Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ani Difranco

Her music and words have been a huge part of my life for the past 12 or so years.People that know me well will have been bored senseless at some point by my ranting on how wonderful her music is!!It's been a large part of the soundtrack to my life thus far.

There are many reasons why she fascinates me, mainly:

*founded her own record label-Righteous Babe Records-when she could have so easily signed to a major or independent. She strove for self-sufficiency and refused to allow her art to be subsumed by commerce.Has used her label to promote and work with a number of other artists such as Hammell on Trial, Utah Philips and Andrew Bird.

*As a result of this autonomy: she writes and publishes her songs, produces her own recordings, creates the artwork. She employs local people in management and staff positions and supports local printers and manufacturers in her hometown. In the past few years she and Scot Fisher (her manager) launched a community-wide effort to save a 19th Century church in Buffalo that was destined for demolition. It resulted in the church being saved, restored and now houses RBR Headquarters, a concert hall, a record studio, an art gallery and bar/lounge.

*She has a voracious work ethic (19 albums and counting) and tours constantly.Through touring and word of mouth she has built an extremely loyal fan base.

*Her refusal to be muted by the mainstream media. She is extremely outspoken on her social and political views and makes no apologies for this.

*Her music. Her songs show uncanny insight into human nature and hyper awareness of the world around her. Her astute observations; Tackling everything from social, political and sexual issues to personal relationships. Her distinctive guitar style and increasingly complex lyrics have a way of weaving themselves around your mind. When listening to her music i always feel that she holds very little back; that what you hear-be it joy,anger,despair,hope,humour-is Ani distilled.

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