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Living In Clip

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Album Review

Living in Clip is Ani DiFranco's first live album, and she seems to be making up for lost time: She's crammed several years worth of live performances into these two CDs. Most of these songs are performed by only three people: Andy Stochansky on drums, Sara Lee on bass, and DiFranco on acoustic guitar (although her trio is joined a couple of times by Doc Severinsen's Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra). Clearly, she doesn't need a big band to put on an electrifying show; her concert performances have long been as much a part of her low-profile legend as her self-financed studio albums. DiFranco has said that she considers herself to be primarily a live artist because her music relies on the intangibly active relationship between herself and her audience. When this live set came out in 1997, a number of critics remarked that it captured the energy of that relationship better than the albums she recorded in the isolation of the studio. That it does. DiFranco's public exhibition of emotion, and her self-deprecating banter in between songs, add to the feeling of openness that is essential to her music (essential both because she is an activist for the politics of honesty and because her personal vulnerability is necessary to keep those politics from seeming pedantic). What these recordings cannot do is transcend their own medium — while they may catch a fraction of the dynamism of her live shows, they are still, after all, recordings. Ultimately, many of her studio performances make for better CDs simply because they were designed with CD players in mind. On her studio albums, the music is often more focused, the sound quality is better, and DiFranco conveys her emotions without any reliance on visual communication. Still, Living in Clip is a good document of DiFranco's relationship with her audience, and many of her angrier, sassier songs actually work better when there's a crowd around to participate in the vitriol. In any case, this collection of songs serves as an excellent best-of compilation for an artist who is sometimes a bit too prolific for her own good.

Customer Reviews

Oh my god!

I am truly, truly shocked and beside myself that there's not one single comment or rating for this album which stirred and continues to stir the hearts of so many 'round the world. This album has cult status. I discovered it about 10 years ago, and even today it still has the power to move me deeply (just 20 minutes ago I was singing-choking the lyrics to some of these songs while crying). You rarely find artists like Ani anymore. You feel like she really understands you. She's so down-to-earth and visceral and blunt.


I absolutely couldn't agree more with you, ani has influenced me musically and emotionally.she is so passionate and that's what I feel really draws someone in and makes u want to listen, closely. She has this way about her that makes u relate and feel like u know her.On some of her live stuff she just laughs and jokes and tells u short stories in between songs. She's real,real raw,and really amazing.

Buy this and Dilate.

With only a bassist and drummer for backup, there's more energy & fun here than all the following 'band' albums combined. A true masterwork of artistry and craft. Buy this and Dilate, these were her finest.


Born: September 23, 1970 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A folkie in punk's clothing, Ani DiFranco battled successfully against the Goliath of corporate rock to emerge as one of the most influential and inspirational cult heroines of the 1990s. A resolute follower of the D.I.Y. ethos, DiFranco released her records through her own indie label, Righteous Babe, slowly but steadily building a devout grassroots following on the strength of a relentless tour schedule. An ardent feminist and an open bisexual, her songs tackled issues like rape, abortion, and...
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