lifeblood: listlogs: 2007-061a


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date:    sat, 24 mar 2007 18:55:40 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: livedaily amy interview

hi everyone,

here's an interview with amy from livedaily.com.  you can see it online at:
http://www.livedaily.com/interviews/livedaily_interview_indigo_girls-11783.h=
tml?
t=3d98

cheers,
sherlyn

---begin forwarded article---
livedaily interview: indigo girls
march 22, 2007 10:35 am
by john voket
livedaily contributor

as amy ray of indigo girls (tickets | music) tells it, back in the mid-'80s,=

when she was jamming around athens, ga, with her musical cohort emily=
saliers,
the pair had a few luxurious gigs where they could settle into a club for a=
few
days.

ray said in a recent interview that those back-to-back shows, sometimes for=
five
or six days at a stretch, gave the indigo girls a chance to really explore=
songs
they hadn't played in a long time, just to keep the set list from getting
stagnant over the course of the run.

some 22 years later, amy and emily got another chance to dig deep into their=

repertoire when they kicked off their spring tour in connecticut last week=
with
a five-show run at the mohegan sun casino's intimate cabaret.

saliers and ray are hitting more intimate rooms playing in duo format,=
possibly
sprinkling in a new song or two among their hits and a good dose of material=

from indigo girls' latest release, "despite our differences." dates are
currently confirmed well into the summer; details are in the itinerary=
below.

before playing the mohegan sun shows, ray and saliers chatted with livedaily=

about music, politics and the whole band-versus-duo dynamic.

livedaily: it's been almost two years since you started working out material=

that became "despite our differences," and since its release, you've been
touring on and off with a full band. do you find yourself performing the
material differently than when it's just you two?

amy ray: with the new record, we had to sit down on a couple of songs to=
make
sure we [were] approaching them the right way without the band. it's pretty=
easy
for us to go back and adjust. i have all the songs on my ipod for=
practicing.
there's a new song, "money made you mean," that we decided to do more of an=

extended version--and on the song "dairy queen," from the previous record,=
where
i played electric guitar but i wanted to also have an acoustic version of it=
for
when it's just the two of us.

emily saliers: my approach to the songs doesn't really change. you know,=
when we
went back out as a duo after playing with a band, i really missed the drums,=
or
when the bass used to kick in. there's a certain amount of energy and focus=
you
have to put out when it's just the duo. we haven't been doing "rock and roll=

heaven's gate" and "all the way," because those songs just seem to click=
better
with a band than with a duo. you sort of get used to having the band carry=
you
along. it has a certain spontaneity--it has an energy of its own. but i=
don't
sing the songs very differently without the band. sonically, it's stripped=
down.
there's a huge safety net with the band, and there's something really=
focused
and intense when we're playing as a duo that's very different from with the=

band.

since the beginning, amy, you've been characterized as the more edgy, hard
rocker, while emily has been cast more as the lyrical lighter touch between=
the
two of you. but your songs on the latest record and some of the solo=
material
you've generated recently is pretty deep--some might even say intense. i=
mean,
it almost hurts to hear you sing "dirt and dead ends."

ar: i'm changing my songwriting approach all the time because i'm just=
trying to
get better at it. about eight years ago, i consciously started practicing=
more,
and i had a few conversations with a few songwriters and asked them about=
their
writing style. then i read a stephen king book, "on writing," and started=
being
really deliberate about it. i labor over songs a lot, and it worked for me=
to
sit down for three hours and work on stuff. i started trying to tell=
specific
stories about people, and trying to be more specific with my images, which=
opens
you up more as a writer. basically, it got to the point where i just felt i=
was
lagging so far behind emily, and i didn't feel it was right to do that.

es: i don't totally agree. i mean, her earlier stuff--there are some great=
songs
there, too. i know there was a period of time when she made the switch to=
focus
on the craft of her songs, but amy's always been a great songwriter. i=
think,
for both of us, we inspire and motivate each other in ways that can't be
articulated all the time. i know amy is always pushing me--not overtly, but=
just
because she is so great and inspiring to work with. it makes me want to be
better too, and that's just something that happens between us. we're=
fortunate
for that; instead of us being threatened by each other's gifts, we're=
inspired
by them.

so the tour will bring you around the north and east coast before you're off=
to
long beach for the pride festival. but this opening run of five days at=
mohegan
sun is something of a historical event for indigo girls, isn't it?

es: the last time we played mohegan sun, we did two dates there. and the=
room
was so nice and small and intimate with such nice crowds, and it was such a=
nice
experience. the tours are less orthodox than they used to be--it's more
challenging now to string dates together. so, when an offer like this comes=
in,
knowing the venue, it was appealing, so we just went for it. we talked about=
how
fun it will be to just dig out some obscure things and just try and do=
something
different with the set list, since we'll be there so many nights.

ar: i think this is the longest run of shows since we used to play bars.=
when we
were younger, we had a couple of standing gigs where we played every night=
of
the week for awhile. when [the mohegan sun] asked us, we said, "why not?"=
it's a
really fun room and we really liked the casino. some don't have a great vibe=
and
some do, so, basically, if we play one where the vibe is good and it feels=
good
to be there, we'll come back and play again. every time we play a native-run=

casino, we're sort of happier, i guess. it's probably the connection we have=

from working on all the native american community stuff we've done. it just=

feels good.


[note: the following tour itinerary has been provided by artist and/or tour=

sources, who verify its accuracy as of the publication time of this story.
changes may occur before tickets go on sale. check with official artist
websites, ticketing sources and venues for late updates.]
indigo girls tour dates and tickets

march 2007
22 - verona, ny - turning stone resort & casino showroom
23 - atlantic city, ny - borgata resort & spa
24 - wilmington, de - grand opera house
26 - baltimore, md - rams head live!
27 - norfolk, va - the norva

april 2007
2 - cleveland, oh - tower city amphitheatre
21 - glen allen, va - innsbrook pavilion

may 2007
3 - scranton, pa - scranton cultural center at the masonic temple
5 - new brunswick, nj - coexistence festival
17 - santa fe, nm - santa fe opera house (world peace conference)
19 - long beach, ca - long beach pride
20 - tucson, az - rialto theatre
21 - shiprock, nm - phil l. thomas performing arts center (honor the earth:=
w/
winona laduke)
22 - flagstaff, az - pine mountain amphitheater (honor the earth: w/ winona=

laduke)

june 2007
3 - temecula, ca - pechanga resort and casino
4 - san diego, ca - humphrey's
6 - saratoga, ca - the mountain winery
8 - las vegas, nv - mgm grand (special guest appearance @ "true colors=
tour")
15 - jacksonville, or - britt pavilion
17 - seattle, wa - woodland park zoo amphitheatre
19 - salt lake city, ut - red butte garden amphitheatre
21 - boulder, co - chautauqua auditorium
23 - toronto, ontario - toronto pride week
24 - apple valley, mn - music in the zoo: outdoor amphitheater
25 - highland park, il - ravinia festival

july 2007
5 - winnipeg, manitoba - winnipeg folk festival
7 - sparks, nv - john ascuaga's nugget

august 2007
17 - lowell, ma - boarding house park
18 - freeport, me - discovery park
19, 20 - brownfield, me - stone mountain arts center
23 - hyannis, ma - cape cod melody tent
24 - cohasset, ma - south shore music circus
26 - vienna, va - wolf trap filene center

--
do not quote other peoples' entire messages when replying to the list.
indigo girls faq and indigo girls mailing list faq:
http://www.pixelopolis.com/ig

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

date:    sat, 24 mar 2007 18:57:16 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: philadelphia gay news - another amy interview

hi again everyone,

here's an another amy interview, from the philadelphia gay news.  online=
at:
http://epgn.com/032307/3detour032307.htm

cheers,
sherlyn

---begin forwarded message---
catching ray of indigo
amy ray of the indigo girls talks about the early years, being an out artist=
and
the group=92s latest album
by casey bell
pgn staff writer
=a9 2007 philadelphia gay news

when amy ray and emily sailers picked up their guitars 20 years ago, they=
never
imagined that they were about to embark on a musical career that would=
forever
change the face of the lesbian music scene.

today, with seven grammy nominations and 12 million album sales under their=

belts, the indigo girls are still generating their signature sound and=
earning
international acclaim.

the pair is currently on tour for their latest album, =93despite our=
differences,=94
which blends elements of folk, country and pop, resulting in an album that=92s=

both innovative and unmistakably indigo.

pgn recently caught up with half of the duo, ray, for a phone interview.

born and raised in atlanta, ray started playing guitar when she was 10.

=93i started out listening to a lot of neil young and some early hippie=
music,=94
she said. =93but later on i discovered patti smith and got very into punk=
rock,
which had a huge influence on me.=94

ray said she came out gradually in her late teens.

=93i had a girlfriend when i was a senior in high school,=94 she said. =93but it=
was
in little steps that i became open about my sexuality. i was out to my=
family by
around 17 or 18, and really out to everyone by about 25.=94

ray and sailers originally disputed about the best way to publicly handle=
their
orientation once they gained recognition from mainstream press.

=93everything was talked about in the media,=94 she said. =93emily didn=92t really=
want
to talk about it openly at first =97 she felt like it was more of a personal
thing. but things were very different then in terms of how accepting people=

were. we never really made a decision to come out to the press. it was just=
sort
of reported.=94

ray said being gay is an integral part of her identity as an artist.

=93it=92s hard to separate your orientation from your art. it=92s just sort of an=

activist kind of place to be if you=92re engaged in what=92s going on in the=
world
and queer, you have to take it on,=94 she said. =93i don=92t think i could ever
separate my art and vocabulary and language from that. sure, it=92s affected=
my
career some times more than others, and maybe it=92s hurt it more than it=92s=
helped
it. it=92s difficult to quantify, but there have definitely been times when we=

weren=92t getting any radio play because there could only be one gay person on=
the
scene at a time =97 like any marginalized group. you just wouldn=92t hear k.d.=
lang
and melissa etheridge and the indigo girls. there could only be one of us in=
the
spotlight.=94

but ray and sailers held true to their identities over the years, producing=
10
studio albums.

ray said she=92s particularly happy with the collaborative process of their=
latest
endeavor, =93despite our differences,=94 released in september.

=93we got the chance to work with mitchell froom on this album,=94 she said. =93as=
a
producer, he=92s just so creative. every note really matters to him and he has=
a
legacy all his own.=94

froom, who has produced records for artists like sheryl crow, elvis costello=
and
paul mccartney, worked with ray and sailers to record the album in just over=
one
month in his santa monica home studio.

=93despite our differences=94 is also the first record the duo has made with
hollywood records, which is owned by the walt disney company.

=93emily and i like this label a lot,=94 ray said. =93it=92s been great working with=

them. but at the same time, it is just a label. in some ways the music=
industry
is interesting =97 there=92s certainly a lot of reinventing that needs to be=
done.
this traditional model doesn=92t have very much relevancy anymore. we have to=
see
that, but be able to forgive it. when you look at all the music downloading=
and
youtube and myspace =97 i think all of that was born out of necessity. people=

weren=92t getting what they were looking for from this corporate industry.=94

despite her beef with the ever-increasing corporatization of the music=
industry,
ray said she and sailers are happy with the final product and their hard=
work
has paid off.

the two artists typically write separately, then come together to work on
arrangements and melodies.

=93it usually takes us a month if we work together four days a week,=94 ray=
said.
=93we=92re pretty detail-oriented and we like to take every element apart.=94

she said the songs she wrote on this album vary in themes.

=93my songs deal a lot with community and a sense of place. i also talk a lot=

about how to keep one=92s own identity, but at the same time recognize other
people=92s. with emily, it seems like most of her songs are very
human-relationship-oriented on this record.=94

=93despite our differences=94 features guest appearances by spunky pop artist=
pink
and wxpn-acclaimed singer/songwriter brandi carlile.

=93the guests we brought in were chosen because of the specific things we like=

about their vocals,=94 ray explained. =93pink has this attitude and a way of=
emoting
that=92s exactly what we were looking for. she=92s also just a really cool=
person
who=92s great to be around. she was able to bring exactly what we needed. and=

brandi is just so super-talented. she can set a harmony perfectly between me=
and
emily in a way that=92s very special. she has this ability to really morph and=

work with other voices, but at the same time she can be the glue of a=
song.=94

ray said this album=92s energy and spontaneity set it apart from their=
previous
work.

=93we recorded it in a very short time compared to our normal pace,=94 she said.=
=93i
think that allowed us to take some bigger risks.=94

after playing music together for 20 years, ray said she and sailers have=
grown
as artists and songwriters.

=93we=92re always trying to evolve as artists,=94 she said. =93that=92s one thing that=
i
can look back at and say that we=92ve really become better musicians. as=
artists,
the dynamics between us and the way that we arrange songs has shifted and=
gone
through cycles over the years. in the beginning, i really wasn=92t writing=
very
many harmonies, but now i write a lot of my own. and emily has picked up=
some
more instruments and added different textures to our sound. we just expand=
and
evolve =97 it=92s been a long run, though. it=92s like trying to watch your hair=
grow.
but when i go back and listen to our earlier music, i can hear how much=
better
we are now. we were 16 when we first started. we were so young and just not=
that
great.=94

ray feels it=92s important for all musicians in the public eye to be open=
about
their orientation.

=93some people don=92t want to be engaged in the scene at all, and i think=
that=92s a
drag,=94 she said. =93i=92d never out anyone, but i think people should be out,
musicians especially. right now is a time when you may suffer a little bit,=
but
it=92s so important what you can achieve by being out.=94

when she=92s not on tour, ray spends time at her atlanta home with her animals=
and
her partner of four years, who is finishing her filmmaking thesis at=
columbia
university.

=93i have 13 animals right now,=94 she said. =93i rescue them, so i try to spend a=
lot
of time dealing with them one on one. i also like to spend a lot of time=
writing
and working on music or hiking in the woods. i keep pretty busy when i=92m not=
on
the road.=94

ray has also been working on solo projects; she released =93stag=94 in 2001,
followed by =93prom=94 in 2004 and the limited-edition release =93live from=
knoxville=94
in december.

ray said she and sailers aren=92t together very much during their downtime.

=93we live in different towns. and we=92ve known each other since we were 10, so=

we=92re like siblings. but we are good friends.=94

the group has been on the road for the past eight months.

=93it=92s been a really great time so far,=94 ray said. =93the crowds have been
wonderful too. we still play a lot of old stuff mixed in with newer songs.=
we=92ve
both just had a great run with this tour.=94

if you go:
what: indigo girls
when/where: 9 p.m. march 23 at the borgata music box, 1 borgata way,=
atlantic
city, n.j.; (609) 317-1000
and 8 p.m. march 24 at the grand opera house, 818 n. market st., wilmington,=

del.; (800) 37-grand

--
do not quote other peoples' entire messages when replying to the list.
indigo girls faq and indigo girls mailing list faq:
http://www.pixelopolis.com/ig

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


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