lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: blender

2005-04-11: interview with amy ray,

ae: you make reference to gender in "put it out for good" and "blender" - which is a term that has been coming into popular use in recent years. what does it mean to you?

ar: i separate gender from sexuality usually. your gender is different from who you want to sleep with, in other words. when i use the word gender, i mean it as each person has their own gender and it falls somewhere in the spectrum between male and female. i think some people are really far to one end or the other and some people feel that they are in the middle. i look at it as a self-identification issue and as something, in the context of queer rights and the queer movement and queer vernacular as being something that we should have been talking about for the last hundred years (laughs).

it's a really important part of who we are as a queer community and it's one of the things that bridge us with the straight community. i think there are many straight people, sexuality wise, who probably feel ambiguous about their gender. it's one place where we can connect and understand that everything is much more fluid than we think it is. emotionally and mentally and spiritually, we shift more than our bodies allow us to.


2005-04-22: punk 'prom' a pleasure, southern voice:

on the song, "blender," ray tackles head on the questions and stigmas people face about their identities in a world shackled by labels.

"i had a sex education/without a word for my gender/all these half-hearted tries/put em in a blender," ray admits in high school she listened mainly to southern rock. but when she reached college and began hearing to the voices and words of such punk legends as patti smith, phil spector, the replacements and the clash, ray says she found a home.

"i felt completely liberated by it," she says. "it felt like the voice i had been looking for."

ray says that the fierce style of punk taps into her masculine psyche, but she is unsure if that mentality comes from the nature of the music itself or from a society that expects rebellion from boys and propriety from girls.

"i don't know where it comes from," she admits. "but when i heard this other music, it opened a whole new world for me. now it's a part of my life."


2005-10-14: amy ray is hungry to express herself, the louisville courier-journal:

ray's not-for-profit label, daemon records, released "prom" and "stag." daemon maintains a roster of approximately 30 artists, and ray benefits from the indigo girl's deal with sony that encourages her indie ventures. for ray, it is a dichotomy worth singing about.

"we got a punk rock problem," she sings in "blender." "how do we sing against the system when we are the main offender?"

ray is used to being asked for the answer.

"the way i deal with the conflict is first to recognize it. as an independent record maker, i realize i'm on sony and it's contributing to these problems; at the same time, (sony) feeds what i do. so i do the best i can in a way that's not oppressive or paralyzing to myself or others. ...

"but my allegiance is with the independent community and the independent media."


ae: every one of these songs - "blender" and "driver education" to name a couple-- rocks as energetically as say, the new green day, yet because of clear channel stranglehold on the airwaves, they may never be heard by the mass audience they deserve.

ar: (laughs) they probably won't.

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