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Narrator: Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco's career as a singer, songwriter and guitarist is proof positive that "alternative rock" can mean much, much more than a group of guys with electric guitars and a hefty record contract. In a culture where multinational corporations sing the praises of the "indie" aesthetic, Ani has created a truly provocative means of producing music on her own terms and getting it to listeners. She has broken just about every rule of the music industry, and in the process has paved the way for other artists, emerging and established performers alike, seeking real alternatives to corporate control.
       Born in Buffalo New York in 1970, Ani's first interests were dance and visual art. Her earliest awareness of music came not from pop albums and radio airplay, but from first-hand encounters with working musicians in Buffalo bars, many of whom stayed overnight with her family on their way across the Northeast. The intimacy and hand-to-mouth economics of the folk tradition fueled Ani's own passion for live performance, and she began singing and playing acoustic guitar in these same Rust Belt bars before she was 10 years old. By age 15, she was writing songs of her own and hitting the regional coffeehouse and club circuit herself.
       There is no single sound or song which encapsulates the range of Ani's craft. Over the course of her career so far, she has performed solo, with accompanying bass and drums, and, on one memorable occasion, with the Buffalo Philharmonic; in the studio, she has employed horn sections, gospel singers, samples, and answering machine recordings; she has released spoken word tracks, dance re-mixes, and a double live album. The only constants in Ani's world are her commitment to writing and performing intensely personal songs, her fans' deep connection to her work, and her intuitive insistence on doing things her own way.

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