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Righteous Babe
Ani DiFranco is a diehard agitator. First off there's her music, an unlikely fusion of punk rock and acoustic folk, which was known to furrow some old folkies' brows when the 23-year-old New Yorker first hit the circuit some six years ago. ("I'm a folk singer with a nose ring who body-surfs at her own shows," laughs DiFranco.) Her lyrics prick like needles as she sets her eagle eyes on sickly sexual politics and the culture of ennui. Above all, DiFranco wants to make you "bleed and scab and heal and bleed again." And she does, with an incredible voice that alternately lullabies and peels paint. She's got six self-released albums under her belt courtesy of Righteous Babe Records, the label she started because -- you guessed it -- she detests corporate capitalism. "Folk is a subcorporate music," DiFranco says. "That's why I like it. It's not commercially viable and there's no money in it, so most people don't give a shit about it. Therefore it remains genuine and connected to the communities it comes from." In that sense, DiFranco fits right in with one folk tradition -- social protest. She plays Sat, May 6, 8 pm, at the Oakland Congre-gational Church. Call (510) 835-1445.

This Way Out
Remember the flurry of mainstream media attention surrounding Pansy Division last fall when the queerpunk local boys hit the arenas opening for Green Day? Despite a slew of articles on the growing queercore movement, the big labels -- usually frantic to capitalize on any publicized "scene" -- have kept their distance. As P. D. bassist Chris Freeman remarks in Billboard's cover story on "Queercore Punk Rock" -- which also highlights Tribe 8 and the Outpunk label -- his band has never even been approached by a major. The same goes for most of their compatriots, who are still happily indie. Wary of the kind of hype that bit riot grrrl, some queercore insiders are now refusing to speak to the press. Can't blame 'em.

Blue Light Special
Got 85 grand burning a hole in your pocket? Why not purchase the Rolling Stones mobile studio, which a Brit named Don Larking has posted for sale in -- of all places -- Compuserve's classifieds. Seems Larking's brother purchased the unit last year from Bill Wyman, and now they're trying to unload the beast. The Stones recorded Exile on Main Street in it after it was built in 1970; later, the likes of the Who, the Faces and Led Zeppelin rented it out. You could drive away with a 32-channel console, two 24-track recorders and a whole lotta history. How you get it out of the U.K. is your problem. E-mail serious inquiries to 100347.1046compuserve.com.

By Sia Michel, Mike Rowell

 
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