DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:
Singer Amy Rigby calls herself `the mod housewife.'
(Soundbite of music)
Ms. AMY RIGBY: (Singing) I'm tired of emotional discussions. I'm tired of repercussions. I'm sick of the O's and the X's and the sex and the battles with the battle of the sexes. I don't want to talk about love no more. I don't want to talk about love no more. Don't want to talk about love no more. I don't want to talk about it. That's it.
ELLIOTT: Amy Rigby's new album is called "Little Fugitive." She joins us now from a studio outside Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. RIGBY: Hi.
ELLIOTT: Why don't you want to talk about love anymore?
Ms. RIGBY: Well, sometimes it feels like it's the only topic there is for songs. I think how can I possibly say anything new about relationships? And so in that case I just wrote a song that was basically let me talk about anything but the pain or the joy, or you know, the mystery. I'll talk about sandwiches. I'll talk about, you know, rubber tires, just anything.
ELLIOTT: Mason jars.
Ms. RIGBY: Exactly.
ELLIOTT: Now that said, most of your songs really are about relationships, though.
Ms. RIGBY: I know. I know, because they fascinate me. I could watch--you know, I love French movies that are just a man and a woman going through the whole steps of meeting, falling in love, getting disillusioned, breaking up. I don't--can't say how many of those movies I've seen, but I could always watch another one. I guess it's the same with writing songs. There's just--now for me it's getting more into the subtleties, I guess.
(Soundbite of music)
Ms. RIGBY: (Singing) Jeanie is my new husband's ex-wife. It looks like she's going to be a part of my life, because there's a couple of kids and 20-some years they share so I guess Jeanie isn't going anywhere. I even tried to hate her like I thought I should, but since we met she's been nothing but good. And the trouble with Jeanie is she's all right, and the trouble with...
ELLIOTT: Tell us more about the song.
Ms. RIGBY: Well, that's a problem or a situation that a lot of modern people seem to deal with. I've been on both sides of the spectrum, having an ex-husband with a new wife, and a relationship with a man who had an ex-wife, and I actually started writing the song to complain about the ex-wife. But as I was writing, my only complaint was that there was nothing bad to say about here. I just felt these warm feelings towards her, and I just thought I'm not prepared for this. All the things I've read, all the movies and books I've read that portray a divorced couple it's always like you're doing battle with the exes. But, in fact, it's always much more complicated than that, so that's what I tried to get into in the song.
ELLIOTT: One of the songs that I like a lot from this album is "Dancing with Joey Ramone." It sort of brings me back to the late '70s, I guess, when that punk thing was going on. I'd like to know what you were doing back then.
Ms. RIGBY: I was going down to CBGB's pretty much any night of the week.
ELLIOTT: That's a punk club in New York, right?
Ms. RIGBY: And--yeah. That was the club that all the bands, like The Ramones and the Talking Heads and Patti Smith and Blondie, and there was just so much music going on, even though I was in art school and studying illustration and visual art, what really compelled me was this music that was going on. It was so energetic and it was so humble. I mean, the musicians were hanging out right there at the bar next to the people who were watching the show.
(Soundbite of "Dancing with Joey Ramone")
Ms. RIGBY: (Singing) He walked into the party looking just like he had in the past. He came up to me and he didn't even have to ask. I tried to say something. He said, `Girl, shut your mouth.' They're playing "Papa was a Rolling Stone." Last night I was dancing with Joey Ramone. He was cool in his leather jacket and his little dark shades...
I guess that song came out of wanting to live in the music somehow.
ELLIOTT: Is that when you decided to start to pursue music as a career?
Ms. RIGBY: That came a little bit later. At that point I was really just a fan. It really wasn't till my brother and a bunch of friends, we started listening to old country music in the early '80s. There was one compilation called "Country Gals," and it had Skeeter Davis and it had Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, of course. And so it was those songs that were on the country records. I fell in love with the way the songs were written and the way they just used real-life details. And Loretta Lynn talked about having kids and talked about homey things that the punk records never really would have--you know, that would have looked a little too friendly or something. But the country records were the ones that just inspired me to start writing songs. And the first song I ever wrote, it just came out sounding like a real country song and...
ELLIOTT: What was it about?
Ms. RIGBY: It was about love.
ELLIOTT: Singer Amy Rigby's latest release is "Little Fugitive." She joined us from a studio near Nashville, Tennessee.
Thanks so much.
Ms. RIGBY: Thank you.
(Soundbite of music)
Ms. RIGBY: (Singing) This world's a messed-up place, our favorite act a fall from grace. Resurrection, isn't it a myth? Well, I think I've had enough. Born too late to be so tough. My need for love sees me, asks me, you coming with? Like Rasputin, I get...
ELLIOTT: You can hear more of Amy Rigby's music, including "Girls Got it Bad" and "Needy Men," at our Web site, npr.org.
(Soundbite of music)
Ms. RIGBY: (Singing) In robes and Coptic crosses, took his chances, cut his losses. He was evil, so they tried to put him down. I had miniskirts and lashes, love reduced this girl to ashes. Think I'm done? I'm not done. Time for one more go-around. I'm like Rasputin. I get back up again. Like Rasputin, I keep coming back, coming back, coming back to...
ELLIOTT: That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Debbie Elliott.
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