The album, Wright’s eighth and first in five years, is a collection of characters, opinions, and moods that draws listeners into its world. It’s reminiscent of Carole King’s Tapestry, not so much for its musical flavors, but because it’s the perfect record to absorb end to end through headphones while lolling on a bed on a rainy day. There are no steering wheel fist-pounders like Wright’s hits "Shut Up and Drive" and "Single White Female." She trades that pacing for a soulful Americana set that tackles such subjects as religious hypocrisy, forgiveness, and the rudderless, somewhat scary state of being in love.
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It was with some trepidation that Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls stepped onto the set of the Amazon series Transparent. Creator Jill Soloway had invited Ray, along with her folk-rock act’s other half, Emily Saliers, to play themselves, performing their fan-favorite “Hammer and a Nail” in an episode largely set at an all-women music festival, which the show’s central character, transgender woman Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), attends with her two daughters.
Some viewers may note that the fictitious Idyllwild Wimmin’s Music Festival in “Man on the Land,” the ninth episode in Transparent’s second season, is very obviously a send-up of the real-life Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, or “Michfest,” which staged its final gathering in August after 40 years. Indigo Girls, who played Michigan many times, refused to perform at the last festival because of the organizers’ policy that only “womyn-born-womyn” could attend. Over the years, many trans women participated in the weeklong, clothing-optional convergence of music, art, and politics, but founder Lisa Vogel never fully welcomed them.
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Her followers on Twitter know that Sandra Bernhard shares a dizzying number of missives.
“I mix it up, honey, tomorrow night is a vegan potato kale enchilada. That’s how we roll,” said a recent tweet. Another said simply: “7:20 is the new 10:30.” To some, the domesticity might seem surprising.
The Jewish Daily Forward
When Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first offered up their guileless lyrics, braided harmonies, and fevered acoustic strums in Atlanta's Little Five Points pub in the mid '80s, the ladies in the audience appreciatively tossed bras and underwear at their feet. Pop culture has since had its fickle way with their careers, but Indigo Girls are nevertheless icons to a core of lesbian fans who through the years have co-mingled with frat boys and neo-hippies as they all pumped fists in the air at shows to the duo's signature song "Closer to Fine."
In the comic-book frame, we can see the heroine: a squat, somewhat disheveled contrast to the smooth, self-possessed Israeli soldiers by whom she is surrounded. Her eyes, etched with a couple of ink dashes, nevertheless betray both vulnerability and alienation. Peering out of a pouchy Ashkenazic face, they seek out friendship, sex and acceptance from her Sephardic companions.