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ode to Ani


TRIBE Member

I was just wondering who else loves this lyrically gifted artist? I can relate to so much of her work and not many others have such a talent for the written (and performed) word.


I'm going to see her in Buffalo on April 8th, I'm *so* excited

I'm a tad obsessed but I am honestly blown away by so much of her work.

This is a poem (and is now becoming a song) for the World Trade centre:

yes, yes, yes, us people are just poems
we're 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper distillation

and once upon a time
we were moonshine

rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway despite what the PA announcement said
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity fermented and distilled to eighteen minutes

burning on our tongues
down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there

yes it's part of a pair there
on the bow of Noah's Ark
the most prestigious couple
just kicking back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its Indian Summer breeze
on the day that America
fell to its knees

after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you or please

and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
because we were all on time
for work that day

we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then when the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky

every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything I've seen so far

yes it looked more like war than anything I've seen so far

so fierce and ingenious,
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on

and i'll tell you what, while we're at it,
you can keep the pentagon,
you can keep the propaganda
and each and every tv
that's been trying to convince me
to participate in some prep school punk's plan
to perpetuate retribution

perpetuate retribution

even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there's ash on our shoes
and there's ash in our hair

and there's a fine silt on every mantle
from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowing like never before
as all over the country folks just shake their heads, and pour


here's a toast to all the folks who live in Palestine, and Iraq, and El Salvador.
here's a toast to the folks living on the Pine Ridge Reservation with GI Joe still coming back for more
here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City just to listen to a young woman's voice
here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now awaiting hot oil or guillotine
who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads to
find peace in the form of a dream

cause take away our Playstations
and we are a 3rd world nation
under the thumb
of some blue blood royal son
who bought the Oval Office in that phony election
while we're at it, let me state unequivocally,
he is not President of Me, he is not President of me

'cause i, i am a poem heeding hyper distillation
i've got no room for a lie so verbose
i'm looking out over my whole human family
and i'm raising my glass in a toast

here's to our last drink of fossil fuels,
let us vow to get off of this sauce
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost

'cause once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards
where the laundry was waving out on the line
and the graffiti was teasing us from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges
through valleys under stars
i dream of touring like Duke Ellington in my own railroad car

i dream of waiting on the big wooden benches
in the grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform and feeling the air on my face

give back the night its distant whistle

give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock and roll

yes, the lessons are all around us
and the truth is waiting there
so it's time to pick through the rubble
clean the streets
and clear the air

tell our government to pull its big dick out of the sand of someone else's desert
and put it back in its pants
and quit the hypocritical chants of 'freedom forever'

cause when one lone phone rang in two thousand and one
at ten after nine on nine one one, which is the number we all called
when that lone phone rang right off the wall right off our desk

and down the long hall down the long stairs
in the building so tall
that the whole world stopped
just to watch it fall

and while we're at it
remember the first time around
the bomb
the Ryder Truck
the Parking Garage
the Princess that didn't even feel pity
remember joking around in our apartment on avenue d?
"can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?"
it was a joke
of course it was a joke at the time
it was just a few years ago
so let the record show
that the fbi was all over that case
the plot was obvious and in everybody^Òs face
and scoping the scene religiously
was the cia or is it kgb?
committing countless crimes against humanity
with this kind of eventuality
as its excuse for abuse
after expensive abuse
and they didn't have a clue
look another window to see through
way up here on the 104th floor
look another key another door
10% literal and 90% metaphor
5000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
they must be more than just poems
in some asshole's passion play
so now it's your job
and it's my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn't die in vain
shhh listen baby hear the train?


I heart Ani! hehe


TRIBE Member
miss difranco rocks :D

lucky you! wish i could see her. when is she comming up to canada? do you know any dates?

p[l]a+0 <--missed out on her guelph show a few years ago :(


TRIBE Member
I went to pollstar.com and there are only American dates thus far :( But I'll keep u posted if I find out anything


TRIBE Member
ani is mighty.

and there are some 'militant' ani fans on this board, they must have just missed this thread so far. ;)


TRIBE Member
agreed! she is completely phenomenal!
her lyrics are like no one else’s.
I really admire her talent, and love her music :)!
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Temper Tantrum

TRIBE Member
i am not a pretty girl
that is not what i do
i ain't no damsel in distress
and i don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

i am not an angry girl
but it seems like i've got everyone fooled
every time i say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling

and i am sorry
i am not a maiden fair
and i am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

and generally my generation
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man
and generally i agree with them
trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate plan
and i have earned my disillusionment
i have been working all of my life
and i am a patriot
i have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if i knew that and i called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up

i am not a pretty girl
i don't want to be a pretty girl
no i want to be more than a pretty girl

Still my favourite song by her



TRIBE Member
this is one of my favorite songs by her:

think i'm going for a walk now
i feel a little unsteady
i don't want nobody to follow me
'cept maybe you
i could make you happy you know
if you weren't already
i could do a lot of things
and i do

tell you the truth i prefer
the worst of you
too bad you had to have a better half
she's not really my type
but i think you two are forever
and i hate to say it but
you're perfect together

so fuck you
and your untouchable face
and fuck you
for existing in the first place
and who am i
that i should be vying for your touch
and who am i
i bet you can't even tell me that much

two-thirty in the morning
and my gas tank will be empty soon
neon sign on the horizon
rubbing elbows with the moon
a safe haven of sleepless
where the deep fryer's always on
radio is counting down
the top 20 country songs
and out on the porch the fly strip is
waving like a flag in the wind
y'know, i don't look forward
to seeing you again soon
you'll look like a photograph of yourself
taken from far far away
and i won't know what to do
and i won't know what to say

except fuck you...

i see you and i'm so perplexed
what was i thinking
what will i think of next
where can i hide
in the back room there's a lamp
that hangs over the pool table
and when the fan is on it swings
gently side to side
there's a changing constellation
of balls as we are playing
i see orion and say nothing
the only thing i can think of saying

is fuck you...


TRIBE Member
truly a gifted artist.. my favourite song from ani:

In a coffee shop in a city
Which is every coffee shop in every city
On a day which is every day
I picked up a magazine
Which is every magazine
Read a story, and then forgot it right away

They say goldfish have no memory
I guess their lives are much like mine
And the little plastic castle
Is a surprise every time
And it's hard to say if they're happy
But they don't seem much to mind

From the shape of your shaved head
I recognized your silhouette
As you walked out of the sun and sat down
And the sight of your sleepy smile
Eclipsed all the other people
As they paused to sneer at the two girls
From out of town

I said, look at you this morning
You are, by far, the cutest
But be careful getting coffee
I think these people wanna shoot us
Or maybe there's some kinda local competition here
To see who can be the rudest

People talk
About my image
Like I come in two dimensions
Like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind
Like what I happen to be wearing
The day that someone takes a picture
Is my new statement for all of womankind

I wish they could see us now
In leather bras and rubber shorts
Like some ridiculous new team uniform
For some ridiculous new sport
Quick someone call the girl police
And file a report

In a coffee shop in a city
Which is every coffee shop in every city
On a day which is every day

happy monday!

love and laughter..



TRIBE Member
She was in Ann Arbor this past weekend. I think some of my colleagues went to the show.

I saw her at Massey Hall in May? April? 1998. Fabulous.

Both Hands and 32 Flavors are my favourite Ani songs.



.:. Share what you know, learn what you don't .:.
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Well-Known TRIBEr
I'm all about the Ani. I've seen her twice, once at Massey hall, once at Molson Ampitheatre. It's impossible to call favourites on her songs though....i'm a pixie
i'm a paperdoll
i'm a cartoon
i'm a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i'm the color me happy girl
miss live and let live
and when they're out for blood
i always give

the man behind the counter looks like he's got
a half a dozen places he'd rather be
and furthermore it looks like he's prepared
to take it all out on me
buddy, i don't really care what your problem is
just don't make it mine
come on kids, let's all hold hands
and pretend we're having a good time

maybe you don't like your job
maybe you didn't get enough sleep
well, nobody likes their job
nobody got enough sleep
maybe you just had
the worst day of your life
but, you know, there's no escape
and there's no excuse
so just suck up and be nice

all the privileged white kids on tv
playing at death
brandishing their cold cuts
with their ghostly makeup
and their heroin breath
and all the little fishes are flapping wildly
on their hooks
while all the top critics find great meaning
in the telephone book

the little emperor he has no clothes
so he can't come out to play
and besides which life is suffering
and he likes it that way
and the little guy is not so friendly
but you know life has been cruel
so wipe that smile off your face baby
and try to be cool

maybe you don't like your job
maybe you didn't get enough sleep
well, nobody likes their job
nobody got enough sleep
maybe you just had
the worst day of your life
but, you know, there's no escape
and there's no excuse
so just suck up and be nice

yeah, i would like to perfect the art
of being studiously aloof
like life is just a boring chore
and i am living proof
i could join forces with an army
of ornery hipsters
but then i guess i'd be out of a job
so i guess that's out of the picture

cuz i'm a pixie
i'm a paperdoll
i'm a cartoon
i'm a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i'm the color me happy girl
miss live and let live
and when they're out for blood
i always give



TRIBE Member
I'll play too

Among Many others that have been listed, School night is fab!

she went over to his apartment
clutching her decision
and he said, did you come here to tell me goodbye?
so she built a skyscraper of procrastination
and then she leaned out the twenty-fifth floor window
of her reply
and she felt like an actress
just reading her lines
when she finally said
yes. it's really goodbye this time
and far below was the blacktop
and the tiny toy cars
and it all fell so fast
and it all fell so far

and she said:
you are a miracle but that is not all
you are also a stiff drink and i am on call
you are a party and i am a school night
and i'm lookin' for my door key
but you are my porch light

and you'll never know, dear
just how much i loved you
you'll probably think this was
just my big excuse
but i stand committed
to a love that came before you
and the fact that i adore you
is but one of my truths

what of the mother
whose house is in flames
and both of her children
are in their beds crying
and she loves them both
with the whole of her heart
but she knows she can only
carry one at a time?
she's choking on the smoke
of unthinkable choices
she is haunted by the voices
of so many desires
she's bent over from the business
of begging forgiveness
while frantically running around
putting out fires

but then what kind of scale
compares the weight of two beauties
the gravity of duties
or the ground speed of joy?
tell me what kind of gauge
can quantify elation?
what kind of equation
could i possibly employ?
and you'll never know, dear
just how much i loved you
you probably think this was
just my big excuse
but i stand committed
to a love that came before you
and the fact that i adore you
is just one of my truths

so i
i'm goin' home
to please the one i so love pleasing
and i don't expect
he'll have much sympathy for my grieving
but i guess that this is the price
that we pay for the privilege
of living for even a day
in a world with so many things
worth believing



TRIBE Member
Oh you so have to go see her in concert. It was one of the best concerts I've been to. It was at the University of Guelph Athletic Center (gym) a few years back, and she was awesome. I was so close to the front I could have almost reached out and touched her...

but she didn't sing shy :(
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TRIBE Member
one of my favorites, i can't pick just one

Talk to me now

he said ani, you've gotten tough
'cause my tone was curt
yeah, and when i'm approached in a dark alley
i don't lift my skirt
in this city
is a full time occupation
i'm determined
to survive on these shores
i don't avert my eyes anymore
in a man's world
i am a woman by birth
and after nineteen times around i have found
they will stop at nothing once they know what you are worth
talk to me now
i played the powerless
in too many dark scenes
and i was blessed with a birth and a death
and i guess i just want some say in between
don't you understand
in the day to day
in the face to face
i have to act
just as strong as i can
just to preserve a place
where i can be who i am
so if you still know how
talk to me now



TRIBE Member
and..... shy

the heat is so great
it plays tricks with the eye
it turns the road to water
and then from water to sky
and there's a crack in the concrete floor
and it starts at the sink
there's a bathroom in a gas station
and i've locked myself in it to think

and back in the city
the sun bakes the trash on the curb
the men are pissing in doorways
and the rats run in herds
i've got a dream of your face
that scares me awake
i put too much on my table
and now i got too much a stake

and i might let you off easy
yeah i might lead you on
i might wait for you to look for me
and then i might be gone
where i come from and where i'm going
and i'm lost in between
i might go up to that phone booth
and leave a veiled invitation on you machine

and you'll stop me, won't you
if you've heard this one before
the one where i surprise you
by showing up at your front door
saying 'let's not ask what's next,
or how, or why'
i am leaving in the morning
so let's not be shy

the door opens, the room winces
the housekeeper comes in without a warning
and i squint at the muscular motel lady
says 'hey good morning'
and she jumps, her keys jingle
and she leaves as quick as she came in
and i roll over and taste the pillow with my grin
well, the sheets are twisted and tangled
and the heat is so great
and i swear i can feel the mattress
sinking underneath your weight
oh sleep is like a fever
and i'm glad when it ends
and the road flows like a river
and pulls me around every bend

and you'll stop me, won't you...

the heat is so great
it plays tricks with the eye
it turns road to water
and water to sky
and there's a crack in the concrete floor
and it starts at the sink
there's a bathroom in a gas station
and i've locked myself
in it to think

and you'll stop me, won't you...



TRIBE Member
YaY Canada

I've always been blown away by this one, and the strength in her words

to the teeth

the sun is setting on the century
and we are armed to the teeth
we're all working together now
to make our lives mercifully brief
and school kids keep trying to teach us
what guns are all about
confused liberty with weaponry
and watch your kids act it out
and every year now like christmas
some boy gets the milk fed suburban blues
reaches for the available arsenal
and saunters off to make the news
and the women in the middle
are learning what poor women have always known
that the edge is closer than you think
when the men bring the guns home
look at where the profits are
that's how you'll find the source
of the big lie that you and i both know so well
by the time it takes this cultural
death wish to run it's course
they're gonna to make a pretty penny
and then they're going to hell
he said the chickens all come home to roost
malcolm forecast the flood
are we really going to sleep through another century
while the rich profit off our blood
yeah it may take some doing
to see this undoing through
but in my humble opinion
here's what i suggest we do
open fire on hollywood
open fire on mtv
open fire on nbc and cbs and abc
open fire on the nra
and all the lies they told us along the way
open fire on each weapons manufacturer
while he's giving head to some republican senator
and if i hear one more time
about a fools right to his tools of rage
i'm gonna take all my friends
and i'm going to move to canada
and we're going to die of old age



TRIBE Member
i wanna see ani!!
i was supposed to go to that geulph show a few years back too (or maybe it was last year) but i got called into work at the last minute and couldn't get out of it....my roomate enjoyed my ticket tho....i hope she has some conadian dates soon....

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TRIBE Member
and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a phoenix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying back...

/\ /\ /\

my favourite ani song. i love her lyrics, voice and talent so much...*she's* the reason i learned how to play guitar. (and subsequently forgot everything i knew.)