lifeblood: listlogs: 2010v12n001-news

ig-news-digest       thursday, february 18 2010       volume 12 : number 001

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] old but good amy interview  [sherlyn koo <]
  [ig-news] out in america amy interview, april 2009  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@]
  [ig-news] strange amy interview     [sherlyn koo <>]


date: thu, 18 feb 2010 10:52:10 +1100
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] old but good amy interview

hi folks,

i don't think this one was posted here before - this is an amy interview
from october 2008 but it's a good one!  you can read it online at


- ---begin forwarded article---
amy ray
by lawrence ferber

the indigo girls' amy ray isn't one for compromise in her music or life.
wearing her progressive politics and out identity on her acoustic and
electric guitar sleeve, ray has, since the 1980s, created a supremely
melodic, lyrically powerful catalog of albums with indigo partner emily
saliers. she's further explored gender, sexuality, coming of age, and other
personal and social issues on her dance/punk-tinged solo albums, 2001's
drag, 2005's prom, and this year's didn't it feel kinder. born in decatur,
georgia, ray continues to live in the area. in addition to working on her
own musical projects--a live indigo girls cd and new studio album are in
the works--ray founded and helps run daemon records, an atlanta-based
record label for indie and queer artists. on the personal front, she has
spent the last five years in a relationship with filmmaker carrie schrader.
while promoting didn't it feel kinder and recording with saliers, ray took
a seat in the vip lounge.

what is your most memorable experience mixing with the locals while
probably in cuba. we were at a songwriter's exchange program and went
outside the perimeters of the program with people playing in a cuban punk
band. we ended up going to their rehearsal space and jamming with them and
spent a raucous night out on the town with them in havana.

have you ever had a humiliating or horrific travel experience?
i've had a million. you get stuck places. one of the hardest was in mexico.
i was in mexico for a conference and we were getting on these buses and it
was heavily guarded by mexican military. we only had to travel about 100
miles through the rainforest and we ended up taking 25 hours to get where
we were going because we were stopped at so many military barricades. at
one point we got stopped for about six hours and we all got out and i slept
on the steps of an abandoned hospital in the middle of the rainforest. it
wasn't horrific, but it was scary.

who would you hire to design the amy ray airline outfits and planes?
dolce & gabbana. classic. they're not going to go out of style anytime
soon. they're italian. good lines. and the plane--i'd probably put richard
branson in charge of that. i've always thought he was an interesting man. i
really like him, he's eccentric and in some ways revolutionary.

which hotel room, anywhere in the world, would you like to claim as yours
that's a good one. i'd like to pick one of the suites at the soho grand in
manhattan. the ones that have a good view, they're just so comfortable and
beautiful. and it's in soho. that's if i can claim something super posh. on
the lower end i would get a motel 8 and sit in a little chair outside the
door and play my guitar.

what are three things you would pack, or hide, in your suitcase when going
to the michigan womyn's music festival?
(laughs) why would i hide them? you think there would be contraband in
michigan? you know what...a mirror. i would take a mirror. i'd probably
take some sex toys, but those wouldn't be contraband. and my running shoes.
people go jogging there but it's not like the main activity. i always take
time and i run off the land; "whoah, she's running off the land," and i
enjoy it.

what city has the best women's music scene and can you name a few must-try
bands or artists?
because things are so internet-oriented [these days] i might listen to
bands and not realize what city they're from, but i think portland has had
a pretty good scene. kaia wilson [formerly of team dresch and the butchies]
is living there, and the gossip play there. also a band called coyote

what foreign city will you move to if mccain wins the 2008 election?
lord have mercy. i'd probably stay where i am. i'm a fighter. i live
outside of atlanta and i like to be in conservative areas and be myself. so
i'd stay in georgia.

which destination should gays visit for political as well as tourism
personally, i think you should visit small towns that don't have super
progressive policies but still have one or two b&bs owned by gay people, or
a bookshop or cafc) that's struggling. go somewhere you're not necessarily
completely accepted and be around people you can build a bridge with. any
small town that's more conservative, and you can show you are a normal
human being and can spend money and support their tourist industry.

what place in the world is on the top of your list to visit?
seattle, washington. i love kayaking when i'm there. internationally,
amsterdam. i love it. i don't like it on the weekends because it's like a
frat party, but during the week it's quiet and free, you can do whatever
you want to do and be yourself.

your number one travel tip?
a lint brush. take a lint brush wherever you go.

[published: october, 2008]

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date: thu, 18 feb 2010 11:40:58 +1100
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] out in america amy interview, april 2009

hey folks,

just stumbled across another nice amy interview, from out in america back
in april last year.  you can read it online at:


- ---begin forwarded message---
rough songs and soft ones: an interview with indigo girl, amy ray
posted by oia staff in entertainment
apr 28th, 2009
sarah terez rosenbum

indigothe fact that singer/songwriters amy ray and emily saliers have been
around for almost thirty years is no accident. gifted musicians and driven
businesswomen, indigo girls owe the longevity of their career perhaps in
equal parts to their determination and the way in which they cultivate
their musical partnership.

on tour supporting their new album, "poseidon and the bitter bug," indigo
girls will hit madison april 30th, playing a benefit for "progressive
magazine." recently, ray discussed the joys and frustrations of touring,
her favorite emily song, and how she and emily both challenge and support
one another.

q how did you get involved with the madison, progressive magazine benefit

a obviously i have all respect for that magazine--just how long they've
been around is pretty remarkable. when i was touring solo, a promoter, tag
evers, mentioned the benefit to me. i talked to emily, and we decided it
would be great to take part in. looking at where we are now and how many
people have paved the way for someone like obama to become president, the
time is just right for celebrating, standing up for radical thinkers over
the years. it's also a hard time for independent and progressive media, in
part because different laws were put into place during earlier
administrations around consolidation, but also because of the evolution of
the internet. the radical voice of independent media is important to

q sometimes your album titles pull a word or a phrase from a song and other
times they seem only obliquely related. what process do you generally go
through in choosing a title?

a while we're recording, we'll each throw ideas out, make a big list. this
record title was actually mitchell [froom], the producer's idea. he took a
word from emily's song and a word from mine. he was just kind of joking

q what titles didn't make the cut?

a i can't remember actually. at the time mitchell was like, "god, the songs
are so dark," so he had all these funny titles like "hopelessness" and
stuff, and then the idea of "poseidon and the bitter bug" came out, and we
never re-approached the process. we made the record so fast, in three
weeks, but we knew we weren't gonna put it out for a while, so we joked
around and then we gave it a rest, but while we were finishing the record
we kept going back thinking, "that's actually a great title."

q you released the record as a double disc, recording songs both with a
band and as an acoustic duo. apparently your producer was worried about
catering to your fans?

a (laughs) mitchell has kind of a sardonic wit, which is one reason we love
him so much. he read a few fan message boards and he goes, "your fans don't
really like me. they get mad at me for putting so many extras on your
songs." then he said, in all seriousness, "i think the fans would really
appreciate acoustic versions of your songs." we were like, let's do the
band record first, and if we have time, at the end of the sessions, let's
spend three days and record all the songs acoustically. that's what our
goal was and we worked towards that.

q speaking of fan expectations, over the course of your partnership you and
emily have operated within this sort of polarized perception: emily's the
angel-voiced soprano, you're the dark one. how does that affect your work?
do you ever find yourself railing against it?

a it's funny, because we sort of fight it, but then all of a sudden there
are all these examples of why it's true. we do try not to fall into the
same patterns, like in our arrangements, but that's our own thing, that's
not really a response to the way we're described. obviously, emily can sing
higher than i can, and i can write all the hard, rough songs and she can
write the soft ones, but instead we really try to not stay in that pattern.
although we have different influences, so most of the time, she is gonna
write something that's a little more poppy, that people can really attach
to, and i'm typically gonna stay in this more rock and roll vein. we try to
make sure we don't keep each other in boxes though. i want emily to rock
out and write whatever she wants to write or just write ballads and not
feel bad about it. we do talk about that actually. she'll say, "i want to
write a rock song," and i'll be like, "everything you've written has been
great, you don't need to force it." so we do have a discussion, but just to
challenge each other cause that's the point of what we're doing.

q what's your favorite song of emily's on the new album?

a "digging for your dream." i love the melody, the r&b mixed with joni
mitchell approach, and the story she's telling. but i have weird taste. i
never pick the hit.

q you've logged plenty of road time. what are the best and worst parts of

a as you might guess, the worst part is being away from home. after a
certain point it's hard to be gone all the time. the best is just playing,
and getting to visit different cities. i bring my bike and ride around.
after all this time, i have my favorite little places to go and favorite
things to do when i'm there.

q any daily frustrations?

a there's one thing that bothers me and emily, and it's so consistent it's
remarkable. it's as if radio promotional people and publicists think they
have to trick an artist into doing what they want because you're not smart
enough to figure it out for yourself. we'll get a press schedule from our
management with a list of radio interviews and how many songs they want us
to play. it always says "play between two to five songs, or play three to
four songs." never an exact number, but when you get there, they say
something completely different, like, "you can play two songs, but we'd
really rather you played three." and you're like, why don't you just tell
us exactly what you want cause that's what we'll do. me and emily have been
doing this for so long, and this is a job. we're here to do the work and
we're a team and we want you to be on our team, so just tell us exactly
what you need and we'll do it. it's as easy as that. i swear to god, out on
promotion tours, me and emily talk about this every day, it's like a
running joke. we've even gone so far as to figure out how we can play two
and a half songs.

q just stop in the middle and say, this is what you requested, right?

a that's what we're gonna do next time.

q since we're on the subject of pet peeves, is there any interview question
you're completely over being asked?

a i get tired of being asked where our name came from, just because we've
answered that questions so many times, and i think it's even in our bio,
but really it's fine, because it's just part of the work. my pet peeve with
interviews is when it's obvious that the person didn't read the bio or get
the cd from the publicist and they're just asking these really big general

q interesting. on that note, i'd like to ask, what is the meaning of life?

a there we go, that's exactly what i mean!
a freelance, chicago writer with an mfa in creative writing, sarah terez
rosenblum is at work on her first novel. when not writing, she supports
herself as a starbucks barista, figure model, spinning instructor and
teacher. inevitably one day she will find herself naked at starbucks or
trying to brew espresso using a stationary bicycle. she's kind of looking
forward to it actually. visit her website:

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date: thu, 18 feb 2010 10:34:48 +1100
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] strange amy interview

hi everyone,

here's a kind of weird amy interview from flagpole magazine in athens ga.
you can read it online at

- -sherlyn

- ---begin fowarded article---
amy ray
revisiting the l-word

"lesbian" and "indigo" both have three syllables. the syllables are
identically stressed. when i first heard them--les-bi-an, (late '80s, third
grade, walking home through the suburbs of birmingham), in-di-go, (early
'90s, in a church van, radio blasting, scruples flaring, girls pretending
to french each other)--they were both followed by snickers and dirty winks.
i think that's what did it for me; for a split second, i totally thought
they meant the same thing, or that one implied the other, synonyms in a
sinner's vocabulary. both words sounded so... exotic. so earthy.
onomatopoetic, even.

amy ray knows what i mean. she remembers the first time she heard "indigo."
it was 1985. she had a dictionary. she was looking for a word to go with

and when she dials from her private number in the north georgia mountains,
we talk about how people who live in the north georgia mountains (she's
been there 17 years) love to say "north georgia mountains."

we talk about her youth group skate nights with the methodists as a
teenager in decatur. we talk about her solo career and how the indigo
girls' new independently released album, poseidon and the bitter bug (which
references the north georgia mountains in the second line of the first
song), is kind of incredible and how it just might be the best thing
they've ever done, which i tell her i really wouldn't know much about
because other than recognizing that one song from the church van, i don't
know anything about their music. i only own one of their records--that one,
the newest one, and only a promotional download version at that, which
cracks her up. "that's refreshing," she says.

but for most of the 20 minutes, the indigo girls' amy ray and i talk about
the word "lesbian"--about our first times hearing it, how we both instantly
knew it was supposedly "bad," and how it sounds so different now.

i went first. keith nowell and i were on our way home after school rapping
lines from "parents just don't understand." ten yards behind us were these
girls: kelly somethin', the fifth grader and, more importantly, jessica
jackson, the boss. she was in our class, but she was way taller than us.
already developing. hot. mean. she put bleach in her water gun.

she kept shouting the word. she wouldn't stop. it kept buzzing from her
mouth. "lezzzzzzz..." she kept daring me to say it. she got ahead of me and
got in my face.

"you don't even know what it means, do you?" she laughed. "yes, i do." dear
lord, no i didn't. the only thing i knew was that "lesbian" sounded dirty
as hell. i ran. ray laughs as i recount the tale. "what about you?" i ask.
"oh, god," she says. "i think i was probably in high school, which would be
in the late '70s, early '80s. i think someone was making fun of one of our
coaches. it was definitely a negative thing, definitely negative. i
remember thinking i had to go along with that. i didn't even know what it
meant, but i had to go along with it. as the years went by i fell in love
with a girl and really didn't know what it was. i just knew i was in love
with a girl. i was in the suburban south. there was no vocabulary for it."

now, 20 years after break-out hit "closer to fine" made her one of the most
famous ones in music, she has to think about it a little while when i ask
her if she's ever made it through an interview without using the word.

"ha! um... yeah, i have," she says finally. "there's been different periods
of time where it felt like everything had to refer to the makeup of our
audience, assuming it was mostly women when it isn't actually, and also
what our lifestyles are. we weren't really talking about the music at all
for a while there. it doesn't feel like that happens that much right now
for some reason."

present interview excluded. i mean, i want to talk about didn't it feel
kinder, her new solo record. but i can't help myself. i've got 20 minutes
and all i can think about is what it would feel like to be crowned as a
hook-savvy poet by music fans of all creeds (even conservatives, like her
very proud dad) yet spend 20 years prostrate to the angle-horny higher mind
of music journalism as lesbian folk rock, lesbian folk rock, always lesbian
folk rock? to have your career condensed to a punch line? to have your name
rain from gossip blog tag clouds as evidence that ellen page, who burned
with "sister fire" during a "big lezzy jam" of "closer to fine" ("that is
such a memory song for me!") at an indigo girls concert in a 2008 "snl"
sketch, might really be gay? to watch cartoon third-graders in the
first-season suburbs of "south park" crank up your cd so they can be

ehh... ray doesn't know, or doesn't care. she lives in the north georgia
mountains for a reason. "i just sort of do my own thing and play music...
i'm not in the pop culture kind of world," she says. "i think that i don't
totally take all that stuff in because i try to live outside of that

but she does receive visitors. "the other day a friend of ours said 'hey, i
was watching "30 rock" or whatever and they mentioned you.' some cultural
references to us--sometimes if makes you feel good, sometimes it feels like
it's derogatory."

ray adds: "'snl' did some spoof on us. i remember sorta being rubbed the
wrong way by it at first. but then i was like, i should lighten up. they
also did these fake public service announcements that made fun of our
activism. it was kinda like, ouch, you know? you try to do something good
and you get sorta panned for it and distilled down to a bleeding-heart
lesbian activist and not taken seriously. sometimes that kinda hurts."

but it's nothing, nothing, she says, compared to the pain of the old days,
the self-loathing of high school. the jokes, when she hears them, or is
told about them, she can handle. they've changed. everything has changed.
ray thinks things are closer to fine now than they've ever been.

jeremy henderson

who     amy ray, brandi carlile
where   the melting point
when    wednesday, feb. 17, 8:30 p.m.
how much        sold out!

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