lifeblood: listlogs: 2001v04n045-news


ig-news-digest         tuesday, march 13 2001         volume 04 : number 045

today's subjects:
-----------------
  [ig-news] ann arbor tix                  [chris talbot <talbotc@umich.edu>]
  [ig-news] rolling stone videos                  [brianclary@mindspring.com]
  [ig-news] amy: artist of the day @ billboard.com  [nis <mvirago@yahoo.com>]
  [ig-news] amy review from allmusic.com            [nis <mvirago@yahoo.com>]
  [ig-news] re: stag review up at sonicnet  [david steinberg <zzyzx@seanet.c]
  [ig-news] sonicnet "stag" review          [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]
  [ig-news] article on nerve's site  [oyster toadfish <chickenwomyn@hotmail.]

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 11:30:00 -0500
from: chris talbot <talbotc@umich.edu>
subject: [ig-news] ann arbor tix

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

hey y'all-

tickets for the ann arbor show, small club, great venue, are now available
through ticketbastard.  good luck, y'all!

chris ii

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 14:34:08 -0500
from: brianclary@mindspring.com
subject: [ig-news] rolling stone videos

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

hey y'all-

just an fyi, someone asked about downloading the rolling stone videos of amy performing late bloom and black heart today acoustically.  i have tried about ten different ways of extracting the actual files, but have been unable to do so.

however, i have copied the audio for those two acoustic versions, and converted them to mp3 and posted on the mailing list section of my site.  i am anticipating that rolling stone will not keep those videos up forever, so this is one way of keeping them alive.

http://brianclary.com

- -brian

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 11:53:25 -0800
from: nis <mvirago@yahoo.com>
subject: [ig-news] amy: artist of the day @ billboard.com

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


hey all,
just wanted to see if i could find anything out about "stag" record sales
and was surprised to see that ms. ray is the featured artist of the day
at billboard.com.  don't think i've seen this one posted yet, so the
article and pic from the website follow:

  indigo girl amy ray goes 'stag'

by larry flick

amy ray although solo projects often spell trouble for an established
act, amy ray says that recording "stag" on her own ultimately solidifies
her creative union with longtime indigo girls partner emily saliers.

"getting these songs -- which run pretty left of indigo girls -- off my
chest was such a tremendous relief," ray says. "last year, i found myself
writing more than ever. those songs needed a home. now that i've made
that happen, i feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. i also find
myself feeling energized about making music again as an indigo girl."

ray admits that the punk-spiced "stag" -- which hits retail march 20 --
has another important purpose: to draw attention to her indie label,
daemon records, a nonprofit outlet that she's been operating from her
decatur, ga., home base for the past decade. during that time, the label
has earned critical praise for launching such underground darlings as
danielle howle, rock-a-teens, rose polenzani, and mrs. fun. although
indigo girls remain signed to epic records, "stag" will be released by
daemon.

"i'm extremely fortunate in that there are people out there who are
interested in what i do," ray says. "if that interest can become a way of
introducing people to great music, then i feel like i'm doing something
proactive with my success."

a byproduct of recording "stag" for daemon is that ray was compelled to
assemble the set on a relatively tight budget. "and here's the important
lesson that i was reminded of," she explains. "you don't have to spend
thousands of dollars to make a good record. you have to trust yourself
and not overthink things."

while recording, ray notes that she would occasionally revisit tracks to
tweak them, only to decide that "the emotional context of the track was
honest," so she would just leave it alone. "when you're in a band and
every second in the studio counts, you're a little more emotionally
present from the start. there's no time to waste."

another benefit of working under lean circumstances is that the
collection crackles with raw, electric energy. ray seems to be flying by
the seat of her creative pants throughout "stag," belting with a
previously unrevealed fervor. she has surrounded herself with a host of
grass-roots rock divas, including joan jett, kate schellenback of
luscious jackson, and josephine wiggs of the breeders.

"it was like assembling my own little dream team," ray says with a smile.
"i made a wish list of people i'm a fan of. it was the coolest
experience."

yet ray's at her best when she steps in front of two of her favorite
bands, southern goth-punk legends the rock-a-teens and durham, n.c.-based
trio the butchies. "these are two of the hardest-working bands i know
of," she says. "i felt a lot of communal power working with them. and
they brought so much to the table -- especially the butchies, who went
farther musically than i ever thought they could. it was amazing to watch
them work and push themselves so hard."

among the cuts on which ray and the butchies excel is the set-opening
"laramie," a complex, often poetic rocker that wraps the listener in a
haze of fuzzy guitar lines and quietly intense rhythms.

elsewhere on "stag," ray darts her sharp lyrical tongue at a variety of
people and factions. perhaps most memorable is the raucous "lucy
stoners," a diatribe about sexism in the music industry.

"lucy stoners" is "about my journey through this business," ray says,
recalling that while the indigo girls were working their way through
clubs across the states, "every wall was covered with images -- some
subtle and some pretty obvious -- of men getting blow jobs from women.
it's insane but true. this song is for every woman in this industry who
has to put up with that crap. it's bad for everyone, but it's even worse
for women who are working their way through the system from street
level."

ray will bolster the "stag" campaign by hitting the road in april for a
series of club dates. the butchies will open the shows. "it's going to be
a blast to hear these songs come to life onstage," ray enthuses.

>from there, ray says it'll be time to "return to indigoland. we'll start
recording in the summer. i think it's going to be a more acoustic,
back-to-basics album for us. i'm excited about that. i'm ready for us to
make a simple, beautiful record."

peace, melissa

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 13:15:54 -0800
from: nis <mvirago@yahoo.com>
subject: [ig-news] amy review from allmusic.com

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


hey all,


through further tooling around on the web, here's what else i've found.
first off, there's another album entitled, "stag," by the melvins, put
out in 1996.


also, allmusic gives stag 4 and 1/2 stars (out of five). i was happily
impressed. and, if ya wanna check out the review (etc.) yourself on
allmusic, here's the url:


http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=a5hzsa9lgq23f


if you just want to read the review from allmusic.com, it follows:

artist  amy ray
album title  stag
date of release  mar 6, 2001
amg rating  [st_r8.gif]
genre  rock
tones  wistful, bittersweet, poignant, earnest
styles  alternative pop/rock, singer/songwriter
  
amg expert review: amy ray has a message. she always has. but as half of
the indigo girls, she was a bit more measured, reserved, and polite, if
you will. still, she wants to be heard and what she has to say on stag is
very much worth listening to. the disclaimer that it's a return to her
southern rock and punk roots might turn some folkies off, but it
shouldn't. stag is punk done in the tradition of patti smith and the
replacements rather than the sex pistols. it is punk in its rebellious
spirit, its contagious energy, and its anti-establishment calls to
action. more than that, though, it is pure amy ray ^w her activism and
her artistry melding and achieving something remarkable. it shows the
full panorama of her as a person and a musician, from political outrage
to self-doubt, from hardcore guitars to mandolins. yet the consistency
remains unscathed, the potency of the message unabated. "johnny
rottentail" leads the march to glory. a solo mandolin and vocal race each
other to the end of this "tale of one bad seed" who was hanged for a
crime feeling no remorse, and the sibling who tells the story. the next
cut, "laramie," is especially sobering in this era of political debate
over hate crimes. with a quiet, steady urgency it pleads for an end to
the hypocrisy of the rich right wing's sermons of love and deeds of hate.
then there's "lucystoners"'s attack on the oppressive machismo of the
music industry and its lack of support for women and gays. not subtle
points she's making, and she's just three songs into this thing. you
still have to get through "hey castrator," which seems to delve into a
man's uncontrollable urges to rape and kill and the physical solutions
that would end his torture. don't worry. just keep listening. it's all
good. amid the outcries of injustice, all of these songs surely hold
personal truths for ray, but a few seem to be bouts with more personal
demons. "measure of me" and "lazyboy" certainly feel more intimate, both
musically and lyrically. to record these tunes, ray turned to the bands
who inspired her melodic wanderlust, handpicking different groups for
each song. the butchies are the most well-represented with five tracks,
but 1945 and the rock-a-teens make the roster with one song each. and,
the riot grrrl dream team of josephine wiggs, joan jett, and kate
schellenbach throws down for "hey castrator." ray describes southern punk
as "subversiveness with a smile." that's the essence of stag. bottom
line: if you appreciate the heart of ray's work with the indigo girls,
you will love this record. ^w kelly mccartney

***

'tis all for now from me...

peace, melissa

artist
amy ray

album title
stag

date of release
mar 6, 2001

amg rating
[st_r8.gif]

genre
rock

tones
wistful, bittersweet, poignant, earnest

styles
alternative pop/rock, singer/songwriter

library view
click here to see this album in marc format.

[e58293i103u.jpg] amg expert review: amy ray has a message. she always
has. but as half of the indigo girls, she was a bit more measured,
reserved, and polite, if you will. still, she wants to be heard and what
she has to say on stag is very much worth listening to. the disclaimer
that it's a return to her southern rock and punk roots might turn some
folkies off, but it shouldn't. stag is punk done in the tradition of
patti smith and the replacements rather than the sex pistols. it is punk
in its rebellious spirit, its contagious energy, and its
anti-establishment calls to action. more than that, though, it is pure
amy ray ^w her activism and her artistry melding and achieving something
remarkable. it shows the full panorama of her as a person and a musician,
from political outrage to self-doubt, from hardcore guitars to mandolins.
yet the consistency remains unscathed, the potency of the message
unabated. "johnny rottentail" leads the march to glory. a solo mandolin
and vocal race each other to the end of this "tale of one bad seed" who
was hanged for a crime feeling no remorse, and the sibling who tells the
story. the next cut, "laramie," is especially sobering in this era of
political debate over hate crimes. with a quiet, steady urgency it pleads
for an end to the hypocrisy of the rich right wing's sermons of love and
deeds of hate. then there's "lucystoners"'s attack on the oppressive
machismo of the music industry and its lack of support for women and
gays. not subtle points she's making, and she's just three songs into
this thing. you still have to get through "hey castrator," which seems to
delve into a man's uncontrollable urges to rape and kill and the physical
solutions that would end his torture. don't worry. just keep listening.
it's all good. amid the outcries of injustice, all of these songs surely
hold personal truths for ray, but a few seem to be bouts with more
personal demons. "measure of me" and "lazyboy" certainly feel more
intimate, both musically and lyrically. to record these tunes, ray turned
to the bands who inspired her melodic wanderlust, handpicking different
groups for each song. the butchies are the most well-represented with
five tracks, but 1945 and the rock-a-teens make the roster with one song
each. and, the riot grrrl dream team of josephine wiggs, joan jett, and
kate schellenbach throws down for "hey castrator." ray describes southern
punk as "subversiveness with a smile." that's the essence of stag. bottom
line: if you appreciate the heart of ray's work with the indigo girls,
you will love this record. ^w kelly mccartney

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 10:05:44 -0800
from: david steinberg <zzyzx@seanet.com>
subject: [ig-news] re: stag review up at sonicnet

[sherlyn's note: this is an excerpt of a message which was
originally sent to the indigo girls mailing list at
netspace.org.]

[...]  go to
http://www.sonicnet.com/reviews/rev.jhtml?genrenamefordisplay=
rock&genredirectoryname=rock&cid=1441417&configpathname=rock


geez, long url.

- -david "zzyzx" steinberg   www.ihoz.com  "very strange raving egomaniac"
**************************************************************************
*"paper, you dishonor your noble tree*"i can't believe i'm a junior and a*
* ancestors by holding onto this     * film major, when all i really     *
* image.  i demand that you reject   * wanted in this life was to marry a*
* the ink that created it, now!"     * lobsterman and cook fish."        *
* gone & forgotten re secret wars ii * -a letter from christie searing   *
**************************************************************************

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

date: tue, 13 mar 2001 09:02:54 +1100 (est)
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] sonicnet "stag" review

hey folks,

here's the review from sonicnet...

- -sherlyn


- ---begin article---
stag, amy ray
(daemon)

clean sweat

by kembrew mcleod

when you think of the mandolin - that small, stringed instrument
typically used in bluegrass music and bad bruce hornsby songs -
you don't immediately think of punk rock. moreover, punk isn't
something you'd normally associate with amy ray, half of the
gynocentric alt-folk duo the indigo girls. yet, on "johnny
rottentail" (realaudio excerpt), the leadoff track of her first
solo album, stag, ray attacks the instrument with speed and
punishing urgency - burning though two fiery minutes of
compelling storytelling without the need for pounding drums,
testosterone, or vein-popping yowling in order to earn the "p"
label. "it's the tale of johnny rotten," she sings, but - hey
hey, my my - it's not really about that sexy ex-pistol, and is
more akin to a raw appalachian folk song about the devil, bad
seeds and murder. halfway through the track, as ray's frenetic
playing and the tempo both intensify, she sings: "as a child we
called him rotten till he was lonely and forgotten/ and he
revenged our constant jeering with his every word and deed."

ray has joined forces here with new and old rebel girls - the
butchies, joan jett, and current and/or former members of the
rock*a*teens, luscious jackson and the breeders - to craft
thoughtful, rockin' folk music (not to be confused with
touchy-feely kumbayadda-yadda folk-rock). "hey castrator"
(realaudio excerpt) mixes desire with self-loathing to create a
compelling musical bed, aided and abetted by the formidable power
trio of joan jett (guitar), josephine wiggs (bass) and kate
schellenbach (drums). despite the cred-enhancing affiliations,
ray has wisely chosen not to reinvent herself as some sort of
revisionist riot grrrl, and has kept many of the hooks and some
of the harmonies that mark the music she's made over the course
of nine albums with her (here absent) partner emily saliers.

on the album's standout track, "lucystoners" (realaudio excerpt),
ray bites the hand that, for the most part, doesn't feed her,
lashing out at the old-and-young-boy rock critic network,
including (and especially) the founder and editor of one
particular music mag. over the bashing of drums and loud,
fuzz-free guitars, this indignant girl sings the song's hook:
"janny wenner/ janny wenner/ rolling stone's most fearless
leader/ gave the boys what they deserve/ but with the girls he
lost his nerve."

it's too bad this independently released album will most likely
fall through the commercial cracks, because stag is one of those
rare albums that fuses aggression, good music and sharp
institutional critiques without sounding strident or, um, stiff.
as ms. ray sings: "lucy stoners don't need boners."

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

date: mon, 12 mar 2001 21:38:18 -0500
from: oyster toadfish <chickenwomyn@hotmail.com>
subject: [ig-news] article on nerve's site

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

gee, i dont post in like months and now twice in 10 minutes!!
anyway, i dont think i've heard of anyone mentioning this review yet....
sorry it looks stupid, it copy/pasted badly....
go to http://www.nerve.com/regulars/viewsreviews/  iffn you cant handle
it....

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 ^w emily saliers, epic
                records ^w 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^vwho'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 ^w a north carolina punk trio distributed by an
outfit called mr. lady records ^w 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^vy, 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 ^w its just a lack
of press." indigo girl^vlike, she and the butchies strum their guitars while
ray's playful disses ^wof blowjob-obsessed musicians, the music industry's
marketing strategies and the popularity of "faggot-bashing" songs ^w
crescendo. by the time the sing-songy, 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
withanti-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 marriedwoman 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" ^w the most divulgent track on the cd ^w they amp it up as ray spinsher
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 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 ^wto
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^vlilith 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 ^w
subversiveness with a smile." as everyone knows, butch girls with a southern
punk ethic are hard to resist.

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end of ig-news-digest v4 #45
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