lifeblood: listlogs: 2008-049


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date:  wed, 23 jul 2008 14:39:29 +1000
from:  sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: review of amy's new album

hey folks,

anna creech has reviewed amy's new album for blogcritic.com. you can read
the review online at:
http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/07/21/225636.php

cheers,
sherlyn

--begin forwarded article--
music review: amy ray - didn't it feel kinder
written by anna creech
published july 21, 2008

amy ray has been through a lot of changes over the past couple of years.
her musical partnership with emily saliers, the indigo girls, finished out
their contract with epic records, and then signed with hollywood records.
the album they released, despite our differences, was well-received by
their dedicated fan base and critics alike, but despite the apparent
success, the band and label parted ways earlier this year.

in the midst of all this, ray wrote and recorded her third solo studio
album, didn't it feel kinder. unlike the previous two albums, this is not a
collection of strident rock-with-punk-attitude songs mixed in with poppier
dance-rock anthems. rather, this album signals a shift to a more
introspective ray, focusing on mellower arrangements with only a few hints
of her earlier style (such as the lead single, "blame is a killer").

fans will likely be surprised upon first listen - i know i was - but
there were signs of this new amy ray on despite our differences ("three
county highway" and "dirt and dead ends" come to mind). keep on listening,
because eventually this new sound will become as familiar as the old one.

the two opening tracks are slow, melancholy anti-folk tunes that make use
of repetitive poetry to convey meaning and story. perhaps this is why the
third track, "bus bus," stands out for me. the song makes use of rhythmic
repetition as well, but with a bit more funk and soul in the arrangements.
i was reminded, a little, of rilo kiley's "moneymaker."

"cold shoulder" is an acoustic nod to the poppy party tracks from prom
("driver education," "blender"). ray is one of few songwriters i am
familiar with who can deftly combine a political protest song with a love
song and come out with something so infectious that you can't help but nod
along with the beat. she uses the same trick on "who sold the gun," minus
the love song bit - just straight up danceable anti-war political protest
this time.

politics have been the source of ray's musical muse throughout her career,
so it's no surprise to find political statements scattered throughout this
album. if liberal politics offends you to the extent that you can't stand
to hear it, you may not want to listen to amy ray's music. her causes are
numerous, from the preservation of native american lands to supporting
low-power fm and community radio ("slc radio"), and she does not hesitate
to speak her mind in verse. however, for the most part, her approach isn't
polemic. this is ray - raw and real.

even though ray worked with some of the same musicians on didn't it feel
kinder as she did for stag and prom, this album has a completely different
feel to it. the message is the same, but the medium has shifted. fans
expecting a punk rock album may be disappointed, but i think that didn't it
feel kinder will find its audience among listeners who enjoy the message as
much as the medium.

-
please do not send excessive amounts of quoted text and/or nigc,
long signatures, attachments or flames to the list.
indigo girls faq and indigo girls mailing list faq:
http://www.pixelopolis.com/ig

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date:  thu, 24 jul 2008 10:59:59 +1000
from:  sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: amy ray 20 questions

hey folks,

this is fun - amy answers 20 questions. you can read it online at the
olympian's website:
http://www.theolympian.com/nationworld/story/516563-p2.html

cheers,
sherlyn

--begin forwarded article--
published july 23, 2008

20 questions for ... indigo girl amy ray


amy ray talks the talk - her lyrics fearlessly nail issues of violence,
environmental issues and other pressing topics; her indigo girls concerts
often serve as fundraisers for various deserving organizations. and she
walks the walk as a human rights activist on many fronts, including
co-founder of the human rights / environmental organization, honor the
earth. while on a flight from new york to her hometown in georgia, she
penned these sometimes poignant, sometimes playful responses to "popmatters
20 questions."

her third solo album, "didn't it feel kinder," with led zeppelin, the
shins, and judy garland influences, releases august 5th on daemon records.

1. the latest book or movie that made you cry?

actually, it's a song, "top of the world" by patty griffin.

2. the fictional character most like you?

my friends say i'm a "pony boy" from "the outsiders," but i always wanted
to be dallas, 'cause he's so hot.

3. the greatest album, ever?

any music that inspires, comforts, provokes, creates change, makes you
wanna dance, puts you to sleep when you need it, makes you scream when you
need to, heals, breaks down, or creates divine harmonics is worthy.
different paths to the same god and all that stuff...

4. "star trek" or "star wars"?

i am a trekkie all the way. "next generation" is my vision for an evolved
future.

5. your ideal brain food?

i eat chocolate whenever i am doing anything challenging. i'm not sure it
helps, but it makes me feel smarter. avocado, sushi and edamame are good,
too.

6. you're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

activism is done in a community context. i am only proud of myself in the
context of community.

7. you want to be remembered for ...?

my work as an activist - indigenous, environmental, queer, and race and
class issues. i think it's a long road and a hard balance and hopefully
when you die, if you're remembered for these kinds of things, then people
will be inspired to keep up the work and carry the torch.

8. of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

there are three very special women that died between 1998 and 2004. ingrid
washinawatok, marsha gomez, and nilak butler were among the founding
mother's of an organization called the indigenous women's network (iwn). i
met them through my work with honor the earth, a group founded in the early
'90s when indigo girls met winona laduke at an earth day rally.

these three women were incredible activists on both a local and global
scale. their work in defending culture and land was revolutionary and
precedent setting. their deaths were poignant reminders to me of the need
to gather in community, work hard for sustainability, and laugh a lot while
doing it.

9. the creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

the song "strange fruit." i was first introduced to this song in the billie
holiday recording, then i heard siouxsie sing it on an indigo girl's tour.
it made me love the song even more to see her do it live.

10. your hidden talents ...?

i give great pedicures.

11. the best piece of advice you actually followed?

i have a bunch of cats that i adopted and a few of them have litter box
issues. my vet told me to get some of the cheap plastic place mats and
velcro them to the back of the litter box ... it worked like a charm.

other than practical tips like that, i have a really hard time following
advice until i screw up and learn myself.

12. the best thing you ever bought, stole or borrowed?

when i was a youngun' i found some playboy magazines in someone's fort in
the woods. i took them to my fort. wow. for a southern suburbanite that was
quite a revelation and a little confusing, but it opened up a world of
possibilities.

13. you feel best in armani or levis or ...?

thrift store stuff.

14. your dinner guest at the ritz would be?

my mom. she would never think she deserves it, and never go there on her
own, but it might feel good to be doted on for a night.

15. time travel: where, when and why?

if i could, i would go back in time and try to change the approach to all
things nuclear, by showing what a mess we've made with uranium mining,
nuclear weapons and radioactive waste. it's doubtful anyone would listen,
though, because we don't listen now.

16. stress management: hit man, spa vacation or prozac?

the gym or a long hike.

17. essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or ...?

chocolate.

18. environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

southern appalachian mountains.

19. what do you want to say to the leader of your country?

i'm not sure george w. bush would understand anything i had to say. he
really seems absolutely clueless to me.

20. last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

getting ready for the release of my third solo cd, "didn't it feel kinder,"
releasing august 5th. restructuring and organizing my indie label, daemon
records. i am also in the studio in atlanta for another week to finish a
new indigo girls record that mitchell froom is producing.

i just planted two pear trees and a hibiscus. i'm getting the mats out of
my five dogs' fur. and the summer indigo girls tour season.

popmatters is an international magazine of arts and culture. find more
popmatters content at www.popmatters.com.

-
please do not send excessive amounts of quoted text and/or nigc,
long signatures, attachments or flames to the list.
indigo girls faq and indigo girls mailing list faq:
http://www.pixelopolis.com/ig

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