lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n126-news

ig-news-digest        tuesday, october 25 2005        volume 08 : number 126

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] cincinnati news record article  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopoli]


date: tue, 25 oct 2005 08:17:42 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] cincinnati news record article

hey folks,

here's an article from the news record, from the university of
cincinnati (which i've just learned has three ns and only one t !)

you can read it online at:

- -sherlyn

- ---begin forwarded article---
the news record - arts & entertainment
issue: 10/24/05

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

amy ray to rock southgate house
by laura sayer

amy ray and the volunteers will perform at newport's southgate house
this tuesday to promote ray's newest solo album, prom.

the album cover, an old photo of a little girl swathed in a million
ruffles of a prom dress, gives way to the stark liner notes, which
feature ray dressed in various roles: jock, cheerleader and nerd among

but the songs on the album are not nearly so stark, nor role-oriented.

although political and social ideas are at work here, the southern
rock and punk whole is an emotive mosaic of all the influences of that
act upon a mind, body and soul in formation.

ray said the album is about "camaraderie, perspective, how you become
politicized, where your energy comes from."

the upbeat rhythm spins quickly through the story, but upon
dissection, the lyrics are pearls of raw and brilliant wisdom.

the album opens with "alright, i hear what you're saying to me/
alright, i hear what i just can't do/but i got this spark; i got to
feed it something/or put it out for good."

the song "blender" complicates these feelings, documenting how each
adolescent gets mixed, "blended" into the whole of society.

ray poses the question, "how do we sing against the system, when we're
a main offender?" and her answer is stunning: "put it in a blender,
and let me get the hang of how we fit together and how we came to be."

the album fixes a narrow frame of reference, which ray said,
incredulously, was not that difficult: "i just started writing songs,
then fell into that groove."

ray said in a phone interview that she's excited about playing solo in
cincinnati, since she's never visited the city apart from the indigo
girls, the female songwriter duo she's been identified with since
their self-titled debut in 1989.

she described her solo tour with words like "grassroots" and
"independent," while she said "the indigo girls have something that i
could never achieve on my own: having a partner, harmony. the constant
compromise shares a burden."

for ray, the name of her fellow musicians, the volunteers, express the
spirit of the revolving group of performers and conveys a sense of
their energy and community.

although ray said she didn't have a specific political agenda with
this album, she certainly connects the high school age group through
her activism in the areas of indigenous issues, the environment,
pro-choice, racism and homosexual issues.

but the activist in ray developed second to the performer.

"i knew all along that i would always do this," ray said, then
clarified herself, "but i guess i didn't feel completely solid until
about 10 years ago."

this was the point, ray said, where she realized that success is not
measured by a record deal, but by where you're at with your own

"i got to this place where i understood that it was always going to be
about the process, and that was okay," she said.

originally from atlanta, ray studied religion and english at emery
university. she said that performing on campus, with all those people
knowing and supporting you, makes college a great time to be
developing as an artist.

while her day-to-day life is fairly structured by the tour, at home,
during periods when she's writing, she must discipline herself.

"otherwise," ray said, "i'd never do anything."

but ray also said she honors her obligations to others. "inevitably,
there are people connected to you, that are effected by your actions,"
she said, adding that this is not just a personal philosophy, but a
political idea, one that fuels the sense of community in her activism.

"every time you turn on a light switch, you're consuming something...
and are you ok with that," ray said.

ray said she does not have separate personal and political agendas,
but that her two sides "inform each other."

the musician and her album share this sense of wholeness; amy ray's
intelligent activist has informed the feeling adolescent, and the
result is prom.

- -----------------------------------------------------------------
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end of ig-news-digest v8 #126

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