lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n051-news


ig-news-digest         sunday, april 24 2005         volume 08 : number 051

today's subjects:
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  [ig-news] sovo article              [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>]

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date: sun, 24 apr 2005 00:37:29 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: [ig-news] sovo article

hey folks,

here's an article/interview with amy from southern voice in atlanta...

cheers,
sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
main feature | www.sovo.com

punk prom a pleasure
amy ray discusses growing up gay in atlanta, new cd, local concert

by dyana bagby
apr. 22, 2005

i cast my vote for amy ray as prom queen. no, actually, for prom king.
better yet, make it both, because when it comes to gender, its fluid
on the lesbian rockers new cd prom.

finding ways to blend gender and sexuality are consistent themes
throughout prom, rays second cd sans emily saliers and the folk
foundation that makes up their duo indigo girls.

the photo montages on the albums covers and insert feature the singer
dressed up as several high school stereotypes of both genders: the
football player, the cheerleader, the punk rocker, the stoner  and
most impressively, as both characters in a male-female prom couple.

released on rays own independent music label, decatur-based daemon
records, prom is a strong follow up to her powerful 2001 solo debut
stag, which featured fellow female punk trailblazers joan jett and
the butchies.

this time around, rays driving guitar riffs and angry yet tender and
heartbreaking voice join forces with female musicians danielle howle,
nineteen forty-five, former beastie boys and luscious jackson drummer
kate schellenbach as well as former team dresch guitarists jody bleyle
and donna dresch.

the combinations serve up a head-shaking, toe-tapping missive on
queerness and growing up in the rural south.

ive lived in a rural area about 12 years, and [this cd] is all
stories from that perspective, ray, 41, says in a recent telephone
interview.

ray says she hopes the stories on prom connect with rural teens who
feel different and need to hear sympathetic and empathetic voices.

its so hard in [rural] areas, she says. were still talking about
feminism and are at the bare minimum of discussing gay issues.

prom explores a dance between gender and sexuality, man and woman,
youth and adulthood, authority and rebellion, ray says.

the cd has a definite political message, but it also serves as an ode
to a time in the singers own life that she embraced and still
cherishes.

i really loved high school, she says. i dont want to romanticize
it, but even the hard parts, i reveled in it. i really was so romantic
about it. i was well aware i felt like an outcast, but that was ok
because all my heroes were outcasts.

heavily involved in student government at shamrock high school in
atlanta (now merged with druid hills high school), ray remembers
planning and attending proms.

it was her senior year in high school in 1982 when she first fell for
a woman.

my senior year, i fell in love with a woman, but i didnt know what
gay meant, she remembers.

some may now consider metro atlanta as a gay haven in an otherwise
conservative state, but during the 1980s in the suburbs, gay civil
rights were still a fresh idea, ray explains.

but love was love, and there was no denying ray and her girlfriends
relationship. the two went to their senior prom separately, but they
were with each other at the dance. the relationship continued into
college.

we started sleeping together our first year in college, and thats
when i realized, oh, i need to hide this, ray says. at that time,
we were both sorting out who we were and who were our allies.

that relationship lasted about two years and involved serious and
often disturbing interactions with her parents.

it was rough for awhile, dealing with im a pervert and fighting so
much, she says. but my parents are so great now; its very hard to
remember how hard it was. they are just incredibly supportive.

on one of the cds strongest tracks, rural faggot, ray conflates the
stories of two young men she knows into a truth-based song about
growing up gay in the south.

this song came from discussions we had, ray explains. one was
really gay, one is now a gay basher and the song explores this
struggle against himself.

the kids i came across in the rural areas were fascinated with who i
was, which was quite interesting, ray says. and this just stuck with
me. these were just images of really compelling people.

on the song, blender, ray tackles head on the questions and stigmas
people face about their identities in a world shackled by labels.

i had a sex education/without a word for my gender/all these
half-hearted tries/put em in a blender,

ray admits in high school she listened mainly to southern rock. but
when she reached college and began hearing to the voices and words of
such punk legends as patti smith, phil spector, the replacements and
the clash, ray says she found a home.

i felt completely liberated by it, she says. it felt like the voice
i had been looking for.

ray says that the fierce style of punk taps into her masculine psyche,
but she is unsure if that mentality comes from the nature of the music
itself or from a society that expects rebellion from boys and
propriety from girls.

i dont know where it comes from, she admits. but when i heard this
other music, it opened a whole new world for me. now its a part of my
life.


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) 2005 the southern voice | a window media publication

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end of ig-news-digest v8 #51
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