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Amy Ray
PROM
(DAEMON)

The rockier half of Indigo Girls surprised everyone with 2001s punked-out Stag. Her second solo effort, Prom, refines Stags rowdy grrrl punk; the result has the rock edge of early Melissa Etheridge albums set in more of an indie-punk framework. On Stag, Ray was backed by the fem-punk band the Butchies. This time, shes tried to split the difference between that and slick Indigo Girl folk rock; Proms players include Donna Dresch and Jody Bleyle of Team Dresch and Luscious Jackson drummer Kate Schellenbach. Gender dynamics remain a big part of the equation: "I am an overachiever of the wrong persuasion/A pep rally kid/A New Gender Nation with a new desire," she sings on "Put It Out for Good." "Rural Faggot" speaks from the perspective of small-town gays; "Sober Girl" is a soaring punk love song. The only slow track is "Rodeo," which has the Southern beauty of a Lucinda Williams tune. More than anything, Ray sounds as if she were having fun. And a little fun goes a long way.

(Amy Ray headlines this Monday, April 18, at the Paradise, 967 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston; call 617-228-6000.)

BY ZOË GEMELLI


Issue Date: April 15 - 21, 2005
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