Stag

Stag

4.5 2
by Amy Ray
     
 

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Amy Ray has a message. She always has. But as half of the Indigo Girls, she was a bit more measured, reserved, and polite, if you will. Still, she wants to be heard and what she has to say on Stag is very much worth listening to. The disclaimer that it's a return to her Southern rock and punk roots might turn some folkies off, but…  See more details below

Overview

Amy Ray has a message. She always has. But as half of the Indigo Girls, she was a bit more measured, reserved, and polite, if you will. Still, she wants to be heard and what she has to say on Stag is very much worth listening to. The disclaimer that it's a return to her Southern rock and punk roots might turn some folkies off, but it shouldn't. Stag is punk done in the tradition of Patti Smith and the Replacements rather than the Sex Pistols. It is punk in its rebellious spirit, its contagious energy, and its anti-establishment calls to action. More than that, though, it is pure Amy Ray -- her activism and her artistry melding and achieving something remarkable. It shows the full panorama of her as a person and a musician, from political outrage to self-doubt, from hardcore guitars to mandolins. Yet the consistency remains unscathed, the potency of the message unabated. "Johnny Rottentail" leads the march to glory. A solo mandolin and vocal race each other to the end of this "tale of one bad seed" who was hanged for a crime feeling no remorse, and the sibling who tells the story. The next cut, "Laramie," is especially sobering in this era of political debate over hate crimes. With a quiet, steady urgency it pleads for an end to the hypocrisy of the rich right wing's sermons of love and deeds of hate. Then there's "Lucystoners"'s attack on the oppressive machismo of the music industry and its lack of support for women and gays. Not subtle points she's making, and she's just three songs into this thing. You still have to get through "Hey Castrator," which seems to delve into a man's uncontrollable urges to rape and kill and the physical solutions that would end his torture. Don't worry. Just keep listening. It's all good. Amid the outcries of injustice, all of these songs surely hold personal truths for Ray, but a few seem to be bouts with more personal demons. "Measure of Me" and "Lazyboy" certainly feel more intimate, both musically and lyrically. To record these tunes, Ray turned to the bands who inspired her melodic wanderlust, handpicking different groups for each song. The Butchies are the most well-represented with five tracks, but 1945 and the Rock-A-Teens make the roster with one song each. And, the riot grrrl dream team of Josephine Wiggs, Joan Jett, and Kate Schellenbach throws down for "Hey Castrator." Ray describes Southern punk as "subversiveness with a smile." That's the essence of Stag. Bottom line: If you appreciate the heart of Ray's work with the Indigo Girls, you will love this record.

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Editorial Reviews

Billboard - Larry Flick
On her first solo effort, Ray gets in touch with her inner guitar-goddess and delivers some of her most inspired and insightful lyrics to date.... This all adds up to an extraordinarily potent recording, one that will likely be among 2001's best.
CMJ New Music Monthly - Jonathan Perry
It only took the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray 20 years to get around to making her solo debut. And it's hard to say what's more surprising: hearing the veteran acoustic folkie kick out the jams riot-grrrl style with upstart feminist punks the Butchies, or the fact that it all sounds so, well, good.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/06/2001
Label:
Daemon Records
UPC:
0767691903026
catalogNumber:
19030
Rank:
148891

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amy Ray   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Joan Jett   Guitar,Vocals
David Barbe   Sounds
Kelly Hogan   Guitar,Vocals
Kate Schellenbach   Drums,Glockenspiel
Josephine Wiggs   Bass,Keyboards
Danielle Howle   Vocals
Melissa York   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Kaia Wilson   Guitar,Vocals
Katharine McElroy   Bass,Vocals
Larry Holt   Guitar
Will Lochamy   Drums
Hunter Manasco   Guitar,Vocals
Alison Martlew   Bass
Chris Lopez   Guitar,Drums,Vocals
Gerry Hansen   Drums

Technical Credits

Amy Ray   Producer

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Stag 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago