Friday, April 18, 2014

This Record Changed My Life

If you haven’t already seen this over at Cellar Door Cleveland, I thought I’d re-publish it here.  They asked me to do a blurb on my favorite album, for a piece leading up to Record Store Day.  I do have to admit that I feel like I’m still in the closet in some ways with being an Ani DiFranco fan - being that so many other music-folk I know kind of scoff of her as a performer, quickly categorizing her as “angry feminist”.  It’s terrible really, as I see her as being an artist that stays more true to her art than most other performers I see.  So in some ways, this piece was my coming out… as an Ani fan.  Make sure you check out everyone else who participated as well!

Ani Difranco Living In Clip Frontal

Roger Zender, Owner/Writer of The Zender Agenda
Artist: Ani DiFranco
Album: Living in Clip

I love new music. I’m always on the hunt for something that I haven’t heard before, so the thought of looking back and picking an album that “changed my life” is quite daunting. What genre? What era? Is this even possible? After a quick personal panic, I realized this was actually quite easy. The album I choose is Ani DiFranco’s Living in Clip (a ’97 double live album). I was working at Finders Records (Bowling Green, OH) at the time, I was in my early twenties and was just discovering the diversity of the music industry. I first discovered Ani DiFranco the previous year with Dilate, the album that established her as a truly successful independent artist with her own record label. Ani stood out because she was unabashedly political and unapologetically queer. This blew my mild, Midwest mind – one that was raised on hair metal and overproduced pop/rap. It was at this same time that I started seeing concerts on a regular basis, and seeing Ani live for the first time made my jaw drop. Living in Clip was a double album that collected works from her previous 6 studio albums, as well as poems, banter, and snorts. I remember anxiously waiting for it to be released, and when the box of new releases arrive from the distributor at Finders I snuck a copy out of the store before the street date. This album represents my burgeoning awareness of the power of music, the power of the live show, and the power of politics in music, all in a single package. I can easily say this album changed my life. If you need proof, just ask to see my tattoo.

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