Years and years and years ago (sometime in December of 2001), upon the insanely strong recommendation of a friend, I went to go see Michael Franti and Spearhead at a little joint called The Blue Note in Columbia, MO. I’d barely gotten a chance to listen to the music before four of us headed from Sedalia down I-70. I remember the show being one of the most amazing live shows I’d ever seen. The crowd was full of people that had followed this music for a while. And, quite honestly, their less than rhythmic dancing was a little awkward for me to watch, but there wasn’t a single person dancing that could have cared any less. And it was a really great experience – probably one of the best live shows I’d ever seen.
I listened to songs like these (off his Stay Human album, which is my favorite of his, by the way) for a long time:
And, then, the other day, a little part of me died inside. The same dude that had lyrics talking about not caring who politicians “were screwing in private” and the conspiracy behind Princess Diana’s death and wanting to “give the corporation some complications” is being played on 101.3 KDWB, which is one of Minneapolis’ 987908 stations owned by Clear Channel. It’s the same radio station that can be counted on to play no less than 13 songs by P!nk in the course of one work day. And the same radio station that’s been trying to give away tickets to something called BOOTY CRUISE.
Michael Franti, what happened, dude? I mean, nice work on bringing in some cash, but where in your darkened soul did you think it would be a good idea to appear at Sneaky Pete’s in downtown Minneapolis and actually be sponsored by the biggest mainstream radio station in the area? It makes me a little sad inside.
(Don’t get me wrong. I love his new song. I just hate that it’s turned him into mainstream.)