Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Ani DiFranco 

With Drums & Tuba. Monday, November 13, at Cleveland Music Hall.

Ani DiFranco: Her grassroots are beginning to show.
  • Ani DiFranco: Her grassroots are beginning to show.
While her rabid following hasn't noticed the difference, Ani DiFranco hasn't made a good record since 1995's Not a Pretty Girl. It was at about that time that DiFranco, a self-described grassroots sensation, was on the cover of every major music magazine and being heralded not only for becoming successful without pandering to commercial radio or MTV, but also for running her own label and keeping a large share of the profits for herself -- all of which suggested that, if only every label were like her Righteous Babe and every artist like DiFranco, the recording industry would be a kinder, gentler place. So when DiFranco started whining about the pitfalls of fame, complaining that she couldn't face the outside world in "Glass House," a song on Little Plastic Castles, she was no longer one of us. DiFranco, who's very deliberate about doing interviews with the biggest publication in any given market and relentlessly promoting herself, wasn't ambivalent about fame before she had it, so the move toward criticizing the mass media seemed out of place. And even though she has refrained from complaining so vociferously on subsequent records, she has recently favored quantity over quality, releasing two studio records in 1999 alone -- both of which had only a handful of good songs. Her live shows, which were once emotionally tasking affairs, have also degenerated into solipsistic events, in which DiFranco jokes with her adoring crowd and tries to get her groove on, oblivious to the fact that she's a white girl from Buffalo -- no matter what funk legend Maceo Parker, a guest on last year's To the Teeth, might tell her.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • The Temptations and the Four Tops @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Songs of the Polka King Release Party with Joey Miskulin & the KTB @ Beachland Ballroom

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Jokes on You @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Last Sunday of every month

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation