Saturday, September 22, 2007

SuperFantastic Weekend

I am in the middle of the world's greatest weekend, right now.

On Thursday night, my staff and I went to a dive bar near our home, drank big fruity drinks and reminisced about the good times. It was a nice relaxing time and I got to have a Wondrous (spelled Wonderous on the menu) Punch.

However, last night was the highlight. A friend of mine and I went to an Ani DiFranco concert at the Historic State Theater, downtown.

First of all, the theater is beautiful. It was built in the '20's, and they restored it in the early '90's, after years of disuse. All of the seats are swathed in velvet, and the walls have plaster reliefs. There were guilded statues protruding from the balcony railings, too. It's as if William Randolph Hearst, in a subtle mood, decided to design a theater in the Midwest. Oh, and we had seats in the 20th row on the main floor, spitting distance from the stage. :)

Then, Ani had an excellent opening act, a one woman folk show. The singer's name was Melissa Ferrick and this was my first introduction to her. She was an intense and funny performer, and I am totally going to buy some of her music now.

Once Ani came on, she was fantastic! I have such respect for her as a musician and writer. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she has been recording and touring independently since the early '90's. She writes poetic feminist folk/punk/jazz sort of fusion. It's hard to explain, so you should just trust me and buy a CD. She played a lot of my favorite songs, some new songs, and a cover of Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" that I love. And during her 2 song encore, she brought Melissa Ferrick out to sing back up.

She is an excellent example of a working artist, in every sense of the word. About three songs in, as she was fiddling with some equipment, she mutters, "Same thing every night." Then she says to the audience, with a laugh, "You know, I've been to every fucking Ani DiFranco concert there has ever been? But I keep comin' back." That helped me to shift my perspective on her and what it means to be an artist, just a bit. She's totally a hero of mine. I always assumed that her life is super-inspiration all the time, since she's able to write and record her own work, then publicize it herself. But to her, it's her job. And sometimes the job is awesome, and sometimes its mundane and mediocre. A working artist is a worker, primarily, not some superhero. So, I guess this means I should get to work.

But not this weekend -- I still have a Twins game this afternoon and a friend's birthday party at two different clubs this evening.

Recovery on Sunday, for sure.


Paul said...

Ani rocks !!

Jessica said...

For sure!

Denise said...

Ani does rock but Melissa really raelly rocks. I'm glad you have discovered her and enjoyed your performance. She is awesome - and a Melissa/Ani show is a wonderful wonderful thing.