Lady Gaga Is Today's Ani DiFranco; Here's Why
Before Gaga launched this Body Revolution, she was a musician who, it seemed, held feminist ideals, but with this new campaign, she's an activist, an actual feminist. Ani was an icon for female independence. When she launched Righteous Babe Records, she was a trailblazer for those in the music industry and for powerful gals. Both performers are doing what other pop artists only sing about. Gaga offers today's "weird" women the same kind of comforting environment and provides them with a good example of self-awareness and worth, as did Ani back in her heyday.
Though Gaga's stage is packed with painted dancers and gimmicky props and Ani's has merely a lady with a guitar (and, when I saw her, dreads), they both are conveying a similar message of empowerment. You don't have to look alike to be alike. Also, the '90s were all about a stripped-down aesthetic, whereas today, you have to have some flash onstage to compete with the internet. Their individual appeals are appropriate for their eras.
All superficiality aside and based on the above, I'm comfortable proclaiming that Lady Gaga is the Ani DiFranco of today.
Side note: There's a similar argument to be made here with Tori Amos, but, really, what has Tori done for us lately?
Ani DiFranco performs at 8 p.m. October 20, Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.
Lady Gaga performs March 15 at BB&T, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.