heard the name but not her music
I am enlightened after 16 albums
once again a tad light on the instruments
the protest stuff gets a little weary for me at this stage of life
such a terrible country I live in
1.4 from me and a 2.1 from the pros at allmusic
from the album - Life Boat
Ani DiFranco - Lifeboat - YouTube
released Jan 17th, 2012
Bio - from allmusic
A folkie in punk's clothing, Ani DiFranco battled successfully against the Goliath of corporate rock to emerge as
one of the most influential and inspirational cult heroines of the 1990s. A resolute follower of D.I.Y. ethos,
DiFranco released her records through her own indie label, Righteous Babe, slowly but steadily building a devout
grassroots following on the strength of a relentless tour schedule. An ardent feminist and an open bisexual, her
songs tackled issues like rape, abortion, and sexism with insight and compassion, the music's empowering attitude
and anger tempered by the poignant candor of singer/songwriter confessionalism.
DiFranco was born in Buffalo, NY, on September 23, 1970. She began her career at the age of nine, when her guitar
teacher helped her land her first gig -- performing a set of Beatles covers -- at an area coffeehouse. Befriended
by the likes of Suzanne Vega and Michelle Shocked, she later gave up music to study ballet, but at the age of 14
returned to the guitar and began composing her first songs. A year later, alienated from her crumbling family
structure, she left home, living with friends while making the rounds of the Buffalo folk club circuit.
DiFranco had written over 100 original songs by the age of 19, and after briefly studying art, she relocated to New
York City to further her musical aspirations; besieged by requests from fans for tapes of her performances, she
recorded a demo and pressed 500 copies of a self-titled cassette to sell at shows. The tape -- a Spartan acoustic
folk collection of intensely personal essays on failed relationships and gender inequities -- quickly sold out, and
in 1990 DiFranco founded Righteous Babe to better distribute her recordings, which were slowly spreading across the
country on the strength of a substantial word-of-mouth following.
In 1991, after issuing the assured Not So Soft, DiFranco hit the road alone, touring the nation in her Volkswagen
and playing gigs wherever she could find them. Her cult blossomed, and her distinct image -- shaved head, tattoos,
and body piercings -- soon became the de rigueur look for her fans as well. As albums like 1992's Imperfectly and
1993's Puddle Dive expanded her musical ambitions as well as her following, DiFranco became the subject of
considerable major-label interest, yet she steadfastly rejected all offers as Righteous Babe grew to become a
highly viable business venture.
DiFranco continued playing over 200 dates a year, and soon even the mainstream media took notice of her cottage-
industry music; after 1994's masterful Out of Range, she exploded with the following year's Not a Pretty Girl,
which garnered notice from outlets ranging from CNN to The New York Times. A sprawling, eclectic work detailing a
heated love affair with a man (much to the chagrin of her lesbian followers), 1996's Dilate even debuted in the Top
100 of the Billboard charts, a stunning achievement for an independent release. The live set Living in Clip
followed in 1997.
Early in 1998, DiFranco released the studio effort Little Plastic Castle; her most musically diverse release yet,
it also was her highest-charting album to date, and set the stage for the release of Up Up Up Up Up Up the
following year. Another new LP, To the Teeth, appeared in 1999 as well, and in mid-2000 came the release of the
odds-and-ends compilation Swing Set. Revelling: Reckoning appeared in spring 2001. In 2002, DiFranco trudged on; a
road warrior at heart, she issued the double-disc So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter in September, her first live
album since 1997's Living in Clip. The So Much Shouting set captured handpicked favorites by DiFranco and three
previously unreleased songs.
The following year's Evolve added funk, jazz, and Latin elements to the mix, while 2004's Educated Guess was
performed completely by DiFranco. Knuckle Down, co-produced by Joe Henry, arrived in 2005. The eighth disc in her
Official Bootleg series, Carnegie Hall (recorded live on April 2, 2002), was released in the spring of 2006, and
then -- shortly after the singer announced she was pregnant -- her studio album Reprieve arrived that same August.
DiFranco gave birth to her daughter in January 2007 and released another Official Bootleg, Hamburg, Germany, in
2008. Red Letter Year appeared later in 2008, featuring songs inspired by the impending presidential race,
DiFranco's baby daughter, and her partner/producer Mike Napolitano. 2012's Which Side Are You On?, the sixteenth
studio album from the alternative folk legend, featured twelve new songs, including the rousing title cut, which
was a re-working of a song made popular by Pete Seeger, who lent his distinctive voice and banjo to DiFranco's
Album Review - from latimes
For those who have been complaining that there are no protest songs in pop music right now, ’90s icon Ani DiFranco
serves up a well-meaning but predictable specimen in the title song to her new studio album. With a contribution
from activist folkie Pete Seeger, a marching snare-drum beat and calls for an end to financial corruption, why not
cut to the chase and cull the lyrics from an Occupy pamphlet instead?
Her heart might be in the right place but it’s better served by her nuanced, questioning mind in other songs.
DiFranco makes a reasoned and witty argument for the benefits of “Promiscuity,” comparing it to globe-trotting. She
sings “some of us like to stick close to home; and some of us are Columbus. What can I say?”
Some of DiFranco’s attempts to be baldly political hit their mark. “Amendment,” a plea for laws that protect
women’s rights, is split between a poisonous guitar line and a looser, more ponderous musical set that gives the
defiant lyrics their deserved depth. DiFranco will never stop fighting and as long as she keeps some grace in her
boxing stance, it shouldn’t be any other way.
1. Life Boat
3. Which Side Are You On
8. If You're Not