TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Indigo Girls

It’s a collaboration that’s lasted 35 years now and is still going strong. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers – Indigo Girls! They’re the duo behind the songs “Closer to Fine,” “Galileo,” “The Power of Two,” and so many other darling folk rock classics. Amy and Emily have been writing, arranging and performing together since high school. They recorded these quiet, beautiful melodies, usually using pretty simple arrangements: an acoustic guitar, maybe a mandolin or electric guitar added for flourish. The band has a new album that dropped last month, it’s called Look Long. Guest host Linda Holmes chats with Amy and Emily about the new record. What it’s like to parent during quarantine. Plus, we chat about their eclectic taste in music. Find out which Indigo Girl is listening to Young Thug these days!

Transcript

music

Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

linda holmes

I’m Linda Holmes. It’s Bullseye.

music

“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Linda speaks, then fades out.

linda

It’s a collaboration that’s lasted 35 years, now, and it’s still going strong. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the Indigo Girls. [Music fades in.] You know, them, right? “Closer to Fine”, “Galileo”, “The Power of Two”.

music

“Power of Two” by Indigo Girls. Chase all the ghosts from your head I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed Smarter than the tricks played on your heart We’ll look at them together then we’ll take them apart Adding up the total of a love that’s true Multiply life by the power of two [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

Amy and Emily have been writing, arranging, and performing together since high school. They recorded these quiet, beautiful melodies—usually using pretty simple arrangements. An acoustic guitar, maybe a mandolin or electric guitar for a flourish. To a lot of people, though, the Indigo Girls are more than a band. Amy and Emily have been out as lesbians for much of their adult lives and they spoke out for LGBTQ rights at a time when that could have major consequences on a performer’s career. They’ve long been activists with Indigenous communities, particularly with regard to environmental issues. They started the nonprofit Honor of the Earth. Those themes come up in their music, too. [Music fades in.] But at the heart of a lot of their songs are two people singing together beautifully.

music

“Least Complicated” by Indigo Girls. Oh, I just sit up in the house and resist And not be seen until I cease to exist A kind of conscientious objection A kind of dodging the draft [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

And they’re still going strong! The band has a new album. It’s called Look Long, and it just dropped last month. [Music fades in.] Let’s listen to a song from it. This one’s called “Change My Heart”.

music

“Change My Heart” from the album Look Long by Indigo Girls. The four fundamental forces came to play In the American schism And we looked gravely on but gravity Doesn’t stand a chance against Magnetism, electromagnetism We’ve been herded and stalked We’ve been buckshot into tiny factions All the apparent power plays [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

Amy Ray, Emily Saliers. Welcome to Bullseye! [They thank her.] I have to say, I arrived at Oberland in the fall of 1989, and I think the whole time I was there, you were probably the artists most likely to float out into the hallway through anybody’s open door—mine included—so, it’s great to get a chance to talk to you.

emily

My sister went to Oberland.

linda

Aha! [They chuckle.]

amy

That’s where it was coming from.

linda

[Laughs.] It’s a huge understatement to say that this album is coming out in a different environment than the other ones that you’ve done. One thing that you’ve specifically been known for is that you’re on the road all the time. Now, we’re all staying in. The tour was canceled. What has it been like, having a record go out into the world without you being able to see people and have them see you?

amy

Well, it’s definitely different from—you know—our norm. But one thing about us is we’ve kind of always been able to adapt. [Chuckles.] To different situations. And that’s good. But I also think, like, this time is just prescient for so many reasons that you look at it and think, like, well. It’s not about, like, whether it’s a good or a bad time to release a record, ‘cause that’s kind of the least of it. It’s just, like, looking at it and saying, like, “What’s going—like, what’s going on around this? Like, this is—I mean, covid and then, now, this and the triumph of all the protestors and the—just the major strides that hopefully are gonna stick and really turn into something positive for change in our social justice. And—I don’t know. I just think it’s, like—it’s a mind-boggling time. I haven’t even wrapped my head around it, to be honest. You know.

linda

Yeah, I’m not sure anybody has wrapped their head around it. And you both have daughters at home, right?

emily

Yeah, we’ve got—my wife and I have a seven-year-old and Amy’s daughter is six years old.

linda

What has the quarantine parenting been like?

amy

It’s been—for me, it’s been like a mixed bag. You know. Like—this is Amy—I… like, my child was really into the homeschooling thing and she actually took to it really well and quite enjoyed it. And her dad… is in our life and her dad’s partner is, like, the guy that kind of is like our manny, in a way. So, she loves him to death. And so, the fact that she got to spend more time with him and with us—‘cause we would split up who did the school on what day. So, that was kind of fun. And… but, I have—and it’s been, like, a blessing to be home with her a lot. But I’ve definitely seen, you know, cracks in the—in the surface, there. And she’s had a couple of moments when she’s talked to me about what’s going on and I can tell she’s just, like, really thinking about it a lot. And she’s very stoic. I mean, she’s really funny, too. Like, she’s got—she makes a lot of jokes, all the time. Like, she likes knock-knock jokes and so she’s joking around all the time. But every now and then I see her, and I can just catch this expression on her face, and I know what she’s thinking about, you know? And she’ll say, like, “You know, after the virus,” [chuckles] or something like that. Like, she’s always prefacing everything with—it’s always like, “After the virus, or before the virus, do you remember this.” And so, you know—but now, with all the protesting and stuff, I mean, she goes to a Quaker school, so there’s a lot of activism at that school, already. And they do a lot of demonstrations, generally, as part of the school curriculum. So, this has been a really important moment for her to just start learning about this social justice, you know, and how important it is. So, there’s a lot of stuff going on and it’s all been for—on my end—I don’t know what—Emily, you’ve got your own.

emily

We were—my family was down in Florida for the beginning of the isolation, and so we started doing the—some schooling at home and it was—she—my daughter was really resistant, at first. She had this beloved first grade teacher and she was really sad that she couldn’t continue her first grade with her teacher. So, I think she was resistant to her parents teaching her. But then we got into a routine. We sort of figured out a schedule and I’ve been realizing how much kids need a certain amount of routine. And then, when we got back to Georgia and the school year officially ended, we sort of had to figure out a way to delineate the school year from summertime. And when she can play and which she can play with in our little pod and stuff like that. So, there’s been some adjustment. She’s very resilient, as a lot of kids are. And, you know, she is anxious about the virus and she’s been anxious about protests. But we went to our first protest where we live, in—you know, in the suburbs of Atlanta—and she—we all wore our masks and we went there, and she listened. She stood on her feet for two hours, listened to the speakers and the singers and the people who’d been affected by police violence, in our community. And then we marched. And I was really proud of her to overcome that fear. But—so, I know that she has that anxiety beneath the surface, but there’s been a lot of serious stuff. But in between that, she’s been playing with her pod of friends.

linda

I also wanna ask you about—just to shift gears a little bit—the new record also has a song on it called “Country Radio”, about a gay kid who loves country music. I wanna hear a little bit of that.

music

“Country Radio” from the album Look Long by Indigo Girls. I work at the mall food court And when I get home I fix something to eat, settle into my seat And turn on the country radio I know every word to every song And they make these lonely nights a little less long ‘Cause then I’m under the stars, Regular at the bar, Got a perfect girl, I got a worn-in truck We go down to the river And the moonlight is silver But most of all, I get to be in love I wanna be that boy I wanna be that girl I wanna know what it’s like to fall in love Like most of the rest of the world [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

Emily, that’s yours, right? Can you tell me a little bit about that song?

emily

Yeah, that song came about—I spent a lot of time in Nashville, and I drive from Atlanta and then home from Nashville. And on the way home, from Nashville, every single time, I listen to country radio. And I just pick up the stations as I can catch them on my drive home. And I listen to these songs. They’re so well crafted and well sung. I’ve always loved country music and I love country—the sound of country singer’s voices and the well craftedness of the songs. And so, I was listening to these stories and all these songs I love, and I started to get this feeling that I could not fit my own life—my own queer life—into these heteronormative songs. And it started to make me feel wistful and sort of other-than. And so, I decided to write a song about that feeling. And it’s completely autobiographical except that I chose a kid or a young person in a small town, instead of me in my own life environment. But it’s meant to describe that feeling of otherness and not being represented in song or in culture. And it also talks about passing the church placards, of which I’ve seen plenty of myself that are… they say that, you know, you’re a sinner. You’re gonna go to Hell. You can’t be gay. All those messages that come through organized religion. So, it was a—it’s a song that addresses that.

linda

When I—when I heard this song, what it made me think of—I have to ask, do you know the story about running into you at Applebee’s that is in the memoir of the writer Dave Holmes?

emily

[Laughs.] No!

amy

I heard that story.

linda

Okay. This is one of my favorites. For people who don’t know, the book is called Party of One. It’s Dave Holmes’ memoir—he’s no relation to me, by the way. And Dave is talking about—he was a senior in college. He was at a student leadership conference at Emory University. It was going very badly. He was trying to figure out how to come out to his parents and he was sitting out on the patio at Applebee’s with a bunch of friends, getting drunk, telling them, “I need someone to tell me what to do.” And so, I’m gonna read a little bit of this and pick up from— He says, “We are now at the part of this story that you are not going to believe. But, again, this actually happened. I sat back in my wrought-iron patio seat, wiped my eyes, and lit a Marlboro Light. ‘That’s it,’ I exhaled, ‘I just want someone to tell me what to do.’ These words left my mouth, and in the very next second the door opened and out onto the patio of the Applebee’s across from Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, walked the Indigo Girls. The Indigo Girls. Not the Indigo Girls and their friends. Not the Indigo Girls and their manager and publicist. Just the Indigo Girls. Just Amy and Emily taking some time out to enjoy some boneless wings with their choice of sauce.” And Dave goes on to explain that he—because he was drunk, turned Emily, who he called Amy, and said, “I am about to come out to my parents, and I don’t know what to do.” And that Emily said, “Coming out is hard. It’s something you have to do on your own. You gotta trust yourself.” Patted him on the knee. And he says, “I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the best advice I’d ever gotten. I flew home to St. Louis the next day and stood face-to-face with my parents and took a deep breath and immediately waited a couple more weeks and then came out to them. It was awful and it took some time for things to be okay. But they were, eventually. I trusted myself and I got through it.” And the reason I ask you about that story, is I feel—when I heard that song, I thought it’s [chuckles] sort of a—it’s a world full of Daves. And Dave happens to be a gay man, but I think especially queer women—in my experience, talking to them—who sort of want to come to you and say, “What do I do?” And I’m curious about whether you have that experience a lot—not that experience, but whether you feel that in the—in your relationship with your fans.

emily

Well, we definitely hear a lot of queer people who come to us and tell us that our music helped them, either through coming out or through the journey of accepting the reality of their sexuality or their gender journeys or identification or non-identification or whatever. You know, the vast array of those struggles and those coming-to-terms-with and reckonings and also epiphanies. And so, we know that a lot of our fans do—have used the music and the music has helped them to get through those times. It’s really gratifying, because—you know, for me and Amy—there were always artists who came before us who helped us with our own journeys. And so, it’s a little bit of just, like, being there at that particular time when those people are going through their own journeys and getting onto the music. And then there will be future musicians who speak to the next generations of journey-ers. So, it’s really cool the way that works and it’s very gratifying to think that our music could be—that someone could take it along on their journey and it could alleviate their pain or help their struggle at all. It’s really gratifying.

linda

We’ll finish up with the Indigo Girls soon. Which Indigo Girl is listening to Young Thug, these days? Is it Emily? Is it Amy? The answer, after the break. It’s Bullseye from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

promo

Music: Acoustic guitar, keyboard, and drums. Sam Sanders: Hey, y’all. I’m Sam Sanders, host of It’s Been A Minute. There is a lot going on in the world. So, on my show, my guests and I make sense of the news and culture through conversation. It feels like we’re living in three movies at once. [Laughs.] Speaker 1: That’s a good way to put it. Speaker 2: It feels like a Mike Judge movie. It feels like a Spike Lee movie. And it feels like a Michael Bay movie. [Laughs.] Like! Sam: Every Tuesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe now to It’s Been a Minute, from NPR. [Music fades out.]

promo

[A telephone rings.] Hotshot Hollywood Producer: Listen, I’m a hotshot Hollywood movie producer. Music: Fun, grooving music begins to play quietly in the background. Producer: You have until I finish my glass of [articulating] kom-bu-cha to pitch me your idea. Go. [Slurping sounds.] Ify: Alright! It’s called Who Shot Ya: a movie podcast that isn’t just a bunch of straight, white dudes. I’m Ify Nwadiwe, the new host of the show and a certified BBN. Producer: BBN? Ify: Buff Black Nerd. Alonso: I’m Alonso Duralde, an elderly gay and legit film critic who wrote a book on Christmas movies. Drea: I’m Drea Clark, a loud, white lady from Minnesota. Ify: Each week, we talk about a new movie in theaters and all the important issues going on in the film industry. Alonso: It’s like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner meets Cruising. Ify: And if it helps seal the deal? I can flex my muscles while we record each episode. Producer: I’m sorry, this is a podcast?! I’m a movie producer. [Disdainfully] How did you get in here? Drea: Ify, quick! Start flexing! Ify: [Dramatically] Bicep! Lats! Chest! Who Shot Ya, dropping every Friday on MaximumFun.org, or wherever you listen to podcasts. [Music ends.]

linda

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Linda Holmes, in for Jesse Thorn. My guests are Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, the Indigo Girls. They have a new album out, now. It’s called Look Long. Let’s get back into our conversation. I know it’s hard to kind of lay out things like this for people who are outside of it, but what does your process look like for when a song—you write a song and then you start working on that kind of arranging stuff?

emily

Well, usually we have a project in mind when we start arranging songs, together. Unless there’s a specific thing that we’re doing for a particular song. But typically—so, for instance, we knew that we were gonna be making this—Look Long, the newest album—we had started writing and collecting our songs. And then when we got to a point, even if we didn’t have all the songs, we had a bulk of the songs that we felt pretty sure were gonna go in the album. And then I—I’ll send Amy demos of my songs. Just, like, really, like—you know, rough demos. Singing the melody and playing the chords. And then Amy’ll do the same for me; we’ll familiarize a little bit like that. Sometimes when we toured, we could hear each other practicing our newly written songs during sound check. So, we’d get a sense of them and then we get together. Like, I’ll drive up to Amy’s house and we’ll just sit down there and start hammering out ideas. Or Amy will come to my house and we’ll sit and hammer out ideas. And so, like, the basic rule is that whoever wrote the song gets the last word on what she wants to accept for an arrangement. But there’s a ton of brainstorming. And we could literally go through a gazillion different note choices on one line. And then, Amy’s usually more clear about the ideas she has in mind, typically, for her songs. And even for my songs. Like, she’s really clear about parts she wants to try. And then we’ll just try it and then we sort of land on something that feels really good and we’ll record it. And then we’ll step away for a minute and then we know whether or not that arrangement is working. And if it isn’t, we get back together and hammer out that song again. And then we also try different instruments. Like, Amy might say, “Well, I thought maybe the slide guitar would sound good on this. So, I’ll take a slide guitar.” Or Amy will play mandolin instead of acoustic or we’ll use different capo positions. And it is, like, this vast brainstorming sessions. And they’re exhilarating. And they’re hard work. And they’re tiring. But we just have a way of knowing when something is next to complete, if not complete, in terms of the arrangement.

amy

And I think we both, like, write—you know, like, I’ll write—I’ll write everything. Like, I use a lyric page and she’ll write the lyrics out. And I’ll just diagram, like, all the finger positions and, like, I have all my chord diagrams from the last—since 19—you know—90. I actually write notes down. My harmony notes. And then I’ll scribble them out, write the new set of them out. ‘Cause I have to have everything down on paper, so I don’t forget it. Emily work’s a slightly different way. And then sometimes we’ll change—like, if I hear a recording of us doing a song that—like, trying it out and I’ll know if the song needs to be fixed. So, I’ll rewrite the bridge or shorten the chorus or change something around. So, there’s also that. You know, that happens a lot. But we’ve pretty much had the same process ever since we started—which is—except the only thing being that when we first started, Emily would teach me how to sing harmony and I had to learn. You know, really learn the part as if it was a separate melody. ‘Cause I wasn’t naturally just, like, a harmony singer. And now I can do it, you know, on my own more. But that’s really the only shift we’ve made.

linda

Yeah, it’s interesting to me that you—I think a lot of—in a lot of collaborative relationships, there is a tendency for people to feel like, you know, the kind of public face of the thing is, “We do everything together.” And it’s interesting to me that the two of you have always maintained that, you know, “Person who wrote the song gets the last word,” as you’re saying. Typically, that’s also the person who sings lead. It’s interesting. I—it’s interesting that you choose to kind of keep things a little bit separate. And I wonder how that helps to kind of keep everybody’s creativity flowing, if that makes sense.

amy

I think it’s key. I mean, I don’t think we could write together even if we wanted to. But I also think, yeah, it’s fortunate, actually, because we—it helps us survive and stay together. ‘Cause we have our own creative space. I think it’s just—we couldn’t work any other way and I don’t think we could have been together this long if we tried to work the other way. ‘Cause you need your own expression, you know? And you need to have that moment to yourself to kind of work on something and figure it out. And we know that about each other and we know that about humans, just generally, earthlings need their own creative time. So, I think—yeah. I think that’s part of the reason why we’re still singing together, for sure. [Chuckles.] No doubt about it.

linda

Yeah. You know it’s funny, because as you say that, I think, “Oh! I know a really good song that’s kind of about that idea of ‘together but still individual’.” And it’s “Power of Two”! And it’s by you! [They laugh.] So, you probably know it.

amy

That’s hilarious. You’re very funny.

linda

I wanna talk about a couple of pieces of music. Is it still true, do you think, that the most likely thing for people to start singing when they hear your name is “Closer to Fine”?

amy

Or “Galileo”, maybe.

linda

Yeah. I would pick “Galileo”, but I feel like a lot of people pick “Closer to Fine”.

emily

Well, I think “Closer to Fine”—you know, it came from our first album with Epic and it got some—it got a lot of radio play relative to, you know—we’re not really a radio hit band. So, it sort of was part of that catalyst of when people first started to get to know us.

linda

Yeah, I have to tell you, I was—I was singing college acapella, like everyone did in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. [They laugh.] I was singing college acapella and we did a—we did a parody song to the tune of “Closer to Fine” that was about losing your college ID. Absolutely true. Absolutely happened.

amy

That’s amazing.

linda

I wanna hear a clip of it. [Music fades in.] This is “Closer to Fine” from 1989—AKA, the year Linda went to college.

music

“Closer to Fine” by Indigo Girls. I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ ‘bout my life Maybe give me insight between black and white And the best thing you’ve ever done for me Is to help me take my life less seriously It’s only life after all, yeah Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear I wrap my fear around me like a blanket I sailed my ship of safety ‘til I sank it I’m crawling on your shores And when I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains. [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

I’m sorry, I was—I think we’re having an interview, but I was just listening to the song. [They laugh.] How do you bring new energy to a song like that when it is burned into people’s brains? I mean, you have a couple of live albums. I particularly am a fan of 1200 Curfews and the song starts and everybody “aaaah!” How do you bring something new to that song when you perform it, now?

emily

Well, a lot of times how it’s done is that whoever’s opening the show that night comes and sings. And usually he or she or they will sing the last verse—take the last verse and then— [Linda makes an “oooh” sound.] And then they add harmony to the verses and every once in a while a fan from the audience will come up and sing it. And so, we just—sometimes we have people jump up and play percussion on it or someone will know how to play the pennywhistle or whatever it is. And so, we just sort of make it like a hootenanny song, at the end. And that definitely keeps it fresh. I mean, it’s fun to play and a lot of times, the audience will sing one of the verses. Either the second or the third. And they just sing it so boisterously and I just look out at faces and we’re all having a good time and it’s just a moment, you know, where music feels really good and like we’re all in it together. So, that—each night is different, when we sing this song and I don’t know why I don’t get tired of doing it. And I hope Amy doesn’t either, ‘cause we’re kind of stuck with it, in a way. [Chuckles.]

linda

Amy, are you tired of it?

amy

No, I—I agree about—it’s a moment, you know? I’m not tired of it, at all. I think it’s a great song. I think it’s—I appreciate Emily writing it, because it sure has—it’s been a good rallying point for the audience to kind of all sing together and also it’s just great to have the guests sing a verse. And I think things—like, I’ll think about the lyrics sometimes and I’ll think, like, “Who is she talking to when she says, ‘I’m trying to tell you something about my life’? Like, who is the ‘you’?” [Linda laughs.] So, I go into my own spiral about, like, “Try and remember Emily’s life that year that she wrote it and who she’s talking to while she’s singing the song.” Which she never will tell me, but—you know—

linda

Yeah.

emily

[Amused.] I’ll tell—I’ll tell you! It’s the—it’s the young me going, “Listen, I—listen I have something to say!” [They laugh.]

amy

You’re talking to yourself!

emily

No! No! No! It’s the young me talking to the great “they”. You know.

amy

Oooh. Okay. Okay. The great “they”.

linda

Oooh. I see. I see.

emily

It’s like—like, if I don’t tell you this, I’m gonnaaa… explode.

amy

Okay. [Laughs.] Alright.

emily

Something like that.

amy

That’s cool.

linda

Well, we talked a little bit about “Closer to Fine” and also “Galileo” as a kind of an iconic Indigo Girls song. [Music fades in.] Let’s hear a little bit of “Galileo”.

music

“Galileo” by Indigo Girls. Galileo’s head was on the block The crime was lookin’ up the truth And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode I try to trace them to my youth And then you had to bring up reincarnation Over a couple of beers, the other night And now I’m serving time for mistakes Made by another in another lifetime How long ‘til my soul gets it right Can any human being ever reach that kind of light? I call on the resting soul of Galileo king of night vision [Music continues under the dialogue, then fades out.]

linda

So, why reincarnation?

emily

I just happened—it was a real conversation I had with my friend. And we just—she was over at my house and we were drinking some beer and she was a staunch believer in reincarnation and we just talked about the differences in our thoughts about that. And then I started thinking about, “Well, if we’re getting better each time we’re reincarnated, then—you know—I still have a long way to go, so it’s not over yet.” And then who knows why I jumped to Galileo. I guess I admired his—I didn’t think it was—I don’t think it’s good for institutions to threaten to put someone to death for discovering something that’s true. That bothered me. So, I used him as an example of an elevated soul. And it’s a little bit tongue-in-cheek, too, you know, with—I had Shirley MacLaine in mind, a little bit, and it’s a pop song in the end. So, just—you know. All that stuff put together. But it started from a conversation.

linda

And before I let you go, what are you listening to right now, while we’re all shut up in our homes?

emily

Well. I always listen to Bon Iver. I always listen to Young Thug. Katie Pruitt’s new music, for pop music. I really like Halsey a lot. Been listening to her. I’m obsessed with the Cyrus singers—Noah and Miley Cyrus. As soon as I stop talking about what I’m listening to, I’ll remember 100 things else. But… [Linda laughs and affirms.] That’s—that’s kind of part of it.

amy

I’ve been—I was looking at my records, ‘cause I have, like, a record player downstairs and I got one upstairs and I just rotate where the records are. But right now, what I’m—what I’ve got on my turntable is Kate Tempest and her first record. And I’ve been listening to Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan with The Texas Playboys. And I’ve been listening to Brent Cobb, Americana artist. And I’ve been trying to learn about jazz, so I’ve got some—a John Coltrane and a Miles Davis and a Thelonious Monk record that I’m rotating around to try to learn how—what is jazz. So, I really—I really know nothing about it and I’ve been wanting to learn more about it. So… that’s kind of where I’m at. And then I listen to a lot of kid’s movie soundtracks, because that’s what my child listens to. [Laughs.]

linda

Oooh, sure! Sure.

amy

So, I’ve got—I’m very familiar with Moana and Aladdin and Frozen, of course. And my kid is really into Beethoven, right now, which is odd. But beautiful. So, we listen to these little piano—simplified piano, Beethoven things for kids. ‘Cause she’s just, like—she’ll actually be like, “That’s a beautiful song. What is that called?” Like, she’ll—she recognizes things. So, that’s what happening in my musical life, right now. [Linda chuckles.] And of course, Bon Iver, like Emily said. We both—Emily and I both, like, are shameless, like, fans of Justin and Bon Iver. [Music fades in.] We—that’s the—that’s our—that’s what me and Emily have in common the most, is that we think he’s one of the most brilliant creatures that ever walked the earth.

linda

All that winter in Wisconsin, it’s very, very deeply moving to me, too. [Amy agrees and Linda laughs.] Well, you guys, I appreciate this so much and obviously, needless to say, appreciate your work. Me and my friends in my acapella group appreciate you very much. [They laugh and thank her.] Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. The Indigo Girls! Their newest album, Look Long, is out now. You can stream it or buy it pretty much anywhere. Let’s go out on one more song from the band. A favorite of mine. This one is called “Get Out the Map”.

music

“Get Out the Map” by Indigo Girls. Get out the map Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down We’ll leave the figuring to the those we pass On our way out of town Don’t drink the water There seems to be somethin’ ailin’ everyone I’m gonna clear my head I’m gonna drink that sun I’m gonna love you good and strong While our love is good and young [Music continues softly under the dialogue.]

linda

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is produced out of the homes of me and the staff of MaximumFun, in and around various parts of the country. It’s hot! Our colleague, Stacy Molski started a garden, a few months ago, and this week received a complimentary Thai basil plant. It came from the owner of Jitlada, one of LA’s most popular restaurants. She’s found that it prospers better indoors, when it’s hot. The show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our producer is Kevin Ferguson. Jesus Ambrosio is our associate producer. We get help from Casey O’Brien and Jordan Kauwling. Our interstitial music is by Dan Wally, also known as DJW. Our theme song’s by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and their label, Memphis Industries, for letting us use it. You can keep up with the show on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube. Search for Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. And I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature sign off. Mine is, “Thanks, Jesse.”

music

[Volume increases and the song continues.] Get out the map Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down [Music continues quietly under dialogue.]

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR.

music

[Volume increases and the song continues.] Don’t drink the water There seems to be somethin’ ailin’ everyone I’m gonna clear my head (I’m gonna clear my head) I’m gonna drink that sun (I’m gonna drink that sun) I’m gonna love you good and strong While our love is good and young I’m gonna clear my head [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

People

Producer

Associate Producer

Associate Producer

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show