I'd be lying to you if I told you that the events of the world didn't affect me. They scare me to my core. Reading too many news articles and watching too many news programs can have a detrimental affect on you. It's good to be plugged into the world, but it's equally important to step away and make some time for yourself. For me it's music and over the last few years, an artist who has spoken to me time and time again is Michael Franti. To get a better understanding of what the man and his music mean to me go HERE.
I was sitting here trying to think about something to write when I came across a Michael Franti review I wrote from last year. When I saw Franti last October, I was nearly on the verge of tears from the emotional warmth I felt from the show, the music and above all else, the man. I've met Michael a few times and let me tell you, he's every bit as genuine as you tink he would be.
I was struck by this paragraph I wrote:
Life, love, war, injustice, internal examination above all else hope were all on display throughout the two-hour show. With the release of The Sound of Sunshine and this recent performance it fully demonstrates that Franti and Spearhead continue to hurtle towards greatness with hypnotizing focus. You can’t help but surrender yourself to the music. The bravura set of soul-inducing songs rippled with soaring emotions and energy and was anchored by reflection, pronouncement and complete and utter elation; I didn’t want it to end. Without question, Michael Franti and Spearhead are one of the greatest gifts to the world of live music. Experience it for yourself; I promise you, you may never look at live performances the same way again.
Then I saw this video from Terminal 5 in New York:
You know those moments where you are a child and you have a bad dream and escape to your parents bed where the world can't touch you or steal you away. It feels safe, secure and full of love? That is what a great Michael Franti performance is. The above performance of "Everyone Deserves Music" is full of splendor and love. It reminds you of the intensity of a child being born, the melding of two hearts at a wedding and even a gathering of old friends who talk into the early morning light. In a world filled with such vehemence and hatred, it's rare to see anyone turn the other cheek and attempt to give their best to everyone...the friends, their lovers and their enemies. It's one thing for music to distract us from life and it's another for it to transform us. What a brilliant idea where everyone deserves music. Maybe the world would have fewer wars, more understanding and minds that aren't chained to centuries old theories. Would music hold the key to unlock our misery as a whole? Maybe...maybe not. All I can say is that I'm simply trying to live life one day and one song at a time and today's song is "Everyone Deserves Music" by Michael Franti and Spearhead.
"Even our worse enemies...they deserve music".
Artists like Franti are few and far between where their on-stage and off-stage heart is equally big and pumps louder than a 747. Whenever I hear one of his songs, see him in concert or even watch a little YouTube clip, I feel dangerously alive and my thoughts turn to those in my life and the love I have had, lost and found. So as the world crumbles in front of our eyes, the best advice I can give you is to not be overwhelmed by it. Live in the moment, make sure you tell those close to you that you love them and above all else, let Michael Franti and Spearhead into your life for a bit of sunshine for your soul.
Go HERE to read my many Michael Franti pieces here on this blog and over at antiMUSIC.
Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMusic Network. His daily writings can be read at The Screen Door. He can be contacted at thescreendoor AT gmail DOT com and can be followed on Twitter