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CharmerThe long awaited new album from Aimee Mann, Charmer, will be released on Superego Records. Influenced by what Mann calls the super pop of the 70s and 80s, the album is her first release since 2008's celebrated @#%&*! Smilers. Of Charmer, her eighth studio album, Mann comments, I'm fascinated by charming people and the whole idea of charm. It's hard to remember sometimes that there is usually an agenda behind the act of being charming, and that is what I'm most interested in. Is someone's charm being utilized just to try and entertain people, make them feel special and interesting, or is there a more sinister purpose behind it? Sometimes I think 'charm' can just be another word for 'manipulation.' The album also includes a duet with James Mercer of The Shins on Living a Lie. Mann will support the new album with tour dates this fall.1. Charmer
5. Soon Enough
6. Living a Lie
7. Slip and Roll
9. Gamma Ray
11. Red Flag Diver$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mental IllnessPressed On Pink Colored Vinyl
Limited Die-Cut Art
Mental Illness is Aimee Mann's first new solo album in five years. Housed in a die-cut jacket and pressed on colored vinyl.1. Goose Snow Cone
2. Stuck In The Past
3. You Never Loved Me
5. Lies Of Summer
6. Patient Zero
7. Good For Me
8. Knock It Off
9. Philly Sinks
10. Simple Fix
11. Poor Judge$22.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mastered From The Original Analogue Source At 96 kHz / 24-Bit
Mastered For Vinyl And Lacquers Created Using Half Speed Mastering By Stan Ricker
Housed In A Glossy Standard Jacket And Includes An 11 X 11 Glossy Insert
Voices Carry is the first studio album by the American band 'Til Tuesday, released in 1985. 'Til Tuesday's debut single was the album's title track, which went to #8 on the Billboard singles chart and remains the band's best-known song. The title song was originally sung by a woman to a woman, but due to record company pressure for less controversial lyrics it was changed to be sung to a man. The Voices Carry video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and was played heavily on MTV. It depicts a boyfriend trying to convert Aimee Mann to his upper-class lifestyle; she finally lashes out at him during a concert at Carnegie Hall, standing up from her seat in the audience and belting the lyrics (He said, shut up! He said, shut up! Oh God, can't you keep it down?...) as she removes her cap to reveal her signature spiky, rat-tailed hair. The album's second and third singles were Love in a Vacuum and Looking over My Shoulder; the latter peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.1. Love In A Vacuum
2. Looking Over My Shoulder
3. I Could Get Used To This
4. No More Crying
5. Voices Carry
6. Winning The War
7. You Know The Rest
8. Maybe Monday
9. Are You Serious?
10. Don't Watch Me Bleed
11. Sleep$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
The BothTed Leo, of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Oscar-nominated Aimee Mann from 'Til Tuesday have joined forces for their collaborative project The Both, previously known as #both. The band is built upon a friendship forged when they were on tour last year, and a mutual respect for each other's talents and musical vocabularies.1. The Gambler
3. No Sir
4. Volunteers of America
5. Pay For it
6. You Can't Help Me Now
7. The Prisoner
9. Honesty is no Excuse
10. Bedtime Stories
11. The Inevitable Shove$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Harry Nilsson could be one of the more neglected but great singer-songwriters of the 20th century. John Lennon & Paul McCartney both named him as their favourite American singer in a 1968 press conference.
The Monkees, Fred Astaire, the Yardbirds, and later artists such as Aimee Mann and Mariah Carey recorded his songs.
But ask the average Joe about him, and they probably won't know that he was the man behind classics such as 'Everybody's Talkin', 'One' and 'Without You'.
Harry had a taste for Tin Pan Alley songs & McCartney-esque melodies, but his impish wit and impressive vocal range give his songs an extra dimension.
Nilsson Schmilsson contains his biggest hit 'Without You', along with other classics such as the faux-tropical song 'Coconut' and the bluesy 'Early In The Morning'.
This album is more accessible and cohesive than any of his other albums and received a number of Grammy nominations on its 1971 release, yet it still manages to keep the mischievous and slightly off-kilter humour.
Available on Music On Vinyl with its original artwork!
1. Gotta Get Up (2:23)
2. Driving Along (2:03)
3. Early In The Morning (2:48)
4. The Moonbeam Song (3:19)
5. Down (3:24)
1. Without You (3:15)
2. Coconut (3:48)
3. Let The Good Times Roll (2:42)
4. Jump Into The Fire (6:53)
5. I'll Never Leave You (4:16)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Edge of Seventeen SoundtrackPressed On 180-Gram Audiophile Vinyl
First Pressing Of 750 Numbered Copies On Orange Vinyl, Black Vinyl Thereafter
Housed In A Gatefold Sleeve
Includes Exclusive Poster
PVC Protective Sleeve
OST Of The Brand New 2016 Movie, Featuring Hailee Steinfeld & Woody Harrelson
Great Tracks By Santigold, Anderson Paak, Two Door Cinema Club, Aimee Mann, Miike Snow, Handsome Poets, Phantogram, Angus & Julia Stone, Birdy A.O.
The Edge of Seventeen is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club - an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it's like to grow up as a young woman in today's modern world.
Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian starts dating her best friend Krista. All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.
The Edge of Seventeen marks the feature directorial debut of writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig, and is produced by Academy Award® winner James L. Brooks - the filmmaker behind big-screen, character-driven classics such as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Big, Say Anything, The Simpsons, Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.
The film is getting plenty of comparisons to the John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, but it's mostly modern soundtrack helps set it apart from those 80s classics: Santigold's new rollicking Who I Thought You Were, a standout off this year's 99¢, opens the movie and a pivotal party scene is filled with tracks by festival favorites like Two Door Cinema Club and Anderson .Paak.
Furthermore the soundtrack of the film features a hearty and exciting mix of talents as diverse as Aimee Mann, Phantogram, Birdy, Handsome Poets, Miike Snow and others.LP 1
1. Who I Thought You Were - Santigold
2. Ballroom Blitz - The Struts
3. Am I Wrong - Anderson.Paak Ft. Schoolboy Q
4. Bad Decisions - Two Door Cinema Club
5. Psycho - A$ap Ferg Save Me - Aimee Mann
6. Genghis Khan - Miike Snow
7. Don't You Wait - Cloves
8. The D*head Song - Miles Betterman
1. Somebody Else - The 1975
2. When They Fight, They Fight - Generationals
3. Hard Luck - Black Pistol Fire
4. When I'm Small - Phantogram
5. Big Jet Plane - Angus & Julia Stone
6. To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra
7. Sky On Fire (Eo17 Remix) - Handsome Poets
8. Ghost In The Wind - Birdy
9. Nadine's Theme - Atli Örvarsson
10. The Hug - Atli Örvarsson$33.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Let Freedom RingImport
Prophet started his wild ride back in 1984, when Green on Red, the
seminal purveyors of American Rock-Roots, plucked him out of
Berkeley, CA and threw him in the van for an eight-year ride, and the
recording of as many albums. Since then Prophet has recorded nine
amazing solo albums and toured and recorded with the likes of
Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Cake, and Jonathan Richman, not to
mention production credits for Warren Zevon, Alejandro Escovedo
and Kelly Willis. Ryan Adams, Solomon Burke and Heart have
recorded his songs, along with a host of others. Prophet has never
been one to rest on his laurels and ride it out.
For his ninth solo album Let Freedom Ring, Chuck reached out to
some musicians and talked them into going down to Mexico City, The
Biggest City in the World (pop. 25 million). Recorded at Estudio 19, a
state-ofthe- art studio (well, circa 1958 state-of-the-art anyway) with
Greg Leisz (Beck, Wilco, Emmylou Harris) coproducing.
Within three days of arriving swine flu broke out and the indignity of
having to wear blue surgical masks just to fit in.
Over the course of the next eight days, the band set about recording
¡Let Freedom Ring!, enduring a poorly timed blackout, shakedowns
by the Policia, and a 6.4 earthquake mid-take - Mexico City might only
be 4 hours away by plane but it might as well have been on the other
side of the moon. But whilst mayhem ensued, the band buckled down
to the task in hand, all set up together in a tight little bamboo lined
room with the amps cranked. Chuck played his Fender Squire, Kelly
Stoltz on backing vocals, Rusty Miller (Jason Lyteâ€Ÿs band) played
bass while Drummer Ernest Boom Carter turned his sticks into
kindling. Carter played on Springsteenâ€Ÿs Born To Run - he promptly
quit the E Street Band after they spent 6 months recording it. The
results can be heard from the Clash inspired opener to the power pop
of Let Freedom Ringâ€Ÿ and the Eddie Cochran infused Good Time
Crowdâ€Ÿ.1. Sonny Liston's Blues
2. What Can A Mother Do
3. Where The Hell Is Henry?
4. iLet Freedom Ring!
5. You And Me Baby (Holding On)
6. American Man
7. Barely Exist
8. Hot Talk
9. Love Won't Keep Us Apart
10. Good Time Crowd
11. Leave The Window Open$35.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$24.99 $22.49 Save $2.50 (10%)
True Colors (On Sale)A Vocal Tour de Force: 1986 Sophomore Effort Stacked With Big-Name Guests and Ambitious Arrangements
Grammy-Nominated Double-Platinum Set Includes Internationally Recognized Title Track Plus Top 10 Singles "What's Going On" and "Change of Heart"
Illuminative Sonics: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Cyndi Lauper could've easily played up the independent wild-child pop persona she established on her breakthrough debut until the trend faded. Instead, on her superb sophomore effort, the charismatic artist opts for a more mature and creatively ambitious program, inviting big-name guests and pursuing deeper instrumental textures on a set that goes far beyond the well-known title track. True Colors is a vocal tour de force, an expressive statement on which Lauper showcases singing steeped in emotion, phrasing, and earnestness.
Bringing Lauper's rich timbre to the fore, and mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system, this RTI-pressed LP presents the 1986 album in the finest fidelity it's ever enjoyed. Period touches such as synthesized drumbeats and layered keyboards no longer sound blatantly artificial or canned. Instruments now possess a warmer, fuller roundness that fleshes out their role in the compositions. And Lauper's vocals-at times balladic, soaring, plaintive, stylish, and celebratory-occupy a defined place in the mix, anchoring songs etched with tonal expressiveness and diverse arrangements.
An all-star cast aids Lauper in shaping what remains a colossally underrated record. Billy Joel (vocals), Adrian Belew (guitar), the Bangles (vocals), Aimee Mann (vocals), Nile Rodgers (guitar), and Rick Derringer (guitar) are among the guests. So is Pee Wee Herman, whose telephone operator role at the conclusion of "911" speaks to the fact that Lauper didn't abandon her whimsical nature even as she pressed forward. Cajun accents, soulful motifs ("What's Going On"), and joyous covers of traditional fare ("Iko Iko") keep the album pleasantly varied and accessibly offbeat.
Of course, Lauper also turns in, with "True Colors," what's arguably her career-defining moment, the chart-topping single radiating with gorgeous elegance and graceful phrasing that forced audiences to regard the performer in a different light. For her boldness, Lauper was rewarded with two Grammy nominations and a song that has since been covered by artists such as Phil Collins and appeared as the theme for the 1988 Olympic Games and 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Don't miss this chance to hear True Colors in the three-dimensional detail one gets from a high-definition television picture.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Change of Heart
2. Maybe He'll Know
3. Boy Blue
4. True Colors
5. Calm Inside the Storm
6. What's Going On
7. Iko Iko
8. The Faraway Nearby
10. One Track Mind$24.99 $22.49 Save $2.50 (10%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Year In The WildernessFirst Time On Vinyl
For his 2007 release, A Year in the Wilderness John invited his friends and frequent conspirators to help him interpret songs that came fast and hard. Doe dubbed the Wilderness sessions, A scary and wondrous process where a blast of intuition and force that takes only moments to realize, but that can last forever and carry consequences you never imagined. Guest stars appearing on A Year in the Wilderness include Dave Alvin, Jill Sobule, Kathleen Edwards, Dan Auerbach (from The Black Keys), Greg Leisz and Aimee Mann. This is the first time A Year in the Wilderness has been made available on vinyl.1. The Wilderness
2. Hotel Ghost
3. The Golden State
4. Darling Underdog
5. A Little More Time
7. There's A Hole
8. Lean Out Yr Window
9. Big Moon
10. The Bridge
11. Meanest Man In The World
12. Grain Of Salt$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rocket Ship Beach (Awaiting Repress)Formerly lead singer with the acclaimed US alternative rock band the Del Fuegos, Zanes launched his solo career in 1995 with the release of Cool Down Time. Produced by Mitchell Froom with help from Tom Waits associate Tchad Blake, this collection anchored elements of blues and country as accompaniment to Zanes` dark narratives of loss, hurt and betrayal. As well as a cover version of Mose Allison`s `If You Live`, the artist`s own writing included the affecting ballad `Carelessly` and the tough blues of `Rough Spot`.
After relocating to New York City in the late 90s, Zanes settled down to family life with his wife and new baby. He began playing with a group of fathers under the name the Wonderland String Band, recording a number of privately distributed tapes. The idea evolved into a series of CD releases on Zanes` Festival Five label, featuring guest artists including Sheryl Crow, Aimee Mann, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega and Dar Williams alongside the original band`s partners and children. Mixing standards, original material and childrens` songs in a delightfully unprententious manner, the series attracted positive reviews and even earned Zanes a Grammy Award for 2006`s Catch That Train!Side 1
1. Polly Wolly Doodle
2. King Kong Kitchie
3. Bushel and a Peck
4. Go Down Emmanuel Road
5. Goodbye Old Paint
6. Father Goose
7. Keep on the Sunny Side
8. Erie Canal
1. Buckeye Jim
2. Brown Girl in the Ring
4. All My Friends Live in the Woods
5. Weather Report
6. Mole in the Ground
7. On the Sunny Side of the Street
8. Sidewalks of New York
9. Over the Rainbow
$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
WARB-NON-1974xEmmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
The Traveling KindThe Traveling Kind follows the longtime friends' first duet album, 2013's Old Yellow Moon, which won Best Americana Album at the 56th annual Grammy Awards as well as two awards at the 2013 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Show, for Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year. The album also debuted at #4 on the Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.
Produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Henry (Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann), The Traveling Kind comprises 11 duet tracks, including six new songs written by Harris and Crowell with co-writing by Mary Carr, Cory Chisel, Will Jennings, and Larry Klein. Also featured are new renditions of previous Crowell cuts including No Memories Hanging Around as well as new interpretations of Lucinda Williams' I Just Wanted to See You So Bad and Amy Allison's Her Hair Was Red.
Of the project, Harris comments, In the words of Willie Nelson, 'The life I love is making music with my friends,' and there's no better friend for me to make music with than Rodney. I can't wait to get out there on the road with him and play the songs from this new record.
Crowell adds, Emmy and I wrote six of the eleven songs on The Traveling Kind, which was recorded in a six-day span with our Glory Band, Steuart Smith, and Billy Payne. Joe Henry was at the helm as producer and Justin Neibank did the recording. The experience was pretty much akin to falling off a log.1. The Traveling Kind
2. No Memories Hanging Round
3. Bring It On Home to Memphis
4. You Can't Say We Didn't Try
5. The Weight of the World
6. Higher Mountains
7. I Just Wanted to See You So Bad
8. Just Pleasing You
9. If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now
10. Her Hair Was Red
11. Le Danse de la Joie$24.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Fire AwayFire Away is the Grammy Award-winning bands fifth studio full length. Produced by acclaimed producer Tony Berg, Fire Away features eleven new Ozomatli songs, including the first single Its Only Paper, currently being serviced to radio. Ozomatlis music, a collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga, has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around the city of LA.
This certainly resonated with producer Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Pete Yorn), who describes working with Ozomatli like visiting seven continents simultaneously. Berg believes the Fire Away sessions captured the spirit of the bands live show without being a live album, and he sensed Ozomatli stretching themselves in the studio, adding each of the members had grown as a writer and as a musician. I think Fire Away reflects their true songwriting talents, everyones point-of-view was captured. That is the spirit of Ozomatli. Theyre pan-cultural, and they somehow manage to be raucous and thoughtful at the same time.1. Are You Ready?
3. Its Only Paper
4. Elysian Persuasion
5. Gay Vatos In Love
6. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
7. Its Only Time
8. Nadas Por Free
9. Malagasy Shock
10. Love Comes Down
11. Caballito$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AntifogmaticAntifogmatic, the follow-up to the Punch Brothers' 2008 debut, Punch, is a collaboratively written collection of songs from these five wily, omnivorous bluegrass titans, as the Village Voice has called them, a quintet that the Washington Post, in turn, has described as some of the best string pickers of the new generation.
Antifogmatic is seamlessly sequenced to display the collective imagination, the instrumental and vocal power, of the band: Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, and fiddler Gabe Witcher. Though the quintet is now based in New York City, where they have an informal residency at Manhattan's The Living Room, they recorded and mixed the album at Hollywood's historic Ocean Way studio with iconoclastic producer Jon Brion (Brad Mehldau, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Kanye West) and engineer Greg Koller. Says Witcher, We knew we needed a producer equally as well-versed in pop and rock as in instrumental music, and I don't think there is anyone more able to capture and communicate the essence of this material than Jon Brion.
The arrangements on Antifogmatic range from intimate to boisterous and back; genre-wise, the band once again ventures where no string band has ever gone before. The spare opening track You Are contrasts percussive guitar riffs with lyrical string parts that dance around Thile's sweet upper register as he spins a tale of romantic emancipation; occasionally, the other instruments give way to reveal the throb of the bass. The band also engages in some unexpectedly beautiful harmony singing, smoothing out the compelling melodic twists and turns of Welcome Home. Me and Us and Woman and the Bell both have a dream-like quality; the former, in fact, was inspired by those jumbled, thought-filled moments before sleep sets in, and the instrumentation keeps pace with the ever-shifting imagery. In contrast, Don't Need No and Rye Whiskey are foot-stomping barroom boasts and Next to the Trash is the closest the band gets to traditional bluegrass, even as the lyrics tug the piece in a more surreal direction.1. You Are
2. Don't Need No
4. Rye Whiskey
5. Me and Us
7. The Woman and the Bell
8. Next to the Trash
9. Welcome Home
10. This Is The Song [Good Luck]$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Marigolden"The body remembers what the mind forgets," Chris Porterfield reminisces on his acclaimed band Field Report's sophomore record, Marigolden. The record is strewn with references to the inevitable tolls taken by the passage of time, and prolonged distance from home and loved ones.
The past couple of years have flashed by for Porterfield, who was thrust into the spotlight after years of musical reclusion. His Milwaukee-based band, Field Report (an anagram of his surname), was culled together in the studio while recording their 2012 self-titled debut. They suddenly found themselves championed by their former idols: offered support tours by Counting Crows and Aimee Mann, lauded by the likes of Mark Eitzel and Richard Thompson, and covered by Blind Boys Of Alabama.
The band honed itself from a septet to a quartet in the year that followed, focusing its sound and tightening the screws. With a heavy batch of songs under their arms, they retreated to snowy Ontario in December 2013 to record their sophomore album, Marigolden, with the help of producer Robbie Lackritz (Feist).
Spending two years roaming around the country playing tiny venues and sold-out amphitheaters alike, Porterfield was uncertain whether he was leading the charge toward an artistic epiphany or headed down a misguided path of self-destruction. Marigolden reflects this, as he ruminates across homesick tension and an un-grounded anxiety. But rather than wallow in melancholy, Porterfield finds solace and inspiration through his songs, which reveal themselves as uplifting and celebratory. The album is brighter than their 2012 debut, but somehow remains just as elegantly ominous.
Marigolden's second track, the surprisingly catchy radio single "Home," finds Porterfield on the road, hoping the home, wife, dog, and life he left behind in Milwaukee will still be there upon his return. "Leave the lights on," he asks, "it might be nighttime when I get there, but I'm on my way home." While the song contemplates lonesomeness, there is an undeniable sense of hope driving it. In "Summons," the penultimate track, he recalls this thought, repeating, "I'll be coming home to you" like a mantra. This sense of balance and symmetry across the album helps provide stability to the otherwise volatile themes. Case in point: the album starts with a sunrise in "Decision Day" and ends full circle with another in "Enchantment."
Whether reconsidering sobriety in "Pale Rider," sticking to tonic water in the bars of "Summons," or cashing in a 30-day chip for a kiss in "Enchantment," Porterfield's relationship with alcohol runs through the current of nearly every song. Most notably in "Ambrosia," where he find himself face to face with the reality of where his drinking is destined to lead.
The album runs the musical gamut, from the Traveling Wilburys-esque pop of "Home," to the Neil Young-inspired piano ballad "Ambrosia," to the electronic sonic landscape of "Wings." While the compositions express a wide range in terms of genre, they find unity in themselves within the limits of self-imposed minimalism. In the studio, the songs were stripped down to the bones and built back up using only their essential elements.
Sequestered in a seemingly never-ending Ontario blizzard, the band only broke from this musical process to add logs to the stove, with the snow and the fire providing a proper background for music so rooted in the elemental. The effect that this fundamentals-based approach achieves is universal: the sparse arrangements and common themes speak to everyone, but somehow feel tailored to each listener. The title itself reflects this, a portmanteau of two common images (marigold and golden) to create something that feels both idiosyncratic and familiar: Marigolden.1. Decision Day
2. Home (Leave The Lights On)
3. Pale Rider
4. Cups and Cups
10. Enchantment$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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 Sealed Buy Now