World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani Difranco

World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concerts Present

World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani Difranco

Zee Avi

Fri, October 21, 2011

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Chameleon Club

GA $20, Also available: V.I.P. $75 individual / $100 pair

This event is 21 and over

World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani Difranco
World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani Difranco
Ani DiFranco has written hundreds of songs, played thousands of shows, captured the imaginations of legions of followers, and jammed with folkies, orchestras, rappers, rock and roll hall-of-famers, jazz musicians, poets, pop superstars, storytellers and a martial arts legend. She’s “fixed up a few old buildings” and minimized her carbon footprint before it was trendy – from installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in the renovated church that her label calls home to using organic inks on all the t-shirts she sells. But nothing she’s done in her 18-year career has garnered more attention than a business decision.

Since Ani bucked the major label system in the early-‘90s, opting to release her music on her own terms, the self-described Little Folksinger has been the subject of all kinds of hyperbole. She’s been called “fiercely independent” (Rolling Stone), “inspirational” (All Music Guide), “the ultimate do-it-yourself songwriter” (The New York Times), etc. As the cracks in the music industry get larger and more big-name artists follow Ani’s lead – Radiohead, Madonna and Nine Inch Nails among them – maybe people will just start calling her “smart.”

As important as Righteous Babe Records is to the singer/songwriter/guitarist, she’s more than happy to trust like-minded people with the business and revel in the complete artistic freedom it provides. On her new album, Red Letter Year, she takes more advantage of this freedom than ever before. Conceived, sculpted and refined over the course of two years – a lifetime compared to a typical Ani recording session – the album is an impeccably crafted, multi-layered sonic achievement.

And while the extra time is a big reason for Red Letter Year’s captivating musical depths, the people in Ani’s life play an even bigger part – her partner and co-producer Mike Napolitano (Joseph Arthur, The Twilight Singers, Squirrel Nut Zippers) and her one-year-old daughter Petah Lucia (gurgling, infectious laughter, wide-eyed innocence). Love, family and home are three of the album’s most prominent muses, resulting in a dozen songs that exude warmth and renewed vigor.

For several years to come, musicians will be making headlines as they jump the major label ship and take charge of their own destinies. Having been there and done that, Ani DiFranco will be more than happy to just sit back and make art.
Zee Avi
Zee Avi
For 25-year-old Malaysian singer/songwriter Zee Avi, "Swell Window" is the gorgeous track that started the journey and also the opening track of her second album, Ghostbird. "It's a song about seizing the moment," she says, "and for me, a new direction and a new voice came and stayed."

In the two years since her self-titled debut was joint-released on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records and Ian Montone's Monotone Label, Avi's very free spirit has wandered from major music festivals (SXSW, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo) to huge tours (Lilith Fair) back to her homeland of Sarawak, Borneo Island, where she recently picked up an International Youth Icon Award. For a little perspective, just four years ago, Avi was a former art student in Kuala Lumpur who posted a song on YouTube to catch up with a friend and was quite surprised to find herself the toast of the Internet when thousands of strangers discovered her effortlessly stunning voice. Literal overnight success can easily poison young minds, but Avi is no ordinary mind — while critics were comparing her chilled-out, jazzy, ukulele-based songs to Billie Holiday and Cat Power she was continuing to make visual art and remaining her buoyant, whimsical self. "I'm 25 going on 12 and a half on a good day," she laughs, flipping through a notebook filled with colorful drawings and lengthy notes.

Avi started writing Ghostbird in her Brooklyn kitchen last summer, but followed the wind to the balmy waters of the Florida Everglades where she found endless musings, “with absolute silence and calmness.” In March, she took her fresh batch of tunes to Johnson's Solar Powered Plastic Plant studios and got down to business with producer Mario Caldato, Jr., best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and beloved Brazilian artists like Bebel Gilberto. It only took two weeks for them to lay down the 11 tracks on Ghostbird (it means “Burung Hantu” which means owl in Avi's native language), including the closing number on the album, “Stay In The Clouds,” a new addition that was written on the last day of recording.

This album lead Avi to new ideas. "Siboh Kitak Nangis" which translates to “Don’t You Cry,” is the first song in Avi's dialect on an international album and the poppy groove of "The Book of Morris Johnson" is the first time she has written new music to accompany someone else’s words. "Morris Johnson" was inspired by a Floridian folk artist whose paintings of animals and accompanying text about their instinctual lives "capture naiveté and innocence and enthusiasm," Avi says. After buying a few of his pieces at an art show, Avi called him up and said, "Morris, I'm ready to be your disciple, I'm ready to turn your words into a song." (Morris was thrilled — his daughter's a huge fan.)

The track “Anchor" is one of the handful of songs that made the album from Avi's New York writing sessions and also what Zee refers to as a “premonition track,” and another NYC track, "Concrete Wall," is a striking a cappella that features contributions from beloved turntable god Cut Chemist. And yes, she is well aware June has 30 days rather than 31 (the song "31 Days" was inspired by a couch-surfing friend who lamented, " 'I was homeless for 31 days in June.' ") Every song has a different mood, every song is a different voice, every song is a different story," Avi explains. But the idea of the Ghostbird unites the album, and Avi has tucked an owl call into a few tracks on the disc, "So it's a little scavenger hunt when you listen to it.”

After the album arrives on August 30th, 2011 Avi is itching to get back on tour and show off her live skills. "I want people to feel like they're being hugged," she says of the soothingly beautiful Ghostbird. "I think this is my swell window right now."
Venue Information:
Chameleon Club
223 North Water Street
Lancaster, PA, 17603
http://www.chameleonclub.net/