lifeblood: listlogs: 2010v12n026-news


ig-news-digest          friday, july 30 2010          volume 12 : number 026


today's subjects:
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  [ig-news] interview from huffington post  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopoli]


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date: fri, 30 jul 2010 11:38:26 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.com>
subject: [ig-news] interview from huffington post


hey folks,


here's an interview with both amy and emily, from the huffington post.  i
think it may be a radio transcript but i'm not sure.  it's online at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ragogna/embrilliant-dreamsem-conv_b_663241.html.
you can also read the interview with kristian bush (not forwarded here)
there.


cheers,
sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
mike ragogna
radio personality on solar-powered kruu-fm, music biz vet
posted: july 29, 2010 02:43 am
        
                
brilliant dreams: conversations with indigo girls and sugarland's kristian
bush
a conversation with indigo girls


mike ragogna: your new live album staring down the brilliant dream is
presented like a book. is it supposed to imply the album's like a journal?


emily saliers: well, it's supposed to be opened and held like a book. it
has chapters, 35 songs, and it's fabulous. in this day of ordering online,
it's really nice to hold something that's really beautiful in your hands,
listen to the music, and appreciate that part of it. they're songs that
were recorded from live shows between 2006 to 2009. brian speiser recorded
them, and amy and i went through a slew of them and decided we wanted to
put an album out. the tracks sounded so good that we decided well, let's
put out a double live album.


mr: how did you decide on the tracklist?


amy ray: for me, the criteria first was what sounded good because we were
listening for what felt good, what sounded good, and then after that, it
was kind of a lot of different criteria. if we had four different versions,
it was which one felt the best, or if we should put the band on it, or if
should we do it as a duo. there were so many choices to be made, and we
just had some priorities. the first priority was it had to feel good and be
sort of unique and special. then we just tried to kind of spread things out
amongst which record's songs came from because we wanted to represent
different records and different parts of our lives, and a career that had
happened over those three years of recording. the last live record we made
was 15 years ago, so we tried to often get songs that we had been doing
since that point live. we kind of whittled it down as we would get to 100,
and then get to 50, and then we ended up mixing about 37, picking from
that.


es: it was really a process of listening to the tracks. we did want to
find some more obscure songs or ones that were not, well, "closer to fine."
i was surprised that we even chose that one. but we chose that one because
jill hennessy and michelle malone sang with us on that one. michelle was an
old friend. we have known her forever and she's a great artist. jill
hennessy we had just met a couple of days before. i knew she was an
actress, but didn't know she was a singer. so, that just captured a very
special moment. we didn't go in to it having any preconceived thoughts
about what tracks would happen. we just knew we had some special moments
that probably were going to be go to songs like "don't think twice" that we
sang with brandi carlile. she is one of our favorite artists, and then
"wild horses" we sang with michelle malone. we've been doing that song for
close to two decades with her, so those were just special songs. we wanted
to get a good number of band songs on the record. it was a very special
band.


mr: i was lucky enough to interview brandi for huffington post a while
back. what a great artist.


ar: she's a great artist. she really is. and another favorite for us is
justin vernon from the band bon iver. we are a huge fan, and we just took a
shot in the dark and said, "do you want to come play a few shows?" and it
turned out that he was a big fan and he wanted to. so, we did about a week
of shows, and they were really fun. we got to watch him play and see how he
does his thing. we played for about a week with justin opening for us, and
i got to talk to him about recording and see how he does his thing. for me
and emily, those are the things that kind of energize us and keep us going.
lilith fair was also another great time for us.


mr: are there any concerts that you remember to this day as being
unusually outstanding?


es: many. maybe too many to mention. the great thing about putting this
live record together is that it allowed us to revisit many of those live
concerts together. amy and i poured over countless songs and concerts and
picked certain ones that not only were recordings that came out great, but
that really captured what happened that night. on all of those songs, we
actually listed the places where they were and our memories of that night.


ar: i think both of us measure our experiences by who we were playing with
or who we were collaborating with. a long time ago, there was a moment in
our career when we said, "we can't believe we're here opening for the
grateful dead...it's so historical!" then we opened for r.e.m a lot at the
beginning. that was another one of those things where we will never forget
what that felt like, and i think, most recently, we did a lot of touring
with brandi carlile. she started out opening for us and now she's
co-headlining. it's been great to watch her career and it's been great. it
was really exciting the first time we sang together because we were like,
"wow, this really works and it was really fun." it was a collaboration that
we knew could continue for a long time.


mr: were there any recordings that didn't make the cut because of space?


es: in terms of ones that really stick out that aren't on the record? we
were opening for the grateful dead in eugene, oregon, we played with joan
baez early on, the bottom line in new york, and the lilith fair and lilith
tours--i was just a fan, sitting by the side of a stage watching these
incredible women perform. playing central park in the summer is incredible.
there are lots of memories from new york. playing radio city music hall, my
pants legs were shaking i was so nervous.


those are all memorable concerts, really, there are so many because our
fans are amazing. we've been doing this for 30 years now, since high
school. there are lots of great memories because our fans are incredible
and every night is a good night, honestly.


mr: when you go onstage, it seems like you improvise your set list, like
anything can happen.


es: honestly, we are a bar band. before we got signed and before we put
our first record on a major label, we were a bar band. we played clubs and
had our friends in the audience who were musicians and were totally mc6tley
crc+w. we would invite them up on stage and had that spontaneity, so we were
never a band that had a slick set list. every night, we would change the
set list and also allow room for requests from fans. if we could make it
work with the set list, then we would put it in so that's the spirit of the
indigo girls. it's what we captured on this record.


mr: were you tempted to take this live collection further back, like all
the way to the back on the bus, y'all period?


es: this is meant to be a collection of songs that people haven't heard
yet. the only other live thing we put out was 1200 curfews which our fans
really liked. people refer to that record a lot, so all these years later,
we haven't really put out all that much live material except stuff which
has been recorded by people's phones or whatever. we're all for that. so,
we just decided it was time to put out a live disc of songs that have never
been heard before except by those people who have been at the concerts.


mr: there was a synergy between lilith fair and indigo girls that brought
a lot of attention to the group. do you remember what it was like going
from having a small, loyal following to having your huge fan base?


es: well, we have had an interesting trajectory because when our record
from epic first came out, it sold really well and got some notoriety, and
it was very exciting. we went from being a bar band to being signed to a
major label and having a pretty successful first record, so that was all
cool. we sort of leveled out as careers often do, and then lilith was a
total shot in the arm for us professionally and personally and was a great
experience. so, it was an opportunity to mix with people like sheryl crow,
the dixie chicks, sarah mclachlan, and chrissy hynde, who are amazing
artists. so, that really introduced us to a larger audience. plus, it was
just so much fun. it was one of the pinnacles of our career.


mr: indigo girls is an act that is very associated with the original
lilith fair, one of the highlights, right?


ar: (laughs) oh i don't know. we've knocked down a lot of doors and said,
"come sing with us or let's collaborate on something," and i guess that's
just how we are and how we were brought up. our music scene is all about
collaboration, and if you have festivals, part of the point of them is to
enjoy playing with each other. it's kind of how we saw lilith, and a little
bit of that started happening. i don't know if it might have happened
anyway, if we weren't there with those tours. a lot of the same artists
would be together for a few weeks, and at some point, you start really
knowing each other and wanting to play together, and we hurried that
process along i guess.


mr: and, of course, lilith fair really created an awareness of women in
music.


es: well, at that time, there were naysayers, and, you know, there is no
way women can sell this many tickets. there was a lot of sexism in the
industry at the time. lilith had this joyous "yes we can" feeling and it
was a great tour.


mr: do you feel like there's been some evolution since the days lilith
fair began?


ar: yeah, in some ways. and in some ways it's a mixed bag.


mr: this project ends with the indigo girls' version of "wild horses" that
is almost spiritual.


es: "wild horses" was such a classic song. probably one of the best songs
ever written, and we grew up with michelle malone who is from atlanta. we
have played shows with her and have been friends forever and ever, and we
just started playing that song together. we don't play a lot of cover
songs, but there are a handful that we have just come to call our own over
the years like "midnight train to georgia" and "don't think twice its
alright." "wild horses" was one of them as well. when we were going over
the tracks we came across that version and just loved it. it was a part of
our history, and it came out really well. we really love it and the
performance. so, we decided it should go on there.


mr: who are some of your favorite acoustic acts?


ar: there is so much independent music right now that you get exposed to,
and for me, as far as acoustic music goes, i like lindsay fuller. i like
amelia curran who i think is in nova scotia right now, and she's a great
songwriter. and brandi carlile, of course. i think she is sort of one of
the best voices of our generation, and could be considered the patsy cline
of our time i think.


mr: it's a brandi fan club. nice.


ar: it's very exciting that on every level, there are a lot of great
artists. when you get into bands, there are the gossip and thea k who i
really think is such a visionary and really amazing. the group men which is
another alternative band. there are so many great artists that cross
between different genres, if you're just going to talk about woman artists,
there is a lot of diversity and a lot of great woman artists. those who are
getting exposure in a main stream way, that's a whole different story; but
i don't know how important the main stream is anymore. it's a very
complicated question now because things are so broken apart in the major
label world. it's hard, i think, for woman to access radio and big print
media, and really get the shot at playing bonnaroo or some of the bigger
festivals. you are still not getting those opportunities, especially in
rock. that's got to change. when that changes, i will feel like we're
really making some headway.


mr: what's your advice for new acts?


ar: the internet's pretty important. i think the tools are changing
constantly. social networking--whether it be twitter, facebook, or youtube
video; some way of having a presence on the internet and keeping up with
that. it's a lot of work, so i think you need to pick. you need to sort of
choose your areas and focus on those so you're not killing yourself and
killing your creativity while you're spending all your time doing that.
it's a pretty important thing. for me, i feel that, in any genre of music,
it sort of about songwriting, unless you're like a pure pop image where
what's more important is maybe videos and imaging and stuff. if you're an
artist that's not about that, live performances are still really important
if you want to have a long career. it's got to be more than just internet.
it's got to be something where people feel that they can build a community
around you that's visceral, that they can relate to you, and i don't think
you can do that unless you can go out and play live. so, that's where my
emphasis would be if i were a new artist. i think that it's hard because
there are a lot of artists that are trying to get shows, and it's hard to
get gigs sometimes. but you have to invent them. you have to do house
concerts or play at this or that party and do whatever it takes to get
started and start building a community around you.


mr: it seems like live shows always have been where you truly bond, where
you become "family" with the band.


ar: i think you're right. i think it's so important. i think even internet
community stuff plays on that because people feel like they've discovered
something on youtube or whatever, and they spread it virally and it creates
this kind of relationship that is sort of intimate. but i think it can only
go so far. there has to be that other level where you see that person play.


(transcribed by erika richards & theo shier)


tracks:


disc one
1. heartache for everyone
2. closer to fine
3. go
4. come on home
5. devotion
6. cold beer and remote control
7. moment of forgiveness
8. fill it up again
9. sugar tongue
10. fly away
11. ozilline
12. don't think twice, it's all right
13. kid fears
14. watershed
15. shame on you


disc two
1. get out the map
2. salty south
3. the wood song
4. three county highway
5. digging for your dream
6. rock and roll heaven's gate
7. believe in love
8. fugitive
9. cordova
10. what are you like
11. second time around
12. love of our lives
13. become you
14. prince of darkness
15. tether
16. wild horses


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end of ig-news-digest v12 #26
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