lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: blood quantum

1996-12-19: the indigo girls - music group's involvement with politics, the progressive:

q: has becoming more politically involved affected your music?

saliers: i guess i've been writing more politically. a long time ago, i wrote some songs that were blatantly political, but not too many. on the album we're recording now, i wrote a song that talks about government repression - the fbi, cia, phone tapping, infiltration. so that's a definite influence of politics and the honor the earth tour on my writing. i've been thinking about what it feels like to have the government in your life all the time.

ray: politics affects everything in your life. it affects the writing, your approach to business. you might choose different studios, a different engineer. we've always been pretty political in our lives, but i've become more aware of how to control my money, how to tap into resources that go along with my values.

we also wrote together for the first time, the song "blood quantum" on the honor cd. it was easy because we were united in the experience.


1996-10-04: world cafe radio program:

[emily saliers] "we're gonna do this song that's from the honor cd that amy was talking about. amy started this song, and they she gave it to me to finish. and so we did it together and then we recorded it in atlanta and it's on the honor cd and it's called 'blood quantum' and it's based on a dream that amy had. um, do you want to talk about that dream or do you want to just play it?"

[amy ray] "we can just play...i mean the songs about basic genocide on paper, which is a, sort of a new american policy, um, and blood quantum issues."


1997-02: performance review: bread & roses benefit, dirty linen:

gram parsons surely wept in the great beyond hearing emily saliers' long loping steel guitar as joan baez sang a lonesome emmylou harris part out of "city of angels" on the line "are we the first to praise the sun moon?" baez and dar williams dueted on paul simon's achingly civil l960s parlor ballad "dangling conversation." while williams absentmindedly slipped into picking a chord progression from michael smith's "the dutchman," their ethereal vocal blend stilled and settled the scene. from this angst-laden calm the indigo girls launched into their reasoned redemptive chant on native american genocide, corporal-cultural-political, "blood quantum." emily saliers' wicked bottleneck slide guitar licks aurally scrawled across the stark cement walls the preserved red graffiti greeting to the american indian movement's mid-70s occupation of the island, "alcatraz welcomes american indians."


1997-04-04: transcription, kwva - eugene, oregon:

q: do you ever jam together or do you write better alone, and then collaborate on harmonies etc?

e: we work better alone. we have different ways of expressing ourselves in terms of vocabulary, and just stylistically, sort of musical sensibilities are a little bit different so it just works best for us to do it that way. we always have. we wrote a song together recently that was on the honor cd, that amy put out on daemon records which benefits a lot of native american grassroots groups, environmental groups and other grassroots community groups, the song is called blood quantum. amy started it and i kinda finished it, but even so it was like her part and then my part. it just works best for us.

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