Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Music Review: Ani DiFranco

October 5, 2009
Ani Difranco

Ani Difranco

Ani Difranco really didnt come to my attention until Lilith Fair really got going. Thats one of the many great things that came about with the invention of Lilith Fair. All these female artists who were making the music circuit and even though they were signed and playing venues, they really were virtually ignored until there was a concert devoted to musicians just like them.

When you think of Ani (pronounced “Ahhhneee”) you think of patchouli smelling feminist women (some bi, some straight, some lesbian… ok more lesbian and bi than straight) who wear flannel and dont shave their pits who love folk rock and poetry. Well, you would be right however despjte my wording, thats not a bad thing. I love Ani!!!

I always feel bad for her though cuz shes always pigeon holed into being a certain way. Shes bisexual and discusses that at length in her songs. She is a feminist icon and women look to her as someone who isnt afraid to say whats on her mind. Not only is she a great lyricist shes also a pretty amazing poet and on her albums she will have soley spoken word poems alongside her folk rock music.

A few years ago she married a man and the worst thing happened. Something that will now make me go on a rant…

Ani Difranco as I said became a feminist icon and being bisexual, lesbian and bisexual women loved her. When she married Andrew Gilchrist, a sound engineer whom she worked with often all these women who claimed their love and respect for her being who she is turned their backs on her. So many people were offended, agitated, pissed off, and betrayed by her.

Really? She opens her heart to you all in her music, tells you flat out shes bisexual (remember, bi sexual meaning she liked BOTH MEN AND WOMEN) and she marries someone of the opposite sex and you feel betrayed? Im sorry but fans really have issues when it comes to figuring out what stance you fall on. I as a bisexual woman have a tendency to get very agitated by this double standard (as you can see).

So if your bisexual you are allowed to be loved by both men and women but once you fall in love with a man, its wrong? Is that really how it works? I really hate when women who are bi or lesbian claim to be open minded, want to be respected for their way of life and then become hypocrites and be upset if someone is bisexual and believes that love shouldnt have to do with gender, it should be about how you feel about the person.

Ok rant done for now. Lets get back to the greatness that is Ani. Ani has made a name for herself in the folk genre, feminist genre, indie genre. Indie is the best place for Ani. Its the best place for ANYONE who wants to make a career in music where they can say whatever the fuck they want, not bow down to the powers that be (in 1989 she made her own label,Righteous Records) and do what they love. She just seems like a down home girl that loves talking politics, religion, life, love, you name it and not give a fuck what others think. You dont love her, whatever, she doesnt fucking know you so why should she care. You love her, awesome shes sincerely honored to have your attention and does her best to make sure you enjoy her.

There are two songs by her (well I love more than two but anyways…)that always stick with me. 32 Flavors basically talks about how she knows how she is perceived but is making sure you know she is worth more than you think she is. “I am a poster girl with no poster I am 32 Flavors and then some, I am beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head”. Alana Davis covered it and both are great but knowing those words came from Ani herself, it just shows how attentive she is. My other favorite is Not a Pretty Girl. A line like “What if there were no damsel in distress, what if I knew that and called your bluff, dont you think every kitten figures out how to get down whether or not you ever show up!”

God those lines! I hear those lines and I get this grin on my face like Wowww she really knows how to put people in their place. I feel like I relate to soo many negative experiences shes gone through in her life. The difference is, she knows exactly how to handle herself in them and knows what to say meanwhile I can only think them. Its like she takes the words out of my mouth. I gotta love that. Whenever I am feeling like Ive been pushed aside from someone because I am not attractive enough or special enough, I can put one of her songs on and it makes me feel bold and strong and I can remember that they can never break me!

Ok video time: Sadly I could only find one, and I must be honest I didnt even remember the song. Its not one I listen to often. However its a good song and will do just fine!

Music Review: Amanda Palmer

August 13, 2009
The Great Amanda Palmer with the Danger Ensemble

The Great Amanda Palmer with the Danger Ensemble

You don’t come across musicians like Amanda Palmer as often as you would like (well, at least as often as I would like!).

Back in the day musicians, painters, actors, writers, all joined together to live their art. They would have collaborations and feed each others creativity. It was supposed to be. The knowledge that every artistic endeavor, be it music or fine art accented the other. Art in all its forms were each others’ muse.

Today, while we respect the different genres and classifications of art, we don’t see bands like Fall Out Boy having intense artistic retreats with painters or poets. These days all we see is the celebrity. The parties they go to and make spectacles of themselves so they can be famous. Its not about growing as an artist.

Now granted, I’m not saying ALL are like that and who knows, maybe Pete Wentz and Maya Angelou do have tea parties in the park discussing culture and its influence in art. I’m not a paparazzo so how would I know? My point is, if it is happening, you sure as hell don’t hear about it as often as I feel is important.

NOW BACK TO AMANDA!!

If you don’t know who Amanda Palmer is, for shame! You totally should! Massachusetts-brewed Amanda Palmer first made herself known to the masses (ok well I can only speak for me) in the punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls. Now focusing on her solo work for the time being she has a most fabulous album called “Who Killed Amanda Palmer”. I have to tell you, this woman already impressed me and won me over in The Dresden Dolls, they are one of my favorite bands but she has won my respect and support in all her future endeavors with this album.

This album floored me. I heard the album and songs like Runs in the Family, Astronaut, Guitar Hero, Oasis (to name only a small few) were just smacks of shock to my face. Only Amanda could make Oasis (a song about rape and abortion) a fun little diddy. The emotions run rampant in this whole album, its funny, scary, sad, and makes you think. Its real. Its life. When I first heard the cd I loved all the songs, still do. Later on I realized through the magic of Youtube, that she did a dvd video compilation to go along with many of the songs from the album. I heard the whole album and didn’t realized that the songs were dipicting a story. Its a musical. At least thats what I got from it. Very avant guarde and contemporary. I watched it and it made me cry.

*note to everyone, when something artistic makes me cry…. its a fabulous thing*

I will be honest, if you are looking for an angelic, innocent sound like Tori Amos or Kate Bush, then you’re out of luck. Although she follows in their footsteps when it comes to imagery and boldness in their lyrics, the sound isn’t ethereal. Tori makes the music sound innocent and pure with her voice and composing of music while Kate uses prose and symbolic wording. I love both but Amanda handles it differently. She much more brave in her songs. Yes its beautiful, shes an amazing pianist, you can tell when she’s playing the emotion is hitting those keys. Yes she may not have the angelic voice Tori or Kate has but the love and the emotion is in it 10 times more. It’s real. It’s home. Its your eccentric cousin laying down her weirdness for you to hear. She may be the black sheep of the family but you look forward to sitting next to her and listening to what she has to say because although you may be more quiet, shes pretty much saying things most of us are afraid to hear yet we all relate to in one way, shape, or form. She has no problem being blunt. Who knew being blunt and honest could be so fucking beautiful???

Aside from the music, she is still one of the most artistic people I have ever heard and read about. Her blog (look to the left of my page shes the first one on my blog roll) and twitter are endless pictures and discussions about meetings with fellow artists, working on different projects, traveling the world, doing her own art, and helping other artists with their own projects. This is a woman who thinks like the artists of the past did and I fucking love that!!! Artistry can have a focus on music but music alone can be boring. Fine art, poetry, theater, all of it need to be in constant contact. It needs to be discussed, worshiped, praised, and studied. You can tell in Amanda’s style and in her way of thinking that she believes in a mantra that follows these ideals.

Oh! One thing I always thought was really awesome about her! Before she really made it to where she is now, she would make money as a performance artist in the streets of Boston. She was the Eight Foot Bride, a living statue. Here’s a pic:

Amanda Palmer as the Eight Foot Bride

Amanda Palmer as the Eight Foot Bride

Whenever I see Amanda and hear her speak or blog, it makes me so happy. No I’m not an obsessed with the woman (I’m too lazy AND too busy at the same time so yeah never gonna happen for ANYONE) in fact, that’s WHY I think she’s so awesome. She doesn’t come off as better than anyone. She’s an equal. I’m friends with people like her. She’s an artist who is just an artist and enjoys being so. As an aspiring actress, writer, and singer, seeing her do what she does, doesn’t make me wish I was her, because shes just like me. It just makes me feel good to know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. That its possible to be that way and be successful.

Artistry is all. If you need to know what that means, do your research. Check out Amanda Fucking Palmer!

Video time. God, there are soo many to choose from. This is the video for Runs In the Family which is part 4 of the “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” video series. I highly suggest checking them all out in order.