lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n055-news

ig-news-digest          tuesday, may 3 2005          volume 08 : number 055

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] rocky mountain news article  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.c]


date: tue, 3 may 2005 08:24:05 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] rocky mountain news article

hey folks,

here's an article from the rocky mountain news - you can read it
online at the url below...


- ---begin forwarded article---
rocky mountain news


way after prom
indigo girl amy ray reflects on high school in her second solo outing

by erika gonzalez, rocky mountain news
may 2, 2005

many of us would rather endure a root canal than relive high school.

but amy ray - half of the indigo girls - had no problem mining those
painful but formative years for her second solo effort, the aptly
titled prom.

>from the catchy and somewhat sentimental driver education, which
documents ray's crushes on boys who "taste like marlboro cigarettes
and reese's peanut butter cups," to rural faggot, an electric
guitar-driven ode to a gay childhood friend too afraid to come out of
the closet, the collection of coming-of-age songs sounds as if it was
lifted directly from ray's old yearbook.

but ray insists that that the trip down memory lane wasn't planned.

"i'm always in this continuous process of writing, and things started
coming out that were thematically tied together," says ray, who will
visit the fox theatre tonight with the family outing. "it's not like i
consciously said i'm going to write a group of songs about this."

but ray acknowledges that high school was on her mind.

"i started writing a lot of these songs when i was falling in love
with the person i'm with now. when you're starting a new relationship,
a lot of the ritual is talking about the past and when you came out,
and a lot of those stories are high school stories."

ray says her high school years in decatur, ga., were deeply
transforming. it was during high school that ray (an outspoken
lesbian) fell in love with a woman for the first time and hooked up
musically with indigo girls partner emily saliers. it was also during
this period that ray, who spent much of her teenage years listening to
country rock, began to embrace alternative artists such as the clash
and patti smith.

and that influence is clear on blender, a punk rock anthem that
expresses ray's frustration with gender and racial inequality in the
music business.

that hard edge infuses much of the material on prom, with the
exception of the stripped-down rodeo, which sounds like a tribute to a
first love.

"it's a current love that feels like the first time i've fallen in
love," says ray, who wrote the song about her partner, a graduate film
student at columbia university. "i've never really known this kind of

ray may be happy personally, but professionally she still finds
herself hitting brick walls - particularly when she's promoting an
independent release such as prom. the album is being distributed by
ray's own independent label, daemon records, which she started more
than a decade ago to help provide exposure for bands she liked that
had difficulty attracting big-label attention.

but without the backing of a big name behind her, she says, gaining
radio play for the record has been difficult.

"even a station like kbco, which has been so supportive of the indigo
girls, is very hesitant to support me doing a solo project," she says.
"they're playing huge bands, and i don't think they consider this in
the class of music they're playing."

but ray doesn't seem to mind pushing the record through a tour. fans,
however, have had to adjust to hearing a more rocking ray than they're
used to seeing at indigo girls shows.

"sometimes an audience just stands there and listens, and i'm
frustrated because i'm up there moving around so much," she says with
a laugh.

and in case you're wondering, ray, who was president of her class, did
attend her prom. but she says it was motivated more by curiosity than
by peer pressure.

"i didn't go to the prom because i wanted to fit in. i did it because
i wanted to see what it was like," she says.

no doubt, fans of prom are happy she did. or 303-892-5350

copyright 2005, rocky mountain news. all rights reserved.

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