Michael Franti | The Audio Perv
Posts Tagged ‘Michael Franti’
25 Sep
2011

By Laura McWhorter

Someone sat on me on the T once. Yep. On my lap. The person was then quite bothered that I had the nerve to exist let alone sit in her desired seat. Boston doesn’t have the friendliest reputation. There are whole days that go by where I don’t interact with another human cordially. I, also, don’t drive (hence the T-sitting fiasco) so I never get to leave the city but yesterday I made an exception for Day 1 of the Life is good Music Festival. For all the 10 miles I had to go to get there…you would’ve thought I went to Mars.

Seth Avett nailed it when he said that too many music festivals (Lolla, Bonnaroo, etc) are all about the ‘cool factor’. The LIG Fest is the antidote to all that hard-to-pronounce hullabaloo. It’s a feel good festival that’s more concerned with bringing happy, loving families together for a good cause than it is with hype and ‘cool’. As I walked up to the festival grounds on an overcast Saturday AM, my Boston ‘tude was still very much in tact (driving in New England will do that to you…). Ten steps through the gates however and all of that immediately started to melt away. “Here Comes the Sun” was blasting from the main stage and volunteers were dancing and greeting everyone. Not even walking behind three baby strollers could wipe the huge grin off my face.

One note of caution to the 20-somethings that plan on attending this festival in the future (and you should…): it’s definitely a family festival. I was in the very tiny minority of people who didn’t have a baby or two in tow. There were tons of activities and vendors but they were all geared toward kids. Don’t go expecting to rage all day. They keep it very G-rated. There’s beer and wine and stuff but I get the feeling the tolerance for stumbling, puking and public urination is pretty low at this particular fest. Equally important to note…the kid vibe doesn’t take away from the experience at all. Definitely don’t see it as a deterrent.

Life is good co-founders, Bert and John Jacobs started this festival to help raise funds for children in life-threatening situations. 100 percent of the proceeds from the two-day festival go to this cause with the ultimate goal of reaching $1million at the end of the weekend. It’s a great cause and top-tier acts come out to give their support. This underlying mission lends itself to a palpable, positive buzz coursing through everything you see and everyone you meet. No matter where I turned I saw kids playing, adults playing, adults helping, kids helping. It was like a real-life ‘Barney’ episode only less creepy and more uplifting…with way better music. The Festival does a great job of securing bands that are not only nationally-known but also fit the bill (literally and figuratively).

Speaking of the bill…let’s get down to why I was able to be there – the music. The day kicked off at noon with local band, Barefoot Truth. The band played tracks off their new album, “Carry Us On” that dropped earlier this month as well as some of their older stuff. They’ve got an uplifting, casual sound that was the perfect start to the day. The best thing about the LIG festival is the size of the venue and the schedule it necessitates. The farm is relatively small so the stages are pretty close. You can hear one act from almost anywhere in the grounds. With all of the stuff to see and do, it’s nice to be able to walk around and still enjoy the tunes. On top of that…because of this, the schedule is completely free of overlap. They make it so you can comfortably see every band if you want to. There’s no lag in between so the day really is jam-packed with performances. I bounced back and forth between the two main stages all day and for 8-hours life really was good.

Blues outfit, Dwight & Nicole were up next and while I wasn’t super familiar with them before yesterday, I’ve since added them to the list. I’ll go see these guys anytime they’re in Boston. It was a great performance that was a perfect juxtaposition to Barefoot Truth. While BT, got everyone in the right frame of mind…Dwight and Nicole’s upbeat, sultry sound helped pick up the pace and got everyone’s blood pumping and then sent them dancing over to the main stage for The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

While the rest of the crowd was carried down to New Orleans by DDBB for a while, I walked around enjoying the sights and waited for Tristan Prettyman. The San Diego song bird only played for 45 minutes but it was enough to lull the crowd into a blissful calm as we swayed along to “Echo”, “Madly” and “Marry You”. She’s hitting the studio in November to begin work on her next album and promised an accompanying tour early 2012 in support. Definitely catch it if she comes your way.

After a brief nap and iPhone charge in one of the vendor tents, I was ready for the day’s first real rock and roll performance, The Hold Steady. The Brooklyn band seemed to be to be an odd fit for this kind of festival. Their narrative lyrics tend to touch on subject matter that’s not entirely family-friendly and their sound (which I love…do not mistake) is a bit harder than the rest of their LIG counterparts. Like Brooklyn bulls in a New England china shop, The Hold Steady came out hard and fast with (appropriately titled) “Positive Jam” and “Stuck Between Stations”. If you could hear through the tunes, you’d hear a lot of crying babies who weren’t quite ready for it. Eventually, the mood leveled out and the kiddies were enjoying their first rock show. I even saw a baby (a BABY) playing air guitar. I kid you not, my friends…cutest thing ever. Noting the clientele, front man Craig Finn turned the set into a school lesson. Starting with science (“Hurricane J”) and into geography (“Sequestered in Memphis”), then health (“The Swish”). They filled the next 30 minutes with songs that spanned their deep catalogue and ended just as appropriately as they began with “Stay Positive”.

And stay positive we did as Michael Franti (or as I like to call him, “The Happiest Man Alive”) and Spearhead took the baton next in this musical relay. Now. It’s hard to really enjoy yourself at a concert when you go by yourself but let me tell you…it’s ten times harder to NOT enjoy yourself when watching Michael Franti & Spearhead. This band is positivity personified and packed the most energy of the day by far. From the time they started with “Everyone Deserves Music” to the time they ended with a full stage of kids and seniors alike for “Say Hey”, their infectious optimism held the crowd completely captive. The performance was punctuated by someone passing their baby up to the front and Franti holding him Lion King style.

While I wanted to catch Ingrid Michelson, I decided to stay back and snake my way up front for Saturday’s closers, The Avett Brothers (told you it was a good lineup). I honestly can’t think of a better way to end the day. Seth and Scott Avett are two of the most humble and (can’t say it enough) positive guys out there. You could tell they were genuinely honored to be included in the festivities and for a band that clearly places a lot of importance on family…this was their show to steal. Since this was the end of the night and WELL past the bed times of 50% of the attendees, this crowd was a bit more adult and we were certainly ready for a southern good time. With the longest set of a long day, the boys from NC pulled together a perfectly constructed set to get everyone across the finish line. It kept us up with fast-paced favorites like “I Killed Sally’s Lover”, “Kick Drum Heart” and “Talk on Indoloence” to keep us all moving and the heart-felt ballads like “Go To Sleep” and “January Wedding” to bring us back down. Scott and Seth did their solo thing with “Murder in the City” and “Ballad of Love and Hate” respectively. It’s really incredible to see how much admiration they have for each other and while you get that throughout the set…you really see it during these solos. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of shows. The one thing that’s always been at the top of my list but has always eluded me was seeing “I and Love and You” performed live. I wasn’t ready for it. The boys closed the show with the ballad and I may or may not have wept like a child (I’d been around babies all day. Deal with it.). I missed the encore to miss the traffic but I’m kicking myself now. They closed with “Just Like a Woman” (Dylan cover) and “Laundry Room”. The temper tantrum I pitched upon receipt of this information isn’t something I’m proud of.

I met some people in the audience and when they told me they were from Cambridge, it was the first time all day that I even remembered I was still only 10 miles from Boston. It was like the entire day of good vibes and music had put a mental block on the hustle and bustle that I had waiting for me at home. I’m back in the city now and had to miss the second day of the festival to come into the office but all that was made much more bearable by the fantastic day provided to me by Life is good – and the baby playing air guitar didn’t hurt either, of course.

31 Mar
2011

Michael Franti just premiered the touching video for his new single, “I’ll Be Waiting.” In the video, Franti takes us on an emotional rollercoaster telling the story of the song through a number of perspectives, including a tearful homecoming for a soldier.

Be sure to also check out this video of Franti talking about the meaning behind the song. Fans can pick up “I’ll Be Waiting” featured on Franti’s latest album The Sound of Sunshine on iTunes now!

01 Mar
2011

Michael Franti & Spearhead performed “I’ll Be Waiting” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Check it out and pick up the album The Sound Of Sunshine on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

10 Feb
2011

To celebrate the release of his new single, “I’ll Be Waiting,” Michael Franti is offering fans the opportunity to download it for FREE. Head to MichaelFranti.com or Facebook.com/MichaelFranti to download. You can also check out the powerful lyrics of “I’ll Be Waiting” (Radio Edit Mix) in a brand new lyric video.

“I’ll Be Waiting” has special meaning to Franti who describes it as “an epic and vast song about intensely personal experiences.” Below are Franti’s personal thoughts on the song and what it means to him.

“At its core it is a love song, but not in the classic sense of the phrase.

It is a song of searching, failure, growth and healing.

It is a love song between a friend who is addicted to heroin and his lover who is desperately waiting for him to clean up.

It is a love song for a single mother who has just seen her teenage daughter run away to the city, only to come home pregnant and alone.

It is a love song for an over-demanding father who’s son has gone off to war only to come home broken with scars inside and out.

It is a love song for a bus driver who spends his whole day helping others only to come home to his wife who is battling cancer.

It is a love song for a child who is bullied at school and one day snaps and is now calling his mother from juvenile detention.

It is a song about leaving home and searching for ourselves outside of our “selves” in the material world.

Buying the right car to make us look important, the right jeans to make us slimmer, the right friends to make us more special, the right drugs to make us more confident, the right lover to fix that part of us that is empty.

Inevitably all these things fail and as we fall on our faces we come to discover those that we rebelled against the most, were the people who had faith in us even when we were at our worst…”Whenever you call me, whenever you need me, wherever you wander, until you see me, I’ll be Waiting, waiting for you…” With open arms to catch us, hold us, heal us… even when we think we are not worthy of it.”

For more information on Michael Franti check out:

http://michaelfranti.com/

http://twitter.com/michaelfranti

http://www.myspace.com/michaelfranti

http://www.youtube.com/frantiv

http://www.facebook.com/michaelfranti

05 Jan
2011

With the new year comes a new video from Michael Franti wishing his fans a happy 2011. 2010 marked the release of Franti’s seventh studio album titled The Sound of Sunshine. The new year couldn’t look any brighter for Franti as he will be touring the world from the U.S. to Europe to Australia.

Download Unlimited Albums and Songs by Michael Franti On Your Mobile. Start Your Free Trial (Brought To You By The Audio Perv).

Fans can pick up Michael Franti’s new album The Sound of Sunshine in stores now, featuring the hit single “Hey, Hey, Hey.” And, stay tuned to MichaelFranti.com for new videos from Franti while he’s on the road.

For more information and tour dates check out:

http://www.facebook.com/michaelfranti

http://www.myspace.com/michaelfranti

http://www.twitter.com/michaelfranti

http://www.youtube.com/frantiV

15 Nov
2010

Michael Franti will be promoting his in-store at Borders live on LiveStream. Tune in today (11/15) starting at 12:30pm EST to check it out. You can watch it through his Facebook page.

28 Oct
2010

Michael Franti & Spearhead performed “The Sound Of Sunshine” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Check it out and pick up the album The Sound Of Sunshine on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

01 Oct
2010

Michael Franti is celebrating the release of his new album, The Sound of Sunshine, with a Yahoo! maximum performance. Head over to Music.Yahoo.com to watch the reggae-pop musician perform “Hey Hey Hey’” and “The Sound of Sunshine” and get to know the musician a little better through an exclusive interview.

Franti and Spearhead’s, The Sound of Sunshine, debuted at #17 making it the highest chart debut of his career.

“After making albums for 23 years, I’m thrilled to have my first top 20 album. I haven’t seen the whole chart, but I might be the only artist in the top 20 this week whose first record released was actually a vinyl record! I’m grateful to all the fans who’ve shared our music with their friends all these years and to the nice folks at radio and venues around the country who have given us the opportunity to shine,” says Franti. Fans can pick up The Sound of Sunshine on iTunes now!

Franti & Spearhead are on tour in support of the album and will be making stops in many cities throughout the U.S. and Canada including NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto. Eight cities on the tour will be a part of a “Barefoot Concert Series” As a part of Franti’s partnership with international shoe charity, Soles4Souls. The series is part of a Franti/Soles4Souls effort to sponsor 100,000 pairs of shoes to raise awareness of the need for footwear both nationally and internationally.

For tour dates, official Michael Franti news and to check out the latest v-blogs on FrantiV, go to http://www.MichaelFranti.com.

28 Sep
2010

Michael Franti, lead singer of Michael Franti & Spearhead, has landed one of the biggest promotional opportunities a musical act can get. YouTube has featured the artist for this week’s “Music Tuesday.” Head over to YouTube to see some of Michael’s all-time favorite videos that include a Kung Fu Yoga boy, a great performance by a Brazilian group from the 70′s and of course “The Sound of Sunshine” music video.

Michael & Spearhead’s much anticipated new album, The Sound of Sunshine, is available now on iTunes. The album includes the #1 hit single, “The Sound of Sunshine,” and is available in a deluxe version that includes lyrics, photos, behind the scenes video footage, and much more. Fans can also purchase the album at MichaelFranti.com, to receive an exclusive bonus track, “Being Alone is Better With You.”

Visit MichaelFranti.com for a complete list of upcoming tour dates and pick up Sound of Sunshine now!

19 May
2010


Michael Franti, whose latest CD release All Rebel Rockers marked the highest debut album chart position of his career and gave way to the platinum digital smash, “Say Hey (I Love You)”, is now a part of the EMI/Capitol Records roster. New singles will be released later this month from Franti’s forthcoming CD, The Sound of Sunshine on the Capitol Records/Boo Boo Wax label. The Sound of Sunshine album will be available later this summer.

“The spirit and support that we’ve been receiving on the road has been incredible,” said Franti. “Even though we’ve been making music for a long time and many of our fans have been with us for years, the success of All Rebel Rockers and ‘Say Hey (I Love You)’ has allowed even more people to hear the music. Our new fans have become a part of the family and I’m happy to have this new family extend to everyone at EMI.”

Greg Thompson, EMI’s EVP of Promotion and Marketing, said, “We are honored to be involved with such a gifted artist whose incredible spirit, coupled with his musical genius, makes him one of the most exciting performers and musicians in the music scene today.

Michael Franti is the creator and lead singer of Michael Franti & Spearhead. For over two decades, The Bay Area born Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music. While studying at the University of San Francisco, Franti formed the punk band The Beatnigs, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. In the mid-Nineties, Franti first formed Spearhead, and increasingly in recent years, he’s found his own voice musically and his own organic brand of popular success. Franti’s impressive series of recordings have vividly reflected his status as a musical citizen of the world.

Franti & Spearhead will kick off a nationwide headline tour on May 14th at The Fillmore in Miami. For tour dates and ticket information and official Michael Franti news and to check out the latest v-blogs on FRANTV, go to www.michaelfranti.com.