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Volume 68, Issue 16, Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Difranco's 'So Much Laughter' offers so much 
to devoted fans

By Cara Sarelli
The Daily Cougar

"I am a postergirl with no poster. I am 32 flavors and then some," Ani Difranco sings in a live recording of "32 Flavors" on her new album, So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter. It is her first live double album since five-year-old Living in Clip was released. It has been much needed, since she's released six full-length projects and one six-song EP since then.

The new album is actually two albums, subtitled Stray Cats and Girls Singing Night. They bring together her classically performed pieces and her newest additions in concert performances: songs from 2001-release Reckoning/Reveling, 1999's Up Up Up Up Up Up and more. 

So Much Shouting also includes Difranco's thoughts on the War on Terror, the conflict in the Middle East and President George W. Bush, spoken like a true beatnik, mixed with slight percussion and wind instruments.

In So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter, her first double live album since Living in Clip, Ani Difranco soothes listeners with her comforting creative expression.

Photo courtesy of Righteous Babe Records

In "Self Evident" on Girls Singing Night, the unabashed Difranco comments on the war and the media. "While we're at it/You can keep the Pentagon/You can keep the propaganda/You can keep each and every TV that's been trying to convince me to participate in some prep school punk's plan to perpetrate retribution."

The crowd cheers for a voice that speaks to it like its own, articulating what it can't say, with an air of thankfulness stronger than a mere "thank you" could provide.

Difranco has proven the worth of her presence in the music scene 100 times over throughout the years.

She skillfully plays rhythm and lead guitar with precision, as a folk singer and as a rock star. Especially impressive on the album are "Loom/Pulse" and a version of "Jukebox."

The two hours of passionate music play the role of confidante and comforting companion to the listener, in the nontraditional tradition that is Difranco's creative expression.

The album is essential to her fans' collections, as the versions of songs are completely different than those already released, and the album offers up three previously unreleased songs.

Ani Difranco is on tour. Unfortunately, her Web site doesn't indicate she is visiting Houston anytime soon. However, she will be performing in New Orleans, La. on Oct. 17 and in Austin on Oct. 20. Tickets are on sale now for anyone willing to take a short road trip. For this artist, it's not a bad idea.

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