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WFUV Pop Quiz: The Indigo Girls

by Laura Fedele
A A
Laura Fedele

When Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first met at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in DeKalb County, Georgia, they had no idea that years later they would achieve worldwide fame as the Indigo Girls. The longtime FUV faves came by the station recently for a special live session with Rita Houston in Studio A showcasing their latest album, Staring Down the Brilliant Dream, a two-disc CD featuring 31 songs of the Girls' live performances from their 2006-2009 shows.

The pressure of performing onstage is nothing compared to taking the WFUV Pop Quiz in front of a studio audience! (Check out the entire session here.)

Aside from gear, instruments or your band, you don't go on the road without...?
Amy: Running shoes.
Emily: Computer.

What song do you wish you've written?
E: Anything by Joni Mitchell.
A: "Romeo and Juliet," because I do it all the time. I wish I'd written it.

Who would you like to record one of your songs, dead or alive?
E: Mary J. Blige. She could record any one of our songs. I bow before her greatness.
A: I'd want Outkast's Andre to do a remix of "Driver Education."

What song would you sing in the shower but never in public?
E: I don't ever sing in the shower, but if I had to, I would sing the theme from Phantom of the Opera.
A: I'm going to go with a musical as well and say "Where is Love," from Oliver.

What's the first album you bought?
E: Jackson 5
A: The Partridge Family. I'm a David Cassidy fan.

Someone finds your iPod and hits shuffle. What song do you hope does not come up?
E: I don't know if I'm embarrassed by anything in my iPod.
A: Probably Indigo Girls because my iPod is also my practice thing. All of our songs are on there, so I can't shuffle because then it comes up and it is such a drag.

What's your favorite Bob Dylan song?
E: "Ballad in Plain D"
A: "Sweetheart Like You"

What job would you have if you weren't a musician?
E: English teacher
A: I'd probably be a teacher, too, but not an English teacher. I did major in that, but I think I'm not good enough, so something... liberal, and broad.

Do have any hidden talents?
E: I can cook truffle risotto. I do it with black truffles because white is so hard to get and they are so expensive -- usually I just cheat with truffle oil. It's a lot of stirring, but cooking is very meditative for me.
A: I'm really good at cleaning the house. I'm OCD, so if anybody wants their house cleaned I will have fun doing it, and organize everything in your life.

What's the biggest misconception your fans or the media have about you?
E: The media is very sexist, even before it's homophobic, and I think we've been stigmatized into a very sort of narrow category of musical expression of just playing acoustic guitar and being women. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think our music has more scope than that.
A: Yeah, people think we're gay which is really weird to me. We've been running from it our whole lives [laughs]. Sometimes people think we are totally serious, and we really laugh a lot, but we don't put it in our songs as much because that's harder to do. Some people think me and Emily have been girlfriends. We never have, and we never will.

What wacky thing would you do if you had the time, guts or resources?
E: Retire. Not from Indigo Girls, but from everything else, and just create.
A: I've always wanted to float the whole Mississippi River. That's kind of a challenge because there are a lot of things in the way on the way down, but that's my fantasy. I've always wanted to be able to see everything on the Mississippi River.

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See the other artists who've taken the WFUV Pop Quiz.

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