Ani DiFranco - Living In Clip

"Living in Clip" ist eine Doppel-CD, mit Aufnahmen von Liveauftritten im Zeitraum 1995/96. Ich hatte ja schon die Vermutung geäußert, daß Ani DiFranco zu ihrer furioser Gitarrenarbeit auch noch gleichzeitig singt - hier ist die Bestätigung. Nicht nur das: sie gab damals ihre Konzert in einer Triobesetzung, in der zu ihrer Gitarre+Stimme lediglich Baß und (das von Andy Stochansky freilich grandios gespielte) Schlagzeug hinzu kamen. Das ist jetzt keine typische Klampfenmusik, wo zu Dauergeschrengel nette Liedchen geträllert werden: das ist hochintelligenter Volldampf-Rock, bei dem das Publikum hörbar außer Rand und Band gerät.

Ani produziert - seit ihren ersten Anfängen - ihre Platten selber und veröffentlicht sie auf ihrem eigenen Label; auf jeder CD steht der schöne Satz: "unauthorized duplication, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing" (und angesichts der aufwändig gestalteten Booklets stimmt er auch) - daher denke ich, es geht ok, wenn ich sie selber sprechen lasse, und die (fast) kompletten Liner-Notes abschreibe.

nothing on this album was overdubbed. there's the occasional sampling (accounting for the phenomenon of two anis singing at once) which, with the exception of the of the track WRONG WITH ME, occurred live at the shows. at the sound board, andrew would sample my voice on the fly, loop ist, and send it back through the PA, so i could harmonize with myself on stage (ex: WHATWEVER). on WRONG WITH ME i grabbed snatches of my guitar groove and vocal preamble to IN OR OUT, looped them, and just sorta reinvented the introduction to the song. but as far as overdubbing, there's only one exception. we redid the vocal on the orchestral version of BOTH HANDS because the original track had so much line hum and high-pitched electrical interference, it would've made your teeth itch and your dog howl.

'course a lot of the hiss and hum we just to accept and leave in. we recorded without using compressors, and unsupervised ADAT taping of live performances is not ideal, after all. we had 8 tracks to work with (except HIDE AND SEEK and TIPTOE which were on DAT), most of which were dominated by andy's goddam crash cymbal and the incessant screaming of the front 10 rows.

but hey, we wouldn't want the performance of the machines to outdo the little people on stage, what with their missed chords and beats and flubbed changes... so if the chick singer is not singing the right words, don't adjust your set, just revel in the beauty of live performance.

you can hear all the right words on the studio albums, if you want, but the songs won't sound nearly as much like themselves as they do here. I've never been a studio musician, very few folksingers are, i think. we travel. we play music for people, not posterity. no permanence. no perfection. there are those who turn knobs and make magic and there are those who turn up and try to make a living. these recordings represent a handful of the suspect situations (orchestra, anyone?) and ludicrous venues that i followed my guitar into, in the past year... baroque, sculpted theatres and dark, skanky rock clubs. hockey stadiums and airplane hangers, tents, ballrooms, and sweaty basement bars where i could smell the audience (and vice versa, god forbid).

speaking of which. the audience wasn't miked on these recordings. all the audience sound you hear is what picked up by my vocal mic (in case you wonder what i hear). on some of the songs, we muted all the tracks exept for the guitar pickup at the end so you can just hear the audience vibrating through it (in case you wonder what my guitar hears).

and to the audience i've got two things to say:
1. next time, shut the fuck up!
2. thank you, thank you, thank you
thank you for driving hours and hours to get to the show, amassing speeding tickets along the way. thank you for for waiting around in the cold before doors. thank you for the tapes, the poetry, the cookies... thank you for listening to my sorry ass. i remember my life before you would come around, it was bleak. i owe my job to you, and i owe my life to my job.

Um es im Deutsch der Goethe-Zeit zu sagen: welch hoher Geist und stolzer Sinn!

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