Micheal Franti is many things to many people. He's a musician. He's a poet. He's an advocate for some and a curmudgeon to others.
He has an opinion, and openly says what he feels. Should we all be as lucky as he!
Sure not everyone agrees with him because of his views. Often times some people get trapped up in perspective... because they only see one side of the story they only know one side of it and that is what they say. I think Micheal Franti sees the big picture without compromising the small, but meaningful values he's learned in his lifetime. What makes him a great artist is that he is open. He is open to learn and he is open to change his mind and I give him much respect for this!
Tonight he played at the Park West. I could have made it up to Milwaukee and quit working to make it to the Benevento Russo & Something For Rockets show there, but I felt compelled to stay and work and see this show. I'm all the better for it. Micheal is passionate and heartfelt and its hard not to pick up on his flow while. Sure, he says "How you all feelin'!!!" far too many times, but its the thing in between... the "All the Freaky People Make the Beauty of the World!" "Every single soul is a poem written on the back of God's hand," & "Don't fear the darkness, cause the monster know that you're divine" type lyrics that help him carve out a place with in the family groove.
Plus, you can dance to his music! It's polyrhythmic and fun. Anyone who's looking for some Possitive Roots Neo Soul should check him out!
At tonight's show he brought out a floutist and a Erhu player (a 2 stringed violin type instrument) and that took me to that other / some worldly / asain level.
I took a number of pictures from this show on a variety of other people's cameras and was left with my cell phone shot! Here's a picture of that!
The show was brought to us by Lonely Planet which encourages us to learn more by travelling outside the U.S. September is their national passport month... they encourage you to get one or renew it! You never really know who you are until you walk a mile, or several thousand outside your own skin.