I was 14 when I was introduced to Ani DiFranco. I was a Freshman. She was a young, 19 year old independant artist from one city over to the West trying to make it. She was head-shaved like Sinead O'Connor in those days (1990). She was playing at Milestones, a jazz club downtown. And since we were all young aspiring artists at School of the Arts, making really randomly assorted mix tapes of XTC, and early REM, B52's and Indigo Girls (before people knew them) we were happy to support non mainstream musicians as often as we could. So Maika and I went. We paid $5 for the cover charge on a Wednesday evening and went in and found ourselves, 7 - 10 other people and Ani on a 6" raised platform stage backdropped by a brick wall with her guitar. She sung "Both Hands Now" and a few others from her first tape and recited some poetry and she was done about an hour and a half later. I was moved and loved her and didn't stop listening to that low-budget tape with her and her shaved-headed self on the front for all of High School.

I just got "Reprieve" and can't stop listening to it... again. I remember a lot of the music that I used to listen to in the dark with incense burning and 20 pages of journaling conquered in the early 90's had a lot of heavy, melodic bass line to it (Sting's early solo work and Michael Hedges particularly) and just so chill. I think that's why I'm connecting with this (now) CD (no more "tape") so much. It brings me back to a time I've been missing desperately in my life lately; a very creative time in school with freaks of creative people. People that were walking down the hall in costumes they were trying out for their student directed play, or tapping their way to the drinking fountain from dance class; with people that are now in movies and on broadway, and making incredible works of art... still... because they were, too, back then when we were in printmaking and photography. I really miss High School. I miss the life of creativity I lived in for 6 years (Middle School too).

Ani's got me thinking about it again. She's bringing me home to Western New York. It's almost more that I can handle sometimes. The midwest is difficult on days like this. Unfortunately, if I continue listening to Ani I can expect many more days like this.