Ani DiFranco – Live At Bull Moose Music 4.17.2009

Alright, enough of me whining about being sick. I still feel like crap, but this is a music site, dammit. Let’s get to it.


Recorded live at Bull Moose Music, in Scarborough, ME on 2009-04-17, in celebration of Record Store Day. It was for radio broadcast, as well. It’s a short and sweet set, just Ani with Todd Sickafoose on bass.

There’s a short radio station intro, then Ani greets the crowd and goes into an excellent run-through of Alla This. Cool song (from Red Letter Year), as you all know already.

Breaking up the songs there are interview segments. First up is asking Ani about her association with Record Store Day. As a fiercely independent artist, it’s an easy question. Apparently Bull Moose Music was one of the first stores to carry her stuff, so there’s resonance there, too.

Then they play November 4, 2008.* Typically Ani, it’s politically charged and gorgeous to listen to… also quite interesting, given the current political dumpster fire in the US. So much hope in this song, and now…

Interview segment 2 asks her what she thinks of all the labels applied to her (she doesn’t think of them), and what makes a ‘red letter year’ for her (another softball question, you can imagine her answer). Then she discusses post-Katrina New Orleans, where she was living at the time.

Then she drops tuning and they “take us back a few years” to play Everest (from Up Up Up Up Up Up). Gorgeous.

Interview segment 3 she discusses what it’s like to tour with a baby, and when the new record (at the time) will be ready. Then they play one last song, Ani prefacing it by checking they were no longer on the radio, in case she needed to swear in the song…

Unworry is an excellent new tune, which appeared on the next album (2012’s ¿Which Side Are You On?). Hot damn.

In Sum:

Sonically, this EP is gorgeous. Actually pretty hard to believe it’s a live recording. The crowd must have been held rapt, so quiet while she played. The interview segments were fine (mercifully short and to the point), but it does break up the listening. Take all the talking out, and this is a 4-song EP.

I’m happy I got this (I try to collect as much Ani as I can!), and in the spirit of indie music, I got it fairly cheap too. If you come across it in the shoppes, buy with confidence!


NB: Tracks #4 (November 4, 2008) and #8 (Unworthy) were previously unreleased, at the time of this recording. The sleeve of the release does not indicate this.

NB: Wiki says this was limited edition, but I couldn’t find anywhere just how limited it was.

* The lyrics for November 4, 2008:

the victory was ours and you were the first to say it.
never known so many people donate time to a campaign.
and when you were elected there was a global wave of joy.
who knew a world gone mad could still go sane. 

and we poured into the streets
and we danced and we cheered
and a neighborhood was a neighborhood
like it hadn’t been in years.

all eyes meeting were filled with tears
yes we prayed you were coming and then we saw you were here
you are black you are white you are red you are blue. 
you are green you are orange with a purple and yellow hue. 

you’ve risen like a phoenix from each flame that they threw.
you’ve been everything that we’ve asked of you
oh president Obama it’s an honor just to say it, 
i used to hide my passport now i want to display it. 

thank you for our democracy through you is resurrected,
thank you for our basic decency in you is reflected
thank you America for being more than i expected

yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can
yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can

president Obama you do not have to be perfect,
i trust that you are a public servant,
steady as Abraham Lincoln ready as Martin Luther King
is the spirit that you bring. 

and we vow to uphold you through these tricky times.
keep you safe in our hearts and informed with our minds.
and we will uphold each other we won’t divide and attack
cause there’s no going back, no there’s no going back yes no going back

yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can
yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can

the victory was ours and you were the first to say it.


Posted on March 7, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A curious release, eh? Not the fact that there’s a live set, but the fact that it was broadcast on the radio and that it’s complete with some Q&A type shenanigans. I think those bits would distract me. Regardless of who it was.


    • It’s a cool little curio, indeed. The interview tracks are short, and Ani’s a bright, fun talker so it’s not too bad. Stationed every other track, it’s pretty easy to just skip to the songs, on future listens Ani! :).

      Liked by 1 person

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