It's funny, though -- I've found myself thinking about a lot of things in the past lately (big life changing events will do that to you, I guess) -- and I wanted to post these two specific Indigo Girls songs for you -- which was kind of weird, really -- until a) realized how integral my Indigo Girls fandom was to my general transpottery state (more on that below) and b) I found out that they'd recently played a show here at Town Hall.
See, if it wasn't for my Indigo Girls fandom, I might not have discovered Kelly Hogan, who was a cohort of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in the Athens scene back in the day, when she was the lead singer of The Jody Grind. And if I hadn't doggedly pressed people to listen to Kelly Hogan's long-forgotten solo album The Whistle Only Dogs Can Hear (released, perhaps not coincidentally, by Amy Ray's Daemon Records), it might have taken me a lot longer to discover her SBFF Neko Case. Which would have been sad, really.
Other favorites I discovered more or less via the Indigo Girls are the deceased Benjamin Smoke (Daemon Records also released albums from his bands Smoke and The Opal Foxx Quartet, check out the documentary directed by Jem Cohen about Benjamin's life if you can -- it's a lovely and sad film; Benjamin is also the subject of Kelly Hogan's song "Sugar Bowl"), John Wesley Harding (who also has a Kelly Hogan connection, she sang backup on his album Awake and they did that killer duet of "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock'n'Roll") and pre-Girlfriend Matthew Sweet (who was in a band with Michael Stipe's sister Lynda called Oh Okay in Athens; Oh Okay was a precursor to Magnapop -- remember them?). Good lord, why do I still know all this stuff? Anyway, I also must confess that the Indigo Girls discography was the first Web site I ever visited, with antiquated text-only browser Lynx -- ca. 1993. So, in a roundabout way, they're kind of also responsible for this blog. Oh, dear.
Anyway ... There was one summer when I was in high school (which was, oh, a billion years ago) that I wore out (literally!) a mix tape I'd made of the best (in my mind, anyway) bits of the Indigo Girls' rapidly burgeoning oeuvre. I remained a rather staunch fan until the release of Shaming of the Sun in 1996, when they kind of just lost me. In my mind, their last great release was the aforementioned double live album 1200 Curfews (1995), which just happens to be the album that launched the whole conversation chronicled above that spawned this entry. Another co-worker had caught that Town Hall show; I mentioned to her that I'd actually thought of going (because Town Hall is a great venue), but decided against it, since I hadn't listened to their albums in over a decade. She pointed out that most of the crowd at Town Hall that night probably hadn't either; they all seemed to be there solely to hear Amy and Emily to trot out the the oldies but goodies. Which makes me wonder, did they lose a lot of fans at that point in the mid-90's? I remember their last great LP, Swamp Ophelia (1994), created a lot of furor -- it was as if they'd simultaneously done a Dylan goes electric and a Melissa Etheridge-esque desexualization OR Lilith Fair-fueled in-your-face dykeing-up, depending on your POV -- and people were not happy. Now I'm wondering -- was that when they actually came out? I can't remember.
So anyway, I've been listening to 1200 Curfews all day with a sense of nostalgia -- their first five albums were great, but maybe I just outgrew them? Or they went off in a direction I couldn't follow? I'm still working on how that happened. Anyway, like I said, if it wasn't for them (and that weird, weird boyfriend), you probably wouldn't be reading this right now...
Indigo Girls -- Midnight Train to Georgia (live) (yes, a cover of Gladys Knight and The Pips' version)
Indigo Girls -- Thin Line (live) [my favorite, favorite, favorite song of theirs, I think.]
And now in a total 180, everyone come out to Bootie NYC, Vol. 2 tomorrow at Element (225 E. Houston), okay? We'll be there with our fancy shoes and party dresses on. Hells yes. Because the mashup isn't dead yet, and we've still got a whole lot of dancing to do. Featuring the sparkle-tastic dj skills of our fave Party Ben, A+D, and tons of others.
A plus D - Standing In The Way of Connection (The Gossip vs. Elastica)
Party Ben -- Every Car You Chase (Snow Patrol vs. The Police)
Also, I had dinner with renaissance man Matt LeMay at adorable Indian joint Dimple the other night (it was delish, thanks), and we talked about the New Get Him Eat Him record Arms Down and his upcoming 33 1/3 title about Elliott Smith's XO (I can't think of anyone better suited to write that one, except maybe ... me -- but I never finish my pitches!) To herald the release of Arms Down (June 5) and the band's summer tour, GHEH is releasing high-quality digital versions of their darling tour EPs for free for a limited time.