts the question succinctly, directed to
the boy who "thinks i'm damaged goods" because "i dress like
him, i take him down":

"is it the boy you need in me, or the girl that you could be?"
she asks.

but by "mtns of glory," ray explores how giving up the
masculine side that can come with so many negative
connotations is also a loss. "i'm gonna miss being the boy,"
she sings. "i'm going to miss being the man."

"i do wrestle a lot with gender on the record, with my own
recognition of the male part of me," ray admits. "i hate it
sometimes and i feel that i embrace it sometimes. 'castrator'
is about that male side of myself, and how i can relate to
some of that misogyny or objectification of women."

but masculinity, expressed by men or women, isn't all bad,
ray quickly points out. "i don't think people are that black
and white," she says.

"sometimes my partner relates to me from my boyish side,
that part of me that is like an adolescent boy, and sometimes
that's fine," she says. "then there are times when you are
like, 'wait a minute. i can be everything.'

"we all want that," ray concludes. "we just want to
not be limited."

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

date: fri, 9 mar 2001 10:14:46 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] rockrgrl article excerpt

hey folks,

here's the excerpt of the rockrgrl article
(http://www.rockrgrl.com/current.htm)....

- -sherlyn

- ---begin article---

amy ray goes it alone
by carla a. desantis

while the indigo girls have long been a mainstay of folk rock,
one member of the acclaimed duo, amy ray, has always had the
soul of a rocker. on songs like "go," featured on the indigo
girls' 1999 album come on now social, it was clear that ray
was ready to embrace her rock roots and stretch out a bit on
her own.

this year, ray has taken up the volume a few notches. with her
newly-minted debut solo project, stag, she enlists artists like the
butchies, joan jett, kate schellenbach and some of her daemon
label-mates like the rock*a*teens and danielle howle, to create a
thoroughly modern yet decidedly do-it-yourself project.

ray took some time out from her chock-full schedule to talk with us
about her latest project, the lack of support from mainstream press
and her plans for the future.

how long have you been planning your solo album?

i've been thinking about it for a long time, probably five years, but i
only started on it a couple of years ago. i've been working on it for
about a year.

did you have any reservations about doing a solo album?

no, none at all. i just needed to find the time. i've been writing a lot
more in the last five years. as i got more prolific, practiced, and worked
on my music more, i started writing these other kind of songs. they felt
like solo, rocky, punk songs and i didn't want to try to make them fit
into the indigo girls thing. the songs started piling up, so i knew i
needed to find the time to do a solo record.

had you brought any of those songs to emily?

no. sometimes we will listen to the other person's song and say, "that
sounds like a solo song." but i knew that i wanted it to be me, my
voice, and to do something different.

it seems like daemon has been an outlet for you to be able to
rock out more. but often, when someone starts a label, they put
out their own stuff first.

i've always wanted to, but i didn't start daemon to put out my own
records. i started it because i wanted to support other artists. at some
point i wanted to do my own record. i figured that i would do it on
daemon and hopefully it would help support the label as well.

did you ever consider shopping the album to a major label?

no, but i had my manager do a lot of legwork to make sure it was okay
with epic. i definitely wanted to be very clear about that.

order the current issue of rockrgrl to get the rest of the story!

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date: thu, 8 mar 2001 22:24:07 est
from: kalisf@aol.com
subject: [ig-news] amazon review of stag

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

editorial reviews
amazon.com
what's most astonishing about amy ray's torrid, ferocious solo debut is just
how convincingly she wears the colors of the riot grrrl. save the dreamy
acoustic "lazyboy," the record rages like a showdown at the barricades, with
ray and her cadre of subversives (notably sugar's david barbe, joan jett, and
southern undergrounders the butchies and the rock*a*teens) tearing into
mainstream rock critics, antigay violence, gender stereotypes, and thorny
sexual politics--all with the punk brio of bikini kill or hole. if the lyrics
can be as strident as manifestos, the waves of ruthless yet melodic guitar
rock are never less than urgent, and often exhilarating. stripped of all
earnestness, ray lets loose an unvarnished rock & roll passion--taking no
prisoners and offering no regrets. --roy kasten

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date: thu, 8 mar 2001 21:05:34 -0600
from: diane weidenkopf <dweiden@ix.netcom.com>
subject: [ig-news] re: autographed stag in nyc

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

i found the same thing at the virgin megastore on sunset in la yesterday.  4
or 5 copies all autographed on the back.

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date: thu, 8 mar 2001 19:48:08 est
from: heidi smith <indigokat@aol.com>
subject: [ig-news] special email from amazon

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


my oh my    even amazon has created a special link to stag.  amy has done
a
remarkable job with the pr.


subj: amy ray's "stag"
date: 3/8/01 7:37:44 pm eastern standard time
from:    music-store-news@amazon.com (amazon.com)


dear indigokat,

we've noticed that many of our customers who've purchased cds by melissa
etheridge also enjoy the music of the indigo girls. for this reason, you
might like to know that indigo girl amy ray's debut solo album, "stag,"
has
just hit the shelves. you can order your copy for just $11.97 by
following
the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/b0000589e8/ref=mk_pb_jye

ray founded her independent, not-for-profit daemon records in 1990 as a
result of her frustration with the corporate concerns of the music
industry. eleven years later, daemon is releasing ray's envelope-pushing
solo debut, which was recorded in a variety of settings with a range of
guests. the album begins with a country-style performance featuring just
ray on vocals and mandolin. she goes on to play with north carolina
rockers
the butchies, georgia band the rock*a*teens, alabama quartet 1945, and
even
joan jett. the result is a diverse and edgy affair, as ray's cutting
lyrics
and folk sensibilities are infused with doses of garage rock, punk, and
power pop.

to learn more about "stag," please visit the following page at
amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/b0000589e8/ref=mk_pb_jye

enjoy,

marc greilsamer
folk editor
amazon.com

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end of ig-news-digest v4 #43
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