lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n047-news

ig-news-digest        saturday, april 16 2005        volume 08 : number 047

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] philly daily news article  [sherlyn koo <]
  [ig-news] gay city news article     [sherlyn koo <>]
  [ig-news] ig richmond va date 6/22            ["tara" <>]


date: sat, 16 apr 2005 12:28:38 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] philly daily news article

hey folks,

here's another article, this one from the philadelphia daily news.  
you can read it online

- -sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
posted on fri, apr. 15, 2005

amy ray at the north star
high school is focus of her 'prom' album
by jonathan takiff

ah, high school. amy ray remembers it all too well and sings about it
brilliantly on her new album, "prom."

also to be showcased live when ray and band hit the north star friday
(apr. 15), these retro-focused tunes sound like punked-up versions of
the stuff she does as half of the folk-rocking indigo girls. and the
lyrics, unlike the coded ig messages addressed to a
non-gender-specific "you," leave almost nothing to the imagination.

high school, you'll learn through ray's "prom" night, was where this
georgia farm girl (and others who've told her their tales) would put
out to fit in. it's where she "fell for guys who tried to commit
suicide" and where she even cut herself once 'cause "everybody did,
just to feel the emptying of everything."

but it's not all darkness and stress. ray's "prom" also packs positive
rallying cries for all the disenfranchised.

ray packs a lot into this set, which is over and done in a scant 32

"i have an obsession with short records," offered the talent with a
laugh in our recent chat. "i've always been a real fan of the punk
three-minute song or the pop three-minute song, always obsessed with
making really short records that had no extra... anything. with the
indigos we stretch out more, jam it up live, 'cause i'm a hippy
deadhead, too. but when i'm alone i feel this real need for
minimalism." and obviously, to let it all hang out.

"to me, part of the energy of songwriting and being an independent
artist on my own label [daemon records] is about making your own way,
standing up for yourself and fighting the good fight." all that jibes
perfectly with her notions of what high school life is all about, and
with her energizing messages, "which are applicable to any and
everyone who's ever searched to find out who they are."

this second solo project is not one that ray would ever think of
offering to a major label like epic, for whom the indigo girls have
recorded since 1990, "though that relationship is finally coming to an
end, after the next album of rare songs comes out this summer," ray

did she or her indigo partner, emily saliers, ever have any
"prom"-style material rejected by epic?

"no, they didn't try and dictate what we've done, but this music, for
me, doesn't match up to the group identify. i'm a 41-year-old queer,
political person. i'm not marketable.

"and i think we're done with major labels, under any circumstance.
they're good with image-oriented artists, good at spending money to
get a lot of airplay and display space in stores. that just won't do
with the likes of us. we make our own way, have our own following.
we'd rather be with a bigger independent that supports its artists in
a different way. that's where we're looking to go."

amy ray, with cordero, north star bar, 27th and poplar streets, 9
friday, apr. 15, $12, 215-684-0808,

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date: sat, 16 apr 2005 12:23:45 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] gay city news article

hey folks,

this is from the gay city news... you can read it online at:

- -sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
amy ray
bowery ballroom
6 delancey st., btwn. bowery and chrystie st.
apr. 19, 8 p.m.
$20, 212-260-4700

courtesy daemon records

amy ray, having released her sophomore solo album, talks about a
unique mix of progressivism, activism and her rural, southern roots.

the formative years

indigo girl amy ray looks back on her southern high school days
by kathleen warnock

being but a simple country girl, even if also an internationally known
recording artist, amy ray prefers her small southern town when she is
not making records and touring as half of the indigo girls or doing
her solo work, which recently yielded her second album, prom.

i am not much on cities, but if i have to be in one, new york city is
in my top five for sure, she said. i know new yorkers are so used to
having a subway system, so its no big deal to them, but for me, its
the greatest freedom to be able to go anywhere just by hopping a

ray has a long history of performing in new york, in some of its
hipper venues.

the first places i played in new york city were the knitting factory,
the bitter end, and cbgbs, she recalled. also, emily and i played
for tips in washington square park to get up the funds to get our car
out of the car park. come to think of it, i had my car stolen in new
york city too, but i got it back a few weeks later, so i felt pretty
impressed by that.

ray returns to new york on april 19 to the also-cool bowery ballroom,
hot on the heels of the release of prom, a concept album of songs
reflecting on the high school experience, always an excellent source
of material for the outcast artist, especially one growing up lesbian.

high school was much more formative than college for me, ray said.
i found it to be a pretty rich territory as far as subject matter
goes. i associate it with the way i feel about who i am now: my
gender, my activism, my music; starting to play with emily, teachers
who influenced me, mistakes i made, insecurities. a lot of those
things really form in high school. you still have the same
insecurities about being accepted.

after her solo debut cd, 2001s stag, ray recorded another album
with fellow indigo girl emily saliers, but never stopped thinking
about her next independent effort, which she soon realized had a
strong theme.

i was writing songs, and they were all fitting into a theme, and when
i realized that, i started molding it to be cohesive, she explained.
theres songs on there that arent part of that theme, but had a feel
to them, so that the spiritually, they felt in line with the rest of
the album, with that young, rebellious kind of spirit.

the song drivers education, ray said, is told from her current
point of view, but looking back to high school.

its a love song, she said, and im writing it to someone im with
now, who im saying im trying to explain how i got where i am. and i
wish i knew where you were, what you were doing during this time.

put it out for good was inspired by seeing kids hanging out in her
hometown today.

oh, its the same group of alienated teenagers, she said. the
clothes change a little bit, but nothing really changes. were still
hanging out on the sidewalk. my song rural faggot is specifically
about someone who is of high school age, and what theyre going
through in their formative years. what it means and figuring out what
you are, after youve been denying it through early puberty. so, im
dealing with a lot of stuff around gender and identity, and high
school seems to be a time when were so open at the beginning, were
sort of still open, then not much time goes by, and all of a sudden
everything starts shifting.

in some ways, said ray, coming out is easier for todays teens, at
least in terms of having the language to understand how they feel.

when i was in high school, i fell in love with a woman my senior
year, but i didnt know what that meant, she said. i didnt have any
articulation about gender or being queer, or being political in the
greater world beyond being class president and organizing fund-raisers
in my community. now, kids know what gay is, depending on where you
live, but even in my rural area, they really are aware of language in
a way that we werent in high school. its still a lot for them to
deal with. i didnt really know what it meant, but it was a very
organic experience for me. now, you have you all this judgment and
trial and tribulation and what do i do? and what does it mean?
theres still a lot on the negative side. on the positive side,
theres a way to talk about it now. i think the media has helped.
theres just a wide-open internet world, so you can find information,
music. thats also part of the struggle, because theres the danger of
over-stimulus. its still got to be hard to figure out what you are.

ray, whose solo work is rockierto the point of punkthan her indigo
work, put together a group of solid musicians to help her pull prom
together, including native new yorker drummer kate schellenbach
(ex-luscious jackson, ex-beastie boys).

kates gotten even better, ray said. ive seen her playing over the
years, and her versatility grow. she was jamming off and on with
[ex-team dresch] jody bleyle, and they called me and were like come
out and play! lets make a record together!

ray also pulled in members of the birmingham, alabama, band 1945 and
others including michelle malone, danielle howle and donna dresch for
prom, recording when she had a few days off from touring with the
indigo girls. the group laid down a song or two as they all had the
time in birmingham or los angeles or athens, georgia.

ray will tour the east and west coasts this spring, and do the middle
of the u.s. in september, spending the summer touring with indigo
girls. shes already started working on songs for the next record with
saliers, which is due out next january. and always, she keeps up with
her political and community-organizing work. her record label, daemon,
serves as a launching pad for artists and groups she believes in and
wants to work with.

were also going to do some more honor the earth shows, she said.
and do some benefits around solar power. im going to chiapas
[mexico] with a delegation of indigenous hispanic women, and some
non-indigenous women, and were going to study whats going on down
there politically, agricultural stuff, really looking forward to

but wherever rays career and interests lead her, she always returns
to the south, which many in new york might consider a difficult place
to live for a person with her politics.

i actually find it to be really rich in every way, she said. i live
in an area thats really rural and it can be lonely politically. very
conservative. but theres a small group of people that are working for
change, inspiring to see that happen. and for me its really about my
landscape, and the flora and the fauna, and the way the air feels, and
the way the dirt feels. i couldnt really live anywhere else.
politically, it would be great if things were really progressive. but
its my home, and theres a lot of people where i live, people who
dont see eye-to-eye, but i really like them as people, i dont really
feel as judgmental, i dont defend their stance on gay rights or
racism or class, but i defend their value as human beings. so its
very hard for me when someone from another part of the country disses
the south, or talks about how backwards it is, or how hard it is to be
there. theres even good people that i agree with, not all just
fighting and trying to protect yourself. its not all that dramatic
all the time.

ray recently played for a brownie troop in her community, and found
that what the kids noted most was her age.

these girls are so little, theyre teeny! said ray, who first
recorded with indigo girls in 1989, but would not say her age. when i
told them how old i was, they flipped out. their moms were younger
than me.

and yet, a few of them will probably end up identifying with the
indigo girls and the songs on prom in just a few years.

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date: fri, 15 apr 2005 20:12:32 -0700
from: "tara" <>
subject: [ig-news] ig richmond va date 6/22

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

i think tickets just went onsale.  they were
supposed to be listed tomorrow, but they are
available now $35 gold circle, $10 lawn.  all is
general admission, divided into the 2 sections.

- -----------------------------------------------------------------
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please send feedback, questions etc to
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end of ig-news-digest v8 #47

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