Michael Franti and Spearhead 2007-05-26 Cuthbert Ampitheatre Eugene, OR (Download)
We don't overtly do politics on this site. There's no shortage of material, but it's not what the JiveFather is about. Political commentary has been expressed through music for a very long time, however, so it's bound to make its way here from time to time.
At no time in history was politically oriented music, or "protest music", more prevalent or popular than the 60's. Music was used to express explicitly both a dissatisfaction with war, violence, social injustice, and inequality, as well as a desire and a call to action to work for peace, love, and a harmonious existence. There was also music expressing contrary opinions, particularly about Vietnam, ranging from moving tributes to glorification.
Over the last several years, an increasing number of musicians have been providing a soundtrack to the various movements and causes of our time. Today's post is about one such musician.
Michael Franti and his band, Spearhead, have been making fantastic politically charged music for over a decade now. His work covers war, government corruption, racial and religious intolerance, and numerous other topics, though personally I find most important his primary request of humankind, which is that we all remember to "stay human". He's played huge venues around the world, but he's also played to countless people in the streets, including in Baghdad.
Today we are in a war against war - Music is our power.
This particular show is a really good overview of his work with Spearhead, and there's some great storytelling in between tracks as well. Some highlights for me were a very interesting version of "Rock the Nation", a charged take on "Hello Bonjour", and a finale of "Everyone Deserves Music". The full set follows:
Time To Go Home, We Don't Stop, Sometimes, Hey Now Now, People In The Middle > Sweet Little Lies, East/West, Stay Human, Have A Little Faith, Rock The Nation, Nobody Right/Nobody Wrong, High Low, What I Got, Everything's Changed, Hello Bonjour, Light Up Ya Lighter, Yell Fire, I Know I'm Not Alone, One Step Closer, EDM, Everybodyonnamove, band intros
Sound quality is a B+, levels are off at times but it's very solid overall. Taped and transferred by Dean Grabski, we appreciate it! Photo credit.
*Michael Franti recently released a film called "I Know I'm Not Alone" about his experiences in Iraq. I highly recommend it, it's to my knowledge the only documentary in existence focusing on a musician speaking to, and playing music for, the regular people in that country. It's amazing, but don't take my word for it- Check out the trailer (below) and the acclaim from the critics.