lifeblood: listlogs: 2008v10n148-news

ig-news-digest      saturday, september 20 2008      volume 10 : number 148

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] times herald record emily interview  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixel]
  [ig-news] daily freeman amy interview  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.c]


date: sat, 20 sep 2008 16:28:12 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] times herald record emily interview

hey folks,

here's an emily interview from the times herald record in middletown ny.  you can read it online at


- ---begin forwarded article---
the indigo girls play kingston on wednesday
girls' performance leaves listener 'closer to fine'
by sandy tomcho
times herald-record
september 19, 2008 6:00 am

the indigo girls are just as well known for being outspoken as they are for their music.

so it comes as no surprise that emily saliers is quite vocal about this year's election when the duo's involvement with project vote is mentioned.

"i think it's important for citizens of this country to participate in any election, and this is a particularly critical election because we feel like eight years of the bush administration has wreaked havoc not only on the nation, but on the world," saliers says. "it's an important time for change, and i believe it could be a close election, so the only way for change to happen is to really participate and get out and vote."

wait. she's just getting started.

"things politically are so insane in this country with the media coverage and hopping on every little iota of this-and-that, to try to make sense of it all, you almost have to turn the tv off for a while and just study the candidates' issues and where they stand on them and then vote that way," saliers continues. "but the public's minds are so easily swayed by the things that happen in the press that i think it's impossible to say who's gonna win until you actually have people go the polls. ever since smearing other politicians has become a successful way to win an election, you just never know what's gonna happen. i'm an obama supporter and i feel he's gonna win, but the only way he's gonna win is if people actually get out there and vote."

saliers and amy ray were in the area back in july when they played peekskill, and they're coming back wednesday to play a show at the ulster performing arts center in kingston.

"we do like the hudson valley. peekskill was such a sweet little town," saliers says. "when you play big, major cities that you've been to time and time again, it's very interesting to go to smaller communities and play shows there and walk around and get to experience different parts of the country. typically, amy will bring her bike and she'll ride around, and we have maybe a window of a couple of hours a day when we can go out and walk around or get coffee or grab lunch. through touring, i've gotten to know this country very well."

ray and saliers cruised into the spotlight in the late '80s and the folk-rock duo instantly made a name for itself. both playing guitar, ray and saliers produced the hit,"closer to fine" in 1989, and it won a grammy award for best contemporary folk recording the next year. other hits include "hammer and a nail" and "galileo." fans of pop star pink may know the indigo girls because they sang on her song "dear mr. president."

even though they played here two months ago, don't expect the same show. saliers says if you enjoyed their last area performance, it will be a little bit of the same with a little something different.

"we have kathleen edwards opening the show. she's a fantastic canadian artist, and that'll be something new. we'll have julie wolf with us again. she's sort of a new addition," saliers says. "we've played with her before, but this year is the first time we've done full-time touring with her, so she's going to be playing keyboards and accordion and singing harmony, so she's a very nice textural and spiritual addition to the show."

ray may also play a song off her solo album, "prom and stag," but saliers says, "it's never planned; it's always pretty spontaneous."

if you go!
what: the indigo girls
where: ulster performing arts center, 601 broadway, kingston
when: 7:30 p.m. wednesday
tickets: $35 and $40
call: 339-6088

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date: sat, 20 sep 2008 16:30:54 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] daily freeman amy interview

hey folks,

here's an article from the daily freeman in kingston ny.  you can read it online at


- ---begin forwarded article---
indigo girls bring tunes, thoughts to kingston
by bonnie langston , freeman staff

the indigo girls, a folk-rock duo with a decidedly activist bent, will pour that passion into the kingston-based ulster performing arts center wednesday when the site reopens after a summer of roof repairs and other structural improvements.

the twosome, amy ray and emily saliers, are longtime environmental and social-justice activists who have taken on numerous causes, including the struggle for justice in the niger delta, indigenous issues, gay rights and voter empowerment.

ray said the career she and saliers share provides opportunities for them to promote programs for which they feel deeply.

"we have access to audience, we have access to other activists, we have infrastructure at our office, a web site, things that can really amplify the voices of people who are doing work in the trenches," ray said in a telephone interview. "emily and i grew up believing in being engaged in your community on some level, so we would be doing it anyway, but we just use our work for that.

"sometimes it gets into our song-writing, and i think our song-writing is informed socially in some way. sometimes we write songs about specific things, but i think more than anything, it just energizes us and makes us feel a sense of being in the world and a sense of mission beyond just music. that sort of unites us as a group, i think, and as friends."

keyboard and accordion player julie wolf will join the two women as they play a "smattering of tunes" from each of their albums, including their current "despite our differences." canadian singer-songwriter kathleen edwards will open the evening that also will include new tunes from the indigo girls' upcoming album planned for february of next year.

the girls will fund the record themselves.

"we got dropped from our major label - which is good," ray said, laughing.

"we finished our contract with epic, then we signed to a label called hollywood - sort of in a place of not total commitment, where we felt like this may be a good idea or it might not be. i didn't want to do it necessarily, but i also felt like it's worth trying. but they just weren't right for us, and i think major labels in general really aren't right for us now."

mitchell froom, producer of "despite our differences," the girls' 10th studio album, not only took on that role for their next recording, he also played keyboards for it. because the project was finished with three days to spare, and because they are now their own bosses, the women chose to do something "special." they put together a double album.

"we went back and we did the whole record again as an acoustic duo," ray said, "live, just in a room."

unlike most artists in the music business, the twosome has remained intact for years, nearly three decades. in fact, they were a musical item at their high school in georgia. since then, their friendship has grown, but ray said it was not exceptional interpersonal skills on her part that nurtured their longevity.

"emily's pretty patient," ray said. "we give each other a lot of space. (although lesbians,) we've never been girlfriends, lovers," she said. "i think that's part of it, because we're more like family, and we operate like that. when we're home, we don't really see each other very much. we have separate lives. we do separate projects, and then we come together in our music, and it's refreshing."

ray, for instance, put out her fourth solo release in august on the independent label daemon. saliers, who owns a restaurant in atlanta, has written a book with her father. she does solo concerts now and then and writes music with other people. as the indigo girls, though, saliers and her partner write music separately, which provides creative space, ray said.

the duo generally performs up to 150 concerts yearly.

"it's what we do for a living," ray said, "so it doesn't drop below that usually. ... "we probably would just quit if we didn't like it anymore. that's sort of our agreement."

ray said the two love their life, and the mid-hudson area has been a part of it. for instance, she and saliers recorded their classic "rights of passage" album not only in nashville, but also in bearsville. ray even remembers going to the ymca in kingston during their stay.

seven years later, in 1999, the indigo girls album "come on now social" came out, including vocals by the late rick danko and instrumentals by garth hudson, both of the band, the former woodstock-based back-up band for bob dylan. other woodstock connections include drummer jerry marotta and bassist sara lee, who both were part of the girls' band for a few years.

more recently, ray and saliers have performed at poughkeepsie-based bardavon opera house, which operates in partnership with ulster performing arts center.

in addition to wednesday evening's concert, attendees can expect to see voter registration forms made available through an organization called headcount. "vote" tee-shirts will likely be available, too, with a portion of proceeds going to "project vote," an organization that works to ensure disenfranchised communities the right to vote.

"i think that it's subtle some of the things that you see that are legislatively voted in: voter ids, drivers licenses," ray said. "a lot of them are just little ways to kind of chip away at access."

it was during the interview for this story in late august that she learned of the republican vice-presidential pick, sarah palin.

"whoa. that's out of the blue," ray said, mimicking untold numbers of responses from others. "wow. that's maybe gonna give barack a run for his money - uh-oh. did you see barack speak last night? he was amazing....

"i was split between obama and hillary. i really like hillary, and i miss her. i miss her presence. i think she's a profound thinker. i love the way she thinks about how to solve problems. she's really cool - a brilliant lady. but ever since i saw obama speak at the democratic national convention in 2004, i've just been thinking about him. that speech was so perfect - and beautiful, and i cried. i was just moved. it inspired me .... i thought this is the man; this is the person who is going to be a visionary for us in some capacity, and low and behold he is."

ray also is not reticent about gay issues, including marriage between members of the same sex, an important step, she said, but only one of several.

"i think there's a lot of issues beyond gay marriage that need to be worked on in gay communities, queer communities," she said, "a lot around socio-economic issues and race issues and trans-gender issues, and youth - issues around suicide rates."

ray and saliers keep fighting for causes in which they believe. and they keep writing and performing, often combining the two. their promotional material declares they have "politely declined the opportunity to mellow with age."

"i think most activist women tend to get stronger with age rather than mellower," ray said. " i think that's kind of a basic thing that i see, and i think that's the case with me and emily. i think what's happened is we get more confident as time goes on. our song-writing evolves. our performance evolves. we get more and more involved in activism and become closer to the activists we work with and gain strength from that, and just grow up a little bit."

if you go
who: indigo girls
when: wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
where: ulster performing arts center, 601 broadway, kingston
how much: $40, $35 for members
call: box offices at upac (845) 339-6088, or bardavon (845) 473-2072; or ticketmaster, (845) 454-3388

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end of ig-news-digest v10 #148

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