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Ani DiFranco Vinyl Records
Binary“My last record was very inward-looking,” says Ani DiFranco. “I was pregnant and then raising a screaming infant. But now that kid is about to turn four, so I got out of the weeds of personal space and started looking outward again, being more engaged, more big ‘P’ Political. As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place. So when I’m not in heartbreak or motherhood mode, that’s where you’ll naturally find me.”
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world’s attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
She describes a moment during the writing of “Play God,” an unblinking pro-choice battle cry, as a particular breakthrough. (A live version of the song was included in the anti-Trump “30 Days, 30 Songs” campaign alongside tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, and more.)
“When I wrote the line ‘You don’t get to play god, man/I do,’ I paused and thought, ‘Can I say that?,’ “ she says. “It’s not the first time I’ve thought that, but it’s been a while. And in that moment, I thought, ‘I’m back, mothafuckas!’”
“When you make a record about family and relationships, people assume you’re mommy now and you’ve lost your edge, and it’s going to be all buttercups from here on. So that line had the feeling of ‘Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!”
On Binary, DiFranco tackles the challenge and necessity of teaching non-violence with “Pacifist’s Lament” and the need for empathy in “Terrifying Sight.” Remarkably, though, these songs—recorded, in her usual fashion, in a couple of short full-sprint sessions spread across several years—were all written prior to the 2016 elections and attendant political turmoil.
“I’m not surprised,” says DiFranco. “Over twenty-five years, I’ve found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they’re about. I’m just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what’s happening now—the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!”
She notes that Binary’s title track is key to her intention on this project. “I always title a record from the song that seems to be at its core,” she says. “An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy—nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that’s only a surface story.”
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology (“Sitting alone at home, staring at a screen, you can’t really know anything, because knowing is engaging,” she says), DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world.
“Every year on Goddess’ Green Earth, I understand my relationship to it more,” she says. “My early songs were all human drama. I don’t think I noticed the bigger picture at all—I was transfixed by power dynamics between people. Now I see that it’s largely the providence of women to really embody nature, so I do think I’m getting back to basics, and it’s a shift for me.”
The backbone of Binary’s sound is DiFranco’s long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. “I knew I wanted to involve some of my brilliant friends this time out,” she says. “We made some calls and got a party going. That was the idea, to reach out and have some other spirits enter.”
Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record; “they are so captivating and they elevate my shit whenever they come near it,” says DiFranco. Other contributors include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of the tunes. “Their souls are of this place,” she says. “The feel they bring is something they got in utero.”
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her “Vote Dammit!” tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women’s March on Washington and performing at the official Women’s March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it’s a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
“While I was precedent-setting at one time with Righteous Babe and my indie crusade, I feel like, in the time it took me to nurse another baby into being, I’ve fallen behind,” she says. “The universe and technology have continued to evolve, and the idea of harnessing technology and crowd-sourcing everything—money, knowledge, revolution—is a very powerful concept that I’m ready to get more involved with. Righteous Babe is starting to grow now into something that will hopefully become avant-garde once again- more of a collective, more dynamic.”
“I’m trying to figure it out daily,” says Ani DiFranco. “Just like always.”1. Binary
2. Pacifist’s Lament
4. Play God
7. Even More
10. Terrifying Sight
11. Deferred Gratification
$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Ani DiFrancoEtched D Side
The essential early album, from the 20-yearold woman who gave folk music a bad name, was originally released on CD and Cassette in 1990.
This 140gm, two-record set includes three sides of newly re-mastered audio and a collectable etched side of the photo that inspired the Righteous Babe logo.
Packaged in a gatefold album jacket with lyric sheet.1. Both Hands
2. Talk To Me Now
3. The Slant
4. Work Your Way Out
5. Dog Coffee
6. Lost Woman Song
7. Pale Purple
8. Rush Hour
9. Fire Door
10. The Story
11. Every Angle
12. Out of Habit
13. Letting the Telephone Ring
$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Allergic To Water (Out Of Stock)White Colored Vinyl
Ani DiFranco has never been afraid to take chances, and her new album, Allergic to Water, is another bold accomplishment featuring some of her most subtle music to date. Throughout the disc, DiFranco, her band and a few music guests, create melodies that are lilting and funky, imaginative and personal: so personal that she produced and mixed the record all on-her-own. DiFranco packs a world of musical surprises into the 12 low-key songs on Allergic To Water. Vibes, tones and rhythms constantly change while her band draws on its own expansive palette.1. Dithering
2. See See See See
3. Woe Be Gone
4. Careless Words
5. Allergic to Water
6. Harder Than It Needs to Be
8. Happy All the Time
9. Yeah Yr Right
11. Still My Heart
12. Rainy Parade
$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
Dilate (Out Of Stock)One of Ani’s top selling albums available for the first time on vinyl. This 2 LP set contains a poster/lyrics sheet, download card and black slip sleeves in a gatefold jacket. Fan favorite tracks include Untouchable Face, Napoleon and Shameless. Newly re-mastered for vinyl, the sound is as warm and luscious as Ani intended when she first mastered these tracks in 1996.Untouchable Face
Outta me, Onto you
Adam and Eve
$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
Not A Pretty Girl (Out of Stock)First Time On Vinyl!
Ani’s highly acclaimed 1995 release Not a Pretty Girl is newly re-mastered for vinyl from the original studio tapes. This 2-LP set includes lyrics printed on the inside gatefold. Fan favorite tracks include “Shy”, “Not a Pretty Girl”, “32 Flavors” and “Coming Up”. This album is out now for the first time on vinyl.
“DiFranco clearly has a full emotional palette at her fingertips…one of the few artists around who can really paint the rainbows”
- Rollingstone1. Worthy
3. Cradle and All
5. Sorry I Am
6. Light of Some Kind
7. Not a Pretty Girl
8. The Million You Never Made
9. Hour Follows Hour
10. 32 Flavors
11. Asking Too Much
12. This Bouquet
13. Crime for Crime
14. Coming Up
$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
Little Plastic Remixes (Out of Stock)Ani DiFranco's first remix EP on blue marble vinyl!
Little Plastic Remixes is the second EP released by Ani DiFranco, but her first foray into remixes. It consists of three remixes of songs from her 1998 album Little Plastic Castle and one live track from her 1993 album Puddle Dive. This vinyl was previously only available on the Righteous Babe web site. The ep of remixes from the Little Plastic Castle era was originally released in 1999. Surely a collector's item, Ani herself drew the cartoon on the cover.1. Little Plastic Castle - Hobby Lobby remix
2. My IQ - Live in Santa Rosa, CA 11/97
3. Gravel - Ahem remix
4. Glass House - Turkey Tamale remix
$9.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
Red Letter Year (Out Of Stock)The dozen tunes on Ani DiFranco's new studio album Red Letter Year celebrate existence, profess love and condemn religious fundamentalism with an infectious sense of glee. Joining Ani here are producer Napolitano (Joseph Arthur, The Twilight Singers, Squirrel Nut zippers) and a group of guest artists that includes long-time Ani collaborator Jon Hassell (Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Ry Cooder) on trumpet and the Rebirth Brass Band, which shines on the Dixieland instrumental Red Letter Year (reprise).
Ani's band, which features bassist Todd Sickafoose (who also did the string arrangements), vibraphonist Mike Dillon and drummer Allison Miller, is a major source of Red Letter Year's singular personality. On Emancipated Minor, Miller's driving beat tethers to Ani's killer electric guitar hook, while Sickafoose's strings add an otherworldly element to the proceedings. Dillon's vibes on All This are as rich and open-minded as the little folksinger's defiant lyrics.1. Red Letter Year
2. Alla This
4. Smiling Underneath
5. Way Tight
6. Emancipated Minor
7. Good Luck
8. The Atom
9. Round A Pole
10. Landing Gear
12. Red Letter Year (Reprise)
13. Emancipated Minor (Extended Mix)
$15.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
Which Side Are You On? (Out Of Stock)Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco releases her eagerly awaited album Which Side Are You On? on the Grammy-winning artists own Righteous Babe Records. The release marks DiFrancos 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 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.
The newly recorded version of "Which Side Are You On?" is a funk-fueled epic, incorporating not just Anis band, but Pete Seeger himself on banjo and vocals alongside The Rivertown Kids, a Hudson Valley-based childrens 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. DiFranco contributed her own straight-from-the headlines verses to the song and has used it to close her own live shows ever since. The album represents an extraordinary snapshot of DiFrancos own life as well her sense of where the country stands at this particular moment in time.1. Life Boat
3. Which Side Are You On?
8. If Yr Not
$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, to Elizabeth and Dante DiFranco, who had met while attending MIT. She started playing
DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, to Elizabeth and Dante DiFranco, who had met while attending MIT. She started playing Beatles covers at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher, Michael Meldrum, at the age of nine. In 1989, DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Records. Early in her career DiFranco worked with manager Dale Anderson, a writer for the Buffalo News, who started another record label called Hot Wings Records, after the two parted ways, that released similar sounding material. Her self-titled debut album was issued on the label in the winter of 1990. Later, she relocated to New York City, where she took poetry classes at The New School and toured vigorously for the next 15 years, essentially pausing briefly only to record albums.
Righteous Records was renamed Righteous Babe Records in 1994.