lifeblood: listlogs: 2006v09n072-news


ig-news-digest       saturday, october 14 2006       volume 09 : number 072

today's subjects:
-----------------
  [ig-news] monstersandcritics.com article  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopoli]
  [ig-news] charleston show review from charleston post & courier  [sherlyn ]

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date: sat, 14 oct 2006 08:43:56 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: [ig-news] monstersandcritics.com article

hi kids,

here's an article from monstersandcritics.com.  you can read it online at:
http://music.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1210568.php/indigo_girls_get_po
litical_with_despite_our_differences_

cheers,
sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
music news
indigo girls get political with 'despite our differences'
by jeff vrabel
oct 12, 2006, 19:00 gmt

twenty years - well, give or take a few - into a still-percolating career, the
indigo girls remain a little island of consistency in an aggressively
unpredictable industry. amy ray and emily saliers can boast 10 studio albums, a
fan base as faithful as such things come and a well-honed offensive strategy -
wholesome, earthen melodies from saliers, darker, rawer stuff from ray, and some
sort of freakishly automatic sense of silvery harmony between - that's been
firmly set since their 1987 debut, 'strange fire.'

even if they weren't a subtle lefty folk outfit, this would be no small deal.
bands rise and evaporate faster than the blogs that track them these days; ray
laments the vanishing of several in her rock-out track "rock n' roll heaven's
gate," from the pair's new outing, 'despite our differences.'

"it's hard for bands now," said saliers. "radio is horrible, most of it. we just
came along at a good time and were able to ride a wonderful fan base."

indeed, the girls merely persist with a tasteful determination that's impressive
for its productive quietness. press materials pitch this as the girls' 20th
year, a figure ray and saliers both dispute ("well, we started playing
professionally in high school in 1980, so ..." saliers said), and as such,
neither seems to have put a lot of planning time into the efficient arrangement
that is the indigo girls. it's just not something that's needed a lot of
tinkering.

which is not to say that for their 10th studio album, some changes weren't in
order. 'differences' marks the girls' first with hollywood records, having ended
their longtime association with epic last year. it's also their first with
producer mitchell froom, who added a live-in-studio vibe throughout sessions in
his santa monica home studios, a looseness amplified by the record's six-week
construction time.

"we usually take much longer to make a record," ray admitted, almost shyly.
saliers is less diplomatic: "i was freaking out," she said.

but writing-wise, 'differences' sticks pretty close to the girls' playbook.
fully intact are those harmonies, as well as their interest in their core
issues: gay rights, gender equality and social justice. "we're basic lefties,"
saliers said. "i think we ask very simple questions: who's being oppressed? why
are they being oppressed and how can we take part in alleviating that?" added
ray: "we're political. there are people who don't want to come see us, and
that's totally cool with me. but we try not to alienate."

still, if there's a surprise in 'differences,' it's the record's relative
absence of polarized politics. 'differences,' as the title infers, at least
partly argues the girls' unease with the state of the union. but there's very
little overtness and not much attacking on the record; it's more concerned with
scraping out some senses of unity where feasible. "[the title] can describe the
differences between me and amy, and it has more global indications, obviously.
but we feel we're still in a situation where harmony can happen," saliers said.

given their lively activist history, it's either happy accident or savvy timing
that the girls' fall tour - their first with a full band in a few years - gets
underway at the same time as the fall election season. "i do sense a real shift
in the country," saliers said. "and we do have an ultimate hope that people can
get along at least better than they are now." but, she quickly added: "you know
what, it takes a change of administration, that's one thing."

though the girls' quieter musical half, saliers quickly gets animated when talk
turns to washington. "politically, what's gone on over the two past
administration periods has just been so devastating to me, and these [upcoming]
elections will be so important," she said. "the tide has to turn, and i believe
it can. but americans have to take responsibility for our role in the world: how
can we be part of the world community? if they take that to heart, we'll make
specific political changes."

it'd be misguided to expect a totally politics-free indigo record, and the lead
track, saliers' "pendulum swinger," does takes swipes at presidential
grandstanding ("it doesn't come by the bullwhip") and institutional sexism. but
the record's more concerned with ballads like "i believe in love," which reflect
saliers' longstanding tendency toward breezy balladry. ray's showstoppers are
first single "little perennials" and the ragged barnburner "rock n' roll
heaven's gate," a sonic cousin of the punkish material she stashed away for her
well-regarded solo records "stag" and "prom."

breakups are hardly new territory for the indigo girls, but they generally
involve families or relationships, not punk or new new wave bands. ray
explained: "there were some friends of mine in a band i'd played with called the
butchies, which sort of fell apart, and it was really hard on me. they were a
really important band for me - i felt they were carrying the torch of punk rock
for women at that moment. and le tigre disbanded recently, and that was hard
too. i feel like it's hard to keep a band together anyway, especially when you
have a lot of hurdles. and i think women in rock have more hurdles than most
people in music, even those with a little bit of success."

ray sees more diversity in the band's live audiences these days - not in race,
she says, so much as the ages and background of people who show up. "there's
young people, and people who've grown older with us and bring their kids," she
said. "and i think there was a time when, if you were a gay performer, it was
harder to get a diverse audience as far as sexual orientation goes, when the gay
movement hadn't progressed at all. and now in some areas, it's really mixed,
really family oriented. that's great, because it means people are not afraid of
the association. at one time there was a stigma, and i'm sure there still is, in
some places. but it's gotten better."

but, she added quickly, both she and saliers are "short-term thinkers" when it
comes to their careers. saliers even professed to being shocked when hollywood
came calling once their epic deal was up. ray said she's mostly just thankful.
"but it seems if i stop and pat myself on the back long enough, it'll just fall
apart," she added, laughing.

today, those short-term goals are touring, the midterms and, in a couple of
years, the next round. "i always feel good when i still feel like writing.
because you're always scared that you won't feel like it. i'm not scared of
writer's block, i'm just scared of not having a desire to do it," said ray. "but
right now i do, and it feels good."

) 2006 vnu emedia. all rights reserved

) copyright 2003 - 2005 by monstersandcritics.com.
this notice cannot be removed without permission.

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

date: sat, 14 oct 2006 08:48:56 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: [ig-news] charleston show review from charleston post & courier

hi folks,

here's a rview of the charleston show from the charleston post & courier. it's
online at
http://www.charleston.net/assets/webpages/departmental/news/stories.aspx?section
=preview&tableid=112678&pubdate=10/12/2006

cheers,
sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
thursday, october 12, 2006 8:22 am

critic gives indigo girls 'hall' pass

by devin grant
special to the post and courier

listening to the weepies, the band that opened for the indigo girls saturday
night at the charleston music hall, i was treated to one of the better similes
i've heard in awhile.

"i hung around like cigarette smoke on your jacket," was the lyric i'm talking
about, and it further drove home the beauty and braininess of the song-writing
duo of deb talan and steve tannen, who make up the weepies.

the duo has found some success since joining forces awhile back, including
getting one of their songs, "world spins madly on," played on the popular
television show "grey's anatomy." neither talan or tannen were able to see the
episode in which the song played, since neither owns a television, but as tannen
told the crowd before performing the song, "i got a call from my mom. i asked if
she saw the show, and she said, 'yes,' and that she had heard the song." tannen
then paused for effect before adding that his mother revealed that the song was
playing during a scene where two people were having sex in a closet. despite the
potential embarrassment he might have brought to his mother, tannen seemed
pretty happy about the song's placement in the tv show.

it was obvious by the end of its set that the weepies had earned more than a few
new fans in the lowcountry. the polite and enthusiastic applause that came with
the end of the weepies' set was soon lost to the cheers that erupted when amy
ray and emily saliers took to the stage, backed by a bassist, a drummer and a
multi-instrumentalist.

the band kicked into "pendulum swinger," the leadoff track from the latest
indigo girls cd, "despite our differences." ray and saliers stuck close to the
new disc for the first part of the show, performing songs such as "little
perennials" and "run," but the singer-songwriters didn't forget to include some
crowd favorites, including "shame on you" (which brought the crowd to its feet
early on) as well as "power of two" and "land of canaan."

although the show was top-notch, it seems that once again the rudeness of
charleston audiences was clearly evident. from where i was sitting i witnessed
one fan who was able to keep quiet only as long as it took ray and saliers to
play "closer to fine," which happened toward the end of the show. the rest of
the time she seemed more interested in chatting loudly with her friends. at one
point the brain trust began comparing boots, draping their feet over the seats
in front of them and loudly debating who had the cooler footwear.

then there was the statuesque blonde who decided to crash the stage. initially,
i had to give the girl credit. the indigo girls invited a group of women from
duke university up on stage to perform an a cappella version of "fill it up
again." as the members of out of the blue, as the group called itself, began to
file on stage, that tall blonde decided that she would join the party, so with
purse and drink in hand she climbed the stairs of the stage and stood to one
side of the singers, pausing once for a wave to her friends. once the members of
out of the blue began singing it was clear that the blonde was not a member of
the group, and yet she remained on stage for the entire song, watching the
performance. she might get a point or two for sheer nerve, but really, there's a
time to put the cocktails down, and it is normally before you decide to climb
onto a concert stage.

later in the show, ray invited the columbia-based singer-songwriter danielle
howle to the stage. ray and howle played a song together, and then ray left the
stage while howle performed her own "faith," for which she received a strong
round of applause.

after "closer to fine," which had the enthusiastic crowd all but drowning out
ray and saliers, the band ran through "go," as well as one of the new cd's more
beautiful songs, "i believe in love."

after closing the main set with "land of canaan," the indigo girls returned to
the stage and performed a powerful version of "tether," which featured a
gorgeous dual guitar solo from saliers and ray.

the duo then ended the show with "galileo," which once again brought the crowd
to its feet.

after a final "thanks, y'all," the indigo girls exited the stage.

the charleston music hall proved to be the perfect venue for the indigo girls.

the crowd was, for the most part, enthusiastic, with everyone from toddlers to
senior citizens being represented. the indigo girls are well liked here in
charleston, and the duo seems to genuinely enjoy performing in front of a
charleston crowd. in between songs, ray talked about the good old days of
playing at cafe 99, downtown.

it is comforting to see that while ray and saliers have gone on to fame and
fortune with their music, they haven't forgotten their lean days.

devin grant can be reached at chucktowncritic@yahoo.com.

this article was printed via the web on 10/13/2006 6:48:10 pm . this article
appeared in the post and courier and updated online at charleston.net on
thursday, october 12, 2006.  

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end of ig-news-digest v9 #72
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