I've been out as a lesbian for ten years now, and I've been a feminist for even longer. In all that time, I've never been to an Ani Difranco concert, despite the fact that most of the wimmin in my life are devoted members of the church of Ani. Sure, I've heard her music and read her poetry, as every good lesbian should do. But it wasn't until I saw Ani live that I understood what all the fuss was about.
Ani performed at the Pine Mountain Ampitheater in Flagstaff, AZ. It's a brand new venue that I highly recommend. It's an intimate theater that seats 1000. And who doesn't love listening to live music out in the pine trees? Especially when there's a gathering of lesbians/feminists? There were twirling hippie girls, beautiful butches, and wimmin of all shapes and sizes at the show. And can I just say for the record that I love the gay boys who chose to worship at this diva's feet? Ya'll are my kinda fellas!
Last night Ani sang a new song called "The Atom" that totally moved me. It's about how beautiful the universe is and how the atom is the source of all life. Listening to her sing out under the pine trees was truly a religious experience. I can get down with that kind of church. And when you hear the sounds of female voices cheering along with her message, it's a pretty powerful experience!
One of the other new tunes that Ani performed is about her daughter Petah, called "Present/Infant." Ani has always spoken a message about wimmin loving their bodies. But her recent experience with pregnancy and birth has magnified that message. In fact, in a recent interview with Mothering Magazine, Ani says that once she gave birth to Petah, she was reborn as a feminist. I found her description of her home birth to be really inspiring. She says that it takes all of wimmin's might to give birth naturally and that she's so upset that the medical/patriarchal establishment has taken that away from wimmin.
I just love a girl who rocks out on the drums, and I spent the night checking out Ani's drummer Allison Miller. She's not just a hawt piece of eye candy. No, no. She's got the chops to match the looks. Miller has played for Ani, The Indigo Girls, Natalie Merchant, and Erin McKeown. Her work has also been featured on "The L Word." The rest of Ani's band kicked much ass, too. I was just too busy scoping out the chick drummer to look in their direction.
So, Ani . . . you had me at hello. Please welcome your latest devoted fan to the church of Ani. I think I, like millions of other wimmin, have found a voice I can believe in.