POX Ani DiFranco

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Your 10 flavors here

gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 17:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Overlap
The Million You Never Made
Untouchable Face
In Or Out
Pulse
Everest
Reckoning
This Bouquet
Light of Some Kind

Just off the top of my head. Could easily make several lists with entirely different songs. The top tier is very crowded, at least in that crucial 92-98 stretch.

Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

if that's in order, #1 is otm

gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's not really in order "Overlap" is probably my favourite yeah, or at least it feels like the best song she's written. The build in the lyrics is awesome:

I search your profile
for a translation
I study the conversation
like a map
'cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking,
no, I'm not done looking yet

each one of us
wants a piece of the action
you can hear it in what we say
you can see it in what we do
we negotiate with chaos
for some sense of satisfaction
if you won't give it to me
at least give me a better view

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking
no,
I'm not done looking yet

I build each one of my songs
out of glass
so you can see me inside of them
I suppose
or you could just leave the image of me
in the backround, I guess
and watch your own reflection superimposed

I build each one of my days out of hope
and I give that hope your name
and I don't know you that well
but it don't take much to tell
either you don't have the balls
or you don't feel the same

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking
no, I'm not done looking yet

I seach your profile for a translation
I study the conversation like a map
'cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

... The third/fourth verses in particular are pure fire.

Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anticipate
Both Hands
The Diner (jam song, lol)
Fire Door
In or Out
Overlap
Pulse
Sorry I Am
32 Flavors vs Worthy
Your Next Bold Move

almost everything on Living in Clip, lol

(i don't really know anything after 2001 - Everest sounds nice)

gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

well isnt this just perfect

roxymuzak, Sunday, 8 March 2009 11:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

the way she uses horns is so cool and interesting to me - I think Joni's the clear influence but she's got her own thing. wish I'd paid closer attention to her when she was a bigger deal, she's really good imo even though some of the vocal tendencies take a lot of getting used to

available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 7 February 2013 22:01 (four years ago) Permalink

aero have you heard Revelling / Reckoning?

Underrated double album from the early 00s where she pushed her horn work hardest on one disc while making some of her most beautifully-observed balladry on the second.

The lyrics to "Reckoning" are so excellent, like just really wise-seeming to me in a way that lots of other lyrics strive for but have no hope of achieving.

I just searched for them and they've come up without line breaks, which seems appropriate somehow:

you can doubt anything if you think about it long enough, cause what happened always adjusts to fit what happened after that. and it's hard to feel like you are free when all you seem to do is referee, but i remember when it was just you and me, steppin' up to bat. and win or lose, just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either/or it's that this war is maybe also
what thrills us. we thought we left possession behind. the truth is: i was yours, and you were mine. and i've replayed a thousand times exactly what was said. cause nothing is as it appears in the fun house mirrors of your fears, on the roller coaster of all these years with your hands above your head. and win or lose, just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either/or it's that this war is maybe also what thrills us. and you know i don't care how fast you run, just tell me baby that when you're done with your little marathon, you've still got cab fare home. cause the finish line is a shifty thing, and what is life but reckoning? and baby you are still the song i sing to myself when i'm alone. and win or lose just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either or it's that this war is, maybe also what thrills us.

Tim F, Thursday, 7 February 2013 22:43 (four years ago) Permalink

aero have you heard Revelling / Reckoning?

this was what I was listening to when I woke up this thread! so much really nice going in a really casual way on this record - as with I think much of her stuff it's easy to miss. partly I blame her taste in guitar sounds, though - she always plays down the bass frequencies, or lets her engineer do it, and the full body of the instrument gets cheated.

available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 01:15 (four years ago) Permalink

i also feel like often the songwriting here is a lot more ambitious than it appears - "casual" is a good word for the vibe. From memory "Marrow" and "Rock, Paper, Scissors" both have really widescreen, inventive arrangements, lots of sudden shifts and mutations pulled off very naturally.

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 01:21 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think that ambition is coupled with spontaneity of expression to such profound effect on this record - maybe "spontaneity" is the wrong word, these are very finely-wrought songs, but their presentation - though played meticulously: Jon Hassel's on this record! Maceo Parker too! - has that air of ease about it, that breezy jazz feel that tries (and imo succeeds) in masking the degree of craft necessary to pull it off. Even on say a solo number like "whatall is nice" there's this marriage of attention to detail and present-moment presentation.

Really special record I think. And those horns - they play those tossed-off phrases like it was nothing, but it's so not nothing it's hilarious: they're playing together gorgeously, like they woke up and started playing together every morning of their lives.

available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:34 (four years ago) Permalink

Interesting to invoke Joni here - some of these tunes are like the songs that Joni might have made if Don Juan's Reckless Daughter had continued in a straight line from Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira - esp. it captures the spontaneity Joni was going for on Don Juan without losing the attention to detail that had marked her prior albums.

(obv their songwriting and performance styles are quite different in other ways)

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 03:42 (four years ago) Permalink

I need to buy R/R and another copy of Little Plastic Castles.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:45 (four years ago) Permalink

One of the most depressing things for me was how little I liked Evolve after how much I loved Revelling/Reckoning.

I skipped Educated Guess after everyone said it was a fall-off from Evolve (!) but I really like Knuckle Down which is like a more sombre, knotty version of the serious parts of Little Plastic Castles.

Have never gotten around to any of the albums after that.

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 03:52 (four years ago) Permalink

(obv their songwriting and performance styles are quite different in other ways)

they are, but the comparison's apt here - I think Ani sounds like she's working with the musicians a little more than JM, who I think of as pretty intensely controlling. Some of that's mythos I'm sure but one gets the sense from Don Juan & Hejira that she's enlisting these amazing players in pursuit of a very specific vision, whereas on R/R there's this sound of play that's just infectious and warm and intimate.

available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Tim you don't rate Reprieve? Its opener is such a beauty to me - it's both profoundly affecting and sports one of those wince-inducing lines that presents something-to-be-gotten-over for me; I think a lot of my favorite writers have these tendencies I have to come to terms with, that resistance draws me in closer eventually. (The line here is "the map led to an island in a sea of store-bought dreams/where soulless singers sang over beats made by machines." Oh no Ani! Not beats made by machines! Say not so!)

available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:57 (four years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard Reprieve! I should check out all of the more recent-ish albums.

That line is no worse than "People used to make 'records', as in the record of an event/the event of people making music in a room / now everything cross-marketing / it's about sunglasses and shoes / or guns and drugs, you choose" (from "Fuel" on Little Plastic Castles).

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:05 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm resigned to the fact that ani was inevitably going to be a rhyming alex in nyc on these issues.

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Another way to look at this is that Ani's number one for all time lyrical skill - the area in which she is basically unparalleled IMO - is in the metaphorical presentation of how she relates to the world around her.

I think despite her rep this is most clear in her relationship songs, a prime example being the lyrics to "Overlap" which I posted at the beginning of the thread - it's hard for me to think of lyrics I like more than "I build each one of my songs out of glass / so you can see me inside of them, I suppose / or you could just leave the image of me in the backround, I guess / and watch your own reflection superimposed."

But similarly her more political stuff also works this way, i.e. only to the extent that she sings it from the vantage of her actual inextricable entanglement in the world. Which is why a song like "The Million You Never Made" is so powerful while her overflowery put-downs of the major label pop music industry seem so cringey: the moment she ascends to a birds eye view she moves from simultaneously wise and implicated to condescending and un-self-aware.

Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:18 (four years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Another use of metaphor I love, from "The Million You Never Made":

"And I'm warning you I'm weightless / and the wind is always shifting / so don't try to hang anything on me / if you ever want to see it again"

This is a classic Ani inversion: literalise/visualise the central metaphorical phase ("don't hang that on me" is literalised as a washing line scenario) and then build on that visualisation to reflect back on the original metaphor - with wind blowing clothes off the line standing in for "you don't have a vantage point from which to judge or label me". It's kinda vibe-killing to break down the line to that extent, but I do think it's an excellent and very archetypal use of language.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 23:44 (two months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.