lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n073-news


ig-news-digest          sunday, june 26 2005          volume 08 : number 073

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

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date: sun, 26 jun 2005 09:56:35 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: [ig-news] sovo article

hey kids,

here's an article from sovo in atlanta - you can see it online at
http://www.sovo.com/2005/6-24/locallife/pride/indigo.cfm.

cheers,
sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
indigo girls return home as festival headliner
lesbian folk-rock favorites proud to call city home

by dyana bagby
jun. 24, 2005

theyre baaaack. and theres nowhere closer to fine to be on june
24.

atlantas favorite lesbian folk-rock duo indigo girls, amy ray and
emily saliers, return to headline the gay party of the year on opening
night of the three-day celebration.

ray and saliers havent played together on stage officially during the
annual festival in years (although saliers made a surprise solo
appearance in 2003), but each of them are regulars in the crowd each
year, they say.

although we havent played in a while, we have gone to pride, so it
doesnt feel like weve been absent for that long, but time does seem
to fly by these days, ray writes in an e-mail interview while touring
to promote indigo girls newest cd rarities, released june 14.

the cd consists of 18 tracks including demos, rare versions and duets.
rarities is also scheduled to be available in a limited edition
digi-pak containing track commentary from ray and saliers.

i am just totally happy to be there whether playing or just hanging
out, ray said about atlanta pride. my family will be there and all
my friends, and even though we are in trying times [politically], it
still feels like we have reason to celebrate. the movement has evolved
and grown and been willing to embrace its challenges, and for this i
am thankful and proud.

both members of the duo remain vocal advocates for same-sex marriage
and other gay issues. thirteen states, including georgia, last
november voted to ban marriage for same-sex couples, and president
george bush is still publicly backing a federal amendment to define
marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

true to their activist spirits, indigo girls provide a link to gay
marriage resources on their web site.

they make a living as singers and songwriters, but saliers and ray
remain heavily involved in national politics and maintain individual
identities as political activists for native people rights,
environmental protection and peace. they also keep a close eye on
whats happening in their home state.

last year, saliers attended a rally at the georgia capitol to protest
a proposed marriage amendment, which voters later passed with more
than 75 percent of the vote.

saliers said last year that she wished for every known gay person in
the public eye to take a stand for same-sex marriage rights.

in a recent interview to promote her solo cd, prom, released on her
decatur-based independent label daemon records, ray talked about the
difficulties of growing up gay in socially conservative georgia,
especially in rural areas.

she cited the courage of several students in the small town of
cleveland, ga., who formed a gay-straight alliance at their high
school.

that is such an amazing story  its so evident of whats going on
everywhere, ray said. ive lived in a rural area, and its so hard
in those areas. were still beginning to talk about feminism and at
the bare minimum of gay issues. those kids are so brave.

saliers and ray formed their friendship at laurel ridge elementary
school in decatur when ray was in the fifth grade and saliers was in
the sixth grade.

in high school, the duo began performing together at local bars and
clubs as the b-band and also as saliers and ray. in 1981, the folk
duo recorded tuesdays children, their first tape, recorded in rays
basement.

in 1982, during rays senior year at shamrock high school, she fell in
love for the first time with a woman, but she had no idea that
same-sex love was taboo.

we were inseparable, she recalled. my mom and teachers asked what
was going on and i told them, im in love with her! being gay and in
the suburbs in decatur back then was a lot harder than today  i
didnt know what being gay meant.

but when she finally came to terms with her sexual orientation, coming
out to her family was difficult, she admitted. but her sisters  also
lesbians  paved the way for her, and she now holds her parents,
family and friends up as a truly supportive circle.

theyre so great now, its hard to remember how hard it was, she
said.

in 1985, saliers and ray picked the name indigo girls for their band
and started a music career in earnest. in 1987, they put out their
full-length debut, strange fire and were signed with epic records
in1988. rems michael stipe sang on their self-titled album in 1989,
which earned the girls the grammy for best contemporary folk
recording.

stipe also sings on this years rarities, indigo girls last album
with the label.

rarities marks the end of indigo girls relationship with epic, but
the duo intends to continue recording together, perhaps on an
independent label such as rays own daemon records.

each girl also continue their own careers outside indigo girls. rays
label and successful solo career thrives, and saliers recently wrote a
book with her father, don saliers, titled a song to sing, a life to
live: reflections on music as spiritual practice.

on sept. 10, saliers and ray perform at chastain park amphitheater as
part of their rarities tour, but pride-goers may get a peek into the
new cd that contains such songs as the previously unreleased let me
go easy, recorded last year to honor a friend who died of ovarian
cancer.

her lifes work was an immense offering to the causes of
environmental justice and indigenous rights, which gave her death even
more significance  a death caused by a disease that has been linked
to environmental contaminates and spurred on by a lack of public
health care, ray said.

the song winthrop features saliers on piano and vocals, accompanied
only by a bass. the song was originally intended for 1997s shaming
of the sun, and is only the second song saliers wrote and recorded on
piano.

also included, by popular demand from fans, is a previously unreleased
live recording of a song by gay part-time atlanta resident, elton
john, and his song mona lisas and mad hatters.

whatever they play at atlanta pride, indigo girls are sure to give a
rousing performance for the hometown crowd. they give 100 percent to
their fans and especially do so at home, ray said.

atlanta is an amazingly diverse city, and i am glad to call it home,
she said.


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) 2005 the southern voice | a window media publication

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