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PORTSIDE  December 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE December 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Ani Difranco Talks Music, Politics

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Ani Difranco Talks Music, Politics

by Caitlin McDevitt

Politico.com
December 20, 2011

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70652.html

Protests and political gridlock may not inspire all
musicians, but for folk singer Ani DiFranco, that's the
stuff lyrics are made of. The 41-year-old Grammy winner will
make her return from hiatus next month with "┬┐Which Side Are
You On?," an album she calls her "most political yet."

DiFranco chatted with POLITICO about the music, her thoughts
on the Occupy movement and her take on the 2012 presidential
race.

* What's the political message of the album?

There are a lot of political ideas and songs on the record.
"┬┐Which Side Are You On?" - the title track - is sort of a
rabble-rousing call to action. It's a song that dates back
to the 1930s and the labor movement. I sort of wrote my own
version of it to update it to the political now.

* How is Pete Seeger, who popularized that song, involved?

From beginning to end. I learned the song to play at his
90th birthday party, a big event held at Madison Square
Garden. We were all playing songs that Pete had either
penned or recorded, put out into the world. ... I was
compelled to update it, [so] I rewrote the verses. ... Then
after I recorded it, I called Pete up [and asked him if he
wanted to participate]. And he did, so we went and met him
at Hudson, N.Y. We did sort of a field recording of him in a
few minutes. He played the intro once or twice on his banjo.
And that was that.

* You've been addressing political issues through music for
a while now. How does the climate now compare to how it's
been?

There's no end to things to address these days. ...
Meanwhile, I definitely think the atmosphere out there is
more hopeful than it has been in a long time. I think the
Occupy movement has a discourse going that sorely needed to
get going. ... The tax system is completely unjust. The
corporate control of government is dishonorable and
undemocratic. I think that that's one thing that the
Occupiers have been doing a great job of: pointing to the
inequalities and giving voice to our massive frustrations.

* Have you been paying attention to the 2012 presidential
race?

Yeah, you can't not really.

* What do you think?

Well, I think the Republican field is bad to worse. And I
very much hope for a [Barack] Obama reelection. In his
second term, he will have the courage to really represent
his progressive base and stand up to the corporately
controlled Congress people - people who are trying to
obstruct the democratic process, who openly say their
mission is to defeat Obama.

* So you think Obama is doing a good job?

Well, no. I don't think he's done a great job. But it
depends on your perspective. If you take into account the
brick wall that's been built around him by the Republican-
controlled Congress, it's amazing that he's gotten done what
he has.

=====

For more on Ani, go to: http://www.righteousbabe.com/ani/

==========

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