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  Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco Critic Robert Christgau says "Ani DiFranco opens up a secret subcultural life, in which folk and punk idealism enjoy genuine fusion." Using her own experience as a starting (never an ending) point, Ani has written lyrics exploring both the politics of love and the personal dimension of political issues (including unemployment, racism, capital punishment, reproductive rights, and the "war on drugs"), all grounded in her percussive, no-holds-barred guitar work. Over the course of the last decade, the 28-year-old songwriter, acoustic guitarist, and vocalist has released 12 self-produced solo albums and several other projects on her own label, Righteous Babe Records.

Born in Buffalo, NY in 1970, Ani was first drawn to dance and painting. Her earliest connection to music came not from pop songs on the radio, but from the folksingers who stayed overnight with her family on their way across the Northeast. The intimacy and hand-to-mouth economics of the folk tradition fuelled Ani's own passion for live performance, and she began singing and playing acoustic guitar in Buffalo bars before she was ten years old. By age fifteen, she was writing songs of her own, many of which began as poems ("Since I was a little kid, I've always thought in long, skinny columns," Ani says), and soon she was hitting the Rust Belt coffee-house and club circuit herself. By the time she decided to record a cassette in 1990, Ani had more than 100 original compositions to choose from. Like countless performers before her, Ani chose to release that first album herself, without waiting for a label to sign her. Borrowing money from friends to cover the costs of manufacturing and studio time, the twenty-year-old produced her own self-titled debut album and sold it from the trunk of her hand-painted car while blazing a path across the college campuses and seedy dives of America.

Fourth-generation dubs of that tape and other early, acoustically spare recordings sparked interest in Ani from coast to coast. Offers from labels large and small began to pop up more and more often, but unlike most young artists under similar circumstances, Ani decided to continue releasing albums herself, which allowed her a far greater degree of artistic control than any outside interest would have provided. To this day, Ani has the last word on how often her albums come out, what the graphics and accompanying merchandise look like, which singles and videos get released, and all other issues regarding the presentation of her music.

In a time when multinational corporations sing the praises of the "indie" aesthetic, Ani is truly on her own and quite happy that way. She has seen her work reach larger and larger audiences each year, without either the benefit or the burden of outside funding: Ani's total catalogue sales exceed 2 million, and her last 4 albums have made Billboard's Top 200 chart, with 1998's 'Little Plastic Castle' peaking at #29. Ani's recordings have earned her Grammy nominations in two successive years and have been featured in both independent and Hollywood films; her face has appeared on dozens of magazine covers world-wide; and her relentless schedule includes sold-out shows throughout North America (currently averaging 2,500-6,000 seats), plus frequent tours of Europe, Asia, and Australia. Ani has appeared on every major television network in the U.S. and has performed a number of live solo national radio broadcasts and internet webcasts.

Everything happens organically in DiFranco-land. Both the in-house staff (currently fourteen people) and the touring crew (now eleven) have grown larger fairly gradually in order to meet increasing need. Ani's income from concerts and record sales gets channelled directly back into future projects, which in turn allow her to support like-minded fellow artists, Buffalo businesses, and grassroots culture workers. With each new album, Ani has experimented more and more with the sonic possibilities of the studio, and in recent years she has become a sought-after producer on recordings by Janis Ian, Dan Bern, and other artists.

There is no single song or sound which encapsulates the range of Ani's craft. Over the course of her concert career so far, she has performed solo, with a three-person backing band, with accompaniment from the ReBirth Brass Band, and, on one memorable occasion, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; in the studio, she has employed gospel singers, horn sections, and the sampled voice of General Douglas MacArthur; she has released spoken word tracks, dance remixes, and a much-lauded double live album. Ani has broken just about every rule of the music industry, paving the way for other artists, emerging and established performers alike, seeking genuine alternatives to corporate control over their music. In so doing, as a writer for Rolling Stone once put it, "She has changed the decade's musical landscape". - From Cooking Vinyl

   
 
So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter
CD $24.99 catalog# rbr024
So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter
To The Teeth
Not A Pretty Girl
Revelling/Reckoning
CD $24.99 catalog# rbr024
Revelling/Reckoning
To The Teeth
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr017
To The Teeth
Up Up Up Up Up Up
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr013
Up Up Up Up Up Up
Little Plastic Castle
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr012
Little Plastic Castle
Swandive
Dilate
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr008
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr008cass
Dilate
Done Wrong
Living In Clip
CD $24.99 catalog# rbr011
Living In Clip
32 Flavors
More Joy, Less Shame
CD $7.98 catalog# rbr0010
More Joy, Less Shame
The Past Didn't Go Anywhere (Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco)
CD $16.99 catalog# rbr009
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr009cass
The Past Didn't Go Anywhere (Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco)
Not A Pretty Girl
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr007
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr007cass
Not A Pretty Girl
Hour Follows Hour
Imperfectly
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr003
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr003cass
Imperfectly
Puddle Dive
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr004
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr004cass
Puddle Dive
Out Of Range
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr006
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr006cass
Out Of Range
Like I Said
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr005
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr005cass
Like I Said
Not So Soft
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr002
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr002cass
Not So Soft
Ani Difranco
CD $14.99 catalog# rbr001
Cass $9.99 catalog# rbr001cass
Ani Difranco
Render
DVD $24.99 catalog# rbr026
 


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