When I want to listen to beautiful music and meaningful lyrics that are socially conscious, I have a tendency to go for Michael Franti and Spearhead. When I first heard Michael’s music, it was from his album Songs from the Front Porch which had a few songs on it that I could listen to over and over. I had the great fortune of seeing him perform live, and it was probably one of the best concert experiences I’ve had in recent memory. There was a really great atmosphere and a sense of togetherness that I don’t usually get in public settings. He also managed to walk through the crowd singing several times, and even at one point had a bunch of little kids and elderly people up on the stage with him, singing and dancing to his songs. It was a great concert for a family, and he just seemed really kind and down to earth.
When I found out that he had made a movie about war in the Middle East called I Know I’m Not Alone, I had to get my hands on it. In the movie, Michael speaks with Iraqi, Israeli, and Palestinian people and even American troops about the war, fighting and how it affects them. If you read my earlier post about the human cost of war through the eyes of journalist Kevin Sites, this takes a similar perspective, but a much gentler one. Through the eyes of a peace-loving musician, it shows how the power of music and kindness can bring joy and pull down barriers among people everywhere. For fans of his music, there are several songs that play in the film that I haven’t heard before on his albums, so it’s a bit of a special treat.
I’m not on the side of Americans, Iraqis, Israelis or Palestinians. I’m on the side of the peacemakers, whatever side they come from.
~ Michael Franti from I know I’m not Alone
So, for your listening and viewing pleasure, please find below the trailer for I Know I’m Not Alone, as well as two of my favorite Michael Franti songs, Hey World and Has Anybody Seen My Mind:
I Know I’m Not Alone trailer:
Hey World by Michael Franti.
Anybody Seen My Mind by Michael Franti: