Last week we featured Lucinda Williams and compared her independent, punk-rocker attitude to Ani DiFranco, who plays Durham on Friday.
DiFranco is hardly comparable to anyone else.
In songwriting she matches Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie at their angriest. As an inventive guitarist, she’s heir to Joni Mitchell. As a symbol of independent female artistry, Patti Smith.
“A lot of young women don't want to call themselves feminists,” she has said. “You have this cheap, hideous ‘girl power’ sort of fad, which I think is pretty benign at best, but at worst, I think it’s a way of taking the politics out of feminism and making it some kind of fashion.”
At 5-foot-2 she’s stood tall beside icons of ’90s grunge femininity: Kim Deal, Tori Amos, Kathleen Hanna.
They’re all still active; though the politics haven’t changed, they’ve practically reached adult-contemporary status.
DiFranco might have seemed like a Lizzie Borden back then: a blue-haired, bisexual punk and a hero to a generation of misfits numbed by music videos and episodes of ‘My So-Called Life.’
Now Ani’s into her second marriage, has a couple of kids. And she plays the Carolina Theatre with Pearl & The Beard. Don’t miss.
When: Friday, 8 p.m.
Where: The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham
Correspondent Tom Hartwell