Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Concert: Michael Franti & Spearhead

I remember when Michael Franti’s first album came out in 1992, under the awkward name Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. He was trying his damnedest to sound like Gil Scott-Heron and Chuck D. I wasn’t impressed.

Even then, he was more alt than hip-hop, covering Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles”... using words like “oxymoronic” and “agrarian”... rappin’ ’bout toxic waste and homophobia. But I wasn’t feeling his Bay Area hard-left vibe, even back then when I was sympathetic to such.

Well, Franti carved out his place in the music scene with Spearhead, a band with rock, reggae and funk elements that’s all about taking it to the stage.

I still wouldn’t call myself a Michael Franti fan. But he can put on a decent show. This December 2006 concert – uploaded by the Dutch website – took place at Amsterdam’s Paradiso.


invisiblewoman said...

I love that you talk about all types of folks...when I was a teenager, I used to go to these certain clubs in SF, and Michael was always there. I didn't know him at first, but would always stare at him dancing around-I would always say to my boyfriend "look at that guy"...he had a wierd way of dancing; very loose and tribal, like an African rubber band, if that makes any sense. The fact that he was super tall made it even more noticeable.

Anyway, over the years I was not surprised that he became this international being...he has always had the charisma of ten people, even when he was very young...thanks for this post.

Undercover Black Man said...

... he had a wierd way of dancing; very loose and tribal, like an African rubber band...

Well-described, IW, because he does that dance in the middle of this concert, with his dreads flying free.

Thanks for commenting.