lifeblood: listlogs: 2009v11n044-news

ig-news-digest         thursday, june 4 2009         volume 11 : number 044

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] windy city times amy interview  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopoli]


date: thu, 04 jun 2009 10:03:31 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] windy city times amy interview

hey folks,

here's an amy interview from the windy city times.  you can read it online


- ---begin forwarded article---
music: ray of light: talking with an indigo girl
by sarah terez rosenblum

folk/rock duo emily saliers and amy ray, a.k.a. the indigo girls, make up a
hearty pair, surfing their career's crests and hollows for over two
decades, occasionally drifting, but never capsizing, always remaining
reliably afloat. despite recently being dropped from disney records, the
indigo girls continue to approach life with a zen-infused cocktail of
acceptance and optimism. currently on tour in support of their album,
poseidon and the bitter bug, indigo girls hit illinois june 26. recently,
ray shared her thoughts on her writing, nature as anger management, and how
she keeps on keepin' on.

windy city times: you play ravinia almost every summer. what do you like
about that venue?

amy ray: it's good to have a place we've played enough to build up a
relationship with the audience and an understanding of how the show goes.
we like that specific venue a lot. if we hate a venue, we don't play it
again but when we go back to places, it means we're into them.

wct: indigo girls started out independent, then signed with a major label
fairly early on. having gone indie again, what are your feelings about your
career trajectory?

ar: we started in 1980, in high school, touring up and down the east coast,
developing an audience before we got offered a record deal in a weird,
out-of-the-blue circumstance in b88. we wanted to see what it would be
like to have a little help, so we got to be part of a label [ epic records
] that, at the time, was really developing artists. now, the industry is so
different that singer-songwriters are usually better off staying
independent longer. we're independent now because we got dropped by our
last label. it was so obvious to me, and had been for probably 10 years,
that we needed to be doing our own thing, because we really aren't the kind
of band that flourishes in a major label environment.

wct: on the new album, you re-recorded "driver's education," a song
previously released on one of your solo records. why?

ar: mitchell [ froom, producer of poseidon and the bitter bug ] said that
song kinda stuck with him, and i had always thought it might be a fun song
to do with emily. so i asked if he wanted to try it. he liked the idea, so
we just went for it.

wct: speaking of your solo work, emily sometimes attends your performances.
what's it like to see her in front of you rather than beside you?

ar: it makes me pretty nervous because i know her critical mind. i know
what she's listening for, so i really want to do well. typically, we have
her up to play. she'll grab a guitar and do a big ol' solo at the end. it's
always kind of a shared moment when she's there.

wct: back to the new album. your song, "sugar tongue," seems lyrically
reminiscent of "cordova," a cut on an earlier album. both songs have a
dreamy, liquid quality studded with islands of very concrete imagery. is
the similarity accidental?

ar: it's this thing that happens in me when i write songs about colonialism
and imperialism, that idea of consuming the earth and wrestling with our
greediness and how things shift over time, and the way the paradigm sort of
always stays the same. in "cordova," i'm wrestling with a very close
relationship, born out of activism, between an indigenous person steeped in
this rich history of activism and a white person. i try to use concrete
images because it's a really big idea and i don't want to say it in a big
way; i want to say it in small, day-to-day ways. and yeah, "sugar tongue"
grew out of some of the same inspirations.

i think when i write about those things, it's in this sensual way, because
i don't want it to feel hard. it's not edgy to me, it's bigger than that.
everything that makes us so soft and rich and corpulent is gotten on the
backs of people that are suffering. obviously, there are more nuances, but
on a black-and-white level, it's reality. i write more around sensuality
and nature and landscape and softness of human skin as opposed to the way
we ravage the earth and steal people from one country into enslavement. i
just go the route that's soft because i want there to be a juxtaposition
that feels weird to you.

wct: you've said prop 8's passage didn't shock you. what were your thoughts
on the recent iowa supreme court ruling?

ar: it's interesting to see where things go well and where they don't. it
depends on who's in power in the court system and it's also important to do
the work on the ground, go one-on-one with people and get the community to
not be scared. california was a wake-up call. you don't know if there's a
disconnect between what people want and what's legislated, or maybe
progressive people actually don't want gay marriage and they're afraid to
say it, but when they go a voting booth they can just vote the way they
want to vote. do we need to legislate it and not worry about what people
want because it's like the civil-rights movement, people just need to catch
up, or are we misreading everything? i haven't figured it out yet.

wct: you have an impressive ability to let things roll off your
back--artistic criticism, political events--but at the same time retain the
sense of urgency needed to work for change. what enables you to walk that

ar: emily and i have been mentored by people in the indigenous community,
like winona laduke, and i have to say, that's their strong point. even with
obama as president, they still work against the grain. but they have a
sense of humor and a way of letting things roll off when they don't win,
but also immediately going back to keeping their eye on the prize. not even
a blink; they just get back to work. that's how you have to be or you'll be
defeated. i also have this greater belief that there's a mystery to the
balance of things, and we're not gonna win everything, but if we aren't
doing any work, the balance is gonna be so thrown off that we'll lose
everything. in a way, i have low expectations at the same time as high
ones. it's this zen place that just works for me.

wct: after complimenting your amicability, i'm wondering if there is
anything that just pisses you off?

ar: oh, god. i mean, i'm sort of intolerant. i just don't suffer fools. i
don't like authority at all. everyday bureaucratic situations really make
me mad. you go to get something done, and someone says they can't take care
of it, someone else has to, but they totally have the power to take care of
it. i have to be disciplined about my temper. i used to have a real anger
problem, but i moved to the woods and it changed.

indigo girls will be at ravinia in highland park friday, june 26, at 7 p.m.
tickets are $34-$175; see .

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end of ig-news-digest v11 #44

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