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ha’fway 2017

4th Jul 17 (Tue) Leave a comment

Happy 241st birthday, United States!

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Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I rarely post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2017 so far…



Artist Album (style)

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Mulhy & James McAlisterPlanetarium (indie rock)
  2. Burning GhostsReclamation (jazz metal)
  3. KXM (Doug Pinnick / George Lynch / Ray Luzier) – Scatterbrain (hard rock)
  4. Peter MulveyAre You Listening? (singer-songwriter)
  5. SexmobCultural Capital (jazz)
  6. David BazanCare (indie rock)
  7. Ani DiFrancoBinary (singer-songwriter)
  8. Future IslandsThe Far Field (indie pop)
  9. Mostly Other People Do the Killing (with Steven Bernstein of Sexmob) – Loafer’s Hollow (jazz)
  10. Incubus8 (rock)

Honorable mentions…

  • Albums by Lydia Ainsworth, Alt-J, Brian Marsella Trio’s Masada Book Two, Aimee Mann, Dave Douglas’ Riverside, and Throttle Elevator Music (Kamasi Washington).
  • EP – ANOHNI’s Paradise
  • Live – ISIS’ Live VII: 2.25.2010
  • Re-issues – Pink Floyd early years boxset(s), the Beatles Srgt. Pepper’s 50th, U2 The Joshua Tree 30th, Radiohead OK Computer 20th
  • Novelty – A**l Trump’s If You Thought ********* **** Was a Lot of People, You Should Have Seen My Inauguration 5″ vinyl (in “Seth Putnam form,” shall we say).

What’s still to come in 2017…

Claypool-Lennon Delirium 12″ (RSD wider-issue), Spotlights, Antibalas, Steven Wilson, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Mogwai, Radiohead OKNOTOK (physical), Failure live vinyl, Lo Tom (David Bazan, TW Walsh & Starflyer 59 folks), Celldweller, The National, Secret Chiefs 3, Weird Al boxset, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: Critters BugginMuti -EP-

ha’fway 2012

4th Jul 12 (Wed) 3 comments

Happy 236th birthday, United States!

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So, here are my faves of the first half of 2012… and outside of the Top 5, it’s all kind of random order on how I feel today… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):

Artist Album (style)

  1. OSI Fire Make Thunder (glitch prog)
  2. Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (jazzy pop)
  3. Peter Mulvey The Good Stuff (indie songwriter playing standards with a band)
  4. Damien Jurado Maraqopa (indie rock)
  5. Celldweller Wish Upon A Blackstar (electronica)
  6. Sigur Rós Valtari (ambient icelandic)
  7. Emily Wells Mama (chamber hip-pop)
  8. Floratone Floratone II (jazz)
  9. s/s/s (Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Serengeti) – Beak & Claw -EP- (interesting)
  10. Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson & Mikael Akerfeldt) – Storm Corrosion (ethereal proggy departure)
  11. John Zorn The Gnostic Preludes (jazzy experimental)
  12. John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & Joey Baron) with John Medeski – Templars (noise rock)
  13. Earth Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (drone)
  14. The Chance Brothers Growing Concern (indie rock)
  15. Regina Spektor What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (pop)
  16. Ani DiFranco Which Side Are You On? (folk pop songwriter)
  17. Buckethead Electric Sea (gentler instrumental guitar)
  18. Bad Veins The Mess We’ve Made (indie rock)
  19. Cosa Brava (Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, etc) – The Letter (rootsy jazz adventure)
  20. David Krakauer plays Masada Book Two Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas) (klezmer jazz)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet) and whatever “et cetera” that the cool kids are listening to these days; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2012 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Mike Patton & Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II, Ben Folds Five’s reunion studio album, Ric Hordinski’s Arthurs Garden (physical CD, though the download came out a bit ago), the Dusted debut from Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, Erin McKeown’s kickstarter, and I’ve heard rumors of a new Nellie McKay disc for the Fall.

Favorite concerts of 2012 (so far):

  • Penn & Teller and Cirque’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, Jan 18th & 20th
  • Secret Chiefs 3 in Eugene & Portland, Feb 6th & 7th
  • Nellie McKay’s I Want To Live! in Eugene & Portland, Mar 2nd & 4th
  • Puscifer in Portland, Mar 14th
  • Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 in Eugene, Mar 18th
  • Radiohead in Seattle, April 9th
  • Roger Waters presents Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Portland, May 22nd
  • Beck in Bend, May 27th
    (click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerWish Upon A Blackstar

Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On? (Jan 2012)

3rd Nov 11 (Thu) 1 comment

This just in… new album from Ani DiFranco called Which Side Are You On? comes out January 17, 2012.  It’s her first album in over 3 years (or 1,204 days – but who’s counting?).  And, yay, Anais Mitchell & Skerik are on it!

Update 11/18 Tracklist (below) and pre-order info (ships 12/23 for the 1/17 release date):

Pre-order from RBR http://store.righteousbabe.com/departments/product/anidifranco/
Pre-order from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0060GVI2C/

Here’s the official press release:

ANI DIFRANCO RETURNS WITH HER FIRST NEW ALBUM IN MORE THAN THREE YEARS

Powerful collection features array of iconic guests, including Ivan & Cyril Neville, Anaïs Mitchell, and the legendary Pete Seeger   JT

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco has announced the upcoming release of her eagerly awaited new album. Which Side Are You On? arrives via the Grammy-winning artist’s own Righteous Babe Records on January 17, 2012.

Which Side Are You On? marks DiFranco’s first studio album in more than three years. The collection features 11 new songs alongside a radically reworked rendition of the classic title song, famously popularized by the one and only Pete Seeger nearly five decades ago, but no less relevant today. Backing DiFranco is a remarkably diverse line-up of stellar musicians, including members of her own crack touring band as well as such guest players as Ivan and Cyril Neville (of New Orleans’ first family of funk and R&B, The Neville Brothers), avant-saxophonist Skerik (Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, The Meters), acclaimed singer/songwriter (and Righteous Babe recording artist) Anaïs Mitchell, guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee), and a host of New Orleans-based horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic, Bonerama, and The Rebirth Brass Band.

What’s more, Ani is joined on her stunning new version of Which Side Are You On? by the aforementioned Pete Seeger, whom she praises as “my elder, my forefather in folk music and political song.” DiFranco was inspired to record the famed protest anthem after being invited to perform at Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in May 2009. She contributed her own straight-from-the headlines verses to the song and has used it to close her own live shows ever since. The newly recorded version of Which Side Are You On? is a funk-fueled epic, incorporating not just Ani’s band, but Seeger himself on banjo and vocals alongside The Rivertown Kids, a Hudson Valley-based children’s chorus, and The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, a brass band consisting of students from The Roots of Music, a music education program for at-risk middle-school students in New Orleans.

“All of my musical community, my comrades, are in there,” says Ani of the cross-generational recording. Which Side Are You On? was co-produced by DiFranco and her longtime collaborator Mike Napolitano over a series of sessions in 2010 and 2011. The basic tracks feature two slightly different versions of Ani’s touring band, recorded at Bogalusa, Louisiana’s renowned Studio In The Country, Brooklyn, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Studio, and her own New Orleans home studio, The Dugout.

The album represents an extraordinary snapshot of DiFranco’s own life as well as her sense of where the country stands at this particular moment in time. The long gap since 2008’s acclaimed Red Letter Year offered an array of new opportunities, including a backlog of songs and the ability to painstakingly fine-tune new recordings. Many of the songs featured on Which Side Are You On? are reflections on growing older and being totally okay with that process. As she sings on “If Yr Not,” “If yr not getting happier as you get older/then yr fucking up.”

Elsewhere, Ani tackles some of the many crises that are currently confronting the nation and the world, spanning environmental disaster, government inaction, and a culture hooked on comfort and acquisition at any cost. Songs such as “Amendment” and “J” see DiFranco addressing these issues with a directness that is striking even for an artist long known for her activism and outspoken point of view.

“I’m testing deeper waters with the political songs on this album,” she says. “I feel a little bit frustrated, politically desperate. After having written hundreds of songs over decades, I think, ‘Now what? How far can I go with this? Can you sing the word ‘abortion,’ can you sing the word ‘patriarchy’ – what can you sing and get away with? I guess I’ve been pushing my own boundaries of politics and art. Seeing what people have the ears to listen to. How big is my mouth? What can I get out of it successfully?”

The last two decades have seen DiFranco staking a historic claim on popular music, spanning 16 studio albums and countless live recordings (including 1997’s RIAA gold-certified Living in Clip), EPs, and compilation contributions. Along the way she has amassed a devoted fan following, received numerous awards and nominations, earned rapturous reviews, and basically rewrote the rules of the recording industry.

Now Ani’s recommendation about the album’s opening track “Life Boat” can be said to apply to Which Side Are You On? as a whole: “Just listen, drop your idea of who is singing and what you already know they’re saying, and go somewhere else, open yourself up to a new story.”

CD, vinyl and mp3 digital download release.

Tracklist

  1. Life Boat
  2. Unworry
  3. Which Side Are You On?
  4. Splinter
  5. Promiscuity
  6. Albacore
  7. J
  8. If Yr Not
  9. Hearse
  10. Mariachi
  11. Amendment
  12. Zoo

~Dan – np: The Unbelievable TruthAlmost Here

REVIEW: Ani DiFranco @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – 4/12/11)

14th Apr 11 (Thu) 2 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Ani DiFranco comes through Eugene on just about every West Coast tour – which is always a delight.  The crowd seemed a tad sparse… perhaps due to the lack of new Ani material out there recently.  She’s prolific, but hasn’t put out an album since 2008’s Red Letter Year.  She hasn’t even put out any new official live bootlegs since 2009.  With that lack of apparent new music on the shelves (CD World or iTunes), one might think she’s taking a break.  Well, as you’ll see from the setlist below, no break has occurred with her songwriting proliferation…

Super busy week; so I apologize in advance… I didn’t catch the opener Animal Prufrock this time.  I saw her back in 2008 with Judy Grahn & Ani D.  I enjoyed Animal’s raucous energy, but again… twas an uber-busy week, and I couldn’t make it to the McD for the early opener start time (Animal @ 7:30, Ani D @ 8:30!).

I got into the venue about 30 seconds before Ani and band hit the stage.  Whew, perfect timing!  Her band this time was the same as her prior Eugene gig… Andy Barger on drums, Mike Dillon on percussion, and Todd Sickafoose on contrabass.  Fantastically gelled band… I love watching these guys play.  In fact, I’ll be seeing Mike Dillon play again next week in Eugene.  At the end of the Ani tour, he’s hitting the road with Skerik and the rest of the guys with Garage A Trois.

Tons of new stuff was played…

Setlist: around 90 minutes pre-encore

  • Anticipate
  • Angry Any More
  • Unworry (newish – she played it at Eugene 2009)
  • Paradigm
  • Promiscuity (new)
  • Gloating (new)
  • W.O.W. (new)
  • J (new)
  • I Know This Bar
  • See See “Still in Love with You” (new)
  • The Atom
  • Everest
  • If You’re Not (new)
  • Untouchable Face
  • Which Side Are You On?
  • Encore: Overlap
  • Angel from Montgomery

Due to a hectic week, I had to bail right before the encore.  Based on other reports from this tour, she also played a few older tunes and maybe the newer tune “Mariachi.”  Anyone with a good memory or notes throw a little help on what she played after “Which Side…” for an encore?

As far as the new stuff, I dug it… especially “Gloating,” “Jay,” and “W.O.W.”  I will say one of the best things of the night was the main line to “If You’re Not”…

If you’re not getting happier as you get older, you’re fucking up.

A lot of new stuff to digest… I usually need some more time for the new material to kick around my brain.  Perhaps with this glut of new material, she’s heading into the studio soon for studio album #18(!).  Anyone catch her Crystal Ballroom show in Portland? Any major difference in setlist?

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Skerik, Mike Dillon, Marc Benevento and Stanton Moore are Garage A Trois @ Sam Bond’s 4/21.

~Dan – np: Todd SickafooseTiny Resistors

ANI DIFRANCO PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Ani DiFranco in Eugene (4/12)

12th Apr 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Photos and review of Ani DiFranco’s show at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene coming soon(ish)!

Check back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning for the report from Eugene!

Her Portland show is Wednesday… check it!

~Dan

Ani DiFranco duet with Twilight Singers

14th Oct 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

Ani DiFranco recently popped up to duet with the Twilight Singers on their latest album.  The Twilight Singers album is coming out in early 2011 on Sub Pop Records.  You can get a free mp3 download of the folky pop song OVER HERE.

~Dan – np: Messer ChupsCrazy Price

Allison Miller’s BOOM TIC BOOM

21st Jan 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

I got this email this past week about a new album from Ani DiFranco drummer Allison Miller – who I can say was a delight to watch play when I saw her with Ani in the spring of 2008.  The album description sounds fantastic to me!  I can’t wait to hear it.

BOOM TIC BOOMThe example that Miller sets on BOOM TIC BOOM is that of a powerhouse drummer with an unerring sense of swing and a moving melodicism; an inventive composer with a gift for memorable tunes that leave ample space for bright improvisations; and a bandleader who ably marries these pieces with the right collaborators to breathe life into them. Here, those collaborators are pianist/composer Myra Melford; longtime collaborator Todd Sickafoose on bass; and guest violinist Jenny Scheinman on one track.

Half of the album is comprised of original pieces penned by Miller during a one-month break from the road during the summer of 2008. The diversity of influences evident in the music belies the short time span in which it was written but is reflective of the wealth of musical experience that makes up Miller’s résumé.

For BOOM TIC BOOM, Miller assembled a trio that she knew would stretch the limits of the music she had written. “I come from a straight ahead jazz tradition,” she explains, “but I play so many different styles of music that I don’t want to stick strictly to that tradition. So, for BOOM TIC BOOM I wanted more of an avant-garde approach to my semi-traditional compositions.”

http://www.allisonmiller.com/Order the CD

I dig Allison, in addition to both Todd Sickafoose and Jenny Scheinman.  I think this is gonna be right up my alley…

~Dan – np: HeatmiserCop and Speeder

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#11 to 20)

4th Jan 10 (Mon) 5 comments

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions (1/1/2010 blog link)

  •  Dweezil Zappa
  • Tori Amos
  • Celldweller
  • Iron & Wine
  • King’s X
  • Derek Webb

Artists of the Decade (#21 to 25) (1/1/2010 blog link)

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)
24 ~ Peter Mulvey

23 ~ Opeth

22 ~ dredg

21 ~ Holy Fuck

And now round 2

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20 ~ Pedro the Lion (and David Bazan solo)

Pedro the Lion released their two most powerful and poignant albums in the early 2000s (Control and Achilles Heel), then frontman David Bazan decided to disband PTL and go solo (though by the 2000s, the writing was primarily Bazan anyway with hired guns for studios and tours).  Prior to his first full length solo album, he did a side project called Headphones, put out annual Christmas 7″ vinyls, and released a split electric/acoustic EP.  At the end of the decade, he hit the ground running with his fantastic “breaking up with God” record, Curse Your Branches.  He’s been touring in a solo fashion fairly regularly since 2007 or so and is going to hit the road again this coming spring…

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19 ~ Jurassic 5

Jurassic 5 combined four well-versed, naturally flowing MCs (Chali 2Na, Soup, Marc7 & Akil) and two melodic, creative, musicianship-driven DJs (Cut Chemist and NuMark) to create some excellently catchy hip-hop and rap.  What I loved about them is that they weren’t all about the “drugs and bitches” that the gangsta rap had just previously been all about (don’t get me wrong, I love Dr. Dre’s The Chronic from the 90s, but J5 tended to keep it positive and definitely more musically-inclined).  All six members have gone on to do solo albums and/or side projects after the band’s official breakup in the late 2000s… my faves have been Cut Chemist’s The Audience’s Listening and Chali 2Na’s Fish Outta Water.  I still long for a reunion record, and I bet it’ll happen… maybe in the 2010s?

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18 ~ My Brightest Diamond

Shara Worden’s utterly gorgeous, operatic voice is almost too much for the indie rock scene.  Almost.  It seems to fit in perfectly with Sufjan Stevens’ quirky folk and her own lush My Brightest Diamond string-infused indie pop (and the subsequent remix LPs/EPs centered around her studio albums).  In a live setting, her voice is powerful and sublime, and her stage presense is charming.  If you can get ahold of her pre-MBD band CDs, do so (AwRy was the name of the band).

~*~*~

17 ~ Nellie McKay

Her debut, Get Away From Me, is a 2-disc / 18-song satirical, poignant, humorous & angsty romp.  The tag-line of “Eminem meets Doris Day” rang true.  She followed it up with a couple of more subdued albums with the occasional harder edge tune, and then by decade’s end, she released a Doris Day only album.  It seems somewhere along the line, she lost the Eminem edge, but she ended up still topping my list with the more gentle album.  Her live performance for the Doris Day material was fantastic – which definitely helped its appeal with me.  She’s a vegetarian and animal rights activist, too… so, definitely on my friendly artists list.

~*~*~

16 ~ Secret Chiefs 3

Book M and Book of Horizons (both in the early 2000s) were SC3’s last officially “SC3 studio albums,” but since 2007, they have been busy with a handful of impressive 7″ vinyl singles, a “greatest hits” compilation, an amazing John Zorn Masada Book Two release in 2008 (Xaphan), a great concert DVD, a soundtrack to a made-up movie, and the ever-lasting promises of the Book of Souls (an album in the making… since… 2005?).

~*~*~

15 ~ Over the Rhine

In 2001, I think Over the Rhine made one of the best albums of their career… Films for Radio.  They followed with a stunning double-album (Ohio), several solo albums by pianist Linford Detweiler, four live compilations, a few more pretty darn decent albums (including a new holiday album), and continual touring every spring & fall/winter.  All in all, it was a pretty solid decade of a healthy work ethic.  I’m curious what the 2010s will bring in the land of Over the Rhine.  One can hope that they keep evolving.

~*~*~

14 ~ Mike Patton

Mr. Bungle broke up at the front end of the decade… but Mike continued on from Fantômas to Tomahawk to Lovage (with Dan the Automator & Elysian Fields’ Jennifer Charles) to Peeping Tom to multiple movie scores to many projects with John Zorn and back to Faith No More in 2009. As we lead into 2010, there are more Faith No More touring plans, more Fantômas plans, new bands Mondo Cane (50s Italian pop) and Crudo (DJ/rock-oriented), another Peeping Tom in 2011, and plenty else up his sleeve. Patton’s vocal versatility and hard work ethic make him one of my faves this past decade.

~*~*~

13 ~ Ani DiFranco

Similar to Tori Amos, the 1990s found a more consistently on her game Ani. While those days are gone, in the 2000s Ani kept delivering album after album after album and has way too many wins than loses, in my book. Revelling / Reckoning is quite possibly the most important release of her career (though not necessarily my favorite in this long oevre). She’s continually active and important in my musical world.

~*~*~

12 ~ Johnny Cash

This decade brought us American III, IV & V, and the Unearthed box set… all true genius from Johnny and Rick Rubin. The video for “Hurt” (a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song) is one of the most powerfully emotional videos I’ve ever seen (he really brought something new to that original NIИ song). If Rick Rubin never does anything important in the world of music ever again, he’ll still be the one who made Johnny Cash a legend (again).

~*~*~

11 ~ Dave Douglas

Founder of Greenleaf Music (a jazz label), and member of John Zorn’s Masada quartet… Dave Douglas is my #1 living trumpet player. My foray into a mega jazz love throughout the decade led me to be a fond admirer of Dave and his varied work.  His various incarnations – the Quintet, Keystone, Brass Ecstasy, the Big Band, and more – show that he’s a hard worker.  I can safely say, he’ll be back on this list in late 2019. :)

~*~*~

Tune in tomorrow for the final round…

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

2010 anticipated albums

30th Dec 09 (Wed) Leave a comment

So, the year end and decade end recaps are in process (the monkeys I ordered are in the back room typing away) … I needed something to fill the gap… here are some artists who are expecting to release new material in 2010, all of which I’m looking forward to…




The Album Leaf‘s A Chorus of Storytellers, My Brightest Diamond‘s Shark Remixes box set, Go from Jónsi Birgisson of Sigur Rós, French singer Jeanne Cherhal‘s Charade, George Hrab‘s Trebuchet, 12 new albums from John Zorn, Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane and hopefully Crudo (if they’re both not put off due to Faith No More reunion touring), Derek Webb‘s Democracy Vol 1 (and he’s even recording with Caedmon’s Call for a 2010 release or two), guitar phenom Kaki King, maybe the Secret Chiefs 3 will finally release Book of Souls (it’s their “Chinese Democracy”), Eisley & Perma (a side project with Sherri from Eisley), Ellery from Cincinnati, Ty Tabor of King’s X, A.N.M. featuring Doug Pinnick of King’s X and Jimi Hazel of 24-7 Spyz, Ken Andrew and Co’s Digital Noise Academy, Trent Reznor’s just announced new Nine Inch Nails album, Silverchair are working on one, Radiohead are hitting the studio (maybe something out by year’s end), and… Ani DiFranco – I mean, it’s inevitable… right?

Plus many more great albums due out in 2010, I’m sure.

~Dan – np: Skerik / Dead Kenny G’sBewildered Herd

REVIEW: Ani DiFranco @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – 10/21/09)

22nd Oct 09 (Thu) 4 comments

Ani DiFranco is one of my favorite artists.  The fact that she’s as prolific as an apple slicer at a pie factory doesn’t hurt my need for new music from her.  I’ve posted many times before the “stats” behind her release schedule (it is both ridiculous in her velocity and my tracking of said velocity).   This last span of time between 2008’s excellent Red Letter Year and, well… no new album is quite uncharacteristic of her.  Based on the amount of new songs in the setlist, I expect a new album is right around the corner.

For this recent tour, I got to the venue a little late, as I had to drive in from Portland (I’d been up in Seattle on Mon & Tues for work, and Portland on Wednesday).  I couldn’t miss Ani, though.  No photos this time around, as cameras weren’t allowed in the venue.  I did snap one via my iPhone (below).

Opener Anais Mitchell was good.  She seemed kind of shy, but also playful.  While I don’t think her sound really set herself apart from the many singer-songwriters out there; she just completed a folk-opera, Hadestown, based on the myth of Hades and Eurydice.  Ani appears on it, and it’ll be out on Righteous Babe, I’m sure.

(the sole crappy iPhone shot of the night)

Ani and her band came on around 9pm.  Her band this time was Andy Barger on drums, Mike Dillon on percussion (who I’ve seen play with Skerik & the Dead Kenny G’s), Todd Sickafoose on contrabass (who I’ve seen many times with Ani).  They started out with, as acknowledged by Ani, a very schizophrenic set of songs.

Setlist: just shy of 90 minutes

  • Fuel *a fave of the night*
  • Paradigm
  • Manhole
  • Modulation
  • Swan Dive *a fave of the night*
  • Red Letter Year
  • Coming Up
  • November 5th, 2008 (new songformerly known as “November 4free live download)
  • Albacore (new song)
  • Unworry (new song) *a fave of the night*
  • Way Tight
  • God’s Country
  • Napoleon
  • Splinter (new song) *a fave of the night*
  • Which Side Are You On? (new song30’s tune by Florence Reese, reworked by Ani – free live download)
  • Mariachi (new song)
  • Both Hands *a fave of the night*
  • Encore: Little Plastic Castle *a fave of the night*
  • Barroom Girls (Gillian Welch cover with Anais Mitchell and Animal Prufrock)

Thanks for the setlist corrections, francoapple.

A great show, followed by a drive back up to Portland for work.  I think of the new songs, “Splinter” is my favorite – – followed by “Unworry” (with a great chorus “facts are pretend anyway” ).  Both of those songs are a bit more poetic than the rest.  I had “November 5th” from a free download back last fall, and while I like Obama and was happy on November 5th, the song seems kind of cheesy.  Same thing goes for “Which Side Are You On?”  It’s available for free via the link in the setlist above (note: there may be a limited opportunity for the download).  While I agree with its premise/lyrics, I think Ani’s done better, more poetic political songs.

Oh well, I guess with her output, there’s bound to be some songs I don’t like as much.  But all in all, a great show.  It was good to see her with a band, as usual.  Maybe next time, with Mike Dillon’s influence, she’ll bring Skerik along for some horns. :)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Erik FriedlanderGrains of Paradise

Ani DiFranco Fall 2009 Tour Dates

  • Sep 11 2009 – Kalamazoo State Theatre – Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Sep 12 2009 – Krannert Center Guitar Festival – Urbana, Illinois
  • Sep 13 2009 – Paramount Theatre – Aurora, Illinois
  • Sep 15 2009 – Mayo Civic Center-Presentation Hall – Rochester, Minnesota
  • Sep 16 2009 – DECC Auditorium – Duluth, Minnesota
  • Sep 18 2009 – Fargo Theatre – Fargo, North Dakota
  • Sep 19 2009 – Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Sep 20 2009 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sep 22 2009 – Riverside Ballroom – Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Sep 23 2009 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 25 2009 – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Oct 10 2009 – Lobero Theatre – Santa Barbara, California
  • Oct 11 2009 – Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, California
  • Oct 13 2009 – Rio Theatre – Santa Cruz, California
  • Oct 14 2009 – Tower Theatre – Fresno, California
  • Oct 20 2009 – Arcata Community Center – Arcata, California
  • Oct 21 2009 – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, Oregon
  • Oct 23 2009 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, Oregon
  • Oct 24 2009 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, Washington
  • Oct 25 2009 – PAC Concert Hall – Bellingham, Washington
  • Oct 27 2009 – Centre for the Performing Arts – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Oct 28 2009 – Royal Theatre – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Nov 13 2009 – State Theatre – Ithaca, New York
  • Nov 14 2009 – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center – New Bedford, MA
  • Nov 15 2009 – Calvin Theatre – Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Nov 17 2009 – The Egg – Albany, New York
  • Nov 18 2009 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, Connecticut
  • Nov 20 2009 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 21 2009 – The Town Hall – New York, New York

Ani DiFranco Tour 2009

15th Jul 09 (Wed) Leave a comment

I found out about Ani DiFranco‘s Portland show earlier this afternoon (while on a random web search)… now I’m not going, as she’ll be in Eugene… yay!

I assume this means new album in fall/winter?

Oh, of course it does…it’s been 288 days since her last one (the excellent Red Letter Year), and she averages one approximately every 282 days. Oh shoot, she’s behind schedule.  Maybe she’s been feeling ill lately, and couldn’t get this album out in time. ;)

Speaking of Red Letter Year… it’s now out on vinyl.  Nice double-gatefold with an extended version of “Emancipated Minor” remixed by Mike Napolitano.  Get it here.

Opener for dates Oct 10th-27th is Anais Mitchell.

Ani DiFranco Fall 2009 Tour Dates (so far)

  • Sep 11 2009 – Kalamazoo State Theatre – Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Sep 12 2009 – Krannert Center Guitar Festival – Urbana, Illinois
  • Sep 13 2009 – Paramount Theatre – Aurora, Illinois
  • Sep 15 2009 – Mayo Civic Center-Presentation Hall – Rochester, Minnesota
  • Sep 16 2009 – DECC Auditorium – Duluth, Minnesota
  • Sep 18 2009 – Fargo Theatre – Fargo, North Dakota
  • Sep 19 2009 – Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Sep 20 2009 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sep 22 2009 – Riverside Ballroom – Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Sep 23 2009 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 25 2009 – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Oct 10 2009 – Lobero Theatre – Santa Barbara, California
  • Oct 11 2009 – Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, California
  • Oct 13 2009 – Rio Theatre – Santa Cruz, California
  • Oct 14 2009 – Tower Theatre – Fresno, California
  • Oct 20 2009 – Arcata Community Center – Arcata, California
  • Oct 21 2009 – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, Oregon
  • Oct 23 2009 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, Oregon
  • Oct 24 2009 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, Washington
  • Oct 25 2009 – PAC Concert Hall – Bellingham, Washington
  • Oct 27 2009 – Centre for the Performing Arts – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Nov 15 2009 – Calvin Theatre – Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Nov 17 2009 – The Egg – Albany, New York
  • Nov 20 2009 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 21 2009 – The Town Hall – New York, New York

Oh, pre-sale ticket passwords are on the RBR Tour website.

~Dan – np: The Dillinger Escape Plan w/ Mike PattonIrony is a Dead Scene -EP-

Ani DiFranco’s iTunes Originals session

18th Nov 08 (Tue) Leave a comment

Ani DiFranco unexpectedly showed up in my weekly iTunes email this morning.  I love the iTunes Originals series… it’s a good mix of interviews, album tracks, and in-studio iTunes exclusives.  Well, Ani’s got one out as of today (11/18/08).

$9.99 for 24 tracks (includes interviews).  Just do a search for “Ani DiFranco iTunes originals” in… um… iTunes… duh!  I’d post a direct link, but apparently those are local drive-specific.

~Dan

Ani DiFranco – Billboard acoustic set & interview

15th Nov 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

recent spins

30th Sep 08 (Tue) 2 comments

9 recent releases in random order…

Medeski Martin & WoodZaebos :: MMW had a song on 2003’s Unknown Masada compilation.  That compilation is what I see to be the basis for the whole Masada Book Two set-up (other bands playing Zorn’s new Masada tunes).  MMW don’t disappoint on the full-album workings of Masada tunes.  While I think I like Secret Chiefs 3’s Xaphan and the Bar Kokhba Sextet’s Lucifer better from this year’s Masada Book Two crop, Zaebos does rocketh much.  MMW also has something like 3 more CDs coming out this year… the 1st one due out today (Radiolarians 1) – – and I hope to pick it up at their Eugene gig in mid-November.  I am curious about the sales numbers for Zaebos, as I think this is one of Tzadik’s more “mainstream artist” releases (very relatively speaking).

Ani DiFrancoRed Letter Year :: Glow in the dark moon on the front… nice.  I also dig the chunky guitars in “Alla This,” a fav of mine from her concerts the past two years or so (recent review HERE).  More band oriented, as well as a return to some horns on a few songs… a good move for Ani, IMO.  I’ve only made it through the CD twice so far, but it doesn’t seem to have any filler.  It’s good to hear the formerly only live tunes done up right in the studio.  For a more in-depth review, check out my friend ZSS’s 8th Notes blog HERE.

SF Jazz CollectiveLive 2008 :: SF Jazz Collective 2008 features Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, new MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón, and many other great modern jazz talents.  The 2008 SF Jazz Collective features original compositions and compositions by Wayne Shorter.  Originally planned as a 2-CD set to come out in July, it ended up being a 3-CD set getting bumped back to late Sept/early Oct.  It was worth the wait… this is 3 hours of solid new jazz music and solid arrangements of Wayne Shorter’s classics.  Favorites from each CD: “Aurora Borealis,” “Secrets of the Code,” and “Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Mitch HedbergDo You Believe in Gosh? :: A good remembrance of one of the funniest guys who used to like to stay at the hotel with the two trees.  It’s only around 40 minutes, but it doesn’t contain many misses or duplicates from his prior offerings.  Short, but sweet.

Hotel LightsFirecracker People :: Darren Jesse (former drummer of Ben Folds Five) wrote one of the best songs on BFF’s final record (“Magic” from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner).  In Hotel Lights, he takes up the guitar, piano, and songwriting torch and delivers from indie pop brilliance.  Much mellower than BFF material, but in line with the aforementioned “Magic.”  This is the Hotel Lights 3rd release… they’re on the indie Bar-None Records.  Support indie music.

George CarlinIt’s Bad For Ya :: While he is missed, his legacy lives on.  Brutally honest, or funny, or both.  He pulls no punches, even at 70 years young.

The Tiptons Sax QuartetLaws of Motion :: Yay, the Tiptons are coming back to Eugene in December.  I got into them late last year, right after they played here.  Four sax players, drums, and some great jazz meets world songs.  They are based in Seattle… and I think Amy Denio has ties to the Monktail Creative Music Concern and/or Eyvind Kang.  Anyway, the Tiptons are in good company.  Their Tsunami CD from 2007 made a late entry into my instrumental favs of the year.  Laws of Motion has a great shot for this year as well.  Indie music alert… support indie music.  Check ’em out on CD Baby.

Ben FoldsWay To Normal :: While I wish I could have made it to the Ben Folds Five “Reinhold Messner” reunion show (sponsored by MySpace), I wish Ben Folds Five would just reunite for good.  Alas, I suppose two albums by BFF alums in a span on one month isn’t so bad either (see Hotel Lights above). :)  While this album is slightly not as solid as recent Ben Folds solo outings (or perhaps he’s just predictable for me nowadays), it’s still a good album.  Maybe the super special edition b-sides from the overpriced special boxset fill the album in better.  I wasn’t up for paying that kind of coin, though… I’m sure they’ll surface somewhere.

Yoshie Fruchter – Pitom :: One of the more “rock band” efforts in Tzadik’s “Radical Jewish Culture” series.  Along with Zakarya & Jon Madof’s Rashanim, this is a welcome addition to the fold.  Great guitars and great violin & viola as well.  Grounded in Jewish music, yet soaring riffs.  I’m looking forward to hearing more and more from this great band.

~Dan – np: Ani DifrancoRed Letter Year

Ani DiFranco on Daytrotter

22nd Sep 08 (Mon) 1 comment

Ani DiFranco‘s got song songs up on the good ol’ Daytrotter Sessions… Four songs, live in-studio… FOR FREE.  Her new album comes out in about a week (Red Letter Year due out 9/30).

Go here for the free music:
http://daytrotter.com/article/1432/ani-difranco

1) Present/Infant 2) Coming Up 3) Subdivision 4) The Atom

http://www.rightesousbaberecords.com/
http://myspace.com/anidifranco

Past Daytrotter Sessions I’ve blogged about (and dug):

~Dan – np: George CarlinIt’s Bad For Ya

Greydon Square, Ani DiFranco & Steven Wilson

7th Aug 08 (Thu) 2 comments

Atheist rapper Greydon Square comes back strong on his latest album, The CPT Theorem. This is his third album, though his debut (Absolute from 2004) is long out-of-print… so it’s only the 2nd album of his that I am lucky to own. His album The Compton Effect was one of my favorite albums in 2007. This album branches out more beyond the primarily atheist lyrics, more about his life and other topics (to some extent). I’m on my 2nd time through, and I’m diggin’ it. Fav track thus far… “Cubed.” The album is on some internet stores, specifically iTunes. Give it a listen… as well as his last one (The Compton Effect), too…

In non-atheist rap news, Ani DiFranco‘s got a new song posted to her MyScpae page*. The song is called “Smiling Underneath.” I dig its more “band-oriented” sound. Her new (20th studio) album, Red Letter Year, comes out on 9/30/08.

Yep, 20 albums in, what, 18-19 years?!  Crazy… but I dig just about all of ’em.

Regarding Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson, of whom I posted a news bit 2 weeks or so ago, there’s a YouTube trailer for his upcoming solo album, Insurgentes:

Coming up this weekend for me… King’s X and Extreme playing on the same stage. Woot! How’s that for diverse music in one post: atheist rap, hipster folk, progressive rock, the founders of grunge, and a hair band. :)

~Dan – np: JudeCuba

*MyScpae is a new networking site for people who can’t tuckin’ fype.

Ani DiFranco – Red Letter Year (9/30/08)

22nd Jul 08 (Tue) Leave a comment

This just in from Righteous Babe Records

Ani’s last album was released in 2006, which kinda feels like a decade ago, given her tendency to spoil us with an album (or two) a year. But never fear, DiFrancolytes, for a brand new Ani record will be released on September 30, 2008.

It’s called Red Letter Year, and it’s more than worth the wait. These 12 songs have benefited from a couple years of tender loving care, under the watchful eye of Ani and her co-producer/partner Mike Napolitano. And if you’ve caught an Ani show recently, chances are you’ve been treated to a couple of ’em. This is focused, layered, joyful music, starring the Little Folksinger, her inventive three-piece band and a cavalcade of guest musicians.

“I feel like I’m back again,” Ani shares. “I’m out in the world and back in my happy self, ready to have a party.

“Come September, she’ll be passing out the ultimate party favor: Red Letter Year.

Be on the look out for updates concerning the new release, such as new tracks, photos, and videos, all to be posted right here and on the rest of the interweb over the next few weeks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now she’s at 9.38 months between CD releases (and 6.62 months between releases if you count the “official bootlegs”). Yep… she’s prolific (and I’m an accountant). :)

Well, it’s off on “vacation” for me… have fun. I won’t be posting until probably Sunday the 27th, and that’s only if there’s some cool music news…

~Dan – np: Ani DiFrancoLittle Plastic Castle

REVIEW: Ani DiFranco @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – – 4/16/08)

17th Apr 08 (Thu) 4 comments

Wow… great show last night from Ani and her compadres…

The opener was poet Judy Grahn‘s spoken word to beats and such from Animal Prufrock (formerly of Bitch & Animal) and guitarist Anne Carol. They played about 35-40 minutes. The songs/poems they played are presumed to be something along the lines of…

  • Bowls
  • Emotional Boner
  • Vampires
  • Mental
  • Love Me
  • The Forest
  • Bledsung
  • (unknown)
  • Walk & Taxi Back (my favorite of their set)

Ani DiFranco came around 9pm, played for just over an hour and a half. The background was really cool (but simple). It was a big curtain with different colored lights. McDonald Theatre didn’t seem to pull this out for That1Guy & Buckethead last month… alas, it was nice for Ani’s backdrop.

The last few times that I’d seen her, she only had bass accompaniment from Todd Sickafoose (who has not one but two nice jazz recordings). This time, she also had Allison Miller on drums and Mike Dylan (or Dillon) on xylophone (or was it a vibraphone?) and bongos.

Set list:

  • Shy
  • Half-Assed
  • Not a Pretty Girl
  • Swim
  • Lag Time
  • Decree
  • Napoleon
  • As Is (a favorite of the night)
  • Subdivision (a favorite of the night)
  • Here For Now
  • Swan Dive (a favorite of the night)
  • Fire Door
  • Anticipate
  • The Atom (new song, presumed title)
  • Alla This / Bankroll (new song, two titles floating around the internets)
  • In the Way
  • Shameless (a favorite of the night)
  • Encore: Gravel
  • Hypnotized

Eight times in eight years… it’s a good annual (or so) tradition to see Ani at work. The new songs seemed familiar; so perhaps she played them last year on tour, too. I look forward to her next album, which is probably “due” in 55 days based on the scientifically syncronized Ani DiFranco album gestation calendar (currently 9.16 months per Ani release, and 6.46 months if the “official bootleg” live albums are brought into the mix)*.

~Dan – np: klezmer podcast no. 33 (here)

*- Go on, tell yourself that I’m making these numbers up. The sad truth. I’m not.

Another Wave of Fave (2007)

19th Jan 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

My Other Favorites of 2007 Recaps:
* Fav Concerts of ’07 are recapped *HERE*
* Fav Local / Vinyl / Internet-Only / Podcasts of ’07 are *HERE*

Well, this “Round 3” is decidedly less flashy (sans pics)… I’ve got too much homework to do to be putzing around on my 2007 pontifications… :-) I have included MySpace links for artists represented on MySpace, whether officially or fictionally represented (just click their names and check out their stuff).

Favorite EPs

1) Porcupine TreeNil Recurring
2) Holy FuckHoly Fuck
3) Kelly EvansEasy
4) The Album LeafGreen Tour
5) Auragami+/-
6) SiaLady Croissant
7t) Sarah MasenMagic That Works
7t) Sarah Masen – A History of Lights and Shadows
7t) Sarah Masen – Woman’s Work is Alchemy
8 ) MúmThe Peel Session

Favorite Compilations/Re-issues
1) Secret Chiefs 3Path of Most Resistance: In History and Presence
2) Ani DiFrancoCanon
3) Sigur RósHvarf-Heim
4) Peter MulveyNotes From Elsewhere : solo acoustic
5) Derek WebbOne Zero (Acoustic & Remixes)
hm) Nick DrakeFamily Tree

Favorite Live Albums
1) Dave Douglas QuintetLive at the Jazz Standard
2) Ken AndrewsNever Say Never – Tour CD
3) ElleryWhat I’ve Said Out Loud
4) Dub TrioCool Out and Coexist
5) The Cracow Klezmer BandRemembrance: Live in Warsaw
hm) Ani DiFranco – Boston, 11.10.06
hm) Over the RhineLive from Nowhere Farm, Volume Two

Favorite Music-related DVDs (huge tie for 5th, obviously a rigged election… or a sign of getting too many DVD for xmas from family)
1) Sigur Rós – Heima
2) SilverchairAcross the Great Divide
3) That1Guy and the Magic PipeLive in the Land of OZ (late-late 2006 release)
4) Ellery – An Evening with Ellery
5t) Ben FoldsLive at MySpace
5t) EstradaspherePalace of Mirrors Live
5t) IncubusLook Alive
5t) Kaada / PattonLive

My final two rounds (Fave Instrumental & Fave Vocal Albums) should be posted next week or so. Yeah, I know. Whatever. :-)

~Dan – np: CrunchyLoserville

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