Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Finding An Old Album New

Thirty-three years go by
And not once do you come home
To find a man sitting in your bedroom
That is
A man you don't know
Who came a long way to deliver one very specific message:
Lock your back door, you idiot
However invincible you imagine yourself to be
You are wrong - Ani Difranco Parameters 
My musical tastes are quite funny to me. I still don't understand them even after 2 decades of obsession and my behavior is not predictable at all. Often times, the albums that sit un-listened to by my favorite artists because my ear turned against them become, later in life, incredibly important.

Maybe it's cause Ani Difranco is coming to the area in the coming weeks or maybe I'm just ready to hear this particular album but Knuckle Down is now on constant rotation on my IPod after sitting cold for five years. 2005 is when I bought the album....played it three times and buried it away. For the 2000's, the only Ani release that got played consistently was the double album Revelling/Reckoning that came out in 2001.

Now, though....this album finally grabbed me.  

It's the exact same thing that happened with Achtung Baby by U2 when I was in High School. I literally hated the album for a year before I was ready to "hear" it. It was so different and such a change from what I was used to hearing from my favorite band that I rejected it. Now, it's one of the most important albums in my collection.

I don't know why Knuckle Down hits me now. Maybe it's because Ani was 33 when she put it out and I am about to turn that in April or maybe it's because I've listened to her since I was 18 and I feel a connection to her dream of achieving something bigger than just a house, 2 kids, and Christmas card.

But as the poem reads above, maybe it's because I realized now that I'm not invisible. That life is fragile and fleeting and all the waiting and wondering you do in your 20's can lead to a moment where a decision is necessary to be made about the rest of your life.

Strange place to be but Ani was always like that for me. Walking just slightly ahead of me, pointing out the scenery along the side of the road.

Here's the poem in full:

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