Waka 2014, Thursday

After the lovely drive down the Pig Trail, I got to Mulberry Mountain, home to Waka for the next few days. I set up camp and jump right into signing people up for the bone marrow registry with Love Hope Strength.

I spent most of the time at the booth, but we’re super close to the Main Stage, so there was plenty of music. I took a break to go catch Black Joe Lewis, who was amazing. And then split to go catch Michael Franti. I was pretty close to the front, and when Franti came by the crowd I high-fived him. His show was incredible. I have seen him a few times already, and he always brings a renewed energy to the stage. The highlights of last night were a solo, acoustic start to “Sound Of Sunshine,” an unreleased song dedicated to his youngest son, and a DJ jam at the end that included songs like Pharrell’s “Happy.”

Franti’s son, Ade, has recently found out he has a disease (pardon me, but I forgot the name of it) that will eat away his kidney functions until they don’t work anymore. Here’s a bunch I good vibes to Ade. He’s a warrior!

After Franti’s set, I made my way to the Revival Tent where I caught the last few minutes of Moon Taxi’s set. I’m not very familiar with their music, but what I heard, I liked. I’ll have to looked them up when I get home, cause the most my 3G connection gives me here is the middle finger. I’m only able to write this post now, because I woke up with the sun and everyone is still sleeping.

Happy Waka!

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Here’s a video for you

I’ve been quite MIA from Sandy Beats, but it’s only because I’ve been busy SURVIVING. I had a pretty nasty case of strep throat that has left me behind on so much. I didn’t even notice where Autumn went, because it already feels like Winter here in Northwest Arkansas. But back to the music: Michael Franti released this video a couple (maybe a few) weeks ago and I wanted to share it with you. “Life Is Better With You” is a really happy, feel-good, love song. Although it is the type of love song that you could dedicate to a parent or a BFF. There’s a lot of kissing, diversity, and unicorns in this video. Which means, I LOH IT! Enjoy.

TBT: The Sound of Sunshine Review

This write up is from September 2010, and I thought it also needed to be posted today. I’m still savoring Franti’s “All People” so the review will come in the next few days.

Have you HEARD The Sound of Sunshine yet? If your answer is no, you have to go listen to it right now. You can do so here.

Are you back yet? Did you open it in another window and have it playing at the moment? OK, good. As you might guess, this a must-buy album.

Michael Franti & Spearhead hit the Top 40 nation with his single “Say Hey” from his last album All Rebel Rockers. From the moment that song became a hit, Franti & Spearhead took flight. Talk about seizing the moment! I remember reading about him in a CA newspaper about a year ago, he was asked about working on new material and he said something along the lines of “…Our single ‘Say Hey’ is now in the Top 40. Since that’s blowing up, we’re trying to stay out on the road.”

Turns out, they didn’t need to stop performing to create a new album. In fact, that’s exactly what they needed to keep doing. A lot of the songs in The Sound of Sunshine were completed on the road. Franti & Spearhead spent their winter as the opening act for John Mayer‘s Battle Studies tour. Perhaps the opportunity to perform for so many Mayer-lovers did a world of good, introducing Franti to many that otherwise wouldn’t be found as part of his audience.

This album is awesome. It’s full of hits. I started listening to it and after singing along with the already familiar title track, I went into the other songs and one by one they filled me up with pure happiness. Music can make you feel so good! Or as Franti puts it “Music can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.” With this album, you’ll want to memorize the lyrics instantly. Love songs, feel-good music, dance tunes, call them what you want. The positive lyrics and fun melodies in this album can make anyone feel better at the end of a rough day.

Granted, there are a couple of recycled lines in some of the songs, but you’ll only notice if you’re familiar with Franti’s music. The album has another sure hit for Franti containing “Hey” in the title– three times. “Love Don’t Wait”? Sing it to me, baby! I’m all over this album. There’s even a sunset version of the title track, it’s called “The Sound of Sunshine Going Down.” And makes a lovely alternate version to the fun hit.

This album is going to the top. A little less reggae and a little less rock than we’ve ever heard coming from Franti, while still keeping the essence of his message intact.

Go get this album now. I just did.

P.S. This review had nothing to do with my special affinity for barefoot rock stars.

TBT: Michael Franti & Spearhead @ The Village, 2010

I wrote this review in October 2010. Franti & Spearhead just released a new album this week, so I thought this is appropriate for Throwback Thursday this week.

Michael Franti & Spearhead @ The Village

With fresh new material, a lot of energy, and a growing fan base, Michael Franti & Spearhead are making the most of the moment. On Friday, Oct. 1, Franti & Spearhead had their first show in Little Rock, AR at The Village.

Franti & Spearhead really know how to put on a show. The venue wasn’t completely full, but it felt like it after the show started out with “Love Don’t Wait,” from the band’s latest studio production, The Sound of Sunshine.

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Tomorrow’s Music Releases

There’s a lot of cool music set to release tomorrow. I’m excited about two of them:

Michael Franti & Spearhead‘s new album All People is out tomorrow. Almost three years (What? Where does time go?) after Sound of Sunshine, comes this new album. I’ve been excited about it since he released his first since “I’m Alive.”

Noah‘s debut album Among the Wildest Things is due until August 20th, but the first single “Call Home” is out tomorrow.

If you don’t know who Noah Guthrie is, let me remind you. He is YouTube sensation who exploded last year with his cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It.”

Ah, music, if it weren’t for Spotify, you would break my bank.