lifeblood: listlogs: 2001v04n041-news

ig-news-digest        wednesday, march 7 2001        volume 04 : number 041

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] review of stag in jane  [torrie bryant <broadway_babe_42@yahoo.c]
  [ig-news] stag review         [sarah pinsker <>]
  [ig-news] amy interviewed for atlanta journal-constitution (long)  [marion]


date: tue, 6 mar 2001 12:15:54 -0800
from: torrie bryant <>
subject: [ig-news] review of stag in jane

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at]

   i got my april issue of jane magazine yesterday in
the mail(great timing as i am in the northeast in the
middle of the blizzard) and when i got to the reviews,
lo and behold there was a review of stag! i already
checked the jane site for a link and the review's not
on there yet, as the content on the site is from
march, so i'll just type verbatim from the hard copy:
excerpted from jane magazine april 2001 issue, pg. 176
copyright fairchild publications
amy ray, stag (daemon)
(rated top dollar on a scale, running from the gold
standard,(pile of gold bricks) top dollar(stack of
dollahs), bargain basement(dime), and worthless(penny)
unlike eminem, who mimics industry fat cats by using
high pitched girly-man voices, the now solo indigo
girl amy ray goes after them- and rolling stone's jann
wenner, in particular with lyrics that singe. she
describes the rs boys' club refrigerator as being
covered with "100 ways to say "blow me" spelled out
with a magnetic poetry kit. this album has an
electriic drum heavy beat, all but "lazyboy" which is
the type of song you'd want amy to perform at your
bedside the night you're too tired to ponder your role
in the universe. and for me, that would be at least
once a week- katy mccoll

"how long til my soul gets it right? can any human being ever reach that kind of light?"-galileo, indigo girls
waste some time looking at my webpage!

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date: tue, 6 mar 2001 02:00:54 -0500
from: sarah pinsker <>
subject: [ig-news] stag review

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at]

heya - the spring issue of bust magazine ( -a fun and
intelligent feminist mag (with a slight tendency toward fashion) - just came
out. it has a review of stag, which was thankfully not written by jennifer
baumgardner this time, as the one for cons was (not that i have anything
against her, just that i felt it was unprofessional)...anyway, here goes:
"there's a punk scene brewing down south, and amy ray, one half of the
indigo girls and founder of daemon records, is smack dab in the middle of
it. you wouldn't think it, since most people would never describe the indigo
girls as punk, but while amy is half of ig, on her own, she's into a whole
other scene. stag reflects her other side, and joining her is a who's who of
the chick rock scene: kate schellenbach [luscious jackson], josephine
wiggs[the breeders, dusty trails], the butchies, danielle howle, the
rock*a*teens, and joan jett all pitch in. check it out, yo." - betty boob

- -later, from the woman who never sleeps...

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date: tue, 6 mar 2001 09:30:03 +0000
from: marion_o'
subject: [ig-news] amy interviewed for atlanta journal-constitution (long)

[sherlyn's note: this message was originally sent to the indigo
girls mailing list at]

the interview can be accessed here: (cool picture of amy standing in the woods!)

an indigo interview:-  amy ray, half of grammy-winning duo, steps
out on her own with her first solo album

by shane harrison
atlanta journal-constitution staff writer

the 10-year-old amy ray staring from the back cover
of her solo debut album looks like a real fireball,
ready to bolt from the frame at any moment in pursuit
of the dog ready to squirm from her hands.  even still,
for that captured moment, her eyes convey a guarded
intelligence, a hint of all that is to come.

some 25 years later, ray is a pop music success story.
despite well over a decade of proximity to the music
industry's "star-maker machinery" (to borrow a phrase
from joni mitchell), she still exudes the earthy smarts
and youthful vigor caught in that photograph her
grandmother shot in a northlake back yard so long ago.

as the indigo girls, ray and emily saliers have released
seven studio albums, three of them platinum, along with
a couple of live sets. they have a long-term major-label
affiliation with epic records and have cultivated a
devoted fan base with little radio support. the duo's
reputation as a hard-working live act reached its peak
with a prominent spot in the 1997 lilith fair, the
successful touring showcase for female musicians
instigated by sarah mclachlan.

eleven years ago, ray started up daemon records, a
small independent record label that has provided a
much-needed outlet for local and regional talent.  tucked
away in a corner of decatur, the rustic, tightly packed
office of daemon -- which released ray's "stag" today --
brims with boxes of cds, several computer-topped
desks and filing cabinets. on a breezy recent morning,
we cleared a little space at one of the desks and talked
with ray about her new record and upcoming solo tour.

q: "stag" feels like it was written as a piece. it holds
together well. was that intentional?

a: i meant it to feel like a piece. some of the songs are
older and i had been working on them for a while.  "black
heart today" is an older song, and "mtns of glory."
those are the first couple of songs i'd written that i was
like, "ok, it's finally happening. i'm writing the stuff that
i'm going to do a solo record with." i started writing a lot
more prolifically in the last few years. i wrote some as i
was recording and i saw things falling together.  it
definitely has a thread running through it. gender
identity, high school -- kinda sorta -- "what's going on
with my hormones" kind of thing.

q: so these aren't necessarily just songs that wouldn't
work as indigo girls songs?

a: i made decisions about songs as i was writing.  it
might take me in a different direction had i been thinking
of it as a solo song or a duo song as far as the way the
melody develops. to me, a solo song has a slightly
more developed melody because i know i'm not
necessarily going to depend on emily to do a counter
melody. the same with guitar parts. it's probably made
me a better writer for indigo girls because i
think i'll be less lazy.

it also has to do with subject matter, where i felt like this
wasn't something that two really strong voices should be
putting across. emily's voice, after all these years,
comes with it's own personality and so does mine.  to
put her on a song like "hey castrator" doesn't feel right. i
mean she could pretty much play guitar and sing with
any kind of music.

she's really good at punk guitar. i wanted to do
something really autonomous. ... "late bloom" was
written after most of the album had already been
recorded ... and i was thinking about [daemon records
band] three finger cowboy, who's called 1945 now.  it
just felt like a song that would be totally for them. that
song was like the missing piece for the record. i feel a
little bit like a late bloomer. it's kind of about the whole
idea of this record.

q: your solo album feels kinda punky. even the stark
appalachian feel of the true solo stuff has that raw feel.

a: i could explore it more because the parameters are
so much different when you're making a low budget
record. i think it would be hard to make a really great
punk record for like $500,000, even though people try it
all the time. there's something to be said for adjusting
what you're doing. it's really hard to make an arena rock
album for $10,000, you know (laughs). i wanted it to be
raw and that's why i approached it this way.

i really enjoy the old field recordings that alan lomax
did. so, like for [the song] "johnny rottentail," i was
really careful about the kind of mike i choose -- a certain
kind of mike that reflected the sonic quality of those old
field recordings. those things don't cost anything.
they're just creative things. that's why this project was
really good for me because i think i can go back to
indigo girls and be like "remember ten years ago when
we used to.r.r. ?" we can do things we kind of lost
touch with.

q: how long did the album take to record?

a: it took a year in between indigo girls tours. i started it
in december [1999]. i was writing before that and touring
with [north carolina punk band] the butchies.  there
were all these seeds being planted. i was thinking about
what block of time i could use, and i picked this certain
block of time. i thought i was going to have all this time
off and i didn't have any off. it was fun, but it was very
hard to separate myself.

q: how did you happen to record "stag" in several
places with several groups of musicians?

a: every band had a studio that i felt either they felt
most comfortable in or it brought out the best part of
them. for [north carolina punk band] the butchies, i'd
heard a lot of stuff that they'd done in durham[n.c.] at
chris stamey's studio. i liked the way that they came
across there, so i just went to them. i'd drive to them and
take my equipment and my microphones, any gear that i
wanted to use to record with. with the rock *a*teens,
in athens there's a studio there that they feel
comfortable in. the thing that i did all in one place was
mix it all in athens because that made it hang together
better for me.

q: speaking of the rock*a*teens, their former rhythm
guitarist kelly hogan appears with the band on the
album, but she'd left for chicago by then hadn't she?

a: she came home for like a wedding and i knew when
she was going to be here. it was a scheduling nightmare
for a year. when's kelly going to be around? when can i
go to new york and kate [schellenbach], josephine
wiggs and joan jett and the studio will be available? my
last mixing day with [producer] david [barbe], i got up at
6 a.m. and i drove to athens. i had to work really early
because i had to be in alabama that day, too. we
finished the mix, then i went and ate dinner with my
aunt. drove through atlanta and i had to do something
here. then i had to go to alabama and practice all night,
and the next day wake up in the morning and record a
song. then i drove from there to nashville and mastered
it. the whole record. it was this long journey at the end
of the record. that's the way the whole record felt to me.
crazy, but in a good way.

q: how did you come to work with these particular

a: some of them i knew through daemon records -- like
the rock*a*teens, 1945, danielle howle. the butchies i
knew because i had met them a while back when kaia
[wilson, formerly of a band called team dresch] first
started this new band. team dresch was important to
me. you can listen to the song that the rock*a*teens
are on, and you go "that's a rock*ateens song," you
know? i was so influenced by some of these artists.
danielle has really influenced my writing. she's helped
me figure out how to be a better songwriter. and 1945?
three finger cowboy was a very big deal to me because
they were doing this pop-punk thing that was everything i
like incorporated into this one style. the best of all the
different worlds. and joan jett? our formative years were
spent listening to joan jett. it's a way to showcase
people that i think are really great.

q: tell me about the album cover.

a: this is a good friend of mine named susan tanner.
she's the lead singer in a band called group sex.
they're a cover band. that's her dancing on her 30th
birthday at dottie's. [the woman with her back to the
camera] is a woman that hangs out there sometimes.  i
just thought it was beautiful. they didn't know each
other. i think this woman was having a hard night or was
really sad and susan's just kind of like that. she
embraces the world and she just started dancing with
her. it was really sweet. after that she blew out the
candles on her birthday cake.

q: and the back cover?

a: that's me that my grandma took at her house.  this
was when she just got her new dog.

q: how old were you there?

a: i don't know. 10, maybe. (then, after a pause for
mischieveous effect) same age as bart simpson.

q: is there a tour planned?

a: we're touring in april. the butchies are my band and
they're going to learn all the stuff they didn't play on.
we're starting march 29 at the echo lounge. we'll be
going up the east coast, then down through the midwest
a little bit and then we're going out the west coast.

q: it's not just going to be just the album, right?

a: i don't know. it's going to be a short set.  (laughs) it's a
three-band bill. we'll have a different opener in different
regions, like tammy hart from mr. lady records is
opening some of it, rose polenzani from daemon, and
sarah dougher from mr. lady. it'll be the first band, then
the butchies play a set, then i play a set and we'll do
some cover stuff together. the record's only 35 or 40
minutes long, so i think i'm probably going to do a
couple of cover songs. i'm not going to do indigo girls
songs, though. i have some other songs that aren't on
the record. i'll have to figure something out, though.
believe me, i've thought about that (she laughs).

q: do you ever forsee anything like lilith fair happening

a: i just don't know. it would be a big project.  lilith fair
was so much a product of the people that organized it. it
was a very specific vision in the way it was run, which
was really successful. it was a little corporate for me in
some of the sponsorship issues, but for the most part
they gave away a lot of money to a lot of great causes. it
was incredibly well organized. it ran so smoothly.
everything did. technically speaking, the sound, the
sound checks, the tickets, the guest list. all those thing
that could fall apart when you do a festival-type show. i
think that's really hard to accomplish. it would be a huge
undertaking. me and emily try to do things on a smaller
level. we always tour with other women bands anyway.
basically, our tours are like miniature lilith fairs a lot of

q: let's talk about daemon. do you basically pick the

a: it's kind of a process -- a group thing. andrea [white]
and stacey [singer] -- they kinda go through the demo
tapes and they'll pull things out and say "you should
listen to this." they give me the whole box and i listen to
everything anyway. if i like something a whole lot, i'll
bring it in. if it doesn't get much reaction, that's where we
drop it. i'm sure there's probably things i feel more
strongly about. you always have to keep in mind that
whoever's working the record and promoting it has to
really love it. we're pretty together on what we like. it
feels like we have the same vision politically,
environmentally, musically, in every way. it's pretty
special at this point.

q: do the artists on daemon come primarily from demos
or bands you've discovered in a live setting?

a: the first few years it was more seeing people.  like
[danielle howle's former band] lay quiet awhile.  they
were opening for ellen james society and i saw them
and i was very excited. james hall, the same way.  i'd
been a big mary my hope fan, but then i saw james
play solo at clairmont lounge. incredible.  afterwards, i
just said "you want to do a record?" same thing with the
rock*a*teens. they were playing with magnapop in
athens at the 40 watt. three finger cowboy was a
demo tape, rose polenzani was a demo tape. i get a lot
of demos that i really like and i keep them and listen to
them for my own pleasure. we can only do four or five
records a year. then there are bands that i didn't get
around to listening to the demos for six months and
they'd already broken up. i write a letter: "i really love
your demo." they write back: "we broke up."

q: the song "lucystoners" criticizes rolling stone
editor jann wenner for "[giving] the boys what they
deserve/ but with the girls he lost his nerve." have you
gotten any reaction from the magazine?

a: no. i'm sure i'm not big enough on their radar screen
to elicit huge response. it's not that harsh. i'm calling it
pretty much like it is. you can make a case pretty easily
for the lack of representation, in an accurate way, of
women in rolling stone. a lot of people have brought it
up. the song taken as a whole is so much bigger than
just that one little nursery rhyme, with the industry and
the way things have changed and women's place in it. at
some point, each individual has to decide whether the
system is really failing them or not, and create your own
infrastructure to a certain degree and try to pull yourself
up and do your thing. it's jann wenner the man that runs
rolling stone, not jann wenner the personal person that
i don't even know.

q: are you worried about the conservative drift of the
political climate?

a: some people are like "well, the good thing about
bush being in office is that it's going to make people
angry enough to actually do things." that doesn't make
me feel any better. we're already behind as it is, with
clinton being much more middle of the road than we
thought he was going to be. i'm sure he had to be in
some ways. i mean, i'm a clinton supporter. i'm not sure
people are going to be riled up. maybe they will.  why do
you want to have a war just because you can get angry
about something? but as an activist, i was doing as
much work during the clinton years as i'm going to be
doing during the bush years.

q: how do you feel about eminem and his grammy

a: i feel like a lot of the people complaining about him
are the same people that wrote so much about him and
made him into this huge media person that he is. i think
eminem is insidiously hateful. i think he's a pig.  but, i
don't ever want any censorship to happen, because the
people in charge of that are inevitably going to be the
people with power -- a certain class of white people,
probably mostly men. i don't want them deciding what i
can listen to.

q: what about the negative effect it might have on kids,

a: a lot of people don't think it affects kids.  they listen
to things that people don't think they should be listening
to, and you either turn out alright or you don't.  i don't
know. i haven't read enough about it. but i know that if i
had a kid that wanted to listen to it, i'd probably be like,
"yeah, that's ok, but we have to sit down and i want you
to read these lyrics out loud to me in your own voice and
understand what they mean and what they feel like to
say." i think there's a lot of kids where it's going in one
ear and out the other.

q: what have you been listening to?

a: i honestly haven't been listening to much. i went out
and bought a bunch of stuff. it was all like dead prez
and all these weird hip-hop compilations just to kind of
get into this other space of music that i don't play, that i
don't know how to make. i do that a lot.

q: do you think you've got more solo stuff in you?

a: i don't know. i was thinking about, you know, just
trying to fit it in with everything else is really hard. me
and emily have a couple of records to make for epic still
and i think we're wanting to make them, and sort of feel
sooner than later about it.

q: two albums left in the contract?

a: yeah. and i know we'll do more after that, too.  but
we're thinking of those as a set. we'll make this next
record, i think we're going to do like a folk record, and
then pretty quickly we'll try to do another record kind of
as a companion piece. two very different records that
are both the things that we do. and i don't know if i want
to do anything in between those two. writing wise it's
hard to write for two. that's just a lot of material. but if i
write a lot of stuff, i'll do something with it.

q: when did you move out of town?

a: it's probably been about six years. it was secret for a
long time. i had a few things happen that were just a
little bit across the line, people showing up and camping
in my front yard, coming to see me at all hours of the
night. just things that i started feeling uncomfortable
with. i'm also not really a city girl and atlanta's big now
for me. i try to drive into town as little as possible, just
because of gas and the commuting and pollution, so i
come into town maybe twice a week to get everything
done. i have to say, i wish they'd build some commuter
lines up i-75, i-85 and 400. i think it would really help.
the traffic got too bad for me. i live in the middle of
nowhere and i love it. i just kinda work at home.  when
i'm not touring, i'm there.

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