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A sunset when you’re driving due west

November 14, 2007

I rifled through my CD collection and put Up up up up up up up into the CD player as my husband was driving west on I40 towards Asheville, NC.  We hadn’t considered the position of the sun when we planned our trip.  At around 5 in the evening, Mother Nature was mocking our angst as I sang along to the lyrics, “virtue is relative at best/ there’s nothing worse than a sunset/ when you’re driving due west”.

We arrived in Asheville with plenty of time to find a free parking spot on the street and walk around downtown.  The trees were adorned with strings of white lights, maybe because of the holiday season, or maybe to accent the beauty of their bare branches.  We saw a crowd on the sidewalk outside of Malaprop’s bookstore.  But the scent of Cuban food lured us into Havana Restaurant diagonally across from the Civic Center.  My husband was so relieved to eat a rice and meat based meal.  I was so relieved that it put him in a great mood for the concert and helped him settle in to enjoy the moment.

Here is the song list from Ani’s November 11th concert.  I did the best I could, but some songs might be out of order.

God’s Country
Your Next Bold Move
Lag time
Independence Day
If He Tries Anything
Grand Canyon (spoken poem)
the Atom
Landing Gear
Alla this
To the Teeth
Little Plastic Castle

encore: Both Hands, 32 Flavors

Each of the songs is linked thanks to Danah, who hosts a website dedicated to song lyrics written by Ani DiFranco.

Between Buddy Wakefield’s opening poetry recitations and Ani’s performance, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich spoke about his opposition to nuclear energy and his commitment to putting sustainable energy in American homes.  He proposed helping American homeowners use alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar, better insulating their homes and emphasizing conservation.  He encouraged those in the audience to become members of NIRS, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an organization with an affiliate office in Asheville.  His message was well-received by the audience, but as Ani later pointed out, the audience didn’t exactly represent a cross-section of American voters.

He said he admired Ani as a powerful public figure and a capable messenger.  He said he hoped Ani would play her song The Atom, which she did.  Ani said she has been to Washington DC and met with congressmen (or their aides) to fight against plans to dump nuclear waste on Indian land in Utah and Nevada.  She said, since she picked up on the fact that so many in Washington like to “get their god on,” she wrote The Atom from a religious standpoint.

You can watch a YouTube video of Dennis speaking at the concert in Boston on DandelionSalad’s blog.  You can also read more about Dennis Kucinich’s electability at The Smirking Chimp.

Dennis came back out onto the stage for Little Plastic Castle and played a handheld percussion instrument that, for lack of a better term, I have to call a shaker.  It was predictably goofy, but also very fun.

Ani did talk a little about being a new mother (her daughter was born last January) and feeling a little spaced-out, a symptom of mom brain.  She said giving birth is the epicenter of women’s power and she now sees the world in terms of firsts, referencing the first time she met with Dennis since her daughter’s birth.  She said she talked to Utah Phillips and let him know that she had written some new songs for her daughter.  According to her, he then responded, “Got any rants?”  It was hilarious because she had talked about how women and men respond differently to life.  She said that while she used to try to sneak the word feminism into conversations, her new favorite word is patriarchy.  She made fun of her own efforts to work the word into conversations by saying:  “Good morning,” and coughing “PATRIARCHY” not so subtly into her fist.

I think I can color myself convinced not to support Ron Paul’s campaign, especially when I went back and reconsidered the lyrics of Serpentine.

conjugate liberty
into libertarian
and medicate it
associate it
with deregulation
we won’t even know we’re slaves
on a corporate plantation
somebody say halleluja!
somebody say damnation!

Although I admire Ron Paul and I respect traditional values, I don’t know for sure that he would do anything about *cough* PATRIARCHY *cough* and I don’t want to be duped into conjugating liberty into libertarian.  Also, nuclear energy was put back on my radar.  So, while I don’t want every single aspect of our American lives to be socialized, I do think that every American deserves to be treated equally.  I want people to make informed decisions and I want a president who is anti-war and progressive enough not to rely on manipulating words (tax-relief, defense of marriage, pro-life) in order to get votes.

In conclusion, the concert was awesome, the atmosphere was electric (powered by sustainable energy sources like laughter and glee LOL!) and I hope I’ve been able to convey a little of my excitement.

  1. November 15, 2007 9:06 am

    Sounds like you had a fantastic evening! Ani’s lyrics that you printed about libertarians are really, really interesting.

  2. November 17, 2007 3:11 pm

    I absolutely love your expression – “powered by sustainable energy sources like laughter and glee”.

  3. November 18, 2007 10:41 am

    Thanks! 🙂 My thought about sustainable energy comes from the movie Monsters, Inc., when the powers that be finally discover that a child’s happiness renders more energy than a child’s fear.

  4. November 27, 2007 11:47 am

    A newspaper review of the Asheville concert: Mountain Xpress

    The F word: Independent Weekly

    Zero compromises: Boston Herald

  5. February 4, 2008 8:50 pm

    She is simply amazing. I linked to her “Coming Up” spoken word video recently. Not to mention, introduced a new friend this week to her.

    Her best CD set is the Living in Clip one, if you ask me. Rarely is an artist better in person than on CD, but she’s one of those few.

  6. February 5, 2008 8:24 am

    I love Living in Clip as well! That was the first one I bought. Then, once I was in love, I started to buy most of the older albums, but I was already used to how the songs sounded on Living in Clip, so I had to get used to the original versions. LOL!

  7. Matt permalink
    November 16, 2008 2:33 am

    Hmm. I’ve always liked Ani, and at one point in time agreed with her politics, but no longer. I do not think she really understands libertarianism (nor do I think most people do), and she probably associates it with the kind of crony-capitalism that has often coincided with libertarian rhetoric (which is just about anything BUT libertarian). The problem with libertarianism is that it is not at all intuitive. It is a philosophy derived from rigorous logic and empiricism that takes much dedication to develop, which is generally why, I think, it is such a fringe philosophy. Anyway… I agree with Ani in spirit, just not in method.

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