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A week later, it's "Spring Fest" at the State University of New York at 
Buffalo, and DiFranco is the headliner of a benefit for the women's 
studies program.  Her hair is now eight shades of green.

"Yeah," she says, a bit wistfully, reminiscing about what Stochansky 
said.  "It was the beginning of the change.  It used to be all women 
because that' part of where I come from.  The women's center would 
get together $200 and I'd go play the school, so naturally it would be 
all the feminists on campus.  

Susanne Vega, who is also on the bill, shows up to chat for a few 
minutes before she goes on.  They have known each other for years; in 
the early 80's, when DiFranco was still a kid and Vega was not yet a 
star, Vega came to Buffalo a lot to play the local bars and stayed at 
DiFranco's house a few times.  During her performance at this festival, 
Vega tells a story about how once, when she stayed with DiFranco, the 
young girl made a huge banner for her; welcome back to Buffalo


DiFranco has a song on the album Dilate called "Napoleon" that goes, 
in part "They told you your music/Could reach millions/that the choice 
was up to you/And you told me that they always/paid for lunch/and 
believe in what I do..."  A friend recently speculated that the song was 
about Vega.  Whether it is or not, there is something fascinating about 
watching these two women interact, especially on a night where Vega 
is opening for DiFranco.  It was ten years ago that Vega was being 
compared to Dylan, touted as  the '80s savior of folk music in Rolling 
Stone.  That this savior was a women was duly noted.  But what ever 
happened to Vega? Nothing it seems.  After a rush of her first two 
albums she's had almost no impact whatsoever.   She pulled back when 
fame came calling.

As they sit and talk, Scot Fisher, DiFranco's manager and label 
president,  makes reference to DiFranco's marketing plan.  "What is 
your marketing plan?" asks Vega "Do you have one?"  Yes, we do, 
fisher answers, to which Vega replies "Well, it's good to know that 
somebody's got one, because I don't.  My , managers vision o f 
marketing is, 'Do everything."

DiFranco clearly wants to take her music beyond folk.  Her fascination 
with dance music, hip-hop, and tribal beats suggests she is well on her 
way to expanding beyond the white, middle class limitations of the 
crunchy, hippie genre where she now tenuously resides.  One criticism 
to be leveled at DiFranco is that she indulges in far to much navel 
gazing.  Too many of her songs are about the effect her songs are 
having on her audience.  If she keeps growing as an artist at her current 
pace - which is fairly astonishing - and if her audience gets any bigger, 
DiFranco will be in the unenviable position of trying to old back the 
tide.  She is clearly nervous about her ever increasing fame.  Her 
independence may just become her cross to bear. 

One day, when DiFranco and I are talking about her live performances, 
she says "The pop press always goes on about how I'm a person on 
stage, and I talk to the audience, and I engage them, and it's some kind 
of  weird breaking down the audience/performer wall.  But that's folk 
music. 


She is talking, as she often does, with a slightly exasperated, wryly
goofy tone, her voice and posture suggesting that she just can't believe 
anyone would do it any other way.  "You stand up there and you don't 
have a persona" she says, talking exactly as she does when she's on 
stage performing. "You just are a person"


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