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Ani Difranco

February 15, 1998 | Richard Cromelin, Richard Cromelin writes about pop music for Calendar
The fishbowl existence alluded to in the title of Ani DiFranco's new album, "Little Plastic Castle," is an appropriate image. After a decade as a cult hero, the singer-songwriter has moved dramatically into pop consciousness since the release of her 1996 album, "Dilate," her acclaimed account of a turbulent relationship. The album has sold nearly 300,000 copies, and the feisty performer has popped up on the covers of magazines ranging from Ms. to Spin.
Even though pop acts frequently tour for months at a time, the vast majority only give one performance. Whether in Los Angeles or Memphis, you are basically seeing the same package--from song selection to emotional tone. Not so, thankfully, with Ani DiFranco. One reason the 26-year-old singer-songwriter is among the half-dozen most compelling figures in all of contemporary pop is that she makes each time on stage a night of exploration and search.
June 8, 1997 | Steve Hochman
Ani DiFranco--the new Celine Dion? DiFranco, the folk-pop maverick who has steadfastly held to both her feminist stance and indie-label approach to the music business, has indeed side-stepped into Dion territory. The critical darling has recorded a pop song touting "traditional" romantic values for a major film . . . the very kind of thing that swept Dion to the top of the charts last year. "Yeah, that's me!" says DiFranco, giggling when asked about the Dion comparison.
April 20, 1997 | Richard Cromelin
You don't need stacks of amps to be larger than life, not when you have a persona as outsized as Ani DiFranco's. That's more than clear on the first live album from the folk-rooted singer-songwriter, who has become a star on a platform of fierce independence in her career conduct and brutal emotional candor in her music. DiFranco pumps emotions up to heroic scale, emerging as the bruised, enraged female counterpart to Springsteen's sensitive Jersey boy.
October 28, 1996 | ROBERT HILBURN
Forget about the mosh-pitters at punk shows or the dance marvels at hip-hop affairs. The most enthusiastic pop audiences nowadays are at Ani DiFranco concerts. Whether reacting to gems from the ultra-aggressive folk singer-songwriter's masterful albums, especially "Dilate" and "Not a Pretty Girl," or new songs in a slow, torch-like vein, the capacity crowd on Friday at the Wiltern Theatre shrieked, applauded and even, the beat willing, danced. The affection isn't misplaced.
July 5, 1996 | CHUCK PHILIPS
Which entertainer has the best royalty deal in the music business? It's not Michael Jackson, Madonna or Garth Brooks, three artists who've made headlines over the years with record-breaking contracts.
June 30, 1996 | Robert Hilburn, Robert Hilburn is The Times' pop music critic
Even though four of the artists in this edition of Calendar's guide to what's exciting in pop also made the list with past works, the new albums by Beck, Bikini Kill, Ani DiFranco and Rage Against the Machine show enough growth to warrant repeat investigation.
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