lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: get out the map


1997-05-31: hey kind friend, creative loafing:

the title shaming of the sun comes from a tunica indian legend, one of many native american - and south american - creation myths that focus on the sun, its powers and its life-giving properties. on the record, the indigo girls have used the symbol over and over: it's the light that shines on the windows in "shame on you," it's the drink of life in "get out the map," its absence defines "leeds," it dies in olympia in "hey kind friend."

in most legends, the power of the sun always wins the day - or at least part of it. the sun is the bully and the lover at the same time. you could say the same of music, the "languageless connection" emily urges us to hold fast to in "everything in its own time." it may be one of the few mythological elements we have left today, that larger-than-life force that has the power to push back the darkness. and the indigo girls, like a couple of coyotes, have tricked it into doing exactly that.

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1997-09: no boundaries - indigos girls cut loose, acoustic guitar:

es: "i think so. although today we did a radio interview and we were playing 'get out the map,' which i wrote on banjo. i played it on guitar because i didn't have a banjo in the studio, and i realized that the chords are just like 'closer to fine,' so i guess that kind of blows that theory. i thought i'd written something different from that. "

ar: "yeah, but what you did is write 'get out the map,' whereas if you'd written it on guitar, you would have gone, 'this sounds like 'closer to fine,' and you would have never written the song.

es: "it's true."

emily saliers quote from 2000-10-03: retrospective liner notes:

"first song i ever wrote on the banjo. my friends were going through a lot of changes, moving around. a general malaise had set in. 'map' is kind of a road trip song for the spirit. let's get out of here. i don't care where we go."

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2014-12-02: es.1996, official indigo girls "a year a month blog" on tumblr:

there were other new musical avenues for me that came to life on shaming. i wrote my first song on banjo, "get out the map." i wrote it in the same living room as i had previously written "galileo." i was learning that picking up a different instrument brought a completely different song. i never would have written "get out the map" on guitar, and i never would have written "cara mia" on acoustic guitar. i found the chords to "leeds" on a piano. the experience from that dark trip to england had been literally brooding in me for a couple of years, but when i stumbled on those chords, they found their way out. and that was the first song i wrote on piano. i don't even remember the chords now. i'm not a piano player. but it was a huge step in expanding musically to pick up a new instrument and write with it, even if i didn't play it well and certainly not properly. around this time, amy and i were broadening our sound palette with harmonica, mandolin, banjo, piano, dulcimer, and more than ever, electric guitar. i also remember when amy chose a hip-hop loop to run through "shed your skin," an absolutely new twist and turn for amy's music. "leeds" is and may always be the only song we ever played a hurdy gurdy on.

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2014-12-02: ar.1996, official indigo girls "a year a month blog" on tumblr:

most of our days in 1996 were spent working on shaming of the sun, which was released the next year in 1997. we were coming off of a big year, diving into a new record and not totally sure of our direction, but we knew that we wanted to veer off of our beaten path a bit and incorporate some of the new players and people we had met. you can tell that we didn't know where to land by the liner notes on the record. at the beginning of the project, we worked a bit with peter collins, who was really responsible for the pop potential of "get out the map" and "shame on you," but as i recall we wanted to take this project and run a bit, and so we ended up co-producing the record with david leonard, who had engineered and mixed with us before. he wanted an adventure as well, so we headed into the project with a lot of big ideas, but probably not enough focus at first. we ended up in three different studios (in nashville, atlanta, and austin), which wasn't a bad thing, but it did feel a bit like we were floundering. we used reels and reels of big fat analog tape, which sounded amazing but were really indulgent and costly. back then you had to send around the big reels of tape to whatever studio you were working at and make copies of them for safety. and most of all you had to keep track of what was on each tape and which tapes held your master performances. so there was a pretty good paper trail for this record. i think the recordings sound amazing because of david (and all the tape we used), and in the end, the record came out with a solid group of songs that i consider vital to our development, and some experiments that really worked, but there were a few of my songs that i probably could have left off. i was post break up from a 7-year relationship, newly formed in my spirit from honor the earth, and well into a career whose largeness took me by surprise, so this record reflected a lot of the transitions of that time.


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