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Just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean it’s time to start singing the blues. Unless of course ‘the blues’ refers to the color blue, the shade of indigo to be more specific. On this day August 17th in 1989, the Indigo Girls’ self-titled debut album featuring the hit “Closer To Fine” reigned supreme as a Top 30 album on the charts. “Closer To Fine”, featured a collaboration with Irish band, Hothouse Flowers and the album itself managed to snag the duo a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1990. They were also nominated in the category of Best New Artist but lost to Milli Vanilli who eventually had that award revoked. In 2006, the Indigo Girls were featured on Pink’s album, I’m Not Dead, in the song “Dear Mr.President”, a song about LGBT rights, war and poverty, as well as abortion rights, causes the duo stand behind openly. Returning the favor to stand for the cause, Pink performed on the Indigo Girls’ track “Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate”, a song speaking to heterosexism and sexism in the music industry. Both Amy Ray and Emily Saliers identify themselves as lesbians and have become public icons in the movement for LGBT rights as well outspoken activists for the rights of Native Americans and environmental issues. The pair went on in 2007 to support the True Colors Tour 2007, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign, and the duo performed a second time in the True Colors Tour 2008. Ray and Saliers latest album, Beauty Queen Sister, was released in late 2011 and the girls are currently on tour in support of the record.
Also on this August day in 2001, the revolving door of Chicago-based alternative rock outfit Wilco experienced a cast change. Guitarist and keyboard player, Jay Bennett, said goodbye to the band, making him the second member to exit the band in about six months, following drummer Ken Coomer’s exit in March. Disagreements over mixing on the album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot between Bennett and Jim O’Rourke, a musician and record producer, sparked the end of Bennett’s time with the band. In September of 2011, the current line up of Wilco released their latest record The Whole Love, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album in November.
Today also celebrates the birthday of Belinda Carlisle, singer in the 80s girl group The Go-Go’s. Heading one of the most successful girl groups, Carlisle and The Go-Go’s were one of the first whose members wrote their own songs as well as played their own instruments. Selling more than seven million records in just three years with the band, Carlisle went on to have a successful solo career in 1986 and continues to perform, making a performance in 2009 on the 8 th season of Dancing With the Stars. Today is her 54th birthday.
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This Week In Music History: August 10, 2012