Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ani DiFranco

I'm not sure who introduced me to AniDifranco so whomever it was may you live a thousand years. I discovered this song on my ipod on the way to Rajasthan. Shilo and I used to sit at the doorway of the train listening to this on repeat while she got her smoke. We hummed along and watched the scenery go by. It's a lovely song to listen to as a background score when you travel. The lyrics to this song are also fantastic! Her music is like poetry.

When I tried introducing Lata to her she told me that this woman was one of the most politically active musicians of her times! It's funny how we discover these singers not knowing where they came from and it what context their music was heard. So I did some research.

At a very young age Ani Difranco toured with her music teacher performing at bars playing Beatles covers. In 1989 she started her own record company: Righteous Records (later renamed Righteous Babe records in 1994) The ownership of this record label allowed her incredible artistic freedom on her album. She later began propagating local artists in her hometown of buffalo.

Although much of DiFranco's material is autobiographical, it is often also strongly political. Many of her songs are concerned with contemporary social issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, Reproductive rights and war. The combination of personal and political is partially responsible for DiFranco's early popularity among politically active college students, particularly those of the left wing, some of whom set up fan pages to document her life as early as 1994. Her rise to popularity was more through word of mouth than media hype. It also helped that she was an artist who toured most of her life.

On the subject of religion, DiFranco said:

"Well, I'm not a religious person myself. I'm an atheist. I think religion serves a lot of different purposes in people's lives, and I can recognize the value of that, you know, the value of ceremony, the value of community, or even just having a forum to get together and talk about ideas, about morals — that's a cool concept. But then, of course, institutional religions are so problematic."

Red letter year is DiFranco's most recent studio album, released on September 30th 2008. Says DiFranco about the album: “When I listen to my new record, I hear a very relaxed me, which I think has been absent in a lot of my recorded canon. Now I feel like I’m in a really good place. My partner Mike Napolitano co-produced this record – my guitar and voice have never sounded better, and that’s because of him. I’ve got this great band and crew. And my baby, she teaches me how to just be in my skin, to do less and be more.

I am putting up the lyrics as well just because they are just beautiful even to read.

rush hour
and the day's dawning
the rain came
and pushed me under the awning
the puddles grew and threw themselves at me
with every passing car
I'm shielding my guitar
and there were some things that I
did not tell him
there were certain things
he did not need to know
and there were some days
when I did not love him
he didn't understand me
and I don't know why
I didn't go
he said change the channel
I've got problems of my own
I'm so sick of hearing about drugs
and aids
and people without homes
and I said, well,
I'd like to sympathize with that
but if you don't understand
then how can you act
I expected summer to be there in the morning
I woke to the alarm
but she was out of arms reach
sneaking out
on silent thighs
that were spent and sore
from the hot nights that came before
he said I looked for you
I don't know why
I said I was wearing black so you could
see me against the sky
take your big leather boots
and your buckles and your chains
put them on a downtown train
I expected he would be there in the morning
I awoke to the alarm
he was still in arm's reach
but his body was just a disguise
his mind had wandered off long ago
you see in his eyes
love isn't over when the sheets are stained
in my head there remains
so much left to be said
make me laugh, make me cry, enrage me
but just don't try to disengage me

No comments:

Post a Comment