To Ani or not to Ani?

So, Ani Difranco is playing two nights in Asheville in March, one of which is on my birthday. Being the Ani fan that I am, I immediately have the urge to buy tickets to both shows right now. There are problems with this situation, though, which I will enumerate below: 1. I'm not a fan of the venue. If it were the Grey Eagle, I'd definitely get tickets. The shows are at the Orange Peel, and while I've seen some good shows there, I tend to regret my decision to see shows there. I'm too short to really see anything if I'm not in an ideal spot, there's a constant stream of people shoving through the packed crowd to get a cheap beer so they can then shove back through sloshing it everywhere, and somehow there's always a six foot tall frat boy in front of me. Really! 2. I might want to do other things on my birthday like go to Savannah or something. The tickets to see Ani are $35 each, and I would have to have a date, meaning it would cost me and (I assume) Jeremy $70 to see her. That's gas to a fun place or a hotel room for a night. 3. I've seen Ani more times than I can remember. Once I made her a spaghetti strap tank top that said "I Love Gas Stations" and threw it onstage to her, and she actually got it, read it, laughed, and shoved it down her shirt! This was at the New Daisy and my good friend Laura Holt was with me. I've had amazing, glowing Ani experiences. I've also seen her and been less than thrilled - not necessarily because of her, but maybe because I'm older now and don't get as excited about shows anymore. It's sad, but true. (Man Man is an exception because they are so unreal live. I still get jittery excited about seeing them, and a little about Langhorne Slim too now that I think about it.) 4. Here's the real problem - I despise Ani's new album. I mean, hate it. I couldn't listen to it more than once, and I struggled to get through that. In fact, I haven't liked much of anything she's done lately. I'm a huge supporter of RBR and have nearly everything Ani's put out besides the "official bootlegs," I have bought at least 5 Ani shirts over the years, I have a Hammel on Trial CD, I've put her on nearly every mix tape I've made, I've stood up for her when people pronounce her name incorrectly (she says it herself in "In or Out, people - it's not that hard), I've argued when people compare her to Alanis Morrisette, but this album blows. I hate it. I don't even like the lyrics in most of the songs. I was hugely disappointed. I know she'll do old songs too, but do I want to pay that much to see her? Is that how I want to spend my birthday? Maybe I'll just plan a trip to Savannah or Charleston instead. Feel free to let me know what your advice would be. :)

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