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Anais Every year there's at least one artist who seems to be all over the place, playing on various stages, busking to all hours of the morning in the world food court, hanging with the hoi polloi outside the Palace of Wonder. Michael Franti and Eddi Reader come to mind from past festivals. This year the designated butterfly seems to be the quirky French singer-songwriter Anais, who will perform officially at the Naeba Shokudo at 10:40 pm on Saturday, and on Sunday at the Orange Court at 1:50 pm and at Gypsy Avalon at 4:30 pm.

Anais is a former rock singer who made the bold decision to record her solo debut album in front of an audience during a live club concert. It paid off. "The Cheap Show " has sold more than 200,000 copies in France. Anais mixes blues and rock and folk and even rap (there's a Neptunes cover), but chanson informs everything, even the novelty song "Christine," which is sung in Scots-accented English. Anais does whatever she can to be inventive and project a distinctive style. She samples (or post-dubs) her own harmony vocals on "Mon coeur mon amour" and then makes it seem as if the audience is cheering the idea. And is that a kazoo on "Elle sort qu'avec des blacks"? At times, these clever touches border on the precious, as does her tendency to break out in cutesy or gruff tones of voice and exaggerate her plosives. It's as if she were trying on personas for the hell of it. But, of course, these are entertainment tactics, not expressive tropes, and if Anais decided that a live album was the way to go, it's probably because she doesn't separate her music from her audience, who on the record are very, very appreciative. Of course, they might be post-dubbed, too, but we doubt it. Those kind of reactions can't be faked.