Daily Archives: January 4, 2010

241. Ani DiFranco – “Revelling/Reckoning”

I guess if you Ani Di Franco and it’s been 16 months since your last release, then it must be time for a double album of studio tracks.

This twin-set landed in mid-2001, and I bought it, but it’s never got much rotation on my stereo.  In setting up my iPod for this week’s reviews, I discovered I hadn’t even loaded it up onto my i-Tunes, and the fancy box it came packaged in bares few marks of wear and tear.

After listening to it for much of today, I can see why.  This is a dull set of tracks that has left no impression on me.

I just stood at a photocopier for almost two hours (the glamour that is academic life!) with this playing in my ears, and I took little joy from any tracks.

The tracks are mainly acoustic efforts, but with Ani cycling through a wide range of instruments and leaning on her horn-playing buddies again.

Unfortunately its all very slow and meandering with little of the oomph of her earlier works (or her on-stage persona).

Not a single tune on here would make my ADF best-of compilation. That’s a poor strike rate for a 29 track release.

File under: I don’t reckon…

An obligatory end of year list – best gigs of 2009

As we race towards the 1st anniversary of this blog, coupled with the end of 2009, I do feel compelled to produce some ranking lists pertaining to said year. Here’s my list of favourite gigs from 2009:

#5 Ben Kweller at the Corner Hotel, Melbourne, April 16 – the mop-haired little prodigy shows off his new country sound with his usual energy

#4 Syl Johnson at the Corner Hotel, Melbourne, February 14 – there may be few better ways to spend a Valentines than with a 72-year snake-hipped soul-funk legend

#3 Ben Kweller at Slims, San Francisco, June 17 – great night of drinking, dancing and singing BK Happy Birthday

#2 Justin Townes Earle/Wagons at the Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, October 2 – bluegrass brilliance from Steve’s son, coupled with the swagger of new favourite Aussie live act

#1 Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings at HiFi Bar, Melbourne, January 2 – started out as gig of the year, and kept the mantle all year. Fantastic band fronted by the funkiest 52-year-old ex-prison warden I’ve ever seen.

OK, I’ll get back to the CD reviews.

What were your favourite live outings?