For those who just don't know or inhabit a comfortable state of denial about cultural forces, you needn't look very far or wide for the short list of artists with as knotty, gnarly, sensuous, singular, and outspoken a body of work as DiFranco. Canon, her first career retrospective, views that body of work like a lover sets his/her eyes on the object of their lust and affection.
With the flow of one of her classic live sets, our little songwriter with the big, big punch lays out 36 tracks of barely contained frenzy and sustained brilliance. Fire Door, You Had Time, Cradle and All, 32 Flavors. The spiky folk punk of Fuel and Little Plastic Castle. Gravel and Untouchable Face from her ever-dangerous live set Living In Clip. Napoleon, Shameless, Both Hands, and Overlap, all recently re-recorded, and, in the process, rediscovered by artist and her legions alike.
Though some Ani-ites may grouse that Disc 2 lessens in intensity as she matures into a more melodic, some might say jazzy mode, I dare you to find music like Sub Division, Hello Birmingham, and Manhole anywhere else. For that matter, try finding Paradigm, Studying Stones, and Marrow elsewhere in the toxic environment of Idol America.
Would I have found some way to include Knuckle Down? Sure. Serpentine from the explosive Carnegie Hall '02 live set? You bet. Swan Dive and Letter To A John, from So Much Laughter, So Much Shouting? Abso-freakin'-lutely! But DiFranco's never been about cajoling and pleasing the masses. She is one of the few who understands the artist's duty to challenge the masses and their oppressors time and time again. God bless her heart.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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